The John Giorno Foundation announces inaugural program at The Bunker, New York

March 14, 2022
The Dial-A-Poem Poets’, Totally Corrupt, 1976. Clockwise, from left: Anne Waldman, John Giorno, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and John Cage.

The John Giorno Foundation is pleased to announce its inaugural season of programming at The Bunker located at 222 Bowery. The Bunker’s program furthers The John Giorno Foundation’s mission of supporting living artists and the history of the avant-garde and gay communities in New York. Reflecting John Giorno’s ethos, activism, and artistic achievements, the program will present a diverse array of artist talks, film series, and performance. The Bunker provides a collaborative place for artists of all generations to meet.

Just a Mirror at The Bunker is an inaugural series of talks and films organized by Bill Cournoyer for The John Giorno Foundation, taking place at the iconic historical site at 222 Bowery. Inspired by Giorno’s reflection of the poetic, personal, and social in contemporary society as seen through the lens of artists, this program will bring together luminaries and reflect on works from the American playbook of poetry, art, and experimental music and film.

The inaugural program

Monday, April 11, 7pm
Raque Ford, virgil b/g taylor and Nora Turato in conversation with Ebony L. Hayes

John Giorno utilized language as his primary tool in his practice as a poet and visual artist. Artists Raque Ford, virgil b/g taylor and Nora Turato place importance in the written word in their respective practices. Ebony L. Hayes, Director of 52 Walker, will host a discussion with Ford, taylor, and Turato on how these artists use text in their performances and artworks to mirror social and political issues respective to their generation and how they overlap with John Giorno’s artistic oeuvre.

Monday, May 9, 7pm
Drew Sawyer on Jimmy DeSana moderated by Jarrett Earnest

Drew Sawyer, Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Curator at the Brooklyn Museum, will discuss the work of Jimmy DeSana (1949–1990) with Jarrett Earnest, curator, and writer. Jimmy DeSana (1949-1990), photographer, emerged from the East Village art scene in the 1970’s. In 1980, DeSana’s collection of S&M photographs were published in his book Submission, which featured an introduction by William S. Burroughs. DeSana’s later work included images of the avant-garde culture of downtown New York, specifically portraits of artists and cultural icons like John Giorno, William S. Burroughs, and Yoko Ono. In 1981, DeSana photographed the cover of John Giorno’s LP, You’re The Guy I Want To Share My Money With, a collaboration with Laurie Anderson and William S. Burroughs. Earnest, in conversation with Sawyer, will discuss the importance of DeSana’s queer perspective in his work and how it distinguished him from his peers; DeSana’s representation of the body as the central focus in his practice; and DeSana’s use of documentation through portraiture.

Monday, June 6, 7pm
Deadlines and Divine Distractions

Deadlines and Divine Distractions is an ongoing epistolary project co-edited by Negar Azimi, writer, and Editor-in-Chief of Bidoun, and Pati Hertling, Deputy Director of Performance Space New York. The project lives on the internet where it brings together irreverent letters between friends and strangers, the living, and the dead. Deadlines is an ardent expression of the editors’ belief in and love for the (promiscuous) art of letter writing. In the spirit of John Giorno’s practice of working collaboratively with artists throughout his career, The John Giorno Foundation is pleased to host Deadlines and Divine Distractions’s latest project at The Bunker.

Monday, July 11, 7pm
Rochelle Feinstein in discussion with Bridget Donahue and Candice Macey

Rochelle Feinstein began the pursuit of her artistic ambitions in New York in the 1980s, leading to her decades-long examination of painting. Feinstein’s practice examines the language of abstraction, while humorously including text within her paintings. Feinstein has consistently employed a promiscuous approach to how her paintings look, resulting in a diverse non-style. Her examination of painting has included experimentation with other mediums like drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, video, and installation. Feinstein recently was the focus of a six-venue collaborative project with exhibitions in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Paris, and Zurich. Bridget Donahue and Candice Macey will discuss Feinstein’s interest in language, abstraction, the development of her diverse non-style, and the importance of concepts like irony and authorship.

Monday, August 15, 7pm
Justin Hicks performance and discussion with Kyle Dacuyan

Justin Hicks, multidisciplinary artist, composer, and vocalist will perform a piece especially selected for The Bunker. Kyle Dacuyan, poet, performer, and Executive Director of The Poetry Project, will discuss Hick’s inspiration for the performance and his diverse practice.

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