Danh Vo, Oma Totem, 2009

In this video artist Danh Vo describes “Oma Totem” (2009), a three-tiered sculpture made from items given to Vo’s maternal grandmother upon her arrival as a refugee in Berlin after escaping postwar Vietnam. A Catholic social welfare organization provided the objects, which include a television, a refrigerator with an affixed crucifix, and a washing machine. Vo says, “it tells so much about the projection for what a society thinks that foreigners need.”

“Danh Vo: Take My Breath Away” is on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York from February 9 to May 9, 2018.

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