Club culture explored with new V&A Dundee exhibition

Night Fever: Designing Club Culture charts the evolution of nightclubs from the 1960s to today.

Club culture explored with new V&A Dundee exhibition PA Media

The V&A Dundee is gearing up to reopen on Saturday with a “unique and exciting” exhibition on the history of nightclub design.

Night Fever: Designing Club Culture charts the evolution of nightclubs from the 1960s to today and roams to places including Italy, New York, Paris, Manchester, London, Beirut and Berlin.

Key nightclubs featured in the exhibition include Space Electronic in Florence, 1969, and Studio 54 in New York in 1977, as well as The Hacienda, Manchester, in 1982 and Glasgow’s Sub Club from 1987 onwards.

The exhibition includes a new section on Scotland’s distinct club culture and features playlists of music chosen and mixed by Scottish DJs and artists.

Leonie Bell, director of V&A Dundee, said: “I can’t think of a better exhibition to reopen V&A Dundee with, as we all look to the future with hope and optimism.

“Night Fever: Designing Club Culture is a unique and exciting look at nightclubs from the 1960s to today, including iconic Scottish clubs.

“Clubs are fascinating spaces where a huge range of design disciplines come together to create distinct, collective and immersive experiences on the dancefloor.

“The last year has encouraged everyone to consider what is important to them, and it’s been wonderful to see the growing recognition of the cultural significance of nightclubs.

“These spaces are a rich and influential part of our culture and we’re delighted to be celebrating them in this UK exclusive exhibition.”

V&A Dundee is curating and hosting a series of Night Fever-inspired online events, talks and workshops to run alongside the exhibition, including a conversation between Studio 54 co-creator Ian Schrager and Radio 1 DJ Benji B on May 27.

The next event is the free online Tay Late on May 7, which includes a DJ set from Ana Matronic, music from Dundee’s Le Freak Records, and a newly commissioned film combining spoken word, visuals and original sound by Kayus Bankole of Mercury Prize-winning Scottish band Young Fathers.

Developed by the Vitra Design Museum and ADAM – Brussels Design Museum, the exhibition, which runs until January 9, includes films, photography, posters, flyers and fashion, as well as a light and music installation.

Jochen Eisenbrand, chief curator at Vitra Design Museum, said: “This is the first major exhibition to consider the design history of nightclubs, hugely important cultural venues that have long been overlooked.

“Since the 1960s, nightclubs have been incredibly experimental spaces for designers and architects to push the limits of their abilities and imaginations, and for people to come together to have fun, create and safely express themselves.

“It’s great to be working with V&A Dundee again and to be opening this celebratory exhibition at another important moment in the history of club culture.”

Tickets for the exhibition are on sale now.

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