The Dream of the Audience: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha

Exhibition Publication

Sabine Breitwieser (ed.) for the Generali Foundation, Vienna 2004.
Preface by Dietrich Karner, introduction by Sabine Breitwieser, texts by Constance M. Lewallen, Lawrence Rinder, Trinh T. Minh-ha and Bernadette Hak Eun.

Germ./Engl., 290 pages, 150 color and 380 black-and-white illustrations, softcover

Language, the common denominator in my special interests with literature, linguistics, and film semiology, has been the primary basis for resource and influence in my work. As a foreigner, learning a new language extended beyond its basic function of communication as it is generally for a native speaker, to a consciously imposed detachment that allowed analysis and experimentation with other relationships with language.

With this publication, the exceptional poetic and conceptual work of the Korean-American artist Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (1951-1982) is being introduced to Europe for the first time. Having herself experienced geographic exile and cultural and linguistic displacement, Cha addresses themes such as memory and alienation. Her artist’s books, mail art, performances, as well as her slide pieces, videos, films and installations are characterized by a deep engagement with language. Within just one decade, she created a body of pioneering works whose relevance was only fully discovered within the last years.