PHILIP POCOCK documentary datatectures ||| Media INSTALLATION || Music Securtiy Administration | Growing Up and Coming Down Press Release 1995
Growing Up and Coming Down
WALTER DAHN
PHILIP POCOCK
Joern Boetnagel Projekte
Cologne 1995.

Growing Up and Coming Down
Another Time Another Place
Bumper Value Jotter

PRESS RELEASE
PHILIP POCOCK and WALTER DAHN - Growing Up and Coming Down
Jörn Bötnagel Projects - Limbergerstr. 22 (at Friesenplatz) Cologne
28. April - 25. May 1995.

A musician, a writer and two artists, in the persons of Walter Dahn an dPhilip Pocock have composed a new series of WORD PAINTINGS on canvas and paper, opening as Jörn Bötnagel's first project at Limbergerstr 22 at 8:00PM on 28. April running until 25. May. Video and film footage, as well as a sculpture The House of the Blues are on view in this collaborative installation Growing Up and Coming Down.

PAINTED LYRICS and song titles in black and white and color by this German - Canadian duo, at times scratched out, corrected and over-painted conceive an historical reading and improvise a visual celebration of Delphic early Blues and Gospel crossover into Rock and Roll and Country and Western music.

Philip Pocock and Walter Dahn's journey along a 'lost highway' back over dirt roads and past clapboard shacks to Sun Studio, the Grand Ol' Opry and Gilley's Bar re-explores territory covered earlier by Dorothea Lange and Ben Shahn, this time, however, with EYES AND EARS wide open, looking and listening to the on-going struggle for ethnographic harmony that charts the twists and turns in American popular culture and the Civil Rights Movement from 1956 - 1972. The sounds of the Mississippi Delta inspired a rainbow-colored legion of musicians, whose change-ups echo effectively in the words of Dr. King, marching his message to the gates of reality.

Conceiving and interpreting in color and line the SOUND AND WORDS of legendary musicians, among them Robert Johnson, Memphis Ma' Rainey, Blind Lemmon Jefferson, Howlin' Wolf, Charlie Rich, Waylon Jennings, Elvis Presley, Brain Wilson and James Talley, Walter Dahn and Philip Pocock combine their sense with the indigenous iconography of hadwritten signs in public places across the American South. The resulting WORD PAINTINGS like few beffore them, heal with their own 'Mojo Medicine' that contemporary and widening fracture between reading and loooking. We once again have that rare chance in contemporary art to crossover from the emotional to the conceptual, to LOOK, LISTEN AND READ all at once, to blend so-called 'high' and 'low' culture, to form a coalition of contemporary thinking and feeling.

One hand-written sign legible in an old FSA photograph reads: "There aint' no PLACE just like this PLACE anywhere near this PLACE so this must be the PLACE!" To look at those words, their slanting scrawl, self-confident marks, loops, dots and crosses, underlines the written words with a dialect of the hand. Just imagine what a difference it would have made had Sam Phillips with Elvis Presley of Roy Orbison written out BY HAND song titles and production notes right on the sleeves of the original Sun recordings! About as close as one may get today is to go for a drive along Highway 61 or perhaps to look, listen and read Growing Up and Coming Down.