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"Apichatpong Weerasethakul / MATRIX 247" 

When: Feb. 15-April 21 2013
Price: free with museum admission

Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall his Past Lives) fills Berkeley Art Museum's matrix gallery space with his 2007 short film, Morakot (Emerald). Running eleven minutes on loop, the quiet, dreamlike film exposes interiors of a once lively, now abandoned Bangkok hotel. Weerasethakul digitally superimposes layers of glittering debris, such as dust and feathers, upon the already oneiric scenes to the accompaniment of a trio of voices, all speaking in Thai. Even without benefit of subtitles, it is clear enough that the voices share a reminiscent tone (however, curator Dena Beard's supplementary material points out that the content of the speech is rather more traumatic than one might expect). While the video's visual content is rich, the gallery itself is spare, consisting only of the screen and a hanging green light that seems to bridge the physical and cinematic spaces. It makes for a ghostly and compelling eleven minutes. Morakot (Emerald) runs through April 21 at the Berkeley Art Museum (2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley). 510-642-0808 or BAMPFA.Berkeley.edu

— Alex Bigman

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