Zen for Head
Nam June Paik presented Zen for Head on October 26th, 1961, at the Originale, organized by Karlheinz Stockhausen and Mary Bauermeister. Using his head, hands, and necktie dipped in ink as a brush, Paik slowly crawled along a piece of paper laid on the floor, recording the smallest gestures of his body. Zen for Head was Paik’s interpretation of La Monte Young’s Composition 1960 #10 to Bob Morris (1960). La Monte Young’s original score consists of the quote, “Draw a straight line and follow it.” Paik revisits this performance on September 8th of the following year at the Fluxus Internationale Festspiele Neuester Musik held at Städtisches Museum, Wiesbaden. For this performance Paik dipped his head in a mixture of ink and tomato juice and slowly crawled on a 4-meter (13-feet) long piece of paper. In surviving video footage, Paik appears to concentrate on his performance, his gestures deliberate and decisive, while the audience is laughing at the incredible spectacle. Paik saved the paper from the performance as a separate piece under the same title.
Nam June Paik
1 limestone Buddha statue, 1 CRT TV set, 1 CCTV camera