Open Eyes //

Paik / abk

In the event programme of the abk – Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart – you could read that the video installation by Nam June Paik at the abk has been elaborately restored and can be viewed (marvelled at) every first Wednesday afternoon of the month.

Prof. Johannes Gfeller is head of the master's degree course in conservation of new media and digital information within the department of art conservation. He accompanied the master's thesis and the subsequent restoration work of his master's student Benjamin Zech, who brought the 90-monitor installation "Two Way Communication" by Nam June Paik back to shine and glow, into flickering motion. To our great pleasure, Prof. Gfeller answered yes to our request to be introduced to this work, the artist and the history during a tour. He wanted to present the "great Paik" to us personally.

On February 6 th 2019 we, the whole team of VISUELL was present, were welcomed very friendly at 5 pm in the foyer of the new building 2 of the abk. At the beginning Prof. Gfeller told us how the academy acquired this work in the middle of the 1990s. It was financed by the construction of this building with funds from the "Kunst am Bau" budget. In the open entrance foyer, the wall offered itself over three floors to be used to display a current work of art, in the truest sense of the word. Prof. Manfred Kröplien established contacts with Nam June Paik, the internationally renowned artist known as the father of video art. Agreement was reached and what is probably the most unknown of the South Korean's greatest works was installed in Germany.

Prof. Gfeller explained to us the content of the restoration work and spoke about the fortunate fact that this installation is constantly being maintained at the Academy and can therefore be seen in public again. What will be when the CRT monitors are no longer available will be the next big challenge. We were thrilled with the presentation and thank Prof. Johannes Gfeller very much.