Rock 'N' Black

Blowout in the 80s clubs



A new view of the culture of the clubs of the 1980s which expresses the atmosphere and spirit of the times, while focusing on two major clubs in Tel Aviv: Penguin and Cinema Dan. The opening of the clubs in 1982 was coincidental with recognition of the fact that the Lebanon War was the first war that did not have public consensus. Then Penguin and later Cinema Dan and Liquid opened. The scene took place at the same time in London, Berlin, and New York and created a cultural and musical product with an Israeli twist. As of the winter of 1982 Penguin became the heart of Tel Aviv night life. The club became a magnet for young people who were consumers of new wave fashionable music and all its generic branches. The music played in clubs was different from everything that Israeli singers were familiar with until then. There was no mention of national topics. The company members had not been members of military groups and preferred singing in English, claiming that you could not sing rock of punk in Hebrew. The music and fashion of the new wave clubs and performances were assimilated into Tel Aviv night life. The body movements familiar until then no longer fell in line with the new rhythm, and thus the unofficial name was given - "wall dancing". The dancers in the clubs preferred to exhibit alienation, distance, and foreignness to one another and to the space in which they were dancing, and preferred to face the surrounding walls. In some sense this was a metaphor for the place in which they lived; in a state in which the sense of security was undermined and the inconsistent social agenda was determined by military considerations, the young people in the Tel Aviv clubs felt that the wall was one of the few stable things in their lives. It was there every weekend.

Miri Davidovitz documented the culture of the clubs of the period, while focusing on body language, clothing, accessories, make-up and life style. She spent a year in London and was influenced by the press and fashion photography. She used a glaring flash which produced a direct and strong style, producing powerful photographs, at times out of focus, a kind of "bad" photography that became a genre in its own right. There are 70 photographs in this exhibit. Some of them were commissioned by newspapers - Hadashot, Monitin, Volume, and Ha'ir for documentary purposes in real time, and others are documentation of friends. Davidovitz photographs and fashion productions were trailblazers in Israeli fashion photography.



Curator: Kineret Palti

Closes: February 28, 2015