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Lu Nguyen is working as well in sculpture as in video installation. But there are two different approaches that define her specific artistic position. In the majority of her sculptures she has created settings that seem to show left traces of persons or might even be used by persons present, like us, the spectators. Take the chair in “Der Stuhl des Rathauses und das Gehstock”, although maybe not for sitting or walking, or take “The Dance of the Soul”, the room of “semipermeable” tights (it seems to be breathing of floating as it is so light by the light), in which the clothing is as much a trace of persons as the space looks like an invitation for living.
Both examples also show that Lu Nguyen is on a, partly quite ironic, gender trail which we explicitly find in her video installations. She mainly cites and refers to important works from art history (or better said, she lets these art works attest her own position) to deal with strong pictures of women and

women's role models in history – from Mother of God to the royal fancy woman and to the modern woman with a slight touch of femme fatale. Her protagonists don't act, they not even really behave, they give a picture, but one that with its hyperrealistic colors and surfaces and slight movements is nearly too strong, too good, too believable.
In this way the video works clearly show all necessary aspects of a stage setting, an impression much supported by the dressing up, the masks, the props. And, in this fixed and viewer confronting scenery the artistic approach is most different to the seemingly open but empty settings of Lu Nguyens sculptures. This is marked by the aspect that the sculptures include their surrounding space while the video works that refer to paintings are spatial adaptions that are retransferred into a flat picture on the screen.
Lu Nguyen creates Tableaux Vivants for one (or not more than two) persons that can be constantly watched.

Ingmar Lähnemann

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