"Sonic Youth etc. ~ Sensational Fix" at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
DUSSELDORF, GERMANY -
The exhibition is devoted to the activities of the experimental guitar band Sonic Youth, which profoundly influenced style in the music and art scene from its founding in 1981. This is shown by the numerous joint projects of the band with artists, filmmakers, designers, and musicians, as well as by works of art that Sonic Youth has selected for the exhibition. The interdisciplinary show tells an alternative story of contemporary culture, of teenager rebellion, the restlessness of youth, of the craving for fame and the search for identity, gender roles, sexuality, and religion. This comprehensive project is being staged jointly by the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and KIT - Kunst im Tunnel. The exhibition will be shown 31 January – 10 May 2009.
Vito Acconci, Rita Ackermann, Jerry Aronson, Olivier Assayas, Dara Birnbaum, Angelique Bosio, Joe Brainhard, Glenn Branca, William S. Burroughs, John Cage, Ira Cohen, Tony Conrad, Sofia Coppola, Tacita Dean, Jeremy Earl, Barbara Ess, John Fahey, Jeff Feuerzeig, Marco Fusinato, Isa Genzken, Allan Ginsberg, Stefano Giovanni, Jack Goldstein, Mark Gonzales, Kim Gordon, Dan Graham, Richard Kern, Jack Kerouac, Curt Kirkwood (Meat Puppets), Jutta Koether, Harmony Korine, Levy, Robert Longo, George Maciunas, Yukinori Maeda, Gerard Malanga, Manda, Christian Marclay, Paul McCarthy, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Jonas Mekas, John Miller, Maya Miller, Heath Moerland, Robert Mooney, Thurston Moore, Michael Morley, Bill Nace, John Olson, Roberto Opalio, Jim O'Rourke, Tony Oursler, Steven Parrino, Raymond Pettibon, Edwin Pouncey (Savage Pencil), Richard Prince, Lee Ranaldo, Ed Ruscha, Gus Van Sant, Wilhelm Sasnal, Dana Schutz, Jim Shaw, David Shrigley, Leah Singer, Mike Smith, Patti Smith, and Robert Smithson.
Most people probably know Sonic Youth (Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, and Steve Shelley) as an experimental guitar band, and to a lesser extent as the multidisciplinary cultural protagonists they have been ever since the collective surfaced in 1981. From day one, Sonic Youth has been exploring and mapping unknown cultural territories through their activities as a band and as four individual musicians, visual artists or cultural entrepreneurs, each member with his or her specific ties to and within the international cultural scene. Through collaborations with musicians, visual artists, filmmakers, fashion designers, writers and other equally creative spirits, Sonic Youth expanded their artistic potential, which by now 27 years later could be defined as a true Sonic Universe.
Since the start, the band has been true to their attitude to be unorthodox and to do their own thing, and in their comprehensive output they continued – and still continue – to amalgamate punk rock’s rebellious posture and DIY attitude with experimental music and conceptual art, a production that in its range and complexity up until today remains unrivalled by that of any other band or artists’ collective.
Their album covers, inner sleeves and inlays have been the carriers of a multifaceted output of art by – next to the band members themselves. Many of Sonic Youth’s album covers are true collages in which material of a broad range of sources is freely put together, evoking relations between that what hardly had been imagined before to exist side by side in a single glance. This approach is triggered by the band’s curiosity about all sorts of subjects, such as beat poetry, avant-garde art and music.
SONIC YOUTH etc. : SENSATIONAL FIX follows a similar collage technique as the band applies for their album covers.
Through this multilayered collage we are able to uncover an alternative history of contemporary culture, while the goal of this exhibition is not so much to give a complete overview of the history of the band and their collaborations, but rather to pinpoint several directions taken by the band, while taking into account possible future collaborations, as the essence of Sonic Youth is that they constantly redefine their mission. Sonic Death inevitably followed their early credo Sonic Dirty, but what remains bouncing back and forth in this cycle is eternal renewal. And that’s Sonic Youth.
Visit the exhibition: Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany, www.kunsthalle-duesseldorf.de