Karl Salzmann: Monopulism

Exhibition Website

Jun 29 2017 - Sep 4 2017

Austrian Cultural Forum

New York City, NY

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. 

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

  • Multi-media / Digital / Video
  • European
  • Contemporary
  • Karl Salzmann

Exhibition Venues & Dates