Rock, Paper, Camera

The perfectly titled ROCK/FIGHT brings together vintage sporting-event photography by Theo Ehret with iconic rock & roll images by photographers Edward Colver, Henry Diltz, Janette Beckman and a dozen other giants of the punk-era lens. A co-production of Morrison Hotel Gallery and Project Gallery, this exhibition's touchstone is the evolving history of the once-venerable Grand Olympic Auditorium, first known for classic international sports competitions, then later for more populist bouts of wrestling and boxing, and most recently for being an epicenter of the punk-quake that hit L.A. in the 1980s. The juxtapositions in these intense, and sometimes haunting, B&W photos are almost eerie -- there's symmetry in the outstretched arms, bloody brows, skinny white guys and crowds going wild. In both sets, a sense of extreme physicality and danger permeates the massive swell of an entertained spectatorship. It's pretty perfect, actually -- since, as honorary exhibition host (and L.A. Weekly columnist) Henry Rollins knows firsthand, the line between professional wrestling and a punk-rock concert can be a thin and very bloody one. As a photographer himself, Rollins also knows about the ballsiness and steadiness of nerve it can take to wade lens first into a sea of human chaos to get the perfect shot. Project Gallery, 1553 N. Cahuenga Blvd, Hlywd.; Thurs., Sept. 12, 7-9 p.m.; daily 11 a.m.-7 p.m., through Oct. 6; free. (323) 825-5221, projectla.net.
Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 12. Continues through Oct. 6, 2013

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Project Gallery

1625 17th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90028

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