The exhibition focuses on visual art but there will be several tie-in music/club events
The Museum of Modern Art in Antwerp, Belgium (or MHKA - Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen) is to be the setting for a new exhibition called Energy Flash that will examine the birth and legacy (musical, social and political) of rave culture.
This is what the MHKA website has to say about it: "Rave culture from the 1980s and 1990s was Europe’s last big youth movement. During this period of radical social and political change, rave, in its various guises, migrated around the continent from its epicentre of Great Britain, Belgium and Germany. As a movement, it enacted a desire to be autonomous, with a belief in tolerance and experimental living, all built around the latent energy of electronic music. As a music-based culture, it embraced self-practice, invention and unbridled creativity, arguably leading to the densest period in history for the diversification of music. Energy Flash will be the first museum exhibition for considering rave, as well as the social, political, economic and technological conditions that led to the advent of rave as an alternative movement across Europe. It will look at the ideologies as well as the aesthetics of rave, along with its effects on wider culture.
"Energy Flash will look at rave as a highly politicised phenomenon, considering it through the key notions of ‘autonomy’, ‘civil liberty’, ‘technology’ and ‘creativity’. As an interdisciplinary project, it will display the works of numerous visual artists in dialogue with many artefacts from the fields of design, music and fashion, along with items selected from various archives, television documentary, literature and criminal legislature. In bringing together this diversity of material, this exhibition will argue that rave culture was inhibited due to its ambiguous place outside of neoliberal ideology, existing largely autonomous of both market and the state forces. This condition makes it a key case study for those wishing to imagine alternative forms of infrastructure for art and culture."
The exhibition runs from 17 June to 25 September, and nearby venue Ampere is staging a number of events that tie-in with its opening. These include an official opening party on 16 June with Wolfgang Flür of Kraftwerk (under his MusikSoldat guise) and R&S Records' Renaat Vandepapeliere, a Chicago-themed event on 17 June, the daytime bash Acid Brass with Jeremy Deller on 18 June and an Innervisions night with Âme that same evening.
For full details, see the museum's website.
Pic: Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, Everything is Wrong, 1996, which features in the Energy Flash exhibition.