Cool Cats and Twist Club
23 April - 22nd May, 1999
Tue - Sun: 11.00am - 6.00pm
Curator: André Magnin
I used to go to five different parties every Saturday night. I was looking for the most joyful and frivolous movements so that I could take the pictures I liked. I think young people in those days really liked twist, rock and Afro_Cuban music, because it helped boys and girls to dance together, touch one another, and dance close. That wasn't possible with traditional music. Malick Sidibé
Malick Sidibé's pictures capture the sexy young men and women of Bamako thirty something years ago. Dressed in wild combinations of traditional African clothing and shiny Western shirts, lit by the strobe of a late-night party hanging out at swim-parties on the river, they express pure joy of life. Fun to look at, they are fabulous examples for anyone interested in fashion and style. they are also fascinating documents of a hybrid society, oscillating between traditional tribal life and urban survival in the West African city of Bamako in the new-born state of Mail (formerly French Sudan).
Malick Sidibé, Regardez moi, 1967
Gervaise Purcell has been making photographs for over sixty years. He began while at Sydney Boys' High and, after the War, he established a photographic practice in Surry Hills. From there he undertook a breathtaking variety of photographic commissions, from food to fashion to heavy industry to celebrity portraits. This small exhibition of work, excised from the mass of his oeuvre, brings together shots of hats and coiffures from the immediate post-war period. These creations, of baroque complexity and artifice, contrast markedly with Malick Sidibé's photographs of youth culture from West Africa in the Sixties and Ian Sharp's fly-posters of tattooing and body piercing in contemporary Sydney. Looking back to the days before the 'generation gap', Gervaise Purcell's head shots are a nostalgic revisitation of past fashion excesses.
Gervaise Purcell, Hairstyle - Alan of David Jones, 1947
Bringing things right up to date, Sydney photographer, Ian Sharp's flyposter installation celebrates the raw aesthetic of contemporary body decoration. Set in the contrasting environs of the mosh pit and the fashion studio, Sharp explores contemporary tattooing and body piercing, that most personal and permanent expression of individual style and identity.
Ian Sharp, Scott, 1999
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