Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Arleen Schloss and 'Wednesday at A's'

Filmmaker Stuart Ginsberg reached out yesterday to tell me about his in-progress documentary, "Wednesdays at A's," a feature that explores the work of artist/curator Arleen Schloss (pictured, above).

Via the "Wednesdays at A's" website: The film "explores how Schloss's art work evolved and changed with the times. Through exclusive archival footage shot by Schloss herself, mixed with interviews with people from the scene, we trace her life story and see – from her point of view — how New York City has changed from the 1970s to present day."

From 1979 to 1995, Schloss opened up her loft at 330 Broome St. in the Lower East Side to a group of then-unknown artists, actors and musicians that included Sonic Youth, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Eric Bogosian, Glenn Branca, Phoebe Legere and Alan Suiclde, among many others.

[Find more flyers here]

"I made the documentary because people like Arleen Schloss were important to the creative atmosphere of New York City," Ginsberg told me. "Unfortunately, we have forgotten about our history and people like Arleen who were a center point for artists, performers, actors and musicians. As for her work as an experimental artist, she was ahead of her time, and I feel it's necessary to recognize the artists who experimented with new forms of art before many other people did."

Ginsberg is currently in post production and is looking for finishing funds to transfer footage, buy some equipment and hire an editor. He has a Kickstarter campaign to help him reach his modest goal of $5,000.

Here's a trailer for the film...

I asked Ginsberg if he thought New York would see an environment like A's again.

"I don't think so. The scenes in the past dealt with real estate and a lower cost of living. You could get a cheap apartment for $400 and have a part-time job. Then devote another 40 hours a week to your art," he said. "The other reason why is that many talented people are now becoming web designers, video game designers, videographers, etc. The arts have become more professional and that's where people are spending most of their time. However, there will always be a scene as long as people in the arts get together to put on a play or exhibition."

And here's a link to a collection of her work. She still lives at 330 Broome St.


nygrump said...

"The arts have become more professional" - uhh yeah, deeper in servitude to the ruling elite

Anonymous said...

arlene was a kinda sorta artiste in the netherworld below houston....she was adjunct to Cowboy Ray and Rivington School.
A was also FREAKED OUT by the '89 riots.
as for the art world becoming more professional. not!
it's only that the geist has left nyc.

bowery boy said...

How great! She once gave me a piece of hers (I adored it in her bathroom), and it still hangs in my x's bathroom, so I hope she continues to become more and more respected.

J. D. King said...

At a time when The Coachmen had a difficult time finding gigs, Arlene and Todd made A's open to us. We had a lot of fun playing there, booked with some great acts: A Band (Paul McMahon's then-group), Monad (Phoebe Legere's then-group) Liquid Idiot, Alan Suicide, etc.)

It was a good play to play, a good crowd to perform for, a scene!

And thank you, Stuart!