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Art Basel Unlimited: Paul Chan: Bathers on Ogygia

JUN 14 – 17, 2018

Art Basel Unlimited

Art Basel Unlimited
Paul Chan: Bathers on Ogygia


Thu, Jun 14 – Sun, Jun 17 
Hall 1.1, U37
4005 Basel


Bathers on Ogygia continues a body of work by Paul Chan that he calls ‘Breathers’: sculptural works that behave like moving images within the space and scale of the viewer. The ‘Breathers’ consist of nylon bodies activated by industrial fans. The fabric forms are designed using techniques from both pattern-making and physics, resulting in their ecstatic choreography. Since 2009, Chan has pursued animation beyond the screen, commenting that liberating moving images from the ‘frame’ of a screen is one proposal toward broader progress. The bather is a motif often employed in art history to express new attitudes toward nature, sexuality, and shifting societal norms. Bathers on Ogygia adopts this motif in the context of a dismal 21st century. ‘Ogygia’ is the mythical island of Homer’s Odyssey, the home of the demi-god Calypso, who rescued Odysseus after Zeus destroyed his ship. After nursing him back to health, she kept him captive on the island for seven years, wanting him as her husband. The cave where Calypso lived was beautiful and luxurious. She even offered to make him immortal. But Odysseus would not stay. He did not belong there. And he knew it.


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[Image: Paul Chan, Bathers on Ogygia, 2018]

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