press release

The love hate relationship between music and the fine arts is a long standing one. In the 80s, conceptual artist Dan Graham declared that modernity was dead and that rock and roll was the way forward. And why not, for in its immediate effect, music played live can infiltrate crowds, make bodies move, scream and dance, in a way that the visual arts cannot with such guarantee. A self confessed failed musician, artist Michael Gumhold presents Spartacus, his first UK solo show with a collection of new works that attempt a bridge between music culture and the aesthetic of the visual arts.

Typically inspired at an early age by album covers and the vernacular language of music, such as stage sets and musical equipment, Gumhold’s installations combine discarded equipment with iconic references to modern art. His new arrangements look like deserted music studios, except for the carefully added details which point us to something more, like a fragile ceiling made of cassette tapes, a balanced orange spinning on a vinyl turntable, and Duchamp’s infamous bicylce wheel spinning in the corner. These recycled sets, which in the past Gumhold has also referred to as ‘Rehearsal : Rooms’, carry with them an experimental sense of underground music culture, while reminding us of the formality of modernism.

British artist Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner, renowned for his experimental work that traverses the worlds of music, technology, visual art and performance will be in conversation with Gumhold and the Visual Arts Platform curators Adriana Marques and Eva Martischnig. Scanner’s latest project has been to compose the music for an avant-garde performance which opened the World Swimming Championships in Rome.

During the Frieze Art Fair in October 2009, the Visual Arts Platform will launch the latest issue of Black Pages, a monthly artist fanzine by Vienna based artists Christoph Meier, Ute Müller and Nick Oberthaler, whose October issue is designed by and features work by Michael Gumhold.

Gumhold, born 1978 in Graz, lives and works in Vienna. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna graduating in 2005. He will receive the Federal Chancellery of Austria Scholarship Tokyo in 2010. “Spartacus” is Gumhold's first exhibition in the UK.

The Visual Arts Platform is curated by Eva Martischnig and Adriana Marques and presents emerging artists from or working in Austria. The Visual Arts Platform is hosted by the Austrian Cultural Forum London which facilitates cultural exchange between Austria and the UK. The Visual Arts Platform began in 2006 and continues into its fifth year in 2010 with a solo show by Denise Sözen.

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Michael Gumhold
Kuratoren: Eva Martischnig, Adriana Marques