Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Past
Tue, Apr 24, 2012
Simon Reynolds, one of the finest music writers of his generation, argues that we live in an age so consumed by retro and so crazy for commemoration that it may be stunting our growth. Band re-formations and reunion tours, expanded reissues of classic albums and outtake-crammed box sets, remakes and sequels, tribute albums and mash-ups—but what happens when we run out of past? Are we heading toward a sort of cultural ecological catastrophe where the archival stream of pop history has been exhausted? Earlier eras had their own obsessions with antiquity—the Renaissance with its admiration for Roman and Greek classicism, and the Gothic invocations of medievalism—but never has there been a society so obsessed with the cultural artifacts of its immediate past as our own.
Reynolds will give a reading from his book Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Past, which was hailed by The Telegraph as “one of the best music books of 2011.” After the reading, J.C. Gabel will moderate a conversation between Reynolds and the audience. Gabel is the founding editor and publisher of STOP SMILING. He is currently the editor and publisher of The Chicagoan and runs the book publishing company Hat & Beard Press. He also writes about music and books regularly for Bookforum, Time Out Chicago, Wallpaper, and Playboy.
A book signing follows the program.
Presented in conjunction with the MCA exhibition This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s