nguyễn trinh thi

video and moving image works

UNSUBTITLED (video installation, 2010)

Artist statement: “Eating needs no explanation.”

Video installation, 10 projectors, 10 media file players, 19 wooden cut-out screens, various loops, color, sound 

Cinematography: Jamie Maxtone-Graham

Statement for the series including Unsubtitled, Que Faire, and SOLO for a CHOIR:

“In this series, I explore possibilities for combining video installation with performance art, and for possibilities of preserving differences of individuals while creating a sense of collective experience.

 Thematically, I continue to study the issues and reflect on the history and development of the role and position of the artist in the Vietnamese society. These issues relate to Vietnam’s problems concerning censorship and artist freedom expression. This personal interest also had led me to work on a long-term film project about Nhan Van-Giai Pham – the suppressed literary movement of the 1950s and the only instance of widespread intellectual dissidence ever to occur in North Vietnam – and its legacy of dissent in Vietnamese art over the past five decades.”

UNSUBTITLED, solo video installation, NhaSan Studio, 2010, Hanoi

UNSUBTITLED, sound and video installation, Singapore Biennale 2013

SUMMER EXHIBITION 2011, video installation, Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen

Skylines without Flying People’, Rory Gill Fine Art Gallery, London

Corpo Plumhill Playhouse, Tokyo

[…] Nguyen Trinh Thi’s sound and video installation “Unsubtitled” offers a haunting and defiant testament to the power and fragility of Hanoi’s experimental art scene. In the original installation at NhaSan Studio, luminous figures were projected onto life-size wooden cutouts in the dark. These are the digital body-doubles of the individual artists who made up Nha San Studio’s social constellation in the Fall of 2010. The installation bends the dialogue surrounding an intense slew of negative media coverage and a directive by the cultural police to “put on pause” all exhibitions at Nha San Studio. This particular clampdown was in reaction to photos of artist La Thi Dieu Ha performing in the nude. The images circulated like wildfire through the internet, making public evidence of the first instance of a female artist performing naked within the country. “Unsubtitled” opened the studio back up when the period of laying low ran its course.

Thi directed each artist to face the camera, eat an item of food, and then state their name followed by the name of the food they had just consumed. Suggesting a kind of review stand, the pseudo interrogation sessions do not result in self-criticisms. Instead we see and hear a chorus of overlapping statements-of-the-obvious: the basic human act of eating was just committed. Examining the gap between artists and the general public, and questioning long running methods of surveillance and intimidation pervasive in Vietnam, Thi creates an ethereal portrait of this time in Hanoi, and of the flying people who inhabit it. (From Skylines without Flying People exhibition essay, written by Gabby Quynh Anh Miller)

Read Review of “Unsubtitled” in Asia Art News

Read KVT Review of UNSUBTITLED video installation

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2 comments on “UNSUBTITLED (video installation, 2010)

  1. Pingback: Singapore Biennale – Unsubtitled | judybarrass

    • nguyentrinhthi
      November 18, 2013

      Thank you so much Judy, for your comments!
      Warm regards, Thi

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This entry was posted on October 1, 2012 by .
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