Martin Beck, Last Night, 2016
Martin Beck’s work, Last Night, immerses viewers in a captivating sonic and visual experience rooted in the songs played by musical host David Mancuso on June 2nd, 1984, during one of the final parties at The Loft’s 99 Prince Street location in New York City. The origins of the legendary Loft parties can be traced back to Valentine’s Day 1970 when Mancuso started hosting dance gatherings at his own home. These gatherings we always well known for their ambience and exceptional sound quality, with an intense focus on music and dancing. The Loft served as a blueprint that numerous iconic disco-era clubs in New York sought to emulate. However, The Loft parties maintained their intimate nature by remaining invitation-only, devoid of any commercial agenda. A particular signature of Mancuso’s style and of the nights generally, was that each song was played in its entirety, regardless of its duration. This became a testament to his reverence for the music’s integrity and informs the making and presentation of Beck’s Last Night. The film meticulously presents the records being played on a vintage turntable within a domestic setting, showcasing each song in full and in sequence. The film employs ten different camera angles, intimately capturing the records as they alternate from song to song, creating a progression of perspectives that holds the viewers’ attention on what is ostensibly a sonic experience. The complete sequence comprizes 119 songs, spanning approximately thirteen and a half hours. This audio-visual journey offers a deeply personal exploration of the music that in so many cases was the progenitor of house, hip hop and other important innovations in popular culture. This work, by encapsulating the essence of a single night at a specific moment in time, simultaneously captures a far larger moment of history that nights like this magically ignited.
|Medium||HD video with sound, Physical installation|
|Duration||13 hours 29 minutes|
|Edition||of 10 + 2 APs|