Artist Book


by Paul Chan and Hans Ulrich Obrist


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.


Laserjet on Book Pages

8.5 x 11"

40 pages, Unique


Paul Chan and Hans Ulrich Obrist

Paul Chan is an artist who lives in New York. A survey entitled Selected Works was mounted by Schaulager in Basel, Switzerland (April 11-October 19, 2014). His work has been exhibited widely in many international shows including: Documenta 13, Kassel, 2012;Before The Law, Ludwig Museum, Cologne, 2011-12; Making Worlds, 53rd Venice Biennale, Venice, 2009;Medium Religion, ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2008; Traces du sacrê, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2008; 16th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, 2008; 10th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, 2007; and the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of Art, New York, 2006. Solo exhibitions include:My Laws are My Whores, The Renaissance Society and the University of Chicago, Chicago, 2009; Paul Chan: Three Easy Pieces, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, 2008; Paul Chan: The 7Lights, Serpentine Gallery, London and New Museum, New 2007–2008; Paul Chan, Para/Site art space, Hong Kong, 2006. Chan founded Badlands Unlimited in 2010.