Archive for Music and Musicians
Toby Mott’s collection, “Loud Flash: British Punk on Paper”, is being shown at Haunch of Venison (6 Burlington Gardens, London) until the end of October. “Loud Flash” includes works by Linder Stirling, Jamie Reid, and others.
Mott: “This exhibition seeks to capture punk’s cataclysmic collision with the cultural, social and political values of the time and show the enduring legacy it left in its wake.”
On September 16, The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University continues its series on art and vinyl with an artist talk by Xaviera Simmons followed by a performance by Superchunk.
Trevor Schoonmaker, curator, on The Record:
“Since the heyday of vinyl, and through its decline and recent resurgence, a surprising number of artists have worked with vinyl records. The Record presents some of the best, rarest and most unexpected examples. The artists in the exhibition use the vinyl record as metaphor, archive, artifact, icon, portrait, or transcendent medium.”
New York artist Adam Pendleton on New York photographer Xaviera Simmons.
Simmons, as an artist, doubles down. She captures the fiction/truth dialectic as well as anyone, dis-articulating assumptions about the quietly composed and staged images she makes. She’s a Brecht of the photographic endeavor. In her work, Simmons is not so much documenting the performance before the camera, but the performance itself. In one image from the series If We Believe in Theory, Simmons captures a young girl in the woods dressed like Little Red Riding Hood. It’s an example of Simmons using the suggestion of performance to capture the explicit and contradictory nature of individuality. Her subject becomes herself, and also a dismembered characterization of what we’re accustomed to look at. Still, it is not simply Simmons’s understanding of the imagistic theater of photography that is useful, but her way of using form to acknowledge that image is at the center of the creative construction of collective and personal histories. Simmons is a lexicographer who fuses live material and conceptual conceit; she deconstructs and retains a relation to specific times and places. Perhaps paradoxically, she often achieves this through unabashedly excessive detail, like in One Day and Back Then (Standing), where her character stands in a field of sea reeds in blackface, looking out at us, wearing all black (including stiletto boots), ready for a night out on the town.
Sunday evening, Memoryhouse and Twinsister played at The Cat’s Cradle. Denise Nouvion and Evan Abeele’s dream-, chill-, ambient-, choose-your-own-adjective-pop, was backgrounded with superimposed stills from 1960s home life.
Twinsister infused Talking Heads riffs and Velvet Underground drone with their own special mix of color and wash (their best piece was probably “I Want a House”).
The vintage clothing, the old-is-new compositions, the Ektachrome slides, all made me think that the desire to transcend time is the product of a shaken collective unconsciousness.
When I stepped out into the night–into the empty warm parking lot, with the smell of hot asphalt, with Andrea Estella’s voice still ringing out against the sound of the cicadas and the clicking of the stoplights changing red to green–I had stepped back twenty years.
“All of us had powerful experiences of pop music that was meaningful and had something real about it,” said Win Butler, 30. “We definitely didn’t choose to be in the position that we’re in, but I really think it’s come about in a pretty direct way, as close as something can get to people just responding to the music and it getting bigger. I think it’s important, if you’re going to do it, to do it for real.”
“I’ve been moved by albums a lot more than I’ve been moved by singles, and we’re an album band,” Mr. Butler said. “I’m not going to stop making albums because of some fad of digital distribution. The idea that you just have to make bad cheap stuff and sell it cheaply because the format changes, to me, is crazy. It’s more important than ever to me to have the artwork and the recording be as great as they can be.”