Last Saturday, I celebrated the Sundown Salon Unfolding Archive with so many others at the Schindler House who remembered this series of events and parties that occurred at artist/curator/architect Fritz Haeg's geodesic dome over past years. The book release party showcased a limited edition, 140-foot long accordion book made by Evil Twin Press. The book has been over five years in the making because of its sophisticated engineering. Stacy Wakefield, the publisher, designed shorter panels to attach into a long, scroll-like total, and used five different silkscreened covers made by artists Katie Grinnan, Robby Herbst, Feral Childe, Shana Lutker, Melissa Thorne, and Janfamily. It was no small task to summarize thirty Salons editorially, either. One side of the accordion contains texts: that were read at events, memories, and contextual essays. The flipside showed zillions of photos. While the Unfolding Archive is definitely a gigantic yearbook, it is much more than that. It's a feat in bookmaking, and a record of the new millennium's Los Angeles art community.
I am psyched to have attended and participated in a few Sundown Salons: Tranny Fest, K48 is An Animal, Sundown at the Schindler House, and Literary Sundown. These events varied widely in tone, formality, organization, and material offerings. Totally cross-genre, each one usually had music, art, theater, text, not to mention really good food. One of the best aspects to these Salons was the optional feel of participation. You could dip in and out of activity, do a little here, a little there, explore, taste, or duck out and retreat. No pressure. There is something really free about Haeg's curatorial stance: it’s a sort of planned aimlessness—there were always so many senses activated at his Salons. Attendees were free to decide how much was enough. There was nothing dictatorial about the events, yet they were way more involved than house parties. Something ceremonial there, yet I'm still piecing that idea together.
The Unfolding Archive will go fast, at 500 copies of first edition. It's pricey ($150), but when you see the book it's obvious how many people came together to make it happen. It's a documentary feat, and I can't think of another book quite like it. Ultra ambitious and generous. Find it at the links below: