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Lydia Lunch to speak at IU Cinema

By Alison Graham

Lunch worked in New York City with many influential writers, actors and musicians in the late ’70s and early ’80s, putting her in touch with contemporaries such as Burroughs and others who worked during the “No Wave” era.

“They both lived in New York at the same time,” Charles Cannon, Burroughs Century Steering Committee leader, said. “They were both involved in the downtown New York art scene.”

Lunch’s lecture will incorporate her life and career as well as the artistic work she created during this time period.  

She has worked as a singer, poet, writer, actress and self-empowerment speaker.
In her early music career, she started the band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks before moving onto a solo music career.

Later, she founded her own recording and publishing studio and appeared in two different films. She also wrote and collaborated on a variety of books, according to the Burroughs Century website.  

“This time period was comparable to Paris in the 1920s,” Cannon said. “We have Lydia here to talk about that place and that time and what it meant to be there.”

Cannon originally wanted to bring Lunch to Bloomington for a musical performance, but after walking through the Indiana Memorial Union one day, he saw a flyer that changed his mind.

An anthropology class on campus called “Sex, Drugs and Rock ’n’ Roll” was teaching both Burroughs’ and Lunch’s material, so Cannon coordinated with the professor and decided to bring Lunch in for a lecture.

The lecture will feature a speech, a discussion between Lunch and professor Shane Greene and a question-and-answer session.

“The plain fact is that there are very few people left who actually knew Burroughs,” Cannon said. “To have Lydia here to talk about what it meant to be in New York City at that time is phenomenal.”

Follow reporter Alison Graham on Twitter @AlisonGraham218.

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