Gallery Korea of the Korean Cultural Center New York
460 Park Ave. between Fifty-Seventh & Fifty-Eighth Sts., sixth floor
Monday - Friday through January 31, free
To celebrate its fortieth anniversary, the Korean Cultural Center New York is hosting the three-part exhibition “Nam June Paik: The Maestro of Time,” which continues at Gallery Korea weekdays through January 31. The free show also honors the fourteenth anniversary of the death of the Father of Video Art, who passed away on January 29, 2006, in Miami when he was seventy-three. The centerpiece is Paik’s massive M200/Video Wall, a barrage of eighty-six television monitors blasting colorful sounds and images that Paik created for the bicentennial of the passing of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who died in Vienna in 1791 at the age of thirty-five. The video sculpture, which Paik referred to as “moving wall paintings,” predicted the age of digital information bombardment as pictures and snippets of performances fly by, from the Korean American artist’s friends and collaborators Joseph Beuys, Merce Cunningham, and John Cage to David Bowie and a man dressed as Mozart. As Paik said way back in 1965, “The cathode-ray tube will someday replace the canvas.”
Tucked away in a corner of the gallery is Paik’s Video Chandelier No. 4, a low-hanging chandelier dangling from what appears to be the top of a tree that has small video monitors in its leaves instead of fruit, strikingly linking technology to nature. Also on view is a series of black-and-white photographs by Jae-young Choi of one of Paik’s avant-garde gut performances, in which the man who coined the term “electronic superhighway” staged a shamanistic ritual on his birthday in 1990, paying tribute to Beuys. Gallery Korea is open 9:00 to 5:00 Monday to Friday but will stay open till 8:00 on January 29.