Join us on Friday, May 26 at 7pm PT when Johanna Hedva celebrates the release of their new book, Your Love is Not Good, with Vivian Sming at 9th Ave!
Masks Encouraged for In-Person Attendance
Or watch online at the link below
Praise for Your Love is Not Good
“This precise page-turner of a tale about bad or nonexistent mothers, race, and the erotics of painting masterfully pins the art world to the buckram of its specimen tray, pointed sentence after sentence. Here everyone loses gorgeously, definitively—and lucky readers learn a lot about the game.” —Lucy Ives
“Your Love Is Not Good is a whirlwind, and a mural, and a mirror—Hedva's prose is incisive and empathetic, wholly comedic and deeply poignant. This story about the life of our ideas, the trajectory of our dreams, and the burden of our loves is wildly moving and entirely original. Hedva deftly juggles questions of ambition and debt with what we owe others, and what we owe ourselves, resulting in a novel that's both honest and enrapturing. Your Love Is Not Good is a genuine blast.” —Bryan Washington
“Your Love Is Not Good is a dazzling tale of claustrophobia and neglect. Swinging deftly between savage realism, scathing social satire, and brutal erotic haze, Johanna Hedva moves from agony to alchemy in this meticulously layered portrait of intimate corruption. Bursting into the broken places between shame and self-creation, trauma and accountability, righteousness and complicity, Your Love Is Not Good cracks open the art world to exorcise the pain of belonging.” —Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
About Your Love is Not Good
At an otherwise forgettable party in Los Angeles, a queer Korean American painter spots a woman who instantly controls the room: gorgeous and distant and utterly white, the centre of everyone’s attention. Haunted into adulthood by her Korean father’s abandonment of his family, as well as the spectre of her beguiling, abusive white mother, the painter finds herself caught in a perfect trap. She wants Hanne, or wants to be her, or to sully her, or destroy her, or consume her, or some confusion of all the above. Since she’s an artist, she will use art to get closer to Hanne, beginning a series of paintings with her new muse as model. As for Hanne, what does she want? Her whiteness seems sometimes as cruel as a new sheet of paper.
When the paintings of Hanne become a hit, resulting in the artist’s first sold-out show, she resolves to bring her new muse with her to Berlin, to continue their work, and her seduction. But, just when the painter is on the verge of her long sought-after breakthrough, a petition started by a Black performance artist begins making the rounds in the art community, calling for the boycott of major museums and art galleries for their imperialist and racist practices.
Torn between her desire to support the petition, to be a success, and to possess Hanne, the painter and her reality become more unstable and disorienting, unwilling to cut loose any one of her warring ambitions, yet unable to accommodate them all. Is it any wonder so many artists self-destruct so spectacularly? Is it perhaps just a bit exciting to think she could too?
Your Love Is Not Good stuffs queer explosive into the cracks between identity and aspiration, between desire and art, and revels in the raining debris.
About Johanna Hedva
Johanna Hedva is a Korean American writer, artist, and musician who was raised in Los Angeles by a family of witches, and now lives in LA and Berlin. Hedva is the author of the essay ‘Sick Woman Theory’, originally published in 2016, which has now been translated into ten languages. Hedva is also the author of the novel On Hell, which was one of Dennis Cooper’s favourite books of 2018, and the nonfiction collection Minerva the Miscarriage of the Brain. Their albums are The Sun and the Moon and Black Moon Lilith in Pisces in the 4th House.
About Vivian Sming
Vivian Sming (she/they) is an artist-publisher based in the Bay Area, who produces a wide range of artists' books through her publishing studio Sming Sming Books. Formed in 2017, the studio experiments with books as art, discourse, exhibition, and archive, working in collaboration with artists whose works and ideas inform design, material, and printing choices. Sming is invested in creating books from practices that are challenging to represent on paper, and is committed to promoting critical discourse and advancing cultural equity through the format of publishing.
Accessibility at the Event
Our event space is located on the ground floor of Green Apple Books on the Park. There are no stairs between the entrance and the event space.
Our restroom is available about half an hour before event start, and then available after the event. It is not available during the event (it is behind the staging area). Please plan accordingly.
We will have two spaces reserved for wheelchair/mobility device users. We can always make more reserved seating available should we need.
While masks are no longer required in our event space, we do strongly encourage their use.
Falling in lust with a gorgeous white model could be a great career move for a Korean American painter, unless it's the surest route to self-destruction. Your Love Is Not Good is a queer, dark-hearted satire of the glamour and ugliness of the art world-wrapped in a novel of uncommon punk elegance.