A One-night Salute to the Mythical World of Underground Art

Old punks don’t die. They just grow ornerier and curate art shows—and then maybe they play at those art shows with their new bands. Just ask Paul Dickinson, founder of the Riot Act Reading Series and lead singer of post-punk band Frances Gumm. Dickinson—punk poet, pulp raconteur, and impresario of all things angst—takes charge of both the visual and sonic aesthetics Saturday, June 30, at CO Exhibitions, as the northeast Minneapolis gallery hosts a one-night-only salute to the mythical underground art bedlam that Dickinson helped found in the late 1980s: Speedboat Gallery.

Well-adjusted types may not be familiar with Paul D. or his iconic gallery, so here’s a quick run-down of the pertinents:

Launched in 1988. Aligned itself with Frank Gaard and his infamously raunchy Art Police zine. Booked underground rock shows in the cave-like, smoky basement. Brought bands like Green Day and Bikini Kill to Minnesota. Landed exhibition reviews in Artforum and Art in America. Got too big. Got shut down by the St. Paul Police and Fire Department in 1994. Dickinson went on to become a poet, nabbing an MFA at Amherst and publishing collections with titles like Drink Specials for the Criminally Insane and Lord Byron Gets Busted.

For Saturday’s look back, Dickinson will show work from former Speedboat artists who are now well established: Bruce Tapola, Alexa Horochowski, and Frank Gaard. The show also promises new work from young artists Laura Bennet, Katelyn Farstad, Adam Callier, Oakley Tapola, and Sophie Wiel. Dickinson’s band Frances Gumm provides the live music.

Here’s to hoping the party draws the 80s-era Minneapolis art luminaries out of the woodwork.

A Punker’s Revenge: A Celebration of Speedboat Gallery
Saturday, June 30
Free (though donations are appreciated)
6–10 p.m.
CO Exhibitions, 1101 Stinson Blvd. NE, Ste. 2, Mpls.