2018 Ars Cameralis Festival: Punk London 1977/ photographs of Derek Ridgers
Punk London 1977 records the emotions and nihilistic fun of the ‘no future’ time. The exhibition offers another glimpse of the punk heritage: one of the festival’s main themes.
Opening: 21 November 2018, 18:00
Curator: Tobiasz Melanowski
Cooperation: Adrian Chorębała
“I doubt that anyone else has an archive [of London nightlife] such as this. Ridgers tirelessly explored the city’s night secrets over that and the next decade.”
The year 1977 was greatly significant and brought important changes to Britain’s music scene. Early in the year, Sid Vicious replaced Glenn Matlock in the Sex Pistols, in April The Clash came up with their debut album, May saw the Sex Pistols release their probably greatest hit ‘God Save the Queen’ and play the famous concert on the Thames, and September brought the X-Ray Spex debut single, ‘Oh Bondage! Up Yours!’. A lot was happening, and according to Derek Ridgers, the exhibition author, it was probably the last year when a youth subculture had such a great influence on the world.
Debbie Harry, Pauline Murray, Adam Ant, Toyah Wilcox, Siouxsie Sioux, Ari Up, and others who frequented the legendary London clubs The Roxy and Vortex – Derek Ridgers’ photographs are a beautiful testimony not only to the rebellion and dissent but also to the joy and energy of the young people. Ridgers, an advertising agency employee dressed properly in a cardigan, witnessed the birth of the punk movement in London. He was present where history was created. The subjects of his photos – both stars and anonymous spectators at concerts and club-goers – are real in their rebellion.
Punk London 1977 records the emotions and nihilistic fun of the ‘no future’ time (although with hindsight we see that the “no future” slogan was wrong). The exhibition offers another glimpse of the punk heritage: one of the festival’s main themes.