For their show, Panetta and Hockley selected an entry in Arunanondchai’s film cycle, with history in a room filled with people with funny names 4 (2017). One focus of the piece is Arunanondchai’s grandmother, who suffers from dementia. The artist shows her at home, stacking objects, and in a hospital bed, surrounded by family. This footage is combined with a head-spinning variety of elements: He focuses on a South African safari, a Trump protest, a birthday celebration, and the death of the Thai king. “There’s always a visual storytelling part that feels like a dream sequence or a ritual that all the other experiences nest in or spring from,” Arunanondchai explained.
Arunanondchai was part of the group of artists who called for the removal of their works from the Whitney Biennial on July 19th, due to Safariland CEO Warren Kanders’s role as vice chairman on the Whitney Museum board. Since Kanders resigned on July 25th, the artists issued a new statement asserting that their works may stay on view.