The Photographers’ Gallery presents Punk Weekender, a weekend of special events marking forty years of punk heritage and influence in the capital. Staged as part of the Punk London initiative, these include a spotlight Print Sales exhibition, a digital presentation plus an exclusive live gig by The Raincoats. The Punk Weekender is also accompanied by two offsite exhibitions on display at Sohos Studio.
The Punk Weekender is a cultural examination of the punk movement, with a focus on the ideological, social, and political context for its insurgence in Soho and Greater London. The programme explores the Do-It-Yourself ethos and avant-garde spirit that led to various punk subcultures and the reinvention of self- expression and personal identity which played out against the turbulent politics and economics of late 1970s Britain.
The Print Sales Gallery features never before exhibited images of punks shot by Shirley Baker in the 1980s. The display contains also rare colour portraits, which capture the provocative style and attitude of punk youth culture.
A digital presentation on the Gallery’s Media Wall showcases iconic work by photographers Janette Beckman, Anita Corbin, Owen Harvey, Derek Ridgers and Gavin Watson alongside archival images from Photographic Youth Music and Culture Archive (PYMCA) and the world’s largest music and technology archive, EMI Archive. The exhibition surveys a plethora of subcultures that followed on from punk, drawing together significant bodies of works from over the last forty years and featuring skinheads, mods and female youth tribes.
Also presented on the Media Wall is an especially commissioned timeline from Nick Knight’s SHOW studio. Based around interviews Knight conducted with key punk figures, the timeline comprises images, videos and texts tracing the evolution of punk through the decades.
Other highlights include a screening of Derek Jarman’s 1978 film Jubilee, family workshops, late evening Bookshop events and an exclusive performance on Saturday 25 June on the Gallery’s studio floor by the seminal all female post-punk band The Raincoats. Formed in the late 1970s, the band was admired for their off-kilter and idiosyncratic music, which paved the way and influenced feminist musicians such as Beth Ditto, the German art-punk collective Chicks On Speed and later icons such as Nirvana.
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