Nam June Paik
Antrepo No.3

1932 Seoul - 2006, Miami.

Nam June Paik's art had a profound and sustained impact on the media culture of the late 20th century. His work influenced the redefinition of broadcast television and the transformation of video into an artist's medium. Through his projects, writing and teaching, he expanded the definitions and language of artistic production. Inspired by the politics and anti-art movements of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, he pursued a determined quest to combine the potential of performance with technological possibilities.
In its choice of medium, Life (1974/1983) is atypical of Paik's work, but the title, referring to its source material, indicates its close relation with the artist's ongoing explorations of the relationship between art and everyday life. A series of covers of forty-four Life magazines from 1937 to 1972, along with a later special edition from 1983, are arranged in chronological order as if to resemble curriculum vitae. On the magazines Paik has added speech balloons with 'facts' from his biography. The often humorous and ironic bubbles align the artist's biography with the topics and dates covered by Life magazine itself. Over the years, the magazine's influence has turned it into a document of its time, reflecting the process of building an alliance between conservative, pro-American politics and the voyeuristic social chronicles of self-satisfied elites in the popular media. Paik's insertion of his personal, often art related references ('Fluxus will start in Wiesbaden in one week') comments upon and destroys its perceived 'objectivity'.