Press release available only in original language.
Vienna as music capital of the world—this hackneyed label usually refers to different styles of classical music, from the Viennese school of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, to Schubert and Strauss, to twelve-tone music. This terrain, including a specific “Viennese” aesthetic, has been the subject of extensive research.
This is not the case for pop music since the end of World War II. While names such as Georg Danzer, Falco, and, more recently, Wanda, are known outside Austria as musical ambassadors for #vienna who are as singular as they are prototypical, any systematic assessment or description of the phenomenon remains rudimentary. The book Wien Pop. Fünf Jahrzehnte Musikgeschichte erzählt von 130 Protagonisten ( #vienna Pop. Five Decades of Music History as Told by 130 Protagonists ), published by Falter Verlag in 2013, was a first step in this direction. The exhibition #vienna Calling. A History of Pop Music now goes one step further and tells a history of #vienna since the 1950s that focuses on eleven pop music hotspots. These range from the Strohkoffer bar, where the avant-garde Wiener Gruppe (Vienna Group) were among the performers, to Voom Voom, a hotbed of scandal in the 1960s, to the Folkclub Atlantis of the 1970s, and from the 1980s cult disco U4 to more recent hip and alternative venues such as Flex and rhiz.
A “pop tour” of #vienna is especially topical right now. Acts successful on the international scene such as Bilderbuch learned their craft from Falco and the Wiener Gruppe. In their own way, singers such as Der Nino aus Wien and Voodoo Jürgens are carrying on a specifically Viennese tradition established by H.C. Artmann and taken up by Wolfgang Ambros. And not to mention the links between Gustav and the protest collective Schmetterlinge.
The exhibition “Vienna Calling” showcases prized objects and unknown materials taken from a range of predominantly private collections and archives and features videos, concert photos, record covers, flyers and posters, stage outfits, musical instruments, curios, and much more. A total of over 300 objects are on display. These are accompanied by over 40 audiovisual exhibits that recreate the sounds of almost 70 years of pop history, including Wolfgang Ambros, Die Bambis, Bilderbuch, Blümchen Blau, Chuzpe, Al Cook, Georg Danzer, Drahdiwaberl, Falco, Jack Grunsky, Gustav, the Hallucination Company, André Heller, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Hansi Lang, Marianne Mendt, Minisex, Misthaufen, Der Nino aus Wien, Novak’s Kapelle, Pulsinger & Tunakan, Schmetterlinge, Schönheitsfehler, Soap & Skin, The Dead Nittels, The #vienna Beatles, Tom Pettings Herzattacken, and Wanda.
The exhibition also presents a selection from the Lexikon der österreichischen Popmusik ( Encyclopedia of Austrian Pop Music ) compiled by the radio station Ö1. This radio series documents the life and work of individual musicians and bands, exploring their impact on Austria’s musical landscape and their role in the emergence of subcultural milieus (oe1.orf.at/lexikonderpopmusik). A richly illustrated, 200-page catalogue published by Metroverlag accompanies the exhibition.
A HISTORY OF POP MUSIC
Wien Museum Karlsplatz, 1040 Vienna
September 14, 2017 to March 25, 2018
Tuesday to Sunday and public holidays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
T +43 1 5058747-85173
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