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Nam June Paik’s Young Penis Symphonie(1962) performed at the Kölnischer Kunstverein
Date/ 1986
Artist(Credit Line)/ Manfred Leve
Classification/ Photography
Dimensions / 20.3×25.4cm (8x10inch)
Medium / B&W Photograph

To pursue this Nam June Paik writes a series of performance scores related to the subject of sex and creates performances based on them. In Young Penis Symphony (1962), ten young men standing behind a large piece of paper placed onstage poke their penises through it one by one. Paik took a motif from Ishihara Shintaro’s Season of Violence(1955), which broke the social taboo against sex and put an end to the postwar literary movements. While the object the hero of this novel, a young man, wanted to see by sticking his penis into the paper screen, was a woman, Paik wrote a score allowing the audience to see the scene of the event to break a taboo against sex in music. Paik knew that the scene from the novel, which caused a huge sensation and controversy, would not be accepted even in Europe. So he predicted that his score would be realized in 1984 or so. Paik intended to have a performance in the 1963 Fluxus Festival but it did not happen. His performance was finally presented in San Francisco in 1975, directed by Ken Friedman,and at the Cologne Fine Art Show in 1986.
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