Order of Appearance by Jim Jocoy
Order of Appearance by Jim Jocoy is a pink fabric-enclosed book of glossy photographs that documents the early West Coast punk scene’s particular brand of fashion. It was released two decades after Jocoy’s first book of photographs, We’re Desperate, which was produced with the help of Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore.
Taken between 1977 and 1980, the images in Order of Appearance are — according to the publisher, TBW Books, — organized into three vignettes over the course of a single night. “emotions range from delight to despair, sober to wasted, clear to blurry to half-way-clear-again by morning.” Despite these underpinning distinctions, the images all boast the same raucous, vibrant energy. A mixture of youth and sweat and love and anger. There’s bad tattoos and bad girls in bowl cuts, dive bar bathrooms and Sonic Youth shows.
We find particular inspiration in the photos that capture a unique tenderness: a man wearing a blue sweater has his hair — dyed bright blue — trimmed by a disembodied, wool-clad red arm that lovingly that blearily frames the photo. A cat caught transgressing, its white fur and shining eyes electric and yet totally ordinary in the flash. These photos feel familiar because they seem like they might have been taken by one of your friends, or depict nights you’ve shared, or have totally forgotten about until they came back in the envelope after getting your film developed at Walgreens. But that balance of familiarity and electricity is exactly what makes Order of Appearance so comforting and exhilarating at the same time.
Or as Thurston Moore put it, “The eye of Jim Jocoy finds beauty in the wild. His photography is always in service to the magic of the devious iconoclast, exhibiting dignity to the outriders.”