The Propeller Group

Phu Nam b. 1974, Matt Lucero b. 1976, Tuan Andrew Nguyen b. 1976. Lives and works in Ho Chi Minh. The Propeller Group’s projects re-configure popular culture and mass media to re-examine power structures and their relationship to distribution, the determination of value and access to representation. An important part of the group’s work is taking the presentation of projects beyond the world of gallery spaces and museums by re-inserting them into different media landscapes.

The Guerrillas of Cu Chi, 2012
Video, color, stereo, 20 min. 4 sec.
프로펠러 그룹
Courtesy the Propeller Group
Cu Chi is a district outside Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in which a series of underground tunnels, known as the Cu Chi Tunnels, were built and used by the Viet Cong in the military effort against the Americans during the US-Vietnam War. These tunnels became a crucial element in the victory against the technological might of the US Military. In the present day, the area has become a tourist destination complete with amusement-park-like shooting ranges where tourists can pay 1 USD for 1 bullet that they can shoot with various guns used during the war like the iconic AK-47 and M-16.
The Guerrillas of Cu Chi is a film shot at the Cu Chi Tunnels, documenting the activities of the Cu Chi shooting range. The camera is positioned directly in front of the targets inside the shooting area, situated face to face with tourists as they enter, pay, shoot, giggle, laugh, and react to their own acts of “firing.” The camera was placed behind bulletproof glass and pulled on a track, scanning the shooting booths as it glided nonchalantly back and forth. Viewers are now put in the position of targets, becoming witness to the theatricality behind the weapons of war?the firing, smoke, photos and reactions.
This visual documentation is combined with an original audio track taken from a Vietnamese propaganda film made in 1963 entitled “Cu Chi Guerrillas.” This original propaganda film is shown to tourists as they enter the Cu Chi Tunnels and is also available for sale in the gift shop. [The Propeller Group]