New York

Nam June Paik

Global Village

Nam June Paik’s newest videotape offers the possibility of a completely new trend in entertainment. Shown to a capacity crowd, the audience of devoted fans must have been prepared for anything the master had to offer, from the most outlandishly abstract patternings to full-blown conceptualizing. What they got was an amazingly enjoyable piece of work. Despite all its radical cutting and split-screen effects, They Can’t Lick Stamps in China was funny, enticing and provocative.

Paik used several theatrical premises to introduce themes and gimmicks. His collaborator (and art writer) Gregory Battcock was chief “actor” in the story, providing the plotline: complaining of the cold, he is sent from his New York office to seek sunny refuge aboard a cruise ship. The travelogue premise allowed Paik to intercut scenes from previously made tapes as well as tapes from other artists. Mixing exotic sights

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