Aesthetica Magazine Issue 82

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The Art & Culture Magazine

Issue 82 April / May 2018

Creating connections

unified methodology

material complexity

A new wave of biodegradable fashion showcases the possibilities for plastic

Reflecting upon photography as a mediator for social understanding

Norwegian designers consider the wider importance of togetherness

Celebrating structural excellence beyond beauty and functionality

UK ÂŁ5.95 Europe â‚Ź11.95 USA $15.49

towards sustainability

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Welcome Editor’s Note

On the Cover JUCO return with characteristically bold images that demonstrate excellence in art direction and photography. Vivid patterns, organic textures and built-up sets come together to create deeply animated and visually satisfying interiors. (p.118). Cover Image: Spring Layering Trends for Refinery29 shot by JUCO – collaboration with artist Kat and Roger on the set design. Pedestals created by Canoe Los Angeles. Styled by Emily Holland, Hair by Michael Long, make up by Mia Yang, Set design and props by Kat Cutter and Roger Lee, model Elizabeth Havird.

When you’re part of something, it’s difficult to see beyond its parameters. How much time needs to pass to be able to understand the present? When will we know the true impact of Donald Trump, the War on Terror, Brexit, and environmental damage? As an individual, what can I do to make a difference? How and when will things change? Who will be the instigators? These are thoughts that I often ponder. Every generation looks to the next, expecting that it will be the group who finally crack the code. I am hopeful – seeing fields filled with solar panels – that maybe life is moving on. When I was eight, I won a competition for an essay about what the world would be like in the year 2000. I wrote about speaking to people on the phone and being able to see them. I wasn’t predicting the future – I was just responding to thoughts that were circling around at that time. But it’s still strange that this is now a reality. This issue of Aesthetica captures the zeitgeist of our times. We look at how the world is developing and how art, design and photography are commenting on that. It’s a necessity – artists and makers are the chroniclers of our times. We survey the RIBA award winners from previous years, assessing how architecture provides building blocks for social interaction. This is followed by Norwegian designers at Salone del Mobile, who examine the notion of community as a model for the future of production. Meanwhile, crafting plastics! offers an ingenious idea: creating biodegradable glasses. We also take a look at the Aesthetica Art Prize 2018 shortlist, which reflects on financial, environmental and societal structures. In photography, we offer some of the most exciting practitioners working today. Adrienne Raquel was originally part of our #newartists scheme; her subtle self-portraits, styling and fantastic set design bear the mark of great things to come. We also present series from Patty Maher, Tekla Evelina Severin, Salvador Cueva, Alexis Pichot and Edgar Martins, all of whom invite you to explore new ways of seeing the world. Finally, Namsa Leuba gives us the Last Words. She is part of Foam’s Talent Awards 2018. Enjoy! Cherie Federico

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Art 24 Everyday Symbolism Adrienne Raquel’s images fill the page with rich femininity, evoking hazy nostalgia through the use of pastel colours and dreamy Americana.

34 Unified Methodology Introducing the idea of social community on a larger scale, Norwegian designers consider the importance of togetherness at Salone del Mobile.

40 Delicate Portraiture Traversing the surreal and the commonplace, Patty Maher’s works invite audiences to become part of each composition through collective interpretation.

52 Towards Sustainability A new wave of biodegradable fashion showcases the possibilities of plastic as an ecological and resilient resource for the future of production.

58 Luminous Environment Alexis Pichot transports the viewer away from the urban landscape, re-introducing the supremacy of nature as a deeply ritualistic phenomenon.

72 Material Complexity RIBA’s awards are a barometer for excellence in architecture, looking beyond mere aesthetics towards functionality and human interaction.

78 Intimate Atmosphere Tekla Evelina Severin features in Aesthetica for the second time, with a collection that focuses on the beauty of stylised moments in colourful interiors.

88 Haunting Landscapes Shot on the same set of beaches in Portugal over two years, Edgar Martins’s The Accidental Theorist offers a series of familiar yet ubiquitous scenes.

100 Creating Connections Circulation(s) festival returns for its 2018 edition, showcasing emerging photographers through a range of self-reflective themes and subjects.

106 Structural Frameworks Looking at global growth through the use of bold pinks and digitalised blue skies, Salvador Cueva builds on the visual spectacle of urban repetition.

118 Graphic Composition JUCO’s collaboration with artist duo Kat and Roger centres around classic shapes and natural ceramics, blending narrative with visual contrasts.

126 Aesthetica Art Prize The shortlist for the 2018 Prize is announced with a group show reflecting upon global financial markets and technology that mimics nature.




130 The Latest Shows Featured: BALTIC, Centre Pompidou, New Art Gallery Walsall, Turner Contemporary Margate, Galerie Ségolène Brossette and Calvert 22.

134 Contemporary Tragedy Ruben Östlund’s Oscar-nominated film The Square provokes multiple readings as a bold comedy that questions the masculine egos that drive decisions.

136 Euphoric Darkness Chvrches produce sublime, stadium-ready music that is both epic and intimate; the Glasgow trio return with their third studio album, Love is Dead.


