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Comprehensive Nam June Paik Retrospective Opens at Museum Kunst Palast in Dusseldorf
The video installation 'Buddha Duchamp Beuys 1989' stands during a press conference for the Korean artist Nam June Paik (1932-2006) exhibition held at the Kunst Palast Museum in Duesseldorf, Germany, 09 September 2010. Nam June Paik's artworks continually bring together contrasting opposites. The exhibition is runs from 11 September to 21 November. EPA/HORSTOSSINGER.

DUSSELDORF.- In collaboration with Tate Liverpool, the museum kunst palast dedicates a comprehensive retrospective to Nam June Paik (*Seoul 1932, +Miami 2006), founder of video and media art. With numerous loans drawn from both international public and private collections, the exhibition brings together German, Anglo-American and Korean research on Paik’s work for the first time and provides an extensive overview of the crucial developments of this extraordinary and influential artist of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The works
The spectrum of this unique showcase ranges from music, (Fluxus-) actions and performance through to the media works: here the “materialised” works are juxtaposed to video works as well as musical scores, (Fluxus-) concepts and manuscripts dating from the 1950s and 1960s as explosive intellectual charges.

Sculptural works
Over thirty large sculptural works will be displayed, numbering among which is the installation Laser Cone, from 1998, to be shown in Germany for the first time. Some of the other exhibition highlights are Egg Grows, 1984, One Candle, 1989, and Internet Dream, 1994. Similarly presented for the first time as part of an exhibition, is a large group of the famous TV Buddhas.

Sketches and manuscripts
Works in graphics, such as a large selection of hand-drawn sketches, will likewise be displayed. Furthermore, visitors will be given the opportunity of becoming acquainted with Paik’s approach to his work and to his way of thinking by way of numerous documents, such as photographs, letters, texts and various other manuscripts.

Paik and the Rhineland
By way of detailed research, the artist’s close affinity to Düsseldorf and to the Rhineland is given special attention. Indeed, it was here in the years between 1958 to1963 that Paik was to evolve from the composer and musician who caused a great stir in the art scene with dramatic actions and “anti-music”, through to the “father” of video art. Paik taught as professor at the Arts Academy of the City of Düsseldorf from 1979 to 1995.

Paik and other artists
The fact that Paik’s work is to be understood in its intensive cooperation with other artists, especially illustrates that complex of works and documents dedicated to Paik and his muse – the legendary musician and action artist – Charlotte Moorman, as well as those which show Paik in the context of the group Fluxus: until the mid 1960s Paik was not only to play a central role as co-actor in Fluxus – the international reservoir of progressive artistic forces in the intermediate spaces between music, theatre and fine arts –, but also an organiser, a co-director together with Fluxus founder George Maciunas, and communicator. Paik’s life-long connection with Joseph Beuys, with whom he performed a number of impressive concerts/actions, goes back to the early days of Fluxus: the two artists – two shamans of the 20th century – had been close both as friends and as artists since Festum Fluxorum Fluxus, performed at the Arts Academy of the City of Düsseldorf in February, 1963.

Shifting art to different levels
In his work, Paik brought together apparently paradoxical phenomena. Shifting art to different levels, he went on to transgress its boundaries and, according to Mary Bauermeister, companion during the early years, would constantly initiate “new states of consciousness”: art as permanent experiment, as collage of heterogeneous strands challenging social, political, technological and economic process, consistently formed the core of Paik’s work.

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September 12, 2010

Comprehensive Nam June Paik Retrospective Opens at Museum Kunst Palast in Dusseldorf

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