Hotel Nacional de Cuba
15 April – 28 May 2022
Sung Tieu’s (b. 1987, Hai Duong, VN, lives and works in Berlin) installations, videos, sound works, and interventions explore how social, political and bureaucratic constraints encroach on individual subjectivity. Encompassing themes such as psychological warfare, national historiography and the legacies of the Cold War and its impact on global capitalism, she interlaces fiction and reality along with historical and biographical events.Premiering the new KUNSTVEREIN GARTENHAUS’s space her film work Moving Target Shadow Detection (2022) developed as part of the Frieze Artist Award 2021 and co-produced and co-commissioned by Forma and Frieze continues Tieu’s interest in architectures of conflict. Modeled and rendered in 3D, the film reconstructs the entire interior of the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, in Havana – from which the exhibition takes its title– the site of the first known instance of a supposed sonic attack, which collectively became known as the ‘Havana Syndrome’. Initially reported by CIA staff in the Cuban capital in 2016, the syndrome includes a range of unexplained disorders ranging from nausea, fatigue and memory loss to brain injuries resembling concussions. In the film, CCTV camera footage and images taken by a nano drone lead from the hotel’s lobby to an occupied hotel room, where the viewer is confronted with classified documents and news reports. Shown for the first time as a site-specific installation, the work echoes KUNSTVEREIN GARTENHAUS’s new location – hosted in the Marriott Hotel– creating an uncanny architectural loop.
Raising questions relating to information systems, surveillance, as well as sonic and psychological warfare, the film problematizes the recent evolution in military technologies and how these silent advancements continue to expand their pervasive presence, causing a multitude of yet unknown effects.
Sung Tieu is an artist based in Berlin. She has exhibited widely internationally. Solo exhibitions and major institutional exhibitions include Haus der Kunst, Munich, Nottingham Contemporary, UK, Galerie für zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig, Kunsthalle Basel, Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin, Museion, Bolzano, and the 34th Sao Paulo Biennale. Following her exhibition at Kunstverein Gartenhaus, she will present a new commission at MUDAM, Luxembourg, in October 2022.