cha mouth to mouth

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha: "Mouth to Mouth" (1975). image courtesy: EAI, New York

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (South Korea, USA 1951 - 1982)

The subject of "Mouth to Mouth", one of Cha's early films, is language. Eight Korean vowel characters are shown and the vowels inaudibly spoken by the artist. The scenes then slowly fade to black. These presentations of printed characters and articulated vowels are interrupted by video static, which has been interpreted as representing the "loss of language over the course of time".

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's family emigrated to the USA in 1962, where she studied literature and art. She later moved to Paris, where she studied film and film theory with Christian Metz, Raymond Bellour and Thierry Kuntzel. Cha's most important work, published shortly before her violent death in 1982, is the novel "Dictee", which interweaves the biographies of several women. The various genres she uses all share the topic of cultural, geographical and social uprootedness, which runs as a common thread through her oeuvre made up of films, performances and texts.


In the Video Archive:

"Mouth to Mouth", 1975, 7:40min.


Electronic Arts Intermix, New York
The Theresa Hak Kyung Cha Archive