Very excited to present this project, long-time in the making:
In 1979, Phạm Tuân, a Vietnamese fighter pilot, went into orbit with the Russian cosmonaut Victor Gorbatko as the first Asian in space as part of theSovietIntercosmos Program, a political project of “friendship diplomacy” to connect the newly-formed communist governments. In the same year, thousands left Vietnam after the war to escape persecution from the new communist government. Many landed in the commune of Ivry-sur-Seine, a banlieue on the outskirts of Paris that hosts one of the highest concentrations of Vietnamese in France, most settling as refugees from the Vietnam War.
This urban landscape serves as the back drop ofHương Ngô’s exhibition at 4th Ward Project Space, In the Shadow of the Future. Begun in 2014, Ngô worked withmembers of the Vietnamese community in Paris to create a multi-channelvideoinstallationbased on the character of Phạm Tuân, who quietly haunts these remnants offuturistic housing projects–many named after communist heroes–aged architecturalstand-ins for political ideals transported and still nurtured by inhabitants of this communist stronghold today. Pointing to this moment in time and the cultural artifacts that remain, Ngô interrogateshow questions of coexistence – on both global and local levels – might reclaimcurrency and expansive potentialin our current moment.
Performers: Lương Nguyễn Liêm Bình, Minh Ly Lise Le Thai, Anh Cương Nguyễn, UJVF & UGVF.
Music: Hợp Ca Quê Hương, Director: Nguyễn Ngân Hà, Solist: Ánh Tuyết, Pianist: Duy Tâm (”Tiếng hát giữa rừng Pác Bó”), Nodey (Pác Bó Remix).
Special Thanks: Nguyễn Dac Minh.
Plants donated by or traded from: Soheila Azadi, Mara Baker, Laura Davis, Richard Gessert, Anthony Hamilton, & Nhung Walsh.