Punk 19701970 Punk
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When it comes to music, it's not just about listening. You can even watch the music. Music projects memories and experiences in our minds, draws a precise picture before our eyes that sounds and words become alive and real. When I think of the Sex Pistols, I remember the fifth gym, the CDs of Ramones and Clash, the writings with the indelible marker on the blue backpack.
And at the same time I think of the unmistakable portrait of the Queen that it will certainly not have appeared right before my eyes if I have only read the name of the famous London group in black and white. And with this iconic image, Punk in Great Britain opens the exhibition dedicated to forty-year-old Punk, which can be seen until 28 August at the Galleria Carla Sozzani in Milan.
An exhibition in which seven photographers show the public the music of the protagonists of British punk, and with over 90 photographs tell the story of the cultural phenomenon that revolutionized the language of fashion and music in London and beyond in the 1970s. Anarchy' s rebel notes in Britain and the group' s most famous successes accompany the viewer on a journey through recordings by Simon Barker (Six), Dennis Morris, Sheila Rock, Ray Stevenson, Karen Knorr, Olivier Richon, John Tiberi and drawings, graphics and collages by the artist Jamie Reid.
"When I arrived in this country, I realized that pop music not only goes hand in hand with fashion, but is also inspired by it. It was a fashion tribe. Sheila Rock, who came to England from America in 1970, was one of the first photographers to document the punk age.
It is his recording of SEX, the store that Malcom McLaren, the creator of the Sex Pistols, and his then companion Vivienne Westwood opened in 1974 at 430 King's Road in London, where the Sex Pistols bought their torn shirts and their studded dresses. The power of fashion as an instrument of rebellion can be seen in every photograph on view in the exhibition: safety pins, cut and reassembled clothing, all the details that Karen Knorr and Olivier Richon immortalize in their portraits of the nightlife of the London punk scene.
Among the recordings, the words of Vivienne Westwood stand out: she herself defines the way of dressing as a way of encountering a humiliating state of affairs, a sequence of ideas culminating in punk. The " musical-anarchistic war " of the sex pistols, as it was defined by the then still very young photographer of the group Dennis Morris, is witnessed by the proud grimaces of Sid Vicious, by the close-ups of John Lydon, by the shots of the " Bromely Contigent ", the inseparable group of fans formed by Billy Idol, Soo Catwoman, Siouxsie Sioux, Adam Ant, Jordan and Debbie.
Not to be missed is the section dedicated to Jamie Reid, the artist who tries to tell and express "the spirit of music and songs, the character of the whole band" with his collages of letters cut from newspapers, the flyers of the 100 club, the transgressive graphics of the record covers. And judging by the image we all have in our heads when we think of the Sex Pistols, yes.