All posts tagged: 1960s

50 years on, Sgt Pepper reverberates with Dean Chalkley

“The Beatles were inspired by different things on that album: it was created out of everyday things and everyday notions, even though people view it as a psychedelic masterpiece,” says Dean Chalkley ahead of a new exhibition launching in Shoreditch this week. His collection, Reverberation, takes its inspiration from Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 50 years on from its release. Just like the original album, Reverberation is set to take people on a treasure hunt to find hidden meanings out of everyday realities.

2017-09-08T17:22:20+00:00

The radical architects who designed the discos of post-war Italy

As Italy emerged from World War II in the 1960s and 70s, the country found itself in need of reinvention. With the shadow of Mussolini and fascism looming large, the country set out to rebuild itself economically, culturally and socially. Out of this period of great transformation and uncertainty came the avant-garde designs by architects from the Radical design movement.  These architects, constrained by what they saw as the limits of post-war modern design, wanted to redefine the role of architecture in society. Inspired by the opportunity for experimentation, many viewed discotheques as an ideal vehicle for their creative drives. Innovative architects like Gruppo 9999, Superstudio and UFO designed a number of nightlife spaces that opened across the country. Radical Disco: Architecture and Nightlife in Italy, 1965 – 1975, is currently on show at the ICA until the 10th January and displays photographs from this fruitful, if brief period in Italian culture. As Sumitra Upham, co-curator alongside Catherine Rossi, tells BJP, the architects saw discos as an ideal avenue for the new ideas they wanted …

2016-01-06T17:02:13+00:00

Rebirth of the Cool: discovering the art of Robert James Campbell

The story of Robert James Campbell is a complex one. Born to a prestigious New England family (his grandfather was the inventor John Jay Nash) he moved to New York City and set about photographing jazz virtuosos such as John Coltrane, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Philly Joe Jones and Wayne Shorter – alongside musical legends like Chuck Berry, Richie Havens & Miriam Makeba. Jessica Ferber’s collection covers some of Campbell’s work, shot at legendary clubs like Birdland, The Village Vanguard, and The Gaslight Café. The book also covers Campbell’s street photography, international work from his time spent in Germany, and tour imagery. It documents the short career of a photographer who “died alone and penniless” in Burlington, Vermont in 2002. In was in Burlington that Ferber first discovered Campbell. After graduating from The University of Vermont, she volunteered to survey some boxes that were left behind by Campbell “after he passed away at a local homeless shelter”.  Says Ferber: “At the time, I didn’t know who Campbell was, and I understood that little was known about the …

2016-01-04T18:18:47+00:00

A Small Guide to the Invisible Seas

For the thousands of migrants entering Europe, the journey of making a home in a foreign place has just begun.   The work of Aikaterini Gegisian, 38, is especially relevant for those of such placelessness. Her surreal multi-national collages form a seven-chapter narrative in her 2015 book A Small Guide to the Invisible Seas. Gegisian was one of 18 artists to exhibit in the Armenian pavilion at the Venice Biennale this year, which won the Golden Lion at the Biennale’s awards for Best Country. The exhibition, Armenity, is set apart from the main body of the art festival, on an island called San Lazzaro degli Armeni, a 20-minute boat from the mainland across the lagoon. Its distance from the bustle of Venice neatly reflects the exhibition’s theme of a diasporic people – those who have been forcibly moved from, or have had to flee, their original homeland and scattered across the globe.     Being situated in the island, inside a monastery, compounds the exhibition’s overriding sense of being adrift. In the Middle Ages, the Mekhitarist Monastery …

2015-11-17T15:37:09+00:00

Peter Beard’s landmark work documenting man-made destruction done to Africa’s wildlife

“The deeper the white man went into Africa, the faster the life flowed out of it, off the plains and out of the bush…vanishing in acres of trophies and hides and carcasses” proclaimed renowned photographer and artist Peter Beard in his 1965 seminal publication The End Game, a tome highlighting the atrocities of man made destruction done to Africa’s wildlife in the National Parks of Kenya’s Tsavo lowlands and Uganda.     And in 2015, deeper the white man goes. July saw online outrage erupt over the merciless killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe, poached by US dentist Walter Palmer for a sum of $50,000. Meanwhile as the world mourned Cecil, five of Kenya’s endangered elephants were quietly slain in Tsavo, to the absent furor of almost no media attention. This devastating poaching incident echoes The End Game’s haunting images and text that fill its 292 pages, which chronicle the same ruthless fate these endangered elephants were subject to half a century ago as they are today.     The 50th anniversary edition of …

2015-11-18T13:22:01+00:00

Unseen Polaroids from the heyday of Andy Warhol’s Factory

Last summer archivist, editor and curator Dagon James was finishing up a book he was working on about Billy Name’s black and white photographs of Warhol’s Factory. Brigid Berlin, Warhol’s best friend and staunch member of The Factory, was contributing some text to the book when Dagon asked her about her famous collection of Polaroids, and whether or not she would ever consider publishing them. She agreed, and a short while later Dagon found himself sitting at a large table in her apartment sorting through nearly 4000 previously unseen snaps that had been crammed into boxes in her house and in storage for decades. “They were just scattered around her life, so we had to pull them all together and organise them and figure out what was there. That was kind of the adventure,” recalls Dagon. “She hadn’t even looked at them in years. We would pass Polaroids around and talk about them, figure out what should be in the book and why. It was very collaborative.” The Polaroids themselves are more artefacts than photographs. …

2015-11-10T17:43:58+00:00

The Silver Age: photographs from Andy Warhol’s most creative period

The silver walls of the Factory, Andy Warhol’s infamous New York studio, seems to be a microcosm representative of the zeitgeist itself – futuristic and utterly different to what had come before. Billy Name was first brought into the Factory fold for his interior design talents but after Andy Warhol shoved a camera into his hands, he became the unofficial archivist of one the most fertile creative periods in American culture. The cross-pollination of art, photography, music and fashion happening in this time and space has since become legendary and an exhibition of Billy’s work, featuring The Velvet Underground, Nico and Edie Sedgwick is currently on at Serena Morton Gallery in west London. The gallery’s photography curator David Hill explains why this period still casts a shadow on the cultural imagination. How did Billy find himself among Andy Warhol’s inner circle? Billy was there from 1964 to 1970, which is largely viewed as one of Warhol’s most creative periods – he wasn’t a journalist who crashed it for a couple of weeks, he was one of …

2015-10-14T15:01:33+00:00

BJP Staff