John Duncan

John Duncan

Book + CD – Errant Bodies
An unstoppable attraction for extreme sounds, in line with the passions that emerged from the international underground at the end of the Seventies, carried John Duncan through complex paths and artistic practices (from Los Angeles to Amsterdam, then Tokyo, then Italy, in Scrutto San Leonardo, Tuscany). More and more contaminated territories, close to a certain kind of performing art which, in the Viennese actionism and body art, the transgressive experiments of Cosey Fanni Tutti (COUM Transmissions, Throbbing Gristle) and the installations-happenings of Paul McCarthy, in California, have their ‘noble’ ancestors and parallelisms. Investigations where the body has got a pivotal role, a metaphor that spanned all of contemporary art in the last fifty years and which, in John Duncan’s case, is modulated according to the chosen expressive media. Duncan has anticipated many post-human tensions, in the alien symbolism of desecrated bodies (‘Blind Date’), going through proto-noise musical experiences, exploring frequencies and sound waves (‘Riot’), or field recordings (‘Crucible’) and the first digital urges (in ‘Seek’ for the ‘Mort aux Vaches’ series). It’s a vast collection representing classic works and mutations, well described in this monographic book by the many protagonists of these and those times, between ‘selected artworks’, ‘audio’ (in the included CD), ‘installations’ and ‘performances’. Artistic survival strategies that, purified from the ‘emotional’ sides and subjected to a sensory remapping, keep their ‘radical’, ‘aesthetic’ and ‘political’ power intact.