YOU KILLED ME FIRST at KW Institute of Contemporary Art in Berlin is the first exhibition on the Cinema of Transgression. The films are being displayed as an installation, and many of the key players from the movement will be making appearances, leading talks and discussions.
The “Cinema of Transgression” a term coined by Nick Zedd, describes a loose congregation of filmmakers in New York’s Lower East Side in the 1980’s, including Zedd, Richard Kern, Cassandra Stark and Tommy Turner. JG Thirlwell scored many of Kern’s films, as well as contributing to the films of Turner and Stark.
To quote the exhibition catalog : “Nightmarish scenarios of violence, dramatic states of mind, and perverse sexual abysses – the films of the Cinema of Transgression that were consciously aimed at shock, provocation, and confrontation, bear witness to an extraordinary radicality. In the 1980s a group of filmmakers from the Lower East Side in New York went on a collision course with the conventions of American society. Transcending all moral or aesthetic boundaries, the low budget films reveal social hardship met with sociopolitical indifference. Sometimes shot with stolen camera equipment, the films contain strident analyses of life in the Lower East Side defined by criminality, brutality, drugs, AIDS, sex, and excess. Even though the movement has remained largely unknown, the Cinema of Transgression has been a significant influence for later generations of artists.”
February 19, 2012 – April 9, 2012
KW Institute for Contemporary Art
The documentary Blank City is currently enjoying a successful theatrical run at the IFC center in New York. Directed by French newcomer Céline Danhier, Blank City weaves together an oral history of the “No Wave Cinema” and “Cinema of Transgression” movements. JG Thirlwell is interviewed in the film regarding his involvement with R.Kern’s Deathtrip Films and the Cinema of Transgression. It also features interviews with Jim Jarmusch, John Waters, Steve Buscemi, Debbie Harry, Richard Kern, Nick Zedd, Amos Poe, James Nares, Lydia Lunch, James Chance, Eric Mitchell, Susan Seidelman, Beth B, Scott B, Charlie Ahearn and many more. Clips featuring Thirlwell’s scores for Kern’s Deathtrip films appear in the documentary, along with many other illuminating extracts from the films of that era. Click here for the New York Times review of the film.
The long awaited LIMB is now available exclusively at the online shop on this website. LIMB is an archival release of experimental and minimalist compositions recorded from 1980-1983, from the early days of Foetus and pre-Foetus. Though the material is largely unreleased, some of the pieces have been previously released on the compilation albums by Coil and United Dairies. Released as a deluxe double disc package, the music disc contains 12 tracks at 50+ minutes with an additional 20 minute bonus mp3 track. On the second disc, director Clement Tuffreau kindly allowed us to include his 2005 documentary about JG Thirlwell, NYC FOETUS, with this package. The eighty minute film features interviews with JG Thirlwell, Matt Johnson, Alex Hacke (Einsturzende Neubauten), Michael Gira, Richard Kern, Lydia Lunch, Martin Bisi and Elysian Fields along with a lot of never before seen footage of Foetus, Steroid Maximus, Manorexia and more. There is also 45 minutes of bonus extras, comprised of Steroid Maximus 18 piece ensemble live in France, Foetus live in Hannover, Manorexia live at The Stone NYC and a snippet of JG’s LEMUR commission at 3 Legged Dog in NYC. This deluxe package also contains a 48 page perfect bound book with minimal designs by JGT (all in his signature red, white, gray and black palette). This is all held in an attractive sturdy plastic slipcase printed with another of JG’s designs. Click the shop link for more details and audio previews.