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Reassemblage TRINH T. MINH-HA

Online creation


As part of Fourth Worlds

From 01 June to 30 November 2018

Jeu de Paume – Online

Reassemblage by Trinh T. Minh-ha is part of the “Fourth Worlds” project proposed by Stefanie Kiwi Menrath for the Jeu de Paume virtual space.

« A black screen, the sounds drumming and cheering, and a text referring to Senegal: Reassemblage‘s opening activates the imaginary geography of Africa, followed by a silent montage of fragmented images from rural areas. Reassemblage is ostensibly a film about life in post-colonial Senegal, but is in fact a poetic critique of the ethnographic gaze and of documentary authority. Here, images and field recordings seldom correspond, and from the outset, the narrator declines any further clarification: « I do not intend to speak about/just speak nearby ». Trinh Minh-ha’s 1982 film, released during cultural anthropology’s reflexive turn, critiques ethnographic representation, othering and a false ideal of neutrality. Both activating its productive, and critiquing its reproductive capacities, the film speaks to the centrality of imagination in the technique of ethnography. The author makes clear, however, that, « the critical work in Reassemblage […] is not simply aimed at the anthropologist, but also at the missionary, the Peace Corps volunteer, the tourist, and last but not least at myself as onlooker. » Positioning herself in a hybrid location, Trinh Minh-ha re-reads the meeting of cultures on non-Western ground (Interview with Nancy Chan).

Trinh T. Minh-ha

Born in Vietnam, Trinh T. Minh-ha is a filmmaker, writer and composer.
Her work has received several awards and grants and her films have been given over fifty retrospectives. The conceptualization of cultural heritage as transgressing borderlines informs her work as both a filmmaker and a literary theorist. Trinh Minh-ha has traveled and lectured extensively. She taught at the National Conservatory of Music in Dakar (Senegal), at universities such as Cornell, San Francisco State, Smith, and Harvard (USA) and she is Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley.