Tunes of Comradeship: Paik and Mekas
July 29, 2022
Gift of Nam June Paik 14
This year marks Jonas Mekas’s centenary and also Nam June Paik’s 90th anniversary. In commemoration, Nam June Paik Art Center organizes the 14th edition of its symposium series Gift of Nam June Paik, in collaboration with Lithuanian Culture Institute and Dong-Eui Univ’s Cinema & Transmedia Institute. Centered around Fluxus movements from the late 1960s in New York, Paik and Mekas, truly avant-garde artists of the time, were one of the closest friends to each other. They did together a “political fluxus performance” reading The Charter of the United Nations respectively in Korean and in Luthuanian in 1968; Paik staged a series of performances such as Fluxus Sonata at Mekas’s Anthology Film Archives; and they organized a roundtable “On Liberation, Arts and Cultural Imperialism: A conversation between Susan Sontag, Vytautas Landsbergis, Nam June Paik, and Jonas Mekas” in 1994, to name but a few examples of their working together. With a title, Tunes of Comradeship: Paik and Mekas this symposium aims to address the themes that are related to their artistic activities as avant-garde artists. The contributors participating in this program will connect the two artists from their own individual viewpoints.
Vytautas Landsbergis, as first Head of State of the re-established independent Lithuania, Chairman of the Supreme Council – Reconstituent Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, winner of the Freedom Prize, and a member of Fulxus movement. He proved to be an active and creative person and a leader politically committed to the aspirations of the Lithuanian nation and consolidation of freedom and democratic values. Landsbergis is a politician and art, music and culture historian, who published over 100 books and a number of articles on the creative work of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis in the early years of the career and on Lithuanian and international politics in subsequent years. He edited and published all piano compositions by Čiurlionis. As a publicist and public figure, he long served as a member of the Board and Secretariat of the Lithuanian Composers’ Union, Chairman of the Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis Society, and Honorary Chairman of the Lithuanian Chess Federation. He also authored poetry books, memoirs and a collection of prose.
Lee Nara researches into contemporary aesthetics of film, moving images, and anthropological images, and critically writes on contemporary image work. She is an author of European Film Movements, a co-author of Alexander Sokurov, Harun Farocki, The Sense of the Landscape, and a translator of Out of Darkness. Currently, she is a Senior Researcher at Cinema & Transmedia Institute, Dong-Eui University.
Kim Eunhee is a curator and filmmaker. She joined the curatorial team at National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea in 2014 as a curator, and organized the MMCA Film and Video programs. Her curatorial projects include artist films such as Philippe Garrel (2015), Jonas Mekas (2017) and Harun Farocki (2018) solo exhibitions and retrospectives, Principle of Uncertainty (2017), Dear Cinema series (2018-2019), and biennial program Asian Film and Video Art Forum from 2015. She is currently working on her filmmaking and curatorial projects independently.
(photo by Visvaldas Morkevicius)
Inesa Brašiškė is an art historian and curator based in Vilnius, Lithuania. She graduated from Contemporary Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies (MODA) at Columbia University. Her research interests span postwar European and American art and avant-garde film. She recently coedited Jonas Mekas: The Camera Was Always Running, published by Yale University Press (2022), and co-curated the exhibition Jonas Mekas and the New York Avant-Garde (National Gallery of Art in Vilnius, 2021). Currently she is completing extensive research on André Cadere (Romanian, 1934–1978), coediting a book of essays on Cadere’s work, and preparing the first monograph on the artist. Brašiškė has taught at the Vilnius Academy of Arts; organized symposiums, including “The Post-Socialist Object: Contemporary Art in China and Eastern Europe” (Columbia University, 2017) and “Jonas Mekas Expanded” (National Gallery of Art, Vilnius, February 2022); and initiated the continuous lecture series Thinking Contemporary Art (www.thinkingcontemporaryart.lt). She regularly contributes to academic publications, catalogues, and journals, and presents her research in international conferences and symposia. In her role as curator, she has organized exhibitions and film programs based on the work of Babette Mangolte, Sharon Lockhart, and others.
Lee Hanbum is an art critic who runs a publishing house called Rasunpress. His concept engineering intends to represent the artistic practice of producing alternative knowledge in various forms such as writing, publication, and exhibition. Currently, he is working on Tales on Nameless Places (2021-), an acoustic archaeological project on syntheses occurring in liminal spaces. Among the projects he curated are ACC Creative and Productive Discourse Program-Reading (Asia Culture Center, 2021), Book Cabinet Reactivation Project (6th Anyang Public Art Project, 2019), Sonic Fiction (2019, co-curated), Creating Stories: Learning Tools for New Knowledge and the Museum (Buk-Seoul Museum of Art, 2019, co-curated), Tools for Fiction: Active Archive for Artist’s Publishing (Insa Art Space, 2018), BlaBlaBlin (2017-2018), Riding at Dawn (Willing N Dealing, 2014, co-curated).
As electroacoustic music composers, Jung Jinhee (aka. jiiiiin) and Cho Taebok (aka. GRAYCODE) have been collaborating in the field of sound and new media. These two artists deal with various media in the form of sound, video, installation, and sculpture through their individual work, and also have been working as a collective, ‘GRAYCODE, jiiiiin.’ As GRAYCODE, jiiiiin, their piece +3×10^8m/s, beyond the light velocity (2017-2018) was presented with the ‘Giga-Hertz Award’ from ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany (2018).