On 3rd April 1976, PTMADDEN, a young art student from Liverpool studying in London, stood with his camera a few feet away from the stage at the Nashville Rooms, London with the concept of taking a stage-framed photograph every thirty seconds to capture an entire performance of his favourite group - the Sex Pistols. He then kept the negatives under his bed for almost 40 years (so he always knew where they were), allowing only a few of the exposures to be seen in recent years. This unique exhibition presents all twenty-six surviving photographs painstakingly produced as a unified artwork for the first time.
As one of his earliest photographic works, Sex Pistols - April 1976 by PTMADDEN exists as both a unique photographic document and as the artistic equivalent of a live performance by the Sex Pistols in early April 1976. PTMADDEN’s ‘anti-Henri-Cartier-Bresson technique’ was derived from previously reading every issue of Art Forum in the London College of Printing library which led him to discover his artistic influences and conceptual frames of reference. Thus, the twenty-six piece artwork Sex Pistols - April 1976 rejects the conventions and clichés of contemporary rock photography and instead can be compared more accurately to what PTMADDEN refers to as ‘the sublimely strange photographs’ of Ed Ruscha’s Twentysix Gasoline Stations (1963), Richard Long’s photographs of straight line walks, and Bernd and Hilla Becher's systematic series of works - including typologies of timber framed buildings and water towers – photographs that seemed to PTMADDEN to be ‘deliberately untechnical and purposely badly lit.’
The surviving roll of film exists as a typology of a Sex Pistols performance, and PTMADDEN regards the roll of film as the artwork - not any individual shot