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Sharon Cheslow, "Patti Smith Arty-facts: Alchemical Roll Call (1970-72)"
Curating Resistance: Punk as Archival Method
February 10, 2018, 12:30-1pm, UCLA Royce Hall 362
Free (advance registration required)

This talk will present Patti Smith's illustrated poem "Alchemical Roll Call," created for her friend Harry Smith when they lived at the Chelsea Hotel in NYC in the early 1970s (Patti and Robert Mapplethorpe moved there in 1969, and Harry Smith was the first person they met). The presentation will also cover Patti and Harry's transformative creative friendship, including Patti's appearance in Harry's last experimental film Mahagonny (shot 1970-72, completed 1980).

The research for this presentation was done partly through visits to:
The Patti Smith Collection, F. W. Olin Library, Mills College (Oakland, CA)
The Harry Smith Archive, Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles, CA)

lenny kaye & patti smith
Lenny Kaye/Patti Smith at Beyond Baroque, Venice, CA. Photo: Sharon Cheslow, 2006.

2017 l.a. immigrant march
"Free the People Immigration March/Sanctuary for All," February 18, 2017, Los Angeles, CA. Photo: Sharon Cheslow, 2017.

JULY 2017

From the Sharon Cheslow archives:

The Sharon Cheslow Punk Flyers Collection, 1979-1991 was acquired by University of Maryland's Special Collections in Performing Arts in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library. chalk circle This collection includes almost 500 flyers, including all flyers for
Chalk Circle, Bloody Mannequin Orchestra (BMO), and Suture.

Digitized copies of Sharon Cheslow's fanzines If This Goes On #1-#3 (1982-83) and Interrobang?! #1 (1989) are available through University of Maryland's SCPA's
D.C. Punk and Indie Fanzine Collection. The latter collection has a digitized copy of Sarah Woodell's fanzine Now What? #1 (1981), with contributions from many people in the early DC punk/hardcore scene (including Chalk Circle's Sharon Cheslow and
Anne Bonafede).

In addition, Kevin Mattson was a contributing writer for If This Goes On, and his print copies are archived with DC Public Library's DC Punk Archive. This collection also has a copy of the Chalk Circle Reflection LP and some flyers Sharon Cheslow donated.

cha cha cabaret A few Electrolettes flyers/posters from Jen Smith's 1997 Cha Cha Cabaret tour are now online through Miranda July's Joanie 4 Jackie website. The Joanie 4 Jackie film archive was donated to the Getty Research Institute by Miranda July in Spring 2016. The website includes flyers/posters for the Joanie 4 Jackie project (originally titled Big Miss Moviola). Some of Miranda's films, and other films from the Big Miss Moviola project, were screened during the Cha Cha Cabaret tour, and Miranda July performed on one of the nights.
The Electrolettes (Sharon Cheslow and Julianna Bright) performed on all the Cha Cha Cabaret dates.

From the V. Vale archives:
UCLA Library Special Collections is processing the V. Vale Collection. Included in the collection are two audio cassette recordings of a 1996 oral history interview on Interrobang?! with Sharon Cheslow by V. Vale, and a folder with a draft of the Women in Punk 1975-80 list.


500 Trump Dream Tweets: Decomposition re-tweeted Trump dreams during the week of Nov. 25th-Dec. 2nd, as a collective unconscious protest against the new regime.

Interrobang?! #5Lots of losses in 2016, some connected to Decomposition. Much love and gratitude to the following:

Pauline Oliveros and Bill Berkson were featured in Interrobang?! #5 Anthology on Music and Family, published by Decomposition in 2008. Pauline Oliveros was also included in Interrobang?! #4 Anthology on Music and Transcendence, published by Decomposition in 2000.

John Stabb (John Schroeder) was a contributing writer for the early 1980s fanzine If This Goes On, co-published by Sharon Cheslow and Colin Sears.


Read a review of the 2016 LA Art Book Fair by Sharon Cheslow, originally written for Bull Tongue Review #6, which may or may not mysteriously appear in the near future. You can still get past issues (#2, #3, #5) from Forced Exposure.

Twenty years ago Decomposition released Bonnot Gang's "Wolves" EP. And in 1995 a Red Eye 7" came out, with "Special Delivery To My Heart" and "Reservoir." Some copies of each are still available. Here's what the Decomposition website looked like in 1998, thanks to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine!:


MAY 2016

Bull Tongue Review #5 is out now!

APRIL 2016

Eva Švankmajerová and Czech Surrealism article by Sharon Cheslow now online.


Sharon Cheslow's Visiting Artist Talk at CalArts on Feb. 24th is based on her piece on Eva Švankmajerová and Czech Surrealism, which will appear in Bull Tongue Review #5.


Bull Tongue Review #4 for your reading pleasure...

If The Twenty-First Century Didn't Exist It Would Be Necessary To Invent It, originally released in 2002 on 5 Rue Christine, is available for listening/purchase on Kill Rock Stars' Bandcamp.


Bull Tongue Review #3 for your reading pleasure...

The Alien She exhibit curated by Astria Suparak and Ceci Moss will be in Portland, OR Sept. 3, 2015 to Jan. 9, 2016, at both the Museum of Contemporary Craft and Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Chalk Circle in 1981, with Sally Ven Yu Berg filling in on bass (RIP Sally):

chalk circle

Banned in DC is back in print.

APRIL 2015

Bull Tongue Review #2 is out now! Read Sharon Cheslow on the International Times online archive and the underground press. #1 had reviews of Experimental Half Hour, Ericka Beckman films, and Harry Smith's Mahagonny (Film #18). Get BTR through Forced Exposure.


The first issue of Bull Tongue Review, edited by Byron Coley, is out now! You can purchase it through Forced Exposure.

Alien She will be at the Orange County Museum of Art (Newport Beach, CA) from Feb. 15 - May 24, 2015.

Click here for past news.