"Sonic Youth Etc.: Sensational Fix"
An exhibition featuring art and media related to no wave, proto-noise band Sonic Youth opens in the Malmö Konsthall in Malmö, Sweden on May 29th. Album covers, flyers and related memorabilia will be shown alongside works made collaboratively with the band or otherwise connected to it (among the artists, Raymond Pettibon and Vito Acconci). The exhibition raises larger questions about the implications of such retrospective exhibitions—do they mark the end of an era and immortalize the glorified remembrance of it? It's funny to think of how Daydream Nation may have accidentally introduced generations of kids to Gerhard Richter, whose work was (perhaps inadvertently) exposed as reproducible and commodifiable. The Sensational Fix exhibition was collaboratively organized by Dutch curator Roland Groenenboom and the band itself. It'll be interesting to see how they fabricate their own history—whether they're made out as champions of an entire counterculture based on hardcore and DIY aesthetics rather than the unimpressively prolific mainstream darlings they have come to be.
I'll always love Sonic Youth, but something about such institutional recognition makes me uneasy. Idealistically, I don't want anyone to find out about Sonic Youth in any way except heard through their stereo.