THE SMITHS IS DEAD

LIVE PERFORMANCE. 60 MINUTES (1997)

The Smiths is dead was Forsyth & Pollard’s first ICA Live Art Commission, and was presented in the ICA Theatre on 1st August 1997.

Again, turning their attention to The Smiths and enlisting the tribute band who had worked with them on The World Won’t Listen, the event was presented precisely 10 years to the day after the infamous NME headline ‘Smiths to Split’ had shaken the pop world and broken the hearts of a million Smiths apostles, the work centred on the final performance by the tribute band, prior to splitting up themselves. The conceptual precision of the event, and the planning of every last detail, forged an event with a depth, emotion and power not previously achieved.

“Despite the art-school tradition shared by today’s visual artists and clued-up musicians from Sonic Youth to Jarvis Cocker, few of the 90′s link-ups have the same resonance as the efforts of Warhol and Peter Blake over 30 years ago, perhaps today’s musical movers and shakers are too self-absorbed and career-conscious or inhibited by irony and the past to come up with anything truly ground-breaking. Artists inspired by pop, however, see music and its stars as a rich seam worth mining at every opportunity. Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard are 24 year old obsessives with Goldsmiths degrees…. as artists and curators they’ve consistently referenced the soundtrack to their lives – and ours.”

Susan Corrigan, i-D Magazine, August 1997