Helen Cho, So Many Wind (video still), 2018. Courtesy the artist.

Workshop: THIS IS HOW DISTANT I AM: A WORKSHOP INTERSECTING THE WORKS OF HELEN CHO, THERESA HAK KYUNG CHA'S "DICTEE," AND THE SELF ABOLISHED THROUGH THE WRECKAGE OF CONTEXT

Facilitated by Danielle LaFrance

Wednesday, March 4, 6 – 8pm
Audain Gallery

This event is free but space is limited. Please contact audaingallery@sfu.ca to register.

When relating to one another, we endure one another's surfaces, finding available eddies in which to sink downstream. How distant are you? How close? Sometimes we lose ourselves in the process, but is that a bad thing when there are parts of each of us that should be lost, that should be abolished? Depending on your context, your subjectivity, this can be an anxiety-ridden state to reside within.

If we read texts like we read one another, we should make a habit of re-reading, not in order to know any more than what we did initially, but to know differently, to see where our states of transition meet or disembark with another's states of transition. Most of the time, all we know of each other is based on a surface reading shaped by the way our own surfaces are held against intersecting rubrics of social categorization. My damage informs my reading of your damage — even as your damage exists without me and my damage without yours.

In this workshop, we will collectively and autonomously read, think, write, and converse our way through excerpts from Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's Dictee (1982), a text that shapes the surfaces and depths of Helen Cho's exhibition Space Silence. We will bring Cho's work into dialogue with the polyvocality of Dictee, which relies on multiple modes and forms of knowing to push against ideological violence and hold onto one's voice while ultimately wreaking a new language.

Drawing from Cho and Cha, we will ask how (or whether) we can create resistant forms of knowledge together. If the very value of knowledge is undermined because it seems too easy to access, we will spend our two hours together reaching for another state of knowing. This workshop will be strictly timed with intervals of 10 minutes shifting between discussion and note taking. The notes can take on any form, much like in Dictee, from a poetry line to critique, to journal writing, to transcribing discussion. This workshop is an experiment in valuing every strata of attempting to know one another and ourselves.

The reading will be made available prior to the workshop.

Danielle LaFrance lives on occupied and stolen xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw, and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ lands. Following the would-be poetics mapped out in her new book JUST LIKE I LIKE IT (Talonbooks, 2019), LaFrance comes into reading and writing from a position knowing illusions are destroyed. Her recent poetry project #postdildo thinks and acts through fantasy, rape culture, modes of communication, yearnings, aftermaths, and lost ideas. In addition to being a poet, she is a community librarian, fighter and independent scholar. She is also the author of Friendly + Fire (Talonbooks, 2016) and species branding (Capilano University Editions, 2010).