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Nam June Paik’s Klavier Intégral in the Exposition of Music – Electronic Television, Parnass Gallery, Wuppertal
Date/ 1963
Artist(Credit Line)/ Manfred Montwé
Classification/ Photography
Dimensions / 30.4×40.2cm
Medium / Black & white photograph on baryta paper

Taken by Manfred Montwé, this is a photograph of Nam June Paik’s first solo show Exposition of Music – Electronic Television held in Galerie Parnass in Wuppertal in March 1963. In the central hall of the gallery, there were four pianos displayed under the title of Klavier Integral. A symbol of classical music, the pianos were, however, prepared in the way they could be ‘played’ in a completely different way. One of them was laid down to allow viewers to tread on the keys, to play the piano with their feet, and part of it was also planed and ham¬mered. Another prepared piano was called ‘Piano for Arthur Køpcke’ modeled on Shut Books in which Køpcke glued a book’s pages so that it could not be read. Paik slotted a wooden panel inside the piano and closed the lid so that keys could not be pressed and strings did not vibrate. The front cases of the other two pianos were removed, and their keys and strings were covered with everyday objects, such as a doll head, a whistle, a horn, a plume, a spoon, a pile of coins, toy sundries, wires, photographs, a padlock, a brassiere, an accordion, an aphrodisiac, a disjoined arm and lever of a record player, and so on.