When Modernism collapsed, art and language rushed in, together, in its wake. In their work across media, Art & Language, the conceptual artists collaboration, proclaimed that process was as important as product—that the thought was as important as the art. Hans Ulrich Obrist’s thinking goes even further, taking the crisp lines of Modernism and of time itself and tying them into knots. Each intersection becomes an idea, one that cannot quite fit into the established categories of art, philosophy, fact, or dream. In this unique zine, Paul Chan amplifies Obrist’s refusal of categorical clarity. Chan hand-stitched the reclaimed pages of old books, printing snippets of his conversation with Obrist over images of landscapes, Hans Holbein portraits, and an assortment of accompanying text. The cover of this unique edition shows an image of a 3D portrait of Obrist, between transparency and solidity, between the flat page and the “real” world.
In Wht Ways S Drwng Diff Thn Thnkg? becomes a mutating table in a relational database of friendship, books, drawings, and everything in between. Conversation and imagery are ground up and squeezed together—sometime identifiable, sometimes not—much like Dieter Roth’s Literaturwursts (Literature sausages) made of the pulverized, gelatin-soaked pages of Marx and Hegel.