Current guest resident Taiki Sakpisit will screen his 2021 feature film debut 'The Edge of Daybreak' at the Rijksakademie, followed by a Q&A moderated by curator and writer Julian Ross.
A family’s mental state reflects the troubled history of Thailand in Taiki Sakpisit’s doom-laden feature film debut. The oppression of the student uprisings in the 1970s and the 2006 military coup are the implicit historic anchors for an equal parts fluid and suffocating family chronicle marred by psychological trauma, violence and guilt complexes.
On the eve of a shift in political power, a woman is taken to a safe house, sharing a final meal with her husband before he is smuggled abroad. 30 years earlier, Ploy was a young girl in a coma after nearly drowning. Her father, a soldier, has been missing for three years and her mother is recovering from a nervous breakdown. Together with her lover, her husband’s younger brother, she relives the traumas of their youth. Impending doom and repression pervade monochrome shots of desolate, dilapidated locations with lanterns creating ghostly shadow theatre. The dark soundtrack, minimal cinematic action and slow tempo conjure up a hypnotic state. The characters seem imprisoned in emotional paralysis where past and present meld into a single, endless nightmare. A shadow crosses the sun: is it an omen, or will it awaken everyone?
Taiki Sakpisit is a filmmaker and visual artist working in Bangkok. From September 2022 until March 2023 he is a guest resident at the Rijksakademie. Sakpisit uses the techniques and history of cinema to unpack Thailand’s troubled past, using those to embed a resounding, but subtly expressed, political commitment in his experimental films. His works explore the underlying tensions and conflicts, and the sense of anticipation in contemporary Thailand, through precise and sensorially overwhelming audio-visual assemblage. His feature film The Edge of Daybreak premiered at the 50th International Film Festival Rotterdam and won the FIPRESCI award.
Julian Ross is a researcher, curator and writer based in Amsterdam. He is Assistant Professor at Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS) and consulting curator for the Museum of Modern Art, New York, where he’s co-organising Doc Fortnight 2023. His recent research interests are translation, substitution and embodiment, which he explored in his e-flux Video & Film programme Takeover.
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