With its loud, thrashing sound – specifically designed to be harsh on the ears – it is easy to overlook the fact that punk was more than just a musical revolution. Punk was a culture. Sure there were those who slipped on their leather jackets, ripped 501s with safety pin adornments and bopped along at the 100 Club, but there were people who were punks and lived the punk lifestyle day in, day out. A new exhibition at the Hayward Gallery goes some way to exploring the punk attitude through its incredible and diverse art scene.
SOMEDAY ALL THE ADULTS WILL DIE! is comprehensive retrospective look at punk graphic design and iconic imagery produced before, during and after punk’s heyday. Drawing from popular zines, magazines and cassettes, the exhibition provides a glance through previously unseen private archives and collections. Artists including Jamie Reid, Gary Panter, John Holmstrom, Raymond Pettibon, Penny Rimbaud and Linder Sterling are represented here through a wide range of memorabilia and artefact.
Particularly in this Jubilee year, there are undertones that punk never died. Looking back on these works it is clear to see how its legacy remains fundamentally embedded within the UK’s style and fashion consciousness. Hearteningly, it is abundantly evident that the original punk aesthetic today remains as raw, visceral and blindingly emotional as it ever was. It’s a cultural history of Britain that we can be exceptionally proud of.
SOMEDAY ALL THE ADULTS WILL DIE! is at the Hayward Gallery Project Space until 04 November.