Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Long Live Hanna

Top 100 2000: Kathleen Hanna
4.5" x 17.5", 4.5" x 12.5"
oil on wood, 2001
There is a bit of nostalgia involved in putting up these series of early 21th century paintings. It was for me a wildly creative period, both in terms of painting and in writing. The soundtrack to much of this creativity was provided by 1990s Olympia, Washington based punk band Bikini Kill, and their singer Kathleen Hanna. Hanna was closely related with the inception of, and spokeswoman for the Riot Grrrl movement. Riot Grrrl's message was that of personal (female) creativity, not compromised by society's expectations and demands. Hanna always kept on doing her thing, politically, in writing, in art, and in music. This year she produced a new collection of songs under the moniker The Julie Ruin. Sounds a bit like a return to the sound of Bikini Kill, but it doesn't have as much aggression or angst as Bikini Kill's music had. There's more harmony but less harm. The same can be said for my painting: Looks great but where's the pain in painting? In 2003 I wrote the following text to accompany a song by Bikini Kill called White Boy. "The antithesis of Bikini Kill is a band called Kill Hanna. Kill Hanna produced the year's (2003) worst record I heard: I Wanna Be a Kennedy. The song is conservative and worst of all...a big hit. They want to be rock stars. They played at Little Brothers (in Columbus, where I lived at the time) and were heavily promoted by CD101, the Alternative Station. Alternative to what? The alternative?" Bikini Kill's record label was Kill Rock Stars.

No comments:

Post a Comment