Phoenix Art Museum Showcases The Propeller Group

International artist collective presents multi-media projects mixing film, fine art and street culture.

Phoenix Art Museum presents “The Propeller Group,” an exhibition dedicated to the work of an international art collective based in Vietnam, whose work blurs the boundaries between fine art and media production. With dual headquarters in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Los Angeles, The Propeller Group artist collective is a cross-disciplinary collaboration whose work merges conceptual art practices partially steeped in the politically inflected artwork of the 1990s with the forms and methods of popular media today.

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Untitled (Ox Head; The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music) (still), 2014.
Water buffalo skull, gold leafing and brass rings.
PHOTO: THE PROPELLER GROUP AND JAMES COHAN

The Propeller Group collective was formed in 2006 by Matt Lucero, Tuan Andrew Nguyen and Phunam. The duality of their collaboration,
functioning as both art collective and production company, is reflected in their cross-disciplinary art production and the global subjects with which they work. The group members utilize their backgrounds in visual art, film and video, as well as an interest in street culture. Their ambitious projects are frequently anchored in both Vietnam’s history and its current dynamics as a growing capitalist market, yet the artists also address global phenomena, whether international commerce, the tools of war, or shared traditions across cultures.

The upcoming exhibition was organized by Phoenix Art Museum in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, and represents the first time a number of these works have been presented together since the group was first formed.

“We strive to bring the best art from around the world to our community,” says Amada Cruz, the Sybil Harrington Director and CEO of Phoenix Art Museum, “’The Propeller Group’’ exhibition presents some of the most interesting contemporary art being created today. We are fortunate to feature their work at Phoenix Art Museum and to be able to share it with the greater Phoenix area.”

This exhibition presents a number of multi-part projects developed in the past five years, including videos, sculptures, installations and more. The Fade In installation composed of parts of an antique house from Hue, Vietnam, tracks the counterfeit antiques trade in Vietnam. The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music is a film that weaves together funerary traditions from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and New Orleans. Other recent works scrutinize the histories of specific weapons, namely the AK-47 and M16, two rifles that in mainstream movies are often associated with Vietnam and countries in the West, respectively.

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The AK-47 vs The M16, 2015. Fragments of AK-47 and M16 bullets, ballistics gel.
PHOTO: THE PROPELLER GROUP AND JAMES COHAN


The Propeller Group

Feb. 18 – May 14

Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information/tickets, visit phxart.org.

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