City of Water Summary Chapter in the exhibition book for Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology: Contemporary Art and Urban Change in Cambodia
In “Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology” the IFA gallery Berlin presents for the first time in Europe artists from Cambodia who engage in capturing and archiving the transforming city in their collages, photographs, sculptures, installations and performances. Until today, the architectonic image of Phnom Penh is characterized by the designs of Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann, a student of Le Corbusier in Paris. In the wake of the rapid urbanization and modern development, his buildings are threatened with demolition. At the same time, many of the city’s inhabitants are evicted as lakes are being infilled in order to create new building sites. The checkered history of the country, the transformations in the cityscape of Phnom Penh as well as the implied social changes are omnipresent and impact the artists and their production.