Saturday, 23 May 2009

Sat 23rd May: Embellished Faces Part 1

With the rare opportunity of a day off, I took a tour of the sun drenched jasmine-scented streets of London in search of some cultural enlightenment............... I had a blissfull run of encounters and discovered some real gems.

First stop "Unordinary People" at The Royal Albert Hall. I didn't even know they had an exhibition space? But they do!
Along the circular twisting atrium on the ground floor was the latest installment from PYMCA's subculture photography archive. It started with the birth of youth style in the swinging sixties all the way through each and every "style tribe" to the contemporary 00's. The unique quality of this collection is that the images have been sourced from photographers that were immersed in the actual movements rather than spectators. Therefore the majority of the atmospheric shots were genuine insights into the seminal moments that were impalpable to the subjects living their every day lives.
Each segment of the timeline was explained in captions by Ted Polhemus. Being abjectly warned against the reliability of his meditations during my own dress-history lessons tarnished the education factor of the exhibit BUT the shots were incredible. (Although I certainly question the authenticity of the BoomBox snaps at the end which didn't look like any of the Sunday nights I frequented on a weekly basis!). However I loved this collection of predominantly unseen portraits, and was very glad to have caught the last day.

polaroids by Paul Hartnett

2 comments: said...

Hey! I went to this too! Is Ted P not reliable then?

fredbutlerstyle said...

Hi ya!
I had a very inspiring and incredible professor during my fashion design degree and she berated me for quoting from Ted Polhemus. I think he is regarded as a bit of a joker in the field?! Don't take my word for it, but I will never forget having to edit out all of those footnotes and find new sources on "bricolage".
Isn't it all about Dick Hebdige? I don't know..........