Punk in Britain
Opening Saturday June 11th 2016
From 3.00 pm to 8.00 pm
On view from Sunday June 12th to Sunday August 28th 2016 Every day, 10.30 am – 7.30 pm Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10.30 am – 9.00 pm
Galleria Carla Sozzani
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of punk, the Galleria Carla Sozzani presents “Punk in Britain”. More than 90 photos documenting the key players in British punk who, since the mid 70s, have changed the language of fashion and music in London and around the world will be shown. The exhibition incorporates two parts: the photographs of Simon Barker (Six), Dennis Morris, Sheila Rock, Ray Stevenson, Karen Knorr, Olivier Richon, and drawings, collages and graphics of Jamie Reid with a special section highlighting the videos and photos of John Tiberi.
In 1976, the Sex Pistols were shouting "I wanna be Anarchy, in the City" while wearing torn shirts, and dresses with studs purchased at Malcom McLaren and his partner Vivienne Westwood's Chelsea store SEX. McLaren had been instrumental in bringing the Sex Pistols into being and, among the Sex Pistols fans, Siouxsie Sioux, Jordan, Debbie, Billy Idol, Soo Catwoman, Adam Ant became known as the "Bromley Contingent", the group associated with them throughout this period. Together they represented a sort of reaction to the years of English austerity and a new response, young and spontaneous, to the rigid formalism of that time.
Taking part in the group was the young photographer Simon Barker aka SIX. With a simple and inexpensive pocket camera SIX caught the "Contingent" and their friends between 1976 and 1978 in the day to day intimacies of their bedrooms and kitchens; and out in public at concerts: the result is a sort of real "family album".
"It was a different way of thinking and being. It was provocative. The rock of Don Letts, John Harwood and John Savage entered by a sort of osmosis into the punk." So writes Sheila Rock, the photographer who had moved from New York to London just to document the Punk. Along with her, Ray Stevenson, worked for the BBC and regularly photographed the Sex Pistols and the London scene.
Karen Knorr and Olivier Richon spent endless nights in nightclubs from Roxy to 100 Club, from Covent Garden to Charing Cross and Oxford Street to photograph, in precise poses, the nocturnal world of the punk rock scene.
Dennis Morris, the official photographer of the Sex Pistols, perhaps the most recognized punk group of the time, documents the group with his photos, along with two videos by John 'Boogie' Tiberi, the legendary Tour Manager of the Sex Pistols: "Stockholm Concert 1977" and the video: "Sex Pistols number 1" which collects television video clips, performances and interviews.
In May 1977, Jamie Reid, was the artist who rendered, in the "disobedient" punk language, what became the graphic image of the Sex Pistols. A portrait of the Queen published in the Daily Express on the occasion her royal jubilee, after hundreds of tests, evolved under Reid's eye, into the "barred" queen that was published on the cover of the new Sex Pistols' album. It would sell 25,000 copies, an astronomical number for those times, and establish a visual identity that is still today recognized.
Punk - originally meaning "cheap" - has become anything but. Forty years later, punk is an era and a cultural phenomenon rich in the imagery of a way of life.
Galleria Carla Sozzani
Corso Como 10 – 20154 Milano, Italia
tel. +39 02 653531 fax +39 02 29004080