Walk the Night Celebrates the Early Days of Club Culture During Miami Art Week

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WALK THE NIGHT – NIGHTLIFE AND CLUB CULTURE 1977′ – 1990’” highlights the artistry and diversity through contemporary photography. The exhibit is set to captivate audiences with a two-day immersive experience on Friday, December 8th, and Saturday, December 9th of Miami Art Week, at Arlo Hotel Higher Ground.  

The exhibition, thoroughly curated by Ron Trent, Adrian Loving, Tyler Gibney (HVW8 Gallery), and Rob Mc Kay, promises to showcase the powerful narratives captured in iconic nightlife venues: Paradise Garage, The Warehouse, Studio 54, and The Music Box through the lens of three exceptional image makers.

Historical photographs take the viewer into the entrancing realm of Chicago’s groundbreaking club spaces, The Warehouse and Music Box captured by Mr. Robert Williams. Feel the energy and history of Paradise Garage as Tina Paul’s photos transport you to the heart of the legendary nightclub. Delve further into the golden era of nightlife with Bill Bernstein’s striking images of Studio 54 and Paradise Garage where they provide a glimpse into the extravagant and hedonistic nights that defined an era. The sound during the exhibit will feature Cassina’s  Modular Imagination system, exclusively designed by Virgil Abloh in 2020 – only a year before his passing in Novem­ber of 2021. 

Days before the event we had the chance to talk to DJ, producer, and curator Ron Trent, about the stories behind this epic project. 

How did you come up with the concept for Walk The Night? 

This was an idea born out of other curitoral projects I have created in the past. I have put together cultural arts events, panels, and music events for a long while now. I have been coming to Basel for a few years and hadn’t seen anything that had a spotlight on dance culture, the social movements around it, and the documentation of art that vastly has influenced many. So I put together a program that would allow people to engage and immerse themselves in an era that has been mysterious to some generations because of its lack of exposure. Many artists, fashion, and music icons have come from this world that went on to make a big global impact all the way down to Virghl Albloh. So it’s a declaration and celebration of our community of high art ethos and what has come from it. 

Larry Levan and Grace Jones at Sound Factory, NYC 11_3_90 photo by ©Tina Paul

You have many great names involved with the exhibit, was it challenging to put this dream team together? 

To be honest, everyone involved are friends and associates who all appreciate each other so it was not hard to create a tribal union. In fact they were ready to do it. 

What do you want people to experience when attending Walk The Night and the activations related to the exhibit? 

Well.. I would like for everyone to leave the activations more educated and whole than when they arrived. Having engaged the panel discussions more informed, the photography more inspired, and the parties more elated. Being immersed in some of the elements that formed the consciousness inside the communities of the era that acted as a big refuge for many who needed  safe space to express themselves regardless of gender, sexual preferences, nationality, and musical taste. Unity at the core of it all. The reality is that this is obviously needed right now. A reflection on diversity inside of unity. 

There is a very clear message of inclusion and diversity in the exhibit statement. What do you think the role of early disco and club culture was in spreading this message? 

As the classic Philly International  Gamble & Huff production of MFSB song says “Love is the message”. Disco and pre Disco as it was being formed had its start at the end of 60’s into the early 70’s built out of a collective force that was yearning for a new world. David Mancuso is highly responsible for creating the culture as we know it today. His vision was the innovation that bore new ways of musical engagement, technology, and even later created an economy for DJ culture as we know it today. His first party that he created at his Loft which became the name synonymous with his now historical membership based party “The Loft” was called “Love Saves the Day” held on Valentines Day 1970. The Disco genre and style had not been formed by then. Disco was formed out of many things that were happening in different musical communities, mainly the underground scene that was the formula for the real pulse of the city. The sentiments of David and later echoed into the Disco scene was Love and togetherness. The dance floor was and still is the ultimate unifier. Disco itself before it became a big commercial hit was really uptempo danceable R&B and simply put became part of the soundtrack inside of a movement that carried a heavy message geared towards bringing people together. 

Will this be a one-time exhibit just for Art Basel Miami or do you have any plans on taking Walk the Night to other cities? 

This Miami pop up is the launch for a world wide engagement that will expand into more aspects, more artists, and deeper conversations. We will announce more details about our 2024 at a later date. By next year we love to be back in Miami with even more to present for Art week.  

Any final thoughts…  

Come out and support. The artist we are showcasing will have prints, books, and fine art for purchase. There will also be merch for people to be able to purchase to commemorate the experience. Most importantly come and celebrate with us at the closing party on Saturday. Stay tuned via the website www.walkthenight.net. Thank You!

Closing night at Paradise Garage in 1987, photo by Tina Paul

WALK THE NIGHT SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

Wednesday, Dec 6 – The Warehouse The Next Generation – Gramps – 9pm
Tickets Here

Thursday, Dec 7 – Dope From Hope – Soundlux Audio – 6pm
Tickets Here

Friday, Dec 8 – “WALK THE NIGHT – NIGHTLIFE AND CLUB CULTURE 1977′ – 1990’  Preview Exhibition and Artist Talk featuring Bill Berstein
Tina Paul, Robert Williams, Victor Rosado, Arthur Baker and Louie Vega
Arlo Hotel Higher Ground
6pm-10pm
Tickets Here

Saturday, Dec 9 – ‘“WALK THE NIGHT – NIGHTLIFE AND CLUB CULTURE 1977′ – 1990’ Public Exhibition Opening and Construction Party” Closing Event  featuring Victor Rosado, Danny Krivit and Ron Trent-
Arlo Hotel Higher Ground
12pm-6pm / 9pm – close
Tickets Here


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