SONIC YOUTH on view at Art Metropole (788 King West) until November 30, with a closing party/book launch November 30 from 6 to 10 pm. 416-703-4400. Rating: NNNN
the art of noise takes visual form in the gloriously cheesy, photocopied zine aesthetic that New York City guitar gods Sonic Youth have used for their record sleeves, concert flyers and, yes, zines through the past two decades. Though it's raw, there's nothing at all haphazard to the Youth's look, and Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore's visual collaborators include some very big faces from the art world, including Yoko Ono, Gerhard Richter, Mike Kelley and Jeff Wall.
Art Metropole is showcasing an assortment of Sonic Youth's art -- including texts, altered guitars and some of the source materials used to create the finished album art and flyers that are also on display. Sonic Matters, Sonic Kollaborations grew out of a pamphlet Art Metropole published last fall, Letters From NYC, as the 20th (and final) title in its Little Cockroach Press series.
Thanks to the aftermath of September 11, the show almost didn't happen at all, but AM staff made a round-trip road trip to personally haul the objects now on view across the border. As if that weren't enough commitment, AM closes out the exhibit by launching a new imprint, the quick and dirty Bootleg Series, with the publication of Sonic Death, a photocopied reprint of the full run of Sonic Youth's fanzine, published throughout the 90s.
Don't be surprised if some of the band turn up for the launch. After all, Gordon used to go to York U.