Trinh T. Minh-ha
Alvin Balkind Gallery
Reassemblage (1982), Trinh T. Minh-ha’s first film, is a classic of postcolonial cinema. Set in rural Senegal, the film introduces Trinh’s career-long methodology of “speaking nearby.” Throughout the work, Trinh scrutinizes the presumption of anthropological and documentary filmmakers to speak about or on behalf of their subjects, a critical lens that she also extends to “the missionary, the Peace Corps volunteer, the tourist, and last but not least at myself as onlooker.”
Cinematic techniques themselves are the subjects of Reassemblage. Treating film editing as a language, Trinh composes a rhythmic montage in which the repetition and discontinuity of audio-visual footage cohere into a new filmic genre that lies between poetry and theory, the essay and the anti-essay.
Born in Vietnam, Trinh T. Minh-ha is a filmmaker, writer and music composer. She is Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School in the departments of Gender & Women’s Studies and of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. Spanning nearly four decades, Trinh’s complex, theoretical and poetic practice includes moving image, writing, musical composition, installation, and teaching. She dedicates her practice to questioning systems of knowledge, representation and experience related to cultural identity and memory, and has made profound contributions to filmmaking as well as to the fields of postcolonial and feminist studies. Retrospectives and surveys of her films have been presented widely, including at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Secession, Vienna; Jeu de Paume, Paris; and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, among many, many others. In 2018, M+ Museum of Visual Culture, West Kowloon Cultural Council, Hong Kong, in collaboration with ICA London and Hong Kong Arts Centre, presented a retrospective of Trinh T. Minh-ha during Art Basel Hong Kong. She has participated in the 2012 Contemporary Art Triennale at the Palais de Tokyo; the 1987, 1992 and 2022 Whitney Biennials; Documenta 11; the Guangzhou Triennial (2008); and the Shanghai (2004), Busan (2004), and Kyoto (2003) Art Biennales.