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“Socrates loves philosophy but is mad about Phaedrus. So he seduces the young and handsome man under a tree with the words that matter most.” Back cover of Phaedrus Pron
Artist and writer Paul Chan transforms Phaedrus, the famous dialogue by Plato about love, madness, and the powers of the divine, into a relentless and absurdly funny exchange between two men searching for the right words to say the very wrong things.
Phaedrus Pron was written using a unique set of fonts created by Chan that turns letters, numbers, and grammatical marks into phrases and sentence fragments. Chan’s fonts instantly translate what you type into words that you did not intend to write. Each font embodies a different idiolect, expressing a different “voice” that echoes characters from literature, classical and modern poets, and contemporary public figures.
Works of art in themselves, the fonts extend the possibilities of writing by rewriting what is written with a simple change of font in your computer: from Times new roman to...Phaedrus Pron! Internationally acclaimed artist Paul Chan lives and works in New York. His work has been exhibited widely in many international shows including: Making Worlds, 53rd Venice Biennale, 2009; Medium Religion, ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2008; Traces du sacrê, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2008; 16th Biennale of Sydney, 2008; 10th International Istanbul Biennial, 2007; and Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2006. Recent solo exhibitions include: My laws are my whores, Renaissance Society at the University of 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 York, 2007–2008; Paul Chan—Lights and Drawings, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. In 2007, Chan collaborated with the Classical Theatre of Harlem and Creative Time to produce a site-specific outdoor presentation of Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot in New Orleans. Chan’s essays and interviews have appeared in Artforum, Frieze, Flash Art, October, Tate etc, Parkett, Texte Zur Kunst, Bomb, and other magazines and journals.
Is this art? literature? None of the above?
This is a strange and affecting book. Paul Chan is known as an artist even though he writes about art to in art journals and magazines. But this isn't like any of his writings. It is formatted like a dialogue between Socrates (that philosopher?) and Phaedrus. What they say to each other is just kind of insane. It's hard to get into it but once you do you start to see the rhythm of the phrases and the sentences, a lot of which is scatological and absurd and sometimes very funny. This book is definitely not for everyone. I'm a fan of Chan's artwork so I wanted to own this. He's got another ebook for sale and it's cool that artists are putting out works like this. This book is supposedly written by special fonts that he made. I have no idea that this means. I mean, the font looks pretty much like any font to me. But then maybe it has to do with some other aspect of the book. You want a singular reading experience? This is it.
- Category: Fiction & Literature
- Published: Nov 01, 2010
- Publisher: Badlands Unlimited
- Seller: Badlands Unlimited LLC
- Print Length: 424 Pages
- Language: English