I was invited to review this exhibition as a student on the MRes Arts Practice course at CCW Graduate School, based at Chelsea College of Art & Design. I took a combined angle of reviewer and of my awareness, as a student, of this gallery’s place within the academic context. I was intrigued to learn of curator Donald Smith’s interest in presenting the archive in a gallery context. This knowledge cast light on archival intentions behind the exhibition.
‘Curator Donald Smith’s own fanaticism of the British Punk era, supported by the archival example of Mick Jones Rock & Roll Public Library, makes this a very ‘British’ focussed exhibition. But how does this resonate with the expectations of the predominately academic, multi-national, Chelsea College of Art visitor profile? In taking a political/subjective stance, this exhibition allows the document to displace the artwork, and in doing so transforms the gallery into an archive. ‘