The Essential and Incomplete Sade for Sade’s Sake

Paul Chan’s monumental projection Sade for Sade’s Sake takes the work of the notorious pornographer and philosopher, the Marquis de Sade (1740-1814), as a departure point for a nearly six-hour-long rhythmic study of bodily ecstasy and bodily repetition. Chan brilliantly renders the foremost quality of Sade’s pornography–its fanatical appetite not just for the identifying of sexual possibilities, but for their enumeration and classification–as a rhythmic play of silhouetted bodies that fragment into parts, recombine and atomize, in a mechanized copulation poised between manic repetition and wild abandon. This artist’s book brings together for the first time the drawings, writings, notes and fonts created during the production of Sade for Sade’s Sake. It elaborates the full scope and thoughtfulness of the projection as a fascinating treatment of sex and eroticism, compulsion and joy, the social body and the sexual body.

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