WHEN : 30th October – 13th December
WHERE : Pestorius Sweeney House
David Pestorius is pleased to present ANTI–MUSIC: 1979–1983, the most comprehensive retrospective of this important Australian artist collective, which in the early 1980s gained international recognition for its conflation of experimental music, punk and post-conceptual strategies.
An umbrella term for a large number of recording groups comprised mainly of artists with little or no musical training, ANTI–MUSIC was founded in 1979 by John Nixon, who also co-ordinated its activities over the five year duration of the project. Experimenting with a wide-range of musical genres, including folk, rock, pop, electronica, improv, film music, noise, muzak, and even opera, ANTI–MUSIC eschewed live performance, instead preferring anonymity and concentrating on DIY cassette-tape recording processes. Welded to all this was Pneumatic Drill, a publishing project initiated by Nixon in 1981 to elaborate the theoretical concerns of the enterprise. As with the recordings of ANTI–MUSIC, the Pneumatic Drill had many contributors, including Tony Clark, Paul Taylor, Peter Tyndall, Gary Warner, and Jenny Watson, to name just some of them.
During its lifetime, ANTI–MUSIC was presented in diverse forms and contexts, including Art Projects, V Space and the Clifton Hill Community Music Centre in Melbourne; the Institute of Modern Art (IMA), Q Space and Radio 4ZZZ–FM in Brisbane. In 1982 the project was included in Bill Wright’s Biennial of Sydney, the first time a large international survey of contemporary art — anywhere — featured a section devoted to recent tendencies in experimental music and sound art. Only a few months earlier, an ANTI–MUSIC sampler was released by the innovative English cassette-magazine Audio Arts. In 2004 this sampler was acquired by The Tate and can today be accessed on its website. While the vast body of work that is ANTI–MUSIC predominantly consists of master cassette tape recordings (here presented en masse in a display conceived by Nixon), two commercially available cassettes were produced in relatively small editions in advance of the Audio Arts release. In both instances, these cassettes were collaborations with Brisbane’s foremost post-punk groups The Go-Betweens and Out Of Nowhere, and included printed sleeves that featured graphics by Jenny Watson, Gary Warner, and Grant McLennan (The Go-Betweens).
For further information, please contact David Pestorius on (07) 3262 4870.