Famous squads have offered masters the perfect pulpit to design fantasy surroundings, responds Chris Hall
Caligula throwing “states parties ” ,” 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” boast that would descend from the ceiling when required, there used to be batches of cash in the back chamber, unisex lavatories and stunts like Bianca Jagger journeying a horse on the dancefloor led by a naked man contained within amber glitter.
The key occasion about Studio 54, which features in a new exhibit about world-wide society culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different fantasy environment to act as backdrop for the abominable outfits and theater of the working party goers- such as when four tonnes of brightnes were descended from the club’s ceiling on New Year’s Eve or when the fashion designer Valentino had a circus-themed birthday party with sand and mermaids on trapezes.
” The 60 s and 70 s interpreted the rise of the notion that you don’t layout a nightclub, you fetch the minimal layout elements to make a nightclub ,” alleges Catharine Rossi, a motif historian at Kingston University, who has co-curated the exhibition.” What’s important is not the physical infinite- certainly the nightclub is just a container. Clubs are induced through igniting and sound, psychotropic medications and parties .”
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