Raindance logo 1989-present by Pezman
Artcore, an exhibition and auction opening at Selfridges' Ultralounge gallery space this Friday, celebrates the 1980s/90s rave movement in all its garish glory. Warning: the images that follow may be painful for some design sensibilities...
Artcore celebrates an era of design that many of us may prefer to forget: the Acid House and rave movement of the late 1980s-early 90s. Characterised by garish colours and badly Photoshopped images of iconic symbols such as marijuana leaves and smiley faces, it has to be one of the least subtle eras in graphic design history. And yet, looking at the Super Super-influenced graphics that assault our senses today, it may seem to some as if rave has never been away, making it the perfect time to explore the style's heritage.
The exhibition will be a mixture of original artworks and ephemera from dance music history (including flyers, posters, and even the floorboards of one club). All the works on show will then be auctioned off at exhibition's end. "It's a visual representation of dance and free party culture," says Mary McCarthy of Dreweatts Auction House, who has curated the exhibition alongside Ernesto Leal from Our Cultural History. "We've worked alongside a lot of the artists who did the work that originally appeared on the flyers. Much of the artwork has been lost so they have redone canvases and prints for the exhibition."
The exhibition will include artworks by prolific dance music artists and designers including Dave Little, Pez and Pierre Anstis. Artcore opens this Friday (13th), with the auction taking place on February 26.
Some of those are absolutely awful but like many designers I loved the rave flyer, which was an outlet for a lot of up and coming artists and designers as a way to get work out there and just create something that would be seen and as the age group of people who were picking them up ranged from the teens to twenties, I feel a lot of them used stock psychedelic and space imagery as kids of the seventies saw the rave movement as futuristic by its use of technology infused with phrases like mind, body & soul or unity floating around there was a real positivity about a post eighties Britain.
Confession time - I was a bit of a flyer geek, my walls were covered in the things and I collected them and still have thousands (maybe one day I will get around to putting them oniline!) I also wrote a 10,000 word dissertation on the pastiche and parody of flyer design (which was lost by Liverpool John Moores......a year later a flyer book was published in Liverpool hmmm?)
I remember going to an exhibition in 1992 in the Cornerhouse in Manchester which was an exhibition of Factory and Central Stations work, Pop Art was massive at the time and graffiti had come into the mainstream conscience it was a great time to be around as a young designer/artist as I feel now is as the progression of the internet has levelled the playing field giving which I suppose is the new underground (if such a thing really exists)
Great Geek Site:
It makes me want to dance.
ha ha as usual, the best bits of rave culture gets diluted into mainstream banility. What a shame. Fantasia had the best flyers - none of these ones even look like a rave flyer! What about the Shoom ones? They were good too.
From someone who was actually there and ran raves, and clubs and Djed, and never got arrested, I am NOT going to this exhibition, becasue the whole demise of rave culture makes me sick still, 14 years on!!!
Do you people not remember the 1994 CJB that came in? do you not remember the ludicrous Daily Mail campaigns to ban raves, by a bunch of grey-haired masonic low-lifes who were angry they couldn't make a quick buck out it (no alchohol, no entry fees!! see!) - none of you even went to one! they were heavenly, happy places where everyone got on, made pals and genuinely felt part of a harmless scene.
But our utopia was destroyed by the haters and bigots that run the world, those same fat cats that got us banned are the same ones who have robbed your savings, and pensions when you trusted those capitalist pigs to run the world. My opinion of those on charge has been deeply darkened since those days. And look! What do we have in the wake of that innocent culture's demise? Gang violence, teenage diseases and pregnanices, crack coacaine, and general apathetic malaise from kids who should be out partying and being made to feel part of something. Thanks Daily Mail. You really f@cking saved the world. gits.
Yours truly, The Jilted Generation - we'll never forget.
Oohhh maaan, you are so spot on with your comments. I remember all those amazing flyers, and the few examples posted here just don't do justice to the really classic ones. Booooo!
