The Rosenberg Museum was founded by Jon Rose in the remote and unsuspecting Slovakian village of Violin to preserve an encyclopedic variety of mutated "violins" invented by a dynasty of madmen who don't actually exist. Jon in fact made them all himself and has spent the last several decades educating the public about their alleged creators, "The Rosenbergs," through international art exhibitions, university lectures, and publishing books on the history of these mysterious perverts who are actually him. "I had to plagiarize my own work to support it," Rose once observed. But truth becomes stranger than fiction as the Rosenbergs steer Jon's own history in unpredictable directions around the world from wreaking anarchy in shopping malls to making marmalade out of violin cases.
Alex Ross's observation that "Even if history can never tell us exactly what music means, music can tell us something about history," takes on a fresh contextual veneer as the Rosenbergs present us with a musical spy hole into how history, and even our personal tastes, can be transmitted to us. "The Rosenbergs might be described as surrealist satire dealing with many of the issues now facing the musical culture of this world," said Jon Rose during the 1998 International Rosenberg Symposium in Rotterdam. "Between them, the Rosenbergs deal with everything from the pointlessness of 'jazz education,' why there is so much really bad performance art, the agony of musicologists, the ignorant pretensions of music criticism, the business of the 'culture' industry, etc...so if you want to know 'where we are going and who is paying for the pizza after the gig'..."
This video was made by Steve Elkins, director of the feature documentary "The Reach Of Resonance," which juxtaposes the creative paths of Jon Rose, Bob Ostertag, Miya Masaoka, John Luther Adams, and Kronos Quartet.
Some of the archival materials of The Rosenberg Museum were shot by Konstanze Binder, Andrea Horečná and Barbora Paššová.
All music composed by Jon Rose and Hollis Taylor.
For more about the Rosenbergs and The Rosenberg Museum, see "Violin Pornography": vimeo.com/33515964