Check out the new images from Matt’s personal project, Murder a Go-Go, completing the series that follows the adventures of a gang of 1960s Gogo girls who lure and kidnap prominent businessmen…
“Somewhere in the mutinous haze of 1960’s America, a glamorous band of dancing militants dubbed the ‘Go-Go Gang’ is hard at work seducing and murdering chemical company executives in the name of environmental justice. This is Murder a Go-Go; a 17-image fictional series from UK artist Matt Henry that twins the sexualised and homicidal flavours of 1960’s explotation cinema with the rapidly emerging social movements of the time.
Murder a Go-Go opens with a newspaper article about a Californian kidnapping and ends with a blood-soaked activist leaving a copy of Silent Spring at the scene. “Rachel Carson took on the agrochemical industry in 1962 with this environmental science book,” claims the photographer. “Her work galvanised a generation of environmentalists and female scientists. It is just such a great seed on which to build a narrative.”
Henry’s fictionalised story of environmental radicalism remains in keeping with the blackly comedic tone of much of his work, he claims, and with the sensationalism of the exploitation genre. “Many of these films explored the countercultural and left-wing movements that Hollywood glossed over,” says Henry. “Many were also uncharacteristically progressive in using tough female leads, so it felt natural to draw on these elements of Sixties visual culture.”
The protagonists were played by a real life Go-Go troupe named The Meyer Dancers and the series photographed across UK locations and set builds. “The 1960s is the era that I work in,” says Henry, “but it’s always with one eye on the present. What was unique about this period was the pace of cultural change. So you have to ask yourself why we still need environmental activism and why women are still woefully underepresented in the sciences? And the answer of course is that the job was far from done. What the world needs now more than ever is a glamorous group of murderous Go-Go dancers to put all these wrongs to right. ”