"Do you people not remember the 1994 CJB that came in? " Oohh Maaan - I went to a march against it in Manchester. Like you say though, thats probably when acid-house/rave culture died but I suppose It was well dead by then anyway, but thats were house clubs took over again like in the late 70s, and it goes through spells, I personally went to some amazing clubs post Rave mainly hip-hop which also isnt what it was (but there speaks an ageing man!!) I think your getting old and looking back with rose tinted glasses and slippers, there will always be something going on somewere! Lets face it if you were 18 now im sure you would be wearing ridiculous neon shades and skinny jeans! Im off to listen to the new Lily Allen Album......
An Auction House and Selfridges reppin' rave culture! Oh dear. Creative REVIEW please.
Did anybody have one of those 'Bart Simpson' tabs back in the day?
I vividly remember leaving part of my stretched brain embedded into a breathing stone farm yard wall.
ha ha framedink - good comeback! Yeah you're right, my glasses are truly rosy, and i'm into metal now! ha ha! But there's not really anything quite a wild as turning up in a field with a system and some doves and off ya go for as long as you want, watching the sun come up, and go back down again. it wasn't so much the music, it was the overall vibe, it seemed to touch something pretty deep, which I think might be missing from a Lilly Allen Gig! ha ha - I did actually see her at the Big Chill (as close to a rave as I get these days!) and she was awful. and my camera got nicked. ha ha...
still gutted though, about that bloody media campaign. and the subsequent CJB carnage. Sorry I just had to mention it. grrrrr...
ooh and one last thing - if you remember, Pete Tong was an object of ridicule!! He was the figurehead of all that was commercial and laaaame. ha ha and here he is on a flyer... oh dear.
Yep "oohhh man" all this stuff made us who we are today, I am very open minded about music and anything creative due to rave culture, I used to go to clubs were they would play Derrick May with NWA to Stone Roses into The Clash and back to LFO, everything got genre'd and pigeon holed (there was one called tesco in mixmag - Techno/Disco that's when I stopped buying that mag) warehouse parties (up north) died out and people got embarrassed of the word Rave as everyone cashed in and had parties and club nights popped up left right and centre and DJs were in demand for big money subsequently the door prices went up and it went like the Premiership has gone, No Soul!
Lets face it all music scenes/movements are basically youth and counter culture and some are more thrilling than others as with the Sixties, Mods, Flower Power, Rockers, Nothern Soul, New Romantics, Punks, Ska, Ravers, Hip-Hop things peak and when they are branded with words like Flower Power and Rave they are at there apex, a lot also beg borrow and steal from past scenes (like Acid House did with Flower Power like guitar bands have with The Beatles and how back round again to a point were the trend of today's music is to reference the 80’s/early 90’s) I think the current hipster scene is horrible, full of people who are more interested in standing in neon Ray Bans than dancing at a gig or a club and would rather have there photo taken posing than have a good time sorry showing my age now).
I saw the Who a few years ago and as good as they were it doesn’t make me a Mod, I could never claim to have felt what people who saw them at there height felt at they were feeling the energy of the Mod movement which is of that time, I was also lucky enough to see Macca and as brilliant as he was it made me really sad that I wasn’t around when The Beatles were!
I hope I can carry on hearing good music for what it is... good music and my third eye will never be shut to bigots and pretentious people ..I will be the old guy on top of the speaker till I die! I'm just glad that for how ever brief a moment I was there when I felt part of something that most youth cultures have and that is the feeling of freedom and soul!
hi all :) Aciieeeeed!!!!
I have just published a book 'Happydaze' A Personal Insight into the Acid House Era'
* Old & New Ravers will love this !
* Over 200 original photos, a personal view of the Acid House Era from 1989 - 1994
* Memorable Flyers
* Ravers Memoirs
* Music Timeline
For Hardback/Image Wrap Copy go to :
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