Asco and Nina Yuen

Asco and Nina Yuen

De Appel

February 6, 2014

Nina Yuen

8 February–13 April 2014

Opening: Friday 7 February, 6–9pm

De Appel arts centre
Prins Hendrikkade 142
1011 AT Amsterdam
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday noon–8pm,
Sunday noon–6pm

This spring director Ann Demeester says goodbye to de Appel arts centre with two exhibitions that mark the end of her tenure, Asco and Nina Yuen, for each of which performance is central in different ways.

On the ground floor, photos and videos let one experience the guerilla performances of the Mexican-American artists collective Asco, active in the 1970s. One floor above, Nina Yuen (b. 1981, USA) presents a series of new performative works in which autobiography and world history ‘contaminate’ each other. The video productions Hermione, Lea and Raymond will have their international premiere in de Appel arts centre, and Yuen is also showing drawings and photos related to them here for the first time.

Asco was founded in the early 1970s by four artist friends, Harry Gamboa Jr., Gronk, Willie F. Herrón III and Patssi Valdez. Between 1972 and 1987, this collective, involved in the Chicano civil rights movement which rebelled against the marginalization of Latinos, carried out performances and theatrical actions on the streets of East Los Angeles, the centre of the Mexican-American community. They responded (the Spanish word ‘asco’ means revulsion or nausea) to their environment and the social actuality, which was characterized by social and political unrest. Asco employed a hit-and-run strategy. They often conducted unannounced actions in places where there had recently been a shooting, riot or protest against the Vietnam War or social inequality which had been violently broken up by the police. 

Asco’s low budget and kitschy aesthetic reminds one of B films and glam rock, but their political agenda was radical. Their eccentric costumes, carnivalesque parades, startling actions and staged photos directed attention to the social inequality that ethnic minorities encountered daily in the US in the 1970s. 

Nina Yuen 
While Asco sought direct confrontation with the public through their performances on the streets, in her videos Nina Yuen circumspectly creates an intimate world in which the ultrapersonal comes together with the general human condition. Yuen threads together reflections that might be committed to a diary, childhood memories, references to forgotten figures from art and general history and philosophic speculations on great themes such as death, love, beauty and creativity to produce films in which the boundaries between fiction and reality are tissue-thin. They draw from a range of sources: magic and nature, events from the lives of her father and mother, the painter Joe Andoe and the feminist writer Simone de Beauvoir, or the adventures of the adolescent students she teaches. The results are videos that are dreamy, hypnotic, and sometimes enchanting.

Side events, Asco / Nina Yuen 
Various activities are being organized to accompany the exhibitions:
Q&A Patssi Valdez (Asco) and Nina Yuen, Saturday February 8, 4–5:30pm 
Regular guided tours, Sunday February 9, March 9, April 13, 4–5pm
Family guided tours, Sunday February 23, March 30, 2:30–4pm
Sunday School, Sunday March 16, 4–5:30pm

Courtesy Nina Yuen: Lombard Fried Gallery and Galerie Juliètte Jongma

Asco: No Movies is a collaboration with Nottingham Contemporary in Nottingham and CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art in Bordeaux and was curated by Irene Aristizábal and Alex Farquharson. The exhibition builds on the precedent of Asco: Elite of the Obscure, which was co-organised by Rita Gonzalez and C. Ondine Chavoya on behalf of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Williams College Museum of Art.

Reminder: Gallerist Programme 2014–2015 application deadline is 17 February 2014. Read more.


Asco and Nina Yuen at De Appel arts centre
RSVP for Asco and Nina Yuen
De Appel
February 6, 2014

Thank you for your RSVP.

De Appel will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.