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  [NOW´S THE TIME. Audio-Visual Montage]

Kunstverein Medienturm
Josefigasse 1, 8020 Graz

NOW’S THE TIME presents works of about twenty five artists of a foremost younger generation, who range within the realm of different iconographies of pop and mass culture, lifestyle and the electronic media, wherein they have developed an individual, intermedial formal language. With current tools, a heterogeneous image concept is developed incorporating a montage of reference pieces from the popular culture with the intention to decontextualize or rearrange this culture.

The exhibition NOW’S THE TIME runs with a projection setting of the same name in the neighbouring spaces of the Kunsthaus Graz. Especially for the audio-visual setting at the Kunsthaus Graz, artists are invited who challenge phenomena that are comparable in topic to the interest of the artist Michel Majerus (1967– 2002), to whom a retrospective at the Kunsthaus Graz is dedicated subsequent and referring to this setting. The painter Michel Majerus represents a pop cultural “sampling” approach, whose work was inspired by diverse impressions of a popular culture that is influenced by the media. The openness for montage techniques that embrace various genres makes Majerus’ work practice a crucial starting point to launch a project in the crossover of fine art and media art.
The project NOW’S THE TIME directly refers to the procedures of sampling and montage by offering particularly at the Kunsthaus Graz a concentrated, spatial setting which directly allows to variously relate different techniques and procedures in the realm of contemporary media art. The spacedefining setting is composed of a centrally controllable tripartite projection entity which generously circumscribes “space02” alongside its spatial structure and, at the same time, medially concentrates it. This setting is not only used as projection entity, but also serves as stage for two audio-visual live performances by N.I.C.J.O.B / Axel Stockburger and Daniel Pflumm / Kotai.
The exhibition at Kunstverein Medienturm adds a quality of an open concept of material to the project; beside video and online works, painting and sculptural art are central. The exhibition of the same name presents additional artworks, which refer to a contemporary image world and use techniques of re-mixing and re-coding. The programmatic approach of remixing popular cultural phenomena triggers a discrepant situation, which is fuelled by cross-references between singular artworks. Central is a current interdisciplinary questioning of techniques of sampling and montage which are supplied by elements of the popular culture such as advertising, games, TV-shows etc. with the target to translate them into an individual formal language. The cultural practice of sampling involves techniques of breaking down, shifting and adopting particular aspects of a common culture, which in its complexity and polyvalence triggers off a continuous discourse; using techniques of montage, the collected reference pieces are processed to a re-coded individual piece, the original elements are taken out of context and arranged in multifaceted approaches to a new cultural text. Fragmentation and decontextualisation breaches the own historical tradition, the code, the rule, the tradition is abolished; in so far, sampling is also used as procedure to discuss historical, archival references. History is read against the original historiography, thus becomes re-interpretable. De- and re-coding creates the new out of the historical by relating different contexts within a, for this purpose, structured range. The original contexts – detached from their original meaning and fragmentary in character – dissolve into a modified structure, which foremost targets the creation of an individual artwork. Sampled works question the product state of art, since a process-oriented technique and the elaboration of a setting is in the limelight.

Doug Aitken, Thomas Baumann, D-Fuse, Christoph Draeger, Tina Frank, Alexander Györfi, Dariusz Kowalski, m.ash, Michel Majerus, Maix Mayer, Sarah Morris, N.I.C.J.O.B., Carsten Nicolai, Pfaffenbichler/Schreiber, Daniel Pflumm, Richard Prince, Franc Purg, reMI, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Lisa Ruyter, Johannes Wohnseifer

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Gerwald Rockenschaub, O.T, 2001/2002. Courtesy: Georg Kargl, Vienna; view Kunstverein Medienturm, Graz, 2005