Welcome to 1970s Soho, welcome to the nightclub 'Scheherazade' where everything is for sale. Step right up for an evening of debauchery, of beauty, of brutality and an introduction to a Maltese criminal underworld that makes bank from bodies.
'Scheherazade' was a Maltese-owned London club, one of many that operated in the UK's capital between the 1940s and the 1980s. Abstracted and reimagined by Charlie Cauchi as a full-scale model, this Scheherazade is a fiction that exposes both historic truths and present-day horrors. Power and money are set beside stories of migration and inequality; of criminal impunity and female vulnerability.
Bathed in red light, its edges softened underfoot with scarlet carpet and horrors obscured by blood red velvet drapes, Scheherazade is tactile, glossy, titillating and disconcerting. Shifting lenticular prints reanimate the past, light boxes recalling 70s club signage bear newspaper headlines, while installation, photography and video work present a narrative of organised crime.
A dancing girl entices you in, but descend, and a violent, immoral underbelly awaits in the darkest recesses.
Press release courtesy Valletta Contemporary.