Wolfgang Tillmans enlists famous friends to help Corona-closed clubland
Elizabeth Peyton, Luc Tuymans, Elmgreen & Dragset, Gillian Wearing, Marlene Dumas, Thomas Ruff, Seth Price, Isa Genzken, Mark Leckey and Andreas Gursky will sell print posters to help locked down clubs, gig venues and bars
Wolfgang Tillmans first gained attention in the early 1990s for his photos which documented the gay scene and club culture in London for magazines such as i-D, The Face and Spex.
Now the socially-minded photographer is coming to the aid of the culture he documented so vividly, and which set him on a path to artistic and commericial success, half-a-lifetime ago.
Tillmans has enlisted the help of 50 international artists - including Thomas Ruff, Elizabeth Peyton, Luc Tuymans, Elmgreen & Dragset, Gillian Wearing, Seth Price, Isa Genzken, Mark Leckey, Marlene Dumas and Andreas Gursky - to sell print posters to help nightclubs, music venues and bars facing extinction due to the global lockdown.
Tillmans is making the print posters available for £50, $50 and €50 each - “a similar amount of money that you might have spent at one of these spaces on a night out,” he says.
The fundraising campaign, Solidarity 2020, is being led by the photographer’s exhibition space Between Bridges in Berlin, Germany.
“There are many places that may not get help or bailed out because they are informal places, in culture, nightlife, and music. I feel an urgency to do something so they don’t have to close down permanently,” the photographer says.
“Lots of people want to do something but they don’t know how or where and it’s really just an action where I connect artists who I either know or feel comfortable approaching to just give one design each,” Tillmans says. His aim is to give a financial boost to any artistic enterprise “where a lack of audience is causing an existential threat”.
Tillmans will pay for the printing and shipping of the print posters to venues, who will sell them from their websites, and receive 100% of the proceeds.
Nicole Eisenman has created a new work for the project, Never Forget Kissing in Bars. Gillian Wearing has donated her 1992 photograph All I Ever Wanted Was Love featuring a young man whose face is covered by a scarf. Other artists taking part include Spyros Rennt, David Lindert, Stefan Fahler, Melanie Bonajo, Tomma Abts and Betty Tompkins.
Tillmans’ photograph, of three vases hit by sunlight in his studio, is especially poignant - it was the last image the photographer printed before closing his Berlin studio early last month.