Socialist Worker

Someday All The Adults Will Die is a tribute to punk's creativity

Issue No. 2324

The late 1970s saw an explosion in DIY punk culture. Musicians, artists and writers produced flyers, posters, record sleeves and fanzines using photocopiers, collage and stencils.

This material wasn’t designed to last, of course. But the Hayward Gallery has nevertheless managed to bring much of it together for a new exhibition of punk graphic design.

The bulk of the show focuses on 1970s punk culture. But it also traces the roots of that style in avant-garde European art and the 1960s US counterculture.

So we see how punk was influenced by posters from Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers, a New York based anarchist group, which in turn was inspired by the Dada movement of the early 20th century.

Most of the material on show has a deliberately lo-tech and jagged feel. But this initially shocking look quickly became incorporated into the mainstream.

One of the punk fanzines on display is the first issue of i-D. This would soon turn into an 1980s “style bible”—and survives today as a glossy high fashion magazine.

But thankfully this commercial fate is the exception rather than the rule. This exhibition is a fitting tribute to the creativity of a grassroots culture that transformed popular culture.

Anindya Bhattacharyya

Someday All The Adults Will Die runs until 4 November at the Hayward Gallery, London SE1 8XX. Go to southbankcentre.co.uk


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Reviews
Tue 9 Oct 2012, 17:25 BST
Issue No. 2324
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