O Superman To Girls, Tricky. I Am Here, Where Are You: On Vocal Performance Laurie Anderson, Black Quantum Futurism, Lizzi Bougatsos, Nicholas Bullen, Jem Cohen, Attila Csihar, Ian MacKaye, Steve McQueen & Tricky, Moor Mother, Stephen O´Malley, Tony Oursler, The Poetics (Mike Kelley & Tony Oursler). Organized by Mark Beasley.

Opens Friday 25.August at 8pm. Free entry to 2.30am!

Every Sunday at 2pm
Thursday 24 August at 6pm with Mark Beasley
Sunday 27 August at 1pm for Families

Live Events . Free Entry!
Friday 25 August at 10pm
Performance with Nicholas Bullen (Napalm Death)

Saturday 26 August at 2pm
Talk by Mark Beasley: O Superman to Girls, Tricky

Saturday 26 August at 8pm
Performance with Lizzi Bougatsos (Gang Gang Dance, Angel Blood) & Stephen O´Malley (Sunn O))), KTL)
Reading by Rasheedah Phillips (Black Quantum Futurism)
Performance with Moor Mother

Saturday 9 September at 2pm
Talk by Nicholas Bullen: Into the Black Hole

Friday 15 September at 9pm
Concert with Attila Csihar (Mayhem)

O Superman… presents a series of seminal vocal performances, artists, and audio/visual artworks, installed and enacted across all of the Kunsthall galleries and as part of a live programme in Landmark.

The voice as a material and concrete form can be bent or broken, much like clay, paint or steel, it is this materialness that when utilized in performance produces powerful and often disturbing affect. The voice in performance and as a material moves fluidly, occupying the spaces between existing structure and the architectures of bounded genre. It is the active agent that connects theater, music, and even dance; in short, voice overflows category, it is a binding material and a shuttling intensity that passes from body-to-body, from speaker to listener.

Beginning with Laurie Anderson’s influential vocoded pop video/performance piece O Superman (1981), the exhibition goes on to present the fledgling grindcore and death growl of Birmingham’s Napalm Death — as well as the current music and film work of founder member and vocalist Nicholas Bullen; Lizzi Bougatsos’ (Gang Gang Dance, Angel Blood) meditative and ritual use of the voice in her contemporary performance and installation work; Tricky’s ecstatic hip hop vocalizing, as immortalized by artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen; and the Afrofuturist music and poetry of Philadelphia’s Moor Mother and her collaborative project Black Quantum Futurism. Jem Cohen and Ian MacKaye (Fugazi, Minor Threat) document the beginning of the D.C. hardcore scene and Minor Threat’s uncompromising and direct approach to lyric and vocals, the avant-experimental music of The Poetics (Tony Oursler and Mike Kelley) is also included, alongside Oursler’s own project, “Synasthesia”: a series of interviews he conducted with key artists and musicians including Alan Vega, Genesis P. Orridge, Arto Lindsay and Laurie Anderson.

All of the selected artists radically rearticulate vocal performance, making the familiar productively strange through the use of both emergent technologies and historic form, from the classical avant-garde to popular music. Their works speak directly to their times and the prevailing social and political climates, not through palliative ornamental use of the voice, but rather through direct and urgent address.

Presented as a walkthrough score for voice, O Superman… has been arranged by US based curator and writer Mark Beasley especially for the spaces of Bergen Kunsthall. Featuring live performance, archival material, audio installation, video and sonic essay, this exhibition-as-composition traces a partial history of radical and politicized avant-garde pre and post-punk vocals, from the Eighties to now.

Mark Beasley: O Superman to Girls, Tricky from Bergen Kunsthall on Vimeo.

Nicholas Bullen - Into the Black Hole from Bergen Kunsthall on Vimeo.

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