Nam June Paik, Sistine Chapel, 1993/2019 Installation view at SFMOMA © Nam June Paik Estate Photo: Jon Huffman.Keyvisual "Nam June Paik: i Expose the Music" / Nam June Paik, Sistine Chapel, 1993/2019 Installation view at SFMOMA © Nam June Paik Estate Photo: Jon Huffman / Graphic: TenTen Team

Nam June Paik: I Expose the Music

Fri 17.03.2023 – Sun 27.08.2023
Level 6

9€ / 5€ (reduced)

Nam June Paik liked to describe himself as “the world’s most famous bad pianist,” alluding to the musical and performative element in his work. The exhibition Nam June Paik: I Expose the Music by Museum Ostwall im Dortmunder U presents the work of the video art pioneer by focusing on live moments that run like a thread through his artistic career.

The exhibition, which opens on 16 March 2023, shows approximately 100 works, including installations, sculptures, audio and video works, unusual scores, instructions for action and concepts, as well as photographic documents and posters. They illustrate how the audience directly experienced Paik’s performances and was actively involved, whether in a gallery space or in a live television broadcast. For the first time in Germany, the powerful sounds and images of the spatial installation Sistine Chapel (1993) will be shown, which, as an early example of multimedia immersion, stages a remix of Paik’s pop/cultural history.

Paik’s principles: Participation and Cooperation

The exhibition is curated by Rudolf Frieling (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) in close cooperation with Museum Ostwall. It refers to the museum’s collection, which focuses on Fluxus. A central piece in the exhibition is part of the collection, Paik’s key work Schallplatten-Schaschlik (1963/1980), with which visitors could create their own music mix.

Other chapters of the exhibition are devoted to Paik’s collaboration with Charlotte Moorman, for example with the work Oil Drums (1964/1991), his early collaboration with Karlheinz Stockhausen in Originale (1961/1964) and his hitherto little-explored relationship with Dieter Roth. Various interactive works by Paik also involve the audience in this exhibition, for example Random Access (1963) and Participation TV (1969/1982), in which visitors generate electronic sounds or images.

Artistic interventions within the exhibition

As a continuation of Paik’s work Sinfonie for 20 Rooms (1961), four international artists have been invited to performatively refer to Paik’s work: Annika Kahrs (Germany), Autumn Knight (United States), Aki Onda (Japan) and Samson Young (Hong Kong) will use Paik’s score as inspiration for site-specific works.

17.03. – 07.05.23

Performance by the artist on the occasion of the exhibition opening on 16.03.23, 20.00 – 22.00 hrs.

The installation by artist, composer and curator Aki Onda is a direct homage to Nam June Paik. It draws from existing „field recordings“ and voice recordings made specifically for the project. Onda also employs a prepared piano and used radios to create a constantly varying soundscape.

13.05. – 02.07.23

Performance by the artist on 01. and 02.07., further performances by local actors* on 21.05., 04.06., 11.06. and 25.06.23

The performance and video artist Autumn Knight will show a multi-channel video work in collaboration with Schauspiel Dortmund. Actors* of the ensemble interpret various texts and enter into dialogue with each other via the videos. Her exploration of Paik also includes another filmic work as well as performances.

08.07. – 23.07.23

08.07.: 1st Movement, 15.07.: 2nd Movement, 22.07.: 3rd Movement and 23.07.23: 4th Movement

Annika Kahrs performs a symphony in several parts together with the artists Andy Ingamells, TINTIN PATRONE and Louis d’Heudieres as well as musicians from Dortmund . The movements of the symphony – the Movements – will be developed in performances during the weekends. The traces of each performance will remain in the space for the duration of Annika Kahrs‘ project.

29.07. – 27.08.23

Performance by the artist on 29 and 30.07.23

Samson Young’s engagement with Paik’s symphony results in a theatrical installation of moving light, drawings and sculptures, and associated performance. Young moves through the various sound sources in the installation, thereby creating sounds. Visitors experience the whole thing live as a six-hour performance.

Curatorial team: Rudolf Frieling, Christina Danick and Stefanie Weisshorn-Ponert

Museum directors: Regina Selter and Florence Thurmes

Supporting programme for Nam June Paik: I Expose the Music

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The exhibition is sponsored by the Kunststiftung NRW.