London

London

“NAM JUNE PAIK: THE FUTURE IS NOW”

Tate Modern
Bankside
October 17, 2019–February 9, 2020

Curated by Dr. Sook-Kyung Lee and Rudolf Frieling with Valentina Ravaglia and Andrea Nitsche Krupp

Nam June Paik bypassed the dematerializations of art by his contemporaries in Fluxus and Conceptual art, envisioning a virtual, global communication network long before it arrived. Taking back roads to what he would dub the “electronic superhighway,” his 1963 debut show, “Exposition of Television–Electronic Music” (to be partly restaged at Tate Modern this fall), amped up musical experimentation via new media and viewer participation. In the decades that followed, he completed the logic of speculative spectacularization with works like Good Morning Mr. Orwell, 1984, the first immaterial multicity “show” simulcast IRT via satellite, which enlisted some of the entertainment world’s biggest names (Laurie Anderson, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed), and Wrap Around the World, 1988, with David Bowie. In mounting yet another Paik retrospective (of two hundred career-spanning works), Tate and coorganizing institution the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art take on the challenge of an uneven oeuvre—by turns ploddingly literal and dazzlingly ambitious—to recast these mediations of the mediatic as timely once again. Travels to the SFMOMA, spring 2021.