Picture Piece: Morrissey by Linder

Morrissey and Linder - a conversation in cinematic language

I first saw Linder as she introduced Buzzcocks onstage at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester during the summer of 1976. A few months later, I would spot Linder sitting on a table during the soundcheck for the Sex Pistols third Manchester gig. I was 17, and biologically inferior to everyone else. Linder was a bit older, with terrifying hair. I decided to approach her, specifically to prove to her that I had no viewpoint whatsoever about anything. Some 25 years later, that conversation has yet to pause. Most tormentedly aware, Linder seemed to know something that I knew.

We both spoke in cinematic language, and we both somehow knew that our presence on earth was trouble enough for those around us. How had we endured?

From a rented room in Whalley Range Linder's art supplied the unspoken. She led me by the lapel to Janice G. Raymond’s The Transsexual Empire, Calvin C. Hernton’s Sex and Racism, and to Philippe Aries' Western Attitudes Towards Death. To me, her life, then, was messianic. Linder took up the pen, the brush, the chalk, and stood as if behind a machine gun, perceiving danger swiftly and more keenly than the shell-suited mutants of surrounding Manchester. In my view, Linder's life is a docudrama, potent and therefore lethal. She is aware of the inevitable punishment for those who seek to kick against the enforced limitations of their lives, and she is aware of the price you pay for exposing restraints. The 1990s had Linder and I replacing the dead white greenish cast of unforgiving Manchester with the bright catacombs of El Paso, Los
Angeles and Phoenix; Linder armed with her cameras, and I with a despair long past explaining.

In time a tale will be told.

Issue 84

First published in Issue 84

Jun - Aug 2004

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