Famous organizations have offered artists the perfect stage to design fantasy contexts, says 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 snort” Man and the Spoon” boast that they are able to descend from the ceiling where necessary, there were piles of cash in the back area, unisex lavatories and stunts like Bianca Jagger riding a pony on the dancefloor led by a naked man covered in gold glitter.
The key concept about Studio 54, which features in a brand-new exhibition about world squad culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different fantasy environment to act as backdrop for the scandalous costumes and theatre of the working party goers- such as when four tonnes of glitter 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 realized the rise of the idea that you don’t design a nightclub, you returning the negligible intend constituents to make a nightclub ,” says Catharine Rossi, a intend historian at Kingston University, who has co-curated the exhibition.” What’s important is not the physical space- genuinely the nightclub is just a container. Clubs are made through igniting and sound, psychotropic stimulants and beings .”
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