Go-Go Girls Portfolio

Multi-media portfolio (1987-2003)

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Lydia outside, Music Bar, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, 1987
Gelatin Silver Print, 8"h x 8"w

Joye (Jukebox), Music Bar, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, 1987
Gelatin Silver Print, 8"h x 8"w

The Music Bar was a strip club--and our favorite neighborhood hangout--on a dimly lit side street just a couple blocks from our studio in downtown Manitowoc. Ray ran the place since 1954. At first it was a typical down-home Wisconsin type tavern serving sandwiches and beer. It also featured sing-a-longs around the spinet piano--hence the name. In 1965, Ray remodeled adding go-go dancers, mirrors and wood-paneling to create an environment he conceptualized as a swank cocktail lounge. There was a jukebox, pool table, pinball machine and the infamous back door. In between dancer sets he’d sing popular standards and risque ballads accompanying himself on Hammond organ and trumpet. He was Manitowoc’s own Dean Martin and Hugh Hefner rolled into one. His ad in the yellow pages read: GO-GO GIRLS, FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE. It was his DIY burlesque fantasy world and it stayed about the same--except for a accumulating patina of nicotine and duct tape--until he passed away in 2001. The Music Bar closed and its contents were put in a dumpster in the back alley. The story was over.

This portfolio is primarily made up of our fashion photos of five of Ray’s regular dancers. Our own pictures are placed in the context of artist-produced artifacts exploiting a “found” aesthetic. The resulting memory-box reflects our sentimentality for the subject matter and offers the viewer an opportunity to have a second-hand voyeuristic experience by discovering a group of objects that collectively evoke another time and place. In an era when so much culture is considered disposable after consumption, we are responding by making something that is not a “monumental artwork” but that is archival and substantial.

• 14x11x2” black archival storage box.
• 21-silver gelatin prints (8x8” image on 14x11” sheet, signed, from our 1987 and 1991 Rolleiflex negatives).
• 1-gum bichromate over platinum-palladium print (4x5” image on 14x11”
sheet, signed).
• The Stripper Polaroids book (29 pg., 5x5”, color inkjet reproductions of 21 anonymous Polaroids of local strippers circa 1991 with essay).
• The Music Bar: Go-Go Girls booklet (20 pg., 5.5x4.25”, b/w laser printed with essay).
• Ray V. Voice & Organ tape (60 min., audio-cassette, includes covers such as “My Way” and “Rhinestone Cowboy” plus 23 more recorded on location at The Music Bar circa 1975).
• Wendy’s Life Story DVD (59 min., color, as told to us in 2002 by dancer Wendy R.).
• 5-Wendy Wrapped in Black Tulle post cards (4.25x6” standard cards).

Email J. Shimon & J. Lindemann for price and availability.

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