27 Mar 2008
Breaking the Rules - the Printed Face of the European Avant Garde 1900-1937 
Breaking The Rules, An excellent exhibition about avant garde typography in the early 20th Century at the British Library is coming to close but if you nip along this weekend you'll be able to catch it. This is quite a large show, with artists' books, manifestos, magazines etc, and the European element of the title is a key feature. There are sections on avant garde artistic activity in a very wide range of European cities.

There are a couple of Factory Records references:

- a copy of the FACT 50 Movement sleeve is included in the "legacy" section (along with the Greil Marcus 'Lipstick Traces' LP, a Franz Ferdinand sleeve and a Sex Pistols / Seditionaries T-shirt). There's a nice quote from Peter Saville, and it's placed knowingly next to Tschichold's Die Neue Typographie in the case.

- the Futurist design which inspired the sleeve for FAC 128 Wild Party by ACR (the direct appropriation here might surprise some people)

Breaking the Rules - the Printed Face of the European Avant Garde 1900-1937 runs until Sunday 30 March 2008. Admission is free.

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Peter Saville colour wheel
Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

Factory Records

The Durutti Column