Punks, the time has come: You’re getting a museum.
Martin Atkins, of the Midwest Music Expo and a bunch of great envelope-pushing bands, is setting up the Post-Punk and Industrial Museum in Chicago.
“Over the last decade, we’ve created a few pop-up gallery shows — The Religion of Marketing (2007) in Pilsen Chicago, the Metro Gallery in Baltimore and Fuse Gallery in NYC, the Pigface 25 retrospective (2016) at 2112 — and we found that just being around the archives puts us in a different mood — more connected to the past, more excited about the future, and maybe, having more responsibility to preserve these materials for more people to lose themselves experiencing it.”
In an announcement, Atkins says this idea has only become stronger recently, following zoom events honouring the legacy of PiL, Killing Joke, Ministry and Brian Brain, watching people react to the music and the intensity, which “made me wish that people could visit in person, see, and in some cases smell, this stuff, just to be around and be close to it.”
He has a vision for the museum: “I imagine a place where you can sit and absorb,” he says. “Where there’s coffee and a library, and where you can sit behind one of my kits, take a picture and make a beat, or go in the studio and remix a song that may have been part of the soundtrack of our lives.”
Atkins, who people might know from the aforementioned punk and post-industrial bands, says the museum will be opening in Chicago soon and is enticing fans to help get the doors open by becoming a Founder. All it takes to earn that honourific is buying a t-shirt here, which will come with a welcome letter that can be used for admission. Another option is to donate any item, or items, from the era — it does NOT have to be affiliated or associated with Atkins or any of his bands, but from the punk and post-industrial scene in general.
“Anything of significance related to this insane period where music, design, art, fashion, and technology collided is welcome to be submitted,” he says. “This post-punk experience includes fashion (my first suits were made by Sandy Powell), scenery, education, and more and we intend to explore all of this in that space.”