The fourth and last show in our May program – a weekly program featuring a performance or installation by a visual artist that centers on the use of recent historical music or sound – presents
these are the days
a work by Matt Stokes (GB, 1973) that explores the efficacy and actuality of Punk Rock as a widespread subculture in Austin, Texas, USA.
In these are the days (2009), we see a large two channel video installation, featuring a punk gig in Austin Texas as well as a punk band from the same city playing a new sound-track to it.
The show will open on Saturday, May 29th, from 8 – 10 pm, and will run through until June 10.
For further information and visuals, please contact the gallery: firstname.lastname@example.org or +31 (0)10 4126459.
Commissioned by Arthouse in Austin, these are the days was one of two works produced by Stokes as a result of his close work with the Austin music scene and extensive research into anti-establishment musical genres within the city, particularly Punk and Hardcore. The show consists of a large two-channel film installation, which was made by staging two separate events. During the first, Stokes filmed the audience at a free, all-ages gig he organised with a young Punk music promoter, held at Broken Neck, an informal skate and music venue. The second part of the work brought together five members of different Austin-based Punk and Hardcore bands to create a soundtrack for the silent film shot during the gig. This track was filmed during a session at a recording studio. Both elements are shown side-by-side, as a kind of diptych. While the Punk crowd is seen reacting and dancing on the left screen, the band plays the improvised soundtrack to it on the right screen. A reversal of roles between audience and performers, the film installation examines the concept of response, and portrays a musical subculture that challenges notions of causality, originality, tribute and circularity.
Matt Stokes’ artistic practice is marked by anthropological enquiry and an interest in events or informal movements that bind people together. Taking a variety of forms—from organizing events and assembling archives to making films and creating sculptural installations—Stokes’ works are often collaborative in nature and frequently take place outside the traditional gallery space. Music subcultures have been central to the development of his most recent projects, which have focused on their ability to shape lifestyle, beliefs and create community. Acid House and Black Metal are among the genres of music he has explored, poetically revealing music’s intrinsic ability to create communal experiences, devotion and fellowship through the quasi-religious experience of dance. Amongst Stokes’ most noted works to date include Long After Tonight, a 16mm film that conveys strong emotional and spiritual content of British communities associated with the Northern Soul scene.
Matt Stokes was born in 1973 in Penzance, England and currently lives and works in Newcastle/Gateshead, England. He received his BA from Newcastle University in 1997 and was the 2006 recipient of the esteemed Beck’s Futures Prize, awarded by the ICA in London. Forthcoming exhibitions include a solo show at the Fridericianum (Kassel). Past exhibitions include venues such as 176 (London), Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (Gateshead), Lentos Kunstmuseum (Linz) and Witte de With (Rotterdam).