Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Nam June Paik

Exhibition at Fact.

Im not familiar with Paiks work,  and visiting these exhibitions was an eye-opener. Video art is a realm  I don't dabble in. Mainly due to my lack of technological knowledge and patience. As Paik is widely considered to be the godfather of video art, I had high expectations.

Although there was considerably less of his work on show at Fact, one piece stood out more for me, than anything I'd paid to see at Tate, the 'Laser Cone'. Paiks 'Laser Cone' was unlike anything I'd ever seen before, and I think it's safe to say, I haven't felt so immersed and excited by a piece of work for a long time. The cone itself is suspended in the middle of a dark room. As we entered I was immediately mesmerised by the colourful lasers swirling around the cone. As I approached the cone, I stumbled around on the floor, trying to find the padded flooring to lie on beneath the cone, feeling a child-like excitement, as if entering a den. When lying down the colours and shapes cascade above you, my mind just blanked as I focused on the simple beauty of lines and shapes. I think the fact that you could lie down altered the experience completely. I felt relaxed, and spent much longer with the piece than I would normally if standing in a gallery, and the cloak of darkness was comforting. This said, I did sit up at one point to find a crowd of people crouching in front of me, seemingly unsure if they were allowed to join us under the cone, or if I was part of the art itself. I found this hilarious at the time, but was probably just giddy from the lasers.

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