DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art in association with the Phi Centre is pleased to present
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha | Immatériel
Guest curator: Monika Kin Gagnon
Phi Centre, 407 rue St-Pierre
Monday to Saturday 12 – 5 PM
Opening – March 4, 2015 at 5:30 PM
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha | Immatériel centres on four videos and one film by the late Korean American intermedia artist and writer, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. These include Secret Spill (1974), Mouth to Mouth (1975), Vidéoème (1976), Re Dis Appearing (1977), and Permutations (1976). Produced between 1974 and 1977, these videos can be situated alongside the earliest conceptual and intermedia video practice experiments by artists in the US, Canada and internationally, demonstrating her core commitments to the materiality of language and media forms, subjectivity, embodiment and memory.
In addition to the five videos that will play continuously in the exhibition space, selected visual and textual elements from the Berkeley Art Museum’s online Cha Collection are reproduced and exhibited to supplement viewing; Cha’s artworks and archives are housed in the Museum’s Conceptual Art Study Centre. These accompanying elements explore the ephemerality and immateriality that permeate Cha’s artworks and writings, introducing viewers to the intermedia dimensions of her practice – the relation between different media that seem to evade categorization. Highlighting these cross-overs of form, theorist Trinh T. Minh-ha refers to Cha’s moving image practice as creating a ‘page-screen’; other commentators address the ‘cinematic’ quality of her writing, especially in her experimental novel, Dictée (1982) for which she is widely known in literary contexts. The exhibition also highlights the multilingual aspects of her work — English, French, Korean – in the bilingual context of Montreal; this is the first time that Cha’s work will be exhibited in Montreal.
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (1951–1982) was an intermedia artist and writer, working in video, film, performance, poetry and other intermedia. Her experimental novel Dictée (1982) for which she is best known, has been published continuously since its original publication. Her traveling retrospective, Dream of the Audience was organized by the Berkeley Art Museum in 2001. Her three-channel video installation, Passages Paysages (1978) and single-channel videos were exhibited in the traveling group show, Wack! Art and the Feminist Revolution from 2007–2009.
Curator Monika Kin Gagnon has been researching and writing on the digital archives and Cha’s intermedia artworks and writings since 2009. She is Professor of Communication Studies at Concordia University. She is the co-editor of the recent Reimagining Cinema: Film at Expo 67 (McGill-Queen’s UP 2014). For more on Cha see her online essay “Communicating the Intermedia Archive: The Theresa Hak Kyung Cha Collection”.
Monika Kin Gagnon and DHC/ART wish to thank UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA), the California Digital Library at the University of California and SSHRC for their support of this project.