Nessuno ha mai raccontato l'underground inglese come Nick Waplington

L'edonismo che trasuda da queste foto ci mette un po' di malinconia, perché non possiamo fare a meno di chiederci: torneremo mai a divertirci così? 💔

di Ryan White
|
02 ottobre 2020, 11:19am

Il nuovo libro di Nick Waplington, Anaglypta (progettato da Jonny Lu Studio) si apre con delle foto in bianco e nero scattate durante gli anni del liceo, quando Nick stampava nella sua camera oscura improvvisata. “Nonostante siano state sviluppate malamente, queste immagini raccontano una storia, qualcosa da tenersi stretto,” afferma il fotografo. “Questi miei primi scatti rappresentato la vera identità del libro, perché definiscono tutto ciò che si sviluppa nelle pagine successive.”

Decidendo di incentrarsi sulla scena musicale e sulle manifestazioni di protesta, il progetto esplora i meandri dell’archivio di Nick dagli anni ‘80 ad oggi. “Sono foto che ho scattato quando non stavo lavorando ad altro, come libri o mostre, e trascorrevo i weekend e le serate fuori con gli amici, quando mi godevo la vita.” Sullo sfondo di tumulti e rivolte, il fil rouge che unisce la società britannica delle ultime quattro decadi sembra essere immutato ancora oggi.

Foto della club culture di Londra: il libro di Nick Waplington racconta 40 anni di edonismo inglese

L’era che va dagli anni ‘80 al 2020 copre una serie immensa e repentina di stravolgimenti politici, sociali e ambientali, che non mostrano segni di rallentamento. Cosa ti ha spinto a fermarti e guardarti indietro?
La pandemia mi ha spinto a scavare nel mio archivio. Mi sono reso conto che sono passati 40 anni dalle elezioni di Reagan e dall’inizio del Neoliberismo. Questa forma di capitalismo ora ha raggiunto la sua fine logica con l’emergere di forti leader populisti come Putin e Trump. So che questa spiegazione potrebbe sembrare semplicistica, ma mi ha dato la base per guardare indietro alle immagini del mio diario visuale con la mentalità che ho oggi, in questo periodo mutevole ed effimero. Ho avuto la possibilità di creare un lavoro che racconti la mia esistenza in quel periodo, o almeno una sua parte, perché sento che ci sia una possibilità di poter sviluppare altri volumi inerenti ad aspetti diversi della mia vita. Ora ho un immenso archivio di immagini su cui lavorare, fortunatamente.

Il 1980 è stato l’anno in cui è nato i-D e in cui sono esplose la cultura e la vita notturna underground. Vedi qualche segno di una rivoluzione creativa simile in questo nostro attuale, conservativo periodo storico?
Vedo mio figlio di 15 anni su Snapchat alla ricerca di feste e cose da fare il weekend, nonostante il clima del Covid-19—è una forma di resistenza, credo. Ma stiamo vivendo in tempi preoccupanti e non vedo all’orizzonte un miglioramento della situazione. Come la maggior parte delle persone, sento un senso di inutilità e di impotenza nei confronti di questo benessere eccessivo di cui disponiamo, che sembra destinato a distruggere la permanenza degli esseri umani sul pianeta. Forse la fine dell’umanità sarà una cosa positiva per l’esistenza del pianeta stesso. Sicuramente sembriamo andare verso quella direzione. Quando la sera mi metto a letto penso al motivo per cui sono ancora qui a fare arte, qual è il punto, ma poi rischi di finire nel territorio dell’esistenzialismo, in un loop di domande su ogni cosa, e non voglio finirci.

Foto della club culture di Londra: il libro di Nick Waplington racconta 40 anni di edonismo inglese

Anche Seana Gavin e Vinca Peterson continuano a guardare alla cultura rave degli anni ‘90 con nostalgia, nelle loro ultime pubblicazioni. Quegli scatti sembrano essere in stretto contatto con le feste che stanno prendendo piede negli ultimi mesi, organizzate nelle foreste o in capannoni abbandonati. Hai mai coscientemente documentato questa scena?
Non sono mai stato legato alla scena rave. Ho partecipato a pochi, portando con me la mia macchina, ma appena veniva giorno li trovavo davvero deprimenti. Mi piaceva la musica quando nel contesto urbano. Mi piacevano i club piccoli e affollati, dove potevo andare a ballare e poi tornare a lavorare nel mio studio alla mattina. In particolare mi piaceva il Milk Bar di Londra e il Save the Robots di New York, quelli erano luoghi pieni di energia e divertimento. Poi prendevo il bus notturno fino a casa, e mi sentivo ispirato e pronto per il giorno dopo.

