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Beyond the Valley of A Day in the Life
The Beatles, the Beach Boys & stepping outside history
by Pacôme Thiellement
The relationship between the Beach Boys and the Beatles is at the heart of some key issues in pop culture, namely: can pop music function as a tool of knowledge? And if so, how? Author and essayist Pacôme Thiellement has published several articles on pop music, poetry, and black magic; here he offers an exegesis of Beach Boys’ and Beatles’ masterpieces in the same vein as his book on pop and gnosis, Poppermost: Considérations sur la mort de Paul McCartney (Paris: Musica Falsa, 2002), a theory of pop culture elaborated through a comparison of the Beatles and the Residents.
Thiellement has also published an essay on Frank Zappa from an anthropological perspective ( Economie Eskimo: Le rêve de Zappa , Paris: Musica Falsa, 2005) and, most recently, a study of Nerval (L’homme électrique: Nerval et la vie, Paris: Musica Falsa).
Conférence à l’École des beaux-arts de Bordeaux. Richard Hamilton
This video records a lecture given by British artist Richard Hamilton at the École des beaux-arts in Bordeaux on October 30, 1996. Born in 1922, Hamilton was a member of the Independent Group in London in the 1950s, when its shows at the Institute of Contemporary Arts gave birth to British Pop Art. His work at the time was linked to the pioneering theories of critic Lawrence Alloway on the relationship between art and popular culture, based on a principle of non-hierarchical equivalence. Hamilton’s vast oeuvre, however, cannot be reduced to this one seminal period. From his Duchamp-inspired pieces to computer-based work (he himself designed two computers in the 1980s), via his collaborations with Dieter Roth in the 1970s, Hamilton is one of the major artists of the contemporary era. This lecture is therefore a precious historical record.
Invited to speak by Jean Sabrier and Guadalupe Echeverria, he is introduced and interviewed by Michel Aphesbero, a teacher at the École des beaux-arts in Bordeaux. The video was edited for this issue of Rosa B by Véronique Lamare.
In Search of Pop: From Seductive Beat to Global Ecstasy
by Yann Chateigné Tytelman / Florent Mazzoleni
In this e-mail exchange, Yann Chateigné Tytelman and Florent Mazzoleni discuss what are the stakes of “pop culture” today, extending from art and music to criticism. They address the forms it takes, its economy, its geography and its politics right from the birth of worldwide pop, ranging from the USA to Africa and back again, not overlooking the “French situation.”
Mazzoleni is a writer, journalist and photographer whose publications notably include L’Épopée de la musique africaine (Hors Collection, 2008), Disco (Flammarion, 2007), L’odyssée du rock (Hors Collection 2004) and, more recently Les racines du rock (Hors Collection, 2008).
The Festival of the Tenth Summer
by Lili Reynaud Dewar
In 1986, the Factory and Peter Saville organized the Tenth Summer Festival in Manchester, in honor of the year 1976, the birth date of English punk. Adapted from a lecture given by Lili Reynaud Dewar at CAPC musée d’art contemporain in Bordeaux on May 21, 2008, this article discusses the festival and offers a retrospective look at ten years of political, artistic, and social history in northern England, from punk to new wave via Margaret Thatcher and the battle of Orgreave.
Dewar, born in 1976, is an artist and critic who lives and works in Bordeaux. She teaches at the École des beaux-arts there and is represented by the Mary Mary Gallery in Glasgow.