28 maggio 2011

Tra i documenti recuperati di recente da UbuWeb - ma il filmato circola su YouTube almeno da un anno - c'è anche un curioso happening concettuale firmato Red Crayola con Art & Language, epoca 1976: Nine Gross and Conspicuous Errors.

Corrected Slogans was the first LP to be produced and was worked on by Art & Language and Red Crayola founder member Mayo Thompson between 1973 and its release date in 1976. The album’s artwork, musical scores and other ephemera were shown in the room next door to the two videos And Now for Something Completely Different and Nine Gross and Conspicuous Errors (both 1976), which have a similar lyrical content to the album and which both contain ironic posturing that thinly masks an awkward energy brought about by the mixture of political anthems and rock and roll. Unrehearsed songs are performed by groups of unsuspecting participants as well as the knowing core collaborators Art & Language’s Michael Baldwin and Mel Ramsden, with Thompson on guitar and Jesse Chamberlain on drums. Activist slogans, such as ‘we must ferociously attack so called institutionalized egalitarianism – it is a smokescreen, which attempts to replace activist content with liberal structures’, are chanted en masse and played out as theoretical quotations and self-mocking mantras. At one point Ramsden sings the line ‘Marx’s old chestnut “the philosophers know how to interpret the world, the point is to change it” is embedded in the nexus of dialectics’ and Thompson makes a dedication ‘to Ludwig Wittgenstein, who said “you cannot be a philosopher and a Communist at the same time”’.