Burning was a statement against the nostalgia and commodification of punk on the 40th anniversary of the Sex Pistols’ “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols.”
$6 million+ of punk memorabilia went up in flames on the 40th anniversary of the Sex Pistols’ “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols.” (November 26, 2016). Firefighters looked on as a barge floating on the Thames river in London was set ablaze by Joe Corré, son of the late Malcolm McLaren of Sex Pistols fame and his mother, queen of punk Vivienne Westwood.1
Joe Corré set fire to punk history to protest commodification, nostalgia, and climate change.
Corré, owner of pricey lingerie line Agent Provocateur and, like his famous mom, a political and environmental activist, made the incendiary announcement (pun intended) in response to Queen Elizabeth II declaring 2016 is the “Year of Punk.”2
Some protested the burning which was live-streamed at the “Burn Punk London” website. (The site is no longer available).3
In 2018 Corré later set up an exhibition,”Ash from Chaos” with the ashes of the 2016 burning at Mayfair’s Lazinc Gallery4 with a reserve price of £6 million.5 (more than the artefacts’ original value of £5 million.)6
I can’t find out if it sold. If you know, please reply in comments.
Alyssa Buffenstein (2016). “Son of Punk Legends Sets Fire to Millions of Dollars of Memorabilia” Art Net News (Nov. 28).
Hili Perlson. (2016) Vivienne Westwood’s Son Will Burn His $7 Million Punk Collection To Spite the Queen. Art Net News (March 16).
Sam Moore (2016). Joe Corré begins burning £5m punk memorabilia with original copy of ‘Anarchy In The U.K’ NME (Nov.24).
Morgane Nyfeler. (2018). The ashy remains of £5m of torched punk memorabilia are going on display. Dazed (April 9).