Bulletin Board Project: Jim Jocoy

October 27, 2003 to December 05, 2003

Jim Jocoy's project for the Bulletin Board takes the form of a visual diary. Jocoy's seemingly casual aesthetic masks a very particular approach to image making. Jocoy's photographs are highly specific, his interests clearly identified. Like photographers Wolfgang Tillmans, Jack Pierson, or Nan Goldin, Jocoy uses photography to consider his immediate milieu.

Shot over 12 months, these 220 unique Polaroid photographs create an informal autobiographical narrative that is underpinned by Jocoy's continuing interest in portraiture. Amidst the ambient urban images of posters, signage, and window displays are intimate portraits of the friends, artists, musicians, and misfits whom Jocoy has encountered on his travels, including the artists Bruce Conner, Tom Bonauro, Bruce La Bruce, and Shepard Fairey; musicians such as Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore (pictured with his daughter Coco), Joe Strummer, John Doe, and Exene Cervenka, the Cult's Ian Astbury, Jonathan Richman, Penelope Houston, Eddie Vedder, and the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson; as well as the celebrity party-goer par excellence Paris Hilton.

Jocoy's interest in photography began while a student at UC Santa Cruz in 1977, when he started to document the nascent punk scenes in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. Jocoy would often focus solely on the individual habitu├ęs and denizens of such now-legendary punk clubs as San Francisco's Mabuhay Gardens and Los Angeles's Masque. Separated from their social context—the crowd—Jocoy's subjects were transformed into specimens or types. His photographs, in turn, took the form of a quasi-anthropological account of an emerging subculture. Jocoy's celebrated book We're Desperate (powerHouse Books, 2002) brought together hundreds of his punk-era images and featured an interview between the artist and Thurston Moore and an introduction by fashion designer Marc Jacobs.

Jim Jocoy lives in the Bay Area and works in the Physical Therapy department at UCSF. A co-publisher of the late 1970s punk fanzine Widows and Orphans, Jocoy's photographs of the SF and LA punk scenes have recently been exhibited at Juice, San Francisco, and Aquarius Records, San Francisco, and were included in the Wattis exhibition the Gray Area.

Jim Jocoy would like to thank Tana Emmolo-Smith and Tom Bonauro for their assistance on this project.

The Bulletin Board has been supported by a generous grant from Art for Art's Sake, New York. The Bulletin Board is a project space that is part of the ongoing exhibitions and public programs of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. Each semester three artists/practitioners are invited to create new projects for the Bulletin Board.