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On Relationships Between Geography, History, and Media


On Relationships Between Geography, History, and Media

June 19 to 20 (2019)
BAP Outpost

Course Description

Always a space where mystery and death abound is the tropical jungle in the psychology of the West. This seminar will look at three films, Full Metal Jacket (1987), Platoon (1986) and Apocalypse Now (1979) and their logistics of representation. Importing tropical palms to the banks of the Thames river, rushing in film crews to pristine jungles in Thailand, or getting military clearance to bomb jungles in the Philippines, such strategies go beyond the mere logic of representation but attests rather acutely to Hollywood’s method of creating and destroying the other. Day two of the seminar will focus more on Apocalypse Now and its production in the Philippines, where film director Francis Ford Coppola had to borrow military equipment from President Ferdinand Marcos who in turn eventually took back the props to use in the fight against communist insurgents in Southeast Asia. Saigon-based artist and filmmaker Tuan Andrew Nguyen will explore the complex and fascinating relationships between geography, history, and media.

Recommended viewing:

  1. Platoon (1986)
  2. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
  3. Apocalypse Now (1979)


Nguyen received his BFA from the University of California, Irvine in 1999 and his MFA from The California Institute of the Arts in 2004. He has shown in numerous film festivals, international exhibitions, and has works in the collection of the Queensland Art Gallery, Carré d’Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. He has received several awards in both film and arts, including Art Matters grant in 2010. He initiated The Propeller Group in 2006, a platform for collectivity that situates themselves between an art collective and an advertising company. Accolades for the group include the main prize at the 2015 Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur and a Creative Capital award for their video project Television Commercial for Communism. The collective has been featured in numerous international exhibitions including The Ungovernables [2012 New Museum Triennial], Made In LA [2012 Los Angeles Biennial], Prospect 3 [New Orleans Triennial 2014], and the Venice Biennale in 2015. www.tuanandrewnguyen.com


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