"These people are the wreckers of civilisation", exclaimed the conservative Member of Parliament Nicholas Fairbairn in 1976. His outburst was meant to describe four artists and musicians - Genesis P-Orridge, Cosey Fani Tutti, Peter Christopherson and Chris Carter. What "these people" had done to deserve such an epithet, and what they were about to do, is the subject of this book.
Wreckers of Civilisation recalls a time which despite volumes of print remains occluded, obdurate, even intimidating: that moment before the conservative reconstruction. To be awake in London in the late 1970s was to be plunged into turmoil: externally manifest in riot, internally within various forms of damage and depression and, if one felt brave or driven, extreme aesthetics. COUM Transmissions and Throbbing Gristle mark the furthest reach of that impulse: even more so than Punk, they plunged into a technological and personal examination of the dark side - the forbidden, the taboo, the dystopian future on the doorstep. Today this might seem like science fiction or deliberate shock tactics, but then it seemed like reportage, front line dispatches from a convulsed country.
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Simon Ford is a freelance writer and art historian. He was previously Research Associate in Craft and Design and Curator of the Design Council Slide Collection at Manchester Metropolitan University, as well as being a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum. He received his PhD in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2000. He is the author of Wreckers of Civilisation: The Story of COUM Transmissions and Throbbing Gristle (1999, 2017, Black Dog Publishing) and Hip Priest: The Story of Mark E. Smith and The Fall (2003, Quartet). His most recent book is The Situationist International: A User's Guide (2006, Black Dog).From Library Journal:
Beware of post-postmodern types name-dropping COUM and Throbbing GristleTM as the proud parents of industrial music and industrial bands like Nine Inch Nails; that's the half-assed version to expect from people who think they invented black. Here, Ford shows the patience and respect of an extragenerational fan while detailing the frenetic evolution of COUM from a hippie freak-out band to a performance art troupe to TG, an anti-rock, anti-high art missionary. Although TG's attacks on social, political, sexual, musical, and artistic mores were brave, they often bordered on the hypocriticalAe.g., TG desired intimacy with its audience but used halogen lights and P.A. barricades to alienate people at live shows. Using his interviews with Chris Carter, Peter Christopherson, Genesis P-Orridge, and Cosey Fanni Tutti, Ford convincingly defends TG on every frontAincluding its use of fascist album imageryAand proves that COUM and TG elevated civilization more than they wrecked it. A dense but enlightening work; for larger public libraries.AHeather McCormack, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Black Dog Publishing, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111901033600
Book Description Black Dog Publishing, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # VIB1901033600
Book Description Black Dog Publishing, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1901033600
Book Description Book Condition: New. New. Bookseller Inventory # S-1901033600