Lydia Goldblatt & Lucy Levene
CLUB SERIES: PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE MINISTRY OF SOUND
23 SEPTEMBER – 19 NOVEMBER 2005
Club Series encompasses two photographic projects taken at The Ministry of Sound nightclub in London over a three-month period. Although ideas inevitably overlapped, such as the areas of truth and reality in relation to the documented image, the photographers worked separately and the two resulting series maintain their own distinct identities.
Club Series was initiated by Lucy Levene in 2004 during her MA in Photography at the Royal College of Art and refers to texts written by the philosopher Denis Diderot between 1759 and 1781 about the methods in which an artist can persuade an audience of his paintings’ truthfulness through making his subject appear absorbed in concentration. He believed that the more convinced we (as viewers) are that the subject is not aware of being beheld, the more convincing the illusion of ‘reality’.
Looking at how contemporary artists such as Jeff Wall and Philip-Lorca Di Corcia use construction within their work to create these absorptive qualities – producing images that tend towards the pictorial unity and resonance of 19th century Realism represented by painters such as Courbet – Levene “wanted to further explore the duality between the staged tableaux and the ‘documentary’ photographic image. Could the pictorial unity and resonance of 19th century Realism be conveyed within unstaged photographic images?”
Goldblatt’s images use the implied narrative inherent within clubgoers’ transitory moments of separation and connection to represent a generation for whom fantasy is an essential component of life. Her images combine long exposures and available light, producing a saturated, glowing palette that is simultaneously seductive and repellent and echoes the sense of fantasy provided by the setting. An array of self-absorbed individuals inhabit the images, engaged in activities that isolate them from their surroundings. They are a group of people occupying a space designed to reject reality and the work draws on the peculiar blend of fantasy, desire and anonymity that exists within the urban world, particularly in its nocturnal form.
Lydia Goldblatt is currently studying for her MA at the University of Arts London. She has received commissions by the Guardian Weekend Magazine and by international brands such as Pepsi, Guinness, Renault and Citroen. She is represented by the Millennium Agency in the UK.
Lucy Levene’s work has been exhibited in the UK, Europe and the United States and has featured in a range of publications. Her work has been selected for the touring exhibition and Thames and Hudson publication ‘ReGeneration: 50 Photographers of Tomorrow, 2005-2025’. The exhibition is currently at the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne (23 June – 23 October 2005) and will travel to Aperture Magazine’s new gallery space in New York in 2006. She is represented in the USA by 511 Gallery, New York.