A triumvirate

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (1951-1982) – writer, performance artist, visual artist (DictéeExilée, Vidéoème)

Julius Eastman (1940-1990) – composer, singer, pianist (Crazy NiggerThe Holy Presence of Joan d'Arc, Gay Guerrilla)

Claude Vivier (1948-1983) – composer (Wo bist du Licht!Lonely ChildGlaubst du an die Unsterblichkeit der Seele)

  • "involuntary martyrs"
    • how are these artists' works haunted by their deaths? their art is so defined by their lives, and death only further mystifies, mythologizes.
  • sui generis as artists and figures within their respective communities
    • refused to fall into tropes of Asian, woman, black, queer. through the most liberal strains of western/American art (performance art, experimentalism, etc), they created highly original bodies of work as if "from scratch" – "Ur-beings" realized by following interests, deeply informed by their personal histories
  • each grappled with issues of identity politics
    • who else was like them in the landscape in which they operated? who could they look up to to become without assimilating or playing into cultural presumptions of who they are? ("Asians wearing yellowface", for instance)
    • assertion of complex selfhood, self-realization in an environment where such spiritual liberation is historically only completely granted to white cis men