Tuesday, November 18, 2008

when the new void existed between archigram and stoner notebook doodles...

the void 1965 zine cover

i don't post a lot of what most people would call 'stoner drawings' from the 1970's here, but this one was too good to pass up. it's the cover of a monthly calendar for the institute of contemporary arts in london from the early 70's. it's a simple 4 page listing of events, with tiny blurbs related to exhibitions including one called 'hommage to the void', consisting of photographs by charles wilp. i believe this cover image references wilp's artist statement on the inside, although the image is certainly not by him:

"it is time to empty the brains of the overfed consuming age, to make them adaptable again for new impulses to come. the visual chaos in people's brains is perfect. we have to think again that mankind can only enjoy basic conditions of life by returning mentally to a new void."

there is no listing as to who did the drawing here, but it smacks of archigram and superstudio aesthetics as diluted or influenced or translated by someone with a rapidograph and bit of hallucinogenics. it was a kind of graphic and cultural sense favored by the avant architectures of coop himmelblau and haus rucker, whose graphic identities had more in common with 60's and 70's LP covers than the flaccidly clean graphics of most architectural firms.

in this image, architecture and the finer arts see a future informed more by the aesthetics of comic books and rock and roll culture, than motherwell and mies. here, highbrow culture actually looked to so called lowbrow cultures for aesthetic signals without irony; and this was also before there was such a thing as what lowbrow is now (i.e. one more inflated niche marketplace with little in the way of substance).

it's perhaps a bit difficult to see in this relatively tame illustration, an image that is not only a sign of its times, but a sign from a time when a visual language could still be viewed as truly alternative... plus, it's a pretty darn great drawing...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:15 PM  
Blogger ArtSparker said...

I had major name envy after reading this post.

2:34 PM  

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