Photos by Sam Daub

No Time Left to Start Again/The B and D of R ’n’ R is the name of conceptual artist Allen Ruppersberg’s newest piece, now on display at the Art Institute’s Modern Wing through January 6 of next year. It’s assembled from decades of rock ‘n’ roll ephemera, purchased at flea markets and garage sales: amateur photos, clipped-out newspaper obituaries, and images of old records. The artifacts are then photocopied, laminated, and hung on peg-boards.

Spanning some sixty years of American vernacular music (up through the ’60s), No Time Left To Start Again has plenty that’ll appeal to the contemporary music fan. And while you may recognize some of the names and faces on the walls, the real joy is in the lesser-known characters, many of whom would have languished in obscurity otherwise. Like the name might suggest, the material covers a lot of thematic ground—birth, death, sex, religion. You know: small stuff like that.

To supplement the piece, Ruppersberg compiled a seven-volume anthology with producer Kye Potter under the same name (available on LP), which you can check out here. It’s also accessible from an iPad mounted inside a small table inside the show, so you can quickly consult on any artists you haven’t heard.

A few of us from the station got the chance to visit the piece in September, as the Institute’s team was preparing for its opening, and I think we all came away from it more impressed than we were expecting; you really do need to check it out in-person to get the full effect of it. For more, take a look at the Art Institute’s website.


  1. Juliet Calabrese says:

    It beats the hell out of that strange show at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sympathy for the Devil. This show seems more accessible to real people. It’s like the set of High Fidelity, you expect John Cusack to be looming in the back. It puts the in back into Art Institute .


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