Collection in Residence


Photographs of Dr. Joseph M. Carrier 1962–1973

Danh Vo

Collection in Residence
Beirut currently hosts 23 artworks from the collection of the Kadist Art Foundation in Paris and San Francisco. Chapter One–The Exhibition presented the entire selection at Beirut, Townhouse Gallery and Contemporary Image Collective during May–June 2014. For Chapter Two–The Disposition, Beirut invited a number of Cairo-based artists, curators and institutions to pick a work as guest and attend to it some way that shares it with a public audience.

Beirut chose to exhibit Danh Vo's series 'Photographs of Dr. Joseph M. Carrier 1962–1973' in its main gallery spaces. The series does not belong to the collection but came into Beirut's possession through a conversation with the artist and the generous support of his Berlin gallerist Isabella Bortolozzi.

Opening 11 October, 8pm

Danh Vo's personal history of migration and adjustment is an important reference point for his artistic practice. In his work, he explores themes that question identity, authorship, sexuality ownership and origin. He uses intimate, personal material to show that identity is a construction of projections, assumptions and attributed values. Vo embarks on a subtle investigation of the Western fascination for the exotic and unknown with an exquisite conceptual style. For Vo, appropriating the history of others is a way of unraveling monolithic ideas about identity.

The photographs in this series originally belonged to a collection of archival materials that Vo received from a retired US military analyst, Joseph M. Carrier. During the Vietnam war Carrier was stationed abroad and regularly recorded Vietnamese everyday life with his camera. Carrier and Vo met during an exhibition of Vo's, and this meeting led the artist to create an archive based on Carrier's subjective experience in the 1960s and 1970s, all derived from the man's personal possessions. Sensually charged, voyeuristic impressions of Vietnamese boys are a recurring motif in this series. Vo's restaging of the material reflects on the important role of archives in witnessing and conveying alternative histories and perspectives to the hegemonic ones, and lies within the artist’s incessant attempt to shed light on subdued homosexuality in Vietnam, appropriation, and surrogate biographies.

Born in 1975, Danh Vo is a Danish artist with Vietnamese origins. He lives and works in Berlin.

This event is part of Collection in Residence, a collaboration between Kadist Art Foundation and Beirut. See the link on top for more information.