Art And Anti-Art

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The two pages by other contributors were easily the best thing about Lemon Meringue Pantry.  Here is the first of them – a masterpiece of provocative politico-aesthetics by Chris Jones, who under the pseudonym Tintin was editor of Bullfrog fanzine.  At the point I met him he had recently come up with the AAAA tag.  If you crane your neck and squint carefully, you’ll see from the scan that AAAA’s merchandising arm was Jesus – The Products.  I still have a piece of toast in a nicely labelled Jesus – The Products bag which Chris sold me at a later exhibition of what could loosely be described as his work.  Chris was one of the influences moving me to become increasingly politically active, and it was  largely through him that I got into the situationists – a more culturally satisfying route than via Malcolm McLaren.  Debord and Vaneigem made a lot of sense to me in those days, with theory and proposed practice that turned the world upside-down and inside out, but the demands an involved reading of them placed on the human psyche were cult-like in their intolerability.  What do I think of them now?  I would need the prompts provided by a re-reading The society of the spectacle and The revolution of everyday life to tell you that.

Chris later made music with groups called the Gore Vidals, Use and Pre-dog, put out creative writing in a publication called Fast Hard and reinvented himself as X-Chris before I lost touch with him.  Having often wondered what he might be up to in a world whose virtual or online versions has to some extent caught up with the kind of approach he espoused, I did battle with everyone’s search engine of choice and eventually found video footage of him in among the background material for the Tate’s displays marking the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade.  Chris argues – as I half-suspected and hoped he might still be doing – that resistance is not futile.  (He’s at 3:16, sandwiched between Mike Phillips and Mark Wallinger.)

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2 responses

  1. Nice to see this – I was the other half of AAAA when we started out – probably 1985. I still have a few pages of AAAA artwork as well as a track that we recorded. I’ve often wondered what Chris is up to these days, I think I lost contact with him after moving up to Scotland in 1990, so it was nice to hear some of what he’d done since then. He was pretty much straight-edge when I first met him and always a sound bloke. Cheers

  2. […] oversold the Gore Vidals, as they were the product of my AAAA friend Chris Jones’ thoroughly active imagination and underwhelming musical […]

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