Exhibition on dance music's foundational clubs to premiere at Miami Art Week
1st December 2023
A new photo exhibition documenting some of dance music's most iconic clubs is launching this week. Premiering at Miami Art Week across December 8th and 9th, Walk The Night is a homage to the pioneers that helped shape the culture and the sound systems that amplified the movement. It features photos of legendary nightspots Studio 54, Paradise Garage and The Warehouse, shot by Bill Bernstein, Tina Paul and Robert Williams respectively. "There seems to be a lot of interest in that time period," Bernstein told Resident Advisor. "Club culture is so big today, you have DJs flying around the world every weekend, and I guess people are curious as to where it all started. The club culture in New York City in the '70s was the match that started the fire."
An opening party featuring the likes of Musclecars, Garrett David, KC Wray and CtrlZora will take place at Miami venue Gramps on December 6th, while a closing party at Arlo Wynwood on December 9th will include sets from Danny Krivit, Victor Rosado and exhibition co-curator Ron Trent. "Walk The Night is a unity-based project," Trent told RA. "To me, art and music are the same, they're just different dialects." The Chicago luminary recalled instances of racism that he's had to deal with throughout his career. "That was a fucked-up place to be," he said. "Being so disrespected but also being unable to address it for fear of being labelled as 'the angry Black guy.' That's why this is a project of necessity. We want it to capture the essence of why we're doing what we're doing, which often gets forgotten. We need to start talking about unity and celebrating our differences."
An audiophile showcase will precede the exhibition launch on December 7th, hosted by Dope From Hope authors Paul Raffaele and Barbie Bertisch (AKA Love Injection). Trent and fellow Walk The Night curator Adrian Loving will be moderating. "The focus of the exhibition is primarily sound systems," said Loving, a DJ, cultural historian and visual arts educator. "How that narrative of the importance of sound systems weaves into the idea of creating cultural unification with dancers, musicians and DJs." The other two curators of Walk The Night are artist and gallerist Tyler Gibney, and Rob McKay, a gallerist who's also Trent's manager.
Like Trent, McKay is keen to stress that education is at the core of the exhibition. "When most people think of Art Basel they think about the party side," he told RA. "We want this exhibition to be about the party, but also understanding what the party is. We wanna connect it all together." According to Trent, the next step for Walk The Night is to turn it into a travelling exhibition. "We wanna take it around the world man," he said. "We just wanna start the conversation. Real conversations that need to be had around diversity and all these other things."
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