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The Lives of The Party


Looking at the New York dance hall days captured by photographer Laura June Kirsch in her debut monograph “Romantic Lowlife Fantasies: Emerging Adults in The Age of Hope” it’s hard not to think of a certain 2006 electro house classic by the French EDM duo Justice. “We are your friends, you’ll never be alone again,” the song beckons with a hollow promise, a siren’s cigarette-tinged chant to a wayward, weekend warrior Odysseus, looking for connection, or just the spark of life, in the mosh pit, in the bathroom stall, in a stranger’s mouth.

“Romantic Lowlife Fantasies” is an ode to the no-money glamour of the Obama generation, when the lines for Le Bain and The Box were a mile long, Heatherette was on the runways and Lady Gaga was still the girl who used to sing on The Lower East Side.

“We used to call our group friends ‘lowlives’ because we didn’t know what we were doing…we were out every night, we were out until 4 a.m. taking photos or hanging out with musicians,” Kirsch said at a talk held at House of Books in Kent, Conn. The Greenpoint, Brooklyn-based photographer has also shot celebrity portraits for Vogue, Spotify, and The Village Voice — from NBA player James Harden to pop singer Liam Payne. She described the twenty-something nostalgia captured in her book as “a fun, coming-of-age time for me as I entered the world in a real way. In college I was much more structured, I was in a serious relationship, and I was working for a label. Then after college, I was flying by the seat of my pants, shooting all these parties. It’s not what I expected to be doing in my twenties. I was leading this very traditional life — and then suddenly I wasn’t.”

“Romantic Lowlife Fantasies” is available at House of Books in Kent, Conn.

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