los-angeles

Nam June Paik

Dorothy Goldeen Gallery

Nam June Paik’s practice, like that of many of his Fluxus peers from the late ’50s and early ’60s, has existed in uneasy contradiction with the co-opting attempts of the art establishment to circumscribe an ephemeral, often aleatory body of work within an ongoing Modernist/post-Modernist historicism. In much the same way that Joseph Beuys and John Cage have, Paik has become part of the international art elite, his work defined and disseminated in terms of a specific historical time and place. On its own terms, Paik’s work itself has evolved from a dynamic, audience-participatory deconstruction of the reifying effects of mediation and the culture industry to a prime example of reification itself.

These antinomies were perfectly illustrated in this exhibition of Paik’s video sculptures, in which two current video works and a series of prints, all 1989, compared unfavorably with a Fluxus-inspired

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