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Fiction Becomes Reality in 'Welcome to 1984//2020: Punk on the Western Front'

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L: Lee Ving of FEAR, by Edward Colver; C: "If You Love 1984, You'll Love 2020" by Winston Smith; R: "7/6" by Murray Bowles.

In the world of George Orwell’s 1984, citizens are monitored around the clock, eavesdropped upon by machines, and subjected to confusing political spin.

Sound familiar?

Destroy Art Inc., the curators of Welcome to 1984//2020: Punk on the Western Front, noticed parallels between the 1949 novel and contemporary reality, too. And they’ve put together a huge exhibit of punk-related art to reflect that.

Featuring work by a multi-generational mix of punk rock creatives, 1984//2020 promises to be a thought-provoking exploration of the zeitgeist, filtered through a lens that’s both historical and musical.

Art by established punk icons like photographer Edward Colver, Dead Kennedys legend Jello Biafra, and (appropriately named) collage specialist Winston Smith will be featured alongside a new generation of artists, including Karoline Collins, Shannon Deathless and Jason Ruggles.


Winston Smith’s recent exhibit at the Haight Street Art Center hinted at a 1984-2020 theme that promises to be expanded further here. In addition, the work of recently deceased Bay Area photographer Murray Bowles will also be on view.

As well as Feb. 29’s opening night party (7pm-midnight), an accompanying discussion follows the next day at 2pm by key artists from the exhibition, as well as a women-focused event at the gallery on Mar. 21. The WXMXN, Punk & Community discussion panel includes the likes of Alice Bag, Michelle Cruz and Kamala Parks, and will precede a screening of Amanda Silberling’s documentary Women in Punk. —Rae Alexandra

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