Paul Chan Video Screening


Due to unforeseen commitments, Paul Chan is not able to travel to speak on February 1st as announced. We are pleased, however, to be able, in conjunction with Western Front Exhibitions and courtesy of Greene Naftali Gallery, New York, to present a screening of Chan’s videos, The Tin Drum Trilogy.

The three videos of the trilogy are:

RE: THE_OPERATION (28 Minutes, 2002)
“Ideas were pressing against one another like rams. Hate had a sanitary pace. Old age drew laughter and the child was encouraged to bite. The world was all flags.” – HenrI Michaux

Based on a set of drawings that depict members of the George W. Bush administration as wounded soldiers in the war against terrorism, RE: THE_OPERATION explores the sexual and philosophical dynamics of war through the lives of the members as they physically engage each other and the “enemy”. Letters, notes, and other textual ephemera written by “Bush” and others are narrated and accompanied by digital snapshots from around the world as they articulate the neuroses and obsessions that drive them toward infinite war.

“It is very nearly the end. It is very nearly life.” – Helene Cixous

Baghdad… is an “ambient” video essay of life in Baghdad before the American invasion and occupation. Videographed by Chan and a host of Iraqis working with Voices in the Wilderness, a Nobel peace prize nominated activist group working in Iraq to stop the drive for war, Baghdad… intimately portrays Iraqis singing, dancing, and struggling as they await the coming of another war. Subtitled in seven languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish).

NOW PROMISE NOW THREAT (33 Minutes, 2005)
“Now too late, he understood her. The heart that pumped out love, the mouth that spoke the Word, didn’t count.” – Toni Morrison, Beloved

Part documentary, part visual manifesto, NOW PROMISE NOW THREAT uses Omaha, Nebraska (population 390,000, literally located in the middle of the U.S.) as a site and subject to follow the often unexpected lines connecting people, religion and politics in “red state” America. An evangelical pastor opposes the mixing of church and state on religious grounds. An anti-abortion mother deplores the hypocrisy of the pro-life movement for being pro-war. A young man wants to die for his country so he can–at last–have a life worthy of living. NOW PROMISE NOW THREAT mixes interviews with locally produced footage and kidnapping videos from Iraq transformed into fields of undulating color to create a moving “apologia” for the united red states of America.

Organized by Manuel Pina and William Wood, Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, The University of British Columbia.