Famous golf-clubs have offered masters the perfect stage to design fantasy media, says Chris Hall
Caligula hurling 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” feature that they are able to descend from the ceiling when required, “theres gonna be” heaps of cash in the back chamber, unisex bathrooms and stunts like Bianca Jagger journeying a pony on the dancefloor led by a naked humanity covered in amber glitter.
The key thing about Studio 54, which features in a new exhibition about global golf-club culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different fantasize surrounding to act as backdrop for the scandalous costumes and theatre of the working party goers- such as when four million tonnes flash were stopped from the club’s ceiling on New Year’s Eve or when the clothes designer Valentino had a circus-themed birthday defendant with sand and mermaids on trapezes.
” The 60 s and 70 s encountered the rise of the idea that you don’t design a nightclub, you bring the negligible design components 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 space- certainly the nightclub is just a receptacle. Clubs are reached through lighting and sound, psychotropic stimulants and people .”
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