Vel­vet gold­mine

Paris ex­hi­bi­tion charts the tu­mul­tous times and last­ing legacy of The Vel­vet Un­der­ground.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - ARTS -

FROM March 30 to Aug 21, the Phil­har­monie de Paris will be pay­ing trib­ute to the il­lus­tri­ous New York rock band, The Vel­vet Un­der­ground, with an ex­hi­bi­tion mark­ing the 50th an­niver­sary of the band's The Vel­vet Un­der­ground And Nico al­bum whose cover is il­lus­trated with Andy Warhol's iconic ba­nana art­work.

Widely recog­nised as one of the 20th cen­tury's in­flu­en­tial cult rock groups, the Vel­vet Un­der­ground were only ac­tive for a short time, be­tween 1965 and 1970. Those five years proved long enough for the band to achieve leg­endary sta­tus, af­ter be­ing formed by friends Lou Reed and John Cale in the sim­mer­ing cul­tural melt­ing pot of 1960s New York. The up­com­ing ex­hi­bi­tion, The Vel­vet Un­der­ground, New York Ex­trav­a­ganza, takes a look at the story be­hind the now myth­i­cal band and their in­flu­ence on the cul­tural move­ments that fol­lowed their short- lived ca­reer.

The ex­hi­bi­tion is di­vided into six sec­tions. It starts by look­ing at the emer­gence of Amer­i­can counter- cul­ture, pro­fil­ing fig­ures like Allen Gins­berg – one of the lead­ing fig­ures of the Beat Gen­er­a­tion – and their re­bel­lion against con­sumerist post- war Amer­ica.

Then come sec­tions look­ing at Lou Reed and John Cale, the band's two founders, plus a sec­tion look­ing at 1960s New York as the cul­tural hot­bed that gave rise to pop- art and avant- garde move­ments. In ad­di­tion to hav­ing cre­ated the fa­mous ba­nana al­bum cover, Andy Warhol was a key fig­ure in the band's his­tory. The Vel­vet Un­der­ground was, for a time, the house band at Warhol's "Fac­tory" stu­dio and apart­ment, the hippest hang­out for artists and tal­ents on the New York scene. The ex­hi­bi­tion takes a closer look at the "Fac­tory", dur­ing the band's Warhol era, be­fore chart­ing its path af­ter the suc­ces­sive de­par­tures of Nico, Andy Warhol and John Cale, and ex­am­in­ing its legacy.

The ex­hi­bi­tion was co- cre­ated by Chris­tian Fevret, founder of the French cul­tural mag­a­zine, Les In­rock­upt­ibles, and de­signed by French de­signer Matali Cras­set. It in­cludes an au­dio­vi­sual port­fo­lio of films cre­ated for the event, as well as al­ter­na­tive art films and ar­chive ma­te­rial, plus pho­tos taken through­out the band's time to­gether. The ex­hi­bi­tion also fea­tures por­traits of The Vel­vet Un­der­ground mem­bers and key fig­ures from the New York art scene, like Edie Sed­wick, Andy Warhol and Candy Dar­ling. – AFP Re­laxnews

The Vel­vet Un­der­ground, New York Ex­trav­a­ganza runs from March 30 to Aug 21 at the Phil­har­monie de Paris in Paris. Visit: phil­har­moniede­paris.fr.

The rock clas ic e Vel­vet Un­der­ground And Nico was recorded wi h t e irst pro­fes­sional line- up of the Vel­vet Un­der­gro ( from left): Ger­man singer nico, pro­ducer Andy Warhol, Mau­reen Tucker, Lou reed, ster­ling Mor­ri­son and John cale. An up­com­ing Paris ex­hi­bi­tion will chart the tu­mul­tuous times and last­ing legacy of The Vel­vet Un­der­ground. — AFP

1 The Vel­vet Un­der­ground’s 1967 de­but al­bum, The Vel­vet Un­der­ground And Nico. 2 John cale will en­list younger artistes, in­clud­ing Pete do­herty, for a rare per­for­mance of the leg­endary band’s first al­bum. The Phil­har­monie de Paris, the year- old mu­sic hall in the French cap­i­tal, is putting on the con­cert on April 3 as part of a ret­ro­spec­tive on the Vel­vet Un­der­ground. — AFP

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