Tulapop Saenjaroen


Tulapop Saenjaroen

“ Menschen Am Sonntag ” (1930) was one of the first films that marketed itself as “a film with no actors” as it employed only amateur-actors/non-actors. Its anecdote is that the film was shot only on Sundays in 1929 as these non-professional actors had to work on weekdays. What initiated Tulapop to revisit and reinterpret the film was the setting of the story—simply about their day-off, life in free time.

People on Sunday (2019) is a response, reinterpretation, and homage to the pioneering 1930 German silent film Menschen Am Sonntag (People on Sunday). Nevertheless, this response is executed from a different context, era, country, and working conditions. The original film was one of the first films that promoted itself as “a film with no actors”, employing only amateur actors and non-actors. An anecdote is that the film was shot only on Sundays in 1929 as these amateur actors had to work weekdays.

What initiated Saenjaroen to reinterpret the film was the simple narrative of people living their life on their day-off and during their free time. From Saenjaroen’s point of view, these amateur actors performed indulging leisure activities for the camera, enjoying their free time while actually ‘working’. In other words, they acted at not-acting. This film questions the representability of free time, of cognitive labor, of the contemporary work ethic, and the cinematic framing of the paradox between control and freedom.

People on Sunday (2019) roughly consists of three parts: a performance at a national park, behind-the-scenes of the performance, and the post-production of the behind-the-scenes segment in a rented domestic room. All parts are accompanied by voiceovers: the voice of one of the female performers, the scopophobic behind-the-scene cameraman, and the freelancer working on her computer at home.

About the artist

Tulapop Saenjaroen (b.1986, Thailand)
Saenjaroen’s artistic practice revolves around cognitive and free labor, the production of subjectivity, postcolonial mentality towards advanced technology, the paradoxes intertwining control and freedom, and aesthetical and political aspects of image production. Recent works have dealt with the political relationship between what is represented in a frame and what is left out—how they associate, create and govern aesthetic or ‘rational’ codes of meaning/feeling, and how they pre-determine, homogenize, and sanitize our understanding of an image and the subject it represents.

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