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Jérôme Bel: Pichet Klunchun and Myself Oct 31, 2013

by Erin

Another performance in a similar vein to Cédric Andrieux is Bel's 2007 work, Pichet Klunchun and Myself. Strangely enough, the piece features Thai dancer Pichet Klunchun and Mr. Bel himself.

A description from Jérôme Bel's website:
Pichet Klunchun and Myself is like a war between Pichet Klunchun and Jérôme Bel. The territory line is clearly marked in the middle. They fight for their art. They answer questions from the other side to help them clarify what they say. They listen to each other and question each other to create peace in their minds and to accumulate wisdom from the answers to each question they have posed.

It can be said in the Thai way that the reason that two people meet in this life is because they had similar Kharma in their past lives. Jerome Bel doesn’t believe in Christianity and has no religion. Pichet Klunchun, on the other hand, is a fervent Buddhist who believes in the Lord Buddha. However, they never fight over religious issues, or matters of faith, because they communicate with each other through their common bond of “art”. Although they have different ideas about art, art remains their central focus. They also differ in other aspects of life, for example Jerome Bel never wears black, while Pichet never wears any other color than black. Over and above everything else is the complete sense they have of “working together.”

The show time of Pichet Klunchun and Myself can be compared to entering two different art galleries. One place is a classical national art gallery that has staff explaining the history of each item. The other place is the modern art gallery of an artist who is waiting there to explain to the audience about his work.

Pichet and Jérôme have similar duties, but with different meanings. Audiences can understand classical work from one corner of the world, while at the same time audiences can also understand modern works. There are three elements of Pichet Klunchun and Myself that audiences can perceive:

1 - Personal stories of Pichet Klunchun and Jérôme Bel.
2 - Work presentations of Pichet Klunchun and Jérôme Bel, including explanations of technique, process and history.
3 - Interesting conclusions to be drawn from classical and modern art works.

After the one hour and forty five minutes of show time ends, audiences can perceive more than laughter. It is surprising that they can learn about personal stories, different art forms, cultures, beliefs, societies, history, and the past, present, and future attitudes of these two actors. I think this is the reason why I like Pichet Klunchun and Myself. I can freely say what I want to say, I can increase people’s appreciation of the arts that I love, I can make audiences be happy while educating them. The most important thing is that I can do the thing I want to do.

Watch short clips of the piece here and here.

 

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