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THURSDAY, JUN 29 2017, - MONDAY, SEP 04 2017


JUNE 29 – SEPTEMBER 4, 2017
Austrian Cultural Forum New York
11 East 52nd Street, New York
open daily, 10 AM – 6 PM

The Austrian Cultural Forum New York (ACFNY), in collaboration with studio das weisse haus and Erste Bank, is pleased to present the exhibition Monopulism by Austrian artist Karl Salzmann – winner of the second Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Art Award. On display from June 29 to September 4, 2017, Monopulism presents a multi-media installation focusing on an artistic and scientific approach to sound as a weapon and means of manipulation and oppression.

The term Monopulism is etymologically not clearly identifiable.This very fact describes the underlying concept of the exhibition perfectly. Both the title and the exhibition itself unite the attributes of mono, populism, monopole and manipulation in an artistic space, composed of pre-existent works and new pieces, specifically tailored to the venue. Salzmann’s installation at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York comprises three elements: a simple wooden bar, an acoustic monument, and two automated vacuum cleaners, autonomously roaming the area. The single elements, if observed isolated, might seem aesthetically pleasing and not menacing at all, but their activity and interplay remains somehow irritating.

One of the works on display, an acoustic monument called Lautsprechermonument, emits a near-inaudible low frequency signal resonating with the room which causes physical unease and the feeling of an invisible threat among the visitors. As soon as the monument comes alive, it blanks out everything else. Conversations are no longer possible and staying in the exhibition space becomes almost unbearable.

Salzmann’s Monopulism reflects upon social and political influences and transforms them into metaphors and signs through their visual and acoustic realization/manifestation. Their neutral, sober presentation leaves it completely up to the viewer to interpret relations between different arguments, without proposing predefined opinions or solutions. 

Karl Salzmann, born 1979 in Vorarlberg, Austria, studied visual arts at the department of digital arts and holds a diploma from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. He followed his interest in acoustics, taking classes in Computermusik & New Media (elak) from 2011-2012 at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and is currently writing his doctoral thesis at the Academy of Fine Arts. He mainly focuses on sound research, experimental music and contemporary musical phenomena. During his intensive work with sounds, rhythm and their various audio-visual forms, he found his way to a form language, which is characterized by its simplicity as well as restraint of movement and sound.

Salzmann’s works have been presented (among others) at:
Kunsthaus Graz (2013, solo), Kunsthalle Bratislava (2014, solo), MAK - museum of applied arts Vienna (2012), Athens Digital Art Festival (2014), Künstlerhaus Wien (2013) and are in the public collections of the Austrian government, city of Vienna and the province of Vorarlberg. Karl Salzmann also currently works as a lecturer, researcher and artistic & scientific assistant at the department of art & science at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Find out more about Karl Salzmann >>>here

A collaboration between studio das weisse haus, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, and Erste Bank, the Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Art Award was initiated in 2016 with the aim to promote a young artist and facilitate a one-month residency in New York as a phase of inspiration and to expand his/her own network. Artists whose work has already been presented in das weisse haus or who have participated in the studio and residency program of studio das weisse haus were eligible to submit entries for the ExtraVALUE Art Award.