Good Press & Fritz Welch present MARBLES IN MY MOUTH 03.09.16 - 28.10.16
Opening Saturday 3rd September 2016 3pm - 6pm
The whole story of how I got ahold of this book started in 1999 or 2000 when I was in Vienna making an installation at Kunsthalle Exnergasse. It was part of an exhibition called Agit-Prop Vienna put together by a cooperative curatorial group from NYC that wanted to chip in a response to the right wing government that had been recently elected in Austria. Viennese students and activists had been occupying, protesting and raising hell for months and we set out to try to add to the radical stew. As seems typical in my traveling experience I was pretty naïve about what was happening in such a complex environment but did my best to make something meaningful and clever in a situation in which artistic political engagement had been fermenting for months. I probably failed in my attempts but had a total blast in Vienna and met the party animal artist and accordion player Hans-Jorg Lohn. He was hanging around the kunsthalle and generously showed me the town, got me drunk and kept me entertained.
A year later I was back there on my way home from doing a project in Prague. Hans-Jorg took me out for schnitzel (aka meat carpet) and we drank at a red bar with red velvet curtains, a portrait of Marlene Dietrich and loads of vampiric bar flies. He gave me a pad of handmade drawing paper, a pencil made from a twig and a copy of the Viktor Rogy book. It was very matter-of-fact, “Here's a book by an Austrian artist. Maybe you will like it. He did performances reciting poetry with marbles in his mouth and had a cafe called OM where he put photos of right wing politicians with Hitler mustaches scribbled on their faces in the front window. He pissed off loads of people!” BOOM! This book just fell into my lap. And when my first copy was ruined in a flood, Hans-Jorg gave me a brand new one. What a guy!
I showed the book to Matt and Jess when I was getting to know them. I didn’t realize they would be so blown away by it. We’ve been trying to track down more copies but it’s out of print and quite expensive. We’ve been talking about doing something with it for ages. There’s even a bootleg in the works somewhere, due to come out sometime. But in the meantime we want to show you this book. Its all here, copied, spread out and ready to roll. Viktor Rogy is pretty mysterious, especially for non German speakers. His online presence is spotty and no one in Vienna will answer questions about him. His entire career and peculiar practice seems to be contained on these pages but he certainly was never going to begin to explain any of it
Have a look and unravel.... take a nice clinical gander at your mama’s funny forgotten uncle.