SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

All that’s solid melts into air (Karl Marx): Artist talk and film screening with Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier

Phaophanit and Oboussier

Date: 29 November 2017Time: 5:15 PM

Finishes: 29 November 2017Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre – Lower ground floor

Type of Event: Seminar


Vong Phaophanit (b.1961, Laos) and Claire Oboussier (b.1963, London) have worked collaboratively for over 25 years alongside their respective studio practices. Their collective work, encompassing large-scale installations and sculptural works, films, books, and socially engaged public commissions, explores issues of language, memory, deterritorialisation and forms of meaning-making that exceed national, cultural and social borders. In 1993 Phaophanit was nominated for the Turner Prize and was invited to take part in the 45th Venice Biennale. In 2004 they created the video work All that’s solid melts into air (Karl Marx), part of ‘The Quiet in the Land’, a pioneering transnational arts project in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. Engaging with the “instability and ephemerality of meaning, its fluctuation across time and languages,” the work explores the precariousness of language and memory and their role in constructing both national and personal identities.*

*Tate Gallery exhibition text, 2008.

Film still from All that’s solid melts into air (Karl Marx), 2006, video, projection, colour and sound (mono), 33 min. Tate Collection. Image courtesy of the artists.

About the Speaker:

Phaophanit and Oboussier have exhibited at venues such as Tate Britain, Martin-Gropius-Bau (Berlin), National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), IMMA (Dublin), Reina Sofia Museum (Madrid), Iziko National Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa), the Shanghai Biennale, Pao Galleries (Hong Kong), International short film festival (Oberhausen, Germany), and Void Gallery (Derry~Londonderry).