A new exhibition at Tempo Gallery meditates on the evolution of audio photography, exploring exchanges throughout unique genres, eras, and geographic destinations as part of an homage to the final century of music and the picture-makers that documented it. The presentation functions pictures by Richard Avedon, Janette Beckman, Adam Cohen, Jem Cohen, Kevin Cummins, Rahim Fortune, Robert Frank, Hiro, Paul Graham, Peter Hujar, Ari Marcopoulos, Itzel Alejandra Martinez, Gordon Parks, Irving Penn, Rankin, Ming Smith, and Nick Waplington. The exhibition is curated by Mark Beasley, curatorial director of Pace Are living.
Introduced chronologically on the gallery’s 1st flooring, the photographs in Studio to Stage, which have not often been exhibited with each other, depict iconic musicians of the earlier 70 years—including Billie Holiday getaway, Janis Joplin, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, John Cage, The Rolling Stones, The Smiths, Spice Girls, Beastie Boys, and more—and reflect the “radical continuum,” as termed by writer Simon Reynolds, of music. The images on look at seize not only what it signifies to be a performer, but what it means to be a member of an audience.
Spanning early jazz, New York hip hop, British punk, European techno, and other musical movements, Studio to Phase examines the approaches that photographers have helped cultivate mythologies close to performers and their respective scenes. The legendary venues and audiences of the depicted concert events, festivals and other performances are also essential in the stories advised in the images on watch. Amid the highlights in the exhibition are Smith’s pictures of jazz musicians, Marcopoulos’s images of the Beastie Boys and Iggy Pop, and Graham’s photos of Berlin clubs and raves. Studio to Stage offers the background of new music as a boundless and continual coalescing of diverse sounds and geographies. Amid today’s political and social polarization, the exhibition highlights music’s prospective for cultivating connections and enactments of appreciation.