This is an exhibition starting this Thursday (well the private view is then) at The Printspace on Kingsland Road in London’s Shoreditch showcasing the work of photographer Dave Swindells, Nightlife Editor at Time Out Magazine for over 22 years, and someone we have (er) borrowed heavily from over the last few years of Test Pressing (hence feeling obliged to tell anyone within five square miles of the gallery to go take a look). We love what he did and everything he captured. The reason these pictures, and the articles and videos we post, are so invaluable in our opinion is that they capture exactly what was happening rather than someones dusty memories so this one comes recommended. Go check.
Here’s what the website says….
In this exhibition, Swindells presents a series of images giving us a once in a lifetime view into the Second Summer of Love (a period in 1988-89 when electronic dance music exploded in Britain’s club scene). His images focus on how ‘Balearic Beats’ – a multifaceted and unique fusion of rock, funky reggae, Eurodisco and Chicago house – as well as the ecstasy-fuelled clubbing style of life experienced in Ibiza, gave DJs the inspiration to create a freer and unrestricted club scene in London.
These images show the nightlife of Ibiza in the late ‘80s, with its open-air dance floors for those hot Mediterranean nights, drawing an all-ages, polysexual crowd in an easy-going hippie-inspired atmosphere. This atmosphere was nonetheless self-consciously stylish (unlike many of the dressed-down Brits). The clubbing culture to this time was very different too. ‘In these photos you won’t see people texting or tweeting, videoing their mates or posting on Facebook,’ explains Swindells. ‘Nobody had mobile phones, and the only person likely to be taking pictures was the club’s own photographer. So there was nothing else to do but live in the moment, enjoy the parties or watch other people having fun while dancing the whole night’.
If you are interested in more of what club culture in Ibiza and London was like at this time you should visit ‘Spirit of Ibiza 89′ at theprintspace Gallery from Friday 29 April to Wednesday 18 May 2011. The opening times are from Monday to Friday 9am –7pm at theprintspace Gallery on 74 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, London E2 8DL.
The opening night will be on Thursday 28 April from 7pm to 9.30pm. Admission is free and theprintspace hopes to see everyone there.
Afterward the exhibition will continue at the International Music Summit in Ibiza.
So there you have it, get along if you are in the area.
Exhibition: Laurie Anderson, Trisha Brown, Gordon Matta-Clark / Pioneers of the Downtown Scene, New York 1970s
March 12, 2011
Today me and the boy (my 13 year old son) visited the new Barbican exhibition. Apparently a lot of the work comes from the time that the downtown NY scene came together across the mediums of art, music, dance and architecture (often all in the same piece). By the way, excuse the bad iPhone photos below but you’re not really allowed to take them so you have to sneak the snaps.
From a music perspective there are some nice pieces to get into from Laurie Anderson. There is ‘The Handphone Table’ (above), a table where you place your elbows into small holes and place your hands over your ears so the sound of a poem travels through your arms. It’s a nice idea and you get more of a feeling of the poem being read, kind of blobs of sound, than are actually able to hear it.
Laurie Anderson also has an installation called ‘The Electric Chair’ where a Farfisa organ has a chord held by a heavy vice placed upon it, while two fluorescent lighting tubes and a spinning turning chair are all mic’d up to create an ever changing sculpture of light, crackles and movement. It’s nice. I think it was created for this exhibition and is based upon the above drawing.
One of our other favourite parts of the show was one of it’s centre points, Trisha Brown’s ‘Walking On The Wall’, which was originally created in 1971. Five dancers are suspended on the wall via a system of harnesses, ropes and a girder and move around two walls in a sort of geometric fashion – stepping over each other and walking backwards and forwards. It’s very peaceful to watch and in the boys words ‘though slow it’s pretty entertaining.’ The Guardian said ‘A walk on the wall side… This exhibition is worth the trip for Trisha Brown alone.’ Couldn’t agree more.
Another key piece of the show is Gordon Matta-Clark’s ‘Splitting’ where he took a house in New Jersey and in his words ‘does a dance with the building’. Slowly breaking it into two parts and pushing one part back on its own foundations. Special mention also to his lovely shots of 70s graffiti from the like of Lee (below). Apparently he had an affinity and solidarity with young people obsessed with defacing public property. I like him.
We’ve picked out the obvious parts of the show but there’s lots to get into and to me it felt like an important part of that musical lineage that we love.
For more information on dates, times and how to get there click here to go to The Barbican website.