Exile, a new project and residency space in Berlin-Kreuzberg, is very proud to open its doors on October 18th with two fantastic exhibitions featuring two unsung heroes of New York’s creative underground:
Oct 18th – Feb 01st 2009 Al Baltrop – Pier Photographs 1975-1986
Oct 18th - Nov 16th 2008 Straight to Hell – In Cock We Trust (Resident: Billy Miller, New York)
Public Reception for both projects: Saturday, October 18th 2008, 7-10pm
Al Baltrop was born in the Bronx in 1948 and passed away in 2004. From 1975 to 1986 he photographed the crumbling piers and their inhabitants on the west side of Manhattan. He photographed obsessively and created an incredible archive of thousands of photographs that show a captivating mélange of intimacy, decay, violence, creativity and anarchy. Without ever being nostalgic Baltrop’s photographs portray the end of a legendary era; the architectural destruction of the piers and, even more, the emotional and physical destruction brought by the impact of the AIDS crisis. However, his photographs are so much more than historical documents. His passion and personality are visible in the prints. Each of his photographs offers a well-constructed, intimate, and moving glimpse into this fascinating time and place. During his lifetime, there was little artistic appreciation of his photography and only in recent years has his work slowly emerged to greater awareness. In February 2008 Artforum Magazine devoted its cover and a comprehensive visual essay to his work accompanied by a text by respected artcritic Douglas Crimp.
Exile is extremely honored to present the very first Solo-show of Al Baltrop’s work in Europe. Al Baltrop – Pier Photographs 1975-1986 will present a monthly changing display of rare vintage and modern prints. Modern editions of each photograph, printed by the Alvin Baltrop Trust, are available for sale. Excerpts from an upcoming documentary produced by Baltrop’s friend and former assistant Randal Wilcox will be screened as part of the exhibition.
Straight to Hell (a/k/a The Manhattan Review of Unnatural Acts) is a living legend. Conceived and founded by cult writer Boyd McDonald in the early 1970s, it quickly gained a large following and underground notoriety due to a combination of graphic sexual content, radical politics and stinging wit. The unique concept of Straight to Hell remains unchanged: via a New York City P.O. box, readers are invited to send their accounts of true sexual experiences to the editor. Over the decades Straight to Hell has become an infamously comprehensive and uncensored library of homosexual practice and identity. The resulting series is a uniquely democratic and powerful collection of bizarre, funny, scary, and raunchy stories documenting the real and often embarrassing sex lives of a wide range of men - detailing a continuous chronology spanning nearly a century.
Exile is honored to inaugurate its residency space with an exhibition curated by current editor Billy Miller. Straight to Hell – In Cock We Trust presents an eclectic, and in some cases never before seen, selection of vintage and contemporary materials from the archives of Straight to Hell and the personal collection of Billy Miller. This particular exhibit is specifically not intended to be a historical overview over the complete story of the series, but rather a sample of the range of material featured in the pages of the magazine. Along with an exhibit of photography from Straight to Hell contributors, the show includes rare editions and ephemera - plus samples from edited anthologies, which will be made available for research during opening hours. Exile will also present a very special limited-edition artwork in honor of the occasion.
Participating Artists: Adam Kozik, Al Baltrop, Bob Mizer (A.M.G.), Brian Brennan (Latino Fan Club), Bruce La Bruce, Dan Acton, Darren Ankenbauer (Handbook Magazine), David Hurles (Old Reliable), Gary Indiana, Jan Wandrag, Janine Gordon, Joe Ovelman, Michael Alago, Michael Economy, Nico Urquiza, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Rick Castro (Antebellum), Scott Hug, Slava Mogutin, Stash Buttinski, Steve LaFreniere, Walt Cessna, Will Munro, Xavier Stentz and others