New York

Bruce Conner

Gladstone Gallery | West 21st St

One doesn’t have much occasion to refer to Dick Hebdige’s Subculture: The Meaning of Style these days, but Bruce Conner’s recent show “Punk Photographs” rendered that cultural-studies classic a touchstone once more. And the fact that Subculture was published in 1979 and Conner’s photographs from the Mabuhay Gardens, a Filipino nightclub in the North Beach area of San Francisco, were taken in 1978, is only one reason for its renewed relevance.

Conner’s photos take in the entire culture of the club, from the bands who performed there (most notably Devo, DOA, and Negative Trend) and fans and scenesters like a pre-“Mickey” Toni Basil, to bathroom graffiti (Womans Room at the Mabuhay, 1978) and detritus-strewn after-hours scenes (Trixie: Closing Time at Mabuhay, 1978). The ethos of punk—particularly the partial dissolution of distinct categories like “audience” and “band” and the formation of

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