What is it about?

Two iconic clubs, Studio 54 in New York and Le Palace in Paris, were hedonistic environments for the expression of gay identity. The two clubs hosted different types of guests and treated them to different versions of hospitality. Freedom within these spaces was conflicted, particularly when considered retrospectively. The essay addresses the hospitality in these nightclubs as a portent of the emerging AIDS crisis and the bloating of deregulated capitalist markets.

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Why is it important?

The disco nightclubs of the late 70s and early 80s are often conceived in terms of their libertarian pleasures and uncomplicated, unregulated sexualities. The essay finds regulation in the aura of freedom and unwanted complexity in the negotiation of freedom, ways to understand the contradictions of the present-day freedoms as rooted in past illusion.

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This page is a summary of: Nights of Red and Gold, Public, December 2020, Intellect, DOI: 10.1386/public_00033_1.
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