In 1995, K Foundation—the conceptual art wing of The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, known more famously as the British pop-music duo The KLF—made a statement announcing a 23-year moratorium on all projects, which by then notoriously included the release of chart-topping singles like “3 a.m. Eternal” and the burning of a million pounds sterling on a Scottish isle in the wake of an aborted money-based art project.
Today, The Quietus reports that Cally Callomon (a music-industry character and manager of KLF member Bill Drummond) just happened to discover a poster in the Hackney neighborhood of London announcing the return of the legendary act on August 23, 2017. The poster, which looks like a classic KLF communiqué, reads in full:
2017: What The Fuck Is Going On?
It is almost 23 years since the Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu announced a self imposed and self important 23 year moratorium. The reasons for the moratorium have now been lost in time, space, and a rusting shipping container somewhere near Sizewell B Nuclear Power Station.
What is known is:
The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu have zero involvement with any video clips, films, recorded music, documentary productions, biographies, West End musicals or social media chatter relating to the letters K L or F, now or at any other time over the previous 23 years.
The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu have no interest in anything that seeks to comment on, bounce off, glorify, debunk or resurrect their historical work.
The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu are currently at work in their light industrial unit. This work will not be made public until the 23rd August 2017.
For more information contact the K2 Plant Hire Ltd.
The KLF were perhaps the most conceptual pop group to come out of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Their music, which spanned everything from hip-hop to house to ambient, was coated in meta-activity and Situationist pranks. In 1988, the duo wrote a book called The Manual: How to Have a Number One the Easy Way, which was based on their own experiences reaching the top of the charts under the novelty pop moniker The Timelords. In 1992, a performance of the group’s hit song “3 a.m. Eternal” at the BRIT Awards included Drummond firing blanks from an automatic weapon into the crowd alongside the punk band Extreme Noise Terror.
After the duo’s retirement from music and subsequent deletion of their back catalog, they formed K Foundation, which beyond the money-burning stunt also gave out a £40,000 award for “worst artist of the year” in late 1993, around the same time as England’s Turner Prize. Not coincidentally, the K Foundation’s shortlist was the exact same as the more prestigious award. (Rachel Whiteread was the winner of both; she donated her earnings from the K Foundation prize to the charity Shelter and ten needy artists.)
It’s hard to guess what content from the new 2017 incarnation of the KLF will entail, but keeping in mind the riotous state of the world, it will likely involve commotion. Enjoy a video of the 1992 BRITS performance below.