Lydia Lunch - the art of provoking

Lydia Lunch.
Lydia Lunch. Foto: presse

14 April at Henie Onstad will be a rare opportunity to experience Lydia Lunch live, together with the Austrian noise violinist Mia Zabelka. Lunch and Zabelka are both known for live physical expressions. In connection with Marie-Louise Ekmans show they perform a unique performance that combines Lunch's sound, voice and video with Zabelka's intense violin.

Lydia Anne Koch was born in Rochester, New York in 1959. By the age of 13 she moved to New York City and was named Lydia Lunch because she used to steal lunch from punk band The Dead Boys. Here she was part of the No Wave scene in the 70's, an underground environment consisting of filmmakers, musicians and artists. She started the band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks with saxophonist James Chance. They were known for their ten minute sets, where Chance's frenetic saxophone was accompanied by the screaming punk vocals of 17-year old Lunch. Teenage Jesus had a short career, but has since grown to become a highly influential cult band.

In the next few years, Lunch began to work as an actress in independent films, with underground directors like Richard Kern, Vivienne Dick and Beth B. She also contributed with her own poetry and political spoken word in many of the art films and short films she starred in. At the same time Lunch continued to work on her music career. She started her own label, Widowspeak, where she released her solo albums. She has during her career worked with a diverse group of musicians including Nick Cave, Nels Cline, Kim Gordon, Jacob Kirkegaard and many more.

Lunch has, from a young age, been groundbreaking in her confrontational approach in all of her artistic outlets - through violent and sexually provocative expressions. She has stated that her job is to confront apathy - "rattle the cage, wake people up, wake myself up, confront all that would conspire to keep us down."

Lydia Lunch is performing with Mia Zamelka at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter 14 April. Here they are being interviewed and performing at the MAK Museum of Modern Arts in Vienna, Austria: