The ICA celebrates 80’s Ibiza, before it became the Ibiza we know today. We talk to curator David Owen.
Long before the ecstasy fuelled house heads in cheap bikinis and short shorts claimed Ibiza as theirs it was the stomping ground of beautiful Europeans dancing around in open-air clubs and home to superclub Ku, known as a playground for the rich and famous.
They owe a big thank you the 1980’s, the era molded the Balearic Island in to the ‘pill-popping puke paradise’ it has become today. Where it was previously a laid back hangout for hippies, the 80’s saw it become a renowned dance destination attended by the likes of Freddie Mercury, Grace Jones and Jean Paul Gaultier.
To celebrate this pioneering era for The White Isle, the ICA is hosting Ibiza: Moments in Love, an eye-catching colourful exhibition of posters, books, magazines and club photographs celebrating the era and those who played a big part such as Dj Paul Oakenfold, who was so inspired by the music he heard after visiting Ibiza he brought it over to clubs in the UK.
IDEA books curated the exhibit and we caught up with owner David Owen for a quick Q&A.
Whats your favourite book from the exhibition and why?
Ku, Kiss Me Darling is the favourite as it was the first Ibiza book we bought. A customer asked us for ‘Ibiza but… old Ibiza’ and we bought this book blind. When it arrived it was just so exciting – not just for us – but also because we just know that other good customers of ours would equally crazy about it.
Did you visit Ibiza in the 80’s if so what was your fondest memory?
Neither Angela or I have ever been to Ibiza! Not that we take any perverse pride in that – we would love to have gone and would love to go now.
What do you think it was that made Ibiza such a popular destination in the 80s?
The island had a very long history of representing freedom – in a real sense from Franco’s Spain and in a personal sense for people throughout the world. Armin Heinemann of Paula’s Ibiza apparently went there to escape his wife! Most people just threw off their inhibitions. Also Ibiza would have been more popular after the 80s when the dance industry exploded commercially. It was possibly cooler in 80s.
What is your Ibiza soundtrack?
As provided by Test Pressing (testpressing.org). Paul Byrne and Phil Mison created a 5 hour playlist for the exhibition. Almost 5 hours of tracks I had never listened to before and I like them all! It’s worth standing in there for an hour or two in hope of catching the Wham song!
What makes a good book shop?
In my opinion, it would be a shop where you find anything totally unexpected. Hopefully that would include IDEA at Dover Street Market. We have a number of hit books we always try and stock but otherwise all we do is look for the next thing.
What is the best book you have ever bought?
Skinhead Girl by Alan Mead.
Its free entry and closes on the 26th so make sure you visit ASAP!