Punk occupies a truly strange role in our cultural landscape. It's arguable that it doesn’t even exist anymore, yet much more of our culture today is inspired by punk ideology and spirit. This strange paradox serves as the impetus for In a Post-World: Post-Punk Art Now, a group exhibition organized by Canadian creative organization Pesot, held at The Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn.
Curated by Sébastien Pesot, the creative director of Pesot and an artist in his own right, Post-Punk Art Now brought together 23 artists primarily from New York and Quebec whose works connect with the ethos of punk.
Some of the works on view directly connect to punk music and culture, like Ted Riederer’s installation of a drum set covered in hundreds of rose petals, ripped from their flowers to make a chaotic mess. Many of the other works are more connected to the aggressive, take-no-prisoners punk mentality without connecting to the music itself like Mathieu Valade’s Expressionnisme concret, a video in which the brazen words “FUCK OFF” are lit on fire and burn fervently, and in Pesot’s own No Futur?, a wall work made entirely of metal studs that spell out the work’s title in boisterous capital letters.
The exhibition ultimately aims to explore the simultaneously camouflaged, yet ubiquitous role of punk within culture today. “It’s impossible to say exactly what role punk plays in society presently, as it blends into so many things. It can be seen in the 99% fight against the power and money of the 1%. It can be seen against the comeback of the KKK and hate groups. It can be seen fighting against sexual discrimination and bad religion,” Pesot tells The Creators Project. “What is clear is that we are living in a post-punk world, and if music and fashion are influenced by punk, visual art must have been influenced by it too!”
Beyond curator, artist, and creative director, Pesot is also an ex-punk band drummer, a position that gives him a unique and insightful perspective on what punk once was and what it is today. “The message of punk is still the same, but people are not into it in the same way because time has passed and there is a certain distance from that cultural moment,” reveals Pesot. “Everything touted by punk is still a reality. Racism is still a real issue and we still must oppose it. But now, us punkers see ourselves from afar. It isn’t as serious of a thing about fucking the system to not be fucked by it. We are far enough away from the message to smile about it and be happy to enjoy punk music.”
In a Post-World: Post-Punk Art Now had a short, weeklong existence that ended on November 6th, but the show’s accompanying, printed counterpart can be purchased by entering in contact with Pesot, here.