Old School D.C., Go-Go, Hizzoner Marion Barry, Chuck Brown, Rare Essence, Cool Disco Dan, Rayful Edmond, fluorescent Globe posters, old 9:30 club, The Bullets, Mr. Ray’s Hair Weave commercials, the sleaze of 14th St. and the rhythm of plastic buckets ricocheting off federal architecture and concrete. DC Subculture of the 1980s was ON and is the subject of a new exhibit at the Corcoran curated by hometown street art historian Roger Gastman and curator Sarah Newman.
I remember moving to D.C. in 1985 when I was just a kid and being floored by how massive everything seemed. I loved how everything was unexpected, lurid, loud and dirty. I adored searching the city for Cool Disco Dan tags. This city has never disappointed me and I’ve written many a love letter to it and I can only hope that this new exhibit writes another one.
Promising to bring together the “visual culture” of graffiti, go-go, signage, photography, flyers and other ephemera, I’m not exactly sure what to expect. Even today, it seems like D.C.is always woefully misunderstood by outsiders; it’s a tough city to break through for some, but if you dig deep, you can find it all, you just gotta give it the DIY treatment. I am definitely looking forward to this weekend’s opening party, as well as the AFI Film premiere of the Cool Disco Dan documentary. All I can say is y’all better rest up.
Pump Me Up: DC Subculture of the 1980s opens to the public this Saturday, February 23 and runs through April 7, 2013.