Famous organizations have offered artists the perfect pulpit to design fantasy homes, enunciates Chris Hall
Caligula throwing a party ,” was how the funk musician Rick James described the famous Studio 54 in New York, which opened in 1977. There was a cocaine snorting” Man and the Spoon” aspect that would condescend from the ceiling when required, there used to be stockpiles of cash in the back chamber, unisex showers and stunts like Bianca Jagger travelling a mare on the dancefloor led by a naked humankind contained within gold glitter.
The key occasion about Studio 54, which features in a new exhibition about world fraternity culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different imagination medium to act as backdrop for the abominable garbs and theater of the working party goers- such as when four million tonnes light were dropped from the club’s ceiling on New Year’s Eve or when the clothes designer Valentino had a circus-themed birthday party with sand and mermaids on trapezes.
” The 60 s and 70 s encountered the rise of the notion that you don’t design a nightclub, you produce the minimal blueprint parts to make a nightclub ,” tells Catharine Rossi, a design historian at Kingston University, who has co-curated the exhibition.” What’s important is not the physical infinite- truly the nightclub is just a receptacle. Clubs are established through lighting and sound, psychotropic doses and parties .”
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