Reynaldo Rivera

Reynaldo Rivera

Provisional Notes for a Disappeared City

By Reynaldo Rivera

Edited by Hedi El Kholti and Lauren Mackler

With Luis Bauz, Vaginal Davis and Chris Kraus

Photographs by Reynaldo Rivera that document a vanished LA of cheap rent, house parties, subversive fashion, and underground bands, and long-closed gay and transvestite bars.

Distributed for Semiotext(e)

Overview

Author(s)

Summary

Photographs by Reynaldo Rivera that document a vanished LA of cheap rent, house parties, subversive fashion, and underground bands, and long-closed gay and transvestite bars.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Reynaldo Rivera took personal photos of the Los Angeles that he lived in and knew: a world of cheap rent, house parties, subversive fashion, underground bands, and a handful of Latino gay and transvestite bars: Mugi's, The Silverlake Lounge, and La Plaza. Most of these bars are long closed and many of the performers have died. But in Rivera's photographs, these men and women live on in a silvery landscape of makeshift old-style cinematic glamour, a fabulous flight from unacceptable reality.

As a teenager, Rivera took refuge in used bookstores and thrift stores, where he discovered old photo books of Mexican film stars and the work of Lisette Model, Brassai, and Bresson. Inspired, he bought a camera and began photographing people at his hotel. In 1981 he moved to Echo Park and began taking photos for the LA Weekly.

This book is an ensemble of almost 200 images selected by Hedi El Kholti and Lauren Mackler spanning more than two decades in Los Angeles and Mexico. The book also includes Luis Bauz's story, “Tatiana,” about one of the subjects of these photographs; a critical essay on Rivera's work by Chris Kraus; and a novella-length conversation between Rivera and his friend and contemporary Vaginal Davis about their lives, work, fantasies, and collective histories.

Paperback

$34.95 T | £28.00 ISBN: 9781635901122 200 pp. | 7.75 in x 11.5 in 190 b&w photos

Editors

Hedi El Kholti

Kate Zambreno, the author of two novels, O Fallen Angel and Green Girl and the work Heroines (Semiotext(e)), teaches in the writing programs at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College. She is at work on a series of books about time, memory, and the persistence of art, which includes Book of Mutter and the forthcoming Drifts.

Lauren Mackler

Contributors

Luis Bauz, Vaginal Davis, and Chris Kraus.