Lana LinUSAVisual Arts2003

I bought a T-shirt in the market of yet another lovely Umbrian town, Citta di Castello, that bears the logo “to play.” This is how I might characterize my time at the Civitella Ranieri Center. A month at the castle gave me time to play, to experiment without a strict goal, to try to simply follow the path that interested me. At least a full day was spent examining the castle’s endearing details, an evening videotaping the sprinklers that catch the light and throw surprising shadows, an early morning recording the cacophonous argument of birds. I don’t predict that these activities will make a tangible mark on my work, but the liberty to pursue them keeps my artistic practice alive. 

I came to the residency with my collaborative partner, H. Lan Thao Lam, and we continued to develop a project we had been researching for the past three years. Unidentified Vietnam takes an archive of South Vietnamese propaganda films from 1955-75 as a starting point for investigating US foreign policy, national identity, and historical memory. We also had the opportunity to initiate a new project that furthers our interest in constructions of national identity, specifically through the contested meanings associated with national anthems, which at first seem blatantly patriotic, but become complicated by national obsolescence, censorship, and acts of resistance.  This image is a video still from 'Unidentified Vietnam,' 2003.