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.