MoT+++ resident artists from Hanoi Phu Lục (The Appendix Group) started preparing for their performance in the foyer of exhibition space a few hours earlier, by covering the floor with a layer of insulation foam. Once the foam had solidified, they began to engage in various activities, with three members performing inside the MoT+++ foyer, and one performing in the lobby outside.
Ngo Than Bac, squatting and crawling on his hands and knees, pressed shapes into the foam using letters of the alphabet made from nails and wood. Vu Duc Toan stood at the table, his shirt open to reveal a belt made out of small audio-players designed to play Buddhist mantra recordings, which he loaded with batteries and activated one by one. Huy An also stood at the table, and dragged a white plaster sculpture of a hand and forearm across its surface, as if tracing some invisible drawing or text, eroding the fingers of the sculpture in the process. Meanwhile, Nguyen Song stood on his own out in the lobby, with a string of Buddhist prayer beads in his hand, methodically pulling them off of their string and flinging them at the glass doors through which his colleagues were visible.
By occupying the liminal space of the foyer and rendering it unusable as a passageway, The Appendix Group called into question the way in which space is used, echoing the seedpod performance by Nguyen Dinh Phương in the office; additionally, their unconventional objects taps into our sense of the uncanny, giving voice to the latent violence of everyday life (with Bac’s act of pressing the alphabet into the foam with nails evoking the oppressive educational model of rote memorization, An’s ghostly hand resembling both a manikin and a cadaver, and Toan’s suicide belt of mantra machines and Song’s act of throwing prayer beads against the door hinting at the more subtle types of psychological violence enacted in the name of religion.
This performance was part of Big Day of Performances | Happy Birthday Bill
Location: Ground floor, Saigon Domaine, 1057 Bình Quới, Ward 28, Bình Thạnh District, Saigon, Vietnam