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The Rock & Roll Public Library - Venice Biennale 2015

A treasure trove of popular culture is washing up on the banks of Venice’s grand waterways this May with the opening of The Rock and Roll Public Library during the 56th Venice Biennale. A site-specific installation exploring the notion of archive as art, the library is a curated selection taken from the impressive archive of iconic musician and producer Mick Jones of The Clash collected over the past 40 plus years.

The Rock and Roll Public Library will open at Istituto Santa Maria Della Pieta, a short walk from the Arsenale venue for the Biennale and next to the Hotel Metropole, from May 7th to November 22nd. The Istituto is a charitable cultural center that will also be hosting the National Taiwanese Pavilion amongst other collateral events.

Curated collectively by Jones himself, James Putnam and Lauren Jones (Alteria Art), the library represents just the tip of the iceberg of The Clash songwriter’s full archive. Spread over three rooms, the exhibition will feature wall-mounted installations, a 1970s music listening booth, display cases decorated with vibrant collages whilst records, stage outfits and other punk-era clothing will hang from the ceiling. The final room will aim to recreate Jones’ own living room, offering an insight into how the archive itself has materialised. Visitors will be able to interact with the archive from its collector’s perspective—as if in the home of a good friend. This physical interaction with the materials evokes memories and recollections, personal emotions and unique attachments in each visitor.

In addition to the exhibition:
Celebrated British artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster will make their own curated selection of items from Jones’ archive, a personal edit of objects that speak to them and that will be displayed within the exhibition.

In collaboration with The Vinyl Factory, Mick Jones will be releasing a limited edition record to coincide with the opening in Venice. The vinyl, called Ex Libris, will feature all new tracks written and recorded by Jones in his studio at the start of 2015. Artwork has also been produced by Jones and will feature a booklet of images. For more information please visit http://www.vfeditions.com.

A small booklet in the format of a 7” record is also being published to accompany the exhibition. If you wish to purchase this booklet or would like the full press release, please contact info@alteriaart.com.

This edition of The Rock and Roll Public Library is supported by Dr.Martens, with additional backing from Les Inrockuptibles and London College of Fashion, UAL. The launch is kindly supported by The Hard Rock Cafe, Venice. Our media partner in Venice is VE: News.