Now there is a fine review of the show up on New York Art World.com:
- Another photograph by Ajamu Myrie of a performance by the musical group, Elephant Man, in New Jersey in 2000, shows the gleeful faces of the mostly female audience as the star and a female performer, her breasts exposed, cavort on their backs on stage. Here is unapologetic, raucous fun at its best.
The words, Dub Room One Love, are seen written on a metallic door that leads to a recording studio. This photograph also indicates the roots of dance hall music. At the other end of the spectrum, Reggae Show Sign, NYC, 2002, by David Corio, shows the darker side to the dance hall lifestyle. Here, the handwritten poster on the metal door reads: “No guns, No knives, No Bottles, No Sticks, No Fireworks, No Alcohol or drugs, No Animals.” The music scene in Jamaica from the 1950s until now is vividly documented in this show. Dance Hall Queen at the Opening of Don Lett’s Dance hall Queen, 1995, by Adrian Boot, shows women in wigs with crimped extensions, wearing bright red and yellow outfits and platform shoes, dancing with their legs spread, arms extended and their rear ends protruding provocatively. In a similarly themed shot, Wayne Tippet captures Wendy, Dance hall Queen, Kingston, 1994. In this two-tiered composition we see Wendy, clothed in a white robe with an assortment of candy colored wigs around her on a bed. In the lower half of the composition she is shown in her white bikini with high white vinyl boots and white fishnet stockings, her ample flesh protruding brown and thick through the apertures.
Many of these images depict the musical stars performing, but some show another side to the artists. Out of the tough guy role, in a more tender moment, the photographer called Afflicted captures Sean Paul having his hair braided in Jack’s Hill, Kingston, 2003.
Lee Perry in the Swiss Alps, c. 1990, by Adrian Boot, shows the legendary musician sitting regally against the backdrop of a snow-capped mountain range. He is dressed in a heavy red cape, lined with white fur. His crown is gold and red and he holds a scepter in one hand. A Swiss flag, red with a white cross waves in the wind next to him. Kings of dance hall they may be, but these men and women offer a view of a free and easy existence, grounded in music and laughter and fun.
The show continues through November 1 – check out all of the photgraphs here.