Voltigör (Ponto for Swedish Youth)

Roberto drawing Völtigor
Roberto N. Peyre drawing Voltigör (Ponto for Swedish Youth), March 2014

Roberto N. Peyre and I have some work in the Obliteration Device show at IMT Gallery. We have developed a ‘Ponto for Swedish Youth’ in response to the recent right-turn in the European elections. The new ponto is based on, among other things, the “voltigeur” petroglyphs of Bronze Age Sweden, the double helix, Ian Curtis’s dancing and Northern Soul arm spins. The Joy Division/Northern Soul axis is hinged on two stories recounted in the excellent 2007 Grant Gee documentary ‘Joy Division’. The first concerns Rob Gretton, the band’s first manager, who advised the band to drop the Nazi imagery they had used on their first EP An Ideal for Living.  An_ideal_for_living

The later 12″ release replaced the offending imagery with a more “industrial” scaffolding image.

JoyDivision_IdealForLiving_The second story involved Wigan Casino DJ Richard Searling who was working for RCA records in Manchester in the mid 70’s. Ian would spend a lot of time at the studio in the hope of meeting his hero Iggy Pop. When Richard was asked by the label to find a punk band he asked Ian and his band to make a cover version of N.F. Porter’s stomping Keep on Keeping On, something of a Northern Soul anthem at the time and one of the clear thematic bridging tunes between the US Black Power movement and the Northern scene. The result was the ballistic Interzone. Keep the F***ing Faith Bothers and Sisters! This, along with Willie Collon’s Skinny Papa we the track we were dancing to when making the work. Check the break! We love to Boogaloo! It’s all the about the Mixed Blood.

The design for the ponto was drawn in talcum and glitter on the floor of a contemporary dance studio in Stockholm and then erased by being danced on by myself and Roberto.

Voltigor (Ponto for Swedish Youth) copy
Installation Shot of Voltigör (Ponto for Swedish Youth) at IMT Gallery

The final piece we called Voltigör (Ponto for Swedish Youth). Here’s the final image of the sequence showing the obliterated drawing.

Voltigor Obliterated


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