Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Socially Questionable Is The New Pink?

I don't even know WHAT the fuck to say about this....

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"Fowler’s most recent performance project/band, Disaster, began as a direct address to what he sees as the growing roster of bands with socially questionable names (Aids Wolf, Jay Reatard etc.). In doing so, Fowler created a project he himself would find morally negligent in hopes of understanding their motives."


M*P*Lockwood said...

Thank goodness the poor sensitive fellow has never heard of bands like the Dead Kennedys or heavens, Anal Cunt?!

"BARR performances explore the spaces in which Fowler’s body performs before the audience songs taken from records about spaces for audiences, continuing the process as it presents itself live and in real time."

I can sympathize with this. I also had days in art school where I woke up and realized I had a project due which I totally forgot about so I had to take some video of my band and make up some BS "artist's statement" an hour before class too. I give this one a C-.

But really, you know, making people question what they consider socially acceptable is FAR better art than a bunch of "thesis" gibberish.

chloe lum said...

What do you suppose he thinks of Joy Division?

The disturbing part is , I don't think he's some barely outta art school , he's actually got a fairly impressive CV.

I mean I guess it's no surprise , I went to art school too and saw "issues" overiding aesthetic CONSTANTLY (that in turn led to intense frustration , dropping out and pursuing graphic arts and punk rawk instead of "fine arts" ) BUT the fact is , the issue at hand is trivial at best.

And aesthetically , well let's just say it looks like it was done , concept to framing , a half hour before he had to drop it off.

I love how you see the paper wrinkling under the frame .

I hope this isn't representative of this guy's body of work 'cause it makes the art world look like some elaborate joke where the edumacated are trying to pass one over the pleebs.

I guess that's what I find inherently repugnant over this kind a of rhetoric driven work - it's totally classist.

Quinn said...

At least this isn't as utterly unpalatable as his music.

chloe lum said...

I actually only heard the music for the first time last night... sounds like an in-joke for over privileged grad students who fancy themselves clever .

Andre just told me that he was actually supposed to play that show at the smell with us , HEALTH , Abe Vigoda and XBXRX . I'm wondering if he being billed and then dropping off was part of the "conceptual performance".

I had always though BARR was Mick Barr solo , too bad it's not.

I don't really see anything palatable or aesthetically interesting in this. To me , it look amateurish and awkward at *best*. The layout is not dynamic , the colors aren't interesting (the red barely contrasts on the xerox) , the image of the van isn't compelling in anyways and the tyography is totally flat.
Plus the spray paint in the stencil is translucent , making it get lost on the black.

He would have been better off placing a sticker that said canceled over the flyer.

My friend Dan said something smart about it :

"It's pretty easy to spot art which is made to play the game. Ultimately it becomes all game and no art. Subjectivity aside, If I need to read a stilted essay full of absurd, obscurantist non-speak, bogus cultural agendas, and general BS in order to know why something is not the piece of half-baked poopoo it appears to be... then I know that I am wasting my time."

dcp said...

heh, heh, the description says "cum-sculptural objects." But seriously, I've never heard of this guy and I'm really interested in a lot of bad art/rock. The profundity of his address to socially questionable band names(?!) reaches outside this little orb into a new galaxy of artistic handjobism. Did this address, so direct, include the lack of capitalization of AIDS Wolf in the artists snapshot bio? Oh, and it could simply be poor photo quality, but it looks as if he needs some more work using spray-mount to attach the adhere the fliers.

Ranting aside, in honor of this occasion I would like to offer a list of band names I'm waiting to hear:

Hard Reamer
Rape Universe
My Johnson Is 12 Inches Long (PCU?)
The Analrapists
The Good-Time N.A.M.B.L.A. Band

I dipped my balls in snow said...





vwarner said...

Ah Christ. I'm so sick of the debate about the name. It was valid for maybe three seconds, and quickly became SO FUCKING TIRED.

It's apparently wrong and exploitive just to REFER to something touchy. Actually, I posit that Jay Reatard is more offensive than AIDS Wolf (if you're gonna be all technical about it) because "retard" is derogatory. AIDS is just a word, after all.

What's really offensive is that this crap is being validated by being shown in a gallery. Gag.

chloe lum said...

and for sale for 3 grand , no less.

beck said...

people who take issue with band names like yours (or mine) tend to be:
-unable (obviously) to understand satirical band names but more importantly unable to articulate their critiques in a cohesive or clear way
-not able to justify their vehemence. are the same people who get upset about provocative band names the same people who do thankless, invisible activist shitwork? what exactly is their stake in whatever they are arguing for?
-closet christians. and discussing anything with someone who's going to being arbitrary moralization into the picture is a waste of time.

