NAM JUNE PAIK
from the 18th Century to Matrix
The work of Nam June Paik, considered the father of video art,
shows its powerful validity in the exhibition
that El Instante Fundación opens on Thursday, February 15th , 2018.
Madrid, February 8, 2018. "From the 18th Century to Matrix" shows a selection of works created by Paik that are a part of the Pierre Huber Collection. Pierre Huber, founder of the Art & Public Gallery (Geneva), created a collection of artistic artifacts where the video has a prominent place. This great art connoisseur considers this medium as a privileged tool of expression of his generation and therefore of contemporary art to which he contributed with a new specific language. In this context Paik is an inescapable artist.
Nam June Paik, 18th Century TV, 1967-1969 Pierre Huber Collection
The Korean artist (1932-2006), a trained musician, laid the bases of the artistic image in movement of the 20th century. His creative achievements and the great variety of his work give him a crucial role in the fusion of art and technology; expanded the way of understanding and defining the arts through the media. In 1964 Paik developed with the technician Shuya Abe the first electronic image manipulator; this video synthesizer allowed to edit several channels, images and colors as if they were one, the spectrum of psychedelia, from ultraviolet to infrared. According to the artist, who proclaimed the need to entertain every second, the synthesizer at the service of television sought a versatility that placed the screen at the height of the canvas in art history, allowing it to express itself: with as much precision as Leonardo / as freely as Picasso / as colorful as Renoir / as profoundly as Mondrian / as violent as Pollock / and as lyrically as Jasper Johns.
Paik focuses into the transcendental art function, the understanding of environment changing and the extraordinary impact that the moving image will continue to have during the XXI century. "Main Channel Matrix" (1993-1996) is a large sculpture / video-wall composed by 65 televisions and an iconic video. It is considered one of the most important and famous videos ever made that transformed the television and video broadcasts and the contemporary art of the twentieth century: "Global Groove" , first broadcast on January 30th, 1974. This work is a radical manifesto about the global communications in the saturated world of media. Paik presents an electronic collage, a pastiche of sound and image that subverts the television language. With a surreal visual ingenuity and a recovered neodada sensibility, Paik gathers transcultural elements, figures from the world of art and pop iconography. A controlled chaos that colors, juxtaposes, synthesizes and interweaves avant-garde artists such as Cage or Cunningham, performers like Moornam with Pepsi ads or politicians like Nixon on a hallucinatory journey through the channels of a global TV, according to Electronic Art Intermix.
In 1975, Paik coined the term "electronic superhighway” pointing out the importance of the media and popular culture from an artistic perspective, anticipating or intuiting the digital networks so heterogeneous that flood our day to day.
Next to this work, "18th century TV" (1967-69) is shown as an image of mourning, an evocation of something lost. A stamp survival of the Japanese artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Both works are a whirlpool where the history of art is confused.
Paik was a prominent member of a difficult classification movement, Fluxus, who starred in a radical and new way of making art, of relating to the public and that questioned the usual channels of the artistic world. Experimental art and performance were his area of artistic expression. Fluxus puts at the front of his artistic and social research the everyday routine that breaks into the work of art without mediation. In this era, from the 60s and early 70s, terms were coined or claimed to remain definitively in the history of art: language is the field of action and revision, event, happening, performance, sound art or experimental music, intermediate ... a vision that decisively breaks with the usual artistic disciplines until then. Proof of this are the photographs belonging to the collection Fluxus-Di Maggio, donation from the Vostell Museum of Malpartida in Cáceres, where the cellist Charlotte Moorman is caught in moments of artistic action in collaboration with Nam June Paik.
Fluxus was a movement with many centers of action that shared in other countries aesthetic and artistic principles, for example, in Spain, their coreligionists were grouped in ZAJ with Walter Marchetti, Juan Hidalgo or Esther Ferrer as some of its most prominent members.
Nam June Paik
Nam June Paik (1932–2006), internationally recognized as the "Father of Video Art," created a large body of work including video sculptures, installations, performances, videotapes and television productions. He had a global presence and influence, and his innovative art and visionary ideas continue to inspire a new generation of artists.
