Xavier Cha’s performance-based works and videos grapple with architectures of subjectivity, illusions of agency, what it means to be human with a physical body in a capitalistic-digital age where we exist as consumer and product. Collaboration is central to the work. Specialized participants, generally performers in fields outside of the contemporary art world, play prominent roles in extracting the sublimated and magnifying an estranged or alienated human experience within inescapable systems of exchange, consumption, and communication. Xavier direct actors, dancers, or other professionals through focused, controlled scenarios, where the challenged expression of their expertise- often pushing performers to extremes – reveals the body as an enigmatic conduit, a malleable corporeal/psycho/social system. Attuned to ways in which the body is watched and conveyed, immersed within heightened circuits of surveillance, marketing, voyeurism and self- spectatorship, she examines how mediating frames – screens, sets, and the omnipotent lens of the camera – shape behaviors and refine gesture.
Cha was born in Los Angeles and lives in New York. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and MFA from UCLA. She has had recent solo exhibitions at Empty Gallery, Hong Kong (2018); the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (2016); 47 Canal, New York (2015, 2012); Aspect / Ratio, Chicago (2013); and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2011), and has staged large scale performance works at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (2017); Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland (2017); Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara (2015); INOVA, Milwaukee (2015); Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2014); the New Museum (2013), among many other international institutions. Cha received a Frieze Film Commission in 2015, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in 2012, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014.