Vanghoua Anthony Vue
With reference to Samuel Butler’s book ‘Erewhon’ and its particular influence on Giles Deleuze’s construction of ‘nomadism’ and his concept of ‘difference’, the title of this exhibition is a re worked spelling of the reversed word ‘nowhere’, that evokes both the passage from the distributed, migrated space of the refugee / traveller and the imaginary, transformed and always multiple reception at the site of destination /arrival.
Viewed from the unique cultural perspective of the multi-lingual international student (occupying as they do a doubled register, both valued and demonised at the site of reception) they are both a source of nationally significant economic earnings and an apparent cultural resource. For the student this situation presents as a non-place of impossible purchase and one that is dominated by the invisible doppelganger of displacement. They are ‘here and there’ simultaneously, an intensely personal cultural experience of longing and not belonging. This inclusion / exclusion dichotomy directed at the international student is constituted by the mono-lingual host as both a desire and a threat. As signifiers of cultural difference the international student harbours within their displacement the persistent memory presence of their culture of origin while adopting and adapting the values of their site of reception / destination.