Mark Leckey – Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore
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*2019 Clear Vinyl pressing *
The video installation Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999) is one of the best known and loved works by London-based artist and Northern English emigre, Mark Leckey. A phantasmic and transcendant collage of meticulously sourced and rearranged footage and sound samples spanning three decades of British subculture – from Northern Soul thru ’80s Casuals and Rave – it may be considered an uncanny premonition of the Hauntological zeitgeist which has manifested in virulent sections of UK electronic dance and pop culture since the early ’00s. This record severs the sonic aspect from the moving image, offering a new perspective upon what rave culture maven and esteemed author Simon Reynolds calls “a remarkable piece of sound art in its own right.” Divorced from its visual indicators, Leckey’s amorphous, acephalic cues are reframed as an ethereal, Burroughsian mesh of VHS idents, terrace chants, fragmented field recordings and atrophied samples cut with his own half-heard murmurs. At once recalling and predating the eldritch esthetics of Burial, The Caretaker, or the Mordant Music clique: it’s an elegiac lament for an almost forgotten spirit; an abstracted obituary to the rituals, passions and utopian ideals of pre-internet, working class nightlife fantasias, now suspended in vinyl.
It’s backed with another soundtrack to a Mark Leckey video installation: ‘GreenScreenRefrigeratorAction’ (2010). In stark contrast, the original video features a black Samsung Bottom Freezer Refrigerator stood in front of a green screen infinity cyc, recounting its contents, thoughts and actions as narrated by the artist in a radically transformed cadence. Meditating on cybernetics and the ambient ecology of household appliances which permeate our lives, it’s an unsettling yet compelling piece of sound design whose subtly affective dynamics reflect the underlying dystopic rhetoric with visceral and evocative precision. The piece has since been used in a collaboration with Florian Hecker for the Push and Pull exhibition at Tate Modern in 2011.