Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
In 1975, travelers arriving at LaGuardia Airport received skull-emblazoned pamphlets that cautioned them to “stay away from New York City if you possibly can.” But ’70s NYC also attracted a burgeoning community of transgressive artists, writers, and musicians. Among them was performer and provocateur Lydia Lunch, now the subject of fellow No Wave artist Beth B’s documentary Lydia Lunch: The War is Never Over.
No Wave was a brief but potent explosion of underground artistry in the Lower East Side. Drawing on this background, Beth B endows The War is Never Over with an appropriately DIY sensibility and manic, discordant energy, skillfully patching together archival footage, photographs, performances, and interviews with peers like Kembra Pfahler and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore to tell not just Lunch’s story, but also the story of late ’70s New York. Upon arrival on the No Wave scene, Lunch resolved to make the “angriest but most precise” music she could.
Refreshingly, the documentary isn’t a retrospective of Lunch’s former glory, but a celebration of her still-active artistry, looking at her band Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, her cinematic collaborations with Richard Kern, and her recent Retrovirus tour. After nearly five decades on the stage, she shows no signs of waning, and exudes a gravitas earned over time. The War is Never Over is not hagiographic; Lunch is as outspoken about her flaws as she is about everything else. But it does emphasize the lessons other women artists might glean from her life, chief among them to boldly pursue their desires. “I will do exactly what I want to do every moment,” she says with forceful, unfiltered conviction, “As I feel everyone should.”
In a world delighted and entertained by displays of material excess, Diane Simpson shows that there is another possibility.
The animal carcass sculptures are gruesome yet their materials — the artist’s own discarded clothing — lend them some gentleness.
View work by over 40 experimental artists and collectives from throughout the Americas who contributed to New York’s art scene during the 1960s and ’70s.
Mr. Bernatowicz, in your introductory text you talk about the need for honesty, the disease of hypocrisy, overreaching governments. You do not fulfill a single one of your own ideals.
The biggest problem with turning Dune into a film is that the book appears increasingly derivative of generic sci-fi tropes.
This exhibition explores how images of the human body were used to provoke profound physical and emotional responses in viewers from the 15th through 18th centuries.
Ed Roberson’s motorcycle ride from Pittsburgh to the Pacific is a quest-romance, an exploration of American culture and American mythology.
The collaborative handmade paper- and printmaking center at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts publishes new works by Liz Collins and Sarah McEneaney.
The legendary performer amassed a collection of about 10,000 rare books, posters, and artwork about all things esoteric.
The proceeds will benefit the BDC’s community-centered initiatives and exhibitions.