Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
Nam June Paik
Les Grands Spectacles III. The exhibition features the voice of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the noise-making instruments built by Luigi Russolo, examples of Gunther Uecker's terror orchestra, as well as instruments built by Harry Partch and perforated paper music rolls for Conlon Nancarrow's player piano. By blending sound, video, film and photography, artists such as Rodney Graham, Christian Marclay or Cory Arcangel have been exploring the conventions of hearing and seeing in their works during the past decades, and have thus given a new topicality to this theme today.
Curators Brigitte Felderer, Eleonora Louis
At the beginning of the 20th century Futurists and Dadaists introduce sound as a medium of visual arts; both spoken words and instrumental sounds are newly reinterpreted. Old systems are destroyed in actions of demolition and self-destruction to create new sound and perception events. Modern life and sounds of the street (cars, airplanes, machines) now produce the sounds which are defined as music. Luigi Russolo invents noise-making instruments, the so-called Intonarumori, with the aim to articulate the “musical poetry of technology”. Three of these strange sounding bodies are on display in the exhibition. Not only are traditional instruments modified or new instruments invented, they also no longer produce the familiar harmonious tones, but noises quite contrary to the accustomed melodious sounds.
The exhibition features the voice of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the noise-making instruments built by Luigi Russolo, examples of Günther Uecker’s terror orchestra, as well as instruments built by Harry Partch, which are rarely shown in Europe, and perforated paper music rolls for Conlon Nancarrow’s player piano.
Destroying well-known traditions also means finding new musical qualities. John Cage is one of the protagonists of this movement, introducing – in theory and practice – a new fusion of art genres with regard to sound organisation and listeners’ perception into the world of music and arts. Cage has exerted a significant influence on the oeuvre of numerous artists and musicians, ranging from Fluxus artists to contemporary artists such as Manon de Boer. Fluxus has influenced post-war modern art like no other art movement. In the 1960s it led to the development of an art movement characterized by an intensive cooperation between visual artists and musicians.
Officially founded in 1962 by George Maciunas in New York, the first event was held as early as 1957. Participators in this event also included John Cage. It goes without saying that the live character of performances or actions cannot be repeated authentically within the framework of an exhibition. Nevertheless, photographs by Manfred Leve or Peter Moore, for example, which document countless artist performances from 1950 until today, give viewers an immediate impression of events and also have their own aesthetic character.
Not only instruments, but also scores and sound storage media such as records, audiotapes etc. are modified and transformed from a carrier of music into an art object. In the 1960s and 1970s a young generation of German and Berlin-based Austrian artists promote the integration of music into visual arts as an artistic attitude. Small groups of artists perform as music/ performance groups, mainly in Berlin, Dusseldorf and Cologne.
Mauricio Kagel is also represented in the exhibition as a mediator between music and film. In his works, scores are replaced by theatrical instructions to the musicians, and his “music films” have a surreal quality. The children’s instruments developed by Kagel and the artists who participated in his film Ludwig van, including Joseph Beuys, Dieter Roth and Stefan Wewerka, testify to an audiovisual phantasy that cannot deny Kagel’s personal acquaintance with the art scene of the 1970s, especially in the Rhineland.
By blending sound, video, film and photography, artists such as Rodney Graham, Christian Marclay or Cory Arcangel have been exploring the conventions of hearing and seeing in their works during the past decades, and have thus given a new topicality to this theme that today also includes footage found on the world wide web.
A richly illustrated catalogue will be published in conjunction with the exhibition by Bibliothek der Provinz. Price: €33
Christine Forstner T +43.662 84 22 20-601 F +43.662 84 22 20-701 firstname.lastname@example.org
Presse Freitag 18.7.08, 11.00 Uhr
Image: Peter Land, The Cellist, 1998 Filmstill der DVD-Videoinstallation © Peter Land; Courtesy Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen
Monchsberg 32 5020 Salzburg Austria