Vivian Wong

Compilation (2007) , 12:26 min

"Tongue-Tied" - 2 min "The idea that the self can be embodied and represented int he voice provided a lot of visual imagery in the video. Notions of disembodiment, individual and national identity, seduction of power, and sacrifice are explored throughout. This is perhaps the most politically overt video in comparison with my other work." "Push-ups" - 2:05 min Military culture is obsessed with machines. For example, the military channel dedicates half of its programming to new technology and the latest weapons. In modern day technological warfare, machines become an extension of the body; turning the soldier's body into a cyborg. Military calisthenic movements such as push-ups are mechanical in nature, but it becomes a seductive display for the viewer. Ideas of hte male spectacle, autoeroticism, and necrophilia are investigated. Young people embrace the "romance" of war and soldiering, literally engaging in a dance with death. The military culture's obsession with machines, with each push symbolically brings it closer to its own destruction. ("Push-ups" is intended to be shown along with "Goodbye Horses") "Goodbye Horses" - 1:50 min The piece is a visual meditation on the physical body, and an exploration on the eroticization of violence. The art historical theme of "Death and the Maiden" or "Kiss of Death" provided the inspiration for the imagery of the video. The theme of "Kiss of Death" serves as a moral tale: life is short and so is the beauty of a woman. Even though the maiden loses the battle, the struggle is often portrayed in an erotic manner. The title "Goodbye Horses" means letting go of the corporeal world, since horses symbolize the material senses. ("Goodbye Horses" is intended to be shown along with "Push-ups") "Kill John Wayne" - 6:32 min John Wayne meets his own "Heart of Darkness". In reference to the 1968 propaganda film "The Green Berets" that he made in response to the Vietnam War, John Wayne engages in a series of tribulations that involve demonstrations of masculinity, autoeroticism, seduction, castration and necrophilia. For generations, John Wayne served as the model for young men and soldiers to follow; further widening the gap between Hollywood's perception of war and war's reality. This film specifically references the Vietnam War era, and the complete inversion of the idyllic American mythologies that John Wayne created. Vietnam became the nightmarish version of the American dream, and John Wayne's manly frontier idealisms could not be more out of thep lace. In the end, the "Duke" can only engage with reality and history in a perverse way.

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