Saturday, June 5, 2010

Some People I Met Rolling Around on the Ground at Space 1026

For those waiting for my report on 2006 Barolo, I'll be back on the Piemonte trail in due course. On this most Philly of weekends, though, my attentions and wanderings turn closer to home. Last night, the ever present urge to explore my own city led me to a gallery on the edge of Chinatown, Space 1026, for the First Friday opening of a group Move exhibition, curated by artist, zine penner and Move founder Rich Jacobs. It seems Rich is a relatively computer-free kind of guy, so you can read more about him here, should you wish.

Rich made music, too. That's him at left, sitting in for an improv session with Texan Tim Kerr (or Noisemaker Tim, as my friend Bert likes to call him), in motion at top, and a cat from Baltimore who I met but damned if I don't have a horrible memory for names.

An indefatigable interest in eclectic, expressive art aside, what really led me to 1026 was the chance to catch up with a very old friend, Bert Queiroz. Bert and I spent a great deal of our late-teens and 20s hanging out together in and around the music scene in 1980s Washington, DC. We traveled to Europe together in 1986, the first time across the pond for either one of us, rolling around – from London to Leeds to Edingburgh, on to Paris, Nice, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome and Venice, Munich, both sides of Berlin, Amsterdam, then back to London – for the better part of the summer. I hadn't seen him in close to fifteen years, not since I left northern Jersey for Philadelphia. Through the wonderful, frightening world of social networking, we did manage to reconnect not long ago, and when I saw that he was coming to Philly to show some of his photographs in the Move exhibition I dropped him a line. The rest is last night's history.

Photographing the photographer with his photographs.

It was great to catch up with an old friend. Bert's photos in the show (below) were all scenes from a life: among them a self-portrait, Guy Picciotto in action, riot police in less pleasant action, and Coney Island, one of Bert's favorite shooting grounds.

Among the nearly 50 artists with pieces included in this installation of Move, the works of Tim Kerr were the most prominently represented. I never really knew Tim but when last I saw him, he was up to much different things, playing guitar for seminal Austin, Texas skate punk funkers, Big Boys. Though he did pick up an amplified six string for last night's gathering, I'm given to understand he leans much more toward the banjo these days, as well as to, quite obviously and strongly, the brush.

Sandwiched between the works of Bert Q. and Tim K. were more photographs from another old friend who was in for last night's event, Cynthia Connolly, who I hadn't seen in even longer than Bert. Those are a couple of her photo-documentary style prints to the left of Tim's works in the above shot. And below, that's her in the flesh, green t-shirted, right smack in the middle of what was meant to be a random shot of the room and crowd at Space 1026.

Funny thing is, my shutter captured not only Cynthia but at least a couple of other people I know from around town, or came to know over the course of last night. And it missed a couple of others. It's crazy what a small town Philly can be, and more wonderful yet how much can change over the years while so much else can stay so much the same.

Asa Osborne of Baltimore post-HC band Lungfish, performing under his solo-project moniker Zomes, closed out the evening's musical sit-ins with a few droning, darkly aggressive yet subtly melodic pieces on the electric keys and tape loops.

And closing out this evening's post, here's a little fun(k) from an earlier time.

Space 1026
1026 Arch Street, 2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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