Macclesfield Festival's unique and unseen exhibits on show 27th July – 9th August 2010
Unknown Pleasures, the first exhibition featuring the music and lyrics of Joy Division, and personal exhibits inspired by their music - will mark the 30 year anniversary of the death of the band's lyricist and singer Ian Curtis, on 18th May 1980.
As the first in-depth look at the life and work of the singer and band that shaped the future of popular culture, the exhibition is staged in Curtis' hometown, Macclesfield, and is part of a wider community festival, the details of which will be announced soon.
It follows huge interest in the charisma of the band's legendary label Factory, from tributes to the late Tony Wilson, the Control bio-pic about Curtis, and other Factory-related books, TV and films.
As part of the Festival activities in Macclesfield an exhibition will be held at Macclesfield's 1813 Sunday School Heritage Centre building. The exhibition will run from Thursday July 29th until 7th August and is timed to coincide a new wave of interest sparked by Rhino's planned release of a boxed set of 7" Joy Division singles in the summer.
The exhibition will feature a serial chronology and items from the late 70s including original record sleeves, posters and handbills, as well as set lists, collectable vinyl singles and albums, music business memorabilia, and letters from Tony Wilson and band members to manager Rob Gretton.
One item sure to be of special interest to fans is a handwritten letter from Ian Curtis unhappy at Closer, the group's second album. He writes: "this LP is a disaster."
Music writer Jon Savage is the curator of Unknown Pleasures. He says: "This exhibit brings together a wide range of material - posters, handbills, handwritten documents, and other memorabilia - for the first time. Much of it comes from the fans - a testament to Joy Division's continued impact. It also provides a history of pop graphics, from punk through to the early 80's."
Director Richard de Peyer says: "Macclesfield has never had the opportunity to celebrate Ian Curtis' work in a way which benefits the communities of the town and also attracts music fans from far and wide. This summer seemed like the right moment to do that."
The remaining members of the band who went on to form New Order, Stephen Morris, Peter Hook and Bernard Sumner, are supporting the exhibition.
The show includes photography including a rarely seen image by Mark Reeder, as well as press cuttings from the time and film footage, including unseen glimpses of the band in concert.
The festival also includes a series of linked talks, screenings and tours in Macclesfield, including a special film screening on July 31st in the town's independent cinema, Cinemac featuring the three Joy Division related films: 24 Hour Party People, Control and Joy Division and a celebrity panel discussion.
Visit the website at http://joydivisionexhibition.com/ follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/joydivision2010 and join in the conversation with the Twitter hashtag #JD2010.