Artists’ Directory

Last Words

138 Chronicling Modernism California Captured documents the optimism of post-war America, showcasing the era’s buildings through sunny photography by Marvin Rand.

153 Bold Imaginations Looking towards the beauty of geometric angles and expansive colour, the artists presented in the April / May edition celebrate creative expression.

162 Namsa Leuba Part of this year’s Foam Talent, Next Generation Lagos explores the innovation and creativity of Nigeria’s youth culture through arresting images.

Aesthetica Magazine is trade marked worldwide. © Aesthetica Magazine Ltd 2018.

The Aesthetica Team: Editor: Cherie Federico Assistant Editor: Kate Simpson Digital Assistant: Eleanor Sutherland Staff Writer: David Martin

Advertisement Enquiries: Jeremy Appleyard (0044) (0)844 568 2001

ISSN 1743-2715. All work is copyrighted to the author or artist. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without permission from the publisher.

Advertising Coordinator: Jeremy Appleyard Marketing Coordinator: Hannah Skidmore Artists’ Directory Coordinator: Katherine Smira

Artists’ Directory Enquiries: Katherine Smira (0044) (0)844 568 2001

Published by Cherie Federico and Dale Donley. Aesthetica Magazine PO Box 371, York, YO23 1WL, UK (0044) (0)844 568 2001 Newstrade Distribution: Warners Group Publications plc. Gallery & Specialist Distribution: Central Books.

Production Director: Dale Donley Designer: Laura Tordoff Administrator: Cassandra Weston Marketing & Administration Assistant: Sophie Lake Technician: Andy Guy Events Assistant: Roisin Mullins Editorial Intern: Saffron Ward Contributors: Anna Feintuck, Max L. Feldman, Colin Herd, Charlotte R.A, Tom Seymour, Beth Webb, Gunseli Yalcinkaya.

Printed by Warners Midlands plc. Reviewers: Kyle Bryony, Grace Caffyn, Ashton Chandler, Tony Earnshaw, Virna Gvero, Sarah Jilani, Erik Martiny James Mottram, Selina Oakes, Paul Risker, Verity Seward, Matt Swain .

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Francesco Jodice, Sunset Boulevard, Arizona, Pichacho Butte #013, 2014. Courtesy Gazelli Art House.


Charting Global Developments Photo London Since its inception in 2015, Photo London has fast estab- significant influence on the planet. “We’ve had five great ex- “The images lished itself as a world-class event. It not only represents the tinctions,” Burtynsky says, referring to devastations from the explore themes capital’s status as an international cultural hub and home to “Great Dying” of the Permian eruptions to the asteroid impact of urbanisation, a dynamic community of photographers and creatives but that wiped out the dinosaurs. “Now our species is having a industrialisation and the consequences brings leading artists, galleries and dealers to London in a similar effect, we are the equivalent of a meteor impact.” In London, he presents an exhibition of rare and new work, of resource extraction, public celebration of the medium that, in its newly democratised, instantly shareable form, increasingly defines our times. including a preview of the full Anthropocene project, which will revealing humanFor its latest edition, this global photography fair presents a go on show in September in Ottawa and Toronto. The images marked landscapes record 101 galleries from 18 countries, from China and Leba- explore themes of urbanisation, industrialisation and the which are sublime non to the US. The exhibitors were selected by a committee consequences of resource extraction, from oil bunkering and and disturbing.” led by Philippe Garner, former director at Christie’s. Running sawmills in Nigeria to the salt mines of the Ural Mountains, alongside the main programme, this year’s Discovery section, revealing human-marked landscapes which are both sublime a showcase setting out to raise the profile of emerging galler- and disturbing. Included is an augmented reality experience, ies and artists, curated by Tristan Lund, has been considerably demonstrating Burtynsky’s commitment to exploring the fastexpanded. The 22 galleries featured include a strong show- changing technological frontiers for the discipline. A selected group of participating institutions have created case from the British capital alongside an international selection including LhGWR (The Hague), Jo van de Loo (Munich), projects exclusively for the event. Olivier Castaing / School Espace JB (Geneva), Kana Kawanishi (Tokyo), Almanaque Gallery (Paris) presents an installation on “1968 ”; Hans P. Kraus Jr. (New York) curates a major exhibition on the legacy (Mexico City) and On / Gallery (Beijing). This year, the festival has appointed Canadian fine art pho- of William Henry Fox Talbot; whilst White Cube (London) has a tographer Edward Burtynsky (b. 1955) as its Master of Pho- solo show by Darren Almond. Amongst the international galtography. Known for large-format images of industrial land- leries is Gazelli Art House, which operates spaces in London Somerset House, London scapes, Burtynsky is currently engaged in a five-year multi- and Baku, Azerbaijan, and presents the work of Italian artist 17-20 May disciplinary project called Anthropocene, a title referring to Francesco Jodice (b. 1967), focusing on the social landscapes our present geological age in which human activity exerts a of our time with an eye for urban anthropology.

