Exhibition Documents Phnom Penh’s Changes

Exhibition Documents Phnom Penh’s Changes An exhibition exploring Phnom Penh’s architectural, environmental and cultural history is being screened.An exhibition exploring Phnom Penh’s architectural, environmental and cultural history is being screened.

SA SA BASSAC is presenting Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology, The Body and the Lens in the City, a group exhibition which brings together 17 video works by 10 artists.

The idea originated for a group exhibition curator, Erin Gleeson, was working with at the German institute last year in Berlin and Stuttgart.

Gleeson says, “In archaeological practice, a rescue archaeologist is someone that is required to react urgently, yet carefully, to a transitional moment in which there is a threat of irrevocable loss, aside from the archaeologists’ efforts to document.

“During a critical time of rapid urban, social, economic and cultural change and continuity in Phnom Penh, Cambodian artists are working with a sense of timeliness, even urgency, inspired by or in response to the fluctuating urban present.”

The exhibition included a range of media in the main gallery, and Gleeson also created an archive room with a viewing station of videos called Documents of Performance Art.

It was during this that she realised almost all of the works of performance art made by Cambodian artists were created in Phnom Penh.

And when Gleeson curated the first segment of the Sights & Sounds program at the Jewish Museum, in New York, in September 2013, which surveyed single-channel video arts practices in Cambodia during the past three years, that she realised video art) in Cambodia is primarily related to documenting performance art.

For this exhibition, Gleeson presents a collection of work from selected artists that explore and fuse the practice of performance and video, the relationship between them, their relation to the city and the increasing trend of these overlapping relationships occurring in Cambodia, especially since 2010.

The exhibition is compised of a screening room, reading station and ever-expanding archive. The main gallery hosts one projection of the compiled videos, while the library offers the videos on a monitor.

The reading station offers printed material that references the themes in the show, including performance art history, time-based media, and Phnom Penh’s architectural, environmental and cultural history, including the exhibition’s accompanying book, Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology | Contemporary Art and Urban Change in Cambodia.

Artists involved include Anida Yeou Ali, Khvay Samnang, Kim Hak, Leang Seckon, Lim Sokchanlina and Amy Lee Sanford.

Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology, The Body and the Lens in the City runs until Mar. 15 at SA SA BASSAC #18, 2nd floor, Sothearos Blvd.

For more information, visit www.sasabassac.com