Intoxicating images from the depths of club culture

Illustrators, photographers, filmmakers and a perfumer capture the allure of the dancefloor – from Berghain to Bailes Funk, Studio 54 and Warhol’s Factory – for this one-night-only show

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Midnight mass club culture
Vincent RosenblattCourtesy of Blam Projects

Midnight Mass is an exhibition opening at Brooklyn, NYC’s BLAM Gallery tomorrow for four weeks, focusing on the global underground club scenes of the past and present. Expect only the weird and wonderful, as illustrator Felix Scheinberger and photographers Vincent Rosenblatt and Frank Rispoli display their varied vision of nightlife, with Nina Catalanotto curating. 

With much concern regarding nightlife in the past year or so (which London club is next to vanish into the abyss of modern Capitalism?), Midnight Mass will bring together exciting work to revisit aspects of nightlife from different corners of the world – Scheinbeger, Rosenblatt, and Rispoli will display their documentation from Berlin, Brazil and NYC respectively. 

Scheinberger illustrates his exploration of the world's most elusive (and exclusive) club: Berlin's Berghain, as well as Kit Kat Club. For anyone itching to get past the famed bouncer Sven and dance from 4am til 4pm in a club notorious for its seriously tough door policies, immerse yourself in his work. The hedonistic, drug-fuelled mega-club is captured in all its raw glory. Expect gimp masks, sex and hardcore partying – Berlin style.

A Parisian currently based in Brazil, Rosenblatt has lensed for National Geographic and the New York Times – without a doubt, his sharp, atmospheric style carries through each of his documentation projects. He casts a light on the underground South American dance scene – Bailes Funk events and urban fringe culture in Brazil are beautifully captured in a series being displayed at the exhibition. His images touch on romance, homosexuality and, of course, serious dancing, all tying in cleverly in the brilliance of his point of view.

Whereas New York native Rispoli will display imagery taken during NYC's New Wave scene of the 70s and 80s – a time of Studio 54, Andy Warhol's Factory and total debauchery. Rispoli offers his viewers only a glimpse of the seedy culture of the time – he chose to selectively place his lens on the shoes women wore – a clear influence from Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton's female-focused work. Perhaps the least invasive of each artist featured, Rispoli's work cleverly cuts out the face which could correspond to the secretive underground clubs of the time. Who were these people? you'll find yourself asking, while admiring the pure eighties-ness of the photographs. Being an intimate project Rispoli conducted, this will be his first time exhibiting this part of his expansive archive.

Alongside the three main artists, BLAM will also be hosting a muti-sensory night titled The Experience – filmmakers (including Central Saint Martin’s alumni Harriet Scott), light artists and even a perfumer bundle together in the space to capture the current state of the club scene through the eyes of young artists.

With Midnight Mass on for four weeks, immerse yourself in the exciting work of the three artists while you can. The variation of nightlife they've each experienced reminds us why this is an important aspect of city culture – it brings together disparate groups in society with a common love for the night. Amongst the entertainment of the exhibition, BLAM will also be fundraising for Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union – a gesture corresponding to the current irresponsible stance to cut the former altogether. 

Visit the Midnight Mass website here

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