Paul Chan

  • Paul Chan, der Pfirsich (peach), 2020, ink on paper.
    slant November 09, 2020

    Aftershock: Paul Chan

    Artforum has invited artists to share a text, image, or video in the immediate wake of the United States presidential election and will be posting their contributions throughout the next week.

    FOR A FEW NIGHTS AND DAYS AFTER NOVEMBER 3, I lost my appetite. Nothing tasted appealing. It was during then that I realized the coronavirus and the political plague that is the current administration share a striking similarity: They both deprive us of our senses.

    Losing our senses of taste and smell are two defining symptoms of Covid. Social distancing has also deprived our sense of touch and of proximity

  • Spread from Paul Chan’s Wht is a n occupation?, 2011, unique paper book, e-book, PDF.

    Paul Chan

    MICHEL FOUCAULT was a comic genius. Take his theory of the rise of pornography in the West. No, he doesn’t pin it on the Greeks. Foucault suggested that the greatest pornographers—the ones who profited most by inciting and spreading sexual desire—were the Catholics. And they achieved this distinction by institutionalizing the most charged erotic form ever invented: the confession.

    The church was, among other things, a social platform for expressing one’s innermost thoughts and desires. Because the church claimed the authority to absolve its members’ sins precisely through their acts of


    LET’S SET THE SCENE. It’s 1968 in Czechoslovakia. Activists in the Communist Party take over and begin to enact a series of economic and cultural reforms to try to revive this stagnant Soviet satellite state. Freedom of speech and of the press are granted. Plans are made for open elections. The movement becomes known as Prague Spring.

    Fall arrives. Moscow cannot tolerate the reform movement any longer and decides to invade the country. By early September, half a million troops from the Soviet Union and four Warsaw Pact countries have marched into Prague. The Czechs, with neither arms nor funds,

  • the best books of the year

    Twelve scholars, critics, and artists choose the year's outstanding titles.


    A book like Alastair Wright’s Matisse and the Subject of Modernism (Princeton University Press) is enough to rekindle my faith in the future of art history as a discipline. (Here I could also mention two other such rare pearls from 2005: Maria Gough’s The Artist as Producer: Russian Constructivism in Revolution [University of California Press] and Christina Kiaer’s Imagine No Possessions: The Socialist Objects of Russian Constructivism [MIT Press]). The first amazing trait of Wright’s book is that it manages