Emerald by Apichatpong Weerasethakul

As three ghostly voices share their stories, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s 2007 video installation Morakot (Emerald) lingers on dust, light, and memory in the empty rooms and hallways of a defunct Bangkok hotel. The Morakot Hotel was a haven for Cambodian refugees fleeing the Vietnamese invasion in the 1980s. By the late 1990s, however, the Thai economy had collapsed and the Morakot was forced to close its doors. Weerasethakul, a Thai artist best known for his feature-length independent movies, breathes life back into the abandoned hotel, using cinema as a vehicle for reincarnation and transformation. Morakot features the same fugitive memories that have given shape to over a decade of the director’s films, but here they are given space to roam. A green light hanging in the center of the installation casts an ethereal glow over the gallery, but the moving images onscreen exist in a more fantastical, absent world, a dreamscape for wandering in and out of time and consciousness.