Punks – Karen Knorr and Olivier Richon

Opening Knorr and Richon’s Punks feels a bit like entering one of the nightclubs the book depictscrossing the threshold of its heavy black cover and fumbling your way through deep purple interior pages the colour of raggedy, booze-stained velvet curtains. Once inside, we’re met with a posing gallery of safety-pin-pierced and swastika’d teenagers; a snapshot of 1977’s underground punk scene shot over 3 months at two London nightclubs. Nonchalant faces glare at us in suitably stark black and whitethe camera’s harsh, direct flash bouncing off dewy, acne-pockmarked skin adorned with eyeliner scrawls visibly melting in a soup of sweat and hot stage lighting. Of course, Punks is nothing revelatorythe paraphernalia and insignia of the punk subculture has been synonymous with facile teenage rebellion for decades. However what it is, is something arguably more enjoyable; a direct and accessible archive of bored and awkward youths “peacocking” in front of the lens.

GOST/ 80pp/ £25/ November 2013/ ISBN 978-0-9574272-6-6

Reviewed by Holly Lucas
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