Paul Chan

Ruchfeldstrasse 19
April 12–October 19

Curated by Heidi Naef

After 9/11, Paul Chan distinguished himself by confronting the world-historical crises of the ensuing decade through a mesmerizing poetic dialogue with predecessors ranging from Henri Matisse to Maurice Blanchot to Martha Rosler. After carrying out a series of virtuosic projects, including Waiting for Godot in New Orleans, 2007; “The 7 Lights,” 2005–2008; and Sade for Sade’s Sake, 2009, Chan retired from the art world proper, focusing instead on his eccentric Badlands Unlimited publishing house. This April, he will mount his first exhibition since this hiatus began, a period that witnessed the democratic uprisings of 2011, the anthropogenic climate disaster of Hurricane Sandy, and the enraging verdict of the Trayvon Martin case. That this large-scale show will be held in Basel, home to various cultural smorgasbords of the 1 percent, may seem incongruous, but given the unsettling interventions and untimely meditations for which Chan is known, what better site for his reemergence than this contradictory arena?