In the pantheon of New York artist collectives of the 1970s and 80s, the inimitable DISBAND represents the all-singing, all-dancing, all-girl contingent. The “conceptual art punk band of women artists who can’t play any instruments” joined the fray in 1978 with melodies proclaiming “the end of art, the end of my career and yours, the end of articles.” Its roster of seminal art and performance icons appeared at venues throughout New York from 1978 to 1982, going on to tour Italy with Laurie Anderson, Paul McCarthy, and Chris Burden. In 2008, the group reunited for MoMA PS1’s exhibition WACK!: Art and the Feminist Revolution. Their first audio CD was released in 2009 by Primary Information and features once long-lost early recordings. On March 14th, core members Ilona Granet, Donna Henes, and Martha Wilson rejoin forces for a not-to-be-missed evening at AUX Performance Space in Philadelphia’s Vox Populi gallery. Culturebot correspondent Mashinka Firunts speaks with them about their upcoming performance and why their project remains uncannily timely thirty years after its original inception.
For more information about their AUX performance, visit the Vox Populi event page, or to view footage of early performances, visit PrimaryInformation.org. DISBAND is currently working on an official website set to feature photographic and video documentation of their early work.
Mashinka Firunts: The broad spectrum of issues addressed in DISBAND’s early work ranges from gender identity to the distribution of power in the art world. Needless to say, these concerns are no less pressing than they were three decades ago. I’m curious, what are the specific circumstances surrounding the decision to reunite in 2008 and continue performing in 2012? … ”
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