Historic show rocks into Auckland
A photography exhibition documenting the history of rock and roll has left the United States for the first time – for Auckland.
Who Shot Rock & Roll opened at Auckland Art Gallery last month with a talk by New York-based curator Gail Buckland.
The epic 173-image exhibition originally opened in Brooklyn in 2009 and never left the country until now.
Ms Buckland, a photographic historian, says the show took her four years of research to pull together.
‘‘I felt that certain subjects in the history of photography had been ignored and I wanted to explore them,’’ she says.
The show does not run in chronological order, however it does kick off with a homage to The King.
A 1955 photo of Elvis Presley with a guitar slung around his shoulders, spread legs and mouth agape, welcomes visitors to the gallery.
‘‘It is one of the earliest photographs that started to give rock and roll its identity. It was dangerous. It was electrifying,’’ Ms Buckland says.
Following Elvis the walls are lined with The Ramones, David Bowie and Madonna, through to some of today’s biggest names in music.
It is an exhibition set to impress both fans of music and photography, Ms Buckland says.
Some of the images are posed professional shots by big-name photographers, while others are candid photos taken by friends.
Each photo runs with a caption, telling the story behind the image.
Ms Buckland says
she tried to make it about ‘‘creativity not celebrity’’.
Exhibition designer Scott Everson worked intercontinentally with Ms Buckland to tailor the show to the layout of Auckland Art Gallery.
His job involved configuring the lighting, designing the spaces and choosing the wall colours.
‘‘It’s daunting when you’ve got this huge body of works to deal with, especially when it’s subject matter people are passionate about.’’
The gallery hopes that the show, which drew record crowds in the States, will bring a new audience to the space.
Impassioned: New York curator Gail Buckland presents a slice of photographic history with Who Shot Rock & Roll.
Tender: One of the photos unearthed for the exhibit, Elvis Presley shot by Alfred Wertheimer.