Wu-Tang Clan’s One-off Album to Spin at Mona in Australia | News

Source Credit:  Content and images from Ocula Magazine.  Read the original article - https://ocula.com/magazine/art-news/wu-tang-clans-one-off-album-to-spin-at-mona/

The Tasmanian museum will host listening sessions for Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the album bought for U.S. $2 million by Martin Shkreli in 2015.

Wu-Tang Clan’s One-off Album to Spin at Mona in Australia

Wu-Tang Clan, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin (2015). Courtesy the artist, Pleasr, and Mona.

The only pressed copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is coming to the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) in Hobart from 15 to 24 June.

Inspired by Renaissance-era art patronage, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin was recorded in secret over six years and transferred to a single physical copy comprising two CDs in 2014. The digital masters were destroyed, and the album is not available on streaming services.

Created to protest the devaluation of music in the digital age, the legendary hip-hop group prohibited the album’s commercial release for 88 years.

The two-hour-long, 31-track album, which is reported to include contributions by every living band member as well as Cher, was played for 13 minutes during a private listening session at MoMA PS1 in 2015.

That year, it became the most expensive work of music ever sold when it was purchased by pharmaceutical speculator Martin Shkreli for U.S. $2 million.

In 2018, a federal court seized the album and other assets belonging to Shkreli following his conviction for securities fraud.

In 2021, cryptocurrency collective Pleasr bought the album from the U.S. government for $4 million. Stating a desire to make the album more widely available, Pleasr loaned the work to Mona for the upcoming exhibition Namedropping (15 June 2024–21 April 2025).

Inquiring into the mechanics of status and celebrity, the exhibition includes some 200 works and objects from big names such as Alexander Graham Bell, novelist Émile Zola, car manufacturer Porsche, communist leader Mao Zedong, and artist Jenny Holzer.

‘Every once in a while, an object on this planet possesses mystical properties that transcend its material circumstances,’ said Jarrod Rawlins, Mona’s Director of Curatorial Affairs, in a press release.

Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is more than just an album, so when I was thinking about status, and what a transcendent namedrop could be, I knew I had to get it into this exhibition,’ he said.

A 30-minute mix of the album will be played at Mona’s recording studio. Free tickets for the listening sessions will be made available online from 30 May. —[O]

Source Credit:  Content and images from Ocula Magazine.  Read the original article - https://ocula.com/magazine/art-news/wu-tang-clans-one-off-album-to-spin-at-mona/