A tribute to Alan Vega

Dream Baby Dream, a tribute to Alan Vega
Proposed by Mathieu Copeland

Screening and discussion: September 20, 2016 6:30 p.m. 7 p.m. screening projection.
Cinema Dynamo, 4th floor of the Centre d’Art Contemporain. Free entrance.
Looped screening: 21.09 — 02.10.2016

Following to the passing of Alan Vega earlier this summer, the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève is honoured to present a tribute to the influential artist with a screening of films proposed by Mathieu Copeland at the Cinema Dynamo. Realised between 1972 and 1978, these films show a publicly lesser known side to this uncompromising true radical artist, as they focus on the time when Alan Bermowitz became Alan Suicide, and was about to become Alan Vega.



1972-2011, 14 minutes, 8mm transferred to HD, Video (color, sound)

A 14 minutes long film of footage Vega shot together with Mel Austin as they drove from NY to the opening of Alan Suicide’s exhibition Gallery Marc, Washington, 1972. A road trip that encompasses a journey at the racing tracks, shooting shotguns on vinyl, and Alan Vega’s light sculptures offering a rare document on his exhibition and the opening. A film from 1972, with a unique soundtrack realised in 2011 by Alan Vega.


Cinenema Warp

1972, 10 minutes approx., Super 8 transferred to DVD, silent, color.

A film by Cool P / Paul Liebegott. Actors: Joe Catuccio, Alan Suicide, Lynne Mayo. An artist's images come to life and eventually kill him. The title was inspired by an essay on film by Norman Mailer where he referred to film as "a sin enema." "Cinenema Warp" was only shown at artist Joe Catuccio's Soho loft on several occasions.


Big Casino

1977, 30 minutes approx., Super * transferred to DVD, color, sound (Tibetan Buddhist chants & orchestra).

A film by Cool P / Paul Liebegott. Main Actors: Joe Catuccio (the Don), Donald Greenhaus (the Mask), Alan Suicide (detective), Vernon Lake (Henchman). Also with: Laurie Fader, Annie Flash Untrash, Ken Peake, Marty Suicide, Ronnie Tendler, Richard Wells, Diane Torr, Sandy Knies.

A Mafia don hires a private detective to find the killer of his father. The film follows the investigation and subsequent murders of people surrounding the Don. Big Casino was part of an annual show called 10 Downtown; started in 1967 by ten artists who opened their lofts to the public over three weekends. Each group picked the next ten for the following year. Big Casino was also shown a year later at the Nonson Gallery in Soho (1978).


Frankie Teardrop

1978. Video (color, sound). 10:25 min.

By Edit DeAk (American, born Hungary 1948), Paul Dougherty (American, born 1953), Walter Robinson (American, born 1950), Music by Suicide. As written for “Looking at Music” exhibition at MoMA NY in 2009, “this coarsely textured film-video hybrid combines superimposed projector manipulations and high-end video post-production. An insightful collaboration between videomaker Paul Dougherty and Art-Rite zine editors Walter Robinson and Edit DeAk, the work interprets a strident song by Suicide—with vocalist Alan Vega and Martin Rev on synthesizers and drum machines—about a poverty-stricken Vietnam vet pushed to the edge.”

Alan Suicide Vega (1938-2016), one of the pioneers of minimalist electronic rock as the co-founder with Martin Rev of the mythical band Suicide, was first and foremost a visual artist active on the New York scene since the end of the 1960s. A co-founder of MUSEUM - Project of Living Artists, one of the first alternative artist-run spaces in NY open 24/7 dedicated to all forms of art, music and cinema, it quickly became a showcase for groups such as the New York Dolls, Television and Blondie. In this saturated universe, Alan Vega found an ideal environment for his work, and pursued his musical and artistic careers in parallel. Alan Vega studied with Ad Reinhardt and Kurt Seligmann at Brooklyn College at the turn of the 50s, and initially focusing on painting. Toward the end of the 1960s, his interests shifted toward light as he created his first “Light pieces”— assemblages of diverse objects including bulbs, wires, televisions and neon tubes of every shape and colour. A major retrospective of his work took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Lyon in 2009. Anti-aesthetic, anti-formal, the equivalent of an “un-made in the USA” Arte Povera, Alan Vega's work embraced the contemporary reality in which we are all immersed.

With infinite mercy to Liz Lamere, Paul Smith, Cool P / Paul Liebegott, Walter Robinson, and Paul Dougherty.


Screening and discussion: September 20, 2016 6:30 p.m. 7 p.m. screening projection.

Looped screening: 21.09 — 02.10.2016

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