South Korean artist Nam June Paik is to be honoured with a exhibition dedicated to the influence of his work in Italy, 20 years after he was awarded a Golden Lion at the 1993 Biennale.
The exhibition, running from 16 February – 2 June 2013, has been created in affiliation with the Solared Fondazione delle Arti in Parma, reflecting the presence of Nam June Paik in Italy since he won the prize 20 years ago. The show, entitled ‘Nam June Paik in Italia’, comprises of over 100 major works from Italian collections, which sketch out the relationship that the artist has with Italy.
Born in Seoul 1932, Nam June Paik was a key protagonist of the Fluxus movement, a movement that saw different media and disciplines being blended together during the 1960s. It was in 1965, when he shot the New York traffic during the visit of Pope Paul VI with the first amateur video camera launched by Sony, which really put him on the map. This work, called ‘Café Gogo’, is now recognized as the earliest example of video art in history. It was his continuing exploration of composing, performance, video art and media experimentation that Nam June Paik was reputed for and for what he still is today. Said to be the forerunner of the Fluxus movement, Paik shifted between art, music, theatre and photography, exploiting the television set and video camera in order to create video sculptures and installation.
Regarding his fascination with Italy, Paik stated that, ‘"‘Bel canto’ was the first contact I had with Italy. What I find most intriguing about Italian culture is certainly the quality and the complexity of great Italian opera. Opera represents what I look for in electronic art; there is everything in opera: music, movement, space. And so if an electronic art project comes out successfully, I believe it should be considered an electronic opera.” His love of the opera is testified by the robots dedicated to Luciano Pavarotti and Maria Callas.
His fascination with electronics grew deeper in the 1980s when his research focused mainly on satellite technology and the world of computers.
The exhibition taking place at the Galleria civica di Modena exemplifies the Fluxus movement, with many of the works belonging Antonina Zaru, who had a long-lasting relationship with Nam June Paik. Other highlights are the testaments that include photographic and film documentation of Paik’s many visits to Emilia. It's 20 years since he was a guest in the Germany Pavilion at the 45th Venice Biennale 1993, in which the Pavilion went on to win the Golden Lion and this show recounts his influence since.
For more information - Galleria Civica di Modena