Invited Artists

 

Phu Luc (APPENDIX)

Anatomy of an assembly line with error, 2011. Photo courtesy of Nhasan Studio

The six members – Duc, Song, An, Bac, Dang, and Toan -- all studied and practiced fine arts and had been friends long before they formed the group. The group's formation, however, couldn't be discussed about out of context from the contemporary art situation in Vietnam. The artists only started to understand each other in a substantial way when they had the op- portunity to regularly work from the beginning of 2009 at 25studio, one of very few spaces in Hanoi at the time where young artists were welcome.

25studio attracted a rapidly increasing number of young artists with its core artists and excit- ing activities. The studio, however, also quickly became a wide-open space with uncontrolled activities and loud events. These developments were against the will of artists such as An, Toan, Duc, and a few others. At the end of 2009, the above-mentioned six artists were asked to have a joint exhibition at the studio, which turned out to be the last time they ever worked there. This also marked a beginning of their closer relationship.

The initial step leading to the group's formation started with joint-performance art experiments by Duc, An, and Toan. Discovering that their shared understandings and perspectives on art, the six artists then decided to form APPENDIX group.

Activities and Elements

From the beginning, APPENDIX's intention has been to focus on quiet, unpublicized art prac- tice and experiments, instead of exhibitions and fine arts events. Their practices and discus- sions within the group resemble simple sketches conducted internally alone.

At the end of 2010, APPENDIX members spent an intense week at Almaz Studio in Hanoi to practice and experiment without any audiences. Here they came up with many sketches that later became the bases for several of their performance pieces.

Immediately afterwards, the group performed "Anatomy of an assembly line with an error" which marked the beginning of the group, although members had yet to announce publically of their formation.

APPENDIX pieces seem to sidestep usual performance art practices in Vietnam in general, and the group rarely received applauds from the wider audiences.

APPENDIX works were typically criticized for looking more like theatre than performance art, for the fact that they lack spontaneous emotions supposed to occur as performance artists improvise, and that they usually prolong in a flat, monotonous manner with repeated activities. Those characteristics that APPENDIX has been criticized for, however, are intended to be the group's central performance concept.

For APPENDIX, either performance art or theatre, either a painting or just simply – a line of poetry, an image or an object – all have the capabilities to express surrealist feelings. The group intends to express with silence; with moving rhythms; with objects; with materials; with states ... -- with everything chosen to appear in their performance works.

 

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