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Dogmatic demonstrates the influence of the Dada movement and Marcel Duchamp in particular on Paik’s work and that of the Fluxus group more generally. The work relies on the use of a Duchampian pun to promote a sense of irony and parody. The TV set physically resembles a dog, with old fashioned telephone receivers as the ears and tail. The video plays clips of dogs, including a lively German shepherd, as well as various political and religious figures as a way of drawing connections between different political, religious and social dogmas held by members of society.

Created in 1996, Dogmatic provides a poetic commentary on the meaning of the word dogma and the interaction between politics and religion of the 1980’s. At the same time, the work explores the formal qualities of video in an anachronistic manner that recalls the first decade of video production. Artists in the 1970’s, including Paik, manipulated the expressive capability of the medium by disrupting the color systems and signal in an attempt to deconstruct the image frame and thwart video’s ability to carry a straightforward image. This is seen in Dogmatic most clearly during the flashes of color and form, which point to these early strategies.

2011.13.6

Details

  • Title: Dogmatic
  • Creator: Nam June Paik
  • Date: 1996/1996
  • Location Created: Germany
  • Provenance: Carl Solway Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio; Paul and Renee Mansheim; gift to Chrysler Museum of Art
  • Physical Dimensions: 45 x 39 x 20 in. (114.3 x 99.1 x 50.8 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Renée and Paul Mansheim
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: © Estate of Nam June Paik
  • Medium: Two vintage television cabinets, microphone, two vintage telephone mouthpieces, and video

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