Blanton Museum of Art presents The Propeller Group: The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music

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The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music
The Propeller Group, The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music (video still), 2014 Single-channel film, 21:15 minutes Photo courtesy of the artists and James Cohan, New York

This film by The Propeller Group combines actual footage and staged portrayals of Vietnamese funeral rituals that shift dramatically from documentary to poetic. Music plays a significant role in the narrative trajectory, beginning with Vietnamese instrumentation and concluding with a New Orleans-style brass band, establishing unexpected continuities between South Vietnam and Louisiana Gulf Coast traditions. Despite the somber context, the film captivates with the inclusion of mysterious symbols and performers, including an ox skull, fire breathers, and a snake charmer.

Following the opening, the exhibit will be on display through May 26.

Event Details



Blanton Museum of Art
200 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
Austin, TX 78701


Ticket Info

Free with museum admission.