Dan Graham: Rock My Religion (AFTERALL)

Kodwo Eshun


Dan Graham's Rock My Religion (1982--1984) is a video essay populated via punk and rock performers (Patti Smith, Jim Morrison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Eddie Cochran) and ancient figures (including Ann Lee, founding father of the Shakers). It represented a coming jointly of narrative voice-overs, making a song and shouting voices, and jarring sounds and overlaid texts that proposed a old family tree of rock tune and an formidable thesis concerning the origins of North America's pop culture. due to its passionate embody of underground song, its low-fi aesthetics, curiosity in politics, and liberal method of historiography, the video has turn into a landmark paintings within the historical past of up to date relocating photo and paintings; however it has remained, potentially for a similar purposes, considered one of Graham's least written approximately works--underappreciated and doubtless misunderstood by way of the critics who differently have a good time him. This illustrated learn of Graham's groundbreaking paintings fills that severe hole. Kodwo Eshun examines Rock My faith not basically by way of modern artwork and Graham's wider physique of labor but in addition as a part of the wider tradition of the time. He explores the connection among Graham and New York's underground song scene of the Eighties, connecting the creative equipment of the No Wave bands--especially their crew dynamics and dating to the audience--and Rock My Religion's therapy of operating type id and culture.

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