Featuring film and photography, Imperfect Societies probes themes of history, trauma, and nationhood set within the tropes of science fiction. In Icarus 13: The First Journey to the Sun, Kiluanji Kia Henda plunges viewers into parallel traditions at pivotal movements in Angolan history, from the politics of Marxism-Leninism to the practice of witchcraft, as told within sci-fi narratives of the Cold War. Henda employs a sense of humor and criticality in his videos and photography, which often investigates themes of identity, politics, and perceptions of post-colonialism and modernism in Africa. Vietnamese-born artist Tuan Andrew Nguyen’s work questions the individual’s relationship to history, nationhood, and cultural displacement. In Nguyen’s short film The Island, shot on the Malaysian island Pulau Bidong (once the largest and longest-operating refugee camp after the Vietnam War that also housed Nguyen and his family) we encounter a dystopian future focused on the last two people on earth.
Tuan Andrew Nguyen’s The Island courtesy for the artist and James Cohan, New York
Kiluanji Kia Henda’s Icarus 13: The First Journey to the Sun courtesy for the artist and Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg
BCA Exhibitions are funded in part by a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and Vermont Arts Council. With support from Farrell Distributing and Sugarsnap Catering.