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“HOMMAGE à Rudolf Augstein”: The Issue of Politics in Nam June Paik’s Wuppertal Exhibition

Wonjung Shin 1

1

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Nam June Paik’s first solo Exhibition at Parnass Gallery in Wuppertal in 1963 is highly regarded in art history as the beginning of video art which characterizes Paik’s art afterwards. This study reflects upon this show from a new perspective: with respect to Paik’s political interests, it presents a differentiated way of its reading. A program note which Paik designed personally for the show has an unusual print substrate: The image from the newspaper pages of Kyunghyang Shinmoon, published in the early sixties, is printed as the background of the flyer. The phrase “HOMMAGE à Rudolf Augstein?” shown on it implies adequately the political scandals both in South Korea and West Germany around 1960. In case of three flyers, Paik created totally different base images; he chose thematically similar reports from various sources, arranged the clippings on a blank sheet of paper and printed the textual collages with politically significant events in the history of South Korea. This clears up the highly political consciousness and the critical view of the artist which both apply also to the international situation. The wall installation at Parnass Gallery, which consists of a page of the Bild newspaper flanked by four so-called stained national flags, indicates the political tensions and ideological conflicts in times of the Cold War.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.