The Electronic Vision of Conrad Schnitzler
Click here to read an essay on the life and work of Conrad Schnitzler prepared by Wolfgang Seidel for this exhibition, and here to visit the website dedicated to Schnitzler’s work, maintained by Gen Ken Montgomery.
Conrad Schnitzler (1937-2011) is legendary in the German electronic and avant-garde music scene as a founding member of Tangerine Dream and of Kluster. Though mostly known as a composer, his intermedia video work from the 60s, 70s and 80s is far less known. At Fourth Wall in March 2015, we are given a rare opportunity witness Schnitzler’s work with moving images as well as some rare photographs of his sculptural work in metal.
Schnitzler studied sculpture with Joseph Beuys at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art, exhibited his black and white metal sculptures in Berlin, and participated in performances and “happenings” in the same circles as many Fluxus artists, although he rejected being a part of any group or movement. In the early 70s Schnitzler left all of his sculptures in an open field, abandoned the art world and began to devote himself to composing music. His continual and prolific self-produced electronic music gained an international cult following. Schnitzler’s immense creative energy could not be limited to one medium. He continuously experimented with moving images to accompany his music by painting and scratching directly on 8mm film, shooting stop-motion animations and designing sets in which he filmed himself performing. By the 80s Schnitzler had become increasingly reclusive, shooting long meditative videos accompanied by his distinctive electronic musical scores.
This program of moving images accompanied by Schnitzler’s vintage electronic soundtracks are selected from a vast video archive, most of which has never been seen publicly before.
CON-MYTHOLOGY/Moving Image has been put together by Conrad’s friend and collaborator “Gen” Ken Montgomery in co-operation with Fourth Wall’s guest curators, Mike Bullock and Linda Aubry Bullock.