25 June 2022, 04 pm – 07 pm
Chợ tạm Ô Cách, Lane 59 Ngô Gia Tự, Long Biên, Hà Nội.
From the organizer:
A speaking that does not objectify, does not point to an object as if it is distant from the speaking subject or absent from the speaking place. A speaking that reflects on itself and can come very close to a subject without, however, seizing or claiming it.
— Trinh T. Minh-ha, Visual Anthropology Review, Xuân 1992.
Responding to the concept of pioneering artist Trinh T. Minh-Ha, ‘Speaking Nearby’ aims to explore experimental ways of work and play with artists and archives. Rooted in an expanded idea of ‘archives’, Speaking Nearby will explore means of articulating memories from the personal to collective in the process proposing new ways to care for history and activate diverse collections. The artists are brought together through a shared approach to archives as departure points; sites for interrogation into different times and spaces, zones for artistic intervention and activation. ‘Archives’ for us are not restricted to tangible, collectible, static items, but rather, understood as fragile, oral, fragmented, elusive memory-holders.
This first workshop at Á Space on 25 June is an opportunity to share some of the impressions and transmissions from the work with these archives as well as the methodologies for working with diverse collections we have been experimenting with. This session will include a deep listening workshop led by musician Linh Hà together, poetry readings by Thu Uyên and screening of work-in-progress films made by George Clark and Tạ Minh Đức. Together we will explore ways of playing with the archive – with a focus on notions of sound, performance, resonance and broadcast – as we explore the means by which we can begin to speak with these complex histories, institutions and expanded range of archival items. These will be followed with expanded performance in the autumn.
Background on the project:
Through these workshops and presentations we will share and experiment with material gathered over 2021-22 as part of the project Handle With Care initiated by London based artist George Clark supporting long-term engagement with two collections; the Vietnam Film Institute (VFI) in Hanoi and the An Viet Foundation (AVF) in London. The project has been developed through a growing circle of friendship building bridges between different collections and communities to propose new and experimental approaches to archival and cinematic imaginaries. Over the last year various artists and curators including Thu Uyên, Linhhà and Tạ Minh Đức, Nguyễn Hải Yến (Red), Lâm Duy Phương, and Vân Đỗ, have undertaken research in the Vietnam Film Institute, the largest and oldest film archive in Vietnam. In parallel with this George Clark has been working with the An Viet Foundation collection in London as part of the volunteer run steering committee to help with the ongoing work to save and reformulate the AVF archive, the largest known collection of the Vietnamese-British community in the UK being preserved by the Hackney Archives. He has been filming and documenting the process over the last year as they search for a new home for this collection.
04 pm – 04:10 pm: Welcome and introduce schedule
04:10 pm – 05:30pm: l ặ n g Workshop with Linh Hà
05:30 pm – 05:45 pm: Interval
05:45 pm – 06:15pm: Thu Uyên reading of poems and discuss research/work in progress (extract of films which inspired found poems to be shown alongside)
06:15 pm – 06:45 pm: George Clark sharing about ‘Handle With Care’ project background and context with examples from other works and archival explorations
06:45 pm – 07:00 pm: Group discussion with Linh Hà, Uyên and George
Linh Hà is a self-taught musician who has been active since 2016. Her works aim to enrich the appreciation of the present, the relationships between humans and the connections between humans and nature. She has collaborated with artists from various art disciplines, like acting, contemporary dance, visual and motions. With each performance she invites the audience to experience a sonic, emotional journey and to contemplate essential topics, calling for engagement and reflection on social and environmental challenges. Her work has primarily occurred in the live realm, having performed at Cryptic Presents 2020 (Glasgow), Blind Signal 2019 (Berlin), LUCfest 2018 (Taiwan), Jai Thep 2018, 2019, 2020 (Thailand) and Quest 2016, 2017, 2018 (Vietnam). She’s also the singer of the live electronic project – Tiny Giant, – with whom she has performed in Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, Belgium, Australia.
Thu Uyên graduated from Kalamazoo College with a Critical Ethnic Studies major. Her most recent works are published in Singlit Station, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Sinister Wisdom and exhibited as a text/image collaboration within the project “tôi viết (tiếng Việt) | i write (in Vietnamese).” She’s currently curating a Vietnamese folio for PANK Magazine, and trying to write.
George Clark is an artist, writer and curator. His work explores the history of images and how they are governed by culture, technology and social political conditions. Recent projects have sought to build new models of assembly, exhibition and moving image production. His films have been exhibited at museums and festivals internationally including New York Film Festival, Berwick Film and Media Art Festival, Hanoi Doclab, Taiwan Biennale, AV Festival (Newcastle), International Film Festival Rotterdam, Yunsun Museum, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art / MMCA, Seoul, Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, LA Film Forum, Museo de Artes Visuales / MAVI among others. He is co-founder of the West Java West Yorkshire Cooperative Movement with Ismal Muntaha, Bunga Siagian and Will Rose, a collaborative platform with Jatiwangi Art Factory and Pavilion. Their latest project, Mother Bank is a micro-finance redistribution initiative working with Wysing Arts Centre to build financial autonomy for a women’s collective in rural Indonesia. His curatorial projects for museums, galleries, cinemas and festivals focus on broadening the histories of film and video practice globally. He has curated projects for museums, galleries, cinemas, and festivals with a focus on broadening the histories of film and video practice globally. He is a lecturer at University of Westminster and has extensive experience as a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art, UC San Diego and Nordland School of Art and Film (NKFS) among others.
Tạ Minh Đức is a film director and cinematographer graduated from Hanoi Academy of theater and cinema. As a filmmaker and video artist he is an active member of Hanoi DocLab as well as the contemporary artists’ Nha San collective. Ta Minh Duc’s works span video, documentary film, photography and installation. He narrates modern stories based on myths, fragmented histories or fox literature. He captures the realistic yet desperately beautiful moments of the daily. Ta Minh Duc shares his contemplations on the alienation of beings and his skepticism about human relationships. His films were granted awards and residencies, and his video art work has been exhibited in institutions in Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia and of course Hanoi and HCMC.
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