Great Unwashed

  • Alexander Comana

If a subculture has never been part of society and, therefore, has never had the opportunity to resist or deviate from the mainstream, does that make it more or less authentic? If its politics, values and aesthetic do not come from real-world experiences does that make them culturally valueless or are they a pure form of authenticity. A subculture that has not existed has never had to face the prospect of being co-opted by the cultural industry, meaning that its defining characteristic can remain intact. Does this make it priceless or worthless? The event/exhibition will be framed as a retrospective, perhaps even a celebration, of a subculture that has never and will never exist outside the context of the exhibition itself. It will display artefacts, clothing, photography, moving image, music, zines and posters from the subculture as well as a live performance (?) which will be entirely created by the artists. Through each piece being exhibited, the history, values and ethos of the subculture will be communicated but never explicitly explained (the more vague it is, the harder it is for someone to adopt it as their own). The idea is to create an insulated experience that will never be repeated. There may be records of it, due to people photographing and filming the event, but can only be seen as just a memory of a memory and would hold minimum cultural significance. The exhibition will feature photos of individuals, mannequin in representative outfits, short films, “historical” footage, zines, posters, artefacts, original music, performances, closing ceremony, etc. The physical objects will have placards, lighting and original music will be used to place the space in a certain emotional setting.