IF REVOLUTION IS A SICKNESS marks Diane Severin Nguyen’s first one-person museum exhibition. The show, co-organized with SculptureCenter, New York, presents a newly-commissioned 19-minute video of the same title and four photographs in a total installation resembling a theater and its backstage.
Set in Warsaw, Poland, the film loosely follows the character of an orphaned Vietnamese child who grows up to be absorbed into a South Korean pop-inspired dance group. Widely popular within a Polish youth subculture, K-pop is used by the artist as a vernacular material to trace a relationship between Eastern Europe and Asia with roots in Cold War allegiances. Spilling over from first-person narrative into near-abstraction and pop music video, Nguyen traverses the complicated beauty and multivalent forms of propaganda that underpin cultural (and self) image making.