2014 Whitney Biennial

March 15, 2014

David Lester poster and Jean Smith 7″ record cover art in 2014 Whitney Biennial, March 7 to May 25, New York City

Malachi (18 x 28″ poster) by Mecca Normal guitarist David Lester is included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. The exhibition also includes a recording of a live set performed by underground rock duo Mecca Normal, and both sides of the cover of the Mecca Normal 7″ record that includes the song Malachi about war protester Malachi Ritscher.

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Malachi” by David Lester Free poster pdf

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Exhibit with listening stations at the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

Whitney installation

Exhibit in the vitrine at the 2014 Whitney Biennial. 

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The painting on the record cover is called “Discovering Utopia” by Mecca Normal vocalist Jean Smith. Click through to high resolution image.

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Back cover with “Malachi” lyrics by Jean Smith. Click through to high resolution image.

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Photo of Mecca Normal by Malachi Ritscher.

These four artifacts – and a photo Malachi took of Mecca Normal after he recorded the set at the Empty Bottle in Chicago in 2002 – are part of Public Collectors: Malachi Ritscher an exhibit curated by Chicago’s Marc Fischer about American activist and music documentarian Malachi Ritscher (1954 – 2006) who self-immolated on a freeway median outside of Chicago to protest the war in Iraq. Ritscher made a video of this action that was not widely seen.

“It was Malachi’s intention for the video of his protest, his death, to reach people through mainstream media, to jar them from complacency, to have them raise their voices to end the war. But that wasn’t what happened. The video was not released in that way. When we added our song – and the poster – to our performances and classroom events, we regarded them as extensions of Malachi’s intention. We had created documents about the documentarian whose final statement on war was not heard. We created art and music because Malachi’s voice was not heard.” – Jean Smith, from the 2014 Whitney Biennial catalog

2014 Whitney Biennial Press Release

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Jean Smith vocals, David Lester acoustic guitar, KRAMER on bass and keys. Produced and mixed by KRAMER. Recorded by Rat Bastard at the Laundry Room, Miami Beach in November of 2012. “Malachi” is from the same recording sessions as the new album, out in September of 2014.

Mecca Normal Newsletter

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