It’s been 34 years since the explosive end of the Vietnam War. The powerful effects continue to reverberate to this day, as Nam Bang! at Casula Powerhouse vividly portrays. Composed of a two-day conference, an artistic exhibition and a public program, this is no mere ‘retrospective’ or dusty reliquary, but rather an exciting chance to see the events through the eyes of those directly affected, as well as their parents, partners and families. Visually poppy yet deeply poignant multi-media artworks such as Liza Nguyen’s The Whores Of The Republic (2008) jostle alongside a gastronomic journey held by Red Lantern’s Luke Nguyen, as he explores the complex and unique ways Vietnamese herbs and cuisine were used during the war. The international conference grapples with the experience of combat troops and their families as well as various resulting artistic responses, and features a keynote speech by acclaimed cultural commentator Lucy Lippard. Underpinning the whole of Nam Bang! is the question of how cultural memory is recorded and preserved for future generations.
April 4-June 21, conference 17-18 April. Casula Powerhouse, 1 Casula Rd, Casula. 9824 1121, wwwcasulapowerhouse.com