Joy Devotion: A Year in the Life of a Rock Shrine at the Ian Curtis Memorial Stone On July 19, 2012, XOYO Gallery is proud to announce the opening of a new show, Joy Devotion: Trash, Trinkets and Tributes at the Ian Curtis Memorial Stone.
Taken on the 18th of every month for a year between 2009-10 (including the 30th anniversary of Curtis’s death), Joy Devotion documents the evolution of death- and of memory. The trinkets, tributes and trash on the Curtis memorial stone is in constant flux, reflecting the ever migrating myth of the vocalist himself- a harsh and glaring contrast to the finality of death. Joy Devotion captures for the first time the year in the life of the rock shrine- existing almost as a destination unto itself. With each visitor, identity, ‘memory’, meaning and the legacy of Curtis and Joy Division changes and flows- similar to the seasons rotating, the movement in the landscape of the cemetery itself.
Located just over 15 miles outside of the English hub of Manchester, Macclesfield was the home of the late singer and lyricist Ian Curtis, front man for post-punk pioneers Joy Division. The ashes of Curtis are now buried minutes away from where he lived, at the Macclesfield Cemetery and Crematorium. Though it has been over 30 years since he took his life, an estimated 2,000 people annually make their way to the small, quaint Northern town, on a quest to pay homage to Curtis. Travelling from as far flung destinations as Japan, Texas and Australia, fans embark on sonic pilgrimages to walk the streets that inspired Curtis, see the house where he once inhabited- and pay their respects at Curtis’s memorial stone.
As a part of her PhD research, photographer Jennifer Otter captured images of fans, flowers and fauna every month over the course of a year. Joy Devotion marks the first time the pictures have been showcased together on display for the public.