The pile of ash from the highly controversial £5 million Punk memorabilia burn is to be immortalised in a dramatic artwork by Joe Corré, the son of Dame Vivienne Westwood and former manager of the Sex Pistols, Malcolm McLaren. The work was on display in the gallery’s first-floor viewing room from 20th April until 28th April 2018.
On the 40th Anniversary of the release of Anarchy In The UK, 26th November 2016, Joe Corré torched his entire punk memorabilia collection including bondage gear, Johnny Rotten’s trousers and a tiny swastika-sporting Sid Vicious doll. It followed a year of punk celebrations orchestrated by the Museum of London, the British Library, the British Film Institute, the British Fashion Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund as well as the Mayor of London.
Corré was highly critical of the shameless commercialisation of punk by the State and corporate sector. “With Virgin Punk credit cards, Punky McNuggets, Punk Fairy Liquid, bondage trousers from Louis Vuitton and punk car insurance, something needed to be done to put a stop to the rot” he says.
NME Magazine reported fans calling Corré’s act of destruction: ‘Selfish, pointless and fucking sad’
The New York Observer said: ‘This kind of destructive gesture means absolutely nothing coming from a multi-multi-millionaire’
The Guardian said: ‘As one Guardian reader suggested, ‘Destroying it seems like a strop of a frankly exceedingly well-off, white, middle-aged man’
According to Corré: “Punk is dead, it is used by corporations to offer people an illusion of an alternative choice to sell them something they don’t need. It’s been hijacked but I’ve hijacked it back and we can now use that opportunity to see things for what they really are. Now we’re talking about the value of ash.”
All of the profits from the sale of this ‘Ash From Chaos’ artwork will go towards the Humanade charity to continue the fight against fracking, support some of London’s youth organisations as well as environmental protection. Lazinc director Steve Lazarides is best known for being the agent of Banksy. He says: “We are very proud to be exhibiting Corré’s art work. His incredible work defines an era.”