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New Video Exhibit Explores Funeral Traditions Of The 'Global South'

Propeller Group/CMOA

The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music is a new video exhibit opening at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Art on Friday. Created by the artist collective The Propeller Group, the lush film both documents and stages funeral traditions and public wake ceremonies in South Vietnam.

"These traditions bear a striking resemblance to those found in New Orleans," said museum spokesman Jonathan Gaugler. "They talk a little bit about what they call the global South, that there's this kind of unifying feeling to mourning and ritual in these parts of the world that are pretty uncanny."

The 30-minute video is shot in high definition and features brass bands, professional criers and street performers. Gaugler said viewers may notice a sense of cultural connection while watching the piece.

"This is about death and mourning, and music and storytelling and myth. It's not so much about understanding exactly what's going on, but connecting it to your own sensibilities, your own word and your your own experiences, and really, that's what art is."

The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music opens Friday, October 23 and runs through March 21, 2016.