Join us at Pieter for an intimate evening where Prumsodun Ok will share his dance and video work that mine the landscape of memory, elevating his personal experience and politic into the mytho-poetic ritual space of Cambodian classical dance and of the cinema. The program will begin with Meditation and Revival, an attempt to infuse the medium of video with the spiritual purpose and function of classical dance. It will be followed by A House, Sitting, a deeply vulnerable intimation exploring the artist’s relationship with men both real and constructed and the layering of histories in his San Francisco home (in which many gay men have died in during the AIDS epidemic). The evening will conclude with a work-in-progress presentation of Love Me Rachana before its world premiere at the KUNST-STOFF Arts Festival in San Francisco.
Love Me Rachana is a minimalist reinterpretion of Roeung Preah Sang, a classical Cambodian drama depicting interracial love. Rachana, a young princess and protagonist of the story, gives her love to a nguoh – a half-human and half-demon being – who is deemed ugly by his society due to his black skin. She breaks through walls of race and class in her decision to marry the nguoh and is later beaten by her sisters for this transgression. A study of linguistic, social, and historic gesture, Love Me Rachana employs utterances, text, sound, and Cambodian classical dance to translate an old tale into contemporary queer bodies, thereby framing the LGBT struggle for equality in a larger history of politically defiant romance and making visible the specificities of languages and experiences in the celebration of the universal, human capacity for love.