Thursday, July 29, 2021

Buddha Contemplates --- Day 10/88

Walk: No, Done in by Pickleball Camp

Distance: n/a, no yoga, no anything

Nam June Paik – TV Buddha, 1974/2002, Statue of Buddha, TV monitor, closed-circuit camera,

Maybe because she is of a certain age (ie, the age that slowly types on its iphone with one finger), Ciwt isn't a fan of video art.  But she is a fan of poetry, humor, brilliant insight, stillness, quiet and such so she Loved TV Buddha by the "Father of Video Art" Nam June Paik (1932-2006).

To stay au current for CIWT readers (thank you!) and art tour clients, she went reluctantly to SFMOMA's huge retrospective* of the Korean born, musically trained, internationally active artist's works.  Her assumption was that the entire show would be alien and incomprehensible to her.  

But luckily TV Buddha was the very first work in the very first room, and she was pulled right in to Paik's timeless orbit.  The yogini in her immediately thought of the present day 'popness' of the ancient discipline of yoga. But that was just one - of many - associations the work conjured for her.

Surveilence, selfies, the complex presence of technology in human society, religion, history, future.  All those associations and more seem to be present in the work - on public display but so personal in its reception by each viewer past, present and beyond.

*Nam June Paik, SFMOMA, May 8 - October 3, 2021

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