Carpe Diem

Nirvana by Charles Peterson

I Portici Hotel Bologna


I Portici Hotel, in collaboration with ONO Arte Contemporanea, presents Nirvana by Charles Peterson, a journey in the history of one of the most influential bands of the 90' music scene, becoming in a very short time a contemporary pop icon.


"It's the most exciting scene produced by one single city, that hasn't happened since the days of London punk": so says Everett True, "the journalist who coined the grunge term". Seattle is the stage of change. Here, the "Sub Pop" - famous independent record label – that gave visibility to groups like the Mudhoney and Soundgarden, along with Nirvana, the beating heart of the movement. A nihilistic movement, which develops, during the ‘80s, in a pressing economic crisis had brought the flourishing America to its knees, gripped by the scourge of heroin and AIDS.

It is precisely in that America that a new sound is born, to meet the needs of those young people who no longer had a point of reference and who look at the English punk, now past and historicized, finds new expression. In 1987, Nirvana is born, thanks to Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic and in 1989 the first album Bleach was released, published by Sub Pop. The album has those aggressive sounds that still owe so much to Punk, but there is a song "About a girl" drastically detaches ushering in a very personal style and closer to pop that will find its climax in Nevermind in 1991.

On a visual and media level, Kurt Cobain inaugurated an era and a style: with his ripped jeans, the heavy flannel shirts to which long hair is added is the non plus ultra of anti-fashion or of the do-it- yourself (imperative for fashion of the period). These are the years in which the first no-global youth movements are born (whose emblem is the no-logo in clothing) as a reply to the spread of multinationals such as Starbucks or Microsoft, born in the peripheral circle of Seattle.

The exhibition of Charles Peterson, and Kirk Weddle, illustrate this fervid and creative period that will influence music and style to the present day. With a disarming force they show us that world free from the conditioning of the industry, which perhaps inherits from the punk all its subversive charge but which, mitigated by the American musical tradition, reaches more melodic and pop drifts. The images exhibited, have the purpose to review the history of one of the most influential bands of the 90s that has left a permanent mark in music as in style, now more than ever today.

The exhibition comprises of 17 images and a complement to the exhibition hosted at ONO arte spaces until 24 February.


Nirvana by Charles Peterson