High Fidelity
Artist's Records in the Marzona Collection

22.10.2008 to 01.02.2009


To mark the 60th anniversary of the vinyl record, the exhibition will be presenting the sound archives of the Marzona Collection with a selection of three hundred artist's records. The records will be on display and interspersed with books, musical scores, posters, design sketches and photographs.

Compared to other forms of media, the record offered artists recording possibilities hitherto undreamed of. Recording, cutting, fading, mixing and layering by way of a spool of audio tape made the realization of acoustic scenarios possible that had until then been unrealizable in any other way. As a storage device of voice and sound the record brought with it the promise of authenticity, the direct presence, albeit only in an acoustic sense, of the speaker, singer or player. This promise of 'high fidelity' even came to serve as the popular advertising slogan of the day. In parody of the anticipation of the 'good sound' several artists began recording their own voices on audio tape and having them pressed in vinyl, as well as designing the cover and label of the record themselves and distributing records on their own labels. The radical change in the artistic practices around 1960 was a surprisingly fresh response - even in today's terms - to technological innovations and commercial advertising as well as to the the LP's various forms of distribution which were an attempt to make them work to their own advantage.