With the performance A High Mountain, A Sweet Dream (2023), artist Minh Duc Pham expands upon his contribution to the Echos der Bruderländer exhibition, the installation Fountains of A High Mountain and A Sweet Dream (2024), consisting of a porcelain well with ceramic details, lily scent, and the audio sequence of the performance that is staged again during the closing weekend of the exhibition. Both works are addressed to women from the ‘brother countries’ who, while working as contract labourers in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), were subject to systemic reproductive injustice. Contractually bound, if they became pregnant they were forced to undergo terminations or otherwise be sent back to their home countries. Pham’s work gestures towards the memory of the often isolated yet resilient Vietnamese workers who lived through this chapter, which has been poorly addressed or accounted for in the history of both the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR. Producing this body of work prompted the artist to imagine encountering a sibling he might have had. The resulting fictional conversation manifests as a love song and lullaby specifically written for the performance, an offering of remembrance in recognition of the injustice his and many other families endured to ensure their existence in Germany today.

Concept, performance: Minh Duc Pham
Sound: Kat Papachristou
Special thanks to: un.thai.tled and sōydivision

Includes video excerpts from Zwischen zwei Welten. Geschichte und Gegenwart vietnamesischer Vertragsarbeiter (Between two worlds. History and present of Vietnamese contract workers), courtesy of DEFA Film Archiv.