The exhibition, curated by Paik’s student and long time assistant Jochen Saueracker, is the Poland’s first thorough presentation of the artist, including his installations, video works, graphics and drawings. The Paik’s retrospective is the summit of the first year of activity of WRO Art Center, a space for the presentation of contemporary new media art and the reflection on its historical context.
The exhibition’s concept is based on the conviction of the exceptionality of Paik’s art and attitude, and the prophetic accuracy of his views on culture and society. Even today, after the artist’s death, his grand work is a constant reference point and a source of inspiration for artists of all generations, and his notion of Electronic Superhighway, introduced in 1974, has played a major part in the realization of the needs of the coming age.
The works gathered in the exhibition originate from various collections and represent all the periods of Paik’s intensive artistic activity. The lesser known graphics, drawings and sketches on paper, juxtaposed with media works: installations and tapes, make it possible to present a genuinely intermedial artistic way of the ‘Pope of video art’. The exhibition is supplemented by unique recordings of Paik’s actions, including those made by the German broadcaster WDR which took part in the artist’s activities since the 1970s, and biographical documents from the Electronic Art Intermix collection, New York.
The first part of the exhibition, devoted to the 1960s, focuses on the performance art. It includes such exhibits as performance recordings, photo documentation, original writings and music notations, as well as biographical documents. The 1970s are represented by an installation from the renowned TV Buddha series, Small Buddha with Candle TV, and the early experimental video works from the Electronic Arts Intermix collection. The latter works from 1990s include attractive video sculptures Route 66 and Mercury, a sculpture Dharma Wheel Turns, and prints from the Evolution, Revolution, Resolution cycle.