Artwork

Nam June Paik
Nam Sat, 1997/98

Nam June Paik studied in Japan and Germany, in 1963 he was the first to work consistently and in a number of ways with television as a medium that could be used by art, thus becoming the much-discussed “father of media art”. Since 1964 he has lived mainly in New York, holding a chair in Düsseldorf from 1979-1995 – the first for video art in any academy. His own video art, inspired by music, and making a crucial mark on the Fluxus movement in the early sixties, was shown internationally after the epoch-making “Exposition of Music – Electronic Television” exhibition in Wuppertal. Paik’s neon and video sculpture Nam Sat was designed for former Daimler Financial Services’ entry hall in Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. It is also visible from the outside through the glass façade in Eichhornstraße. Paik adapted sensibly to the commission situation to realize one of his few, permanently visible “in-situ” works in Germany: the economical geometric neon structures cover the internal walls; thin, multiplying neon lines join to produce abstract forms and concrete signs like hearts, on the one hand forming an independent light sculpture, and on the other hand arraying themselves around series of monitors grouped in several circles around one of the building’s large, load-bearing columns. The monitors show parts of Paik’s video compositions as well as rhythmical sequences of abstract-ornamental images.

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