Nirvana's Dave Grohl at The Palace, Melbourne, 1992 | Credit: Jason Childs/Getty Images

‘Unpopular’ Exhibition Comes to Sydney, Feat. Stephen ‘Pav’ Pavlovic’s Grunge Music Archive

A new exhibition exploring the global rise of alternative music in the 1990s is opening in Sydney. The Powerhouse museum’s UNPOPULAR exhibition will showcase the never-before-seen archive of music entrepreneur Stephen “Pav” Pavlovic.

According to a press release, UNPOPULAR will explore how Pav played a key role in shaping, documenting and promoting iconic bands of the time, including Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth, Fugazi and Bikini Kill.

Nirvana – Live @ Selina’s, 1992

Opening to the public on Thursday, 27th October, UNPOPULAR will put more than 200 pieces of Pav’s personal and priceless items on display, including photos, posters, graphic art, fanzines, tour itineraries, setlists and personal handwritten letters and postcards. Previously unseen video footage, unheard music demos and live audio recordings will also feature, providing a dynamic audio-visual experience.

One of the exhibition’s main drawcards is a spotlight on Nirvana, featuring live footage of the band’s first ever performance in Australia at the Phoenician Club in Sydney back in 1992, as well as Kurt Cobain’s iconic MTV Unplugged Martin Guitar, which is currently the most expensive guitar in the world.

“Nirvana were only just pricking the ears of people who could sense this young, largely unknown act could set the table of rock music culture for the next decade,” Pav said in a statement. “When Dan Peters from Mudhoney suggested I get in touch with Kurt and Krist, I didn’t think that 30 years later I’d have to be wearing white gloves to handle a concert ledger, to hang in the Powerhouse.”

UNPOPULAR also includes works created by Pav’s collaborators, including graphic designers Ben Brown, Cathie Glasby, Paul McNeil and Paul Curtis, photographers Sophie Howarth, Neil Wallace and Piet Weinman, artist Lillian O’Neil and artist and filmmaker Julian Klincewicz.

Powerhouse Chief Executive Lisa Havilah said, “UNPOPULAR looks back at an extraordinary time for live music through the lens of Stephen Pavlovic, telling the story of the international and homegrown musicians and communities that drove the thriving Australian alternative music scene of the 1990s. Pav was there in it all and we are so thankful that he created this important archive that connects us with a time of great creativity.”

To accompany the show, the Powerhouse will be releasing UNPOPULAR the book, as well as a series of associated workshops and programs.

For more info, you can head here.

Further Reading

The FBI Has Released Its Archival File on Kurt Cobain

Big Day Out Co-Founder Ken West Has Died Aged 64

Kurt Cobain’s ‘Smells LIke Teen Spirit’ Guitar Is Up For Auction

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