Nam June Paik - In the Groove


Nam June Paik - In the Groove

13.12.2022 - 28.02.2023 / MSU, 2. kat

The exhibition Nam June Paik - In the Groove features the delightful early experimental art practice of this clever and playful pioneer of media art. Akin to a TV signal or internet impulse, his groundbreaking multimedia work reverberated globally throughout the art world.

Signals, parallels and reflections in the „groove“ of Nam June Paik can be found in Croatian and regional artworks which resonate and crossover many of Paik’s most prominent postulations.

Artists: Nam June Paik, Marina Abramović, Vladimir Bonačić, John Cage, Ivo Deković, Srečo Dragan, Silvio Foretić, Ivan Ladislav Galeta, Sanja Iveković, Nada Kolundžija, Katalin Ladik, Miodrag Lazarev Pashu, George Maciunas, Dalibor Martinis, Charlotte Moorman, Vladimir Petek, Vladan Radovanović, Miroslav Miša Savić, Aleksandar Srnec, Goran Trbuljak, Andrej Zdravič 

Nam June Paik's fiercely experimental and innovative practice was revolutionary for contemporary art. His pioneering work helped define the emerging field of video and new media art, grounded in both a deep understanding of electronic communication technology and in its powerful effects on a global scale. Throughout his career, Paik traversed a plethora of different fields to contemplate and articulate a new society informed by technology and our relationship to it. His incessant drive to question and repurpose media while taking chances with various approaches to art-making has defined his legacy as a true pioneer in the contemporary art canon.

Although Paik's artistic merit is most often interpreted through a western lens of modernism and art history, the artist was a truly international phenomenon. From his South Korean childhood and musical education in Japan to his art career in Europe and the United States, Paik brought a global and hybrid perspective to art practice and has inspired countless others from across Asia and the western world. More than any other single artist, Nam June Paik grasped the revolutionary implications for both art and society with the emergence of video technology into the hands of everyday people. He argued presciently for an 'electronic superhighway' as an open and free network with a global audience, insubordinate to a monopoly of broadcasters.

Showing his works and his creative processes in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb is not just going to inform regional audiences about Nam June Paik, but also reveal his specific relationships and parallel practices with Croatian, Serbian and Slovenian artists. In this way the exhibition will reconfigure certain aspects of media art from the 1960s to the 1990s. The exhibition will be divided into several discursive sections, according to different topics taken up by Nam June Paik.

Curators: Sooyoung Lee, Olga Majcen Linn, Martina Munivrana, Dan Oki

Exhibition production: Petra Cegur

Graphic design: Boris Greiner

Visual identity and exhibition design: William Linn

The exhibition has been made possible with support from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Croatia, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, the City of Zagreb, Zagreb Tourist Board and the Centre for Cross-Cultural and Korean Studies at the University of Split. 

Loan of artworks was realized in cooperation with following institutions and artists: Nam June Paik Art Center (Yongin), Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina (Novi Sad), Museum of Contemporary Art (Belgrade), acb Galéria (Budapest), Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Rijeka), Croatian Film Association (Zagreb), Electronic Arts Intermix (New York), Maribor Art Gallery, The National Museum of Modern Art (Zagreb), Grey Area – Space for Contemporary and Media Art (Korčula), Ivo Deković, Srečo Dragan, Silvio Foretić, Sanja Iveković, Dalibor Martinis, Vladimir Petek, Vladan Radovanović, Andrej Zdravič.

Exhibition partner: Nam June Paik Art Center, Yongin