There are no words to describe what I felt the first time I heard Sex Pistols. No words. Only distorted sound waves of something I was yet to understand. The urge for rebellion which infused my body didn’t have much to do with society, or the establishment, or something else for that matter. It was a simple state of opposing everything, a state so innate to a teenager. As I was getting older, the urge got ever so slightly dumbed down with each passing year. But the sounds of punk didn’t fade away. I needed them to survive the actuality of society and nature of the establishment which had surrounded me. But, is that enough? Where has the urge gone?
This British photographer devoted his life to the immortalizing some of the greatest individuals of the 20th century. He had committed himself to the exploration of the identities through the lens of his camera. In this process he managed to capture an era of extraordinary music achievements of 1970s and 1980s, and the depiction of social movements embodied in the faces of their heroes. Dennis Morris managed to seize amazing moments in history of music through several books, some of which are Destroy on the Sex Pistols, Bob Marley: A Rebel Life and Growing Up Black, a chronicle of Black Britain in the 60s and 70s.
The photographer has exhibited work internationally, including Today Art Museum in Beijing, Arles Photography Festival, France, The Photographers’ Gallery, London, as well as Laforet Museum in Tokyo. One of the most inspiring exhibitions concerning the work of Bob Marley was Dennis Morris’ solo exhibition Bob Marley: Giant. He is also known for the collaborative work with Shepard Fairey, during the show Superman Is Dead (S.I.D.). The photographs of Dennis Morris are included in numerous collections, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. He has been published in some of the most renowned magazines in the world, including Time, Rolling Stone, GQ and Vogue. Now, he will be presenting his work in a solo exhibition The Bollocks, which will be on view from August 9th to August 23rd 2014, at the Known Gallery, London.
The 1970s were an extraordinary period in the history of Europe. For a short period of time there was a feeling of hope that the youth can take matters into their own hands. Today, we are left with memories of the 1970s UK, which was crushed with a tidal wave of Thatcherism and exists as an inspirational image in the minds of those who still believe in the spirit of punk. It appears that art is the only battlefield we are left with today. What else are we supposed to do? To sit still while we are consumed by poverty and inequality? To turn a blind eye on racial and gender discrimination? To quietly endure all the stressful forces the society lays upon us? Well, bollocks to that!
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The current exhibition at Alison Jacques Gallery is focused on two seminal photographic series made by Gordon Parks during his time at Life magazine.