Fiorucci made me Hardcore

Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore-Mark Leckey 1999
Fiorucci made me Hardcore-Mark Leckey 1999

My post on Bob Carlos Clarke’s photographs of debutantes balls (see Very Heaven, Indeed) got me thinking about the ghosts of nightlife past, which naturally enough, led me to remember Mark Leckey’s 1999  video installation Fiorucci made me Hardcore.

This short 15 minute film of found footage choreographed to the snippets of songs, cheers and sounds that languidly drift in before disappearing, chronicles approximately 20 years of the English club scene, from the amphetamine driven Northern Soul dancers of the mid 70’s via the football casuals to the ecstasy fuelled warehouse raves of the late 80’s-early 90’s. Laced with an elegiac nostalgia, we witness the invariably young dancers caught up completely in the bliss of the moment: the holy now. Fiorucci made me Hardcore derives it oddly haunting quality to the fact that we are aware that no matter how much we are living in the instance that the lights will eventually come on, day will dispel the charm of the night and that any lingering intoxication will dissipate to be replaced only by a grinding comedown. The scene and youth itself will fade away. For the now is soon yesterday and this moment has, like all moments must, passed.

31 thoughts on “Fiorucci made me Hardcore

  1. Wow, thanks for that! I watched the whole thing, and half expected to see myself or my friends in the background… I had that ridiculous spiral perm, and went to all those warehouse rave parties… Time is fleeting indeed- now I’m almost 52, and like to be tucked up in bed by the same time I used to BEGIN getting ready to go out in those days of youth and glory haha! What a great find, all that footage, thanks so much for sharing it, G 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks G and glad you liked it. It is very cleverly done and oddly haunting I find, even with all those ridiculous perms which I remember as well being of a similar vintage. Life is fleeting indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Perhaps watching this little reel of art is still as “perfect” yet different from the first exposure. I guess experience is not irretrievable. Sartre touches on this quality in art also in la Nausée. His work is much maligned these days. I mean we all know how verbose he is, but still…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that the pathos is greater because it is further away in time and that world has faded away. As for the Sartre verbosity, there is a great section in Bolano’s Nazi Literature in America, I will see if I can dig it out.

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  3. The mise en scène for my ecstasy experiences were open air concerts during the late 60’s to the mid 70s
    I mainly missed the club culture, and probably would have found it claustrophobic, though the emotional pitch chimes.

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    1. Definitely on the same pitch, just differences in time and place. I was too young for the Northern Soul which was very big (Wigan Casino was Billboards best nightclub in the world in 78… beating out Studio 54) but remember the days of House.

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  4. Dear Mr. Cake, your intro to the video is terrific, “…any lingering intoxication will dissipate to be replaced only by a grinding comedown.” The film captures a floating, haunting and hypnotic montage of youth, “in the bliss of the moment” prior to the crash and burn. ~ Miss Cranes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Miss Cranes I am so glad you liked the video and the intro… hypnotic is a word that I should have used… ah the bliss of the moment and the agony when it is over. Something different but I do try to keep it fresh within the format.

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      1. You’re welcome, Mr. Cake. And true, the bliss of the moment. To hell with the agony, hopefully we’ve stored up enough of those moments to live vicariously now and then. Love it, fresh with a vintage feel, perfect for Cakeland.

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  5. interesting selection. you should really be paid/have a magazine. Anyway. what I find eerie about this is thinking about all the similar club scenes from the 70s-1980s and how many gay men from that era are dead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You raise a lot of interesting points. First how the scenes in the film were based, initially, at least, on American urban and or gay culture but became part of straight working class culture. Then the pathos of nightlife past and the cost. Well if you know anyone who wants to pay me, everyone has there price!


  6. Your comments reminded me of Andrew Holleran’s “A Dancer from the Dance”—a stunningly beautiful and sensitive depiction of New York gay life in the 1970s. The video, however, somehow doesn’t mesh with my internal representation of the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well the video is mainly concerned with the English dance scene, which was working class and in a hard bitten era (the 70’s were particularly grey and dismal). A lot of crossover from black American and/or gay culture, but whereas disco was about decadence the English club scene was more a symptom of decline. Dancing the pain away.

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