Sunday, July 01, 2012

Punk's Dead

'Punk's Dead' is a book of photographs by Simon Barker (Six), with an exhibition of some of the photos at Divus Temporary, 4 Wilkes Street, London E1 until July 7th.


'In 1976, when I moved into the St. James Hotel in London, I bought myself one of the cheapest pocket cameras available. Fully automatic, with no controls or settings, it just required a simple slot-in film cartridge. An idiot could use it - and I did. | I knew I did'nt want to be like other photographers, so I chose never to take a black and white photograph or focus the camera. Subconsciously I concentrated on the women and artists at the heart of what would later be known as 'punk' in London. 

Women such as JORDAN, SIOUXSIE, DEBBIE JUVENILE, TRACIE O'KEEFE, ARI UP, POLY STYRENE and NICO . Artists and writers such as MALCOLM MCLAREN, HELEN WELLINGTON-LLOYD aka HELEN OF TROY, BERTIE MARSHALL aka BERLIN and DEREK JARMAN. The book PUNK'S DEAD is a product of that camera and those times - my family album covering the years 1976 to 78. The photos you see in it were all unplanned, spur of the moment shots taken by myself for myself and, up until now, with never a thought given to publication. In over thirty years, they have only been seen by a handful of close friends. I used to think they weren't good enough to show people. Now I think they are almost too good'

Adam Ant

Derek Jarman with Derek Dunbar

Some great pictures, and also due recognition of some of the queer/arty underground links of that early London punk scene (e.g. Derek Jarman's Butlers Wharf parties), something largely passed over in the recent BBC punk nostalgiafest.

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