until 24.02. | #1819ARTatBerlin | Benhadj&Djilali shows since 13th January with the exhibition LIGHT ON THE SOUTH SIDE by the photographer Michael Abramson photos of clubs on Chicago’s South Side during the 1970s. The gallery becomes a temporary bar – celebrating the current exhibition in an auratic setting.
I realize I have been to every part of the planet… But I have never been as far away as I was when I was on the South Side of Chicago. Not because it was exotic, in the misused sense of that word, but because it was so exhilarating.
Michael L. Abramson, quoted in the LA Times, 2011
Michael L. Abramson’s photos of Chicago’s South Side show people who are clubbing wildly, searching for something, laughing, down and out, dancing. Glamour, drugs, lights, darkness. From today’s perspective it’s a different age, but already in the 70s it was a different place. Abramson went to this place time and again. Or rather to these places in plural- clubs which apart from himself, a white photographer, only black people would visit. It was a largely closed universe that wasn’t only completely different from other parts of Chicago, but that also served as a counter-place for visitors. A counter-place to the everyday. In fact a counter-place to the day in general.
Abramson wasn’t interested in black or white; what attracted him was the culture, the combination of excess and fragility. In 2009, Numero Group published about a hundred photos accompanied by two music LPs. Nick Hornby wrote in the foreword: „There is something extremely poignant about these pictures: there comes a point where the transience of the laughter and the music, the booze and the cigarettes and the drugs, pushes us into a contemplation of the mortality of the participants, and then on to our own.“
Michael L. Abramson died in 2011 at the age of 62. His numerous assignments for well-known international magazines, his celebrity portraits, and especially his fascinating photos of a bygone underground have made him one of the most important figures in the recent history of photography.
Benhadj & Djilali Gallery will present a selection of the South Side photographs for the first time ever in Berlin. Photos for sale are original prints of that period by Michael Abramson. Three nights per week, the gallery will be turned into a private bar. To the accompaniment of music and drinks, Abramson’s photos will be presented as a light projection. At the same time, the originals will be exhibited in another room.
The exhibition LIGHT ON THE SOUT SIDE has been prepared in close collaboration with the Abramson Arts Foundation.
Vernissage: Friday, 12th January 2018, 06:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Exhibition period: Saturday, 13th January to Saturday, 24th February 2018
Opening times of the temporary gallery bar: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 06:00 – 10:00 p.m.Zu Benhadj + Djilali
Image caption: Courtesy Benhadj Djilali – Michael Abramson, Exhibition view
Exhibition Michael Abramson – Light on the South Side – Benhadj + Djilali | Kunst in Berlin ART at Berlin