For An Epidemic Resistance – Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn at Borås Art Biennial

Date and time
29 May 2021 at 12:00 PM - 26 September 2021 at 05:00 PM
Type of event
Place and route


Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn, For An Epidemic Resistance (2009). Photo: Leo Sjölund

Inauguration: Saturday 29 May, at 12–17

Many of the artworks are displayed outdoors and are available at any time. Indoors works are displayed at Inomhus visas verk på Borås Konstmuseum, Textilmuseet och Gustav Adolfs Kyrka.

Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn presents an updated version of her work For An Epidemic Resistance (2009/2021), a twenty-five channel sound installation, as part of the Borås Art Biennial. This work takes its starting point in an unexplained laughter epidemic phenomenon, which occurred in central Africa in 1962. An explosion of laughter took place at a mission-run girls' middle school in the village of Kashasha over the course of six months and infected several hundred people in the community and neighbouring villages. In this new version presented at Borås Art Biennial, new laughter is added to the new iteration of the installation.

Laughter doesn't necessarily always signal joy; it can also be a signal of distress, spurred by collective anxieties, anger, or sadness linked to a time of worry, especially when people are experiencing chronic societal stress. However, laughter and humour can also according to cultural theorist Marjolein't Hart, function as a true "weapon of the weak", furthering the development of collective identity.

Nguyễn investigates issues of historicity, collectivity, utopian politics, and multiculturalism via feminist theories. Nguyễn's work often takes the form of installations that combine audio, video, printmaking, and photography. She employs a research-based process where she often uses archival material to reveal the unnoticed political relevance in overlooked histories.

Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn is Doctoral Student at Konstfack, and her works have been displayed at Bonniers Konsthall (Stockholm), the Július Koller Society (Bratislava, Slovakia), CAMPLE LINE (Scotland) och Trinity Square Video (Toronto, Canada).

Jacqueline Hoang

External organizer