October 10, 2006

Paul Chan


October 21 – December 17, 2006

Curator: Daniel Birnbaum

Like fleeting shadows on the ground, we see objects defying gravity. Sunglasses, cars, people – everything is falling against a background in shifting colours. But what appears to be simple shadows are digital animations projected on the floor – a recurring feature in Paul Chan’s ongoing series The 7 Lights. He has completed four out of seven planned works, and Magasin 3 is now showing parts one and two (both from 2005). The curator, Daniel Birnbaum, describes Lights as “a meditation on a disintegrating world”.

Magasin 3 is also showing the video animation Happiness (Finally) After 35,000 Years of Civilization (After Henry Darger and Charles Fourier) (2000-2003). The story is a dramatisation of how we could achieve a better world, based on the ideas of the utopian socialist thinker Charles Fourier (1772-1837), which Chan has illustrated with an imagery inspired by the eccentric Henry Darger (1892-1973). Two years ago, Magasin 3 showed parts of Darger’s life work, a violent epic consisting of thousands of pages of illustrations and writings. Paul Chan says that he has animated this in the way he believes Darger would have worked if he had been alive today and had access to the internet and knowledge about contemporary art and photography. The ideas of theses two eccentrics on an alternative existence blend into a work that comprises both unlimited revelry and devastating war, against a lush green backdrop.

This exhibition is Daniel Birnbaum’s first solo exhibition for Magasin 3 as associate curator. The exhibition at Magasin 3 opens on Saturday, October 21st. The following week, Portikus in Frankfurt – where Daniel Birnbaum is the director – will also open an exhibition with Paul Chan. A catalogue will be produced by both institutions jointly, with essays by the curators.

About the artist:

Paul Chan creates films, animations and drawings in works with references to Goya as well as to Japanese pornography, the Bible and Beckett. He was born in 1973 in Hong Kong, and currently lives and works in New York. He graduated from Bard College in 2002, and has achieved notoriety since then for his art and for his political activism. This will be his first solo exhibition in Europe. Previously this year he has participated in the Whitney Biennial in New York and had a solo exhibition at Blanton Museum of Art, Texas. Other recent exhibitions in which he has participated include Uncertain States of America, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson; Reykjavik Art Museum (2006); the Lyon Biennial (2005); Greater New York, PS1, NY (2005) and Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (2004).

For press inquiries please contact:

Tove Schalin, exhibition coordinator: schalin@magasin3.com, +46 8 545 680 44