Achtung 74

It’s 1974 and 16-year-old Ian McKay has just left secondary school, his adolescent world bursting with chart music, football, fashion and girls. 


For Achtung 74, McKay sets memories of his vibrant yet uncertain youth in east Manchester against the unknown lives of his peers living behind the wall in East Berlin. He imagines a pen pal romance between a British lad and an East German girl, sharing everyday details of their disparate lives as well as their hopes for the future.


Through comparisons of colour, archive imagery, currency, postage stamps and his love of his nearby circus, McKay depicts [captures] this fractured divide in a new series where each work takes a hit single from 1974 as its title.

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