Friday, July 9, 2021

Club 57: Film Performance and Art in the East VIllage 1978-1983 by Ron Magliozzi & Sophie Cavoulacos

 (MoMA, 2017) I did not see this exhibit, which documented the brief but packed life of the performance space/screening room/flash art gallery Club 57, in which Ann Magnuson, Klaus Nomi, Kenny Scharf, the Fleshtones, and others created an intimate, exciting monster movie come to life environment, with much of the aesthetic coming out of the legendary New Age Vaudeville performances that made the underground in New York so much more interesting for so long. This book captures the stories really well (Magnuson's essay especially) and documents the films and exhibits with meticulous detail. But what I love best is just getting the feel for the character, reality, challenges, and triumphs of a place, not a person. Clubs and scenes and happenings are bigger than the characters and artists and spectators filling the space, and this book is a great document of a place that should not be forgotten.

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