Dinh Q. L?

b. 1968. Lives and works in Ho Chi Minh. Dinh Q. L?’s artistic practice challenges how our memories are recalled within the context of contemporary life. All of his artistic investigations elucidate a commitment to the artistic process as a means of excavating history, in the uncovering of alternate ideas of loss and redemption. His solo exhibitions include “Project 93: Dinh Q. L?” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010).
+Mohamed BOUROKBA, aka Ham?
b. 1975. Lives and works in Perpignan. Ham? studied cinema at the Sorbonne. For him, rap is an important part of his work and he has collaborated on a video with the group La Rumeur. His first short film Je ne suis pas le gardien de mon fr?re (I am not my brother’s keeper), supported by the CNC and French TV channel Arte, addressed the subject of post-colonial immigration. Ham? is writing a novel to be published by Les Editions du Seuil.

Barricade, 2014
Dinh Q. L? in collaboration with a Ham? (Mohamed Bourokba)
French-Vietnamese colonial furniture, speakers, stereo system, microphone stand, microphone, sound, 14 furniture components, dimensions variable
In Barricade, Dinh Q. L? reflects on the legacy of the Vietnamese and Algerian peoples’ struggle against French colonialism. These revolutions have universal significance: across the continents of Asia to Africa, the same liberating wave to free the colonized “natives” of racial and cultural confinement was ushered in.
What was the immediate impact of these revolutions in Vietnam and Algeria, these two peoples who dared to break their state as institutionalized inferiors? How did Di?n Bi?n Phu* resonate in Algiers? How was the Algerian war of independence viewed in Vietnam, soon to be embroiled in new convulsions with another powerful intruder to quell? And what was the impact amongst other “colored” people after seeing France, a proud “white” European power pushed back by two “Wretched of the Earth” nations?
Perhaps more than the independence of India in 1947, it was the French defeat at Di?n Bi?n Phu that marked the beginning of a new era. On that day, Vietnamese, Africans, Arabs, all “colored” subalterns could perhaps feel an internal buried weight lifted off their shoulders with the promise of collective freedom.** The Algerian revolution would follow.
By installing (French) furniture upturned, an assemblage that emanates the rap creation of French/Algerian musician Ham?, Barricade, also infers the aftermath of the tabula rasa of the Vietnamese and Algerian wars of independence. Inspired by the 2005 riots that swept through France, Dinh asks “postcolonial” connections be re-drawn between the two revolutions vis-?-vis post-independence French society.
[Excerpt from the article “Tabula Rasa or the Unfulfilled Promises of the Vietnamese and Algerian Revolutions” written by Philippe Peycam for the exhibition “Residual: Disrupted Choreographies” at Carre D’art in Nimes, France 2014]
* Di?n Bi?n Phu is the climactic confrontation of the First Indochina War between the French Union’s French Far East Expeditionary Corps and Viet Minh communist-nationalist revolutionaries.
** The person who sensed the universality of the event is the Martiniquais Frantz Fanon: “The great victory of the Vietnamese people in Di?n Bi?n Phu is no longer, strictly speaking, a Vietnamese victory. From July 1954 on, the problems all colonized peoples faced was the following: “what can we do to achieve another Di?n Bi?n Phu?” Frantz Fanon, Les damn?s de la terre (Wretched of the Earth), 1961: Frantz Fanon, Oeuvres (Paris: La D?couverte, 2011) p. 477.