Hard Pop
Book Launch
Saturday May 12th 2001
Thursday August 30th 2001
With contributions by: 
Gyz la Riviere, Rufus. K, Pieter Vos, Boris van Berkum, Stefan Tijs.
Curated by: 
Gyz la Riviere, Rufus. K, Pieter Vos, Boris van Berkum, Stefan Tijs.
During the September in Rotterdam Festival 2000 the exhibition "Ik Ben Een Punker, Mama!" (" I Am a Punker, Mama!") opened. This manifestation implied through the title, an earnest retro-phenomenon, but those who took the time to visit the festival and exhibition would have been confronted with a sample book of our contemporary popular culture.
To break away from the usual clichés that the term "punk" conjures up, MAMA tried to collaborate with a handful of "experts" to come up with a new term. And through this to research the 'radicalisation of current popular culture'.

The work was progressed as follows: MAMA brought together an editorial team consisting of Gyz la Riviere, Rufus K, Pieter Vos, Boris van Berkum and Stefan Tijs to make a book. This book would be a platform and quest for the essence of the punk spirit as it existed in 2001.

The premise of the book was simple: invite 45 people to deliver a contribution in the form of two pages of content. The contributors came from all possible tropes...... the techno scène (Alex Snoei), hiphop (Isis Vaandrager), punk (The Riplets), design (de Humobisten), graffiti (SKKI, New York), pop music (Belgium's, Das Pop), skate (Shepard Fairey from San Diego), comics (Antistrot), performance (Martin C. de Waal), protest art (de 53 year old Austrian, Peter Rataitz), fashion (Peter Jeroense), new media (Yonehara, Japan). The one unifying factor was that all contributors give a high priority to their passion and missions.

The content was collated, edited into a book and printed.
A white hard cover, 136 pages in monochromatic print in an edition of 1250. The book is a snapshot of a network. The collected works tell a story; the story of Hard Pop. Hard Pop hit the shelves of quality bookstores in the Netherlands in 2001. Hard Pop was also distributed through artists initiatives in Berlin, the hippest galleries in Tokyo and the Parisian stylist-Mecca, Collette.

Copy 'n Paste Spar and conclusions
During the co-ordination a discussion emerged about globalisation and the power of multinationals and the resulting problems. It seemed like a good idea to temporarily suspend the MAMA logo. On the initiative of Boris van Berkum, during the launch of the Hard Pop book, the presence of MAMA's logos and sign age disappeared and were replaced with the highjacked logo of the Spar supermarket chain (a branch of which stands directly opposite MAMA on Witte de Withstraat). The exhibition space was installed with a supermarket interior; a supermarket with only one product on the shelves: "Hard Pop".

Furthermore the editorial team came to the following conclusions: " Since the 1970's, Punk has not only manifested itself in guitar bands but in cartoons and comics, in film and art, in fashion and lifestyles, in graffiti and fanzines. Punk might sound dated and through the term Hard Pop MAMA wanted to give attention to a Do-It-Yourself mentality in contemporary popculture."

More emphatically, Hard Pop brings popular culture into context. Hard Pop directly addresses whoever is tired of cynical global marketing, the entertainment industry and the patronising tone of advertising. Hard Pop offers an alternative with satire and passion as important weapons. Hard Pop mixes humour with mental gymnastics. Hard Pop reacts to its environment. It comments on social issues. It proclaims personal values and gives expression to individual passion. Hard Pop is the radicalisation of popular culture.