Saratonin:art:blog


Live Feed: 1972 -1994
May 31, 2009, 4:44 am
Filed under: Installation, Sculpture, Video

Nam June Paik
April 14th – June 6th, 2009
James Cohan Gallery
533 West 26th Street, NY, New York 10001

Discovering the work of Nam June Paik while in college, among other discoveries, such as Bruce Nauman’s Live-Taped Corridor, Rhizome, and  Eyebeam, launched me into my current obsession with Digital Art as Fine Art. There is nothing more satisfying to me than manipulating reality through technology, and manipulating technology for the sake of art. Therefore, I was immensely happy to find that James Cohan Gallery in Chelsea was showing his TV sculptures. This show was the best eye candy I have seen in a while.

Though I loved everything there, my favorites were TV Bed, Living Egg Grows, and Watchdog II.

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TV Bed consistes of an angled metal bed frame holding a bed of televison monitors, depicting images of a cellist, crawling soldiers, toy soldiers crawling on a nude, a nude cellist, crawling soldiers carrying cellos, a woman playing a soldier like a cello, a woman playing a stack of TVs like a cello, and other combinations of cellos, soldiers, women, and TVs, combining imagery of war, sex, and entertainment into a colorful, quickly changing collage of footage. A nude wooden doll and and soldier doll carrying a cello are positioned as if they were crawling up the bed.

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Living Egg Grows is a series of angled televisions ordered smallest to largest with a video of a nude woman in an egg shape, interspersed with glowing white eggs, and ending with three smaller stacked eggs, seemingly narrating the birth and reproduction of a woman through television.

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Watchdog II is a humorous TV sculpture of a dog, with a video camera on its tail providing sideways live feed for its snout. The televisions feature colorful distorted video, and loud speakers are transformed into the dog’s ears.

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And, it wouldn’t be a Nam June Paik show without Enlightenment Compressed, or TV Buddha, where a Buddha figure sits on part of a monitor and meditates on live feed of himself shown on a small television in front of him.

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