PUNK. Its traces in Contemporary Art

Punk was born in London and New York between 1976 and 1978 as an explosion of discontent and dissatisfaction towards a situation without a future, which immediately caught on and spread geographically. A rage that still resonates today. The journalist and music critic Greil Marcus outlined this for the first time in 1989, in 'Lipstick Traces. A Secret History of the Twentieth Century', a journey through the history of the antecedents of the movement, going back to Dada and Situationism. The exhibition draws on this book and performs the same exercise in reverse: a prospective exercise that looks for vestiges of punk in the artists of today.

"Too much too soon", the second studio record by the NEW YORK DOLLS

In 1974 the NEW YORK DOLLS release their second studio record, “Too much too soon”. Malcolm McLaren becomes their manager briefly. In London they visit his shop, where he sells clothes designed by Vivienne Westwood: torn t-shirts with Situationist proclamations, leather, latex. The New York Dolls also wear torn clothes and tight leather.

Action by the Russian group Voina in Saint Petersburg

On June 2010, at 1.40 am, activists from the Russian group Voina elude the security check to cross the Liteny drawbridge in Saint Petersburg to paint a 65 meter long penis on it. With the help of a bicycle they cover the bridge’s asphalt with 55 liters of white paint. Minutes later, the penis arises in front of the building known as the Big House, the headquarters of the Russian state security service.

"My Shanora" by Atlas Sound

On March 5 2012, Bradford Cox, under the name of Atlas Sound, plays a concert at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. During the concert someone in the audience screams for songs from other musicians. In response to the request, Bradford Cox sits down at the drums and plays “My Shanora” and brings the person up on stage to dance. After almost an hour, THE AUDIENCE LEAVES THE HALL AND BEGINS TO THROW CHAIRS UP IN THE AIR.

The PUSSY RIOT group bursts into the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow

On February 21 2012, the Russian punk group PUSSY RIOT bursts into the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow and performs an iconoclastic “Te Deum” against Vladimir Putin from the altar. Wearing colourful dresses and balacavas, the woman sing “Mother of God, Virgin Mary, drive Putin away” make political proclamations against the Russian government, in favour of feminism, and for the rights of homosexuals.

Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty burn a million pounds sterling

On August 23 1994 Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, members of the band The KLF, take the journalist Jim Reid and the concert promoter Alan Goodrick to a cabin on the Scottish island of Jura so that they can witness the BURNING OF A MILLION POUNDS STERLING. The action is part of the activities that precede the final separation of the band, among which is the complete elimination of their music catalog in record shops.


In 1994 a group of runners disguised as salmon take part in the San Francisco marathon. But they run in a direction opposite to the established route. The action is organized by the CACOPHONY SOCIETY, which has cells around the United States and is also responsible for the annual Santa Con, a concentration of Santa Clauses in large department stores during Christmas, and for the Burning Man festival in the desert of Nevada.

The band LAS VULPES on TV

On April 23 1983 the band LAS VULPES appear on the TV show “Caja de ritmos” on Spanish public television network. They play a female version of “I wanna be your dog” by the stooges, titling it “Me gusta ser una zorra” [I like to be a Slut]. The press media pounced on the performance and the program was cancelled.

“Mucha policía, poca diversion [Lots of Police, Little Fun], ESKORBUTO's first demo

In 1983, the Basque band ESKORBUTO record in Madrid their first demo, “Mucha policía, poca diversion [Lots of Police, Little Fun]. When they leave the studio they pass by a police station, where the police search them because of their suspicious appearance. Upon finding the recording, the police apply the Anti-terrorist Law and arrest the band members for 36 hours.

Raymond Pettibon designs the cover of the Sonic Youth sixth album

“Goo”, the sixth album by Sonic Youth, is released in 1990 with a cover designed by Raymond Pettibon. On the single “KOOL THING”, ONE CAN HEAR CHUCK D FROM PUBLIC ENEMY, whom they met in the studio during the recording of Public Enemy’s second record “It takes a nation of millions to hold us back”.

“OCAÑA, retrato intermitente” [Intermittent Portrait]

Ventura Pons immortalizes in “OCAÑA, retrato intermitente” [Intermittent Portrait], the performances of the Andalusian artist on the Rambla street in Barcelona, where he parades dressed in drag since 1973. The film documents the life of this idiosyncratic personality: homosexual, transgressive in post-Franco Barcelona.

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