Clubs, Joints, and Honky-Tonks, curated by Tim B. Wride, the Norton’s William and Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography, features work by photographers who have immersed themselves in the places, spaces, and energy of concerts, shows, and spontaneous live performances. More than 75 images provide a long-overdue insight into the waves of performance, participation, adulation, and energy that migrate toward the stage from audiences and, indeed, from the venues themselves. Images and essays from photographers Jeff Dunas, Lynn Goldsmith, Henry Horenstein, Elliott Landy, Moby (who as a performer had a unique perspective from center stage), David Scheinbaum, and the 1986 video documentary about Judas Priest fans, Heavy Metal Parking Lot, by Jeff Krulik and John Heyn illuminate the worlds of rock ‘n’ roll, country music, hip-hop, and the blues.
“All too often in most music imagery, the overriding visual emphasis is placed upon the notoriety of the performer rather than the performance and energy of the music,” says curator Wride. “The photographs that dominate Clubs, Joints, and Honky-Tonks, shift the focus of the experience away from the dominating celebrity and personalities of the performers toward the often overlooked participation of the listeners who give the music meaning—and the not-so-passive spaces and places in which performances take place.”