MoMA and Visual AIDS Present Love, Loss, and Life at Club 57
Museum of Modern Art, Titus 2
Love, Loss, and Life at Club 57 was a multimedia event featuring a wide range of participants in the Downtown New York scene as they shared stories about Club 57 and paid tribute to artists and performers lost to AIDS-related complications. In an evocation of the club scene’s collaborative ethos, living artists performed a series of “duets” to collectively channel those no longer with us: April Palmieri on John Sex (1956–1990); Katy K on Klaus Nomi (1944–1983); Kitty Brophy on Tseng Kwong Chi (1950–1990); Agosto Machado on Ethyl Eichelberger (1945–1990); Richard Hell on Cookie Mueller (1949–1989); Frank Holliday on Andy Rees (1957–1987); Henny Garfunkel on Tom Rubnitz (1956–1992) and a video finale featuring on-screen collaborations by Tom Rubnitz (1956–1992) with David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992) and Peter Kwaloff (1953–2016) with Gerard Little (1955–2008).
Weaving together club photographs and performance videos with personal recollections, Love, Loss, and Life at Club 57 animated and expanded the cultural histories presented in MoMA's exhibition Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983.
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 the seminal downtown New York alternative space Club 57. The exhibition taps 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 presents 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.