This Friday, April 14, Howl! Happening will pay tribute to the late Alan Vega, with a screening of Paul Tschinkel’s new video documentary Alan Vega: An Artist’s Story. The video includes vintage footage of Suicide, the innovative electro-punk duo Vega formed with Martin Rev; footage of his flickering light-up “junk” sculptures, exhibited at Deitch Projects; and an informative 2004 interview covering Vega’s twin careers in visual art and music.
Suicide was one of the earliest and most divisive bands in the New York punk revolt that spawned Blondie, the Ramones, and so many others. Their unusual two-man line-up (Vega on vocals and Rev on synthesizer) distinguished them from the guitar/drum bands prevalent at CBGB, while paving the way for future electronic acts. Vega also maintained a visual art practice, creating assemblages of salvaged radios, light fixtures, and other trash—perfect examples of a punk aesthetic. In conversation with Tschinkel, Vega speaks freely of his early years in art school, and the first Suicide performances in art spaces.
Coming less than a year after Vega’s death, the screening provides an opportunity for those who knew and admired him to remember the iconic artist and performer. To introduce the screening, Marc H. Miller of Gallery 98 will comment on Paul Tschinkel’s roles as a cable-TV pioneer and a documentarian of art and music downtown. Also in attendance will be Alan Vega’s wife, Liz Lamere, and son, Dante Vega Lamere, as well as Martin Rev, his longtime collaborator in Suicide. This not-to-be-missed event continues Howl! Happening’s regular programming on downtown cultural history.
The event begins at 7:00 p.m. Howl! Happening is located at 6 East First Street.