Artist: Stephen Willats
Venue: Balice Hertling, Paris
Exhibition Title: Inside The Night
Date: May 27 – June 25, 2016
Full gallery of images and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of the artist and Balice Hertling, Paris. Photos by Aurélien Mole.
In 1983 Stephen Willats created the seminal exhibition “Inside The Night” at Lisson Gallery in London. The show transformed the gallery into an environment of the night, which reflected the spirit of four clubs that revolved around very different sensibilities and night communities. The early 1980’s was a special moment in London as various groups of young people had grown up in opposition to the determinism that was being imposed by the government of the day, and had broken out of their containment to express tangential even alienating sensibilities, languages that they had created on the streets and into the night. While the day represented conventionality and the straightjacket of institutional determinism, the cover of night offered a freedom where individuals and groups could express themselves as they wanted, to the point where sexual orientation was liberated, dress and language codes reinforcing the externalisation of the self, the self that was really you.
The self-organized pop-up clubs that were created around the different communities of night dwellers, were the vehicle, the catalyst that facilitated this counter culture, and in 1982 Stephen Willats worked directly with the members of the “Cha Cha Club”, “Model Dwellings”, “The Anarchy Centre” and “Andy & Jane’s”, these four clubs epitomised the dynamic creative energy of that moment. Two of the works from the exhibition “Inside The Night”
form the core of this new presentation at Balice Hertling which is made with the same ethos as the original. “Model
Dwellings” was created around the idea of living in the future, having very avant garde dress codes, language, and dance, while “Andy & Jane’s” was a transgender club modelled on the 1986 movie “The Man Who Fell To Earth”, these two works are presented here with original ambient sound tapes and wall painting to provide a context for their reception.
Stephen Willats has made a special edition of 24 portraits of people that he encountered in the night culture of the early 1980’s. The edition is presented in Balice Hertling’s new space next door alongside archive material, such as original posters, books and invitation cards.