Deste Foundation, Athens

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Rober Gober
2000 Words series


In placing us at a remove from our relationships to familiar, domestic objects and environments, Robert Goberʼs labor-intensive work defies our understanding of accepted conventions and draws attention to the movement of meaning between materials and across personal histories.

Part of the 2000 Words series, conceived and commissioned by Massimiliano Gioni, and published by the Deste Foundation, Robert Gober: 2000 Words presents the entirety of the sculptorʼs works in the Dakis Joannou Collection and includes an essay by Johanna Burton that examines how the artistʼs work alloys personal histories with collective experience.

Published by the Deste Foundation.

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Robert Gober - 2000 Words series
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On Democracy by Saddam Hussein


In 2003, after returning from a monthlong stay in Baghdad, American artist Paul Chan was given a gift from a colleague in the human-rights group Voices of the Wilderness: a copy of three speeches on democracy written by Saddam Hussein in the 1970s, before he became president of Iraq. The speeches, compiled here for the first time in English, are politically perverse, yet eerily familiar. The then vice president of Iraq characterizes social democracy as demanding authority, and defines free will as the patriotic duty to uphold the good of the state. This volume takes the speeches as an opportunity to ask what democracy means from the standpoint of a notorious political figure who was anything but democratic, and to reflect on how promises of freedom and security can mask the reality of repressive regimes. With drawings by Paul Chan, including a new suite in its entirety, and essays by Bidoun’s Negar Azimi, philosopher and artist Nickolas Calabrese and journalist Jeff Severns Guntzel, this book is the inaugural copublication of the Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art and Chan’s own Badlands Unlimited.

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On Democracy by Saddam Hussein
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