The Legacy of Absence: a Cambodian Story

Opening reception, January 11, 2000



This exhibition presents a group of work which ponders the absences produced as a result of the Pol Pot era. How do the missing and murdered affect the living? What traces of the dead haunt the present? How can the reasons for so many absences be understood and set to some kind of rest by those who come after? As time goes on, how are killings and their causes remembered or forgotten, repressed or made into myth?

This exhibition is generated by a larger international project called “The Legacy Project” which aims to assemble art work produced in a wide range of societies that have suffered from trauma during the 20th century. Working with Reyum, The Legacy Project distributed a statement and a series of questions asking Cambodian artists to respond to their theme. The works which resulted are exhibited here. Some of the works displayed will be chosen for inclusion in an international exhibition which the Legacy Project will sponsor in 2001.

A full color catalogue with an essay by the curators accompanies the exhibition and illuminates more fully its aims and reservations.