MILAN — Gucci and Frieze have commissioned Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller and filmmaker and visual artist Josh Blaaberg to create films to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Second Summer of Love, the explosion of electronic music and youth culture that took place in 1988 in the U.K. and across Europe.
In particular, the Second Summer of Love series will explore Acid House’s impact on international contemporary culture, retracing its origins from the Italian disco scene of the mid-Eighties to rave’s role in rebuilding British identity, passing through the adoption of European synth sounds in the house and techno cultures of Chicago, Detroit and New York.
Deller will present “Everybody in The Place: An incomplete history of Britain 1984-1992,” which investigates the social changes that reshaped 1980s Britain through rare and unseen archive materials, mapping the journey from protest movements to abandoned warehouse raves. The footage will include images of an A-level politics class discovering these stories for the first time, showing the perspective of a generation which considers the facts already an ancient history.
Blaaberg combines fiction and archival footage in its “Distant Planet: The six chapters of Simona,” a film focusing on Italian disco, which is often considered less relevant compared to American and British pop. The movie imagines a universe where mid-Eighties New York runs riot for the latest Italo releases and three fictional Italian disco stars are elevated to their rightful places in pop history.
The two movies will be exclusively screened at the Gucci Wooster cinema space in New York from July 6 to 20. In addition, all the movies of the series will be presented together at Frieze London in October, with the respective directors in attendance to host a panel following the screening.
The series will be flanked by four 60-second prelude films directed by Adam Csoka Keller and Evelyn Benčičová.
Deller and Blaaberg’s assignments add to award-winning filmmaker Wu Tsang’s “Into a Space of Love” documentary, which premiered at Frieze New York last May and explores the legacy of house music in New York’s underground culture.