Skip to content

Screening: TIN DRUM TRILOGY directed by Paul Chan

Spectacle Theater, Brooklyn, NY


April 4, 2017


dir. Paul Chan, 2002-2005.
USA, 111 min.
English, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.



Spectacle Theater is excited to collaborate with critical platform Match Cuts on a new series of screenings. Scroll down for more information on Match Cuts.


“Each video in the series was made utilizing different experimental traditions, but with one consistent theme: that to love your enemy is to know you enemy… The Bush administration (in RE:_THE OPERATION), Iraqis (in BAGHDAD…), and the religious right living in red-state America (in Now promise now threat) are all perceived, rightly or wrongly, as enemies. The task of all three videos has been to make the friend/enemy distinction more difficult while at the same time giving a time-based critique of the political tragedy/farce that is our first five years of the twenty-first Century.” – Paul Chan


The TIN DRUM TRILOGY is comprised of:

2002, 27 min.


“Based on a set of drawings that depict George W. Bush’s administration as wounded soldiers in the war against terrorism, RE:THE_OPERATION explores the sexual and philosophical dynamics of war through the lives of the members as they physically engage each other and the “enemy”. Letters, notes, and digital snapshots “produced” by the members on their tour of duty become the basis of video portraits that articulate the neuroses and obsessions compelling them toward an infinite war. Part M*A*S*H*, part Three’s Company, part philosophical meditation, with a dash of character assassination thrown in.”


2003, 51 min.


“BAGHDAD IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER is an ambient video essay of life in Baghdad before the invasion and occupation. Men dance, women draw and sufis sing as they await the coming of another war. In seven languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish).”


2005, 33 min.


“Now too late, he understood her. The heart that pumped out love, the mouth that spoke the Word, didn’t count.” – Toni Morrison, “Beloved”


“Part documentary, part visual manifesto, NOW PROMISE NOW THREAT uses Omaha, Nebraska (population 390,000, literally located in the middle of the U.S.) as a site and subject to follow the often unexpected lines connecting people, religion and politics in ‘red state’ America. An evangelical pastor opposes the mixing of church and state on religious grounds. An anti-abortion mother deplores the hypocrisy of the pro-life movement for being pro-war. A young man wants to die for his country so he can–at last–have a life worthy of living. Now promise now threat mixes interviews with locally produced footage and kidnapping videos from Iraq transformed into fields of undulating color to create a moving ‘apologia’ for the united red states of America.”


PAUL CHAN is an American artist, writer and publisher. His single channel videos, projections, animations and multimedia projects are influenced by outsider artists, playwrights, and philosophers such as Henry Darger, Samuel Beckett, Theodor W. Adorno, and Marquis de Sade. Paul Chan’s work concerns topics including geopolitics, globalization, and their responding political climates, war documentation, violence, deviance, and pornography, language, and new media.

Chan has exhibited his work at the Venice Biennale, the Whitney Biennial, documenta, the Serpentine Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, and other institutions. Chan has also engaged in a variety of publishing projects, and, in 2010, founded the art and ebook publishing company Badlands Unlimited, based in New York. Chan’s essays and interviews have appeared in Artforum, Frieze, Flash Art, October, Tate, Parkett, Texte Zur Kunst, Bomb, and other magazines and journals.

MATCH CUTS is a weekly podcast centered on video, film and the moving image. Match Cuts Presents is dedicated to presenting de-colonialized cinema, LGBTQI films, Marxist diatribes, video art, dance films, sex films, and activist documentaries with a rotating cast of presenters from all spectrums of the performing and plastic arts and surrounding humanities. Match Cuts is hosted by Nick Faust and Kachine Moore, and produced by Meg Murnane.


Spectacle Theater

Site by exhibit-E®