A Novel in Necessity’s Rhythm, a solo exhibition of new works by ACC alumna Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, is taking place February 13 through April 4, 2020. Araya is one of Southeast Asia’s most respected and internationally active contemporary artists, and for over thirty years her video, installation, and graphic works have been regularly shown in museums and biennials around the world, including the Venice Biennale (2005), Documenta (2012), and a retrospective exhibition at the Sculpture Center in New York City (2015). Next month, the North Carolina Museum of Art will present a solo exhibition, Art in Translation: Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, running from March 7 through July 26, 2020.
A Novel in Necessity’s Rhythm is centered on a novel written by the artist and published in Thailand in 2018, from which she has selected excerpts, submitting them to a process of distortion and transformation in keeping with her wish to decrease being “too human” through the help of what she calls a theater of animals. Presented across multiple media (printing on canvas, video, and installation), the texts are juxtaposed with sculptures of dog heads, a vase of flowers, and other materials, which become a source of both support and disturbance to the artworks. Dogs have been a recurring motif in Araya’s work; her installation at Documenta and her 2015 exhibition at Tyler Rollins Fine Art explored the interrelationship between humans and dogs, chronicling the daily routines of life, but also suggesting wider themes about overcoming the binarisms of self and object, life and death, human and animal. Writing has been an integral part of Araya’s practice for decades, and she has published extensively in fiction, including novels and short stories, and non-fiction, particularly art criticism, reflective of her longtime role as a lecturer at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Chiang Mai University.