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In the Evening There is Feeling: Reading Johanna Hedva
18:00 on 15 July 2019
Dundee Contemporary Arts
In the Evening There is Feeling is DCA’s Exhibitions reading group. It takes its name from Gertrude Stein’s 1914 book Tender Buttons and focuses, in an informal and welcoming way, on feminist and/or queer texts from the worlds of art and literature.
This session will introduce and discuss some of the ideas contained within two key texts by Johanna Hedva, an artist and writer who Patrick Staff has collaborated with in their new work The Prince of Homburg.
In Sick Woman Theory Hedva describes her own chronic, confounding illness and the impersonality of the Western medical industry, and suggests that the greatest enemy to capitalism is taking care of yourself and of others. In thinking around the possibilities of direct political action, Sick Woman Theory poses the question, “How do you throw a brick through the window of a bank if you can’t get out of bed?” The essay was adapted from the lecture, My Body Is a Prison of Pain so I Want to Leave It Like a Mystic But I Also Love It & Want It to Matter Politically, delivered at Human Resources, sponsored by the Women’s Center for Creative Work, in Los Angeles, on October 7, 2015. The video is available to watch here.
The second text, In Defense of De-Persons, focuses more specifically on the American Psychological Association’s diagnosis of depersonalisation disorder, or depersonalisation/derealisation syndrome, characterised by “experiences of unreality or detachment from one’s mind, self, or body,” and implicates the state as an agent of depersonalisation.
Digital copies of selected texts will be available and sent out to all participants upon booking a place.
About Johanna Hedva:
Johanna Hedva is a Korean-American who was raised in Los Angeles by a family of witches, and now lives in LA and Berlin. Hedva is a writer, artist, musician, and performer. Their work is different kinds of screaming. They are the author of the novel, On Hell (2018, Sator Press), which was named one of Dennis Cooper’s favorites of 2018. From 2012 to 2015, their series of queered Ancient Greek plays, The Greek Cycle, was performed in Los Angeles, in venues like a Honda Odyssey being driven down the freeway. Their work has been shown at Performance Space New York, Wysing Arts Centre, the Getty’s 2013 Pacific Standard Time, the LA Architecture and Design Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art on the Moon. Hedva has published books in handmade limited editions, and their writing has appeared in Triple Canopy, The White Review, Black Warrior Review, and anthologized in GenderFail and Asian American Literary Review.