Born in 1932 in Seoul, Korea, to a wealthy industrial family, Paik and his family fled Korea in 1950 at the outset of the Korean War, first to Hong Kong, then to Japan. Paik graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1956, and then traveled to Germany to pursue his interest in avant-garde music, composition and performance. There he met John Cage and George Maciunas and became a member of the neo-dada Fluxus movement. In 1963, Paik had his legendary one-artist exhibition at the Galerie Parnass in Wuppertal, Germany, that featured his prepared television sets, which radically altered the look and content of television.
After immigrating to the United States in 1964, he settled in New York City where he expanded his engagement with video and television, and had exhibitions of his work at the New School, Galerie Bonino and the Howard Wise Gallery. In 1965, Paik was one of the first artists to use a portable video camcorder (Portapak-Sony). In 1969, he worked with the Japanese engineer Shuya Abe to construct an early video-synthesizer that allowed Paik to combine and manipulate images from different sources. The Paik-Abe video synthesizer transformed electronic moving-image making. Paik invented a new artistic medium with television and video, creating an astonishing range of artworks, from his seminal videotape Global Groove (1973) that broke new ground, to his sculptures TV Buddha (1974), and TV Cello(1971); to installations such as TV Garden (1974), Video Fish (1975) and Fin de Siecle II (1989); videotapes Living with the Living Theatre (1989) and Guadalcanal Requiem (1977/1979); and global satellite television productions such as Good Morning Mr. Orwell, which broadcast from the Centre Pompidou in Paris and a WNET-TV studio in New York City Jan. 1, 1984.
Paik has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, including two major retrospectives, and has been featured in major international art exhibitions including Documenta, the Venice Biennale and the Whitney Biennial. The Nam June Paik Art Center opened in a suburb of Seoul, South Korea, in 2008.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum Acquires the Complete Estate Archive of Visionary Artist Nam June Paik in 2009.
(Biographical review taken from the Smithsonian Museum)
Pierre Huber, the founder of Art & Public, has announced that he will close the gallery in Geneva and relocate to Portugal, planning to settle in the Villa Rafaela
“For nearly forty years I have had the privilege of living my passion for contemporary art and following the evolution and radical changes that have transformed the scene. It is from Portugal that I left, following the Revolution of the Carnations, to open my first gallery in Cartigny near Geneva where I met and loved so many friends. I would like to extend my warmest thanks to all those who have supported me so long,” said Huber in an e-mail to Art Forum.
Established in 1984, Huber’s eponymous gallery focused on Minimalist and Conceptual artists from the 1960s and 1970s, namely Robert Barry, On Kawara, and Sol LeWitt. He also exhibited works by emerging artists such as Steven Parrino and Steve di Benedetto and a number of photographers, including Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Larry Clark, and Yasumasa Morimura. In 1992, the gallery began operating under Art & Public. Since then, it has staged shows by Sylvie Fleury, Mariko Mori, Nam June Paik, and Fischli & Weiss. Huber also expanded its representation of Asian artists, adding Subodh Gupta, Gu Dexin, Qiu Xiaofei, Chen Shaoxiong, Lu Hao, Rashid Rana, and Nataraj Sharma to its program in recent years.
(Art Forum data, April 2017)
El Instante Fundación
When thus I hail the Moment flying:
“Ah still delay-thou are so fair!”
El Instante Fundación arises to conduct and encourage others to develop a reflection about present time in our lives. It is a place of reflection, the unexpected and obliquity.
It is born as a transversal project, wishin to collaborate with other foundations and institutions and embracing different practices of science and art. Moments are interrelated just like tales, like miracles.
Not only it aims to discuss the intimate movements of the spirit in search of itself, El Instante also wishes to express and conform a way of being within a present culture and historical time.
Since the inauguration a year ago of Christian Boltanski’s work "Les registres de Grand Hornú" , El Instante has hosted the exhibition "Azucar y Nicotina" by Miguel Ángel Campano and a workshop with this artist, intended to the understanding of Spanish painting from the 80's. The Foundation is also organizing concerts during the cycle Música en El Instante, always with the collaboration of La Escuela de Música del Reina Sofía and other institutions.
NAM JUNE PAIK, from the 18th century to Matrix
Pierre Huber Collection
Thursday, February 15 - Monday, April 9, 2018
El Instante Fundación
Palos la Frontera, 20. Madrid 28012 Madrid, Spain
Opening. Encounter with Pierre Huber
Thursday, February 15 at 8:00 p.m.
From Tuesday to Saturday from 12 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Closed Monday; March 15-16 and April 28-30.
For more information: Tel. +34 910 522 480