The Pump Me Up: DC Subculture of the 1980s exhibit opened at the Corcoran in late February. A visual exploration of “the culture of the ‘Other DC,'” the show takes a look at the hardcore, go-go, graffiti, drug, drug violence, and political culture that differentiated DC from the District of Columbia, from the late 70s until, well, just about the Clinton era. Curated by Roger Gastman (While You Were Sleeping; R. Rock Enterprises) and culled mainly from his vast archives of all things DC/Dischord/Cool Disco Dan/etc, the multimedia works featured in Pump Me Up range from a stunning (and stunningly presented) collection of typeset go-go posters by Baltimore’s Globe Poster Printing Corporation, to to one of the most striking photographs of any of DC’s hallowed buildings that I’ve ever soon – in no small part due to Trouble Funk’s presence.
After six weeks of related panels, workshops, film screenings, talks and tours, Pump Me Up ends its run on April 7, following a FREE ADMISSION DAY on April 6. Inspired by the show (and to fuel your own Corcoran-bound journeys before Sunday), photographer Shauna Alexander followed four friends from record stores (SMASH! and Joint Custody) to Chili Bowls (Ben’s, to be precise); through Metro lines and DC intersections; all the way down to 500 17th Street NW – and all for the love of Pump Me Up.
If you can’t make it to the Corcoran before the 7th (and lest yr SUBCULTURE DREAMZ die), make SOLID PLANS to get to Mumbo Sauce – co-curated by Roger Gastman and Lauren Gentile of Contemporary Wing – starting April 5 and running through April 21.
featuring shirts available at (and from the collections of) SMASH! Records and Joint Custody.
Pump Me Up: On the Way to The Corcoran features:
and Taja’ Janel Mitchem
special thanks to SMASH! Records, Joint Custody, and Ashleigh Ferran and Adrian Parsons of the Corcoran for their consultation and participation.