They actually did it! And amazingly enough, close to my old gaff, down in Bexhill-on-sea, home town of Q, and one of my favourite buildings, the De La Warr Pavilion. In my day, I chiefly associate the De La Warr with local dance and dog shows, ropey touring comics, and humdrum seasonal panto. It seems to have fully reinvented itself in recent years, as an contemporary arts centre after a face lift from the usual lottery funding raffle committee.
The story leading here; Ceramic artist Keith Harrison, as part of his residency in London’s V&A museum last spring, created a "an experimental sculptural sound system” out of a ceramic tile sculpture, and invited Napalm Death to play a high volume live set through it, potentially involving the destruction of the sculpture through sonic assault.
So far, so awesome… It sold out quickly, and then the museum curators suddenly came to their senses/got cold feet and chickened out, as they realised they were about to stage a grindcore gig at volumes deliberately intended to destroy sculptures in their museum full of fragile objet’s d’Art, many of which are kept in darkened chambers as they’re too fragile to expose to strong light.
Aboo. So, I felt slightly better about missing out on tickets, and forgot all about it.
I subsequently discover with glee, they relocated it to the De La Warr in November, and completed the show without any particular mishaps to life or property. The installation/gig was called Bustleholme, which is the name of a degraded housing estate outside Birmingham. The sculptural components of the installation, through which the band’s amplified output was channelled, were ceramic tile structures loosely based on the dimensions of the estate. In the words of Keith Harrison…
The Bustleholme estate in West Bromwich was where I was born and lived until I was 8. Located in the Black Country, the heavy industrial centre of the Midlands, three tower blocks depicted overlooked the estate and their vivid blue and yellow ceramic tiles are one of my earliest memories. Despite the subsequent poor reputation of the blocks, at that time in the late sixties and early seventies they symbolised the optimism of a radical approach to social housing rising out of an urban landscape of motorways, canals, polluted rivers and railway lines.
The quote is taken from a short interview with the sculptor and band over at the vinyl factory where there is a fascinating short documentary film about the whole event. More of this kind of thing, please.posted Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 10:30 by cms in art, music | No Comments »