Notes & Ephemera

Sadean Writing Paper

by Paul Chan

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"The reliably arcane Chan laces sexual frenzy with heady lucubration."

—Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker

The Marquis de Sade wrote his masterpiece 120 Days of Sodom in a mere 37 days, during his imprisonment in the Bastille in 1785. With no real writing materials available, he wrote it in tiny writing on a continuous, 12-metre-long (39 feet) roll of paper. In other words, he wrote it on toilet paper. Individual small pieces of writing were smuggled out and later glued together. When the Bastille was stormed and looted on July 14, 1789, at the beginning of the French Revolution, Sade believed the work was lost forever and later wrote that he "wept tears of blood" over its loss.

In memory of Sade, Chan has produced a special and unique form of remembrance for one of the most cunning and controversial writers in the Western world. Sadean writing paper reinterprets the original writing paper Sade used to compose his masterpiece in contemporary terms. Each roll is hand crafted using standard toilet paper from New York based detention centers and wrapped in specially printed tissue paper with a logo designed by Chan that read "This Kills Fascists." Visually anchoring the piece is a graphic label sticker, also designed by Chan. This work premiered at the 2017 New York Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1.


Collect it as a work, write your erotic masterpiece on it, or simply use it to wipe your ass.

2017

Screenprint on tissue, paper

4" x 4.25" x 4.25"

10.16cm x 10.8cm x 10.8cm


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Paul Chan

Paul Chan is a New York-based artist. 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 7 Lights, Serpentine Gallery, London and New Museum, New 2007–2008; Paul Chan, Para/Site art space, Hong Kong, 2006 Chan is the winner of the Hugo Boss Prize in 2014, a biennial award honoring artists who have made a visionary contribution to contemporary art.

2017

Screenprint on tissue, paper

4" x 4.25" x 4.25"

10.16cm x 10.8cm x 10.8cm