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Ewen Spencer exhibition opens Sat 7 May

Laz writes: I'm brimming with pride to announce the next project taking place in the exhibition space downstairs at Laz Emporium from Saturday 7 May.

Ewen Spencer's While You Were Sleeping showcases the leading photographer's seminal late 1990s nightclub images:


'The Lovers' from Sonic Mook Experiment at 333 Old Street, 1998


We started out together, me and Ewen Spencer. I always knew he was brilliant. So I find it tremendously pleasing that as the years passed, and more people saw his documentary, portrait and fashion photography, they agreed wholeheartedly. My own favourite photographer Martin Parr named Ewen 'newcomer of the year' way back in 2002.



'Blind Olly Soft Rock' the DJ to blame for ironic 80s records in trendy clubs. It made a crazy kind of sense at the time (1998)


Fashionistas will know Ewen's recent front covers for arch fashion mags like Pop and Arena Homme+. And you might've seen his Channel Four documentaries Brandy & Coke, Open Mic, plus Street, Sound and Style. But when we met back in the 90s, Ewen was shooting nightclubs. Mike Skinner out of The Streets, who Ewen's photographed a bunch over the years says, "the important and exciting thing about Ewen's photos is that they take you back to the real thing."



Above: taken at Queer Nation, the club where DJs Princess Julia and Fat Tony made their names in 1999


I don't think there's anyone out there creating finer reportage photography in the subculture. So I'm made up to announce that we'll be exhibiting images from Ewen's new book While You Were Sleeping on Saturday 7 May onwards, showcasing nightclub photography from 1990s Britain.


Above: rave on Old Kent Road, 1999


Ewen's 20-something son Kuba stumbled across his dad's early work, and remarked how vibrant the clubs seemed in comparison to the sanitised dance parties of now. "When did you take these?" Kuba asked. "While you were sleeping," replied Ewen. Port magazine says in its article on the book, 'The photos are an incredible record of the past, where smoking in clubs was legal, people wouldn’t be glued to their phones; everyone seems less aware of themselves.'

Here's a fantastic interview with Ewen by journalist Clive Martin, conducted when the pair worked on Street, Sound and Style for Channel Four.



Stay locked to our newsletter and Instagram/Facebook @lazemporium for more hype. We'll have the lavish photo book of When You Were Sleeping for sale plus prints and more for sale. See you on Saturday 7 May for the opening – our doors are open as usual and it's the final day of the Rave Captured show on Thursday 27 April.

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