Thursday, February 19, 2009

Signs in Mouvement Magazine (France)

Posting this a little late, but we were very excited to be written up in France!

Click on the image above to read the French review (in the January/March issue) or read the English translation below:
Millennium thesis, although often suspicious, carry a weight and an array of symbolic images recurring in the contemporary world, the idea was therefore judicious to collect the echo that they meet in the current creation. In the luxurious Signs of the Apocalypse/Rapture – a coffee table book in good and due form: 4 hefty pounds of, a cardboard cover lined in black linen of the most handsome appearance, two CD inside -, Front Forty Press, Chicagoan editor, has collected a series of musical and pictorial pieces relative to the coming of the Apocalypse and the anticipated return of Christ on earth (The Rapture, cherished notion of Christian fundamentalists). A tautology that the English artist Christopher Bucklow examines under a historical and metaphysical angle, likening the fall of the Roman Empire to today’s world. Several interviews concerning the end of the world visions (from heliophysic to theology) against which humanity has been confronting itself, adds to the discussion. But it is mostly the plates that commend attention. It isn’t so much, in this compilation, a matter of evaluating the pertinence of these pro-historic speculations as a mean to extract their metaphoric and graphic translation in contemporary creativity. This perilous curatorial exercise calls to an imaginary anchored in the collective subconscious, which privileges pieces with a most illustrative character, without sparing the typical names – a lot of unknown names – reaching often the over-limits of depiction and kitsch – and some beautiful discoveries (Ericka Somogyi, Sebastian Bremer) mixing with essential artists such as Bill Viola or Ed Ruscha. On the music side, the two CD unite the cream of the crop of the Avant-Garde rock-noise (Sunn O), Sonic Youth, Om, Death Unit, Lichens, Antony Pateras & Robin Fox…), without unfortunately revealing unknown pieces. The end of the world being foretold for 2012, you therefore still have 4 years to enjoy this beautiful object-book, while remaining somewhat vain. If there was to remain only one musical piece to crystallize these visions of Armageddon, aside the absolute perennial Apocalypse according St John by Pierre Henry, the album Soundtrack for the blind by Swans would impose itself. It is that seminal record testimony to the cultish American group taken by Michael Gira, against which the “plastician” Pierre Belouin, invited by the Rhinoceros Editions to supervise the 10th edition of Livraison, their beautiful contemporary art revue. Belouin’s work has always found an echo in the underground counter-culture and its “rizhomes” (Burroughs, Gysin, Coil, Throbbing Gristle), insofar as to take the shape of the Optical Sound label. This volume declines 29 propositions by artists and friends, sharing their interpretation of the record. A contrario of Signs of the Apocalypse, literal and frigid, this compilation is subject to open interpretations, creating junctions between personalities as diverse as Claude Leveque, Simon Fisher-Turner, Rebecca Bournigault, Black Sifichi, Serge Comte, Rainier Lericolais, Arnaud Maguet… A successful extraction of music in the plastic arts, between graphic proposition, snapshots and conceptual art. Julien Becourt.

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