e-flux presents Ecology After Nature: Industries, Communities, and Environmental Memory
Dinh Q. Lê, The Colony | Part Six – Anthropocentric Pasts and Planetary Futures
Sunday, October 25—Saturday, November 7, 2020

Dinh Q. Lê, The Colony (still), 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Artangel.

Join us on e-flux Video & Film for an online screening of Dinh Q. Lê’s The Colony (2016), on view for two weeks from Sunday, October 25 through Saturday, November 7, 2020.

This three-part video is loosely based on nineteenth-century depictions of a cluster of islands off of the west coast of Peru that are rich in guano, a powerful fertilizer. Exploring the drama of absurdity, greed, and human suffering—all for the brown gold of bird excrement—the film revisits three important episodes in the islands’ infamous history: the nineteenth-century imperial wars between Spain and its former colonies Peru and Chile; the horrific fate of the indentured Chinese laborers; and the US Guano Act of 1856 that authorized over one hundred claims for uninhabited islands, reefs, and atolls in the Pacific and Atlantic.

The Colony is presented here as one of four films in Anthropocentric Pasts and Planetary Futures, or Death as New Beginning, the sixth and final program in the online film and discussion series Ecology After Nature: Industries, Communities, and Environmental Memory programmed by Lukas Brasiskis for e-flux Video & Film.

Ecology After Nature runs from August 14 through November 8, 2020. On Sunday, November 8, 2020, the series will wrap with a repeat of all 22 films included in Parts One through Six—available for 24 hours from 12am to 11:59pm EST. 

Dinh Q. Lê was born in Hà Tiên in South Vietnam. In the late 1970s, his family escaped by boat before eventually settling in the US where he completed his education. He is the co-founder of Sàn Art in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where he has been based for the past decade. In 2010 he was awarded the Prince Claus Award for his outstanding contribution to cultural exchange. He creates conceptually based multimedia work that reflects on the complex history of Vietnam, issues of war, displaced populations, and the depiction of non-western cultures in western media. Lê’s work has been presented in many international group shows including Documenta 13 in Kassel (2012), the 2nd Singapore Biennale (2008), the Gwangju Biennial (2006), and the Venice Biennale (2003). He was the first Vietnamese artist to have a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010). A major survey exhibition, Dinh Q. Lê: Memory for Tomorrow, was presented at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo in 2015. Lê’s work is included in numerous permanent collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, Ford Foundation (New York, NY), Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, CA), Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (Brisbane, Australia), and the Zabludowicz Collection (London, England).

For more information, contact program [​at​] e-flux.com.

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