SLIMANE, Hedi. London Birth of a Cult.
(Gottingen): Steidl / 7L, 2005. First edition. Large format paperback, with “A Love Affair” pamphlet and elastic band present, all items housed in publisher’s card box. Hedi Slimanes Stage project commenced in 2001 and captured the emerging new rock scene in America and the U.K. Encompassing bands such as The White Stripes, The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand, the project marked the re-birth of rock music, a reincarnation based in live performance and raw talent. Stage became the harbinger of a new movement as rock once again took the world by storm.
Birth of a Cult focuses on the most iconic character within this heady milieu. The project began with Slimanes video piece (shown at Galerie Almine Rech, Paris, Sept. 2004) a study of Pete Doherty and his new band, Babyshambles. Slimane started documenting Doherty when Doherty had just completed the second Libertines album and was then kicked out of the band for crack addiction. Babyshambles created an immediate sensation and a loyal following. Most of their performances have been guerilla gigs, irregular or unplanned events which have always generated enormous fervour and excitement and which on occasion have degenerated into riot. Between jail, crack addiction and tabloid coverage, Dohertys public persona has been distorted and manipulated. This has failed to hide that fact that he is a truly original musician, a charismatic frontman, songwriter and performer, and an authentic poet of our times.
Whilst the book focuses on Doherty, it encompasses the entire London scene, and bands such as The Others and The Paddingtons. This is a movement which could be as strong, prolific, and spontaneous as the birth of punk in 1977 and this is the first book which intimately lays it bare, from the inside of Pete Dohertys bedroom to explosive stage performances and riotous fans. This is a near fine copy.
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