A diverse crew of friends, colleagues and admirers of David Mancuso got together in Tompkins Square Park this past Saturday for a candlelight vigil in honor of the underground nightlife pioneer who died last month at the age of 72.
If you missed your chance to hold up a plastic cup at the ceremony and want to honor the man whose East Village and Soho loft parties helped shape the city’s DJ culture, avant-garde arts space The Kitchen is offering an opportunity amidst its newly announced winter programming. In late March, artist Martin Beck will screen a film he made featuring the 118 songs that were spun by Mancuso on June 2, 1984, at one of his final parties at 99 Prince Street.
Beck is no stranger to the party. After coming on a tape recording of it, he created an art book, Last Party, that documented the setlist, song by song. “It struck me as a timely document of a changing environment in mid 1984,” Beck told Pitchfork of the recording, “as something very pleasurable in the midst of massive change: the growing AIDS crisis, gentrification in SoHo, digitization of music, etc.” Beck celebrated the book’s publication, in 2014, by playing the songs– everything from Michael Jackson to Arthur Russell’s Dinosaur L– over the course of a 13-hour party at PS1’s Print Shop.
According to The Kitchen, Beck’s film “shows each record played at that party in sequence, from beginning to end, on a vintage turntable in a domestic atmosphere.”
Mancuso held his first loft party, Love Saves the Day, on Valentine’s Day of 1970. But this tribute will occur a little after that, with the film running from 11am to 6pm on March 23, and from 11am to 1am on March 24.
The Kitchen reminds us that the Loft parties had “no commercial agenda,” and in that spirit this event, made possible with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts as well as city and state agencies, will be free.