Rudolf Eb.er created Schimpfluch 1987 in Zurich, an audio-artists and aktionist collective for extreme performances and irritating audio/visual works. In November 2012 the Festival «Extreme Rituals: A Schimpfluch Carnival» in Bristol (UK) devotes three days to the legacy of the Swiss performance group, with a retrospective and a celebration of Schimpfluch Gruppe.
It was in the late 80’s when I first heard Psychic Rally, an experimental broadcast on our community radio in Zurich. I remember putting in a tape immediately to record this crazy cutups and noise excess i’ve never heard before (unfortunately the tape is lost, but the group released cassettes from 1989-1994). Psychic Rally had a monthly show for 7 years with lots of guest artists like Voice Crack, Dave Phillips, G*Park or The Haters. It was not until two years later attending a workshop about experimental broadcasting, led by Rudolf Eb.er and Joke Lanz, the founder of the show, when I met Eb.er for the first time. I guess I was too much into the guitar side of Punk music to not know what a ringmodulator was, but this simple modulation tool and their approach to mixing, vinyl bricolage and DIY electronics in an improvised setting was a true inspiration and trigger for my later work.
Rudolf Eb.er (RUNZELSTIRN & GURGELSTØCK), currently living in Japan, creater of the legendary Schimpfluch Gruppe, is not playing a lot in Switzerland. Last time I saw him in 2009 in a squat in Zurich, doing one of his rituals, a very intense, dark and physical performance (and yes, I also remember I almost threw up, because he was burning vinagre during the show right next to me). This summer he was on a short visit in Zurich. I talked to Rudolf Eb.er on a ferris wheel about his solo performances and how they have developed over the years. This interview (in german) is part of the norient project «Sonic Traces: From Switzerland».
Rudolf Eb.er, born austrian and grew swiss, is expert in scientific illustration, martial and therapeutic arts. Early sonic studies examined the importance of timing, the power of silence, and developed shocking and confusing-precise cut-up compositions, «aural alchemism», of documented extreme-situations, psycho-field-recordings, and direct actionism – an actionism of the unexpected. Regarded as «art-brut shamanist», Eb.er’s path leads down thru the unconscious, deepest regions of human psyche and animal instinct. Abreactive outbursts arranged in the high art of timing, as mediated in disciplines such as kung-fu, confront all senses with existence – and open up the way to the higher being.
«RUNZELSTIRN & GURGELSTØCK» is another name for Eb.er’s psycho-active audio-art and «psycho-physical tests and trainings», performed and produced global. Eb.er increasingly focus his «purification rituals» on breathing exercices, concentrated chi-energy and shifting psycho-magic to enter the super-consciousness, the nondualist awareness of «ultimate reality» (from www.runzelstirn-gurgelstock.net).
«Extreme Rituals: A Schimpfluch Carnival» - 30 November - 2 December 2012
Arnolfini, a space for contemporary art in Bristol (UK), presents a three-day series of performances, talks and more devoted to the legacy of Schimpfluch. Sound and Music London, partner of the festival, gives some insights to the coming up event:
«The Extreme Rituals carnival is a long-overdue retrospective and a celebration of Schimpfluch. Through an extensive programme will highlight the influence Schimpfluch has had since the late 80s, with audiences treated to a selection of performances, sound-installations, films, photographs and contextualising panel discussions. Alongside core Schimpfluch acts such as Runzelstirn & Gurgelstøck, Sudden Infant, G*Park and Dave Phillips this carnival weekender features rare UK appearances by international guest artists such as GX Jupitter-Larsen, Phurpa and Vagina Dentata Organ.»
Schimpfluch Gruppe – Paris 1996/97
Video not available anymore.
Schimpfluch Gruppe – Art Demolition Festival Taiwan, 1995
short documentary about art demolition festival, panchiao, taipei county, taiwan 1995. schimpfluch-gruppe.
Schimpfluch Gruppe, London 2006
Extreme Rituals also features performances by:
The New Blockaders, Junko Hiroshige (Hijokaidan), Bryan Lewis Saunders, Vicky Langan (Wölflinge), Alice Kemp, Daniel Löwenbrück, Ute Waldhausen, Doreen Kutzke, Michael Barthel, Joachim Montessuis, Leif Elggren, Rashad Becker, Christian Weber, M. Vänçi Stirnemann, Mike Dando, and more.
Further Reading on Norient
> «Noise and Meaning» by Thomas Burkhalter and Simon Grab