February 25, 2009 - The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago - Paul Chan: My laws are my whores
February 25, 2009

Paul Chan: My laws are my whores

Paul Chan
My laws are my whores, 2008
Charcoal and paper

Paul Chan
My laws are my whores

March 1 to April 12, 2009

5811 South Ellis Avenue
Chicago Illinois 60637


Paul Chan: My laws are my whores

Paul Chan’s digital videos combine outsider art, surrealism, and popular culture in dystopian visions engendered by events of grave social injustice. The centerpiece of his exhibition at The Renaissance Society will be a series of nine large, text-based, ink drawings of fonts that convert the keyboard symbols into pornographic language derived from characters in the work of Marquis de Sade, a figure whose carnal transgressions questioned the limits of individual sovereignty. The exhibition will also include large portraits of the Supreme Court Justices and two new moving-image works.

Paul Chan was born in Hong Kong in 1973 and currently lives and works in New York. He earned a B.F.A. in Video/Digital Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996 and an M.F.A. in Film/Video/New Media from Bard College in 2002. Chan’s installation and video work has been exhibited at the New Museum, New York (2008); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2007); the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2007); the National Museum of China, Beijing (2007); Museum of Modern Art in New York (2005); among others.

Related programs

Sunday, March 1, 4:00–7:00 pm
featuring a talk with the artist from 5:00–6:00pm in Cobb Hall Room 307 (directly below the gallery)

Monday, March 2, 2009, 5:30 pm
Paul Chan
Kent Hall, Room 120, University of Chicago

As his work suggests, Chan always has something to say. His career as both an artist and activist serves as an invaluable example of the social, political, and cultural forces that have shaped contemporary art over the past decade.

This event is co-sponsored with the University of Chicago Open Practice Committee.

Sun, March 8, 2009, 2:00 pm
“You are entering a gay and lesbian free zone”: On the radical dissents of Justice Scalia and other (post) queers
Bernard E. Harcourt
Julius Kreeger Professor of Law and Criminology at the University of Chicago Law School
Cobb Hall, Room 403, University of Chicago

Examining Justice Antonin Scalia’s minority dissent over Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark ruling in which Texas sodomy laws were struck down, this talk will raise questions about the implication of Lawrence for the ongoing judicial sex wars and criminal law.

The Renaissance Society is located on the campus of the University of Chicago, in Cobb Hall, on the fourth floor. It is open Tuesday to Friday 10 am to 5 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 pm. Admission is free. Visit www.renaissancesociety.org to learn more about the exhibitions and events.


The Renaissance Society has earned its reputation as one of the premier cultural institutions for leading-edge contemporary art in the United States through its longstanding commitment to presenting work by the most challenging and compelling artists of the day. Many of these exhibitions represent the artists’ national or Midwestern premieres, and many have included newly commissioned work. The museum offers educational programs that supplement the exhibition schedule, including concerts, lectures and readings.

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