Thursday, January 15, 2015

Raw is the New Punk

As a teenager I was heavily influenced by punk music. Many of us are, or at least fascinated at any early age with something that seems to define the rejection of cultural norms that we haven’t signed up for. With time it seemed to me that a lot of this culture had a set of rules within itself, often unspoken, which people involved followed. Aside from that too, it seemed that most of the culture around me was mimicking a previous generation’s rebellion more than creating one of its own. This being the case I found myself emerged even deeper into sixties psychedelic culture, which openly admitted to its revivalism. As much as I enjoy what was created in both these movements, they are both nothing new. Bands which presented sounds, images, and lyrics that once challenged conventions now have t-shirts for sale at the mall. Their songs are played in car commercials. Worse by far is the new response in music… to take fragments of all the genius that came before and stitch it up in a soul-lacking manner and present it with a fancy haircut to sell out stadiums.

I have equally submerged myself deeply into the art world. As a girl I thought this was my unending pool of self-expression. I thought that every masterpiece old and new hanging in the museum brought new insight to a grey world of daily redundancies. To an extent this was correct, as also is correct with some music, but my eyes became open to the reigning elite across the art world. Buying a painting was an investment, as was a tax break for donating it to a museum. The wealthy hold stock in deciding what ought to be valued and which struggling artists are to rise to the top. So as punk rock as Marcel Duchamp’s urinal might seem, the process to get it where it is today might seem less radical. And let’s not even begin to address Miley Cyrus’s presence at Art Basel.

So, in this day and age of internet access and instant gratification, what is radical? In a country of mass consumerism and commercialism what is rebellion? To me it is the ongoing effort to reject the candy bar, which profits a fat cat business man who employees a team of scientists and gene-modifying engineers to make a “food” substance packaged in plastic to sit on a shelf. Instead of supporting chemical-ridden products fresh off the conveyor belt we can come to the place where most, if not all off what we eat, is picked right out of the ground or straight off the tree. By rejecting the conventional norms in exchange for that which is simple, honest, and natural… that to me is the punk of today, and to which I aspire. 

Me 2001ish...

Me 2015

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