Artist Talk – Johanna Hedva: „Some weirdo named Hedva. I know he was born in some sort of cave there: Ghostfucker, Goblin of a Thousand Backs, Goblin of Time, Hollywood Bully, Grossguts and the King, Grossguts and the Queen, the Goblet of Death.“
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Johanna Hedva (they/them) is a Korean-American writer, artist, and musician, who was raised in Los Angeles by a family of witches, and now lives between LA and Berlin. Hedva is the author of Minerva the Miscarriage of the Brain (2020), a collection of poems, performances, and essays, and the novel On Hell (2018). Their album Black Moon Lilith in Pisces in the 4th House, a doom-metal guitar and voice performance influenced by Korean shamanist ritual was released in January 2021, and their 2019 album The Sun and the Moon had two of its tracks played on the moon. Their work has been shown in Berlin at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Klosterruine, and Institute of Cultural Inquiry; The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London; Performance Space New York; the LA Architecture and Design Museum; and the Museum of Contemporary Art on the Moon. Their writing has appeared in Triple Canopy, frieze, The White Review, and is anthologized in Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art. Their essay “Sick Woman Theory” has been translated into ten languages.
Hedva’s practice cooks magic, necromancy, and divination together with mystical states of fury and ecstasy. They are devoted to doom as a liberatory condition, deviant forms of knowledge, and the ways in which a voice can unmake the world. There is always the body — its radical permeability, dependency, and consociation — but the task is how to eclipse it, how to nebulize it, and how to cope when this inevitably fails. Ultimately, Hedva’s work — no matter if the genre is AI, video games, installation, sculpture, trickery, performance, or images — is different kinds of writing. It’s words on a page, screaming in a room, dragging a hand through water.