Author: G.H. Hovagimyan --- Date: 10/29/96 --- Copyright: ThingReviews NYC

No-Wave Cinema

John Sex in 'Space Party', 1985

No-Wave Cinema 1978-1987 organized by Matthew Yokobosky at the Whitney Museum is probably the most important exhibition in New York this Fall. Why? Because the real energy of the 1980's art scene was being played out in the East Village at the clubs and in the small galleries that sprung up, not in the marketing bid-up blitz of Soho. Art historians are beginning to revise their opinions about what in the 1980's has influenced the future. In this context the No-Wave artists and filmmakers are being seen as seminal.These cross-over punk performance-art films have a raw power that is not diminished through the lens of time. Indeed the artists who both made the films and perform in them challenged the compartmentalizing of art into arbitrary categories. Such distinctions of convenience as; high/low, performance artist/actor, art film/media event, rock band/performance art have been compressed by these artists into a new synthesis which is causing a lot of turmoil within the curatorial world. In a recent, October 10th realAudio interview on Art Dirt, Charlie Ahearn, whose films Wild Style and The New York Hip Hop Convention (Dec.4th, 6th thru 8th at 3:30 and Dec.5th at 2:30) tells how the No-Wave Scene got started: it seems that Nick the Fence got a dozen hot Super 8 cameras which retailed at the time for around $600. He was unloading them for $60 a pop. Everyone bought one. Around the same time many performance artists were pushing out of the gallery venues , picking up instruments and forming Art/Rock Bands. Brian Eno, who was hanging around the clubs coined the term No-Wave to differentiate it from the up beat pre-packaged New Wave musicians. From Rome '78 by James Nares to The Offenders by Scott and Beth B, these films are scenario driven portrayals of a volatile and fragile moment in time. We believe the characters in these films because they're really not acting as much as acting-out. Check out Space Party by Wolfgang Staehle and Steve Pollack on Dec. 4th & 6th thru 8th at noon or The Offenders on Nov. 1-3rd at noon. It's okay bring lunch. If you want a thrill try Underground USA by Eric Mitchell on Nov.6th and 8th thru 10th at noon and Nov.7th at 6:30. Better yet go every day and don't miss any thing.

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