Artists Space

Danh Vo:
Autoerotic Asphyxiation

September 15 – November 7, 2010

Artists Space is pleased to present Autoerotic Asphyxiation, Danh Vo's first exhibition in the USA.

A black and white, vintage photograph of a male figure leaning casually against a low wall by a river. The figure
[A black and white, vintage photograph of a male figure leaning casually against a low wall by a river. The figure's long back is to the viewer, and we cannot see his face. He wears a short piece of cloth at his waist, while his upper body is bare.]

  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).

September 18, 2010

Danh Vo in Conversation with Elena Filipovic
Conversation
6pm

October 24, 2010

Group Material Show and Tell
Symposium
7pm

A large exhibition space with light wood flooring, wide windows, and white columns fills with gentle daylight. The far windows and walls the space are covered in white, semi-translucent curtains, which gently glow.
Danh Vo: Autoerotic Asphyxiation. Installation view, Artists Space, 2010. Photo: Daniel Pérez. [A large exhibition space with light wood flooring, wide windows, and white columns fills with gentle daylight. The far windows and walls the space are covered in white, semi-translucent curtains, which gently glow.]
Two black and white photographs of various men casually holding hands are mounted one on top of the other on a white gallery wall behind semi-translucent white curtains. Two hands draw the curtains back to reveal the images.
Danh Vo: Autoerotic Asphyxiation. Installation view, Artists Space, 2010. Photo: Daniel Pérez. [Two black and white photographs of various men casually holding hands are mounted one on top of the other on a white gallery wall behind semi-translucent white curtains. Two hands draw the curtains back to reveal the images.]
Close-up of a rectangular, silver metal plaque hanging on a white gallery wall. The plaque is inscribed with a diagram of an exhibition space. Numbers note the location of the artworks, while a key next to the diagram notes the titles and other tombstone information of the works.
Danh Vo: Autoerotic Asphyxiation. Installation view, Artists Space, 2010. Photo: Daniel Pérez. [Close-up of a rectangular, silver metal plaque hanging on a white gallery wall. The plaque is inscribed with a diagram of an exhibition space. Numbers note the location of the artworks, while a key next to the diagram notes the titles and other tombstone information of the works.]
A center-parted white chiffon curtain revealing a set of six framed images mounted on the wall. A white bar runs slightly right of center of the image.
Danh Vo: Autoerotic Asphyxiation. Installation view, Artists Space, 2010. Photo: Daniel Pérez. [A center-parted white chiffon curtain revealing a set of six framed images mounted on the wall. A white bar runs slightly right of center of the image.]
Close up of an illuminated white curtain, which reveals small, delicate embroidery of various flowers and herbs.
Danh Vo: Autoerotic Asphyxiation. Installation view, Artists Space, 2010. Photo: Daniel Pérez. [Close up of an illuminated white curtain, which reveals small, delicate embroidery of various flowers and herbs.]
A vintage, framed black and white photograph of five priests dressed in all black stiffly pose before the camera for a portrait. The two men sitting closest to the viewer hold hands.
Danh Vo. Installation view from Autoerotic Asphyxiation, 2010. Photo: Daniel Pérez. [A vintage, framed black and white photograph of five priests dressed in all black stiffly pose before the camera for a portrait. The two men sitting closest to the viewer hold hands.]
A white translucent chiffon curtain cascades over a set of five framed images mounted on a wall.
Danh Vo: Autoerotic Asphyxiation. Installation view, Artists Space, 2010. Photo: Daniel Pérez. [A white translucent chiffon curtain cascades over a set of five framed images mounted on a wall.]

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.