Waiting for Godot in New Orleans was a series of site-specific performances that took place in New Orleans in 2007. Conceived and organized by the American artist Paul Chan, it embodies his creative response to the city's ongoing dysfunction as well as its inhabitants' collective tenaciousness in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Visiting New Orleans for the first time in November 2006, the artist was struck by the disquieting stillness of what should have been a typically busy, noisy urban center. He soon envisioned an outdoor performance of Samuel Beckett's legendary play, Waiting for Godot. For nine months he worked with local New Orleanian artists, activists, and organizers to formalize the play's production, as well as to broaden the social dimension of the project. The 2007 New Orleans production continues the presentation of the play in similarly charged environments, including one...
Waiting for Godot in New Orleans
PAUL CHAN IS A NEW YORK-BASED ARTIST WHO WAS BORN IN HONG KONG IN 1973. HE HAS EXHIBITED HIS WORK IN THE US AND INTERNATIONALLY, INCLUDING EXHIBITIONS AT UCLA HAMMER MUSEUM (LOS ANGELES, CA); INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART (BOSTON, MA); THE RENAISSANCE SOCIETY (UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO); NEW MUSEUM (NEW YORK); THE SERPENTINE GALLERY (LONDON); AND THE STEDELIJK MUSEUM (AMSTERDAM). HIS WORK HAS ALSO BEEN INCLUDED IN MANY GROUP SHOWS, NOTABLY: PAPER TRAIL: A DECADE IN ACQUISITIONS (WALKER ART CENTER, MINNEAPOLIS); ART IN AMERICA: 300 YEARS OF INNOVATION (NATIONAL ART MUSEUM OF CHINA, BEIJING; SHANGHAI); AND THE WHITNEY BIENNIAL (WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, NEW YORK). CHAN FREQUENTLY HOSTS LECTURES AND PRESENTATIONS RELEVANT TO HIS WORK, SUCH AS “THE ART OF DISARMAMENT: PAUL CHAN IN CONVERSATION WITH KATHY KELLY” (NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY). PAUL CHAN IS REPRESENTED BY GREENE NAFTALI GALLERY, NEW YORK CITY.
Paul Chan; Waiting for Godot in New Orleans. Cultural Politics 1 November 2009; 5 (3): 326–333. doi: https://doi.org/10.2752/175174309X461101
Download citation file: