The fact that Danh Vo is a Danish citizen is coincidental. The Vos family were picked up by a Danish tanker after fleeing Vietnam by boat four years after the war broke out. Danh Vo often uses his personal history as a background for his artistic projects. Here he highlights notions such as independence and proposes that political refugees themselves are a freed vanguard within society. Vo looks at which rights an individual gains through citizenship, nationality and social membership. He does this by the use of distinctive methods and various social stunts, that are then placed in artistic contexts.
One example of this is the piece ‘Vo Rasmussen Rosasco’, an ongoing project that started in 2002. Here Vo gets married to people who for various reasons have meant something to him. He adds their surname to his, before he splits up with them. In this way he drains the marriage of its romantic connotations. Marriage becomes just an economic transaction, where the surname represents rights and privileges. This evaluation of institutions within society means that Danh Vo can easily be connected to this years Festival exhibition. For the exhibition in No.5 Danh Vo will amongst other things, present various official documents which he has collected over the past years. This comprises of letters and papers from authoritarian institutions such as the police, the education system and embassies. The documents reveal how Vo, on his own terms, relates to these systems.
Danh Vo (born 1975) lives and works in Berlin.