Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983
by J. Hoberman, Jenny Schlenzka, Laura Hoptman, Lucy Gallun, and Ann Magnuson
edited and authored by Ron Magliozzi and Sophie Cavoulacos
New York’s East Village was alive with artistic activity in the 1970s and ’80s, fueled by low rents, resistance to the Reagan presidency and the desire to experiment with new modes of art, performance, fashion, music, and exhibition. Club 57, located in the basement of a Polish church at 57 St. Marks Place, began as a no-budget venue for music and film exhibitions and quickly became a center of the neighborhood’s constellation of countercultural venues, with artists such as Keith Haring, Ann Magnuson, Klaus Nomi, Tseng Kwong Chi, John Sex, Fab 5 Freddy, John “Lypsinka” Eppperson, and Lisa Baumgardner. Fabled but not widely known until now, Club 57 is said to have influenced virtually every club that came in its wake.
Published to accompany the first major exhibition to examine this scene-changing alternative space in full, Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983 features rarely seen artwork, film stills, photographs, posters, flyers, and zines to create a uniquely detailed portrait of unbridled creativity before the dawn of the digital age.
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