Another gem from the Ubuweb RSS feed.
Dan Graham’s Rock My Religion (1982-84)
1982-84, 55:27 min, b&w and color, sound
Rock My Religion is a provocative thesis on the relation between religion and rock music in contemporary culture. Graham formulates a history that begins with the Shakers, an early religious community who practiced self-denial and ecstatic trance dances. With the “reeling and rocking” of religious revivals as his point of departure, Graham analyzes the emergence of rock music as religion with the teenage consumer in the isolated suburban milieu of the 1950s, locating rock’s sexual and ideological context in post-World War II America. The music and philosophies of Patti Smith, who made explicit the trope that rock is religion, are his focus. This complex collage of text, film footage and performance forms a compelling theoretical essay on the ideological codes and historical contexts that inform the cultural phenomenon of rock `n’ roll music.
See preview velow and find the full video on Ubuweb here.
Some fascinating fodder for the historical theory that all great American social movements (think the two awakenings, the Civil Rights movement , etc.) are at their root religious. Some amazing early Sonic Youth forms the soundtrack of this video, not to mention some great footage of Patti Smith, Black Flag, and others. Additionally, there is some great mash-up action between 1950s religious revivials and the punk scene.