Archive: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Why are these 40 TVs installed between tropical plants?

Why are these 40 TVs installed between tropical plants?

Nam June Paik - TV Garden, 1974 (2002 Version), video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation 4
Nam June Paik – TV Garden, 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation

About TV Garden

No one would think televisions are artistic under normal circumstances. Handy, yes. Useful, quite so. Nam June Paik, however, managed to put television in circumstances where he reveals their artistry. The celebrated artist is regarded as the father of video art and has used manipulated television sets, broadcasted live performances and video installation to depict electronic images in an artistic manner. TV Garden first created in 1974 is a large-scale installation consisting of forty television sets lying on the floor amidst many tropical plants while a video of Global Groove (see below) plays on the screens of the TV sets.

There are many interpretations one can draw including the rather obvious one that this is a merge of nature and technology and the effect each has with the other or on the other hand, the numerous curated content in the media could be considered disorderly as to leading the public back into the jungle. One thing is evident though that TV Garden seeks to tease the senses with a mixture of color and sound. Color from the lush tropical garden makes the canvas for his TV sets. Sound emanates from the TV sets and rustles through the leaves of the various plants that the television sets are nestled among. This artwork grabs the eye and the mind in its juxtaposition effect where the attention of the viewer moves from plant life to television sets and vice versa.

The Artist – Style and Inspiration

Nam June Paik was born in Korea in 1932 and graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1956 where he studies music and study furthering these musical studies at the University of Munich. In Germany, he allowed his fascination with merging music, electronics and arts to reign free. Since then, the artist had used this fascination to make art using television sets featured in video walls, ceilings, quirky robots and floors among other ventures. This has evolved and his work continued to playfully critique and celebrate electronic media.

Paik drew inspiration from his interest in electronics intertwined with his foundation in music and performance. In the mid-1960s, he arrived in New York and joined the Fluxus movement and quickly rose to the forefront of the movement with his work depicting elements of surprise and unfamiliarity. His production, TV garden, is one of the seminal installations resulting from this inspiration and resulted in a merging of the scientific and the natural coming together in a surprisingly aesthetic outcome. TV garden is an example of why an artist should not limit new forms of expression but must keep on reimagining his creativity to bring about innovation.

At Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Nam June Paik - TV Garden, 1974 (2000 version), video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 2
Nam June Paik – TV Garden (2000 Version), 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Nam June Paik - TV Garden, 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation
Nam June Paik – TV Garden, 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

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Nam June Paik – TV Garden, 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Nam June Paik - TV Garden, 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation
Nam June Paik – TV Garden, 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Nam June Paik - TV Garden, 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation
Nam June Paik – TV Garden, 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Nam June Paik - TV Garden, 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation
Nam June Paik – TV Garden, 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Nam June Paik - TV Garden, 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation
Nam June Paik – TV Garden, 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

At Nam June Paik Art Center, South Korea

Nam June Paik - TV Garden, 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation, Nam June Paik Art Center, Yongin, South Korea
Nam June Paik – TV Garden, 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation, Nam June Paik Art Center, Yongin, South Korea

Nam June Paik - TV Garden, 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation, Nam June Paik Art Center, Yongin, South Korea
Nam June Paik – TV Garden, 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation, Nam June Paik Art Center, Yongin, South Korea

At Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf

Nam June Paik - TV Garden, 1974 (2002 Version), video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Düsseldorf, Germany)
Nam June Paik – TV Garden (2002 Version), 1974, video installation with color television sets and live plants, dimensions vary with installation, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany

Global Groove, 1973 (video excerpt)

Nam June Paik – Global Groove, 1973, Video (color, sound), 28 min 30 sec

Related works


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With full force: 99 wolves crash into a glass wall – Cai Guo-Qiang

With full force: 99 wolves crash into a glass wall – Cai Guo-Qiang

Cai Guo-Qiang, Head On, 2006, 99 life-sized replicas of wolves and glass wall
Cai Guo-QiangHead On, 2006, 99 life-sized replicas of wolves and glass wall

Introduction

Berlin, Singapore, New York, Bilbao, and Brisbane are just a few of the locations in the world that have had the pleasure of experiencing Cai Guo-Qiang’s Head On (2006). For his dramatic and impressive installation, Cai who resides in New York chose to fit 99 life-like stuffed wolves into a glass wall. The stuffed wolves appeared to push towards a transparent wall relentlessly crashing with full force against the glass barrier.

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Banned from the Guggenheim: Sun Yuan and Peng Yu’s controversial video

Banned from the Guggenheim: Sun Yuan and Peng Yu’s controversial video

Sun Yuan and Peng Yu - Dogs Which Cannot Touch Each Other, 2003
Sun Yuan and Peng YuDogs Which Cannot Touch Each Other, 2003, 8 Bull Terriers, 8 Running Machines Without Drive

Introduction

The video work titled Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other has only recently been removed from Guggenheim Museum’s exhibition series known as Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World. The video series has been met with disapproval and disparagement not only by some art critics but animal lovers and welfare organizations as well. Critics claim that the exhibition would have featured a series of various distinct video presentations depicting instances of unmistakable and unacceptable animal cruelty in the name of art.

Sun Yuan and Peng Yu - Dogs Which Cannot Touch Each Other, 2003
Sun Yuan and Peng YuDogs Which Cannot Touch Each Other, 2003, 8 Bull Terriers, 8 Running Machines Without Drive

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46 years in the making: Doug Wheeler creates visual feel of infinity

46 years in the making: Doug Wheeler creates visual feel of infinity

Doug Wheeler - PSAD Synthetic Desert III, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Photo David Heald
Doug WheelerPSAD Synthetic Desert III, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Photo: David Heald

Backstory

Over 40 years ago, a leading Light and Space artist called Doug Wheeler imagined an art project that resembled the tranquility you would experience if you travelled to an expansive desert such as the one in Arizona. For a long time, the idea only existed on paper due to the amount of resources it required to get going.

Doug Wheeler’s ‘chamber’

Luckily, a while back, the Guggenheim Museum in New York decided to take up the project and realize the Doug’s dream.

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Joan Miró’s colorful artworks: Designed to be walked over

Joan Miró’s colorful artworks: Designed to be walked over

Joan Miró - 1970, earthenware, 10x50m, Terminal B, El Prat Airport, Barcelona, Spain detail
Joan MiróWall of the Barcelona Airport (detail), 1970, earthenware, 10x50m, Terminal B, El Prat Airport, Barcelona, Spain

Introduction

If you have ever been to Barcelona, you must have walked over one of Joan Miro’s mosaics. The artist began to publicly display his work in 1976 when he chose the center of Barcelona’s Rambla to permanently incorporate his work into a pavement. This was in fulfillment of a pledge he had made in 1968 to create four pieces of art which he would donate to the city of Barcelona where he was born. The use of different colors in the mosaic brings out the vibrancy that is his style of art. All the artwork that is associated with Joan Miró speaks the language of simplicity; generous use of color and simple shapes. More than four decades after his first outdoor work of art, the works of Joan Miró located in various parts of the world are enjoying facelifts of massive proportions.

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