Thursday, June 12, 2008

MOCA & TARGET VIDEO event review


Target Video screens a 2-hour compilation video at MOCA's Geffen Contemporary, as part of the CineMOCA festival.

Photos by Rena Kosnett.

Blood brothers: Germs drummer Don Bolles and the night's music programmer, Henry Rollins.

The turn-out for the Target Video screening was solid, mostly 30 and 40 somethings fanning the flame of the old mohawk spirit, but there were younger curious people as well, many of whom, when asked, had never heard of Target Video. The Gun Club portions of the screening were what really captured my attention, as Jeffrey Lee Pierce's haunting wail has always occupied a chamber in my heart; but I couldn't shake the distraction of the odd setting. On one end there was a film playing highlighting 1980s punk kids and their battle to tape up homemade flyers, and on the other end was an Infiniti for sale.


And an Infiniti salesman.

Talkin' shop.

Not to mention $8 Heinekens, and $6 hot dogs. And the chips? I think they were $2.50. Punk rock.


A confusing mixture of endorsements. Hypocritical? Perhaps. Oxymoronic? Maybe. But it definitely sucked all of what was left of the revolutionary appeal of those Target videos right out. Why hold a screening to pay homage to a certain time when the very thesis of the movement in question is being negated by the surrounding corporate sponsorship? There's nothing wrong with getting paid, and the arts are definitely underfunded in this country--it's just that when you hold the purpose up to be something it isn't...I hate to use the words "douche bag," but if the shoe fits...

More photos:

Target Video founder Joe Rees.




Videothing gets Jim Freek's take.

These kids were saying they're in a band...parents, please stop them or they'll end up like these guys:

But that actually wouldn't be so bad. These people were sweet as hell.

There are 3 comments posted for this article.

Target Video got zero for this show. Henry Rollins got zero for the show. MOCA made no money from "the bar." It was run by a third party. Nothing would have happened with out sponsorship of the MOCA series. Yes, the arts are indeed under funded. What was your contribution?
The hypocrisy seems to be when one spouts on about something without facts.

Posted on June 12, 2008 9:55 AM by Jackie Sharp

Re: Jackie
One $8 Heineken.
It was Target Video's choice to have the screening at MOCA. There are numerous other "punk" venues around Los Angeles where a screening would have been monumental, and uncompromised, and Target Video may have even been able to walk away with some cash- 6th street warehouse, 1830, The Smell, Tiny Creatures, etc.
I also would have loved to talk to Target Video about the current museum attention, but this reporter's attempts at communication went unanswered. Before the screening, Mr. Rees said it was important to spread the word about DIY art, and punk roots, etc. Kinda hard to take that seriously when chattering about "horse power" and "miles per gallon" are heard over your shoulder.
Museums are institutions. And institutions are antithetical to the very basis of what punk and the subjects of Target Video were about. WIth the clear hand that corporate sponsorship had in the event, I felt I would be remiss to not point out the pink Infiniti in the room.
I appreciate your comment, though. It's hard for the arts right now.

Posted on June 12, 2008 12:21 PM by Rena

Constitutionally, the MOCA and punk rock have very little in common.
Punk rock – and I mean if you want to use Marcus and Kuenzli’s thesis, which I agree with – is rooted in the modernist negation known as dada. (Henri Lefebvre made a similar comment – not about punk rock but stating current events occurring in the negation were indebted to happenings in a Zurich CafĂ© in 1916.) Dada – as described by Hugo Ball -- was about anarchism of the spirit. Or it was about nothing (Tristan Tzara), take your pick. The ethos of punk rock -- whether participants are consciously or subconsciously aware of it -- is rooted in this movement (dada). Dada provided a possibility for punk rock to exist; it gave it its lexicon, and without a precedent, without people having the faculty to say “no,” punk rock would not exist: the concept wouldn’t have been born. (Similarly, Surrealism and the situationists would not have occurred without dada, just as dada most likely would not have occurred without the help of Marx and Bakunin.) These events – dada, punk rock, whatever – took place outside of consumer culture (i.e. in the negation). So, as Rena pointed out, having them at the same place – punk rock and consumer culture -- is a paradox. Then again, this gets back to Herbert Marcuse’s theory that capitalism will eventually engulf people/events/happenings on the periphery. In this case, it took Target video about 25 years to get there.
And I mean look at the more conspicuous: Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s mug on a screen in the Getty? Come on. The dude was as iconoclastic as they came. And broke as hell his whole life.
Also, your statement: “The hypocrisy seems to be when one spouts on about something without facts,” is foolish. There are facts there. Beer was $8. That’s goes in someone’s pocket. (Book a show at the artist collective the Cog in Echo Park. Beers are $1 or you can bring your own.) Also, there’s a fucking Infiniti at the gallery. Now, please explain to me the nexus between Jeffrey Lee Pierce and an Infiniti. Because the night relied on some of Pierce’s groundbreaking as a musician, and I can tell you secondhand that Jeffrey Lee Pierce owned one car in his life (a mid-‘60s Mustang) that he drove straight to hell and left abandoned on the 101. He never owned another one. (But not knowing that the 12-year-old kid here might somehow build a connection between "Gun Club and Infiniti," which was the latter's intention.)
And I mean this argument goes back to Marcel Duchamp trying to do away with things like trustees (which the MOCA has) when he was working with Katherine Dreir. He failed in that respect (the institution of the museum is still constitutionally the same – reflecting middle class/upper class culture and ideals).
It takes a lot to stand up and write a critical piece like this. Contrary to what you think, this is one person’s opinion stacked up against many peoples’ who hold this exhibition up as some sort of success. Which it wasn’t. It sucked.
(Although I want to say that people like Henry Rollins and Don Bolles depicted in it certainly do not. I hold their accomplishments in high regard. Target Video in its heyday captured some amazing things – notably the Screamers. Then again, this article had nothing to do with Target as entity but the stupidity of the event.)

Posted on June 12, 2008 1:21 PM by Ryan Leach

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