Punter’s Club, 2001: the set started when he threw himself against the wall, amplified of course. The crying began then didn’t stop. He hit the microphone repeatedly with his forrid, initiating a hypnotic rhythm with intermittent irregularities, frizzy hair jagged. The ritual had begun, everyone was in. After a sustained 10 minute crescendo, Rizili went out into the street, using the pole outside Joe’s Garage the same way as he used the microphone. The crowd followed, bystanders were agape. By the time he ran down Brunswick St, wheezing at an alarming volume, the club was going off, everyone high on possibility, amazed to be there. The set kind of ended when no one knew where Nik was.
I’m writing in Berlin, it’s raining and I was going to go to a gig tonight, but already knew what it sounded like so I didn't. The avant-garde has auto-dissolved once again, at least in this town. Gig’s like Rizili’s don’t happen here, and if they do they’re documented into a tidy art-history oblivion, contextualised into suffocation, given no room to stand free and for themselves. There’s no Berlin MS: a Menstruation Sisters gig comes off genuinely unhinged, pure animal energy distilled into sound. We are privy to an exchange. An import/export of gesture and sound. Leakage from some unfound black box recordings.
These drawings capture the unnameable energy of those gigs, an astonishing nexus of detail and mess, a mutation of reference and alterity, another lineage of thought altogether. The visual articulation of the psyche, the clarity of form, its explosion into these exquisite beauties shifts our perception of what figurative drawing can be. These images could only gestate in the most disciplined and isolated of minds, living in stern denial of the comfy pull towards corporate arts hell, creating space to quietly formulate ideas that transcend any concept of relation or community.
Words by Anthony Pateras, 2018.
Publication date March 15th, 2019.
Prepublication orders will be shipped on March 15th.
2nd edition re-print of Marcus Whale's book Devotionals, with an introductory essay by Jonno Revanche.
With thematic forbears in Genet, Cooper and Wojnarowicz, Devotionals looks at multiple forms of desire through both subjective and objective lenses. Lines are crossed, or unseen - and utterances, instant messages, and human senses interact to procure a new experience. Devotionals is all at once subversive, sexy, beautiful and strange.
Read it on your pillow, with the lights down low.
Marcus Whale is a musician, writer and artist living in Sydney. This is his first collection of poetry.