Richard Kriesche

a solo exhibition : a solo presence

Duration of exhibition: March 26 – October 2, 2022
Place of exhibition: Museum der Moderne Salzburg
Curator: Jürgen Tabor

The exhibition presents Richard Kriesche (1940 Vienna, AT – Graz, AT) as an international pioneer of media art. In his critical and socially committed oeuvre he analyzes and reflects the media, information, and digitalization revolutions from the 1960s to this day. His works also address the question as to the essence of art and its role and function in society. Kriesche’s works are based on an expanded understanding of art. In this context, he repeatedly forges alliances with science, research, economics, and politics.

The solo exhibition at Museum der Moderne Salzburg includes a selection of significant groups of works from 1963 to 2022 that stand for the artist’s remarkably long career. Beginning with his ongoing exploration of information and communication technologies, the exhibition makes it possible to see various sociotechnical phases and ruptures over the past six decades. Kriesche’s work does not unfold any kind of universal history, however, but rather takes an approach based on specific projects that closely explore the artistic and social potential of these innovations. Kriesche’s stance is neither characterized by a naive enthusiasm for technology nor by hypercritical or dystopic visions. He rather analyzes the aesthetic parameters of new media and technologies and their pictorial, formal, and semiotic idioms, looking for opportunities to use these productively for society in the form of art.

This exhibition, developed in close cooperation with the artist himself, presents early video works and TV actions, telematic sculptures, social and often collective projects, as well as Kriesche’s critical investigation of the genetic code as a store of information, and his interest in the connections between digitalization and economics. The exhibition also includes a selection from Kriesche’s very earliest group of works, the conceptual paintings of the numerical systems (1963–70), in which he anticipated basic features of digital image processing. The exhibition is based on works from the Generali Foundation Collection, complemented by loans from the artist and further collections.

As part of the exhibition RE-PLAY. Beginnings of International Media Art in Austria, the Generali Foundation in Vienna already presented central works by Richard Kriesche, including his action tv-tod III (tv-death III, first shown in 1974). 

Richard Kriesche, tv-tod III (tv death III), 1974/2000; TV performance on May 11, 2000 at the Generali Foundation, Vienna; video (color, sound), 4:05 min., video monitor, type BARCO CRM with bullet hole (action relic), Generali Foundation–Permanent Loan to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg © Generali Foundation–Permanent Loan to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Bildrecht, Vienna 2022, photo: Rainer Iglar
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