Casemore Kirkeby is pleased to present Jim Jocoy: Order of Appearance, an intimate and revealing selection of images embracing the burgeoning San Francisco punk club scene from 1977-1980. The exhibition opens Friday, June 16th and continues through Saturday August 19th, with an opening reception on Friday, June 16th from 6-8pm at Casemore Kirkby. This exhibition coincides with the launch of Jocoy’s book of the same title, published by TBW Books. On Saturday, July 15th, the artist will be in conversation with historian Sam Lefebvre at Casemore Kirkeby at 5pm.
In 1976 at the start of the San Francisco punk scene, Jocoy became a student at UC Santa Cruz. By 1977 he had dropped out of school and turned his attention to the club scene. Jocoy obsessively photographed what was in front of him – in bedrooms, bathrooms, strip clubs, at punk shows at Mabuhay Gardens, alleyways and bars. Jocoy found outlets for showcasing his photos in his own punk/art zine, Windows and Orphans, as well as in seminal SF zines Search and Destroy, Research, and Punk Globe.
During this time Jocoy’s photos were shown in public only twice, the first, a show held at San Francisco State University featuring the Xerox color prints he’d produce during off hours at the photocopy shop where he worked, and later as a slide show presented at William Burroughs’ 70th birthday party in 1984. It wasn’t until many years later, through a series of serendipitous events, that Sonic Youth frontman, Thurston Moore, and fashion designer Mark Jacobs collaborated to produce what would become Jocoy’s first and highly praised book, We’re Desperate (Powerhouse, 2002), widely regarded as a celebration of the scene’s influential fashion.
Unknowingly foreshadowing the AIDS epidemic that would grip underground communities throughout the country, Jocoy’s photographs evoke an intimacy not unlike that felt when viewing the work by Nan Goldin, combined with the underground compulsion and clout found in the photos of Katsumi Watanabe and Karlheinz Weinberger. In the main gallery, Casemore Kirkeby will share Jocoy’s rarely glimpsed view of the punk scene, illuminated quiet and intimate moments of barely post-pubescent youth applying makeup, readying themselves for an evening out, diving full stop into the dark of night.
Born in 1952 in South Korea to his Korean mother and a U.S. Army solider, Jocoy was given two names: an American name, Edward Monfette, and a Korean name, Hyoung Su Lee. After divorcing, his mother married another soldier, Robert E. Jocoy, and at age six he was given a new name, Jimmy Jocoy. In 1969 the family settled in Sunnyvale, California.
Jim Jocoy still resides in the Bay Area after a career working in UCSF’s Therapy Department. He maintains friendships with many of the subjects he photographed 40 years ago.