Robert Adrian X
Klaus vom Bruch
Pier Paolo Calzolari
Walter De Maria
Gino de Dominicis
Ivan Ladislav Galeta
Gilbert & George
Horst Gerhard Haberl
Nam June Paik
Ger van Elk
Steina and Woody Vasulka
Franz Erhard Walther
Otto M. Zykan
Art and Television 1963-1987
Curator Matthias Michalka
Assistant curator Manuela Ammer
Exhibition design Julie Ault / Martin Beck "Changing Channels" investigates how art reflected and drew on the mass media of television between the 1960s and the 1980s. The exhibition presents works that show the increasing significance and the economic, technological and social mechanisms of the medium. The works in question were made at the moment when television itself had undergone fundamental changes and this in turn brought about a comprehensive revision of the relationship between art and the role of media in the public sphere.
Beginning in the mid 1960s, artists around Fluxus and the Expanded Arts such as Nam June Paik, Stan Vanderbeek or Wolf Vostell made use of the technical potential of manipulation for disruption or aesthetic transformation inherent to the electronic image. Using the audio-visual effects of feedback and interventions in the televisual apparatus, it seemed that new forms of participation and a comprehensive transformation of the existent structures of communication might be possible. Artistic and activist collectives such as Ant Farm and Raindance showed dramatically in their media performances and with their use of video cameras how television functioned as a means of mass dissemination, and through showing this, what was hidden or withheld in the process.
During the 1970s, conceptually motivated artists explored the relationship between the art space and the public sphere found in mass media. David Lamelas, Peter Weibel, Valie EXPORT, Dan Graham, Sanja Ivekovi ́c and Dara Birnbaum looked closely at the connections between art, information and communication, concentrating especially on the language of television and its consciousness-forming effects. Their works were also shown on public television such as ORF and ARD and also on cable channels.
Artistic challenges to the TV image often concentrated on the entanglement of the public and the private sphere inherent to the medium, especially the dynamic of televisual self-expression and models of identification — with artists such as Andy Warhol working with the implications of a culture of fame or with Yoko Ono and John Lennon using mass media presence for political-artistic objectives.
Their works illustrate not only the direct connections to the logic of commercial merchandise and the economics of brand names but also draw explicit parallels between the image of the artist and the cult of personality and stardom in television. Andy Warhol’s TV will take over the entire space of the MUMOK Factory, a show that ran with 42 episodes on MTV and other channels, with stars such as Grace Johns, Jerry Hall, John Oates and Blondie.
As an aspect of the rapid changes during the 1970s that brought about a diversification of the media landscape, the spectators were increasingly addressed as ambivalent consumers who developed their own unique ways of using the medium. At the point where television had long become a self-evident fixture in everyday life, artists such as Judith Barry, Michael Smith and Ilene Segalove dealt with increasing intensity with the paradoxes of mass consumption and entertainment in their work.
Artists represented in the exhibition
Robert Adrian X, Ant Farm, Giovanni Anselmo, H.C. Artmann, Michael Asher, Kevin Atherton, Judith Barry, Wolfgang Bauer, Gottfried Bechtold, Stephen Beck, Joseph Beuys, Dara Birnbaum, Alighiero Boetti, Marinus Boezem, Stanley Brouwn, Klaus vom Bruch, Chris Burden, Daniel Buren, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Axel Corti, Douglas Davis, Jaime Davidovich, Walter De Maria, Jan Dibbets, Gino de Dominicis, VALIE EXPORT, Harun Farocki, Barry Flanagan, Hamish Fulton, Ivan Ladislav Galeta, Wilhelm Gaube, General Idea, Gilbert & George, Roland Goeschl, Dan Graham, Ion Grigorescu, Horst Gerhard Haberl, David Hall, Gazi Herzog, Klaus Hoffer, Sanja Iveković, Allan Kaprow, Richard Kriesche, Gary Kuehn, Pawel Kwiek, Suzanne Lacy, David Lamelas and Hildegard Duane, Les Levine, Richard Long, Mario Merz, Antoni Muntadas, Marcel Odenbach, Andreas Okopenko, Yoko Ono and John Lennon, Openbaar Kunstbezit, Dennis Oppenheim, Nam June Paik, Friederike Pezold, Otto Piene and Aldo Tambellini, Radical Software, Raindance, Klaus Rinke, Martha Rosler, Ulrike Rosenbach, Reiner Ruthenbeck, Ulrich Rückriem, Gerhard Rühm, Ira Schneider, Gerry Schum, Ilene Segalove, Richard Serra, Michael Smith, Robert Smithson, Keith Sonnier, T.R. UTHCO and Ant Farm, TVTV, Ferry Unger, Stan Vanderbeek, Ger van Elk, Steina and Woody Vasulka, Videofreex, Bill Viola, Wolf Vostell, Franz Erhard Walther, Andy Warhol, Peter Weibel, Lawrence Weiner, Gilberto Zorio, Otto M. Zykan.
Catalogue Changing Channels. Art and Television 1963-1987 With essays by Manuela Ammer, Tom Holert, Christian Höller, David Joselit, Pamela Lee, Sven Lütticken, Matthias Michalka and interviews between Reinhard Braun & Kathy Rae Huffman and Matthias Michalka & Wolf Herzogenrath. 293 pages, English and German version. € 39,90
Image: General Idea, Test Tube, 1979
MUMOK partners: Air France, Art Photography Fund, Dorotheum, Inku, LOEWE, UNIQA, Wittmann; Media partners: Der Standard, Club Ö1, Infoscreen and ORF.
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