Nam June Paik Tate Liverpool exhibition banner

Opera Sextronique

Paik’s collaboration with cellist Charlotte Moorman was a deeply significant one for both artists. Sharing common interests in avant-garde music and in challenging classical canons, Paik and Moorman first met and performed together at the Second Annual New York Avant-Garde Festival in 1964, which Moorman organised. They developed a repertoire of provocative performances involving Moorman playing the cello in various states of undress and using Paik’s television sculptures as part of her costume. Paik and Moorman organised and participated in several concerts and live events in Europe and the USA in the late 1960s and 1970s.

Paik reflected in 1969 on their collaboration: ‘The real issue implied in Art and Technology is not to make another scientific toy, but how to humanize the technology and the electronic medium … TV Brassiere for Living Sculpture (Charlotte Moorman) is also one sharp example to humanize electronics … and technology. By using TV as bra … the most intimate belonging of [a] human being, we will demonstrate the human use of technology, and also stimulate viewers, not for something mean but stimulate their phantasy to look for the new, imaginative and humanistic ways of using our technology.’