exhibition
2022
super feelings episode 3: Thuy-Han…

super feelings episode 3: Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi – into the earth below, the blue blur of bones

14–23.10.2022
12:00–18:00
Opening: 13 October 2022 at 19:00
de Appel, Schipluidenlaan 12, Amsterdam

super feelings is a four-part exhibition, event programme and reader, which unfolds at de Appel throughout the autumn months of September, October and November 2022. super feelings is developed by the participants of this year’s Curatorial Programme.

Why was I capable of opening my eyes and seeing
while being underwater as if I was overwater?
1

The ocean shored up clay and similar matter, that shored up the slope, that shored up the mirrors. The mind shored up thoughts and memories, that shored up points of view, that shored up the swaying glances of the eyes. Small bits of sediment dropped away from the sand flats into the ocean. Small bits of perception dropped away from the edges of eyesight. Sight consisted of knotted reflections bouncing off and on the mirrors and the eyes. Every clear view slipped into its own abstract slump. All viewpoints choked and died on the tepidity of the salty air. Vision sagged, caved in, and broke apart.2

Autumn arrives and episode 3 of super feelings breaks on the shoreline of de Appel’s Aula. You are warmly invited to join us for the opening of into the earth below, the blue blur of bones by Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi. Nguyen-Chi presents a new installation environment encompassing her film Into The Violet Belly (2022), recently presented at the 12th Berlin Biennale.

The film recounts fragments of a woman's journey, from Vietnam, to Thailand and eventually Germany at the end of the American War in Vietnam. The film’s centrifugal force is a conversation between its co-directors, Nguyen-Chi and her mother Thuyen Hoa, plumbing the depths of family lore, mythology and memory. The camera rotates; sea becomes sky; a mythological creature is born in a cave along a rocky shoreline; a woman plunges into the South China Sea; a rotting marine carcass vibrates with life; all turns to blue.

Reimagining the film in relation to the Aula’s architecture and the building's recent history as a temporary refugee shelter, Nguyen-Chi presents new supporting sculptural objects: fragmented mirrors penetrating into the screen and washed ashore onto the sandflat. The mirrors reflect and refract the architectural surroundings of de Appel, while simultaneously displacing the solidity of the projected image and questioning the certainty of vision.

On the 13th of October 2022, Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi invites Frankie to perform a live version of Into The Violet Belly’s soundtrack—a song based on the poem Learning Late Letters by Quyen Nguyen-Hoang, a Vietnamese writer and poet—alongside selected tracks from her debut solo release Styx. Following the performance, episode 3 will be open for ten consecutive days at de Appel, from Friday 15 October until Sunday 23 October 2022, 12:00-18:00.

About the artists

Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi is a Berlin- and London-based artist whose practice mutates in and out of sculpture, installation, moving image, and interdisciplinary research. Her work explores imaginaries of freedom at the intersection of film-making and film theory, documentary and fiction, personal/prosthetic memory and individual/collective histories. Having studied Fine Arts at the Städelschule and Film at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she is currently pursuing PhD research in Film at the University of Westminster. Nguyen-Chi’s work has been recently exhibited at Art Hub, Copenhagen; Villa Medici, Rome; Whitechapel Gallery, London; the 12th Berlin Biennale, Berlin and the 60th New York Film Festival, New York, amongst others.

Frankie (Franziska Aigner) works at the intersection of music, philosophy and performance. She studied at P.A.R.T.S., the school of choreography and dance in Brussels directed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, and has performed her own work at theatres and festivals across Europe. Frankie worked with the artist Anne Imhof on several performances including FAUST (2017) in which she performed and co-wrote the music (released as a LP on PAN in 2019). In 2019 she joined Holly Herndon’s vocal ensemble, performing the album 'PROTO' around the world. Frankie continues to work and perform with Imhof, and with artists such as the choreographer William Forsythe and the filmmaker Austin Jack Lynch. In 2020 Frankie completed her PhD at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP), London on the topic of Kant and Technics. She is currently an instructor in philosophy at the New Centre for Research and Practice, Michigan.

1   A question which the protagonist in Into The Violet Belly (2022) has asked herself.
2   This is a reformulation of Robert Smithson’s Eight Mirror Displacement in: “Incidents of Mirror-Travel in The Yucatan,” Artforum, accessed October 5th, 2022, https://www.artforum.com/print/196907/incidents-of-mirror-travel-in-the-yucatan-36477.