Published Jun 09, 2015Although the mysterious identity of the woman who "studied sculpture at St. Martin's College" in Pulp's 1995 hit "Common People" may never be fully solved, frontman Jarvis Cocker is keeping busy with a new art project of his own.
He has been selected as this year's artist in residence at the Red Bull Space in Paris's 12 Mail gallery, and his show 20 Golden Greats is slated to open on June 17. In addition to curating a visual exhibition, Cocker cut a soundtrack to the show at Red Bull Studios Paris.
The exhibition challenges the myth of gold records as a valuable measurement of a musician's success by displaying fictional vinyl records created by Cocker.
"Their intrinsic value, beyond the physical, is infinite; it represents the materialisation of the immaterial, of collective energies, of shared success," reads a description of the exhibit. "A meditation on the intangible and symbolic content of these flimsy plastic discs guides Jarvis Cocker, inhabiting the works of his exhibition."
The records on display feature imaginary titles juxtaposed with the stamp of iconic labels that have sold millions of records.
"At certain points in my career I received gold and platinum records but I always felt a little bit embarrassed, I was never quite at ease with the idea and always gave them to my mother because I certainly didn't want them in my house," Cocker said in a statement. "This was the challenge I faced with this exhibition: how to make the gold record something desirable, something with class and sophistication, because as far as I'm concerned, gold records, and especially those you see lined up on the walls of recording studios, are always rather ugly."
In addition to the physical art, attendees will be able to experience an accompanying instrumental soundtrack that was recorded in Paris with supporting musicians like harpist Serafina Steer and French producer Polooski. It will be available on limited edition vinyl during the exhibition's run, exclusively at 12 Mail, but you can give it a digital spin in the player below right now.
20 Golden Greats is on display from June 17 to August 28.