Danh Vo, Good Life, 2007
An exhibition within the exhibition
In his installation Good Life, Danh Vo has created an exhibition within the exhibition. The work consists of a room lined with brightly-coloured damaskpatterned wallpaper; there are 12 display cases built into the walls. Various black and white photographs, letters and other objects are exhibited in them. Danh Vo has been presented with a comprehensive amount of archive material by the American military analyst Joseph M. Carrier. This archive is the source of Vo’s installation. Carrier was stationed in Vietnam during the war there, and he has kept negatives, war reports, diaries, love letters, tickets and passports from that period.
Danh Vo is Vietnamese himself, but because his family fled to Denmark during the war, he has few memories or photographs from their past in Vietnam. In a way, Carrier’s archive can replace Danh Vo’s missing private documentation, as a surrogate autobiography. In this work he is (re)constructing a reality which could have been his, if he had remained in Vietnam under different circumstances.
Good Life belongs to the category re-enactment.