Duan Jianyu, Peter Pakesch: Automatic Writing – Automatic Understanding




The publication Automatic Writing – Automatic Reading took shape through the correspondence between curator Peter Pakesch and artist Duan Jianyu.

Facing the enigmas brought through Duan Jianyu’s paintings, Pete Pakesch acutely captured the common grounds between Duan Jianyu’s paintings and the poems from Paul Celan (“Paul Celan’s enigma, like the one many special poets own, is proverbial, thus becoming strong in the transgression of cultures and borders”), therefrom starting a series of lively written conversation. Hence, the book leads to an investigation between poetry and painting, different realms of ideas and metaphors, different existence and images that go beyond existence.

     There are two realms present in parallel in an uncanny way,
     language and painting,
     one might tell about the other.
     Both deal with life,
     and the impossibility to come to ends with it, in the end.


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Texts: Peter Pakesch, Duan Jianyu
Paintings: Duan Jianyu
Designer: maf@bitmob.cc
Language: English, German
Size: 21 × 15 cm
Pages: 91
Year: 2020
The Pavilion
Collaborating Institution: New Century Art Foundation


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Photo by Wen Peng
Image and Text: the shop, ©Authors, the shop, 2020


[About Authors]

Duan Jianyu is an artist born in 1970 in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China. She graduated from the oil painting department at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 1995. She currently lives and works in Guanzhou, where she teaches at the South China Normal University of the Arts. In 2010, Duan Jianyu received the Best Artist award of the Chinese Contemporary Art Awards (CCAA).

Peter Pakesch is a writer and curator born in 1955 in Graz, Austria. He has been Chairman of the Maria Lassnig Foundation in Vienna since 2015. Peter Pakesch was the Artistic Director of the Universalmuseum Joanneum and Founding Director of Kunsthaus Graz, Austria, from 2003 to 2015; Director of the Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland, from 1996 to 2003.