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TQ's John Doran To Host Metal Modernism Event In Brighton
The Quietus , April 11th, 2023 11:42

TQ's John Doran hits the south coast this weekend to expand on the links between Venom's 'In League With Satan' and Picasso's 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon' and between Napalm Death's 'You Suffer' and Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting For Godot' that you were previously too afraid (or too sensible) to consider

The Quietus' Editor John Doran is to debut a brand new A/V presentation called What Is This That Stands Before Me? in Brighton this Friday (April 14).

The event, subtitled Why Heavy Metal Is A Modernist Art Form, will kick off at 8pm at the East Street Tap. The pictorially enhanced lecture (it's a slide show innit) will be followed by a Q&A session, and then some heavy metal, played loud. Tickets for the event are available here.

Speaking about the event, Doran said: "Joyce's Ulysses. Picasso's 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon'. Stravinsky's The Rite Of Spring. Beckett's Waiting For Godot. Eliot's 'The Waste Land'. Anaal Nathrakh's 'The Supreme Necrotic Audnance'... Er, hang on a second. Say what? Modernism might, at first, seem like an odd thing to tag onto a musical movement which is often characterised in the popular consciousness by songs about dragons, serial killers and Satan, made by people who look like Vikings. However, you might be surprised."

Looking over the half century-long history of heavy metal from Black Sabbath to Judas Priest, from Venom to Metallica, from Voïvod to Slayer, from Ministry to Celtic Frost, from Napalm Death to Mayhem, from Sunn O))) to Liturgy, Doran's presentation will attempt to recontextualise the groundbreaking style of music which exists in a continually violent state of rebirth and innovation.

As part of that, he will consider the grand themes and stories of modernism – TS Eliot and the fracture of the human personality; Ezra Pound's dangerous embrace of fascism; Picasso's obsession with 'the primitive'; Georges Bataille's mission to offend common decency; Nietszche's assault on Christianity and his embrace of self-determinism; Italian futurism and the noise of warfare; Swiss futurist Gilbert Clavel and his practice of blowing up cliff faces with dynamite. Looking across those concepts, the more he realised that heavy metal and modernism are a surprisingly good fit, as they both exemplify an exquisite shock of the new.

Find more information about the event here.