May 26 2019

In Conversation with Korakrit Arunanondchai, boychild and Alex Gvojic

New York-Art
Korakrit Arunanondchai, boychild and Alex Gvojic have worked together since they first met at Art Basel Miami Beach 6 years ago. Not only is their work inspired by each other’s unique sense of time, it also projects a feeling of togetherness and interconnectedness like no other collaborative trio of the moment. With the Venice Biennale and the Whitney Biennial 2019 now open we sat down with the three, who's work is included on both sides of the “pond”, so to speak, to discuss how they met, what attracted them to each other and how a living archive informs most of their multi-disciplinary practice.

Angela Dimayuga:                  

When did you first meet?

Korakrit:                

So, the first time we actually talked, the first time we were in the same space, was in a jacuzzi; but I was wasted so it doesn’t count.

boychild:              

It definitely counts.

Alex:                     

That counts.

boychild:              

I just remember very clearly at Miami Art Basel setting where everything is just kind of a party and blurred and blah, blah, blah; and being like, there’s this really funny moment, and there’s this guy; and I was out there with another friend. Krit was the only other person out at 4:00 a.m. He was having this moment with himself, and I felt intrusive to his moment, but I also was a little bit like, he felt intrusive to my moment with my friend. He was in the jacuzzi like–give me your glasses. I’m in the jacuzzi, and here’s the edge; and I could just see the hair in the water flip over. It was really beautiful, actually. And then literally one month later on my birthday, we performed together in a group show.

Korakrit:                

Yes. Then we started working together. I think every single time we do stuff together from then ‘til now, I pretty much have a version of something from it on video. In the piece we did in Venice together, our whole channel is a narrative built on these materials. I think it’s pretty. Then another channel is my grandfather and grandmother. I feel like there’s something really kind of long in this–different stretch of time—together in a way. I feel like for me, I like to think about how you live with living archives. The performance we do together, I think, has a lot of that. When I see the work, from my side, to put all this stuff together and figure out what we’ve been doing together but not in a text based narrative way but in a very–energy, memory, blurry space–I think we talk a lot about becoming. When you look at the past, it’s always becoming something.

Korakrit Arunanondchai, boychild and Alex Gvojic
Korakrit Arunanondchai, boychild and Alex Gvojic
Korakrit Arunanondchai, boychild and Alex Gvojic
Korakrit Arunanondchai, boychild and Alex Gvojic
Korakrit Arunanondchai, boychild and Alex Gvojic

boychild:               

I think that between Krit and my other collaborator, Wu [Tsang], I feel like they have more or less my archive. But I also think of archive and the medium of film as capture. It’s complicated once it’s a moving image, because the archive in many ways feels like a catacomb or something; but then it’s funny to think of it as a living archive because the way that it metamorphizes through the way that you present it, and also the ebb and flow between both–re-conglomerating archival footage with sculpture, with light performance–it’s continually complicating it.

Alex:                     

I guess by archive–in the video I talk a lot about–for me, when we were working with ghosts, that’s precisely like the archive; just something that’s maybe not physically breathing, but not–but can still have a being that still interact with–memories, that kind of–I guess archive maybe. Maybe I just like to use that word, but I think it’s that thing, the fact–what, why something that’s not a breathing person or not, let’s say, alive in a physical way anymore; but able to still generate new connections. Maybe that’s more what I think of when I say living archive.

Korakrit:                

Yes, the archive feels like it’s a collection of connections or something. Every time we do a performance together, it’s always called together in a room filled with people with funny names. I feel like every piece is a kind of different piece, and sometimes it’s like a big shift: “oh now the characters have changed,” but it’s pretty much still the same piece.

"if you look at a CV, there’s just all of these things that feel the same and different; which is, for me, the idea of difference and sameness"

Angela:                  

The characters that are you guys, or additional characters?

Korakrit:                

Both. But also, what it is; we’re working on one for Performa right now. Even though it’s going to be different, I truly believe it’s still the same piece. Maybe the piece is more like the structure.

Angela:                  

Yes, maybe the piece is the intentionality behind it because that’s what’s keeping that together. But then it sounds like it’s always a version of the last one. But they have numbers, right?

Korakrit:                

The video does. The performance–not really; they’re more like time stamped by location and a moment and an invitation and a gathering, which could be called a party or a performance or an art fair. I think about this to myself in particular, but if you look at a CV, there’s just all of these things that feel the same and different; which is, for me, the idea of difference and sameness, but there’s a blurriness in that.

boychild:               

The way that it’s unfolded for all of us together and also separately, with other people, is that, the making is a way of being together and then it always ends up becoming another thing, and it’s a way to continue being together and continue working. I think your work in particular, Krit, is iterative. There was a point in the beginning where I thought it was self-referential; and I think that it is, but it actually is looking more to inter-connectedness and a dismantling of time.

Angela:                  

I have a closing question. Do you guys know where you would want to be buried or where you would want your remains to be?

boychild:               

In Krit’s videos.

Korakrit Arunanondchai, boychild, Alex Gvojic

Korakrit Arunanondchai, boychild, Alex Gvojic

Photographer
Thana Brick