‘Alternative’ nightclub photography, once the reserve of East London’s art-infused after-hours urban landscape, has exploded on the Dublin scene during the course of the past couple of years. Influenced by the renowned shots of heady nights at Boombox (as captured by Richard Mortimer/DirtyDirtyDancing), Dublin’s dance-floor paps have brought to the table visual proof of our being the best race to party. But an Irishman abroad (fast becoming my favourite phrase…) acclaimed for his work for everyone from i-D to Vogue, photographer Morgan O’ Donovan, has decided to reveal the homogeneity beneath the mass of heavily made-up-with-MAC faces of the fashion and art types that populate these places.
^ The Facebook Project by Morgan O’ Donovan
For The Facebook Project, Donovan took it upon himself to photograph over 500 portraits of people in “varying states of sobriety” reveling in East London clubs. The point of difference between this and what’s graced thousands of Facebook photo album covers and profile pictures, is the harsh exposure of a medical photography flash, which strips away facades to allow for more a accurate insight. Blemishes and imperfections are suddenly apparent beneath the layers of artfully applied slap, which leads to a portrayal of these supposed individuals, as more of an homogenous group.
Or put simply, each club-goer is shot in such a way that you’ll recongise them come Monday morning. Oddly – and I do know it wasn’t O’ Donovan’s intention to make them look bad, but that flash could prove fatal to vanity – I think a lot of the subjects look gorge…
The Facebook Project is at Dalston Superstore, 117 Kingsland Road, E8.
For more on the Project, including a Q+A with the creator himself, check out Dazed Digital.