It’s so … quiet … it is so … quiet. My first big outing since I got back from Paris: to walk through the MCA’s new rock and roll-themed exhibition, Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967. Compared to the exhibit I just saw at the Palais de Tokyo, Sympathy is so … sterile. I want to scream—we’re talking about rock here! The Cramps, the Stones, the Smiths, the Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth—this is noisy stuff, people!
Yet these bands—and a symbiotic cadre of artists whose work on display in the new rock and roll exhibition at the MCA—are strangely muffled within the museum’s walls. Walking through the British room, a room awash in Keith Richards and Mick Jagger paraphernalia, there is, curiously, very little noise at all. Elsewhere in the exhibition, an empty recording box offers some pairs of headphones. I pick them up and hope for a beat. They don’t work.
“Damn. I wanted to like it,” said Paul Klein in his art letter)