GRAF+ZYX : Museum of Private Arts

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Already in the late 1970s GRAF+ZYX committed themselves to the „aestheticisation of everyday life“ in all fields of a cross-culture. Their works with video, computer, laser, web design and programming, photography, graphic design, video sculpture, and music are visually influenced by Pop Art, Constructivism, Futurism, Dadaism and contemporary design, and musically rooted in Beat and Electronic Rock of the 60s and 70s, Free Jazz and classical modern music, whereas the lyrics in English – always composed and interpreted by GRAF+ZYX themselves – resemble obscure, existentialist dialogues. When required, voice modulation transforms the lyrics into a linguistically indefinable echoism.

Their conceptual approach and their theoretical texts on their intermedia works can also be understood from these universal aspects. Beauty next to ugliness and complex sophisticated constructions next to stereotypical simplicity, in peaceful co-existence. An intellectually harsh phrase next to an aesthetically disorientating, exuberant emotionality to the point of a „comix“, which is directed at unsettling the audience in general. As soon as the viewer believes in having fully grasped the artistic intention and relaxes in the certainty of his observation, another subliminally delivered cynical phrasing is guaranteed to foil this idyll.

GRAF+ZYX want to have their artistic as well as their commercial productions understood as a personal signpost of their dissociation from human nature at large and as a subversive criticism on seemingly collectively trusted ways of thinking and character codes. Moreover, they want to have them seen as an all-integrating interpretation transcending media and space, as an aesthetic if all the same ephemeral statement on an »unutterable«, intellectually and emotionally diverging whole.

In addition to the production of tapes, records and video clips as well as advertising, from 1982 onwards they began to develop their own »media synthetic programmes« especially for the display in art exhibitions. These multi- and intermedia audiovisual compositions were staged in form of tape-concerts, multiple stacked projections [S-8 movies] or video clip projections, and extended by live dance performance or pieces of their own art production – pictures and objects. From 1984 onwards they presented their move towards the design of space and its electronic arrangement as »electronic architecture« or »electrodynamic space design« in exhibitions and in broadcastings of the ORF (public Austrian TV and radio channel) to the public.

© tamara star|R| [translated by Simone von der Geest]