Skip to Main Content

Chapter 4 undertakes a queer-feminist analysis of the contemporary Thai artist Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook’s videos about intimacy and exchange with the dead. From 1997 until the mid-2000s this artist returned repeatedly to a hospital morgue to perform with corpses in different scenes and arrangements. Focusing on conceptual and performative aspects of Araya’s video work, this chapter considers how scenarios of loss and invocations of scenes of intimacy are made to relate in the films. It examines how Araya’s work defamiliarizes the popular conventions of depicting female death and attachment to the dead female body in Thailand. Using death as a register of the sexual, Araya’s videos aim to create feminist publics by rooting desire in a very literal form of negativity. They deploy Buddhist melancholia, or the conventions of depicting female death and the erotic, to extend our notions of desire beyond physical possibility and to previously unimagined objects.

Don't already have an account? Register
Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal