Culture Rover

#104 - Confessions on a Dance Floor

"Magnetized by the crowd, impelled by the relentless pounding beat of the music, you are drawn out on the floor. Here there is a feeling of total immersion: you are inside the mob, inside the skull, inside the music.... Strangest of all, in the midst of this frantic activity, you soon feel supremely alone...."- Albert Goldman, "The Emergence of Rock," New American Review 3 (1968)

At the Lisa Boyle Gallery's summer show of "Some Things Which are Funny, and Some Things Which are Quite Serious," Sabine Springer's photographs of young people at German nightclubs hint at the complex psychology of the dance floor. A supposed place of communal joy and connectedness also possesses shadings and illuminations of sadness, mourning, fear, stupidity, distance, loneliness.

There is a stillness in these black-and-white photographs that implies a deeply reflective silence at the core of the disco's explosions of light and noise. Everyone looks lost in something: bliss, self-doubt, self-loathing, hope about another's feelings and desires, absurdity, fascination, love, worry, a blinding shaft of light, a darkness kept at bay -- yet also somehow accentuated -- by platinum-bleached hair and translucent skin.

25 August 2006

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