Critics’ Picks

Raymond Pettibon, LP covers, 1983–2012, sixteen LP covers, dimensions variable.


“Passion: Fan Behavior and Art”

Künstlerhaus Bethanien
Kottbusser Str. 10
July 10–August 9

Popular music and visual art have long been partners in a mutual admiration society, with so many examples of feedback and exchange that an exhibition on the theme of their overlap could be limitless. It is all the more interesting, then, to consider what has been bracketed for inclusion here. Hajnal Nemeth’s video Imagine War, 2014–15, presents a cover band doing hippie classics with the lyrics altered to endorse violence and terror rather than peace and love: “Here Comes the Gun,” “I’ll Be Your Terror,” and “Crime is on My Side.” Ming Wong excavates footage from David Bowie’s 1983 tour of Asia and juxtaposes it with clips of the pop star’s chance encounter with a Chinese opera performer for the artist’s video Apocalyptic Pop Idol, 2015. Further in the documentary realm, an excerpt from Jörg Buttgereit’s This was the S.O.36 club - An Evening of Nostalgia, 1982, is a video transfer of Super 8 footage of a group of West Berlin No Wavers doing a noisy, nihilistic imitation of KISS at the legendary SO36 club in Kreuzberg. Elsewhere, slam-dancing at a straightedge show is turned into a slow-mo modern-dance performance by Jeremy Shaw in his meditative video Best Minds Part One, 2008. And, somewhat expectedly, there is an array of Raymond Pettibon–designed album covers for Black Flag, the Minutemen, Sonic Youth, Mike Watt, and Off! displayed—fan art or the art of fandom? Perhaps a little of both.