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Enigmatic Landscapes Todd Hido: In the vicinity of narrative

©Todd Hido, Untitled #7373, 2009. Courtesy Alex Daniels, Reflex Gallery, Amsterdam.

The cinematic images of American photographer Todd Hido along with an examination of Hido’s working methods and, in “Away from the (b. 1968) are both compelling and melancholy, drawing doing so, offers its own partial linking narrative. The gallery hidden tales of upon memories of vanished suburban neighbourhoods from highlights paths through this substantial body of work, which urban and suburban has featured in the likes of The New York Times Magazine, Art- life, the featured a 1970s childhood – places which no longer exist in reality. From blurred landscapes glimpsed through a car window forum and Vanity Fair, and the permanent collections of the landscapes capture an to houses seen from the outside and mysterious female Getty, the Whitney Musem of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, unpopulated world of liminal nowhere characters in motel rooms, the images appear like uncanny New York and the Smithsonian, amongst many others. Currently based in San Francisco’s Bay Area, Hido last places, again with the stills from an imagined film, implying a story unfolding out of sight. Each composition creates a sense of foreboding, en- completed a monograph in 2013; Excerpts from Silver Mead- same cinematographic gaging the viewer’s imagination to fill in the narrative context. ows further develops the signature approach of combining eye, as Hido drives This incursion of the strange into the everyday suggests a portraits, landscapes, vintage photographs and documents through southern kinship with the surreal film explorations of David Lynch; in order to suggest a hidden narrative, which is glimpsed and western USA.” only cryptically. Silver Meadows was, incidentally, the name Hido indeed lists Alfred Hitchcock amongst his influences. Away from the hidden tales of urban and suburban life, the of the main street of the district where the artist grew up in featured landscapes capture an unpopulated world of limi- Ohio, a place now vanished and replaced by strip malls. The presentation of Hido’s work at MBAL runs alongside nal nowhere places, again with the same cinematographic eye, as Hido drives through southern and western USA, often that of three other significant figures in or engaged with conshooting through the rain and grime on the car windscreen temporary photography, creating a multi-layered dialogue. as part of the composition, to create images of roads, empty They are the legendary New York street photographer Garry fields, an infrastructure of telephone poles and railways Winogrand, represented by a series portraits celebrating the rise of feminism in the 1970s, France’s Thibault Brunet, who Musée des Beaux Arts, spanning empty distances in the absence of humans. The title of MBAL’s presentation, In the Vicinity of Narrative, presents an almost virtual world in his photographs, albeit Le Locle, Switzerland picks up on these distinct qualities. Looking back across the one clearly anchored in reality, and Guy Oberson, from Swit- Until 27 May artist’s career, which includes a prolific catalogue of more zerland, whose drawings are both inspired by and re-examine than a dozen photobooks, the exhibition unites several series, the photographs of Diane Arbus and Robert Mapplethorpe.

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Karl Schwanzer, BMW-Hauptverwaltung, München, Museum, 1972. ©Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunst-bibliothek / Sigrid Neubert.


The Aesthetics of Construction Sigrid Neubert A radical mid-career shift in subject matter from the built environment to the natural world characterises the oeuvre of German photographer Sigrid Neubert (b. 1927). Originally a renowned architectural photographer for major companies, a field in which she combined structural precision with a distinct and innovative personal aesthetic, Neubert shifted towards nature photography from the 1970s onwards and has dedicated herself exclusively to the genre since 1990. The exhibition Sigrid Neubert – Photographs. Architecture and Nature was made possible following the artist’s donation of a significant archive to the Kunstbibliothek – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, opening up new curatorial perspectives. The Kunstbibliothek is marking 150 years of its collection and, given that its first acquisitions in 1868 were architectural photographs, Neubert is a fitting subject for the anniversary. Having started out in commercial advertising photography for the glass and ceramics industry, Neubert shifted to specialise solely in structural imagery during the 1950s. A high-profile career invited commissions from leading practitioners in the field in Germany and Austria, such as Kurt Ackermann, Alexander von Branca, Bea and Walther Betz, Hans-Busso von Busse, Hardt-Waltherr Hämer, Karl Schwanzer and Gustav Peichl. Neubert was heavily influenced by American photography, developing a signature visual language which made use of unusual perspectives and

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an intensity of contrast and atmosphere. This approach “Originally a became much sought-after for its ability to isolate the iconic renowned architectural qualities of structures, such as the Olympia buildings, the photographer for major BMW ensemble, or the Hypo-Bank, ensuring that the images companies, a field in received worldwide attention and caught the public eye. which she combined Given her growing interest in the natural world, this structural precision exhibition also considers spaces where organic and man- with a distinct personal made systems interact. The Nymphenburg Palace Park in aesthetic, Neubert Munich, created from 1701 onwards, is a vast tract of formal shifted towards nature gardens, lakes and parkland that unites the Nymphenburg photography from Castle with a series of smaller pleasure palaces, referencing the 1970s onwards.” different architectural cultures. Neuberg’s photobook on this unique site, Der Park – Die Gartenanlagen zu Nymphenburg concentrates on perspective, and was published in 1980. Also featured are images from Die Tempel von Malta. Das Mysterium der Megalithbauten (1988), in which the architectural eye also becomes archaeological and anthropological, as Neuberg turns the camera on what are believed to be amongst the oldest free-standing buildings in existence – the mysterious megalithic temples of Malta and Gozo, which were constructed between 3600 BC and 700 BC. Museum für Curated by Ludger Derenthal and Frank Seehausen, the Fotografie, Berlin images are unified by Neuberg’s inquiry into composition, Until 3 June drawing a common thread from enigmatic relics from the dawn of human construction to the BMW Tower in Munich.

