Danh Vo


Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

New York

Through May 27, 2013

For Vo, winner of the 2012 Hugo Boss Prize, history-with its complex political, religious, and cultural dynamics- is reflected in individual life stories, including his own. (His family fled Vietnam's postwar chaos in 1979.) His subtly humorous sculptures combine found objects that point back to the past while moving forward into entirely new, unexpected meanings, connections, and contexts. In Oma Totem, for instance, the gifts that his late grandmother received from church and state when she arrived in Germany in the 1980s-refrigerator, television set, washing machine, crucifix, and casino pass-build a peculiar monument to the mechanisms of integration. Such mutable flotsam starts with the personal, but then moves outward to challenge the temptations of materialist trappings as well as the most basic definitions of identity. …

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