Punk Art History: Artworks from the European No Future Generation

Skov, Marie Arleth (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, G


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A history of pop, pain, poetry, and presence within a \”no future\” generation in the 1970s that refused to be the next art world avant-garde.

The punk movement emerged during the mid-1970s, as young adults in the United Kingdom and Europe struggled to find steady employment. History was critical to the movement’s ethos. Punks rejected a narrative of supposed progress and prosperity, a rebuke evident in their visual art as well as their music. \”No future,\” the Sex Pistols sang, \”there’s no future for you, no future for me.\”

Punk Art History examines punk as an art movement, combining archival research, interviews, and art historical analysis. Marie Arleth Skov draws on personal interviews with punk art figures from London, New York, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Berlin, including Die Toedliche Doris (The Deadly Doris), members of Vaerkstedet Vaerst (The Workshop Called Worst), Nina Sten-Knudsen, Marc Miller, Diana Ozon, and Hugo Kaagman. The book also features email correspondence with Jon Savage, Anna Banana, and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge. Many of these artists shared materials from their private archives with Skov, who examines a wide range of media: paintings, drawings, bricolages, collages, booklets, posters, zines, installations, sculptures, Super 8 mm films, documentation of performances and happenings, body art, and street art. She also discusses scandalous and spectacular public events like the Prostitution exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, which spurred walkouts and political debate with its graphic content, and Die Grosse Untergangsshow (The Grand Downfall Show) in West Berlin, a festival of \”ingenious dilettantes.\” Skov’s analysis reveals that punks saw themselves as the \”rear-guards,\” a rejection of the notion of progress inherent to the term \”avant-garde.\” After all, why would a \”no future\” movement want to lead the way for a culture they saw as doomed?

Lively and accessible, Punk Art History will captivate students and scholars of art, design, and performance history, as well as readers with an interest in punk, music, fashion, feminism, and urban histories.

Format: Paperback
Pages: 308
Publication date: 11/08/2023
Series: Global Punk

ISBN: 9781789387001 Category: