Danh Vo

Danh Vo

A Question of Freedom

“Personally I think the icon of the Statue of Liberty has been raped enough, too many people have been claiming whatever stupidity on what freedom might or might not be,” says artist Danh Vo in this interview about his sculptural piece, ‘We the People’.

With his actual-size but fragmentary copy of the Statue of Liberty, Danh Vo wanted not so much to interpret Lady Liberty, but rather to use it as a platform for people to renegotiate what they consider freedom to be.

‘We the People’ consist of about 250 1:1 scale pieces of the Statue of Liberty. It has been recreated using the same fabrication techniques and cobber material as the original statue created by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi in 1886. The many pieces are exhibited all over the world, and have to this date never been assembled.

When given Guggenheim Museum’s prestigious ‘Hugo Boss Prize’ in 2012, the jury stated: “Vo’s work illuminates the entwined strands of private experience and collective history that shape our sense of self.”

Danh Vo (b.1975) is an internationally renowned Danish-Vietnamese artist. He was born in Vietnam and came to Denmark at the age of four, as a refugee. Vo has studied at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, Denmark and Städeschule in Frankfurt, Germany. His sculptural piece ‘We the People’ was exhibited at the Brooklyn Bridge Park and City Hall Park, New York in 2014. Vo also had two solo exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum, New York and Musée d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2013. He currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

Danh Vo was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg at The Kitchen, in New York, September 2014.

Camera: Pierce Jackson and Klaus Elmer
Produced and edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Mika Rottenberg

    What is the Connection

    The exceptional video artist Mika Rottenberg here presents her intriguing video installation ‘Cosmic Generator.’ Set on the U.S.-Mexico border and in a huge Chinese market, the work explores the collapse – or reinforcement – of distance.

  • Svetlana Alexievich

    A Human is a Scary Creature

    Nobel Prize-winning writer Svetlana Alexievich is known for her monumental non-fiction narratives exploring war and its aftermath in the former Soviet Union. In this video she discusses the role of the writer in a corrupted society permeated by money.

  • Eileen Myles

    A Poem Says 'I Want'

    “I think a poem really is a statement of desire.” Meet the legendary American poet, writer – and homosexual icon – Eileen Myles. In this video, she discusses the innate power of poetry and how to address the absence of the female genitalia.

  • Sambuichi

    One with the Earth's Cycle

    “Architecture should thrive like a plant.” Gain insight into the philosophy of a frontrunner in sustainable architecture, Japanese architect Hiroshi Sambuichi, and hear how he created some of his unique, site-specific buildings.

  • Naja Marie Aidt

    What You Don't Want to Hear

    “Life’s fragility is ever-present.” Deeply moving video with Danish writer Naja Marie Aidt, who opens up about the tragic death of her 25-year-old son, and how she dealt with her overshadowing loss and grief through literature, gradually returning to writing.

  • George Condo

    The Way I Think

    George Condo was part of the 1980s wild art scene in New York. In this video, recorded in his New York-studio, the iconic artist shares his life-long love of drawing and thoughts on his artistic expression, which he describes as “artificial realism.”

  • Marina Abramović & Ulay

    A Living Door of the Museum

    Standing naked in the main entrance of a museum, facing each other while the audience passes sideways through the small space. Legendary performance artists Marina Abramović and Ulay share the story behind their poetic work ‘Imponderabilia’.

  • Bill Viola

    Cameras are Soul Keepers

    When video artist Bill Viola was 6 years old he fell into a lake, all the way to the bottom, to a place which seemed like paradise. "There's more than just the surface of life." Viola explains. "The real things are under the surface".

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.

  • Nick Cave

    The World is my Skin

    Have you ever wished that you could put on a suit which would open up the imagination and take you to the world of your dreams? In this video artist Nick Cave presents his wearable sculptures, the 'Soundsuits', made from discarded everyday materials.

  • Gerhard Richter

    In Art We Find Beauty and Comfort

    “I don’t really believe art has power. But it does have value. Those who take an interest in it find solace in art. It gives them huge comfort.” Gerhard Richter, one of the greatest painters of our time, discusses beauty in the era of the internet.