Obsession. Here’s a video of Pollesch’s latest work:
There’s a really really good article about this piece and Pollesch in general by Diedrich Diederichsen in the latest Artforum, one of my favorite theorist-critics. Check it out. It explains the world for one brief and glorious moment.
Audio Poverty posted recently on e-flux is also a really good curmudgeonly and suitably Post-Fordist-paradox-filled article (in English! and very well translated by James Gussen) by Diederichsen in which he begins with the basics of Marxism and music (first sentence of the article: “music has no value”) and goes on to employ choice phrases such as “There is nothing that bourgeois culture values more highly than the break with its own economic principles, provided that it is capable of valuing this break economically.” (Oh Di Di…! swoon)
Of course then there are things he says with which I can’t agree. For example, why do white, upper class critics, feel the need to keep flippantly knocking hip-hop? Doesn’t it become ironic coming out of all of this talk of the music they like, especially American Blues, being the “art of proto-politics” and “spiritual politics” and what-have-you?…is hip-hop really, as they say, “the ultimate pop” manufactured like macdonalds cheeseburgers to keep people fat and inactive? I think they often don’t know how to perceive, analyze, or place hip-hop within the zeitgeist, or within the political/aesthetic structures they see or want to see.
Rene Pollesch and someone like Kid Cudi should collaborate, they are both international artists who emphasize post-dramatic techniques such as sampling, repetition, and the juxtaposition of wild emotional states with banal statements. (I’m not pretending to be the first to draw these parallels, and I don’t really like hip-hop, but I think it’s downright idiotic to discount it in a discussion of pop music at the very least).