AND NEXT TO THIS (KUALA LUMPUR)
time-based essay: still images, video stills and narration
Running Time: 12 minutes
When composing “And Next to this (Kuala Lumpur)” I wanted to deal specifically with the photographs and video footage I was taking in Malaysia as they related to the larger context of the importation, exportation, and reconfiguration of culture. The permeability of culture, however, cannot merely be “found” and put on display; it must also be narrated as a kind of geographic history whose artifacts, sign-systems, and myths are only the surface phenomenon. For example, Malaysia has received three major importations: Islam, British colonial rule, and most recently, American economics. Its three main exports have been: tin, rubber and petroleum. In And Next to this (Kuala Lumpur) I aim to show the mutation of these systems in practice (Islam and capitalism) and not quite under erasure (colonialism). I wanted to emphasize that while it was the interior of the condominium where I made images and had ideas, this interior was also permeated by the systems external to it—and foreign to me at least in their Malaysian context. The balcony pictured in the video is the threshold where the interior and exterior meet.
Download PDF of the voiceover transcript here