Rock - Paper - Scissors

Pop Music as Subject of Visual Art

06.06.-30.08.2009


Curated by: Diedrich Diederichsen

Künstlerinnen und Künstler: Saâdane Afif, Cory Arcangel, Art & Language mit The Red Krayola, Sam Durant, Kim Gordon und Jutta Koether, Renée Green, Stefan Hablützel, Mike Kelley, Klara Lidén, Lucy McKenzie, Dave Muller, Albert Oehlen, Katrin Plavcak, Mathias Poledna, Uwe Schinn, Nico Vascellari


Pop music counts as a low, popular form of art, while visual art ranks among the high arts. That relationship has changed profoundly in the last 50 years. Pop music is a hybrid originally spawned by the parallelism of sound and image found in TV programmes, fanzines and record covers. At its heart is a feeling of direct involvement with people rather than musical values. These can function as sex objects or the embodiment of new lifestyles. For art, this form of expression is as much a subject as a rival event. Rock - Paper - Scissors brings together artists whose methods and formulations use pop music's body politics, knowledge industry and relationship with the world for their own purposes.

 

The art 'n' pop music affair all started with artists such as Andy Warhol, Richard Hamilton, Peter Blake, David Lamelas and Dan Graham in the 1960s. Since then, the number of pop music-themed works has risen exponentially. Major turning points in the evolution of art were often paralleled by turning points in the development of pop music. The new simplicity in the return to painting in the early 1980s, for example, had a counterpart in punk rock, while anti-subject techno culture was embraced by the anti-subject, collaborative, project-oriented art of the 1990s, with its feminism and neo-anti-institutional approaches. In short, artists with a special relationship with pop music, its subgenres and ancillary forms have long ceased to be exceptions. They are the rule.

 

Exploration of the relationship between art and pop music today can no longer just illustrate this self-evident circumstance. There would likewise be little point in taking the common themes of art and pop music as a starting point. As a general rule, when themes dominate, the other dimensions of artistic projects are killed. Admittedly, the option does remain of focusing on particular aspects or historical periods and relevant overlaps between them, for example rock music, which is now completely historical. Yet if the aim is to avoid going so deep into the history as to lose sight of the present, there is one other possibility.

 

We can rely on the artists themselves. Rock - Paper - Scissors. Pop Music as Subject of Visual Art brings together people whose works and techniques have long been defined by a close relationship with pop music. For them, pop music represents neither one subject among many nor a passing phase. Ultimately, the quality of this relationship in their works is also crucial for their ability to create connections with completely different periods and artistic approaches.

 

Artists
Saâdane Afif, Cory Arcangel, Art & Language with The Red Krayola, Sam Durant, Kim Gordon and Jutta Koether, Renée Green, Stefan Hablützel, Mike Kelley, Klara Lidén, Lucy McKenzie, Dave Muller, Albert Oehlen, Katrin Plavcak, Mathias Poledna, Uwe Schinn, Nico Vascellari

 

Admission to upper exhibition level only from 18+. Please bring identification with you.

 

 

catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

 

Kunsthaus Graz

Lendkai 1
, Österreich

 

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