GLAM! THE PERFORMANCE OF STYLE
Glam is an apt description for the extravagant style that musicians such as David Bowie and Marc Bolan made popular in Great Britain in the early 1970s and which by brashly linking high culture and subculture and questioning socially received concepts such as identity and gender swiftly became an international phenomenon. Its origins can be traced back to the British art college scene, where painter and graphic artist Richard Hamilton proposed that all art genres were equal in status -- and strongly influenced Bryan Ferry. The latter was to emerge as the mastermind of the band Roxy Music and become the very epitome of the absolute art product of Glam, combining the avant-garde, Pop Art, and Camp to form an ultra-artificial aesthetic. The exhibition -- organized by Tate Liverpool in association with the SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE FRANKFURT, and Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz -- for the first time outlines the numerous different ways that the Glam era influenced film, photography, fashion, graphic design, performance and installation art, painting and sculpture. Alongside about 150 works by the likes of Guy Bourdin, Gilbert & George, Peter Hujar, Derek Jarman, Ray Johnson, Allen Jones, Jürgen Klauke, Ed Paschke, Sigmar Polke, Cindy Sherman, and Andy Warhol, the show is rounded out by photographs by Mick Rock as well as extensive documentary material.
The time between 1970 and 1975 is one of those rare historical periods in which a certain style spread throughout all cultural fields, from fashion, art, film, and photography to pop music. The congenial amalgamation of pop and fine art was uncompromisingly realized by Roxy Music, a band centred on the two art college graduates Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno in 1971: from its music and the design of its covers to its costumes for the stage, the brash gesamtkunstwerk as which Roxy Music presented itself was charged by cool and precise design solutions, chic eroticism, and an aesthetic sensibility that took surfaces, codes, and signs from the more and less recent past as styles to be applied, freely sampled, and remixed: Glam was born!
Whenever you closed the door of your home, you made an appearance for which you wanted to look wild and fantastic: whether you preferred platform shoes, a sequined tiger print jacket, a glitter costume, eye shadow, or tight black leather trousers - style became a pose, an expression of exaggerated dramatic self-presentation.