A new exhibition at Rate Gallery meditates on the evolution of new music pictures, checking out exchanges across diverse genres, eras, and geographic destinations as part of an homage to the past century of audio and the graphic-makers that documented it. The presentation characteristics photography by Richard Avedon, Janette Beckman, Adam Cohen, Jem Cohen, Kevin Cummins, Rahim Fortune, Robert Frank, Hiro, Paul Graham, Peter Hujar, Ari Marcopoulos, Itzel Alejandra Martinez, Gordon Parks, Irving Penn, Rankin, Ming Smith, and Nick Waplington. The exhibition is curated by Mark Beasley, curatorial director of Rate Dwell.
Offered chronologically on the gallery’s 1st ground, the photos in Studio to Stage, which have not often been exhibited with each other, depict iconic musicians of the previous 70 years—including Billie Vacation, Janis Joplin, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, John Cage, The Rolling Stones, The Smiths, Spice Girls, Beastie Boys, and more—and mirror the “radical continuum,” as termed by writer Simon Reynolds, of new music. The images on perspective capture not only what it means to be a performer, but what it means to be a member of an viewers.
Spanning early jazz, New York hip hop, British punk, European techno, and other musical movements, Studio to Phase examines the techniques that photographers have assisted cultivate mythologies around performers and their respective scenes. The legendary venues and audiences of the depicted concerts, festivals and other performances are also vital in the stories instructed in the images on view. Amongst the highlights in the exhibition are Smith’s images of jazz musicians, Marcopoulos’s pictures of the Beastie Boys and Iggy Pop, and Graham’s images of Berlin golf equipment and raves. Studio to Stage provides the background of new music as a boundless and ongoing coalescing of different appears and geographies. Amid today’s political and social polarization, the exhibition highlights music’s probable for cultivating connections and enactments of appreciation.