Acts of Live Art at Club 57. Pictured: Larry Ashton. 1980. Photo: Joesph Szkodzinski. Courtesy Joesph Szkodzinski

The East Village of the 1970s and 1980s continues to thrive in the global public’s imagination. Located in the basement of a Polish Church at 57 St. Marks Place, Club 57 (1978–83) began as a no-budget venue for music and film exhibitions, and quickly took pride of place in a constellation of countercultural venues in downtown New York fueled by low rents, the Reagan presidency, and the desire to experiment with new modes of art, performance, fashion, music, and exhibition. A center of creative activity in the East Village, Club 57 is said to have influenced virtually every club that came in its wake.

Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983 is the first major exhibition to fully examine the scene-changing, interdisciplinary life of this seminal downtown New York alternative space. The exhibition will tap into the legacy of Club 57’s founding curatorial staff—film programmers Susan Hannaford and Tom Scully, exhibition organizer Keith Haring, and performance curator Ann Magnuson—to examine how the convergence of film, video, performance, art, and curatorship in the club environment of New York in the 1970s and 1980s became a model for a new spirit of interdisciplinary endeavor. Responding to the broad range of programming at Club 57, the exhibition will present their accomplishments across a range of disciplines—from film, video, performance, and theater to photography, painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, zines, fashion design, and curating. Building on extensive research and oral history, the exhibition features many works that have not been exhibited publicly since the 1980s.

#Club57nyc

Organized by Ron Magliozzi, Curator, and Sophie Cavoulacos, Assistant Curator, Department of Film; with Ann Magnuson, guest curator.

Major support for the exhibition is provided by the Keith Haring Foundation.

Generous funding is provided by mediaThe foundation inc.

Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership contributions are provided by the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Steven Tisch, Blavatnik Family Foundation, and Ana and Henry Pincus. Major support is provided by Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Ken Kuchin and Tyler Morgan, Nion T. McEvoy, Michael S. Ovitz, Karen and Gary Winnick, and the Yuval Brisker Charitable Foundation.

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