In the Expanded Field…
Paul Chan: Selected Writings 2000-2014
In 2008, news rippled through the media that the internationally acclaimed artist Paul Chan (b. 1973) seemingly abandoned art at the height of his career, stopped making work and turned down multiple exhibition opportunities. After two dormant years, the art world virtuoso launched Badlands Unlimited in 2010, a publishing imprint that “makes books in the expanded field” and whose inventory includes e-books, limited edition books in print, and artist works in digital and printed media. This year Paul Chan added another selection to Badlands’ ever-expanding inventory, his own selected writings.
A truly eye-opening compilation, Paul Chan: Selected Writings 2000-2014 manages to be both universally revelatory and deeply personal. Edited by George Baker and Eric Banks, the book is divided into four main sections according to topic: Aesthetics and Politics, Theory and Practice, Fonts and Works, Artists and Writers. The categories themselves are binary and suggest the tensions present throughout much of the artist’s writing. Though certainly not his first publication, this collection of texts reveals the multiplicity of Chan’s interests, inspirations, thought processes and creative works. With references to everything from outsider artists like Henry Darger to art world favorites like Chris Marker and Marcel Duchamp, and including his own coded fonts and text works, Chan connects the oft-perceived isolated field of art to the real world. Though varied in topics and structure, a thread of similarity weaves its way through the writings: the artist himself. Chan’s straightforward writing style makes complicated concepts such as global economics and art theory approachable to all readers. Equal parts complex and surprisingly simple, Paul Chan: Selected Writings 2000-2014 alerts readers to the ebb and flow of the world around them.
Paul Chan: Selected Writings 2000-2014 was published by Laurenz Foundation, Schualager and Badlands Unlimited on the occasion of the exhibition Paul Chan – Selected Works at Schaulager, Basel (April 12 – October 19, 2014). To learn more about the concurrent exhibition, visit the Schaulager website, here.
For more information or to purchase a copy of wordPaul Chan: Selected Writings 2000-2014, visit the Badlands Unlimited website, here.