Furniture to Aid in the Viewing of The Lover (2010)
single channel video installed inside table
color digital video, wooden table, custom wooden box, lens filter
From Việt Lê essay, “ Silence and Void, or Double Trouble: Hồng-An Trương’s Visual Archives”
Carnal appetites are addressed in Trương’s Furniture to Aid in the Viewing of the Lover. In order to view the piece, one must lay face down on worn wooden table and peer through a “peephole.” One can see bits of bifurcated lushly colored scenes, framed in black widescreen format, from Jean-Jacques Annoud’s 1992 adaptation of Marguerite Duras’ semi-autobiographical 1984 novel L’Amant (The Lover), the story of an illicit affair between an impoverished adolescent French girl and a rich Chinese playboy in 1930s Sài Gòn. In split-screen, the film’s narrative is distilled: the Chinese man picks up the French girl in his sleek chauffeur-driven sedan; a medium interior shot of him timidly reaching for her hand in the vehicle; they arrive in the Chinese quarter. On the left panel: a zooming shot of a large room in dusky late afternoon, their abstracted limbs sex-entangled as passerby cast shadows on wooden blinds. On the right panel: a medium interior sedan shot at night—the man, self-possessed, grabs her hand as she looks forlornly at the bustling traffic; they do not speak. The only sound audible is of one’s body upon the table, one’s own breath. Silence and void.