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Viet Flakes

  • Date: 
    1965
  • Edition/serial number: 
    Unlimited
  • Media description: 
    16 mm film transferred to video (Digital Betacam and DVD)
  • Duration: 
    7'
  • Colour: 
    Colour
  • Sound: 
    Sound
  • Category: 
    Video
  • Entry date: 
    2008
  • Register number: 
    AD05106
  • Image credit: 
    Courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York (http://www.eai.org)

The actions organised by social movements such as feminism were key in the struggle to end the Vietnam War. Carolee Schneemann, who took part in these anti-war movements, created this film within a strategy of protest and of counter-portrayal of the conflict. In it she uses a discourse fed by the most radical vision of reality, as opposed to the official image of the war process offered by the government and most of the U.S. media.
Viet Flakes is a film made of a gallery of numerous photographs showing the atrocities committed against the Vietnamese people, photos that were gathered by the artist over a period of five years from foreign newspapers and magazines. The collage of scenes wrought with pain, torture and death is filmed at a pace that makes viewing it even more uncomfortable. The soundtrack, by James Tenney, is comprised of Vietnamese chants, fragments of Bach and popular American music from the 1960s, which contributes to the disturbing effect of the film.
This piece documents the ideological radicalisation occurring in the United States during the second half of the 1960s, one of the historical processes that would contribute to the great revolts occurring all over the world in 1968.

Lola Hinojosa

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