Thursday, 10 December 2009 marked artist David S. Blunk, II's metaphorical celebratory funeral for his performance vessel of five years (and more notably, 150 audio/visual performances), STEVIE at the ...Something Cold club night at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (5141 Rosa Parks Boulevard, Detroit, MI USA). The project encompassed brash, invasive electronic punk live shows, more often than not with live video projections of moving self-portraiture pieces meant to evoke a sense of multiple identities and perceptions of self melting into multiple band members and personae. The live shows, which were performed at venues spanning the midwestern and northeastern regions of the USA were the primary focus of STEVIE, affecting audiences as diverse as the dive-bar drinker to the museum lecture attendee. The project also manifested itself in cultural areas as diverse as deejay performances to guerrilla outdoor noise shows, to impromptu costumed appearances and interruptions of existing club nights and parties.
This particular night also marked the birth of Blunk's next band/project, VERNICHTUNG. German for complete destruction / utter annihilation, the duo of Blunk and longtime co-conspirator Matthias D. Vernichtung aim, with their work, to question multiple facets of the truth and farce of performance, pertaining to ideas such as: audience vs. spectator, primary vs. secondary band members, presented vs. actual gender, real vs. portrayed, truth vs. fiction, etc. etc. etc. The aural aspect of VERNICHTUNG presents the idea of dark, large, ominous, mainly instrumental, electronic driven funeral-dance lo-fi dirges. The duo utilize the space of the stage, performance video, and imaginary wall of spectacle to coneal identity, via costumed performance, mysterious video projections, fluid performance roles, as well as a form of mandatory participation, thanks to the eradication of audience / spectator separation.
Evidence from STEVIE's creative career, discography and performance history, as well as promotional media for VERNICHTUNG are quickly forthcoming. Watch this space.
VERNICHTUNG in the Limousine, 10 December, 2009, David S. Blunk, II. (We decided to arrive to the Institute with class and style to mark the occasion of a dual funeral / birth (and subsequently depart without it.)
Matthias / David, 2009, Matthias D. Vernichtung. (These two portraits are part of a promotional photoshoot that emcompassed numerous bottles of wine, loud electronics, and rampant flailing.)
David / Matthias, 2009, David S. Blunk, II. (It's integral to note the ambivalence of represented identities in this shot. This is a key part of the VERNICHTUNG idea.)
End of the Night, 2009, David S. Blunk, II (Portrait, or self-portrait?)