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Iconic 70s NYC club culture photos by Bill Bernstein to go on display in London

Signature shots from clubs including Paradise Garage, Studio 54 and Better Days will be free to view

By Charlotte Krol

Studio 54
Revellers in Studio 54 in 1978. (Picture: John Barrett/PHOTOlink/ Alamy Stock Photo

Images of late 1970s New York City club culture by photographer Bill Bernstein are to go on display in Shoreditch, London later this month.

Glitterbox, the nightlife organisation conceptualised by Defected Records label boss Simon Dunmore, presents ‘Last Dance’, a free exhibition showcasing the “unmistakable work” of the NYC snapper who captured some of early club culture’s most pivotal moments.

Opening on April 19, the display at Defected’s event space, The Basement, on Curtain Road will present Bernstein’s signature monochrome shots of NYC’s legendary nightspots including Paradise Garage, Studio 54 and Better Days.

A description reads: “Paying attention to the subcultures of New York’s diverse dancefloors, ‘Last Dance’ is a collection of uplifting candids and portraits that illustrate the essence of disco’s euphoric spirit, making it the perfect exhibition for Glitterbox to present to audiences today.”

Bernstein said: “I am incredibly excited to exhibit my photographs at Defected’s offices between 19-29 April. There’s an obvious connection between Glitterbox’s philosophy and the creative, magical and inclusive spirit of 70’s New York. A signed special edition of my ‘Last Dance book’ will be available for visitors and is a true documentation of a scene that united so many.”

David Hill Gallery has curated a selection of Bernstein’s favourite images including exclusive never-before-seen photos. Limited edition posters and merchandise will be available in-store and online.

Accompanying the exhibition is a virtual tour, a Bernstein Q&A, interview and radio show.

The ‘Last Dance’ book as well as other items from Bernstein’s collection, are now available to buy online from Defected here.

The exhibition runs from April 19- April 29 at The Basement, 23 Curtain Road, EC2A 3LT, open 11am-5pm weekdays.

In other news, Rolling Stone UK recently spoke to former ‘daytimer’ regulars about the secretive music events that formed a seminal era in British South Asian culture.