For An Epidemic Resistance, a multichannel sound installation by Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen, exhibited at Avatar for Manif d'Art 7
The conceptual framework of the project For An Epidemic Resistance is the un- explained laughter epidemic that occurred in central Africa in 1962. This wave of social hysteria, which began in a girls’ school in the village of Kashasha, took on epidemic proportions and infected hundreds of people in the community and surrounding villages. Nguyen discovered this incident listening to New York public radio and decided to employ it freely in order to propose an original and unusual interpretation of the phenomenon.
The on-site investigation and research behind an explanation conducted by Ellen Horne, executive producer of the program “Radiolab,” led Nguyen to explore the idea of laughter as a response mechanism not only to comedy and communicating more than mere gaiety. Here she thus explores laughter mechanisms independent of humour, culminating in a two-fold project, a sound installation entitled For An Epidemic Resistance and a silent video entitled Documentation for An Epidemic Resistance.
Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen’s artistic practice is founded on feminist research and theory and explores questions of historicity, collectivity, political utopia and multiculturalism.