Perspectives on Activism A Fire That No Water Could Put Out: Civil Rights Photography

David Alekhuogie (American, born 1986), Birth Home, 2013. Archival pigment print, 30 × 40 inches. High Museum of Art, Atlanta, purchased with funds from the Friends of Photography, PA.PHO.366.

Half a century on from 1968 – a year of seismic social and tender examples of portraiture to conceptual landscapes. “Through some of Amongst the most powerful images is Dr. Martin Luther King’s the most powerful political change that was accompanied by both protest and repression – the High Museum reflects on the civil rights Motel Room Hours after He Was Shot, Memphis, Tennessee images from our civil struggle through memorable archive images and contem- (1968) by Steve Schapiro (b. 1936). A photographer for Life rights collection, this porary responses. The exhibition takes its title, A Fire That No magazine, Schapiro was sent to Memphis immediately after exhibition underscores Water Could Put Out, from the final speech given by Dr. Martin the murder of Dr. King on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel photography’s pivotal Luther King Jr. just before his assassination in that turbulent on 4 April, 1968. Schapiro captured some of the last things role in chronicling the year. However, King’s death is understood in this show not as Dr. King had touched before he was shot by James Earl Ray, important moments that shaped our past an end point but as part of a wider legacy of ongoing activism. including a copy of Soul Force and a Styrofoam coffee cup. Following on chronologically, there are poignant scenes and the perspectives “Activism has continued its efforts to advance racial equality and justice in the United States,” says Erin Nelson, curator of from the march in Memphis, led by Coretta Scott King just that will influence this timely exhibition. “Through some of the most powerful four days after her husband’s death, photographed by our future.” images from our civil rights collection, this exhibition Magnum Photos’ Burk Uzzle, who also took iconic images of underscores photography’s pivotal role in chronicling both the funeral procession in Atlanta. Meanwhile, the realities of the important moments that shaped our past and the current life in the segregated, Jim Crow-era south are seen in Outside Looking In, Mobile, Alabama, (1956) by Gordon Parks (1912events and perspectives that will influence our future.” More than 40 pieces are featured, including work from re- 2006) depicting a playground for white children only. New responses to this overarching legacy are also included, nowned 20th century figures such as Gordon Parks, Danny Lyon, Charles Moore, Roy DeCarava, James Hinton, Steve for example, Baptism (2013) by David Alekhuogie (b. 1986), Schapiro, Diane Arbus, Ernest Withers, Doris Derby and Burk which was created in and around Atlanta during a self-deUzzle, as well as contemporary photographers David Ale- scribed personal pilgrimage to the key sites of the civil rights The High Museum khuogie, Dawoud Bey, Matthew Brandt, Jason Lazarus and movement and other important events in black history, and a of Art, Atlanta Sheila Pree Bright. The recorded responses to the civil rights picture by Dawoud Bey (b. 1953) from Birmingham: Four Girls, Until 29 April movement, whether contemporaneous photojournalism or Two Boys, a mediation on the lives lost during the 16th Street poetic reflection taken from a historic distance, range from Baptist Church bombing of 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama.

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USA, California, Los Angeles, 1982. © Harry Gruyaert / Magnum Photos.


Illuminating the Everyday Harry Gruyaert: A retrospective Born in Belgium in 1941, Harry Gruyaert was one of the first European photographers to embrace the potential of colour, echoing American counterparts such as William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, who rejected the notion of colour as a vehicle for commercial work rather than artistic expression. Gruyaert also set himself against the humanistic European tradition of Henri Cartier-Bresson (whose legendary Magnum photographic agency he would join in 1981) in which people took precedence over the details of setting and background. Though best known for his use of Kodachrome colour film – making use of a signature sense of light and composition – the artist is also considered for the lesserknown aspects of his career in a broad overview at FOMU. The retrospective offers a valuable insight into an individual who has historically revealed little about his wider creative process and has dismissed the idea of narrative or story in an image, instead being concerned with the aesthetics of shapes and light. Gruyaert’s career has seen him travel the world, seeking beauty in the everyday, with some of the best-known pieces emerging from India, Morocco and Egypt as well as the west of Ireland; images taken in Morocco attained the Kodak Prize in 1976 and led to the photobook Morocco (1990). The photographer’s poetic language is evidenced in three series throughout the show. Rivages (2003) incorporates images of the horizon and the sea, whilst East/West (2017) opposes the

