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FROM THE DESERT TO THE SEA: THE DESOLATION CENTER EXPERIENCE

by Lee Paul
originally published: June, 2017

Einsturzende Neubauten at the Mojave Exodus


Einsturzende Neubauten at the Mojave Exodus

FROM THE DESERT TO THE SEA: THE DESOLATION CENTER EXPERIENCE

story by Lee Paul
originally published: June, 2017

From the Desert to the Sea: The Desolation Center Experience
Cornelius Projects, San Pedro

June 17– NOW EXTENDED UNTIL AUGUST 27th
Opening reception Saturday, June 17 from 6–9 p.m.

Back in the early 80s when people were still capable of launching large ideas without corporate interference, er, I mean help, The Desolation Center organised Mojave Exodus, a surreal desert festival featuring punk and industrial artists. Einstürzende Neubauten were there. Imagine. Before Burning Man and way before the organisers of Coachella and that ancients festival last year furnished the desert concert goers with carpet, slushes and slippers the Desolation Center’s Mojave Exodus was described by the LA Weekly “some bizarre ritual at the end of the world.” I don’t think it would’ve been for me. 

Another show launched from LA Harbor and all told the Desolation Center called upon a cavalcade of the stars of the era, including Sonic Youth, Meat Puppets, Minutemen, Einstürzende Neubauten, Survival Research Laboratories, Redd Kross, Saccharine Trust, Savage Republic and Swans. Kim Gordon said “We played in the middle of the Mojave Desert at a festival called Gila Monster Jamboree … It was a magical night, one of my favorite shows ever.” And that from a woman whom I once saw play on Brighton Beach but was uncertain when the tuning up had finished and the songs had started. And I had to push mu girlfriends vauxhall viva to get it started in the damp sea air afterwards. That was what passed for a good night out then, my youth wasn’t so misspent and more missed.

So… We pretty much love Cornelius Projects and as they say this new exhibition is a tribute to Desolation Center’s pioneering visioning features painting, photography, sculpture, video, and ephemera. Participating in the show are Desolation Center alumni Mike Watt, Curt and Cris Kirkwood, Mark Pauline, Raymond Pettibon, Anthony Ausgang, Kristine Kryttre, John Tottenham, Joe Baiza, Ann Summa, Dave Markey, Bruce Licher, Naomi Petersen, SPOT and more. Images from the exhibition will be featured in Swezey’s documentary Desolation Center slated for release next year.


Essential Info
Main Photo: Scot Allen
Cornelius Projects is a space dedicated to promoting culture and art in San Pedro, CA. During the exhibition Cornelius Projects will be open Thursday through Sunday from 12–5 pm or by appointment.

CORNELIUS PROJECTS
1417 SOUTH PACIFIC AVENUE
SAN PEDRO, CALIFORNIA 90731
corneliusprojects.com

Lee Paul

I like to look at things while listening to things I am not looking at. But doesn't everyone.

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