Throw Away – Keepsake of Dublin’s Club Culture in the 1990s


Posted 12 months ago in More

Throw Away explores Dublin club culture in the 1990s through the fliers which were created on behalf of the clubs, spaces and nights which emerged in this era. Niall McCormack reflects on this “kind of visual psycho-geography of lost spaces and the people who inhabited them.” 

 “All of the visual tropes of rave culture, and its later descendants, are here: spiritual psychedelia, pop culture re-appropriation, sci-fi futurism, new age primitivism, queer s&m, corporate pastiche, jazz graphics and hip-hop graffiti.”

1991 Mansion House – Dance Crazy

The purpose and importance of Throw Away goes well beyond providing a thrill of nostalgia, if you were there, or a shock of the old, if it was before your time.

1992 Sides – Brain Dead

Although both sensations will be engendered by this collection of nightclub flyers, its real significance is as a record of the changing social fabric of nineties Dublin, told through its material detritus.

1993 Gardening Club – Hot

It acts as a kind of visual psycho-geography of lost spaces and the people who inhabited them. A dérive through a Dublin demi-monde, a window on Nighttown.

1991 Shaft

The blast of energy and enthusiasm captured in these flyers runs counter to the dominant narrative of pre-Celtic Tiger Dublin, of austerity and endless greyness.

1997 Switch – Refuge

Yes, there was plenty to rail against at the time, but the evidence here suggests that many embraced the mantra ‘party for your right to fight’. Dance as an act of defiance and communal self-actualization.

1999 Kitchen – Blue Recto

Most, if not all, of the venues featured here no longer exist. Not replaced with new iterations of nightlife spaces, as would have been the case in previous times, but now filled with corporate offices (The Funnel), hotels (Ormond Multimedia Centre, [Rí-Rá], Andrew’s Lane Theatre, Sides DC, The Tivoli), apartments (The Olympic Ballroom, SFX), retail spaces (McGonagles), vacant property (Columbia Mills) and a hole in the ground (The Temple of Sound).

1994 Columbia Mills – Dicks Fags Front

Spaces of possibility and community surrendered to the invisible hand of the market.

1995 Ormond – Sushi

All of the visual tropes of rave culture, and its later descendants, are here: spiritual psychedelia, pop culture re-appropriation, sci-fi futurism, new age primitivism, queer s&m, corporate pastiche, jazz graphics and hip-hop graffiti.

1997 Rí-RÁ – 2 Damn Funky

The influence of Emigre and Ray Gun magazines, and of the Designers Republic, Swifty, Junior Tomlin, 8vo, among others, turn up in various forms. While the quality of the design fluctuates wildly, it is possible to discern the complete DNA of today’s acid grafix in these pages.

1995 Ormond – Roundabout

 

Ciarán Nugent proves to be an excellent ephemerist, recognising the inherit value in these transient documents and the added power of collecting them into one volume.

1998 Mean Fiddler – 4 Hero

Dublin’s nineties club culture may have disappeared from earth, but this book gives us a picture complete enough to reconstruct it.

1994 Columbia Mills – Sure Thang

Words: Niall McCormack

Feature Image: 1995 Garden of Eden – Saints and Sinners

Throw Away is published by image text sound editions, text by Ciarán Nugent and design by Peter Maybury. It launches in Spring 2022.

throwawaybook.com

@throwawaybook_dublin

1994 Kitchen – Fat & Sexy
1997 Doran’s – Melting Pot

 

1996 Kitchen – Peshay
1998 – Funnel – Phunk City

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