Paul Chan (b. 1973)
Ideas were pressing against one another like rams. Hate had a sanitary pace. Old age drew laughter and the child was encouraged to bite. The world was all flags."
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, RE:THE_OPERATION exists as a single channel video and a set of desktop replacement icons for MAC and PC.
"The public to which Mr. Chan's video speaks is mostly anti-war, although whatever your views on the conflict, you cannot help laughing at what appears to be the voice of Colin Powell reading from the writings of Michel Foucault on the inevitability of history, or Condoleeza Rice at the front line dictating a letter to her family back home. My favorite is a voice sample of Donald Rumsfeld saying, "We must learn to live with low-density hope.""
--Benjamin Genocchio, The New York Times, 3/30/03