Poetry News

An Archival Feature From Fence: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's Poems and Artwork

By Harriet Staff

Fence has unearthed from its archives—the Fall/Winter 2011 issue—a very good read for your Tuesday, particularly if you are already into the work of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. Most people, writes Lawrence Rinder, only know Cha for her "remarkable book, DICTEE, published in 1982 by Tanam Press." And as Juliana Spahr writes here, too: "To encounter Cha’s work is to come up against the uncanniness of the symbolic order— its strangeness, but also its insistent familiarity."

Much more is here, including essays by Walter K. Lew and Juliana Chang, and "a group of Cha’s poems, published for the first time, as well as photographs of several little-known works in other media." From Rinder on this: 

The poems and many of the visual works were probably created during and shortly after her highly productive 1976 sojourn in Paris, during which she studied at the Centre d’Etudes du Cinema Americaine à Paris. It was in Europe that she immersed herself in a number of intellectual and aesthetic currents— French film theory, feminism, and an Icelandic version of Fluxus known as S¥M—that became centrally important in her subsequent work. What is immediately evident in the small sampling presented here is the profoundly interdisciplinary nature of Cha’s art and writing, an approach that will be familiar to readers of DICTEE. In her extended oeuvre, however, we can see even more clearly Cha’s highly conscious manipulation of form and mode to achieve subtle nuances of aesthetic and poetic effect.

Read more at Fence.

Originally Published: November 20th, 2018