Friday, 7 June 2019
Various Artists - Views Beside... -1982- (7 Inch EP, Ed. Vogelsang), Germany
This is a rare artists' 7 Inch that accompanied an art book edited by Fritz Balthaus, published by Ed. Vogelsang in Berlin in 1982. Unfortunately I don't have the book, but according to information online it was an anthology assembling contributions by numerous artists: texts, photos, collages, drawings, an object (a pencil), and the six audio pieces on the 7", which was housed in a generic inner sleeve attached to the inside of the back cover of the book.
It's another nice example of the music experiments that were going on in the West-Berlin art scene and the galleries of the time in which there was dialogue, overlap (or colission as you wish) between the art academies and more established art world with the DIY underground of the time. Neue Deutsche Welle music and its performance aspects balanced on these two fringes, because of the often conceptual nature in the artistic approach. You can find certain examples of this in Berliner bands like Die Tödliche Doris, the whole Geniale Dilletanten happening in Berlin's Tempodrom in 1981 or the Berlin Super 8 DIY art-films that were being made by local experimental musicians and artists. On a sidenote, these type of happenings and musical output also took place in East-Berlin and other GDR cities like Dresden and Leipzig. There is a nice documentary in German about that here. These expressions were much more marginal and obviously not tolerated by the regime so at times quite dangerous for the artists in their practices.
On this little record there are various artists compiled from Berlin as well as foreign places: the first piece is made by Florence born Italian visual artist Maurizio Nanucci, who started to work with neon typography in the late 60's. His work deals with the relation between his research on linguistics and the visual experience of colours.
Then there is Berlin artist and writer Thomas Kapielski who also worked a lot with the important experimental musician Frieder Butzmann in the 80's. Kapielski is still active to this day. Also Fritz Balthaus is present, an artist that in his work dealt a lot with the mediation between architecture and design in (public) spaces. American composer Beth Anderson is compiled with a nice track that is also the most poppy on the record.
Lastly there is a piece by conceptual visual artist Rolf Julius based on a reel-to-reel voice cut-up of American female voice experimentalist Joan La Barbara and a piece by Fred Szymanski of the great New York band Ike Yard, which was the only band from the US to be featured on the Factory Records roster during the 80's.
Some nice sound-art pieces from Berlin's past.
Get it HERE