Thursday, 3 February 2011

Tate. Nam June Paik.

I visited the Tate today to see June Paik's work, i didn't know allot of background about the artist, only had experienced his collaborated laser piece in the Fact couple of days ago, and liked it. I also knew that he worked allot with videos. The first piece i say was Mercury, a piece with 12 televisions projecting different pictures and patterns. I found it very exiting, unfortunately it was juxtapose with the 'opus paintings' which i found a bit of a waste of a space, this confused me a bit about his work, as they were both completely different, therefore my views on theme were completely different. Paik represented Germany in the Venice biennial. In this room i also got a taste of his collaborative pieces, Joseph Beuys, a duet between him on the piano and a man 'beat boxing'. Upstairs i later learnt that he had an interest in avant guard music and his first public performance was with John Cage.
The first room upstairs didn't really interest me, i couldn't really connect with the work, i felt more like a museum collection of objects such as a piano that June Paik had used during his career. I did like the Tv magnet series, where he had placed a magnet on top of a tv, this manipulated the television from withing to produce a strange shape on the screen, i also liked the Cello Tv, but i found the painting on the boxes a bit pointless and 'sloppy'. It didn't add anything to the piece, so not really sure why he bothered. The combination of the physical physique of the Cello against the video recordings worked well, all his videos were all full of psychedelic patterns and vibrant colours, the sort of things you could stare at for a long time.
Without electricity there can be no art.

The second room on the froth floor was worth paying for. It was the Tv garden, i assume this room was about combining nature and technology. There were numerous tv sets hidden in a room full of jungle plant playing a video of the global groove. The clips consist of some tap dancing and a mixture of other types. The colours were still as vibrant and the psychedelic footage contrasted well with the natural greenery. The videos also lit up the room. In a strange way, the explosion of colour and the contrasting clips reminded me of one of the first video pieces i saw during the Liverpool Biennial, by Ryan Trecatrin, that at the time i found quite frightening, but then it grew on me. The way he treats the footage as his paint, and the television set as the canvas, or a supplement for a sculpture piece is a very refreshing way of working.

Moving away from this was a series of similar television based sculptures, also involving some live feed filming of different object, some with fish tanks placed in front of the screen. There was also a 'Robot family' there, this was a very numerous piece with all they're body parts made out of different size televisions, with more colourfull patterns frequently flashing in the screens. But again i found the random paint splashed on the boxed a bit un-needed and pointless, the work was successful as it was. I did enjoy the exhibition, it was nice to see a completely different variation of work in the Tate, and something so vibrant combined with a story about his like. I'm sure this will attract a large variety of people. Worth a fiver.

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