Paul Thek in Process evolved from the discovery of an unrealized publication project by the American artist Paul Thek (1933–1988), which had been discussed while he was installing his first space-filling environment, Pyramid/A Work in Progress in 1971, and which was to have been released for documenta 5.
For this project, around 800 images were taken capturing the progress of the installation, as well as the final form of this pivotal work of 1970s installation art, Pyramid/A Work in Progress.
This book contains not only a large number of unpublished images, but also evaluates the complex organizational task of the installation’s conception and eventual realization. It offers an exhibition history seen through the backdoor, with particular attention paid to the status of the ephemeral objects that remain as contingent representatives of the lost work.
The selected and reproduced source material is understood as curated in terms of its re-incorporation of what has been left out of art and exhibition history.
Consequently, the book takes a documentary and fragmentary approach, and reproduces numerous contact sheets and a large selection of the photographic images, all the remaining correspondence between the artist and the institution, the exhibition and work-related ephemera, as well as the press coverage of the show.