Alpine Gothic. Black Saliva
Black Saliva by Alpine Gothic presented at a new location:
Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Mönchsberg, auditorium, January 3–30, 2023
Black Saliva was initially shown, as planned, as part of the “Art in the Elevator” series from November 3, 2022, in the cabins of the Mönchsberg elevator. Before long, however, staff were receiving negative feedback from elevator users and museum visitors, who, exposed to it in the tight and enclosed space of the elevator cabin, perceived the work as oppressive and causing physical discomfort. In response, the Museum der Moderne Salzburg decided, in consultation with the artists, to no longer display the work in the elevator and instead to present it in the auditorium of the museum’s Mönchsberg location. The Museum der Moderne Salzburg would like to emphasize that the quality of Alpine Gothic’s work is beyond question. Until January 30, 2023, the MönchsbergElevator is now again showing the video She Was Once Miss Rimini by the artist Manon, previously screened there.
About the work:
2009 founded by Christina Breitfuß, Erik Hable, and Wolfgang Wirth
Black Saliva, 2011–2012/2022
Video (color, sound), 4:24 min., loop
Courtesy of the artists
The collective Alpine Gothic focuses on processual, site-specific, and often participatory projects. Through shifts in perspective and context, these projects examine phenomena, myths, and rituals in rural areas.
The video Black Saliva developed from the exploration of a technique used in cave paintings: a pigment slurry was made by chewing charcoal and then spat onto the cave walls. Saliva served as a binding agent. For their painting actions, the artists used commercially available charcoal tablets and, instead of rock walls, arranged sheets of fabric or crumpled paper into cave-like, claustrophobic spaces. Smoothed out, these supports reveal intriguing graphic works that bear no trace of the physical exertion and radical working method used to produce them.
The first public performance took place in 2011 as part of the group exhibition Demnächst. Orte für werdende Kunst (Coming Soon. Places for Originating Art) at the Salzburg Gallery 5020. The focus lay on questions about art production and the conditions of artistic work processes. The video documentation created there is shown on a flatscreen and provides insight into the setting of the cave built and the paper webs created during the performance.
In parallel, a second video documentation refers to the most recent performance – Geste 2 (Gesture 2) – on the ongoing project at the Toihaus Theater in Salzburg on November 5, 2022, in which the audience was encouraged to participate in the performance themselves in an altered functional setting reminiscent of a bar. A sculptural spatial object not only offered the charcoal tablets that were handed to the participants by a female performer, but also served as a frame for the paper surface to be spat upon.
A supplementary video shows a tracking shot through a saliva-spat setting.