Sat May 15 - Sun October 3, 2021

Nam June Paik

Nam June Paik has continued to electrify the art world ever since his 1963 debut of television experiments in Exposition of Music - Electronic Television, his first solo exhibition. Paik challenged visitors to participate by activating modified TV sets and playing radically transformed instruments--blurring the distinction between performer and audience. Playful and interactive, Paik's immersive environment expanded the boundaries of art, music and technology, and laid the groundwork for his career as the founder of video art.

Organized thematically, the exhibition will unite many of Paik's most iconic and provocative works from throughout his career. In TV Buddha (1974), an 18th-century wooden Buddha appears to watch itself on a modern television, typifying the influence of Zen Buddhist philosophies on Paik's approach to art and technology. Also on view will be TV Garden (1974-77/2002), an immersive installation featuring dozens of TV sets alongside lush foliage in a futuristic landscape where technology is an integral part of the natural world.

Nam June Paik will partially restage the artist's pivotal 1963 solo exhibition, Exposition of Music - Electronic Television, and his concept of "action music" (as Paik said, "Why is it music? Because it is not 'not music'") will be demonstrated via musical interfaces and some of Paik's earliest manipulated televisions.

Unique to SFMOMA's presentation will be two robots, one each dedicated to composer John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham, two of Paik's key collaborators along with artist Joseph Beuys and cellist Charlotte Moorman. John Cage Robot II (1995) and Merce / Digital (1988), among many other works, will highlight Paik's creative partnerships and collaborative artistic practice.

The retrospective will culminate in the dazzling installation Sistine Chapel (1993), a mesmerizing riot of sound and images from dozens of projectors, taken from the German pavilion which won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale in 1993. Presented in its largest scale of any venue at SFMOMA, and exceeding that of all other works in the exhibition, Sistine Chapel will envelop the audience in an audio-visual remix of Paik's past videos and collaborators seen throughout the exhibition.
Nam June Paik has continued to electrify the art world ever since his 1963 debut of television experiments in Exposition of Music - Electronic Television, his first solo exhibition. Paik challenged visitors to participate by activating modified TV sets and playing radically transformed instruments--blurring the distinction between performer and audience. Playful and interactive, Paik's immersive environment expanded the boundaries of art, music and technology, and laid the groundwork for his career as the founder of video art.

Organized thematically, the exhibition will unite many of Paik's most iconic and provocative works from throughout his career. In TV Buddha (1974), an 18th-century wooden Buddha appears to watch itself on a modern television, typifying the influence of Zen Buddhist philosophies on Paik's approach to art and technology. Also on view will be TV Garden (1974-77/2002), an immersive installation featuring dozens of TV sets alongside lush foliage in a futuristic landscape where technology is an integral part of the natural world.

Nam June Paik will partially restage the artist's pivotal 1963 solo exhibition, Exposition of Music - Electronic Television, and his concept of "action music" (as Paik said, "Why is it music? Because it is not 'not music'") will be demonstrated via musical interfaces and some of Paik's earliest manipulated televisions.

Unique to SFMOMA's presentation will be two robots, one each dedicated to composer John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham, two of Paik's key collaborators along with artist Joseph Beuys and cellist Charlotte Moorman. John Cage Robot II (1995) and Merce / Digital (1988), among many other works, will highlight Paik's creative partnerships and collaborative artistic practice.

The retrospective will culminate in the dazzling installation Sistine Chapel (1993), a mesmerizing riot of sound and images from dozens of projectors, taken from the German pavilion which won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale in 1993. Presented in its largest scale of any venue at SFMOMA, and exceeding that of all other works in the exhibition, Sistine Chapel will envelop the audience in an audio-visual remix of Paik's past videos and collaborators seen throughout the exhibition.
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Category:
Art, Museums

Date/Times:
  • Sat May 15 (10am - 5pm)
  • Sun May 16 (10am - 5pm)
  • Mon May 17 (10am - 5pm)
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SFMOMA 788 Upcoming Events
151 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

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