170510: Kunstverein Medienturm Norbert Pfaffenbichler – Silent Alien Ghost Machine Museum

Kunstverein Medienturm Norbert Pfaffenbichler – Silent Alien Ghost Machine Museum 05.03.10 – 22.05.10 In the haunted house of media history How refreshing. An exhibition focussing on the “making-of” of film motives and 20th century sound concepts - without the insolence of having to make a sound. It is silent in the main room of Norbert Pfaffenbichler’s “Silent Alien Ghost Machine Museum” at the Grazer Medienturm Kunstverein. Shadows of Luigi Russolo’s futuristic noise machines “Intonarumori” are shown as cardboard objects; black-and-white images of film quotes in the bells. “Silenzio” can be heard without a single decibel. A visual quote from “Le voyage dans la lune” by George Méliés, 1902. One of the moon-faces is just about to scream and remains inaudible. The shell of an avant-garde sound machine is transformed into a soundless projector – making numerous references to art- and media history. Old media such as cinematographs, silent movies, and sound generators are linked to their new pendants. Their historic and technological instability, the fragility of their representation, is carried to the extreme - bordering on the absurd. In general, contemporary art offers no surprises, but it does here. Although is well known that for the past 15 years Pfaffenbichler has led a film historic debate, both as an artist and a curator, but none of his presentations were as extensive as this one. For a long time, Norbert Pfaffenbichler’s language marked a strictly geometrical field of coordinates. As a curator, at the end of the 1990’s, he pushed the presentations of visuals, which had emerged out of new electronic music, as “austrian abstracts” and “abstraction now”. Now, however, he is introducing the experimental field of perception. Curtains are pulled back offering insight into art history as a stage for perpetuation and extension, as in the video installation “Dough and Dynamite” based on Charlie Chaplin’s classic slapstick motion picture (1914). The video installation “Card Games” also moves along the tangent of spatial concepts. Filmed from above, people are shown playing cards - with art-postcards. The video is projected onto a table attached to the wall. No matter if it’s the video collage “O.T.” with stereotype personifications of Adolf Hitler or the space “Luna Kapella” with its richly allusive homage to Pierre Paolo Pasolini’s work – none of his installations can be summed up. By ascribing signs to reality Pfaffenbichler does not deconstruct. It seems much more like he is opening new associations. The personal level is not eliminated, but the person Pfaffenbichler is presented as a plural construction: on a photograph as a ghost in a haunted childhood scenario and as a physiognomic relative of the comic figure Thaddäus Tentakel from the animated film series Sponge-Bob. All of this triggered controversial discussions. Here and there critical remarks were made about this seemingly unlimited from of re-staging. But doesn’t one enter the terrain of subversion behind this game of the never-ending questioning? Doesn’t it prove that we have been on a rollercoaster of permanent inversion since the creation of cinematographic space in the 19th century? A world in which images that are presented as objects, are more powerful than we, the alleged subjects, are. But this would lead to “Alice in the Wonderland” and to “Pinocchio” - further motives at the Museum of Ghosts by Norbert Pfaffenbichler at the Grazer Medienturm. By Roland Schöny Kunstverein Medienturm 8020 Graz, Josefigasse 1 Tel: +43 316 261 13 81 31 Fax: +43 316 261 13 81 30 email: office@medienturm.at http://www.medienturm

Kunstverein Medienturm
8020 Graz, Josefigasse 1
Tel: +43 316 261 13 81-31, Fax: +43 316 261 13 81-30
Email: office@medienturm.at

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