Punk: An Aesthetic

Ein Buch von Johan Kugelberg, Jon Savage und William Gibson namens „Punk: An Aesthetic“ mit unveröffentlichten Bildern der Pistols, Clash und den Ramones, dazu Artworks von Crass und Banksy? Kommt auf meine immer länger werdende Liste der Bücher, die ich lesen will. Previews aus einer buchbegleitenden Ausstellung gibt’s bei Nowness und beim Guardian, ein Preview mit Textauszug aus dem Vorwort hat Its Nice That. Von der Website des Verlags:

From posters for punk-rock bands and indie filmmakers to fanzines and other independent publications, the art of the punk movement revolutionized design in ways whose influence is still felt today, and reflected the consciousness of a counterculture with a clarity seldom seen since.

Drawing on private and public archives of rare material from around the world, this heavily illustrated book presents an unrivaled collection of punk art and ephemera that incorporates every aspect of the movement, from the earliest occurrences of punk symbolism in posters and flyers for underground bands to the explosion of fanzines and Xerox culture, and from rare photographs of musicians such as the Sex Pistols and the Screamers to the artwork of Crass, Jamie Reid, John Holmstrom, and the contemporary street artist Banksy.

With more than three hundred images and accompanying essays by Johan Kugelberg, Jon Savage, and William Gibson, this definitive visual narrative illustrates how the DIY ethic of the punk era inspired a movement in graphic arts and design whose influence is still felt among the most significant figures in the fields today.

Amazon-Partnerlink: Punk: An Aesthetic (via Text-Mode)

Das Vorwort und ‘ne Gallerie mit Previews aus dem Buch nach dem Klick.

None of us has left the twentieth century. We are still infused by it. Punk and pop is everywhere. Hippie and Woodstock and the 100 Club and CBGB and geriatric icons are still aboveground, flaunting the richly saturated notion that what was once directly lived has receded into representation.

These representations ganged up on subsequent generations, implying that the summits of authenticity they reached can never again be scaled, and that the kids (in order to be all right) better follow these trodden paths toward punk or hippie Shangri-la. To live life mimicking the authentic, even though it will always remain an imitation, a representation of what was directly lived.

A lot of ink is spilled on punk now; a new retrospective of seminal punk history rears its (balding) head every thirty minutes. The meaning with which we infuse these strands of the pop-culture spectacle, or the simplifications we cookie-cut to an historical mold, are modifications of historical record with which the winners, losers, or not-there-at-alls are slowly fattening our collective brains, foie gras–style.

Unlike its hippie counterpart, the aesthetic of the punk movement has not really become the sole discretion of nostalgia hounds, history rewriters, or reenactors. More common is to see the trickle-down of a punk graphic style infusing anything from the work of contemporary streetart satirists like Kozik, Banksy, or Zevs to corporate advertising for Nike or John Varvatos—or, for that matter, the superbly amusing Johnny Rotten commercials for Country Life butter.

We also see the punk do-it-yourself ethos impregnate blogs, literary salons, the curatorial slant of major cultural institutions, and, less fortunately perhaps, mall shops and youth-targeted branding. We hear the rudimentaries of the punk sound of 1977 infuse any number of Disney Channel bands, and the recent antiquarian frenzy surrounding mimeographed poetry publications and rock-and-roll fanzines originates here too.

The first generation of punk truly was popular culture on the margins: new ideas germinated out of urgency and necessity, as the cliché goes. Where edges overlap and aesthetics unfold seemingly at random and often by accident, the freedom of choices for the creators results in work of almost supernatural vibrancy, work which can reverberate for decade after decade, sometimes for centuries.

This work, the residue of all this frenzied activity, becomes the stuff the dreams of collectors and curators are made of. This usually and naturally takes place a few decades after the events in question and, quite often, the embrace most hot and bothered comes from the members of the very same establishment that rejected the movement en masse as it first unfolded.