July 11 – August 18 2013
A Room at the End of the World is an installation by an emergent artist based between Thailand and Canada. Probing discomforting but revelatory ideas about sexuality, desire and identity, Amornthep Jaidee has recreated H Project Space as a surreal bedroom where the strange juxtaposition of found objects subtly antagonises the serenity and grandeur of this elegant room.
New generations of artists continue to provide fresh voices for the critical theories of gender and sexuality that emerged under the rubric of post-modernism and with Queer theory. Themes of a fragmented self, the politics of normative values, and the subversive potential of ambivalent knowledge receive renewed interest for ever-expanding contemporary contexts. A Room at The End of The World confronts us with a recognition of the fraught terms by which we often negotiate private, personal experience and our sense of self therein – between seduction and repellence, desire and risk and other remarkable tensions.
The title of this installation refers to Michael Cunningham’s iconic novel of the 80s, A Room at The End of The World which explored how a small group of individuals sought to re-imagine themselves, their identities, outside conventional structures and away from the grand political frameworks of previous generations. The title also refers to the architecture of H Project Space, a somewhat quaint symbol of history in the context of modern, metropolitan Bangkok. Both references can be understood as pursuing ideals that may be mined for their failures: the former for revealing the ultimate power of convention and the latter as an outmoded gesture. However, A Room at The End of The World reconsiders their intrinsic ambitions to imagine a space where the limits of conventional understanding and ideals of difference can be contemplated.
This project is generously supported by Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Concordia University.
Amornthep Jaidee was born in Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand. He has been living in Canada for over a decade, where he received his BFA from University of Lethbridge in Alberta. Jaidee is currently completing a MFA at Concordia University in Montreal. His exhibitions include Eponymous (2012), Fuaye Galerie, Ayvalik, Turkey and Cabinet of Queer-iosities (2012) at the Bowman Art Center, Alberta. He held a solo exhibition titled Piggies (2010) at Ashland Gallery in Alberta. Jaidee has held residencies at the Goyang National Art Studio Gallery in Korea and the The Banff Center in Canada.