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Nguyen Tan Hoang
Multiple and Unending: Videos by Nguyen Tan Hoang, 1999 - 2011
October 7 - 30, 2011
Nguyen Tan Hoang, Pirated, 2000, video, 11 minutes

Total running time 41 minutes
look_im_azn (2011, 6 minutes)
A Horse, A Filipino, Two Women, A Soldier, and Two Officers (2005, 8 minutes)
K.I.P. (2002, 4 minutes)
Pirated! (2000, 11 minutes)
The Calling (2000, 8 minutes)
Forever Bottom! (1999, 4 minutes)

Hoang’s work explores the ways audiovisual technologies mediate identity, history, and memory. He often use existing imagery–found footage considered to represent official records as well as “out-of-date” media detritus–to generate new narratives about race, sexuality, gender, and nationality. Instead of unearthing “missing truths” buried in the past, his videos highlight the determining roles of desire and fantasy in the production of dominant and alternative histories. The archives mined include Hollywood movies, European art cinema, newsreels, Vietnamese diasporic media, and gay pornography. The re-presentation of this found material, often supplemented by original footage, situates the personal within larger social, political, historical, and aesthetic processes. This promiscuous commingling of genres and technologies is made possible by the transnational traffic of bodies, commodities, and images that mark his particular location as a post-refugee, post-AIDS [sic], queer subject. In place of the “high” production value of the seamless image, his investment lies in the degraded image that, with its glitches and stutters, intimates possibilities for aesthetic transformation and political change. Thus, the work advances a new politics of representation, one less concerned with visibility and more with possibility. Hoang’s artmaking is animated by various pleasures: the pleasure of being “touched” and “moved,” the pleasure of being addressed and recognized, the pleasure of critical response, and the pleasure of practical intervention.

Nguyen Tan Hoang is a video artist whose work interrogates forms of desire in queer Asian male identities, Vietnamese diasporic cultural production, and Asian American popular culture. His short experimental videos have screened nationally and internationally in venues such as New York’s MOMA, the Musée National d’Art Moderne at the Centre Georges Pompidou, and The Getty Center. His critical writings have appeared in Porn Studies, Vectors: Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular, GLQ, and Resolutions 3: Video Praxis in Global Spaces (forthcoming). He has programmed film, video, and performance work for a variety of international film festivals and other venues. Currently he is Assistant Professor of English and Film Studies at Bryn Mawr College.

Curated by Cecilia Dougherty