Autoerotic Asphyxiation
Danh Vo
September 15 – November 7, 2010


1. Measure the executee's chin height from the floor and weigh him.

2. Measure the scaffold crossbeam height from the floor of the scaffold.

3. Subtract the Chin Height from the Scaffold Crossbeam Height and add the Drop Distance from the Drop Distance Table to obtain the Rope Length.

4. Mark the rope at the rope length and cut it seven (7) feet longer.  If fastener for rope is not at crossbeam but at another location, add this distance to the crossbeam height plus any additional amount needed for fastening.

5. Boil the rope for one (1) hour and stretch the rope while drying to eliminate all spring, stiffness or tendency to coil. Dry thoroughly.

6. Either tie Conventional Hangman's Knot as per included instructions or utilize a Mechanical Hangman's Knot and fasten with U-clamp. Lubricate Hangman's Knot with proper lubricant.

7. Install the Rope with the Hangman's Noose to the scaffold crossbeam and cut off remaining rope. The rope should be stretched tight prior to cutting and only the Rope Length should hang below the scaffold crossbeam.

8. Oil, check and verify that all mechanical parts of the Gallows (i.e. the hinges on the trap door and the release mechanism) are functioning properly.

9. Fill two (2) sandbags with the equivalent weight of the executee (half in each bag) and fasten the bags together at the tops. Open the Noose and slip it over one of the bags and tighten it at the point where the bags are fastened together. You are now ready to test the gallows.

10. Close the trap door and reset the trip mechanism. Stand on the door to make sure it is secure. Place the sandbags on the door and loop the rope in such a fashion as to prevent any crimping or catching. Test the gallows repeatedly (at least twelve [12] times) to insure proper mechanical operation of the trap door and that the rope is secure and will not break.

11. You are now prepared for the execution.


– Excerpt from the Department of Correction, State of Delaware: Execution by Hanging, Operation and Instruction Manual, by Fred A. Leuchter Associated, inc. 1990.


Danh Vo (b. 1975, Ba Ria, Vietnam) recent exhibitions include 6th Berlin Biennial (2010); Gwangju Biennial (2010); Where the Lions Are, Kunsthalle Basel (2009); Package Tour, Sedelijik Museum, Amsterdam (2008).

Autoerotic Asphyxiation, Danh Vo's first exhibition in the USA, is made possible through the generous support of Shelley Fox Aarons & Philip Aarons, The Friends of Artists Space, The Danish Arts Council, and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. Special thanks to Julie Newton, Curtains for You.

Danh Vo
Installation view from Autoerotic Asphyxiation, 2010.
Photo: Daniel Pérez. 

Danh Vo
Installation view from Autoerotic Asphyxiation, 2010.
Photo: Daniel Pérez. 

Danh Vo
Installation view from Autoerotic Asphyxiation, 2010.
Photo: Daniel Pérez. 

Danh Vo
Installation view from Autoerotic Asphyxiation, 2010.
Photo: Daniel Pérez. 

Danh Vo
Installation view from Autoerotic Asphyxiation, 2010.
Photo: Daniel Pérez. 

Danh Vo
Installation view from Autoerotic Asphyxiation, 2010.
Photo: Daniel Pérez. 

Danh Vo
Installation view from Autoerotic Asphyxiation, 2010.
Photo: Daniel Pérez. 

Danh Vo
Installation view from Autoerotic Asphyxiation, 2010.
Photo: Daniel Pérez. 

Danh Vo
Installation view from Autoerotic Asphyxiation, 2010.
Photo: Daniel Pérez.

Danh Vo
Installation view from Autoerotic Asphyxiation, 2010.
Photo: Daniel Pérez. 

Danh Vo
Installation view from Autoerotic Asphyxiation, 2010. Photo: Daniel Pérez. 

Programs

Danh Vo in Conversation with Elena Filipovic
Conversation
Saturday, September 18, 6pm

Show & Tell: A Chronicle of Group Material
Book launch
Sunday, September 26

Group Material Show and Tell
Symposium
Sunday, October 24
2010-10-24