A screening of two videos by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Secret Spill (1974, 27 min, b&w, sound) which documented a performance and installation at a site of secrets, exploring the tension between the seen and the unseen; and Re Dis Appearing (1977, 2:30 min, b&w, sound), in which simple images — a pair of woman’s hands, a bowl of tea, and a photograph of the ocean — were juxtaposed with the echoing sound of words spoken in two languages. Cha’s highly conceptual and yet poetic work captured fragments of texture, movement, and noise, exploring the interaction between language and identity, meaning and memory.
This program is part of Backyard Conversations, a series of informal screenings where we pause, rewind, forward, and look closely at works that escape easy interpretation.
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha was born in 1951 in Pusan, South Korea and died in New York City in 1982. From the mid-1970s until her death at age 31, Cha created a rich body of conceptual art that explored displacement and loss. Informed by French psychoanalytic film theory, her video works use performance and text to explore interactions of language, meaning and memory. Cha’s posthumously published book Dictée is an influential investigation of identity in the context of history, ethnicity and gender.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.