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colour palettes of Moscow in 1989, still an austere and re- “The retrospective offers strained place on the eve of the fall of the Soviet Union, with a valuable insight into the glitz and light of Las Vegas and Los Angeles in 1981. an individual who has TV Shots (1974), which Gruyaert considers his most journal- historically revealed istic piece of work, is also reimagined at FOMU, in the form little about his wider of a video installation. For this, the artist took screen shots creative process and of unfolding global events as they were broadcast to living has dismissed the idea rooms around the world on the cathode ray tube televisions of narrative or story of the 1970s, some approaching abstraction in their distorted, in an image, instead blurred presentation, or suggesting Pop Art in their vividly being concerned colourful approach to the everyday. From the Apollo Moon with the aesthetics of landings to the hostage crisis during the 1972 Munich Olym- shapes and light.” pics, these images reflect how world-shaping news stories were experienced by most people, presented alongside the banal output of TV entertainment. The work created controversy when first exhibited in 1974, when it was seen as both a disrespectful assault on the culture of television and a radical challenge to the conventions of serious press photography. Also explored at FOMU are less well-known aspects of Gruyaert’s practice, including early black-and-white pieces, a fashion campaign for Hermès, covers for the Penguin pocket editions of Georges Simenon, a homage to filmmaker Michel- Fotomuseum Antwerp angelo Antonioni, family photos and a diverse selection of Until 10 June commissioned work, contributing to a comprehensive summary which offers to shed new light on this acclaimed figure.

Representations of the Self Anja Niemi: She Could Have Been A Cowboy

She Could Have Been A Cowboy © Anja Niemi / The Little Black Gallery. She Could Have Been A Cowboy by Anja Niemi is at Photo London 17-20 May with The Little Black Gallery, and then at The Ravestijn Gallery in Amsterdam 8 September - 21 October.

“I am sick to death of this particular self, I want another,” wrote of wanting to become something other. The female character “‘Every day my Virginia Woolf in her ground-breaking novel of fluid gender in the series is referred to at times as “The Girl of Constant character is trapped identities, Orlando: A Biography (1928). Woolf’s theme of Sorrow”, a reference to a traditional western folk song which in the same pink wanting to become another in defiance of constraint and has been reinterpreted by Joan Baez and Bob Dylan among dress when what she conformity offers a key to the work of Anja Niemi, and it is a many others. As Niemi explains: “Every day my character is really wants is to be subject which finds a striking presentation in the artist’s new trapped in the same pink dress when what she really wants is a cowboy, dressed to be a cowboy, dressed in fringe and leather, riding horses in fringe and leather, body of work entitled She Could Have Been A Cowboy. The Norwegian artist, who has been represented by London’s in the wild west. She longs for a life she knows she will never riding horses in the The Little Black Gallery since 2012, works alone, not only in have. My character’s cowboy life is all an illusion. The series Wild West. She longs taking the photographs but creating the characters: staging, shifts between reality and imagination, a combination of for a life she knows she will never have.’” directing and acting out the scenes as part of an ongoing in- what she is and what she wants to be.” The series continues to develop themes established from vestigation into the self and its limits. Overcoming considerable technical challenges, she features in all of the pictures, Niemi’s previous photographic projects, notably that of split often appearing several times in the same image, introducing personas and duality, which are central to Darlene & Me unsettling themes of the double, or doppelgänger. These are (2014) and The Woman Who Never Existed (2017), which not straightforward self-portraits: they subvert the idea of the premiered at Photofairs San Francisco. Her series have rap“selfie” through the artist’s performance of various characters. idly become highly collectable, notably with Room 81 (bed), The end results are filmic, and evoke contrasting narrative in- from Do Not Disturb (2012) selling for $7,000 in January last year, whilst The Backyard, from Darlene & Me, sold for terpretations, such as humour and tragedy, simultaneously. In this particular series, Niemi returns to the iconic image $6,794 at Christie’s Photographs sale in London last May. She Could Have Been A Cowboy is presented at Steven Steven Kasher Gallery, of the American cowboy, a symbol largely drawn from the mythmaking of wild west movies than the realities of the job Kasher Gallery in New York until 14 April (including AIPAD New York it represents, and addresses the strict gender division be- The Photography Show). It can then be seen at Photo London Until 14 April tween the agency of the cowboy protagonist and the limita- from 17 to 20 May, and finally at The Ravestijn Gallery in tions of the female roles on offer in such movies, as a symbol Amsterdam during Unseen from 8 September to 21 October.

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10 to See 1. Reine Paradis, L’envol, from the series Jungle, 2015. Archival pigment print, multiple formats. © Reine Paradis, Courtesy of Galerie Catherine et André Hug, Paris. 2. Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #35, 1979. Gelatin silver print, 15 7/8 x 12 3/8 in.; Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York. 3. Olaf Heine, Paddle Out, Recreio dos Bandeirantes, 2013, © Olaf Heine + courtesy CAMERA WORK. 4. Junya Ishigamu, Exterior view of Kanagawa Institute of Technology Workshop. ©junya.ishigami+associates. 5. Uncertain Journey, 2016. Blain|Southern, Berlin, Germany. Installation, metal frames, red wool. Photo: Christian Gläser. Copyright VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2017 and the artist.

