Pier Groups

Pier Groups[KINDLE] ❀ Pier Groups By Jonathan Weinberg – Tbjewellers.co.uk In 1970s New York City the abandoned piers of the Hudson River became a site for extraordinary works of art and a popular place for nude sunbathing and anonymous sex Jonathan Weinberg's provocative bo In s New York City the abandoned piers of the Hudson River became a site for extraordinary works of art and a popular place for nude sunbathing and anonymous sex Jonathan Weinberg's provocative book part art history part memoir weaves interviews documentary photographs literary texts artworks and film stills to show how avant garde practices competed and mingled with ueer identities along the Manhattan waterfrontArtists as varied as Vito Acconci Alvin Baltrop Shelley Seccombe and David Wojnarowicz made work in and about the fire ravaged structures that only twenty years before had been at the center of the world's busiest shipping port At the same time the fight for the rights of gay lesbian and transgendered people spurred by the Stonewall riots was dramatically transforming the cultural and social landscape of New York City Gay men suddenly felt free to sunbathe on the piers naked cruise and have sex in public While artists collaborated to transform the buildings of Pier into makeshift art studios and exhibition spaces gay men were converting Pier into what Delmas Howe calls an arena for sexual theaterFeaturing one hundred exemplary works from the era and drawing from a rich variety of source material interviews and Weinberg's personal experience Pier Groups breaks new ground to look at the relationship of avant garde art to resistant subcultures and radical sexuality.


Hardcover  ✓ Pier Groups ePUB ´
  • Hardcover
  • 232 pages
  • Pier Groups
  • Jonathan Weinberg
  • 07 January 2016
  • 9780271082172

10 thoughts on “Pier Groups

  1. says:

    Weinberg manages a nice balance of memoir and artueer history Not surprisingly the book makes me wish I was there though he doesn't sugarcoat the darker aspects of the piers I really enjoyed this though I would have liked material on the lesser known figures most likely there just isn't much documentation available 45 stars

  2. says:

    The book produced by the curator Jonathan Weinberg looks the relationship between ueer identity sexuality and art as it occurred on the abandoned piers that sat along New York's west side in the 1970s and 1980s It is a fascinating chronicle of all the diverse people who came together to document and produce art in and around the piers The best thing about the book is how Weinberg helps contextualize the artists and photographers whose work focused on or was produced in the actual piers themselves The title of my book Pier Groups is derived from Arch Brown's 1979 gay porn movie which is set on the waterfront and in which Matta Clark's Day's End briefly and specatacularly appears 5There have been many permutations between my 2003 hybrid lectureperformance and the book you have before you I dropped the performers and fashioned traditional lectures and fragments of essays out of my initial research In 2012 with the assistance of the artist and curator Darren Jones I had the opportunity to turn some of my research into an exhibition any the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art And in 2016 I curated a show at the Hunter College Art Galleries that focused on Pier 34 in 1983 84 when it was briefly taken over by Wojnarowicz and his friends and used as makeshift studios and exhibition spaces 6To witness the waterfront's precipitous decline ending in near abandonment in the 1970s a mere twenty years after being the epicentre of the busiest port in the world was to be given a premonition of what the end of modern commerce might look like It was as if the entire logic of capitalism and the endless movement not only of things but of people coming in and out of the city might all be winding down 9Public sex on the waterfront not only violated codes of conduct; it cut across boundaries of class race and ethnicity For ueer writers like Samuel Delany Guy Hocuenghem and Wojnarowicz among others this was central to its revolutionary potential 11Eually germane is Foucault's 1967 lecture Of Other Spaces which introduces the intriguing concept of heterotopias spaces that suspect neutralize or invert the set of relations that they happen to designate mirror or reflect Unlike utopias which are fantasies of ideal spaces and relationships heterotopias actually exist but they have an in between and indeterminate uality that makes them seem phantasmal Cemeteries brothels prisons and nursing homes are among the places Foucault offers as possible heterotopias They exist amid our everyday spaces but upon entering them we feel as if we have been transported outside the rules and categories of normal life 11 12Writing two years later the literary scholar and ueer activist Charles Shively was even emphatic anonymous public sex between gay men was an act of revolution According to Shively the indiscriminate promiscuity of sex in the trucks and in other clandestine locations created a radical euality that heralded a possible socialism of sexuality Shouldn't euality and freedom extend to our bodies and their physical relationships as well as to the economy? Shively's answer was that we need to be indiscriminate No one should be denied love because they are old ugly fat crippled bruised or the wrong race color creed sex or country of national origin We need to copulate with anyone who reuests our company; set aside all the false contraptions of being hard to get unavailable that is costly on the capitalist market We need to leave behind the whole mentality of measurement; it is a massive tool of social control 24At almost exactly the same time that Wojnarowicz was photographing the Rimbaud series Cindy Sherman was creating her famous film stills 96A key trigger in the process was meeting the photographer Arthur Tress Until Carr wrote her biography Tress's role in Wojnarowicz's aesthetic formation had gone completely unnoticed and even Carr does not make much of it Yet Tress and Wojnarowicz were briefly lovers in April 1978 precisely the time that Wojnarowicz began to make complex visual art about his sexuality identity 100In an earlier waterfront memory Wojnarowicz wrote about dangling his feet over the edge of the pier 'like Huck Finn from his eternal raft'In this journal entry Wojnarowicz captures the waterfront's paradoxical appeal On the one hand it offers a return to childhood innocence Huck and Jim on the raft alone together floating down the Mississippi seemingly escaping the oppression of an unjust society and the decorum of bourgeois respectability and female companionship On the other where such childhood fantasies are chaste the masculine world of the piers is overtly sexual The male bonding of childhood becomes male coupling What remains constant however is a freedom from responsibility The piers function for Wojnarowicz as what Foucault calls a heterotopia an in between space of freedom where the normal rules of society no longer apply In his journals Wojnarowicz compares leaving the piers with Tress to returning from some exotic land filled with wild beasts 101Wojnarowicz collection housed in New York University's Fales Library 115

  3. says:

    Mr Weinberg delves into the crypts the piers trapped in between Manhattan's West Side Highway and the Hudson River were This was a no mans land neither at sea nor on land and its particular geography is what makes the efforts of his work all the valuable He dove into a space others have walked past and forgotten and concerns the archeologic history of the space with a regard and sensitivity free of sentimentality or judgement The artists; their lives and paths their meetings and productions and their causes in a time lost to AIDS and gentrifying real estate maneuvers is offered with academic precision yet one that produces a subjective fleeting wistfulness for eras bygone that are lost to the tides of time

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