Rave Captured is Steve Lazarides first solo exhibition under Soho’s Laz Emporium. The exhibition takes a look at Lazarides photos from the early 90s northern rave scene which are an evolution from Steve’s degree show 30 years ago and are being revisited for the first time in since.
At the time, 1992 to be specific, northern rave culture was a movement that was largely demonised as a threat to the fabric of society. Printed on either brass or copper and distressed with ageing fluids, including acid, these screen-printed versions of Steve’s original photos perfectly encapsulate the wildness and excitement of the demonised movement.
Having looked through a sketchbook of old college works roughly six months ago, Steve came across an old note which reminded him to see if he could screen-print his rave photos. Through his mode of printing, Lazarides chose to make the prints “quite odd and dreamy themselves. A bit like the club nights were like.”
Displayed to the public underneath his shop and exhibition space, the Laz Emporium, the exhibition is an indicator of where the re-opened venue intends to go next.
The exhibition is unlike any other and the gallery space aims to transport spectators to the rave culture of 1992, turning the space into a reflection of the wild and wonderful rave nights themselves. The basement of the emporium is decked out with a 2K sound system and a mixer, which are permanent features in the space that will be used in the future by an exclusive selection of hand-picked artists and performers. Benches and tables also furnish the space, making it a place where people can come and chill in a “temple to subculture” in a way that other venues don’t consider.
In resurrecting the Laz Emporium in a physical space, the artist has expressed gratitude in having connected with artists and creators who have restored his faith in the existence of subculture and youth movements.
While Steve suggests that Rave Captured may be his one and only solo exhibition, he continues to have big plans for Laz Emporium. The space, which bucks the trend of art establishments migrating online by setting up a brick and mortar shop, will be home to limited runs of artworks and design collaborations with leading contemporary artists including Charming Baker, Jake Chapman, Jamie Hewlett and Jonathan Yeo.
Among artworks featured are the Di-Faced Tenner, Banksy’s fake Princess Diana banknote, and plenty of other pieces of Banksy’ ephemera alongside an emporium of sustainably artisan-made cushions, lampshades and other design pieces by notable artists.
All of the pieces have been completed at Laz Emporium’s dedicated studio complex deep in the Gloucestershire countryside – a modern-day foundry for creating magical items from art imagery.
If you missed the chance to attend Rave Captured in person, an accompanying book is available to order from the La Emporium shop.