Recommended Exhibitions this Season







The Photography Show

Pier 94, New York 5-8 April Presented by AIPAD (Association of International Photography Art Dealers), the 38th edition of this major show sees more than 100 leading fine art photography galleries present museumquality work, including contemporary, modern, and 19th century photographs, as well as photo-based art, video, and new media. A number of special exhibitions are on view including A Time for Reflection, curated by Sir Elton John.

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5 A provocative exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) challenges traditional ideas about gender and domesticity. With contributors including Louise Bourgeois, Mona Hatoum, Cindy Sherman and Rachel Whiteread, Women House is a sequel to Womanhouse, which was developed in 1972 by Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro and saw them transform a dilapidated Hollywood mansion. Olaf Heine (b. 1968) has helped shape the public persona of many famous musicians, his images familiar from album covers and tour posters. He was born in Germany and became based in LA. His black and white pictures convey a quiet intensity. Increasingly in demand since the late 1990s, he has worked with artists from Coldplay to U2 to Radiohead. Hush Hush, a selection of portraits of rock, movie and sports stars, includes Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto. Freeing Architecture is the first major solo exhibition dedicated to Junya Ishigami (b. 1974), a key figure in the younger generation of Japanese architects, known for a conceptual and poetic approach. In dialogue with Fondation Cartier’s iconic building, he presents 20 of his architectural projects in Asia and in Europe, through a series of large-scale models, accompanied by films and drawings which document their conception. An ethereal structure made from white thread, Beyond Time sees Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota (b. 1972) draw upon the rich history of the YSP’s Chapel space. Woven from 2,000 balls of wool, it makes present the absent elements of architecture and human ritual that once existed in the building, which dates from 1744. Resonating with memory and human relationships, the installation interlaces physical and conceptual dimensions.

Women House

NMWA, Washington DC Until 28 May

Olaf Heine

IMMAGIS, Munich 20 April - 31 May

Junya Ishigami

Fondation Cartier, Paris Until 10 June

Chiharu Shiota

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield Until 2 September

6. Tomás Saraceno, Aerocene, launches at White Sands Natural Park, 2015. Courtesy the artist; Pinksummer contemporary art, Genoa; Tanya Bonakdar, New York; Andersen’s Contemporary, Copenhagen, Esther Schipper, Berlin. © Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2015 . 7. Discotheque Flash Back, Borgo San Dalmazzo, ca. 1972. Interior Design: Studio65. © Paolo Mussat Sartor. 8. Joris Laarman (Dutch, born 1979). Joris Laarman Lab (Dutch, established 2004). Aluminum Gradient Chair, 2014, laser sintered aluminum, 72cm x 70cm x 77cm. Barry Friedman, New York. Photo: ©Joris Laarman Lab. 9. Tomás Saraceno, Q2343-BX442/ M+I, 2014. Metal, fishing line, plexiglass iridescent, steel thread. 90cm x 107cm x 112cm. Courtesy Lorena Ruiz de Villa. 10. Taryn Simon, Courtesy the artist and MASS MoCA.







The Future Starts Here

V&A, London 12 May - 4 November Advances in technology have transformed the way we live over the past few decades and the pace of change is only accelerating. The V&A examines emerging technologies and considers how they may affect our lives in the very near future. Real objects and devices presently being worked on by scientists and designers, and their possible implications, feature in a show that asks profound questions including: are we still human?



9 From the 1960s, through the disco era to the present-day, the nightclub has offered an arena for experimentation, transgression, glamour and the emergence of new subcultures. From Studio 54 to the Hacienda, Night Fever: Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today considers nightclubs as spaces that merge architecture and interior design with sound, light, fashion, graphics, and visual effects to create a modern Gesamtkunstwerk. Design in the Digital Age presents a comprehensive overview of Laarman’s work, from furniture generated by algorithms to a “living” lampshade made of genetically modified cells, bringing emerging technologies into conversation with skilled craftsmanship. Arranged into sections, the show offers a multi-dimensional view into a diverse practice, combining furniture design and applied experiments with sketches, videos and renderings. Taking its title from Italo Calvino’s 1972 novel, in which wondrous but geographically non-specific cities are described, this exhibition brings together an international group of artists who explore the ideal city and discover the coexistence of the real and the imagined. It includes drawing, painting and sculpture by Giorgio de Chirico, Fausto Melotti, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Gego, Shusaku Arakawa, Giulio Paolini and Tomás Saraceno.

Night Fever

Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein Until 9 September

Joris Laarman

High Museum of Art, Atlanta Until 13 May

Invisible Cities

Waddington Custot, London Until 4 May


Taryn Simon

MASS MoCa 26 May - 31 March Two ambitious installations by Taryn Simon (b. 1975) examine public space and expressions of approval in the digital age. In the dark interior of Assembled Audience, visitors are enfolded in a soundscape made from thousands of claps, a virtual crowd applauding. In A Cold Hole, the gallery floor is replaced by an expanse of solid ice with a single square hole. Visitors and performers are intermittently invited to jump into the icy water below.

