Bibbe Hansen and Lydia Lunch
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Famed rocker and poet Lydia Lunch and performance artist Bibbe Hansen read in Beautifully Twisted Takes: A Spoken Word Performance at Spotty Dog Books & Ale on Friday, February 19, at 8pm.
Lydia Lunch is often called “Queen of No Wave.” A writer, musician, poet, spoken-word artist and photographer, she has released numerous musical projects, has toured for decades, has published dozens of articles, half a dozen books, and “simply refuses to just shut up.”
Brooklyn’s Akashic Books has published her anthology, “Will Work for Drugs,” as well as her outrageous memoir of sexual insanity, “Paradoxia, A Predator’s Diary,” which has been translated into seven languages. She performs in a variety of mediums, is a rabid collaborator, and continues to release new music as well as reissuing classic material such as her spoken-word indictment against patriarchal idiocy, “The Conspiracy of Women,” through Nicolas Jaar’s label Other People.
A performance artist, musician, and actress, Bibbe Hansen is the middle of three generations of alternative artists. Her parents were bohemian poet Audrey Ostlin Hansen and Fluxus artist Al Hansen, a participant in the Andy Warhol Factory. Her children are Beck Hansen, Channing Hansen, and Rain Whittaker, a musician, artist, and poet respectively. Bibbe Hansen appeared in Andy Warhol films; danced with the Velvet Underground, recorded an album with Jan Kerouac, son of Jack Kerouac, is now an artist represented by Gracie Mansion Gallery in NYC, is writing her memoirs, and lectures frequently on art and the creative process.
Hansen was born in New York City in 1953. She is the daughter of Fluxus artist Al Hansen and the mother of artist Channing Hansen and the alt-rock musician Beck. She began performing professionally at age eleven, playing leading child and ingénue roles in prestigious East Coast summer stock companies. In New York City, concurrently, she regularly performed in her father’s avant-garde theater pieces called “Happenings” and participated in the presentations of his contemporaries at such historical venues as La Mama, Circle in the Square, and Judson Church. She studied dance with Phoebe Neville and Lucinda Childs, sang in an Elizabethan music group, and was filmed by underground cinema champion Jonas Mekas.
Lydia Lunch (photo Jasmine Hirst)
A chance meeting with a record producer at age 13 led Hansen to record a single for Laurie Records with her friends Janet Kerouac (daughter of Jack) and Charlotte Rosenthal. They were called The Whippets and their hastily recorded single hit the pop charts in Canada.
After a stint as a delinquent street kid, runaway, and truant, she became a “guest” of the State of New York at the infamous Spofford Street Youth House and several other New York City institutions for child criminals, where she was able to refine her survival skills and work on her freestyle group dancing techniques.
Directly following her release, Bibbe met Andy Warhol, who suggested they collaborate on a film about her recent experiences. The film was called “Prison” and stars Bibbe Hansen, Marie Mencken, and Edie Sedgwick. Bibbe also made three other films with Warhol and danced briefly with the Velvet Underground.
A random late-1960s sojourn brought Bibbe to Los Angeles, where she founded a theater company, acted in B movies and participated in the local punk scene as musician and documentarian. She is the mother of three children, Beck, Channing and Rain; a pop musician, fine artist, and poet respectively. From 1990 to 1995 she operated Troy Cafe. The café became the center of a multicultural renaissance in downtown Los Angeles and was home to a generation of musicians, comedians, artists, and filmmakers.
Following the death of Al Hansen in 1995, Bibbe and husband Sean Carrillo created the Al Hansen Archive, and continued exhibiting her father’s work while performing and lecturing at museums, galleries, and universities around the world.
Today Bibbe creates artwork and is represented by Gracie Mansion Gallery in New York City. She recently completed the first draft of her memoirs, and she lectures frequently on art and the creative process.