It's your final chance to see our current exhibition at SHOWstudio Shop, The Photography of Punk. Closing on 22 November, the show sets out to debunk the caricature of punk and trace the images and objects that honed its legacy. Focusing specifically on fine art and reportage photography, the show compiles a series of images that capture both this explosive moment, and the various elements that informed it.
Bruno Barbey's iconic shot of the 1968 student riots in Paris is one of the central photographs of the show. Inspired by the writings of Guy Debord's Situationists and their assertion that the misery of social alienation and commodity fetishism had spread itself into all aspects of every day life, the students instigated a volatile series of demonstrations that lead to a nation wide general strike. Both their actions and the Situationists' engagement with the idea of the 'spectacle' were crucial in the establishment of punk values and its aesthetic. In this striking composition the spirit of insurrection is almost palpable. One figure hurls a rock while another swings a bat; the image captures a moment that has descended into chaos and rebellion.
It is this spirit that is so present in the selection of images displayed in the exhibition. From Bob Gruen's shot of Sid Vicious with the words 'GIVE ME A FIX' scratched into his chest and covered in blood during a gig in Dallas on the Sex Pistols' American tour to Jonh Ingham's photograph of a frantic performance by The Clash during their Night of Treason gig at the RCA, the imagery captures the energy the punks embodied. Soo Catwoman's cat attire and fierce stare down Ray Stevenson's lens, and the latex bondage garb worn by Siouxsie Sioux also reveal the important role of fashion in creating a visual language to deliberately shock and outrage.
From the scandalous and aggressive to the experimental and politically confrontational, the exhibition showcases the many facets of a movement that went on the infiltrate nearly all aspects of life and culture. View important works by Jim French, Jon Savage, Robert Mapplethorpe and more before the show closes on Friday.