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Everyday Symbolism Adrienne Raquel

Having originally featured in Aesthetica’s #newartists scheme on Instagram, Adrienne Raquel’s images (b. 1990) fill the following pages with a rich sense of femininity. Focusing on tropical motifs and the representation of idealistic landscapes, the works are at once playful and vibrant, communicating a sense of hazy nostalgia and optimism. Circular mirrors, open doorways and geometric interiors offer bright and airy arenas for selfreflection and open-ended journeys. Meanwhile, a distinct use of muted pastels and warm tones render each composition as a complex, summery vignette; colour play enables the simplest of objects to come to life as part of a wider visual tableau. As the New York-based photographer and art director notes: “I have a growing obsession with pink; it is such a divine shade which possesses so many alternative meanings. In colour psychology, it is suggestive of a sense of hope and ultimately assures emotional energy.”

Adrienne Raquel, Cali Cool, 2016.

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Adrienne Raquel, What’s the 411?, 2016.

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Adrienne Raquel, Palm Tree Fantasy, 2016.

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Adrienne Raquel, Days In The West, 2016.

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Adrienne Raquel, Don’t Fall Too Fast, 2016.

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Adrienne Raquel, Tropical Reflections, 2016.

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Adrienne Raquel, Stand Tall, 2016.

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Adrienne Raquel, All I See Is Palms, 2016.

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Adrienne Raquel, Mirror Mirror (self portrait), 2017.

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Unified Methodology Norwegian Presence Looking at the idea of social community as a model for idea generation, A team of Norwegian designers address global concerns through production.

Scandinavian design has, traditionally, been associated with minimalism and functionality, concepts that have only been furthered by the rise of IKEA’s flat-pack empire. Beyond this multi-national Swedish-Dutch company, however, is a cohort of budding young practitioners who are contributing to the wider network of production on a scale that’s barely recognised. And indeed, each country within the Nordic region should be celebrated individually for its own merits. Linda Fisti is one such advocate of this as Project Manager for Swedish Design Goes Milan 2017, an initiative that raised global awareness of the country’s contributions to the industry through creating meeting places, sharing stories and, ultimately, learning from people and practitioners from around the world. She notes: “Swedish design is appreciated internationally. In fact, 70 per cent of the production today is exported to other European countries, the USA, Australia and Asia. There is a steady increase of interest for quality and innovation, which is the reason for us to be present in Milan, year after year.” (February 2017, Business Sweden) What Fisti highlights – beyond the rising interest in Scandinavian creativity – is that design has the capability to bring people together, based on mutual demands and shared ideals. Whilst Sweden’s 2017 presentation at Salone del Mobile Milano, entitled Mingle, focused on sustainability, there was a resounding interest in shared goals. As Annika Grottell, Architect at White Studio (the firm that curated the show), continues in the same article: “We wanted to highlight the Swedish awareness of environmental issues, choice of materials, focus on origin and quality. All participating ex-

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hibitors contribute to this in different ways. We chose the name because of its meaning of mixture, mix, blend, but also the social aspect – to meet and exchange. Our goal has been to offer a warm and inviting atmosphere, a meeting place for new ideas and collaborations. The stand illustrates the mix, in order to overlap, compensate, change, blend and unite to create and form oneness and togetherness.” These ideas are significantly influential across the entire region and have now been picked up by Sweden’s sister nation. Norway’s 2018 presentation at Salone del Mobile, entitled Norwegian Presence, is heavily focused on themes of community, collaboration and mutual support. As Grete Sivertsen, Project Manager for the exhibition, notes: “This year’s presentation is about how we live. Collaboration defines the energy of 21st century design … and the world in general. The feeling of togetherness is becoming a strong motivation for all people – creating a positive meeting place.” Like its predecessor exhibitions, Structure (2016) and Everything is Connected (2017), this year’s edition is the collaborative vision of Design and Architecture Norway (DOGA), Norwegian designers’ union Klubben, and internationally focused craft network Norwegian Crafts. With the rise of right-wing politics, walls being built (with Trump’s Mexican border jokingly proposed as a commission for IKEA) and populations at war with one another, there has never been a more fitting time for practitioners to demonstrate the importance of working in tandem. This all-encompassing and open-minded approach is taken forward into Norway’s showcase this year, which combines 10 studios, six manufacturers and four craft artists.

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Sara Polmar, Between. Photo: Siren Lauvdal.

“The works included this year are incredibly natural and real; however, this is met by the influence of technology and modern life. It’s an interesting mix that looks backwards in order to look forwards.”

Previous Page: Designer: Noidoi Design Studio Produsent: Northern Photography: Chris Opander Tonnesen Styling: Per Olav Sølvberg Left: Sara Polmar, Wallbox. Photo: Lars Petter Pettersen. Styling: Kråvik & D’Orazio. Image: © Lars Petter Pettersen.

