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Memory No Longer In Service; No New Number

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2008, at 01:17AM
Dime Ed Fuentes

Curators Edgar Varela and Terry Elsworth invited local photographers who’ve documented the Arts District to exhibit archived work for a February 15th opening that debuts a new gallery space. Rather than showing photos, last month I asked Arts District resident and actor Jonathon Carter Schall if he wanted to collaborate and portray characters who may have passed through the intersection of Traction and Hewitt at some point.

After discussing layers of back story for each character, Schall plays the ensemble that includes a punk-rocker circa the 80s, a jazz musician from the 30s, a tourist looking for an arts district today, and a developer/investor as may be seen in the near future.

The series was shot this past week, and in some cases Schall improvised with people walking by. It was a way to experiment the technique of street photography with someone staying in character.

Another call back to a Downtown two decades ago, along with details and more shots of the punk-rocker who may remain nameless, after the jump:

Al's Bar PosterTwo days after the photo show another event looks to bring back the memory of the 1980s. "The Parties, The Punks, The Past, The Present" is a panel discussion put on by Downtown News and LA36. Scheduled to participate are Lili Lakich, the Arts District based co-founder of the Museum of Neon Art, and Mark Kriesel of Al's Bar, as are Paul Greenstein (Madame Wong's, Atomic Café), Judith Hansen (Gorky's) and Regina O'Brien (Plastic Passion). The afternoon session looks to create a mosh-pit of conversation.

Which brings up the old question that comes with recalling sub cultures that brought you all night debauchery: If you remember it, did you really live it?

Chopin Gallery (temporary gallery space)
511 Molina Street
February  15
7-11 pm

"The Parties, The Punks, The Past, The Present"
Julie Rico Gallery @ Weeneez
Red Dot Gallery and Bistro.
500 S. Spring Street
February 17


In this shot, the yet unnamed punk rock character, still fuzzy from a long night at Al’s Bar, wakes up in the hallway of the American Hotel. An actual resident didn’t stop when he saw him passed out on the steps; he merely walked around him. Evidently, this sight is still not uncommon.

Crawling down the street with fortitude and the need to call a cab, he makes it to the phone. The sets were shot quickly, with only brief direction, so Schall could improvised the moments as they came to him.

After being in the dark, the sunlight is just too much to handle, shocking the clubber into reality. Schall played it straight the whole way through, and it became funnier. For those who experienced the small clubs around Downtown, it is almost an inside joke.


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