Mirage Stage

Nam June Paik

Seoul, South Korea, 1932 - Miami, USA, 2006
  • Date: 
  • Dimensions: 
    431,8 x 609,6 x 243,8 cm
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  • Media description: 
    Three-channel video (Betacam SP and DVD; colour, silent, continuous projection) shown on 33 TV monitors and 40 wooden TV carcasses
  • Category: 
    Installation, Video
  • Entry date: 
  • Register number: 
  • Image credit: 
    Photo: Kristina García

Mirage Stage is a reference to theatrical stage-sets, not only because of its structure and layout but also because of its monumentality and frontality. The loss of stage-limits, so central to Nam June Paik’s performances in the 1960s, is given a further twist in “mirage stage” so that it now becomes a ‘global groove’, which the artist alludes to through a bombardment of images from multiple screens. This is an endless saturated rapid-fire collage of images taken from his main works in mono channel video: A Tribute to John Cage (1973-1976), Merce by Merce by Paik (1975-1978), Documenta 6 Satellite Telecast (1977), Guadalcanal Requiem (1977-1979) and a significant amount of Global Groove (1973), an unbroken line of banal commercial images mixed with choreographies of Merce Cunningham and performances featuring Charlotte Moorman, with which Paik communicates the complexity of an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. All of this taking place in a silent, soundless environment, which strengthens the idea of mirage and unreality. Paik appears to be referring to the new art regime, under cultural industry and global capitalism, where the boundaries between art and entertainment, between information and spectacle, become blurred.

Cristina Cámara Bello