Barbara Rubin’s film Christmas On Earth was shot at 56 Ludlow Street, the Lower East Side apartment of John Cale. Now, it is being projected onto the walls of Boo Hooray Gallery, a short hike from the long vacant apartment where it was filmed. Grainy, sexual, alluring, disturbing images flicker across the white gallery wall: Rubin’s camera captures a sexual tableaux — straight and gay — bodies coming together without care for gender in a tumult of limbs enhanced by Rubin’s decision to superimpose two separate reels of film over each other, with additional lighting effects layered on these images.
When I first spoke with Ed Sanders, Fugs co-founder and Lower East Side royalty, for Interview Magazine, he expanded my mind. His perspective on the neighborhood I had grown up in shaped my own point-of-view, adding a psychedelic, violent, richly artistic layer to the streets I remembered from my own youth.
It’s been four decades since Sanders’ wild music and poetry poured out into the streets of the Lower East Side from his bookstore, first located on East 10th Street, then on Avenue A. Ed’s memoir, Fug You: An Informal History of the Peace Eye Bookstore, the Fuck You Press, the Fugs, and Counterculture in the Lower East Side (Da Capo Press) was recently released. Original lithographs, wildly sexual and Egyptian inspired pages of his magazine, are now on display at Boo Hooray Gallery to further celebrate the legacy he left in the Lower East Side and in the larger arts community.