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Exhibition -

MC de Waal - Italo Disco Dogma

MC de Waal - Italo Disco Dogma

Exhibition overview:

12 Jul - 21 Jul 2018

TORCH gallery

MC de Waal
12.07 – 21.07.2018
Opening: Thursday 12 July 18.00 - 22.00 (with 12”-presentation ‘RAINING IN MY HEART’ and performance by Maxime Duvall & Band)
Exhibition with cover art by:
Arno Coenen, Lukas Göbel, Andy Tan, Sandor Klijn, Steven Brunsman,  Maarten Nauw and Natasa Heydra. Curator: MC de Waal

Italo disco, seen by many as the ultimate dance music, is going through an immense revival in the current DJ scene and hence in the music, fashion, art and design scenes. Artist MC de Waal, an italo-fanatic from the start, responds to this new wave of interest as curator of a group exhibition about the dogma of the italo disco. At the opening, the curator will give a performance as Maxime Duvall in which the 12” inch-maxi-single 'Raining In My Heart' will be presented.

In this exhibition, every artist has a unique approach to this phenomenon. Some of them have experienced the heydays during the 80's very consciously, while others think of it as a curious episode in music history a long time ago. Point of departure for the artists is the cover of the 12”-maxi-single. Originally, this kind of vinyl record is the most important storage medium for Italo disco. Nowadays, in the digital age, rare Italo disco vinyl are more sought-after than ever.


Belonging to the earliest complete electronic pop music, Italo disco foresaw the demand for a new sound. Supported by its sexy futuristic appearance, smooth graphic design the electronically altered voices are often mysteriously, whether or not on purpose, balancing between Italian and English. In the same way, these elements created its success, it put Italo disco soon out of date. Now to be happily embraced again. 

The style that was developed with limited means, at first very successful, then put aside as cheap and unauthentic, is now a dogma for the new generation. Just as happened with black heavy metal t-shirts, the punk mohawk and the gender-bending fashion of vogue. Like the 'law of the handicap of the head start' (original Dutch: wet van de remmende voorsprong), when an initial head start causes a lack of stimuli to strive further. 

How is the current dogma related to the original style? In the 19th century, people were imitating landscape painters from the Renaissance but using way darker colours based on the reproductions that were available. In the same way, Italo disco is being coloured by the perspective of the current generation. 

During the opening, Maxime Duvall presents the new 12”-maxi-single 'Raining In My Heart', published by the international leading label Bordello A Parigi. The cover shows a picture with all kinds of references to the heydays of Italo disco, such as the nip slip that was successfully applied in the video clip 'Boys' by Sabrina, one the biggest Italo disco hits. 

MC de Waal works as artist and photographer as well in museums and galleries as in clubs, concert halls and festivals and gives performances that bridge these disciplines. From the illustrious club RoXY to self-organized Disco Total parties, from the Nieuwe Kerk till the Van Gogh Museum. As an art director of video clips and as a member of DJ-collective Italo Elite, with Tom Trago, San Proper and Lupe. As photographer developed MC de Waal an iconic style of portraying, where traditional techniques and contemporary presentation media are coming together. The transition between these different means is an important point of attention, just as the transition in the development of humans or transitions in music.