Nam June Paik: Seoul NyMax Performance 1997

Stephen Vitiello and Nam June Paik
1999, 17 min, color, sound

This tape documents the dress rehearsal and the final ten minutes of Paik's video-opera performance, Coyote 3, at Anthology Film Archives in 1997. The performance was based on Duette, a piece performed with Joseph Beuys in Tokyo in 1984.

John Huffman, writing for Art in Context, describes Coyote 3: "The performance starts with Paik already seated at the piano with two figures beside him. The singer Dina Emerson steps to the mike and begins a rendition of the city's alarms howling out: fire alarms, passing police alarms, bank alarms. Two channels of video projection start from a Paik/Beuys performance in Tokyo in 1984. Beuys on screen growls, speaks, emits, transmits; the ordinary becomes the other. On videotape the video piano ghost of Paik is accompanying Beuys. In real time on stage Paik plays one-handed piano. He is playing songs, song fragments, broken melodies, sometimes singing, songs of sadness, broken-hearted love songs, fragments from as many diverse places as Paik has come.

While Paik is performing, Simone Forti is dancing to the Beuys projection, sometimes singing her own song fragments, sometimes riffing her stream of comments. There is a lot happening on stage and very little. Normal motions take on other significance, time has become both fleeting and geologic. The irrational is given as much importance as the rational. All this continues simultaneously until Paik overturns the piano and continues to do so ten times, splintering piano wood. The performance ends with the lights out and a laser beam cutting across the stage, while Paik and the two figures smoke cigarettes."

Performed at Anthology Film Archives, New York. Camera: Stephen Vitiello, Larry Miller. Editor: Seoungho Cho. Producer: Stephen Vitiello.

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