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Nam June Paik «German Pavilion: Marco Polo» | German Pavilion: Genghis Khan
Nam June Paik, «German Pavilion: Marco Polo», 1993
German Pavilion: Genghis Khan | Photograph: Dieter Daniels | © Nam June Paik
Individual video robots stand in between the bushes of the 'Giardini', each intended to represent an important ruler who played a role in linking Asia and Europe. Here we have Tangun, the first king of Korea, who according to Paik was a nomadic Scythian who had been in Greece before the foundation of Korea, and thus brought the basis of a new culture with him. Thus for Paik the park stands for the Gobi desert, which is why there is also a specially imported Mongolian nomad tent here.

 Nam June Paik
«German Pavilion: Marco Polo»

Nam June Paik was invited to represent Germany at the Venice Biennial with Hans Haacke in 1993. Hans Haacke used the central space in the pavilion and Paik used the two side wings and the exterior. The jury awarded him a 'Golden Lion'. Paik's central motif is the connection between Asia and Europe, which Marco Polo first described in his famous journey from Venice to Ulan Bator. Thus this figure represents Marco Polo's metamorphosis in an age of global media communication.