Don't kubeba (don't tell them), 2012
with two color digital films
Durations: 12 min 40 and 2 min 34
Edition 3 (+ 1 A.P.)
Pratchaya Phinthong quotes : « I heard a story from a Thai filmmaker Jakrawal Nilthamrong, who went to Zambia. He remembered about the story of ‘an antique object’ displays at Lusaka Museum from a museum guide; the crucial part in the story was that the object was imitated and displayed in the museum and he believed the original was in a Museum in London long time ago. I kept the story ever since. One year after i asked Jakrawal for his zambian local filmmakers who has been working for his film to do another film about this ‘unknown object’, I was interested in making work from scraps and construct it with others, but also it was an excuse for traveling ».
It is the occasion to question a delicate present when Pratchaya Phinthong decides, on a rumour, to make an investigation in Zambia: a guide of the Luzaka Museum is apparently telling visitors that the most prestigious object on display is a copy, the original being in the London Natural History Museum. The artist takes this point of departure to develop his project. He asks a director in Lusaka to tell the story of the “Broken Hill skull”, or “Kabwe Skull” (dated between 300,000 and 125,000 years old) a relic from an ancestor of Homo Sapiens discovered in a mine in Rhodesia in 1921 and sent to London. Zambia having being dispossessed of this treasure of humanity, the artist has preferred to remain outside such a memory and delegate its telling to chief cameraman, Musola Catherine Kasekati. The video installation Don’t kubeba (don’t tell them), 2012, is made up of two films : one made by the chief cameraman and the other one by the artist himself. In the first, Pratchaya Phinthong is nothing but a walk-on part; in the second, he realizes the filming. Appropriating the artist’s idea, the chief cameraman reappropriates her own history. The artist orchestrates a double vision of the same thing. This video installation is a kind of introduction for a project the artist will do next year at Chisenhale Gallery in London.