Kunsthaus Graz Universalmuseum Joanneum

Many artists have found their way to an individual style via pop music. Generally, what is left of it in their later work is an obsession and a thematic inclination. However, this exhibition is more about showing art that looks at pop music analytically and critically as well as championing it. Pop music is about conceptual and strategic decisions. Pop music develops from ideas about public show and provocative attitudes, but also about wishes that even the wishers themselves won’t own up to. That leads to decisions on various levels that are sometimes clearly visible – and should be – but at other times remain out of sight. Artists have often been better able than critics and theoreticians to discover and analyze connections.

In the generation that became active in the 1960s, there were still very few artists who understood that pop music had created a cultural form that established a new relationship between sounds and visual symbols, redefined the role of the performers, and linked sound and picture media in an unfamiliar way. Art & Language, Albert Oehlen, Mike Kelley, Kim Gordon and Jutta Koether were witnesses of (and participants in) the radical changes that punk involved and the genesis of independent labels around 1980 – and reacted to them in very different ways, both as artists and in their own musical projects (e.g. Sonic Youth). Renée Green, Stefan Hablützel and Sam Durant have likewise kept up a permanent engagement with both pop music and sound. In their works, Lucy McKenzie and Uwe Schinn, Katrin Plavcak and Saâdane Afif, Dave Muller and Mathias Poledna have been able to relate to the newly self-reflective pop music, while Klara Lidén and Nico Vascellari have adopted this gestus, only to drop it again.

Performances by
Kim Gordon & Jutta Koether
Cory Arcangel
Kunsthaus Graz
Friday, June 5, 2009, 7pm,
Entrance free!

Concert by
The Red Krayola
p.p.c. – project pop culture, Neubaugasse 6, 8020 Graz
Friday, June 5, 2009, Start 9.30pm, doors open 9pm
Entrance free!