artists & participants


press release

Uwe Bressnik — Keith Rowe
The Music Before And Behind The Object Curated by Jozef Cseres & Georg Weckwerth

MAG3, Schiffamtsgasse 17, 1020 Vienna
Opening in the presence of the artists: Friday 3 March 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

Uwe Bressnik and Keith Rowe are two extraordinary artists with very different origins, background and poetics, but with an intense interest in the visual representations of sound and music that somehow connects them. Both are active as improvising musicians and so well-aware of the processual nature of sound. To catch its ephemeral essence in a stable image or object is always tricky. But not for Uwe Bressnik and Keith Rowe! They offer us playful and visually attractive assemblages where image and sound coexist in conceptual consensus. The way that they achieve this harmony varies from work to work, and employs different means and forms of representation — immanence, semblance, delusion, visual pun, or associative narration. Their inventive images show apparent stylistic identity but never tire. They force us to perceive and contemplate at the same time.

The exhibition features Uwe Bressnikʼs gramophone record variations and exaggerations, mute sound objects, and Keith Roweʼs narrative paintings, auto-referential prints (potential scores) and hanging guitar assemblages.

– Jozef Cseres, Georg Weckwerth

Uwe Bressnik was born in 1961, in Villach (Carinthia), and studied at the College of Applied Arts in Vienna from 1983, under Sepp Moosmann, Peter Weibel and Oswald Oberhuber. He graduated in painting and freelance graphics in 1989, under Ernst Caramelle. Bressnik pursues a transmedial approach, he works on an ongoing actualisation of the conventional genres of graphics, painting and sculpture by reinterpreting them with the visual achievements of adjacent cultural fields — such as new media, music and sound performances, or games and sports. His artistic spectrum is similarly broad, ranging from drawing, (print) graphics, painting, sculpture, photography, video, object art and installation to designing interiors, sound/-objects and performance. In 2000 Bressnik's artistic activity led him to focus on the links between Art and Music, as well as leading to work as a musician (autodidact) in live musical formats and free improvisation. He lives and works in Vienna.

Keith Rowe was born in 1940 in Plymouth, England, where he studied painting at the local art school, and here he met musician and band leader Mike Westbrook who engaged him as a guitar player in his jazz groups. In 1965 Rowe stood at the birth of the legendary group AMM and joined it till 2005. Since then he has played and recorded solo as well as with many prominent characters of modern improvised music, and he also led the occasional formation MIMEO (Music In Movement Orchestra). He rejoined the group after the AMM performance at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2015. As an artist Rowe was influenced by the action painting of Jackson Pollock, pop-art by Roy Lichtenstein, ready-mades by Marcel Duchamp, combines by Robert Rauschenberg, graphic scores by Cornelius Cardew and the indeterminism of John Cage. Though all these impacts are apparent in his music and painting, Rowe succeeded in creating his individual way and style of music-making and painting that influence each other in his work. He lives and creates in Vallet, France.

Jozef Cseres is a Slovakian scholar specialising in the aesthetics and philosophy of art, he is occasionally also active as a curator and publisher. Under the name HEyeRMEarS, Cseres balances on the borders between discursive and non-discursive modes of expression, and between art and games, performances, installations, audio-visual collages and various intermedia. He lives in Brno, Czech Republic.

Georg Weckwerth is a German independent artist-curator, exhibition maker and producer with a special focus on sound and art. He is founder and artistic director of TONSPUR Kunstverein Wien and curator of the permanent sound space TONSPUR_passage at MQ in Vienna [].