November 11 - December 23, 2011
Andrew Roth is pleased to present “Movie List” a book/object created from an original maquette from the estate of Dash Snow to accompany an exhibition of his original zine works. This is the first solo exhibition of Snow’s in New York City since 2006. Movie List is published by PPP Editions in a limited edition of 175 slip-cased copies.
Periodically, and always unannounced, Dash would show up. I never expected to see him but was always inexplicably happy when I did. He’d appear, as if from the underworld, a later day Hermes invoked in the Homeric hymn as one “of many shifts, blandly cunning, a robber, a cattle driver, a bringer of dreams, a watcher by night, a thief at the gates, one who was soon to show forth wonderful deeds among the deathless gods.” Sometimes he’d come bearing testament to his travels in the form of zines, loose-bound photocopied Odysseys of the obsessions, compulsions and other sirens he’d encountered on the way. Of the 30 or so he made, each had its own visual and narrative texture. They ranged from densely crafted accretions of original Polaroids, tabloid mendacities, and graffitied commentary signed in bodily fluid to spare photo essays that consisted of nothing more than images culled from a day in the company of a deranged old man with long white hair, channeling the hysteric and luminous howl of a Ginsberg on the skids. Often, the zines recalled the happy hour of the day to show the dark fermenting cocktail of energy and anxiety beneath; always, they were gifts — offerings from the other side. Typically, they were inscribed.
I didn’t receive a copy of Movie List in part perhaps because it was never made. Snow had been in L.A. doing a stint of community service when he came across a readymade litany of sexual proclivity in a video store that had recently gone under. His attempts to turn the images on the VHS sleeves into a zine foundered. The copy shop he used in N.Y. was unable to reproduce to his satisfaction the gold paper that imbued each cover with a halo of orthodox. Meticulous as ever, he understood that degeneracy as much as pure form lives and dies in its presentation. The bestowal may have been as casual as the poetry of insolent dereliction they carried, but the execution was not. As Jade Berreau, Snow’s longtime companion explains, “Dash treated the making of his zines with the same dedication and passion as he did his art. The only difference was that the zines were to be photocopied and handed out to as many people as he wanted, and that was exciting. Each one had its own private significance that he couldn’t wait to share.”
Movie List is just that. An inventory of low-end titles drawn from a VHS Gomorrah, it flips between hardcore depravity and comedic debasement. Its cover flow is like the seismograph of an era’s frustrated desires, misogynist yearnings and wack imaginations. Inside, there was more to be learnt about our times than from the sanctioned holdings of more official histories. Snow, forever Catholic in his taste, offered through the list of titles a blood, cum and guts tour of a salacious bootleg Hades of TV Shoe Store Fantasies: Cannibal Hookers, Sluts with Nuts, Naughty Nazi’s, Rape Lube, War Pigs, Club Fuck, and more. Something for everyone, as the title Even Hitler had a Girlfriend made clear. Perhaps more than any of his generation Dash understood that only through the gilding of filth can it receive the attention it truly deserves.