The Propeller Group: The Living Need Light, the Dead Need Music. The Living Need Light, the Dead Need Music, a new acquisition for the Museums in the context of its contemporary art initiative, is a cross-cultural ode to death that grafts the funerary ceremonies of southern Vietnam to those of the southern United States. Originally commissioned for the Prospect 3 arts festival in New Orleans, the film conjures a spatial confluence of the Mekong River and the Mississippi Delta, places that are similarly grounded in swampy landscapes and processional music traditions.
The Propeller Group, an out-there art collective with roots in L.A. and Vietnam, bases its radical projects on Vietnam’s history and fast-changing present. Its 2014 film, a paean to death following funerary rites from the Mississippi swamps to the Mekong Delta, incorporates archival footage, reenactments, fantasy sequences and ideas borrowed from Hollywood movies, music videos and advertising as it imagines rituals shared across multiple cultures.