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Nam June Paik’s Fluxus Champion Contest, performed during Festum Fluxorum Fluxus, Musik und Antimusik, Das Instrumentale Theater, Staatliche Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf
Date/ 1962
Artist(Credit Line)/ Manfred Leve
Classification/ Photography
Dimensions / 20.3×25.4cm (8x10inch)
Medium / B&W Photograph

A number of male artists of different nationalities surround a bucket, competing who can piss for the longest time into it, while Paik stands by with a stopwatch. The “longest-pissing-timerecordholder”is honored with his national hymn. The contest depicted in the picture was won by F. Trowbridge, USA, at 59.7seconds, so Paik honored him with the US national anthem. Often discussed with Chronicle of a Beautiful Paintress (dedicated to Alison Knowles), in which a woman is directed to stain the flags of selected nations with her “monthly blood,” it uses the often taboo image of bodily fluid to challenge the concept of national authority. Paik, however, says that his performance was not so much about challenging authority than about “physical music.” He later compared his TV to this work, stressing that “My TV is NOT the expression of personality, but merely a PHYSICAL MUSIC.”23 While it is possible to read the work as challenging the established authority of art or nations, it is also possible to consider it with the artist’s other groundbreaking works that focus on sound.
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Korea Open Government License
Korea Open Government License
Attribution (BY), Non-commercial (NC), No Derivative Works (ND)