KAWITA Vatanajyankur

The Spinning Wheel








The Spinning Wheel (2018)—the only two-channel video work in “Performing Textiles”—Vatanajyankur’s facial expression remains composed, if not serene. Such composure throughout sustained exertions amplifies the absurdity of her iterative actions, and serves to bolster her ongoing parody of working life. Indeed, Vatanajyankur’s critique tackles both the unpaid or lowly paid manual labor carried out by women in Thailand (whether domestic or employed), and that of any working person, regardless of income bracket, intent on shoring up wealth. It is the skewed field of capitalism that is Vatanajyankur’s ultimate target.

This is evident not only in the absurd and frequently abject contortions that Vatanajyankur subjects her body to, but also in the hyper-colored backdrops and painted structures she utilizes. Vatanajyankur’s Day-Glo palette mimics the attention-grabbing packaging and advertising of hyper-consumerism. She invokes the strident visual language of capitalism via détournement, and though her absurd, repetitive actions are interpreted as being critical of the system, the artist recognizes that such a critique is positioned from within the capitalist world—the fact that the actions she performs may not derail capitalist mechanisms only adds to a sense of absurdity. (Pickens R, Performing Textiles, Art Asia Pacific) 


The Spinning Wheel is in The National Collection of Thailand (Ministry of Culture) and Maiiam Contemporary Art Museum.