Credi di essere motivato dagli stessi impulsi ancora oggi, quando si parla di scattare?
Non ho mai perso la meraviglia e la voglia di divertirmi con l’arte. Ogni giorno è emozionante per me e ho sempre voglia di scoprire cosa il futuro avrà in serbo per me. Scattare per me è una delle gioie della vita, e non lo do mai per scontato. Anche se nessuno vedesse più i miei lavori, non mi importerebbe—continuerei a lavorare lo stesso.

Foto della club culture di Londra: il libro di Nick Waplington racconta 40 anni di edonismo inglese

‘Anaglypta 1980-2020’ di Nick Waplington è composto da 512 fotografie mai pubblicate, scattate in tre continenti, durante quattro decadi. Puoi comprarlo su Jesus Blue.

Beyond the equipment and budgets, what's changed most about your photography?In general terms social media and the emergence of identity politics has brought massive changes to everyone’s practice, even mine. I’ve got an Instagram, and have published a few small zines -- but at the same time I’ve been painting every day, which is a kind of slow process that works against the instantaneous social media environment, you can see my paintings on my Instagram. I recently completed a studio based project The Cave which combined my photography and painting. The modus operandi that has always worked best for me is to start a work without knowing where it’s going. From that moment of chance comes rigour as I develop things both conceptually and materially and hopefully I will end up with new work that pushes my practice forward.  And finally, the name?Lucky Jim, who is near the beginning of the book, liked to stare at the geometric patterns of Anaglypta ceilings when he was tripping off the solvent in glue.
Beyond the equipment and budgets, what's changed most about your photography?In general terms social media and the emergence of identity politics has brought massive changes to everyone’s practice, even mine. I’ve got an Instagram, and have published a few small zines -- but at the same time I’ve been painting every day, which is a kind of slow process that works against the instantaneous social media environment, you can see my paintings on my Instagram. I recently completed a studio based project The Cave which combined my photography and painting. The modus operandi that has always worked best for me is to start a work without knowing where it’s going. From that moment of chance comes rigour as I develop things both conceptually and materially and hopefully I will end up with new work that pushes my practice forward.  And finally, the name?Lucky Jim, who is near the beginning of the book, liked to stare at the geometric patterns of Anaglypta ceilings when he was tripping off the solvent in glue.
Beyond the equipment and budgets, what's changed most about your photography?In general terms social media and the emergence of identity politics has brought massive changes to everyone’s practice, even mine. I’ve got an Instagram, and have published a few small zines -- but at the same time I’ve been painting every day, which is a kind of slow process that works against the instantaneous social media environment, you can see my paintings on my Instagram. I recently completed a studio based project The Cave which combined my photography and painting. The modus operandi that has always worked best for me is to start a work without knowing where it’s going. From that moment of chance comes rigour as I develop things both conceptually and materially and hopefully I will end up with new work that pushes my practice forward.  And finally, the name?Lucky Jim, who is near the beginning of the book, liked to stare at the geometric patterns of Anaglypta ceilings when he was tripping off the solvent in glue.
Beyond the equipment and budgets, what's changed most about your photography?In general terms social media and the emergence of identity politics has brought massive changes to everyone’s practice, even mine. I’ve got an Instagram, and have published a few small zines -- but at the same time I’ve been painting every day, which is a kind of slow process that works against the instantaneous social media environment, you can see my paintings on my Instagram. I recently completed a studio based project The Cave which combined my photography and painting. The modus operandi that has always worked best for me is to start a work without knowing where it’s going. From that moment of chance comes rigour as I develop things both conceptually and materially and hopefully I will end up with new work that pushes my practice forward.  And finally, the name?Lucky Jim, who is near the beginning of the book, liked to stare at the geometric patterns of Anaglypta ceilings when he was tripping off the solvent in glue.
