Eddo Stern’s Vietnam Romance (2015)
54 Franklin St, New York, NY 10013, United States
June 6 - July 11, 2015
"Postmasters Gallery is pleased to present a monumental installation of Eddo Stern’s video game. Vietnam Romance, recreates and interrogates the fictionalized history of the Vietnam War and its culturally commodified remains through a mash-up of cultural artifacts drawn primarily from Hollywood film culture as well as war literature, comic books, popular music, collectable war memorabilia, and adventure tourist packages.
Vietnam Romance is a tour of nostalgia for romantics and Deathmatch veterans pitting tourists vs. adventurers, history vs. its fantasies, and games vs. cinema. Film critic Ed Halter, described a film version of the project as exploring “a peculiarly American memory-trip, one in which the legacy of a gruesome war has become indistinguishable from pleasurable, if mythic-tragic, entertainments.”
At Postmasters, the project is presented as a multiscreen projection-mapped installation. The presentation alternates between a computer generated panoramic tour through a Fantastical Vietnam created on the fly from online data scraped from tourist information sites, google maps, Ebay war memorabilia listings, top of the charts music archives, and a Vietnam movie database of characters, actors and extras. In the gallery, Vietnam Romance can be experienced either as a playable computer game or as a generative animation. The imagery in the game is created entirely from Eddo Stern’s watercolor paintings processed into 3D models.
The game includes these playable vignettes:
Scene 1: FORTUNATE SON
Scene 2: MOJAVE
Scene 3: APACHE
Scene 4: IN COUNTRY
Scene 5 : THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKING
Scene 6: THE TRACKS OF MY TEARS
Scene 7: THE DEER HUNTER
Scene 8: THE LUNCH LADY
Scene 9: HO-CHI-MINH TO HANOISPECIAL EVENT: Sunday June 7 - Live show at BabycastlesIn conjunction with the show, on Sunday June 7, 8:00-11:00 pm a one-night-only live dinner-theatre-game-performance will be presented at Babycastles gallery-arcade. The show will involve acting and live improv, multiplayer gameplay, tournaments, dinner, music, collectable cards, dancing, and stage sets. Featuring Lucas Near-Verbrugghe in person as Viet Rom Agent and cooking by Thu Tran (of IFC’s Food Party).
Limited spots available, for more information and ticketing click here.
Vietnam Romance was created by Eddo Stern with thanks to Vietnam Romance development team members: Steven Amrhein (jack-of-all(!)-trades), Nicholas Crockett (much code), Lucas Near-Verbrugghe (acting), Louis Pham (vietnamese translation)and Jessica Hutchins (co-writing)." (Postmasters Gallery)Installation view: