added: 3 Dec 2013 // by: Music-News.com Newsdesk
Photographer Campbell Mitchell launches VIVA, his first solo photographic exhibition in London, at the Rich Mix Arts Centre on December 5th, celebrating both the glitz and glamour of the UK Elvis Tribute Artists and the staggering impact that Elvis Presley continues to have upon us, thirty six years after his death.
Presented by London's leading film school, the London Film Academy, with whom Campbell has a long-standing relationship, VIVA showcases the devotion and obsession of Elvis fans and their musical tribalism that has become a religion. The photographs detail the mania of fans at the Elvis Tribute events and, exclusively reveal homes of some of the most obsessive fans in the country ' people who have turned their entire houses into shrines to their idol.
Campbell spent many nights documenting various Elvis Tribute Acts ' attending the Elvis Four Nations competition and following one of the biggest ETAs - the consummate former World Champion Elvis Tribute Act, Mr. Johnny Lee Memphis. The resulting images are of performers in full flight, in custom-made costumes ' channelling the power and pomp of one of the twentieth century's most electrifying and charismatic stage performers. It was during these concerts that the focus of VIVA began to shift has Campbell spent more and more time with the fans.
The final piece of VIVA focuses on the vast merchandising industry that keeps Elvis near the top of the show business earnings list decades after his death. This stream of novelty items and memorabilia is bought by obsessive fans, desperate to get close to the object of their devotion. The photographs show a distorted and nakedly commercial side to the King's legacy.
Viva runs from 6th- 29th December at the RichMix Gallery, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.