January 29 – March 19, 2016
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries
909 West Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Los Angeles – The nightclub known as FUCK! ran from the Summer of 1989 until Spring 1993, when it was raided by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Vice Division. First hosted by Basgo’s Disco in Silver Lake, FUCK! constituted a gritty liminal space oppositional to both the neighborhood’s largely men-only leather bars as well as the clean-cut bars of West Hollywood. At FUCK! the modified, pierced, and tattooed body was front and center. Scarring, mummification, and piercing were staples at FUCK!, confronting fears of contagion while revealing the temporality of the body during the height of the AIDS crisis. Performances at FUCK! were both transgressive and theatrical, pushing the limits of what the performer’s body (and audience) could endure with a spirit of play.
Collective rage about governmental indifference to AIDS manifested an urgency and intensity that pushed the boundaries of art, performance, and community at FUCK! A response to the unacknowledged trauma from the sudden and continual loss of largely young men and artists, FUCK! brought together a highly diverse spectrum of sexualities and people—punks, outcasts, and the art-damaged—to dance and perform to the soundtrack of industrial music. FUCK! was a key site of the alternative art and performance scene in Los Angeles at the time, blurring nightlife, performance, and activism. The club popularized a S&M, piercing, and body-modification-informed aesthetic (now prevalent in mainstream popular culture) that influenced artists of the time and the present, and that only recently has begun to be recognized.
FUCK! Loss, desire, pleasure resurrects FUCK!’s historical legacy, placing archival material related to the club in relation to works by contemporary artists whose practices align with emergent themes of the club. Historical photographs, flyers, and objects from FUCK! punctuate the club’s importance as a space of community, friendship, and playful experimentation. The exhibition includes candid snapshots and ephemera from the club, documentation of FUCK!’s intervention in the 1991 Christopher Street West pride parade, and documentation related to the LAPD raid on FUCK! in April 1993, among other highlighted events.
Contemporary works include Jordan Eagles’ Blood Illuminations, a room-sized projection of blood from nine gay men collected in protest of the FDA ban on blood from men who have sex with men; Siobhan Hebron’s Chemoglam series, interrogating culturally accepted representations of female beauty and the sociocultural aspects of illness; Young Joon Kwak’s artist book Aggregate Body, which abstracts the messy corporeality of the body by playing with gender, pain, and pleasure; Dominic Quagliozzi’s Bodies Are Not Archival, highlighting the temporality of the body; and a performance by Daphne Von Rey, which makes use of the artist’s own corpus as a medium through piercing and body modification to explore her experience as a HIV+ transwoman.
FUCK! Loss, desire, pleasure is co-curated by Toro Castaño, Curatorial Assistant at the ONE Archives Foundation, and independent curator Lucia Fabio. Support provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Image: Sheree Rose, CLUB FUCK at the Christopher Street Pride Parade, 1991. Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose Collection. ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
Jordan Eagles is a New York based artist who preserves blood primarily sourced from a slaughterhouse, though recent works mark his foray into utilizing human blood. Through his invented process, he encases, layers and suspends the blood. This preservation technique permanently retains the organic material’s natural colors, patterns, and textures. When lit, the works often become translucent, cast shadows, and project a glow. The materials and luminosity in these bodies of work relate to themes of corporeality, mortality, spirituality, and science.
Dominic Quagliozzi is a Los Angeles based artist who uses painting, video, and performance to chronicle living with a genetic terminal illness (Cystic Fibrosis). He makes autobiographical work examining body issues, identity as a “sick” person, social interaction, and confrontation with the apparatus of disease. The most recent development for Dominic has been receiving a double lung transplant in June of 2015. During the waiting list period, pre-op and post surgery recovery, Dominic used painting, drawing and interactive documentation on social media outlets, to focus on the temporal nature of our physical bodies, human connection, and the mental/physical implications of organ donation. Dominic received his MFA from Cal State Los Angeles in 2012, and his BA in Sociology from Providence College in 2004.
Siobhan Hebron is an artist based in Los Angeles. She graduated from UCLA in 2012 with a BA in both Art and Art History. Hebron’s practice takes from personal experience with illness. With a relatively recent cancer diagnosis, her work has undergone a drastic change from casually investigative of cursory interests, to a precise and necessary examination of a new reality. She is interested in the politics of sickness and how that can be transformed into art. She has started to produce new work on this topic including videos, performances, drawings, and a collection of zines. With this work, Hebron wants to foster an unapologetic dialogue concerning the sociocultural aspects of illness.
Young Joon Kwak is an LA-based multidisciplinary artist, founder of Mutant Salon, and lead singer in the sexperimental rage-diva band Xina Xurner. Kwak had solo exhibitions in Chicago and LA, most recently at Commonwealth and Council (LA), in September 2014. Kwak performed and exhibited in collaborative and group exhibitions at venues such as the Hammer Museum, REDCAT, Honor Fraser Gallery, and Night Gallery (LA), Southern Exposure (San Francisco), Pavillon Vendôme Centre d’Art Contemporain (Clichy, France), and Satellite (Seoul, S. Korea). Kwak was the recipient of the Neely Macomber Travel Prize from USC (2014), for the study of butoh and its founder Hijikata Tatsumi in Tokyo, Japan, and is currently organizing an exhibition based on their travel and research at the ONE Archives in 2017. Kwak received their MFA from USC, MA from the University of Chicago, and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Daphne Von Rey is a Los Angeles based performance artist who primarily uses her body to depict her experience as a HIV+ transgender individual. Her performances are violently captivating, creating a sense of intense energy throughout the space, and incorporates videos which utilize both pop culture and literary references. She is investigating the notion of blood acting as a vehicle for transcendence to a higher consciousness and how the body’s strength comes from enduring both physical and emotional trials.