After Love: Takashi Murakami and the Protocols of Sado-Cute—Dick Hebdige (Medea Talks #1)

DICK HEBDIGE, Director of Arts and Interdisciplinary Programs at the University of California Riverside’s Palm Desert Graduate Center. In the 30 years since Richard Hell et al at CBGB’s in New York and John Lydon & co. at the World’s End in London snagged the public’s eye and ear and kicked the corpse of hippy dreaming, the world has witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, the World Trade Center, the organized Left and the welfare state, the rise of the McDonalds burger and Starbucks chains, neo-tribalism and ethnic cleansing, the internet, the cell phone, the global spread of religious fundamentalisms, the Bush-led war on terror, and the stabilization to permanence of punk as (anti) fashion statement, marketable music genre, and secessionist life-style choice.

That same period has also witnessed the invasion of the international art-and-media scape by Japanese anime and ‘Business Art” phenomenon Takashi Murakami. This talk uses Murakami’s work as a lens to look at how ideas about and attitudes towards youth and youth culture, consumerism, the power of perversion, the value of negation, the politics of insubordination, sex and love have changed in the three decades since “Subculture: The Meaning of Style” was first published in 1979.