Exhuming The Grave Of God's Gift

Marleigh showed me the following advertisement for an art show upon my arrival home from work. Check it:

PRESS RELEASE Michael Dee, Amy Sarkisian, Mark Alan Taylor Drink Fight Fuck September 22 – October 22, 2006 Gallery hours: By Appointment Opening reception: Friday, September 22, 7 – 9pm Brooklyn-based Mark Alan Taylor, Los Angeles artist Amy Sarkisian, and recent transplant from NY to LA, Michael Dee, attended Kent State, Ohio for undergraduate studies - at a time when the punk/hardcore scene was a large part of the creative makeup in the Kent/Akron, Ohio area. This period (1987 – 1999) distinguished by a rich, relatively recent, music history (Devo, Pere Ubu, Sockeye) was set apart from other contemporary scenes geographically and conceptually, by existing outside of the influence of media and major labels by its own accessibility: free, all age shows, and cheap, low standards of living. The three artists in Drink Fight Fuck have maintained a commitment to the values of the hardcore genre, by continuing to embrace the vision of underachievement – ironically by taking conceptual risks – as well as the endurance of uninhibited determination (read: ambition). Whether the decline of the hardcore movement in the area these three cut their undergraduate teeth on was marked specifically by the passing of harsh noise ordinance and residency laws, or more generally by global influences via the internet or changes in angst trends in youngsters, or even by the death of the ultimate hardcore king himself - GG Allin (and for who this show is named for) - what does remain, amongst the few, is a commitment to reoccurring hardcore themes such as the authenticity of failure, sexual dysfunction, puking, shitting, punching, and cuming. Oh yeah, and formalism. As evidenced by the technically morbid proficient work of Mark Taylor; attention to humorous detail of Amy Sarkisian or symmetrical/asymmetrical operative-driven Michael Dee. For more information, please contact Allyson Spellacy at allyson@angelahanley.com

This, my friends, is a prime example of why most "art" kids should be herded into boxcars and driven to work camps (think chain gangs here, not Dachau). Behind the coy wordplay and stunningly inadequate sense of punk rock history lies yet another co-opting of real art by well-heeled diletanttes hoping to earn street cred and probably turn a buck at the expense of a movement they obviously know little to nothing about. Point for point:

The hardcore sub-genre of punk, while most definitely reactionary, was absolutely not about "the authenicity of failure". Most (if not all) hardcore was informed by oppressive political climates and regional economics (see Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Crass). While not all subject matter in early hardcore was overtly political, the nihilism of the times in which it was created expressed itself in dark comedy and satire (Devo, Fear, The Screamers) or puerile silliness (The Circle Jerks, Black Flag). Hardcore was (and in its best moments, still is) a visceral rebellion against the watermarks of a corrupt system--ironically, the aforementioned "puking, shitting, punching, and cuming (sic)". Any argument to the contrary reveals a merely superficial understanding of a complex and vibrant art.

As far as GG goes, his expression was pure--there was no scholarly analysis, no condescending gestures to outsider art, no affectation. There was no bullshit. He would have taken a hot liquid shit on the arrogant fuckwads who perpetrate hokey capitalist garbage like by appointment art galleries. He detested art, and rightfully so, because he knew on a very basic level that art didn't belong to him, just like it doesn't belong to any of us. Art as we know it today is a scientific term, a tool and methodology by which interested parties can predict consumer trends and market themselves to appropriate niche demographics. Anyone in the business of recreating and romancing a movement they know little about isn't in the business of making art--they're in the art of making business.

Fuck anyone that forgets it.


Blogger Whit said...

I like their name though. Reminds me of Friday night.

20/9/06 1:08 AM  
Anonymous Ally said...

Dear Drunken Bicycle Collective,

Thanks for the review, it's the first bad one and I will always cherish it. Because at least you're honest, if not a bit misinformed, and in this (yes you're right) "business" I'd rather have the former over the latter. I'm not a well- heeled diletannte, although I've also wanted one, and I'm not a kid. Tell me you're not the person who puked on the table by the bathroom that night. Or called the cops 4 minutes into Indian Jewelry. Please come to the next show "One of these things is not like the Other" it opens Friday, Dec 15th. Best - Allyson. PS I love your blog, where have you been my whole one year in LA?

24/11/06 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Allyson Spellacy said...

sorry, here's my full info

24/11/06 11:26 AM  

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