Bruce Conner: The 1970s (Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna)

From 8 October 2010 until 30 January 2011, Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, Austria, presents the extensive exhibition Bruce Conner. The 70s” with works of the US artist. Not the least, the almost ruminant video work “Crossroads” is on show, a 1976 b&w short film of 36 minutes length about the first underwater nuclear weapons test on the Bikini Atoll.

Captivating beauty of destruction: Crossroads

Operation Crossroads was the first nuclear explosion since the Second World War, and the US’s second atomic bomb test operation, including two detonations: on 1 July 1946, the bomb Able was dropped, followed on 25 July 1946 by the bomb’s Baker explosion 27 metres below see, sporting 23 ktons, too. 10 target shipw were sunk, including two battleships (USS Arkansas and the Japanese Nagato), the aircraft carrier CV-3 USS Saratoga and the German cruiser Prinz Eugen.

Enjoy your meal! Admiral William H.P. Blandy and his wife cut an Operation Crossroads gâteau (on the right, Admiral Frank Lowry)

Bruce Conner (1933-2008) used governmental footage of 27 camera angles of this atomic explosion and added a musical score by Terry Riley. Mostly in extreme slow-motion, the same explosion unfolds again and again. Its destructive power presents itself as poetic beauty, something that is bewildering or unsettling the film’s viewers even today .

The avantgarde artist became primarily famous for his film works that are widely seen as forerunners of later video clips. More than 100 works are shown in the exhibition (curated by Gerald Matt and Barbara Steffen), including drawings, paintings, lithographs, prints, photogrammes, photographs and three films.

I am an artist, an anti-artist.

Bruce Conner

The exhibition is accompanied by the catalogue Ursula Blickle (ed.): “Bruce Conner – The 70s” (Vienna: Verlag für moderne Kunst), ISBN 978-3869841601, 218 pages with some 150 pictures; 38,- €/60 US$.

Bruce Conner: The 70s
8 October 2010 – 30 January 2011
Fr-We 1000-1900h, Th 1000-2100h
Admission 7 €, concessions 5,50 €

Kunsthalle Wien
Museumsplatz 1
1070 Vienna

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