Saturday October 17 – November 7th, 2015
Secrets of the Great Pyramid:
The Pyramid Cocktail Lounge as Cultural Laboratory
Curated by Brian Butterick aka Hattie Hathaway
Howl! Happening: an Arturo Vega Project presents Secrets of the Great Pyramid, an exhibition paying tribute to the legacy of the famed 80s nightclub. Named for the bizarre stepped pyramid motif above the entrance of the bar, the Pyramid Cocktail Lounge became the epicenter of the nascent EV/LES artistic community and eventually sparked a cultural revolution in music, dance, theater, video, fine arts, performance art, activism, feminism and LBGT politics.
More than a reunion, a retrospective, or a forced march through niche history, Secrets Of the Great Pyramid shows how a simple cultural laboratory continues to resonate in Post-Millennial America.
Secrets of the Great Pyramid Opening Reception: October 17, 6–9 PM. Live performance: Cafe Iguana at 8 PM. The exhibition runs through November 7, 2015 at Howl! Happening, 6 East lst Street, New York. For further information visit howlarts.org or call (917) 475-1294. (See performance schedule at end of release). All events FREE.
Featured in the three-week exhibition will be a recreation of the legendary Pyramid bar; artwork and visuals from deceased trailblazers and working artists embraced by the Pyramid; ephemera and ancient artifacts; and a veritable three-ring circus of performances and other events that spotlight the enduring spirit of the club.
On December 10, 1981, Ronald Reagan had been president for less than a year when a group of New York art-school flunk-outs threw a party at a small Polish/Ukrainian dive bar on Avenue A in New York’s East Village. Ed Koch was mayor, the East Village was in flames, the street drug trade was rampant, and rents were cheap. First Avenue was viewed as the farthest east any sane person would dare to tread. The bar was called the Pyramid Cocktail Lounge; the party, On the Range. Within a few weeks, a simple excuse to frolic had transformed into a seven-nights-a-week venue—an epicenter of art, music, performance, and social change.
Included in the exhibition will be Art and Multimedia by:
Stephen Tashjian, Greer Lankton, David Wojnarowicz, Joseph Horatio, Julie Hair, Billy Beyond, Samoa, Trey Speegle, Deb-O-Raw C, Jack Waters, Peter Cramer, Laura Levine, Michael (London) Berube,Tanya Ransom, Alice O’Malley O’Malley, Clayton Patterson, Jayne County, Connie Fleming, Chris Tanner, Keiko Bonk, Frederick Nunley, Aner Candelario, Lynn Grabowski, Antony/Blacklips, Andé Ande Whyland, Billy Beyond, Nelson Sullivan, Marjan Moghaddam Moghaddam, Richard Oszust, Mark Rizzo, Scot Wright, John Kelly, Flloyd, Leslie Lowe, Tweed Theaterworks, James Romberger, Marguerite Van Cook, Tennavision, Dug Wah, Robert Petrick, and more TBA.
Opening Night: CAFE IGUANA, Saturday October 17th, 8 PM
Part Weimar-era Cabaret, part Great White Way, with a dash of the Merry Pranksters and Happenings thrown in, CAFE
IGUANA blended song, dance, poetry, theatre and gender-illusion into what was then a futuristic mix. The evening was held together seamlessly by its host, the late Ann Craig, channeled tonight by Heather Litteer. Performers will include double Obie and Bessie winner John Kelly, From Chicago, Alternative Theatre Mogul Kestutis Nakas, Non gender-specific Seattle burlesque giant Paula Now and more. PLUS Featuring a very interactive Jack Waters/Peter Cramer performance.
Panel Discussion: Sunday October 18th, 3 PM
Moderated by Hattie Hathaway… Panelists include Victor Mendolia (Anonymous? Productions), Hapi Phace, Kesutis Nakas, Paula Now… and of course more!
WHISPERS hosted by Hapi Phace: Saturday October 24th, 8 PM
Conceived as a response to the gentrification and pasteurization of New York in 1984, Whispers was billed as “The Complete Suburban Gay Experience” and as a party for “hairdressers, display queens, theatre folk, fashionistas, florists, and sensitive straight people,” Whispers was distinctly tongue-in- cheek, featuring everything from the hanky code, to roller disco, Sixties kitsch, drag queens and kings and the fine art of the lipsynch. Performers include Pioneering Experimental Theater performer Agosto Machado, Pyramid/Wigstock co-foundress Sister Dimension, Poet Kennon B. Raines, Hapi Phace and Hattie Brian Butterick Hathaway, and, in a tribute to International Chrysis, Bobbie.
FILM/VIDEO PROMGRAMME: Thursday October 29 7 PM TBA
CHANNEL 69 Wednesday November 4th 7:30 PM
LINDA SIMPSON’S DRAG EXPERIENCE:
Despite a demanding career in publishing, Minnesota native Linda Simpson Simpson found time to create the iconic Wednesday night bacchanal Channel 69 which featured DJ Dany Johnson Johnson and lasted into the 1990’s, while concurrently releasing My Comrade/Sister, a high-end Lesbian and Gay ’zine. Author of several plays, one time Time Out NY editor, and currently touring round the globe with a slick audio-visual presentation as Gay “herstorian” Linda Simpson.
Closing Reception/Blacklips Performance Cult Saturday November 7th 8 PM
Performers include Beaut (featuring Marti and Twinkle,) Flloyd, Kembra Pfahler (The Voluptuous Horror Of Karen Black), Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV legend Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Poison Eve and Craig Curiousity, Video Art by Antony and more. Plus the return of Aloe Vera!