APR 8 – MAY 15, 2016 |  291 GRAND ST NYC

James Cohan is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition by The Propeller Group, running from April 8 through May 15 at the gallery’s Lower East Side location. The exhibition presents the New York premier ofThe Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music, a film work originally created for Prospect.3 New Orleans biennial in 2014. Also on view is The AK-47 vs. The M16 presented at the Venice Biennale in 2015. This is the artist collective’s first exhibition at James Cohan.
Founded in 2006, The Propeller Group (TPG) is a collaboration between three multi-disciplinary artists based in Ho Chi Minh City and Los Angeles; Phunam, Matt Lucero and Tuan Andrew Nguyen. Their multimedia works use the languages of advertising and politics to initiate conversations about power, propaganda and manipulation, especially as they relate to fallen communist dictatorships and the rapid rise of capitalism in Vietnam and beyond.
Among the most notable works included in Prospect.3 New Orleans, The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music(2014) borrows its title from a Vietnamese Buddhist proverb, which calls for the playing of celebratory music for the dead. The film, shown in the main gallery, follows several funeral processions led by brass musicians and a cast of surreal characters including spiritual mediums, professional criers and street performers that turn the mourning ceremonies into euphoric rites of passage. In the back gallery, the work The AK47 vs. The M16 (2015) explores the history of two assault rifles (Soviet-made and US-made) born during the Vietnam War. These almost identical weapons represent the philosophical paradox inherent in the notion of opposing sides, as during the Cold War and Vietnam War.