Beyond the equipment and budgets, what's changed most about your photography?In general terms social media and the emergence of identity politics has brought massive changes to everyone’s practice, even mine. I’ve got an Instagram, and have published a few small zines -- but at the same time I’ve been painting every day, which is a kind of slow process that works against the instantaneous social media environment, you can see my paintings on my Instagram. I recently completed a studio based project The Cave which combined my photography and painting. The modus operandi that has always worked best for me is to start a work without knowing where it’s going. From that moment of chance comes rigour as I develop things both conceptually and materially and hopefully I will end up with new work that pushes my practice forward.  And finally, the name?Lucky Jim, who is near the beginning of the book, liked to stare at the geometric patterns of Anaglypta ceilings when he was tripping off the solvent in glue.
Beyond the equipment and budgets, what's changed most about your photography?In general terms social media and the emergence of identity politics has brought massive changes to everyone’s practice, even mine. I’ve got an Instagram, and have published a few small zines -- but at the same time I’ve been painting every day, which is a kind of slow process that works against the instantaneous social media environment, you can see my paintings on my Instagram. I recently completed a studio based project The Cave which combined my photography and painting. The modus operandi that has always worked best for me is to start a work without knowing where it’s going. From that moment of chance comes rigour as I develop things both conceptually and materially and hopefully I will end up with new work that pushes my practice forward.  And finally, the name?Lucky Jim, who is near the beginning of the book, liked to stare at the geometric patterns of Anaglypta ceilings when he was tripping off the solvent in glue.
Beyond the equipment and budgets, what's changed most about your photography?In general terms social media and the emergence of identity politics has brought massive changes to everyone’s practice, even mine. I’ve got an Instagram, and have published a few small zines -- but at the same time I’ve been painting every day, which is a kind of slow process that works against the instantaneous social media environment, you can see my paintings on my Instagram. I recently completed a studio based project The Cave which combined my photography and painting. The modus operandi that has always worked best for me is to start a work without knowing where it’s going. From that moment of chance comes rigour as I develop things both conceptually and materially and hopefully I will end up with new work that pushes my practice forward.  And finally, the name?Lucky Jim, who is near the beginning of the book, liked to stare at the geometric patterns of Anaglypta ceilings when he was tripping off the solvent in glue.
Beyond the equipment and budgets, what's changed most about your photography?In general terms social media and the emergence of identity politics has brought massive changes to everyone’s practice, even mine. I’ve got an Instagram, and have published a few small zines -- but at the same time I’ve been painting every day, which is a kind of slow process that works against the instantaneous social media environment, you can see my paintings on my Instagram. I recently completed a studio based project The Cave which combined my photography and painting. The modus operandi that has always worked best for me is to start a work without knowing where it’s going. From that moment of chance comes rigour as I develop things both conceptually and materially and hopefully I will end up with new work that pushes my practice forward.  And finally, the name?Lucky Jim, who is near the beginning of the book, liked to stare at the geometric patterns of Anaglypta ceilings when he was tripping off the solvent in glue.
Beyond the equipment and budgets, what's changed most about your photography?In general terms social media and the emergence of identity politics has brought massive changes to everyone’s practice, even mine. I’ve got an Instagram, and have published a few small zines -- but at the same time I’ve been painting every day, which is a kind of slow process that works against the instantaneous social media environment, you can see my paintings on my Instagram. I recently completed a studio based project The Cave which combined my photography and painting. The modus operandi that has always worked best for me is to start a work without knowing where it’s going. From that moment of chance comes rigour as I develop things both conceptually and materially and hopefully I will end up with new work that pushes my practice forward.  And finally, the name?Lucky Jim, who is near the beginning of the book, liked to stare at the geometric patterns of Anaglypta ceilings when he was tripping off the solvent in glue.

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Immagini courtesy di Nick Waplington/Jesus Blue

Tagged:
Clubbing
club culture
anni 80
anni 90
londra
Nick Waplington
interviste di fotografia