Joy Divisions Art Show June 4th,2009


This is most interesting art show in a minute.
Lifted from the OSU Urban Art Space Website.

Joy Divisions
Thursday, June 4th 2009 | 2 to 7:30pm

Columbus Metropolitan Library
96 S. Grant Street
Downtown Columbus Ohio

Curated by Eva Ball, this exhibition and outdoor listening party explores the band Joy Division and the Nazi forced sex slave camps of the same name.

Joy Division, the band, is an English post-punk outfit, who changed their name from Warsaw to Joy Division in 1977, borrowing their new moniker from the sex slave wing of a Nazi concentration camp described in the 1955 novel, The House of Dolls. The group played their first show as Joy Division on January 25th, 1978.

The House of Dolls describes Joy Divisions as groups of Jewish women in WWII concentration camps who were forced into slavery for the sexual pleasure of Nazi soldiers. The book is currently part of Israeli high school curriculum.

Evidence suggests that between 1942 and 1945, Auschwitz and at least nine other Nazi concentration camps contained sex slave camps, called ‘Freudenabteilung’ or ‘Joy Divisions’, used by the government to reward both Nazi soldiers and cooperative non-Jewish inmates. This kind of slavery is not an uncommon war crime.

While bassist Peter Hook and keyboardist/guitarist Bernard Sumner of the band Joy Division later admitted to being intrigued by fascism at the time, Morris (drums) insisted that the band’s interest with Nazi imagery came from a desire to keep memories of the sacrifices of their parents and grandparents during World War II alive. He argued that accusations of neo-Nazi sympathies merely provoked the band “to keep on doing it, because that’s the kind of people we are.”

Housed on the grounds of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Joy Divisions exists in three simultaneous layers. The first being the listening party: a dj presentation of “all” of the released Joy Division music and a few rarities, totalling 5.5 hours of music. Passers-by are invited to stop by, sit on the grass and listen.

The next layer is the visual component of the exhibition. Mark Van Fleet’s Van Gallery is situated between the listening party and the Library’s iconic fountain topped with a bronze sculpture of the forever young, Pan. The Van Gallery houses the works of 11 artists commissioned by Eva Ball to create works that explore the two Joy Divisions.

The final layer is a co-authored catalog that not only discusses the artwork in the exhibition but also delves deeper into the topic as a whole. Writings include a brief history of sex slavery in the 21st century, Nazi imagery in post-punk fashion, the problem of authorship, among others. The writing will be available for perusal during the exhibition, for sale, and because several copies will be part of the Library’s permanent collection, available for free at the library any time.

The exhibition includes a full dinner offered at 6:30. All are welcome and, of course, the event is free.


Following the exhibit there will an afterparty at Skylab Gallery, 57 E. Gay Street, just blocks from the Colmbus Metropolitan Library. Slated to start at 9pm, this event will showcase a variety of music inspired by Joy Divisions. This event is not only a celebration, but also a fundraiser to offset some of the costs associated with the exhibit, including food (hundreds of people have been invited including homeless shelters) and artists’ fees.

Lovely heartbreaking acts include:

Anna Ranger: Pet Shop Boys love West End Girls, but can’t commit.

Silt Palace: Stripped down post- and pre- punk covers that think about Joy Division, but don’t bite

Ginger Fetus: Everything that is brand new except the primordial love songs.

Jam Division: Some call it Dub, others call it Joy Division covers.

Dj Detox: A genius who just dreams of spinning at a rave that Bobby Brown, Throbbing Gristle, Miss Tony and Martin Weinland attend, meanwhile planning the perfect goth/pop/hiphop dance party.


More to be posted soon.

  • hahahahahahhahahahahhahaha!

  • wes flexner

    detox specifically said martin wieland and bobby brown..i added TG and suggested Miss Tony.
    (Miss Tony was the drag queen that held BMORE club togther for awhile)

  • yeah thats what he told me!
    its too good!
    im not really sure what this event is though? is it all in public?
    or at the urban arts center?
    whats going on?


  • wes flexner

    from 2 to 730 there is the joy divisions artshow at the downtown library.

    then there is an afterparty at skylab that detox is dejaying.

    go to both.

  • got it!
    the library not urban arts….thats what confused me!


  • Urban Arts Space seems to always be up to something interesting.

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