Overly forced Gestures (De Récolte à Révolte)
2017, 2:21min two times, Super 8mm film transferred in 16mm.
Kodak reversal ecktachrome 100D and negative 50 D.
A 16 mm film shown in double projection. In the first part we could see people in south Vietnam (specially a female worker whose mother has worked in Michelin plantation in 1920's) that are working on rubber trees. The pictures focus on their gestures. Same gestures are then, in a second part, petrified in sculpture. We could see hands open some molds from where appear other hands fixed into gestures. So some overly forced gestures, in the first projection, are delivered somehow, in a second projection, into sculpture and into the appearance of an independent language.
In French language we have this almost anagram: “De Récolte à Révolte”, which we could translate by From Harvest to Fight. This cinematic essay is, in a way, the materialization of it. And finally, as in a sign language, we could read in the picture more actions as: to be indignant, gather, abandon, build, destroy, betray, milk, flee. So forces gestures transcribed into liberated gestures.
2015, 34:48 min, Super 8mm film transferred in 16mm.
Kodak reversal ecktachrome 100D.
Here an excerpt of the 2:46 first minutes of the film.
Born in Vietnam but having grown up in France, Thu Van Tran challenges one of the major economic links between the two countries during the 20th century. the intensive growing of the para rubber tree, from which rubber is produced. The para rubber tree, for which the first seed was brought from Amazonia by a French sailor, soon became a rich natural resource for Vietnam, but subsequently entailed the occupation of the majority of fertile land by French settlers. The artist screens a film, which relates her travels to the former Michelin plantations in Vietnam, as well as those, which Ford tried to set up, but failed, in Brazil. This Super 8 film recalls a direct connection, without distance to the filmed subject, but also memories of the not-so-distant past. Tran uses a hidden camera, revealing instants in time, thus creating a ne metaphor for the syncopated rhythm of memory. The wealth of vegetation is strongly perceptible.
2016, 2:46 min, Super 8mm film transferred in 16mm.
Kodak negative 50D, reversal ecktachrome 100D.
From Vietnam to Germany, a visual essay proposed as a brief and subjective history of the vestiges of a communism of thought.
Shot in Berlin, the movie invests, in the first half part, statues as speakers, almost incantatory which set up during GDR; and lingers then on posters found in China Town. Situated in Lichtenberg, a district of former East Berlin, it consists of sheds without any window where pile up shops and Asian restaurants which the only perspective would be, as windows on the outside, those posters. An immigration dating from the East block.
2013, 6:00 min, Super 8mm film transferred in 16mm.
Kodak reversal ecktachrome 100D.
Our Lights is a film directed by Thu Van Tran in spring 2013 during a road trip through former Bosnia and Herzegovina. Filming in Super 8, Thu Van Tran brings back to life an outdated technology. The intimate nature of this road movie is accentuated when one considers that the artist returned to Sarajevo and filmed places from our recent and common past. The Cyclops, light machine developed by the artist, often appears in shot, and brings into the film a notion of instability or even absurdity (this system does not enable the scene to be lit as it should be for optimal rendition). The Cyclops is, in a way, the desire to cast moments of light on everything and nothing at the same time. It is moved by the artist from site to site and becomes a character in itself, as a constant witness, a spectator of a painful past, a story that is still being reinterpreted even today. The fragility of memory is also evident in the lack of soundtrack which guarantees the artist a degree of detachment. By questioning the uniqueness of perspective through the Cyclops and its unique lighting, she challenges the perception of historical events and the European past, but without falling into cliché or miserabilism.