Video narrated by curator Hanna B. Hölling, Andrew W. Mellon Visiting Professor, Cultures of Conservation, Bard Graduate Center.

How do works of art endure over time in the face of aging materials and changing interpretations of their meaning? How do decay, technological obsolescence, and the blending of old and new media affect what an artwork is and can become? And how can changeable artworks encourage us to rethink our assumptions of a work of art as fixed and static? Revisions—Zen for Film, on view this fall and winter in the Bard Graduate Center Focus Gallery, explores these questions through Zen for Film, one of the most evocative artworks by the Korean-American artist Nam June Paik (1932–2006). Created during the early 1960s, Zen for Film consists of the screening of blank film leader for several minutes. As the film ages and wears in the projector, the viewer is confronted with a constantly evolving work. Revisions—Zen for Film provides a fresh perspective on an artwork with a rich history of display by asking precisely what, how, and when is Zen for Film?

Developed during a two-year Andrew W. Mellon “Cultures of Conservation” Fellowship at Bard Graduate Center, Revisions—Zen for Film offers a unique and intimately focused encounter with the materiality of Paik’s work. The exhibition is accompanied by a digital interactive with contributions by BGC master’s students and a publication of the same name published by the University of Chicago Press.