Wonder Gays, Ninja Queens & Pimps: Việt Lê & Kate Hers Rhee

When 3 Feb 2020
6:00PM - 8:00PM
Where Dartmouth Consortium of Studies in Race, Migration, and Sexuality
Dartmouth College, 2020 Rockefeller 003
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
Enquiry RMS@Dartmouth.edu

Open to the Public

Artist scholars Việt Lê and kate-hers RHEE share performance- and lens- based interventions, reconsidering the frames of empire, intimacy, mass media and migration. RHEE and Lê remix the text from White Gaze (an art book collaboration between Michelle Dizon and Lê) and as a performance, an audience call and response, tracing our collective desires and complicities.

The artistic work of the late Korean-American artist and writer, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha continues to inspire, astonish, confound, and surprise scholars of literature, art history, Korean and Asian American studies. Feminist artists of the Korean Diaspora have especially been drawn to her work. Transnational interdisciplinary artist kate-hers RHEE (Seoul, Berlin) will present a performance lecture called Throat Sound, exploring Cha’s iconic genre bending novel, Dictee. Like Dictee, Throat Sound highlights the struggle to speak and collages various languages, historical texts and photographs, often without translation to preserve the feeling of the Otherness. RHEE collapses several narratives into her own and calls on the audience to speak with her. Making use of Cha’s structural methodology in her evocation of the nine muses, RHEE (re)mixes Greek mythology and recalls the “comfort women”, the Zainichi (Korean Japanese), Asian American immigration, and her own experience with gender based violence, all the while questioning how individual and collective trauma shapes an ethnic and national ethos. After the performance lecture, RHEE will share a recent performance series collaboration developed in Berlin in 2018, that was created as a response to racist and sexist happenings by a popular and spectacle seeking German fashion blogger and party maker, Dandy Diary.

Switching from Ninja Queens and Pimps to the Wonder Gays, Việt Lê (San Francisco, Sài Gòn) presents selections from his art, academic and curatorial projects, all which forge transnational queer popular cultures. Filmed in Hà Nội, Los Angeles, Phnom Penh, and Bangkok, Lê will screen excerpts from three overlapping film projects that trace a time-travelling, trilingual trans-love triangle. lovebang! is an art music video for an original trilingual “hip pop” song in Vietnamese, Khmer, and English. “Hip pop” is a fictitious cross between pop and hip hop. eclipse is a video for spirited lovers, spirits, and the spiritual, filmed in Hà Nội in a ghostly guesthouse and Nhà sàn Đức—a traditional Vietnamese “house on stilts” and pioneering experimental artist-run space. The soundtrack is by controversial, legendary music pioneers Đại Lâm Linh. The heART/break! video project reimagines refugees—from 1970s Southeast Asia and today’s “European refugee crisis”—seeking shelter in a boy bar disco inferno.

Việt Lê is an artist, writer, and curator. Lê is an Associate Professor in Visual Studies at California College of the Arts. He has been published in American Quarterly; Amerasia Journal; Art Journal; and the anthologies Writing from the Perfume River; Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art; among others. Solo exhibitions include Sonic Spiritualities (Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines 2020), lovebang! (Kellogg University Art Gallery, Los Angeles 2016), vestige (H Gallery Bangkok 2015), tan nÁRT cõi lòng | heARTbreak! (Nhà Sàn Collective Hà Nội). Lê has presented his work at The Banff Centre; the Smithsonian, DoBaeBacSa Gallery, Seoul, Bangkok Art & Cultural Center (BACC), Shanghai Biennale; Rio Gay Film Festival, among other venues. Vietle.net


Born in Seoul, South Korea, kate-hers RHEE was raised in a deeply racially segregated, working class suburb of Detroit, Michigan. Her experiences negotiating her position in-between, specifically black and white identities, are at the core of her artistic practice. She explores transnational identity and the construction of self, while discussing gender, migration, and global inequality. Working transculturally in the South Korea, Germany and the United States,

RHEE’s work and projects have been shown in diverse galleries and institutions in Berlin and beyond; in Galerie Wedding, Galerie Irrgang, Galerie damdam in the Korean Cultural Center, in Reinbeckhallen, in Asian Art Museum and in the Berlinische Galerie; in Art Space One and in Warehouse Gallery Icheon Art Platform in Korea and in the British Museum in London. Her solo exhibition, Wunderkammer and Things will be on view at the Paul Robeson Galleries at Rutgers University in 2021. https://www.estherka.com/

More information available here.

Image courtesy of the event organizer(s).