Danh Vo, Shove it up your ass, you faggot, 2013. 2 branches, multi-colored wood carving, and 3 photographs by Peter Hujar, 68 x 441 x 148 cm.

Danh Vo


Museum Ludwig

Ydob eht ni mraw si ti,” the title of Danh Vo’s recent exhibition, was first growled in 1973 by a satanically possessed girl in The Exorcist. The phrase also represents the backward spelling of “It is warm in the body.” No medium or material typified the works in the show, but a strategic scattering of the photographs of Peter Hujar (1934–87) amplified Vo’s extended lament about human suffering. We the People, a 20-foot-tall, copper-plated iteration of Lady Liberty’s draped armpit, was the largest sculptural object. Vo’s fragmentation challenges the monumentality of the New York City original—14 other proxy body parts are strewn about the museum world awaiting, or having undergone, display. A single Hujar photo of Candy Darling on her deathbed punctuated the expansive, otherwise bare walls of the We the People gallery. Is Vo positing that Liberty has died, or that she has ramified into portable, sacred relics? A life-size Christ effigy sans crucifix, You’re Gonna Die Up There, loomed in a dimly lit room. Mounted at eye level on a wall—translucent and sensuous—the savior’s headless …see the entire review in the print version of May’s Sculpture magazine.