new-york

Paul Chan

Greene Naftali Gallery

Act I. A country road. A tree. Evening. Act II. Next day. Same time. Same place.

Anyone familiar with the sparse setting of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (his 1948 “tragicomedy in two acts”) likely recognized it as the skeleton upon which Paul Chan hung cacophonous skin for his debut solo show. Yet Chan—who previously has paired such seemingly incongruous aesthetics and philosophies as those of Charles Fourier and Henry Darger—here added a blast of hellfire from the book of Leviticus and peopled his Beckettian stage with, among others, the digital likenesses of the late rapper Biggie Smalls and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini, twenty birds, and a bat. The “stage” was a long, framed screen hanging diagonally across a darkened gallery, each side presenting half of a two-channel, seventeen-minute animated video projection. The panoply of characters, which seemed to multiply and self-destruct

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