Trinh T. Minh-ha: Traveling in the Dark

Trinh T. Minh-ha: Traveling in the Dark

Rockbund Art Museum

November 28, 2022
Trinh T. Minh-ha
Traveling in the Dark
November 12, 2022–February 5, 2023
Rockbund Art Museum
20 Huqiu Road
Weibo / Instagram / Facebook

After a three-year close collaboration with Trinh T. Minh-ha, Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) is thrilled to present Traveling in the Dark, an art project that brings together an exhibition, a series of events, and a publication. Offering a unique experience of RAM architecture by a subtle distribution of the daylight with colored filters dispatched on the windows, as well as flowing water projections at the entrance of some galleries, creating interesting dialogues between the white cubes of the Museum and the different black cubes built up for movie screenings, the exhibition features a selection of Trinh T. Minh-ha’s major films, a reading room gathering the publications of the artist, a dedicated space for collective learning and unique screening events like the newly produced movie “What About China?”. The fifth floor gallery also invite the visitor to walk around different aphorisms written by Trinh T. Minh-ha and printed on semi-transparent films suspended from the ceiling.

Born in Vietnam, Trinh T. Minh-ha is a film director, poet, writer, music composer, literary and art theorist, and distinguished professor in the departments of Gender & Women’s Studies and of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley.

As a visual, sonic, poetic, and philosophical experience, Traveling in the Dark intends to invite audiences to rethink reality differently from an approach based on “knowledge.” The play of visibility and invisibility—or what is seen, not seen and unseen—runs through the whole of Trinh T. Minh-ha’s work. In an open montage made up of resonances, vibrations, recollections, exchanges, brushes, reflections, and passages, this project undermines any pretense of a fixed identity, a historical truth, or a prescribed territory, and reflects on and questions the spaces opened up by the dark. Traveling in the Dark is also part of a major collaborative research project spanning 2019 to 2022 between RAM and a number of prestigious art institutions including NTU Center for Contemporary Art (Singapore), Wattis Institute (San Francisco), and Württembergischer Kunstverein (Stuttgart).

As Larys Frogier, curator of the project, puts it: Traveling in the Dark grants a particular importance to temporality, that is to say to this experience of a necessary time that one allows to oneself and with the other to stretch an image, to experience a question, to think a sensation, to make oneself available to desire in so far as it is made of so many moments of frustration, expectation, irritation, generosity and complicity. In this sense, Traveling in the Dark cannot be satisfied with a simple exhibition visit that would be based on the spectacular monstration of seductive images ready to be quickly consumed one after the other. This journey into undefined obscurities and temporalities requires from us a commitment in our own availability to dig in our buried memories, to (re)find (un)expected images or sounds, to raise questions that will never be followed by affirmative and definitive answers.

Throughout the project, RAM will organize a series of workshops, lectures, and dialogues in order to provide audiences with a more multi-faceted experience of Trinh T. Minh-ha’s world. In addition, a publication will be available to the public in 2023. Rather than an exhibition catalogue or an academic text, the publication Traveling in the Dark will be a fully-fledged artistic project expanded with writings, poems, and aphorisms by the artist alongside various interviews.

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Rockbund Art Museum
November 28, 2022

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