From 1st March to 11th August 2018




In his preface the intendant of Deichtorhallen Hamburg Dirk Luckow writes:

The exhibition Hyper! A Journey into Art and Music shows in many facets the close relationship between contemporary art and music: Artists are inspired by music. Curator is the journalist Max Dax, formerly editor-in-chief of the music magazines Spex and Electronic Beats. For nearly thirty years, Max Dax has been tracking the cross-references between these two genres. On the basis of nearly 300 works by 60 artists and numerous concerts in this context, the exhibition also offers an entirely new look at the exchange between art and music, which has shaped the activity in both areas.

The exhibition titles Hyper! originally comes from the techno band Scooter and reappears unexpectedly in a painting by Albert Oehlen from 2007. While Scooter’s music is based on hard, monotonous bass lines and expresses a rebellious-hedonistic attitude, Oehlen is inspired by the superficiality of Scooter – in the literal sense. Meeting the spirit of the times with banality and emptiness is one of many artistic devices that art and music use to drive each other.

The exhibition Hyper! A Journey into Art and Music does not set out to refer yet again to Andy Warhol’s Velvet Underground or to present artists who also make music. It takes a much broader view of the substantial relationship between art and music, including a variety of works created especially for the exhibtion, among them paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, and installations, which address music from the perspective of visual arts, as well as numerous hybrid multimedia works. Copy & paste, quotations, re-mixes, the ever-redefined notion of authorship, and permanent conceptual deconstruction – the picture that Max Dax frames is splintery, pointing in many directions, and creates a sensitivity for reading works differently and understanding them better, not least through the interviews he held with almost all of the participating artists for this catalogue. Located between the highest theoretical standards and a very personal level of experience, they provide illuminating comments on the contributions shown in the exhibition.

The exhibition will be opened at the Hall for Contemporary Art with a concert by the Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle / F.S.K. Their piece A Pile of Shit and a Smashed Piano takes the rock music tradition of onstage deconstruction of electric guitars and feeds it back into the Fluxus practice of smashing pianos. In the exhibition, music and art are cooperating practices of resistance, offering a kind of survival strategy against the routine of everyday life, fostering a visionary hope that defies the abyss of that everyday life.