Critical analysis of influential events

Danh Vo Demark Exhibition - Mothertongue

The strong feeling of alienation was towards me when I first came into the exhibition. That is my first impression about the whole exhibition that was discussing about human discovering or facing something that absolute new. It is in a sense of strange and speechless. Losing control of curiosity simultaneously fear is leaping up. And a Vietnamese artist represented Denmark also made me curious.


The Exhibition is about migration. The photography image right next to the entrance depicts first American extra-vehicular activity in outer space by mission pilot Edmund Whit II during Gemini 4 Mission, June 3-7, in 1965. And then the fragment of Roman sculpture around the gallery with all of the interesting name. Finally, a piece of paper full of mechanic like writing with frame subtly was hanging at the corner of a wall.


The conversation between three different ways of depiction was linking conceptually. The image depicted the sense of reaching new space analogizing the idea of migration. Suiting in the situation of his father’s experience of the moment of him first immigrated to Denmark and was learning a totally different language by using the method of copying. And the most favorite piece is the fragment of the Roman sculpture that penetrated the whole exhibition.  The titles of this piece were quoting the script of the film – Exorcist. The Roman sculpture is base on the specific size of flight assignment to cut it into pieces. It make me think about the distortion of root, the diversity of culture different and also the lost in translation have been bring out by the indescribable but rude sentences.


Belief or Nonbelief?

Constantly, I am curious about the different between believer and non- believer. When I came to a church, I sat down and thought here is a place for people who believe, but how about the place for the others? Maybe apart from holy place, the other entire place is for nonbeliever just only we didn’t notice or we didn’t think thing in that way. And that make me going to research more about it.


I started reading the book belief and is a little book documents conversations between novelist Umberto Eco and Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini. In 1996, the Italian newspaper La Corriere de la Sera requested two of them writing letters to each other in a certain period of time constantly. They set their title by themselves. There were in total eight letters. At the beginning, the first argument is already splendid. Talking about living till now 20th century, how believer think or explain about the twice-proved millenarianism would not come. And the following discussion about the opposition of abortion and the convention of male bishop, we can imagine how serious and clear they are think also with all their respect towards the other.


But the most favorite part of the book is the question asked by Martini. In secular world, Atheists have not the words of Jesus Christ. No any upper level to rely on, How do they form the foundation of ethical system? Eco answered impressively.


But keep in mind, if the nonbeliever might think that no one is watching him from on high, he thereby also knows – for this very reason – that no one will forgive him. Knowing he’s done evil, his solitude will be infinite, his death desperate. This person is more likely than the believer to attempt to purify himself through public confession, he will forgiveness from others. He knows this predicament from the core of his bring, and so he also knows in advance that he must forgive others.


Thomas Hirschhorn - In Between  

Low- grade materials as a medium criticize the traditional method of art. Newspapers, cardboards, tapes all are the things that we are familiar. That brings up the question of traditional methodology of creation. His work would be another extreme face of destructive creation like Martin Creed but totally different form of expression referred to Dadaism. He is using the things that are around us everyday and putting into a Gallery. It is challenging the very notion of what is art, at the same time, questioning the very notion of what is ordinary. Like Duchamp said “It is paradoxical. It is almost schizophrenic. On one side I worked from a very intellectual form of activity, and on the other de-deifying everything by more materialistic thoughts."1


Two or more meaning was being carried at the same time within a certain area or a same action /object. The situation between creating and destroying in Thomas’s piece is which interested me a lot. While the artist is building the sculpture in the gallery, the work itself is representing ruin and creation. Creation versus destruction is going on simultaneously.  The action happened in the space at that time is a paradox physically and contextually. And the whole body of work tries to portray ruin of war, destruction of building (South London Gallery). However, it is a fake spectacle to point out the fact of reality. 

The Green Ray - Sign and symbols

The Green Ray directed by French new wave director Eric Rohmer in 1986. The story begins with the sensitive young lady is depressing about no one accompanies with her in summer vacation because of the break-up of her boyfriend. Inconstantly, she started her journey and thought maybe she could find her new boy during the trip. She hears about the phenomenon of the green ray. “According to Verne, when one sees a rare green flash at sunset - our own thoughts and those of others are revealed as if by magic.”



The undescriptive signs and symbols agglomerated divers imagination. During the whole process, she constantly obverses the surrounding of her such as objects on the ground, notices on the wall or the conversation of strangers that she was passing by. This set of messages with her blind thought about the meaning of the signs she encountered created a feeling of randomness and uncertainty. It allowed viewer to substitute into her thinking process. And the appearances of the objects are all connected in green colour juxtaposed with the selected items like game cards, which currently contained a certain amount of common belief, accurately triggered the profoundity of the our surroundings.


Personally, the happy ending didn’t persuade me. If the life of emptiness were just only following luck till the end, it would be more powerful to me. Or perhaps, As Verne said art is the antidote for us against the brutality of tranquil times.

Orson Welles’s aspiration - Trail

The Trail directed by American director Orson Welles in 1962, which based on the novel of the same name by Franz Kafka, modifications with respects. There are two key modified parts of the film sublimely transformed the original sadness into aspiration fighting the absurdity of life. One is the short parable Before The Law of Kafka was showing in the film as well and the other is ending of the film.


Protagonist, Mr. K was no fear about all of his charge. He went to the church and met his defend lawyer acted by Orson Welles himself. He stood in front of the projection making his position to be the waiting man according to the parable. Welles was reading the parable with his toneless voice becoming the character of the guard. However, K. was no longer seeking for help and aggressively disproved his guilt and the entire absurd surrounding. Completely refusing to obey facing unfair. Furthermore, when he was walking out throw a dark entire, bishop asked a pun question “did you see anything at all?” And he forthwith answered,  “Of course I am responsible” representing the responsibility of taking over everything no matter how the mad world is.


The modification of the attitude of Mr. K was overthrowing humiliation to perseverance. The big laugh at the end of the movie when he was condemned to death is totally different from the original novel “Before he dead, ‘like a dog!’ he said, it was as if the shame of it should outlive him.” K. ever scared the two men who were going to execute him away and caused them using bomb instant of knife. Therefore, movie ended by a huge explosion with his laughing. Majestic.