Go Mo Ni Ma Da (Good morning, Madame). Appearing highly personal at first glance, his work is in fact powerfully political. Built around the circulation of values, be they material, economic, symbolic or spiritual, the artist's oeuvre reveals, too, the complexity of the interchange between peoples in the context of post-colonial society.
Exhibition curator: Angeline Scherf
The Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris is presenting an exhibition devoted to artist Danh Vo, born in Vietnam in 1975.
Appearing highly personal at first glance, the work of Danh Vo is in fact powerfully political. Neither direct nor confrontational, his practice explores the power games underlying liberal societies, the rules governing those societies, and the fragility of the nation-state idea. Built around the circulation of values, be they material, economic, symbolic or spiritual, the artist’s oeuvre reveals, too, the complexity of the interchange between peoples in the context of post-colonial society.
His installation Go Mo Ni Ma Da revolves around four groups of works:
- We The People is a life-size reproduction of the Auguste Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty, inaugurated in 1886. Thirty copper fragments are presented in the exhibition, together with photographs taken by Bartholdi in Egypt.
- Three chandeliers conjure up the ballroom of the Hotel Majestic, where the Paris Peace Accords between the United States and Vietnam were signed on 27 January 1973.
- In a work referencing Théophane Vénard (1829-1861), the artist evokes the Paris Foreign Missions Society, a body of Catholic missionary priests functioning in Asia since the 17th century, and its relationship with Vietnam.
- Nine works included in this exhibition were produced from lots acquired from Sotheby’s auction of the Estate of Robert S. McNamara, the former American Secretary of Defense, whom the New York Times eulogized in 2009 as “the failed architect of the Vietnam War.”
A handwritten work produced in situ by the artist's father is also part of the exhibition.
Danh Vo's work has been shown in major international venues: Art Institute of Chicago (2012-2013); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2012); National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen (2012, 2010); Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2009); MoMA, New York (2009); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2008); Bergen Kunsthall, Norway (2006). He also took part in the Shanghai Biennial in 2012.
Winner of the 2012 Hugo Boss Prize, Danh Vo is exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York from 15 March until 27 May 2013. He will also be showing at the 2013 Venice Biennale.
Danh Vo has taken the sentence from an article by an American journalist who, during her travels in Vietnam, was greeted with the words "Go Mo Ni Ma Da", a mix of English and French meaning "Good morning, Madame."
Image: We The People (detail) 2011-2013, 2012. Cuivre / Copper © Danh Vo. Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel
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Press preview: Thursday 23 May, 11 am-2 pm
Opening: Thursday 23 May, 6-9 pm
Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris
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