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DISCO: The Bill Bernstein Photographs

March 10, 2016

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“You could walk into a disco and become a star, even if you weren’t outside.” i-D Magazine
“Had I been suddenly transported back to a pre-war Berlin cabaret? Who were these people of the night… ?”

Stunning photography by Bill Bernstein. Containing many previously unpublished photographs, Disco takes the viewer on an access-all-areas tour of late-70s New York nightlife.

“Who were these people of the night… ? It was the Posers. The Watchers. The Posers watching other Posers watching the Watchers, watching the Dancers, watching themselves.” Bernstein’s eye was drawn to the characters that lived for the night, rather than the celebrities, the unknown men and women who were transformed by the nightclub haze, and this is one reason his photographs from this time feel so authentic and immersive.

As James Hillard writes in his foreword, “These shots capture the very essence of what going out was, is, and should be, all about. They showed the true democracy of the dance floor where anyone could be a star, as long as they had the right attitude and flair … The pictures in this book are a document of an incredibly exciting and creative time, not only in music, but also in social, political and fashion history too.”

All the photographs featured were shot by Bernstein from 1978-80. Manhattan was the epicentre of the movement. And Bill Bernstein captured it all. 

ISBN: 978-1-909526-22-8
176pp; Hardback; 150 b/w photographs
304 x 245 mm / 12 x 10 in.

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