Famous squads have offered artists the perfect platform to design fantasy environments, says 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 snort” Man and the Spoon” feature that they are able to descend from the ceiling when required, there are still stockpiles of cash in the back chamber, unisex bathrooms and stunts like Bianca Jagger riding a mare on the dancefloor led by a naked gentleman covered in gold glitter.
The key thing about Studio 54, which features in a brand-new exhibit about world-wide team culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different fantasy environment to act as backdrop for the outrageous outfits and theatre of the working party goers- such as when four tonnes of glitter were dropped 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 witnessed the rise of the idea that you don’t design a nightclub, you returning the minimal designing ingredients to make a nightclub ,” says Catharine Rossi, a blueprint 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 illuminating and sound, psychotropic medications and people .”
Read more: www.theguardian.com