Yes that´s Lydia Lunch! whom i´ve been a fan of since seeing her perform live in Melbourne with Roland S.Howard in 1989.
Translation of article from Catalan into English by Camila Enrich
The article starts with how Barcelona has always attracted foreign creators, such as the Peruvian writer Vargas Llosa, the Colombian writer García Márquez and even George Orwell during civil war, but all of them came for a short season. The situation changed during the 90’s, when artists decided to make Barcelona their home city. Now foreign artist come and stay in the city. They mention the Italian jeweler Laura B. and the French writer Jonathan Little, “the hypnotic writing of Rodrigo Fresán, the underground art of Chicks on Speed and the visceral activism of Lydia Lunch. They not only pass through Barcelona. Somehow they are Barcelona. The city talks about itself through its own history. Now a day, when different forms of creation are willing to be relevant and need the political and economical power to have some sense, the newcomer discovers that the city is far away from the center from where everything takes place”. The Peruvian film director Claudia Llosa likes to be away from the neuralgic center where things happen, like this she takes some perspective of things. Laura B. says she spends more money on transportation of her pieces but it’s fine with her.
“Showing the infallibility of all theories in with a coffee between her hands, this time in Rambla Catalunña, Alex Murray Leslie, singer, graphic artist and fashion designer –maybe the three forms of art most polluted by the industrial gene- does not agree with the idea that being outside certain circles is a handicap. “For me the city has a lot of energy and I think that is moving towards its best moment. There are many things to do and many spaces, like Hangar, that are envied all over Europe. The only disconnection that I feel is with the members and former members of the band, that are not here, but never with industry. Maybe to have it far away helps the scene to be a bit more spontaneous, although the city still has to learn a lot regarding this matter. On the other side of the table, Thomas Noone, a dancer and by definition more related to institutions rather than to private sponsors, drinks coffee and complains of the presence of so many Starbucks in Barcelona and starts saying that “we can complain of things but the city has an international strong image. The other day a British newspaper wrote on a local dance company “they are from Barcelona, they must be cool”.
“One of the good things that happen to artists that arrive from other countries is how fast they can feel part of the city. You are here and work here and they make you feel Catalan. This makes things easier. Plus, no one has ever asked me to change my artistic speech and make it more Catalan or more Spanish. It does not come to mind a more open creative structure than this one” says Llosa while they bring her breakfast at a hotel in Los Angeles. She says she has always felt welcome. Her relationship with institutions is great and they have helped her. Alex, Australian teaching fashion design at Elisava, is completely integrated in the local underground ecosystem and remembers that “in Australia no one has ever helped me as I do get helped here. Sometimes, when asking for something I have not even gotten an answer. Here, institutions seem more interesting in helping you and organizing events is not that difficult. Invariably allergic to any core of power, either politic or economic, but practical as anyone can be, Lydia Lunch wants to go a step forward in the involvement of the strong forces of the city in the artistic project of that “bunch of guiris”. “I want a building” screams putting up her arms while the waiter at the Café Copa in Av. Gaudí puts ashtrays on the tables. It is 11.00 am and the woman is full of energy. “I walk at night looking for buildings and I have already seen a couple of them. I don’t want the Town Hall to give them to me, I want the construction companies or real state agencies to give them to me. I want Barcelona, where there is a brutal creative force, to have something similar to the Factory. In all big artistic movements of history there has been a building where creation was gathered. I want this here and I want to capital to give it to us. Vogel, that is starting to uncover like The Grinch, thinks that the “scene was demolished by the Town Hall. Before there were people doing interesting things at a musical level. Now is all quite standard and bureaucratic. To open a bar, invite a DJ or organize a concert seems like you have to fill in hundred of papers and they always say no. I think that the Government has always had too much to say on culture. Before, this seemed good, but it’s not good anymore”.
Fresán, the argetinian writer, says there is not a long tradition of foreign writers living in the city. Claudia Llosa says that being away from her country gives her perspective. However, Vogel says that he feels no connection to the England he left behind although he misses when Barcelona was a source of inspiration. I left XXX (unreadable, maybe its Brighton) when the music became to hooligan. Here everything was surf, beach and felt like a millionaire before the euro was established. “I have never thought of going back to the UK…...
ALEX MURRAY-LESLIE (Bowral, Australia)
Member of Chicks on Speed, music and artistic entity are key to understand the past decade, Murray-Leslie is a professor at Elisava Fashion Masters Course and resident artist at Hangar.org. Each six months she co-organizes The City, a cultural event with the aim of artists taking possession of the city. When she arrived five years ago, a boy, who´d seen a concert of her band the night before, invited her for a coffee. The group has just edited Cutting The Edge, their latest disc. Murray-Leslie has played in Chicks on Speed @ the last two last editions of The Brandery and C.O.S. have recently designed a surf clothing collection for women with Insight Australia.
LYDIA LUNCH (Rocherster, USA)
She has been one of the most discordant voices of the NY pun with Teenage Jesus and The Jerks, she was part of the movement No Wave and she is, without doubt, one of the most mythic figures of the roughest underground. Singer, photographer, novelist, film director and poet, Lunch these days is about to present a book and a CD in which she does an exercise of alternative memory parting from the destruction of Belchite, a small town in Aragon, during Civil War. Radical political activist, the North American sees herself living anywhere except for her native country.
CHRISTIAN VOGEL (Santiago de Chile, Chile)
Although he was born in Chile, Vogel is British from head to toes. Raised in the Midlands but developed as a creator in Brighton, he is DJ, producer,
Remixer and investigator. Vogel became famous with the band Super Collider. Owner of several record labels –the last one Station 55 as a reference of his music studio in Barcelona -, the musician lives between Berlin and the Catalan capital, where he has lived for 9 years. These past years has been investing his time between the group Night of the Brain, alternative and personal projects and the collaborations with the choreographer Gilles Johin.