Quinn said...

i just want to clarify that i dont find his visual 'art' palatable... i just find his music absolutely nauseating. so, relatively speaking...

Steven Gordon said...

hm, three grand? ah, yes, taking the "i hope someone accidentally breaks it" approach. i see.

chloe lum said...

the only stake I can imagine is a feeling of moral superiority and perhaps a desire to be a hipster Tipper Gore...

I'm SO tired of having to talk about and defend my band's name. Anyone who knows anything about us has heard it ad nauseum , graffiti at Columbus fest , best friends , Canadian wilderness , urband legends involving rodents in punk houses.
No intent to shock. In fact ,when I picked the name (after seeing it spray painted on a punk house) I honestly never though it would ruffle feathers. Montreal's a pretty liberal city and people here and loud , vulgar and not down with any type of censorship. After decades of Catholic repression , it's now a city where taboos barely exist.

Here in Canada , our name doesn't even raise a single eyebrow. It's just seen as vaguely menacing and absurd , as intended. Just another punk band as there isn't really much of a noise rock scene to speak of. *Maybe* 5 or 6 active bands in the country. The indie media look at us with bemusement and for the most part , ignore us.

I certainly never thought that we'd get so much flack from the rabidly politically correct in our very own scene (hi Chicago!). But now that we do , it's almost funny to watch people squirm over something so inconsequential.

I've always LIKED art/music that shocks cause I enjoy the discomfort it brings me and the (sometimes unintended humor).

I love Jean Louis Costes , Arab on Radar , Lydia Lunch , Country Teasers , Black Flag (let's admit it , slip it in is a pretty uncomfortable song and still to this day upsets me) , Boyd Rice , the work of Nick Zedd and Ricahard Kern , Bruce LaBruce's films , comics by Mike Diana , Antoine Bernhard , Ivan Brunetti ect ect.

HOWEVER I've never seen my own work (at least not music/lyrics ) broaching into transgressive territory.

For AIDS Wolf , the important thing has been about FORM. Song sructure , getting organic sounds from guitars , drums and voice with NO EFFECTS, volume as a compositional element and having each member of the band float in and out of synch with the rest.

My lyrics are NOT THE MAIN FOCUS. and are keep low and distorted for reasons of aesthetic prefrence as well to to remove hierchy from the band context. The singer is no more and no less important that anyone else.
Often absurd , highly sexual but still remain ambigous. My intent is to tell stories and purge lingering obsessions , pass secret messages to those I admire (or have crushes on - HI AL!) and to quiet the din inside my head.
I'm not witty enough to pull off shock the way it's best..

Why even TRY when Costes can sing about eating a Camembert cheese he pulled from his brother's anus with a straight face? Or Ben Waller can croon gently about his dick being as hard as an icepick? Not me , that's for sure

A recent proposed collab with the Philly band Satanized would have me singing on one of their tracks , lyrics about my cock being hard. Just reading it made me blush.
Cause I'm a pervert but a shy , prudish , neurotic one. One with a MASSIVE catholic hangover that years of therapy hasn't fixed.

FUCK , I lost my train of though..

Why are Americans more likely to be uptight about this shit than Brits , Euros or Canucks?

Scheurbert said...

I think it's already been said but the work aesthetic quality speaks for itself. If the context and meaning were more relevant then the visuals could be excused.

Perhaps the lack of effort into his work's look is how he interprets "punk rock", emphasised by the cliche use of xerox and spray paint. How very 2-dimensional (or is that deliberate?).

(Now *I* sound like a pretentious art snob!)

But seriously, the work's only validated if someone actually buys it, and who in their right mind would fork out 3000 dollars for that? Of course, that's their choice if they feel the work speaks to them at some level. Personally for me I don't feel that the artist has earned even $1 for that work, but hey, what does personal opinion mean in these times anyway? Good luck to him if he can sell it.

I'd rather just rip a gig poster off a wall and get an authentic piece of art that has a more valuable sense of time, meaning and relevancy.

Forkimified said...

Meh. This just sounds like a joke on whoever's willing to pay $3000 for something that looks like it was done in WordPad in 5 minutes.

Heck, if it works for him, maybe I'll fire up the inkjet for fun and profit.

chloe lum said...

I think it can only work if you have the right connections.

Forkimified said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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