[i have taken a bite of this root]
i have taken a bite of this rootpockets on paper openings on paperblack screensas for the rest, trembling trembling a hole in the skyby yieldingit would beby yieldingit would bea long waitedimpossibilitytooquiet phantomsum art does not go into the monumental in art, but searches forthe petites choses, the primal movement, the flickering of light. it looksfor the roots of the language before it is born on the tip of the tongue, itgoes toward the thing before it can be turned into a sculpture. color isaccepted only while it has not yet become some special kind of colour. inmusic it is the sound before it becomes a score, music, or a symphony.literature is sometimes only the page before it turns into a written page in abook. sum-art makes, so to speak, an effort to create aretrogressive evolution. it is the spiritual in colour icelandic wisdom of eccentricity penetrates asum art that extra ordinary individual and only wisdom known in iceland,the wisdom of isolation, of the individual outlawed human being.hreinn’s piecei spend the day with the sun i spend the night with moon and starsreflection on creationcreation being not just a mirror image. it is this, and at the same timethat so it is both a vow somewhere between this word w o r d avow just before the word begins avoue even before the word begins just before this w o r d ends some where some time before this word said this w o r d written word suspension the last breath taken before uttered before sound formed the gest before the instrument sounded and it is not THIS word. the sound before it reaches ears when it leaves us before wind becomes felt and not end there. and end there. hesitantly before an act made hesitance. yet made. effort energy taken before act made yet made. and after accepting the passing— as it passes takes touch elsewhere taken from elsewhere. holding my breath trying not to try to not try to try to to try not not to hold back my palm could only open all the heart to burst az rain az thunder always this another time bearing over am doingone folding in another folding in one in another foldingfusion . . . dispersionstagnant lac brûme le matin brû me le soir and hold and rock let entercontained statue coiled up eat from the end devour back to the beginning eat its way out of it through it into it back from it figure eight amsterdam 28 june 1976
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha: Untitled (Amsterdam 28 June 1976), 1976; Typewritten text on paper.
Both sides.; 11 3/4 x 8 1/4 in.; University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Gift of the Theresa Hak Kyung Cha Memorial Foundation.
Copyright © 2022 by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
University of California
"There is a deep pleasure to be found in attending to Cha’s intricate, ever inventive use of sound, punctuation, form, and syntax. It’s painful to think of what else Cha would have done if her life hadn’t been curtailed. Her existing work is so original and wide-ranging that reading it feels like emerging from a tangle into an open glade. What’s here is both not enough and a plenitude."
—The New Yorker
“Cha is a thoroughly detail-oriented literary and visual artist. Her methodical work doesn't entertain or dazzle. It is open-ended in a way that requires its audience to supply part of the vision.”
—Jana Hsu, San Francisco Bay Guardian
“The volume brings to light part of Cha’s achievement . . . Tantalizing.”
“Those interested in this work may be limited to fans of experimental and avant-garde literature and art.”