Patty Chang

Mary Boone Gallery | Uptown

Would Walter Benjamin be repulsed to find his corpulence represented on-screen? Would he be put off by the portrayal of his flaccid penis, of his own emasculation, as an actor playing him is directed to gingerly delight in a woman’s supple foot? Would the man who penned “The Task of the Translator” be giddy or contemptuous over his depiction, in a work ostensibly about translation, as an Orientalist horndog? Such questions, which venture the most crude psychologism, are surely irrelevant, but they are ones you know Patty Chang herself entertained while making her latest video, the forty-two-minute intellectual skin flick The Product Love, 2009, which recently had its New York premiere at Mary Boone Gallery.

Chang also certainly wondered what the legendary Los Angeles–born actress Anna May Wong thought of having her name compared to “blossoms in a cup of tea,” or of being contextualized—twice,

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