The idea of torching ‘several million pounds worth’ of punk memorabilia is suitably iconoclastic at first glance, but scratch the surface and it’s paradoxes all the way down. No-one is denying that the transient ephemera of an era has a value, invariably distorted by celebrity, rarity, provenance and any number of variables. In all probability, the Corre Collection contains “… old T-shirts and posters from the era that weren’t meant to last more than a weekend,” but scouring this stuff from the cultural landscape through deliberate destruction doesn’t really read as a protest. For a start, the ‘Punk London‘ event seems to be thriving on the controversy – in true ‘punk’ style – even though today’s controversies are played out in hashtags and broadsheet thinkpieces. Reducing posters, flyers and ripped leather trousers to a pile of smouldering ashes might be cathartic but it will mean literally nothing to those that resented or even feared the disruptive nature of the punk movement. It’s akin to setting fire to a collection of historic political pamphlets to protest a contemporary political view. The artistic power of destruction is strong, yet not always as meaningful as it first appears.
Other things. Monsters in Real Places / the adventures of Sue in Tibet / photorealistic paintings by Martin Wickstrom and Ralph Goings / reclaimed rulers by Rose Vickers / Tom Plants makes beautiful sketches / barn find gallery one and two / UK urban exploration photography by Andrew Marland, who focuses on the post-industrial north.