Pump Me Up, Susie J. Horgan, and Washington DC

by Chris Murray on February 27, 2013

Musician Alec MacKaye and photographer Susie J. Horgan outside the Corcoran Gallery of Art February 22, 2013. Copyright © Govinda Gallery Archive. All Rights Reserved.

Friday night I attended the opening of Pump Me Up: DC Subculure of the 1980s at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. I loved the exhibition. For anyone who lived in the District of Colombia during the 80s this exhibition is a time machine. The show focuses on DC art and music during that period… graffiti, Go-Go, hardcore, and punk. For the exhibition Govinda Gallery loaned Susie J. Horgan’s iconic photograph of musician Alec MacKaye with an X on each hand. The photograph looks great and was the image used for the banner hanging outside the Corcoran Gallery of Art and in advertisements in metro stations.

Alec MacKaye, Washington, DC, 1980. Copyright © Susie J. Horgan. All Rights Reserved.

There was a great crowd at the opening. I had an excellent time enjoying the show with Lely Constantinople and her husband Alec MacKaye. Lely’s photographs were shown at Govinda Gallery as part of the Itinerant exhibition in the fall of 2001 which also featured work by Cynthia Connolly and Antonia Tricarico.

Punk Love by Susie J. Horgan (Universe, 2007).

At the Corcoran exhibition people were excited to meet Susie J. Horgan, who came with her family from Miami to be at the Pump Me Up opening. Horgans’s photographs of the punk/hardcore scene in DC are an indispensable document of that time. The opening of her exhibition, Punk Love, at Govinda Gallery in 2007 was a night to remember.

Minor Threat, 1982. Left to Righ: Jeff Nelson, Ian MacKaye, Lyle Preslar, and Brian Baker. Copyright © Glen Friedman. All Rights Reserved.

Govinda Gallery has highlighted DC subculture in a number of exhibitions. In the spring of 2000 Govinda hosted Fuck You All, the first exhibition in Washington of Glen Friedman’s photographs of hip hop, punk, and skateboarders. Many of the photographs were taken in Washington. This photo of DC band Minor Threat is one of my favorites.

Govinda Gallery invitation card for the Graffiti exhibition in 2001. Copyright © Govinda Gallery Archive. All Rights Reserved.

By Sest, acrylic on canvas. Copyright © Govinda Gallery Archive. All Rights Reserved.

Govinda Gallery hosted the first graffiti exhibition in a Washington DC art gallery during the winter of 2001. The gallery looked fantastic with the work of 5 graffiti artists on the walls, including Tale, who curated the exhibition with Govinda, as well as work by Jonny Real, Sest, Siek, and SMK.

Chuck Brown. Copyright © Fernando Sandoval. All Rights Reserved.

Govinda Gallery celebrated DC’s own Go-Go music with Fernando Sandoval’s exhibition of photographs; Bustin’ Loose in 2011. Sandoval’s exhibition highlighted Go-Go and Chuck Brown, along with DC blues and soul musicians.

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