Michael Turner is as close as any Canadian author to a punk icon. His 1992 book Hard Core Logo provided the source material for what is routinely touted as the best Canadian film of all time: a mockumentary, of the same title, that depicts the turbulent final tour of an aging Vancouver punk band. I remember my high school English teacher’s section on Turner’s novel, which unfolds its narrative through a mix of prose, song lyrics, and diner receipts, as a singular period of class participation from a group of stoner kids.
With the blood, sweat, and vomit that drip from the pages of that novel, I think those stoners would have been surprised to find that Turner’s attention had shifted to the loftier world of contemporary art. I was. The author gave a recent talk here on Canadian artists Tamara Henderson and Julia Feyrer, whose exhibition Bottles Under the Influence is currently at Walter Philips Gallery. I talked to Turner before the event, and learned how his early punk writings channel the spirit of visual art. Continue Reading →