|On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of punk, the Galleria Carla Sozzani presents Punk in Britain. An exhibition documenting the key players in British punk who, since the mid 70s, have changed the language of fashion and music in London and around the world. It is conceived in two parts showing a huge selection of drawings and photographs.
In 1976, the Sex Pistols were shouting I wanna be Anarchy, in the City wearing torn shirts, and dresses with studs bought at Malcom McLaren and his partner Vivienne Westwood’s Chelsea store SEX.
Among the Sex Pistols fans, Siouxsie Sioux, Jordan, Debbie, Billy Idol, Soo Catwoman, Adam Ant became known as the Bromley Contingent, the group associated with them throughout this period. Together they represented a sort of reaction to the years of English austerity and a new response, young and spontaneous, to the rigid formalism of that time
As part of the group the young photographer Simon Barker aka SIX caught the Contingent and their friends between 1976 and 1978 building a sort of real “family album”. Such a provocative era marked by timeless images shot by Karen Knorr and Olivier Richon, who spent endless nights in nightclubs from Roxy to 100 Club, from Covent Garden to Charing Cross and Oxford Street. Dennis Morris, the official photographer of the Sex Pistols documented the group while in May 1977, the artist Jamie Reid rendered, in the “disobedient” punk language, what became the graphic image of the group. A portrait of the Queen published in the Daily Express on the occasion her royal jubilee. Punk – originally meaning “cheap” – has become anything but. Forty years later, punk is an era and a cultural phenomenon rich in the imagery of a way of life.