Part I: John Lydon “Anger Is An Energy” (NGR IZ N NRG), (2021), Music: Casino by The Notwist
"After a lecture in Manchester last year I was asked about the place of anger in my practice. I quickly realized that it is often an important motivation, and when I began this group of works I thought about John Lydon’s lyric and the title of his most recent memoir, “Anger Is An Energy.” He opens the book with a discusion of the conception and production of P.I.L.’s song “Rise,” where that phrase is part of its chorus, I chose the text deliberately considering Lydon’s turn to the right as a fan of Donald Trump, and the embrace of “disruptive” social and discursive tactics by numerous contemporary right-wing politicians. When considering music for the video, The Notwist’s song ‘Casino” ultimately came to mind as a contrasting look at the contradictions of creative practice today, and The Notwist’s own history as a hardcore punk band." - Tony Cokes, 2021
Tony Cokes, Evil.80.Empathy? (2020), Courtesy of the artist
A gut punch, a call to action, and a reckoning with complicity, the video animates words recently spoken by Tina Campt and Saidiya Hartman, and crackles with a soundtrack by UK producer and DJ Caspa. Juxtaposing music, colour and text, Cokes has excerpted quotes on complicity, mobilisation and empathy, ending with the line: “We have witnessed enough Black death for a lifetime…”
Question 6: Hans Ulrich Obrist x Tony Cokes discuss Part I (Week 1: 1-7 February): John Lydon “Anger Is An Energy” (NGR IZ N NRG). Music: Casino by The Notwist.
Hans Ulrich Obrist (b. 1968 in Zurich, CH) is Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries, London. Prior to this, he was the Curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Since his first show “World Soup” (The Kitchen Show) in 1991 he has curated more than 300 shows. In 2011 Obrist received the CCS Bard Award for Curatorial Excellence, and in 2015 he was awarded the International Folkwang Prize for his commitment to the arts. Obrist has lectured internationally at academic and art institutions, and is contributing editor to several magazines and journals. His recent publications include “Conversations in Mexico”, “Ways of Curating”, “The Age of Earthquakes” with Douglas Coupland and Shumon Basar, and “Lives of The Artists, Lives of The Architects”.