• WHO WAS 1968?
    28 Sept 2018 − 13 Jan 2019

    LENTOS Kunstmuseum WHO WAS 1968? Art, Architecture, Society Curated by: Hedwig Saxenhuber, Georg Schöllhammer Loans by Kontakt from: Heimrad Bäcker, Stanisław Dróżdż, VALIE EXPORT, Stano Filko, Běla Kolářová, Július Koller, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević and Goran Trbuljak A decade of eruptions, departures and redefinitions in the steel city Linz. The year I968 marks a turning point that ushered in a new era. Across Western Europe and in the United States Student protests and workers’ revolts called into question the post-war power structure itself, while Soviet tanks bulldozed the Prague Spring into the ground and signalled the end of the hope that the Eastern Bloc would open up to the West. This exhibition harks back to the echoes of I968 in Linz and Upper Austria. Embracing the arts, architecture, music, film and literature, it unfolds for the first time a synoptic map on which key figures and moments of local history – some largely unknown to this day – are accorded a place. It enables visitors to embark on exploratory trips and to survey the rich fabric of relationships and linkages that includes points of contact with international scenarios and trends. Experiments in the aesthetic field were begun with a view to escaping from the cultural stuffiness of the first two post-war decades. The participating artists include: Claudia von Alemann, Ant Farm, Heimrad Bäcker, Josef Bauer, Bill Bollinger, Dietmar Brehm, Gerd Conradt, Waltraut Cooper, Stanisław Dróżdż, Erró, VALIE EXPORT, Harun Farocki, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Stano Filko, Helmuth Gsöllpointner, Timo Huber, Johann Jascha, Martha Jungwirth, Gülsün Karamustafa, Gerhard Knogler, Běla Kolářová, Juliús Koller, Peter Kubelka, Zofia Kulik, KwieKulik, Maria Lassnig, Fritz Lichtenauer, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Josef Nöbauer, OHO, Yoko Ono, Gina Pane, Friederike Pezold, Cora Pongracz, Chris Reinecke, Martha Rosler, Dieter Roth, Zorka Sàglovà, Dominik Steiger, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević, Goran Trbuljak, Tucumàn Arde, Jiřì Valoch, Agnés Varda, Peter Weibel, Hannah Wilke, Jana Želibská, Želimir Žilnik, Zünd-Up


Georg Decristel

Georg Decristel’s conceptual approach—influenced by concrete poetry and Fluxus—was to deal experimentally with found situations, investigating their acoustic, spatial, temporal and/or location-specific structural parameters. The locations the artist chose for these concepts included sites both outdoors and indoors, both public and private, and both urban and rural. The list of his chosen places also encompasses art’s institutional context, including galleries, special events, and exhibition openings. Decristel was a constant occupant of this realm, albeit on its peripheries rather than at its center: he deliberately sought out the zone of transition to the realm of the everyday. His presence was international; he made appearances in Italy, Belgium, France, the USA and Canada, and maintained a close friendship with performance artist Terry Fox (USA).


Decristel sometimes referred to his artistic activities as “strolling performances”: the artist would wander through his chosen scenarios playing a Jew’s harp, according an important role to the element of chance. As an itinerant Jew’s harp player who called himself “Georg the Resonance Chamber,” he would go out into nature or appear in private situations just as often as he graced artistic events, always enlisting his audience as co-players. His presence was improvised and conceived to be something ephemeral, much like sounds perceived as either music or noise. Decristel’s had a poetic description of this: “…in spiralen, trete ich auf trete ich auf der stelle…” 1


“Decristel,” writes Heinz Gappmayr, “was on a constant quest for new insights and modifications. A precondition for this was the artist’s existential concernment, his philosophical realization of the world’s riddle-like quality. It is this to which his works, both acoustic and visual, refer. For him, art was something transcendental. The intensity with which he searched for artistic solutions found its match in his day-to-day life, where he distanced himself from trivial interests out of resistance to conformism and banality.” 2






1 Roughly translated: “in spirals, I perform, I take form,” quoted in: Grundmann, Heidi. “fast nix tonband mit knacks (georg decristel)” [almost nothing tape with click (georg decristel)]. In Georg Decristel. weg bewegen moving away. Eine Auswahl aus seinen Werken [Georg Decristel. weg bewegen moving away. A Selection of his Works], edited by Sonja, Michael and Stephan Bahn, p. 17. Innsbruck: Skarabaeus im Studienverlag, 2003.



2 Gappmayr, Heinz. “Georg Decristel und sein Werk” [Georg Decristel and his Oeuvre]. In Georg Decristel. weg bewegen moving away. Eine Auswahl aus seinen Werken, op. cit., p. 140.



1937, Hall in Tirol / AT – 1997, Innsbruck / AT

Georg Decristel was an artist and author. He studied Law, Economics, Social Sciences, Linguistics, and Philosophy. In the 1960s Decristel developed visual concepts, such as “Bücherstuhl”, “Bücherschemel”, “Straßentheater”, “Textwände”, and “Literaturpartituren”. With his phonetic poetry, his „Wandelmaultrommeleien“ and „Strolling Performances“ throughout Europe and the USA, with his acoustic, graphic and conceptual works, his experimental texts, text objects and scores, he created an extensive oeuvre.

Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
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