The Disciples: James Mollison’s Portraits of Music Subcultures
From Madonna to Marilyn Manson, or how to worship at the secular altar of pop culture.
By Maria Popova
From photographer James Mollison, whom you might remember from his poignant series on where children sleep, comes Disciples (public library) — a visual study of musical subcultures, reminiscent of the Exactitudes project. Between 2004 and 2007, Mollison travelled across Europe and the U.S. with a mobile photography studio, which he parked in front of music concerts, taking individual portraits of fans outside the respective band’s gig. He then composited the portraits into lineups of eight to ten fans, creating a single pseudo-panoramic image. The book gathers sixty-two of these fascinating images, featuring more than 500 individual portraits that capture the spirit and tribalism of comtemporary music culture, from death metal to Lady Gaga.
An entertaining study of pop culture and its subcultural micro-cults, Disciples offers a curious look at one of our era’s most pervasive secular religions and one of the last remaining social unifiers of our time.
Published October 7, 2011