My nights are more beautiful than your days
by Martha Kirszenbaum
It was a few years ago. I had just moved to Los Angeles and kept hearing the name of a club in the neighborhood of Mac Arthur Park: Silver Platter. It was home to several Mexican and Latino transwomen, many of which were undocumented, and who then welcomed a group of performance artists, such as Wu Tsang or the DJ collective Nguzunguzu, to throw a weekly party named Wildness. In 2012 Wu Tsang made an eponymous documentary film that fascinated me in the way it framed the bar itself as a character and a connective tissue amongst the communities that made up the crowds. Wildness. A feeling and an energy I would pursue every night I threw myself into the magic of nightclubbing, growing up in Paris and attending the Thursday nights at the Pulp, coming to age in New York and Berlin sweating on the floors of the elegant Don Hills and the rough Berghain, and more recently settling down in Los Angeles and, as a ritual, attending Mustache Monday weekly and Discostan monthly. The framework of this editorial inspiration for the first issue of CURA.’s special fanzines on clubbing is the notion of wildness, and how nightclubbing and nightlife can break boundaries between people, unveiling the club as an open space for sexual, social and racial freedom. It is a tale of the night, put in words, photographed, sung and performed. It is a nocturnal story inscribed in joy, sweat and moves.
The contributors to this issue were invited for their agility to articulate, describe, make us see and make us feel the night in the club. One can dance like a god all night long and forget everything the next morning. But the ability to record, relate, photograph or put in sound a clubbing night is a talent. When bodies wave, faces shine, drinks pass, drugs hypnotize and music vibrates, the world reinvents itself on the dance floor. Chroniclers and witnesses you are about to read, listen and look at enable each of us to vicariously experience the party, bringing to life the spectral silhouettes of those who refuse to go to sleep. Vancouver-based curator Jesse McKee has extensively interviewed British artist and documentary filmmaker Dick Jewell, whose archives shot at the London club Kinky Gerlinky in the early 1990s are an extraordinary record of British underground culture of this time and a remarkable film on the cultural history of clubbing. In her first fiction novel published last year and entitled Love, accessories, French writer and former co-owner of a famous sex-shop in Paris, Fleur Breteau, relates in a dreamlike and personal prose her experience at the Berlin club Kitkat Club. For the past ten years, Paris-based photographer Samuel Kirszenbaum has exposed and documented the public and crowd of clubs, mainly at French festival Transmusicales. Through fervent eyes, sweaty skins and lush poses, these kids bare the expression of eternal youth shinning like a rough diamond in the darkness of the night. Finally, Palestinian DJ SAMA, a true magician of the decks who brought minimal techno to Ramallah, composes an original mix for this edition, our very own soundtrack downloadable with the magazine.
Enjoy the read, and then later, in the wildness of the night, go dance the pain away.
Issue #01 is curated by Martha Kirszenbaum and revolves around the notion of wildness, “how nightclubbing and nightlife can break boundaries between people, unveiling the club as an open space for sexual, social and racial freedom.” The issue includes an interview by Jesse McKee to the British artist and documentary filmmaker Dick Jewell, an extract of French writer Fleur Breteau’s Love, accessories, a portfolio by Paris-based photographer Samuel Kirszenbaum and an original mix by Palestinian DJ SAMA.
Photo by Samuel Kirszenbaum, Public, Paris, France, 2007