Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 8pm
Waiting for Godot in New Orleans: The bootleg video.
Presented by Paul Chan
For five nights in November 2007, artist Paul Chan, working with New York's Classical Theatre of Harlem, and the public arts group Creative Time, staged free site-specific outdoor performances of Samuel Beckett's emblematic play Waiting for Godot in two New Orleanian neighborhoods destroyed by the flooding from the levee breaks during Hurricane Katrina. The play featured Wendell Pierce, a native of New Orleans and star of the HBO television series The Wire. Over 5,000 people attended the performances, one staged in the middle of the street in the Lower Ninth Ward, and the other in front of an abandoned house in the Gentilly neighborhood. The performances were part of the larger project which also consisted of a fund to help local rebuilding and reorganizing efforts, and a series of dinners, lectures, classes, and events that unfolded throughout the city during the fall of 2007. The project was entitled Waiting for Godot in New Orleans: a play in two acts, a project in three parts.
Because Godot was never meant to be seen outside its original context and form, and because of legal issues, there was hardly any video documentation of the performances themselves. But there are some. And tonight, he’ll show them for the first time in New York.
Paul Chan lives and works in New York. His recent solo exhibitions have been presented at the New Museum, New York (2008); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, (2007); Serpentine Gallery, London (2007); The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, (2006 – 07); Portikus, Frankfurt, (2006); Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall (2006); Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong (2006); UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2005); and The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston (2005). Selected group exhibitions include The Turin Triennale, Turin (2008); The Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul (2007), The 2006 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York; New Work/ New Acquisitions, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2005); 8th Biennale d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, France (2005); Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2004).
In 2002, Chan was part of the American aid group Voices in the Wilderness that broke US sanctions and federal law by working in Baghdad before the US invasion and occupation. In 2004 he collaborated with the group Friends of William Blake to create The People's Guide to the Republican National Convention, a free map distributed throughout New York to help protesters to get in or out of the way of the RNC. In 2007. Chan worked 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.
Tickets - $6, available at door.