The Purpose of Parahistory in Late Socialist Vietnam

13 Apr 2023 01.00 PM - 02.00 PM SHHK Meeting Room 3 Alumni, Current Students, Industry/Academic Partners, Prospective Students, Public
Organised by:
Roger Nelson

This talk explores the concept of parahistory to describe artistic strategies that use play or reenactment, emphasize affect, and most importantly, cross one time with another. Artists frame time and historical situations not to contain, but to create an opening out of the historical record. Such crossings include historical episodes of famine and food rationing in Bengal, Japan, and Vietnam, as captured in films and performance works by Phan Thao Nguyen (b. 1987, Vietnam) and Tiffany Chung (b. 1969, Vietnam). I consider parahistory as not only a means of personal awakening and reflection, but also as a way of mediating the politicized logic of history, and its deliberate rehabilitations, as it has informed public understandings of the past in late socialist Vietnam.

Speaker: Pamela Nguyen Corey (Fulbright University Vietnam)

Pamela Nguyen Corey researches and teaches modern and contemporary art history, focusing on Southeast Asia within broader transnational Asian and global contexts. Prior to joining Fulbright University Vietnam in January 2021, she was an assistant professor in the History of Art and Archaeology department at SOAS, University of London. Corey has published in numerous academic journals, exhibition catalogues, and platforms for artistic and cultural commentary. Corey co-edited ‘Voice as Form,’ a special issue of Oxford Art Journal (2020) which introduces material from her recent research into the use of voice and sound in contemporary artworks from Southeast Asia and its diasporas. Her first book, The City in Time: Contemporary Art and Urban Form in Vietnam and Cambodia (University of Washington Press, 2021), was the recipient of a Millard Meiss Publication Fund from the College Art Association.

Image: Phan Thao Nguyen, The Execution (from the series Dream of March and August), 2018-ongoing