Gee Vaucher's punk painting as record sleeves

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

Gee Vaucher’s work with [British anarcho-punk band] Crass showed her both exploiting and extending the possibilities of record cover art, for political and creative purposes. She worked at the tail end of the high popularity of record cover art, an interdisciplinary art form that burgeoned in the 1960s and 1970s, wrapping, protecting, packaging and enhancing the new music, and which began to diminish in size and importance with the onset of digital music consumption from the 1980s on (CDs then downloads). Steve Jones and Martin Sorger note that ‘[v]isually, the 12-inch square of the album cover has proven a fertile forum for the development of a rich sense of cultural, artistic, and social history’, and argue that the record cover ‘is the historical cornerstone of pre-recorded music packaging’. In the 1960s and 1970s, record companies and artists produced increasingly ‘elaborate packages. Album covers incorporated die-cuts, embossing, multiple gate-folds, books, posters, and assorted gimmicky constructions and novelties. One variety included covers shaped after the paraphernalia of rock: speakers, amps, concert tickets, record players, and so on’. Vaucher and Crass, during the band’s active existence from 1977 to 1984, extended the boundaries of record cover art in both 7” and 12” forms. Vaucher’s art was a sustained challenge to the idea that the record cover was a subsidiary artefact to the music of the record itself.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGee Vaucher: Introspective
EditorsStevphen Shukaitis
Place of PublicationColchester
PublisherFirstsite
Pages64-74
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-1-57027-315-5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

Keywords

  • punk rock
  • anarchism
  • visual art
  • exhibition catalogue
  • cultural politics

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