Co-founder’s Note: Why hello there, dearest Filthy Dreams readers! As you may recall on July 7, I opened the group show Night Fever, which I curated at Pittsburgh’s Future Tenant. It drew an opening crowd of over 1500 people (seriously). Of course, like Party Out Of Bounds: Nightlife As Activism Since 1980, I can’t write about it myself since I take this objective journalism so seriously on Filthy Dreams. So I assigned my own mother to do it for me and well, she’s got pictures and a lot of…errr…thoughts!
Disco here, disco there, disco here…oh! Well, hello there, honeys! What’s Mama doing? Mama’s dusting off her old disco dance steps (cue Donna Summer’s “Love to Love You Baby”) after being so inspired at the current Pittsburgh exhibit Night Fever!
Why it brings back memories of Mama’s disco days. And, yes, I was very, very young then. But, now in the ‘burgh, you can experience disco fever through Night Fever at Future Tenant, a non-profit art space
downtown on 819 Penn Avenue. If you’re in and around the ‘burgh and haven’t seen it yet, yinz (sic) get dahntahn (sic) and check it aht (sic), n’at! The exhibit runs through August 13, with a Summer Disco Ball on August 5. Now, I know some of you Filthy Dreams readers live across the state, the country and the pond, so Mama did yinz a big favor and yanked her ever-present iPhone outta her purse and took pictures so that you could live vicariously. You won’t have the fabulous background soundtrack of David Kornelly’s Disco Mixtapes, courtesy of Harrison Apple/Pittsburgh Queer History Project, but you’ll have to make do!
Full disclosure: the amazing curator of Night Fever is Mama’s very own, very talented daughter, Emily Colucci, your Filthy Dreams co-founder! (Mama’s not biased at all.) Emily worked with a great gallery, Future Tenant, and some of the kindest and most talented artists for this show, including artists from Pittsburgh, New York, Rhode Island and Philadelphia. (If I missed any it’s ’cause I’m flaky.) Mama met some of these artists at the opening and, boy, are they nice!
The works are so varied and all are beautiful, displayed on disco club black walls from Scott Andrew’s incredible front window installation A Girl Called Dusty (Mama wants to move in. I’ll have to check into that) to Devan Shimoyama’s halcyon photographic remembrances of Fire Island. Pacifico Silano’s pastel photo of Olivia Newton John overlaid by hunky (Mama’s term) guys from a vintage porn magazine is stunning. Selections from the Terry Lee Show on WPGH, displayed on a TV screen, take me back (I remember the Terry Lee Show!). Adam Milner’s dancing is riveting and mesmerizing…as well as the false-eyelashes on gold. Speaking of mesmerizing, Hilary Harp + Suzie Silver‘s Robot Love video is pure disco fun, with the lighted square floors (Mama remembers lighted square floors!). Androxx‘s photographs of perfect-bodied men with disco song lyrics, tucked here and there, are definitely suitable for framing! Gabriel Martinez‘s Anthology–12 framed painted vinyl’s of Donna Summer’s catalogue–is remarkable, as is his impressive Live & More curtain. And last but not least, Bradley Wester‘s abstract works take me back to the disco clubs, the joy and, of course, the disco ball.
Mama’s thoughts on Night Fever: I remember disco. It was a time between, between the end of the Vietnam War and the realization of the impending AIDS crisis. We just wanted to have a good time at the disco…to choose which faux Diane von Furstenberg wrap-dress to wear and which drink to order (usually a gin ‘n’ tonic ’cause it would glow in the dark under the black light) and dance. And, dance with everyone. Disco was just fun. Yes, kinda silly but, boy, it had a beat to dance to and that’s all you really needed to know. As Emily stated, “Disco, to me, seems to come from a distant idyllic era. Art that engages with its legacy tangles with a sense of nostalgia and loss, as well as a celebration of the music’s transcendent excesses.”