Famous golf-clubs have offered artists the perfect pulpit to design fantasy situations, says Chris Hall
Caligula shedding a party ,” was how the funk musician Rick James described the famed Studio 54 in New York, which opened in 1977. There was a cocaine snorting” Man and the Spoon” facet that would condescend from the ceiling when required, there were stacks of cash in the back room, unisex showers and stunts like Bianca Jagger journeying a pony on the dancefloor led by a naked humanity contained within golden glitter.
The key situation about Studio 54, which features in a new show about world club culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different fantasy home to act as backdrop for the outrageous garbs and theatre of the working party goers- such as when four tonnes of flash were sagged 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 viewed the increases of the idea that you don’t design a nightclub, you deliver the minimal blueprint points to make a nightclub ,” says Catharine Rossi, a design historian at Kingston University, who has co-curated the exhibition.” What’s important is not the physical seat- genuinely the nightclub is just a receptacle. Clubs are built through lighting and sound, psychotropic medications and beings .”
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