Adding further to a wider sense of reach is the change of loca- organised around a principle of cultural inclusion. However, these ideas aren’t new. The precedents stretch tion. Zona Tortona, which is rapidly emerging as Milan’s creative hotspot, presents the team with the opportunity to build back to John Ruskin (1819-1900) and William Morris (1834upon existing networks and exchange ideas as part of a new 1896) who radicalised models of self-confirmation in work, which maintained that the demands of industrial production generation of visionaries with shared intentions. This socially driven approach is embedded into Norway’s were preventing human beings from determining their own distinctive, mutually supportive and cross-disciplinary cul- actions or potential. Furthermore, the German Expressivist ture, and is embodied by the concept of “Fellesskap” (the tradition asserts that our “essential human powers” are Norwegian term for “community” and collaborative ap- truly harnessed in our capacity for the creative expression proaches). “Everyone has different ideas and contributes to of our feelings and needs, whilst the Marxist idea of labour each other’s practice,” explains Sivertsen. “It’s nice to see how took work as the ideal mode of aesthetic production and people can learn from each other in a unified environment. the model of all social organisation. However, Salone del Before we started, we came, sat, and drank wine together. This Mobile projects these ideas onto the modern world of global builds a social meeting place, motivating everyone so they professionalism, bringing trade back to its human roots. Moreover, beyond bringing people together, there is, of feel like they are not alone and that they can do something with other people … It’s more about togetherness – both in course, a reliance upon the fair to be part of a wider finanthe way that the designers work alongside one another and cial and commercial portfolio. “Though it is difficult to see a direct result during the festival,” explains Sivertsen, “all the in the way that the products are assembled.” Using the expo in a developmental and collective way, most important people in the industry are in Milan, and it’s Norwegian Presence discusses how design, like any other art all about having the right contacts because the market is so form, is really about an exchange of ideas, a meeting place small in Norway that you have to go to ‘meet the world.’” What types of products are being presented this year? between different identities and embracing shared commonalities. “It goes beyond the function of showcasing work – we Sivertsen expands: “The works are incredibly natural and want audiences to stay, talk to the brands and be part of a real; however, this is met by the influence of technology and wider discussion.” This is especially important at Salone del modern life. It’s an interesting mix that looks backwards in Mobile, which self-consciously, and perhaps self-important- order to look forwards.” She continues: “It’s informal in a way. ly, presents itself as more than a mere trade fair. Instead, it When it comes to trends, they’re sometimes difficult to predict, claims to be a system of connections, creativity, and inno- but in general, the products are beautiful or useful, and vation, attracting journalists, collectors, intellectuals, critics, have little by way of unnecessary detail or embellishment.” architects, and creatives of all kinds; operating as an emo- Traditional notions of craftsmanship as providing everyday tional experience of positivity; a global experience, which is solutions do emerge here. Whilst aesthetics are important

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Villa P.F. Set Design Photographs. © Image Credit: Florent Tanet. © Set Design: Ella Perdereau. Courtesy of Petite Friture.

– and the brands included do indeed use pop colours and bold geometric shapes – audience popularity plays a vital role. What does the single buyer need? What does the larger market require? Are designers really and in all honesty meeting the demands of a rapidly expanding world? Of course, sustainability still remains a vital component of design, and themes from previous years create consistency in Scandinavia’s identity as a collective of nations concerned with the same issues. Ecological consciousness, therefore, has not been forgotten in Norway’s presentation this year. Sivertsen comments: “We have so many resources – water, wind and forests – we’re almost spoilt for choice, so perhaps it’s not so much in the manifesto of creatives as it’s built into our mentality; however, we want to bring this green thinking to the world and help the wider global issue.” Ecological awareness is emphasised in the Salone del Mobile manifesto, which accordingly states that contemporary quality design must be sustainable in the sense that manufacturers, rather than simply focusing on the “green” outcome of each product, should pay close attention to every part of the production process – from the creation of the prototypes to industrial development, from financial planning to marketing and communication, and post-sales service. Norway’s approach is perhaps a little less outwardlooking than that. Whilst pursuing different modes of energy, the team – and indeed the country – are fully engaged with the importance of being responsible for, and deeply involved in, all the related processes from start to finish. “We want to show the world that it’s possible – a product’s identity can be tracked from the inception of ideas and protoypes right through to the end of its production,” says Sivertsen.

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By showing designers, craft artists and producers in juxta- Right: Hallgeir Homstvedt & Lars Tornøe, position (six of Norway’s most respected manufacturers are Juliet (pendant light), 2015. Materials: included here, such as Vestre and the freshly launched crea- Bone China, Brass. Manufacturer: New Works (Denmark). Image: © New Works tive enterprise Objekt), Norwegian Presence offers a complete concept-to-creation picture. Such an expansive and forwardthinking approach would not be possible, of course, without spotlighting a number of exciting, energetic and emerging creative voices, and providing a platform for the manufacturers who provide the lifeblood of the wider industry. One such example of this is Lars Tornøe, who foregrounds the multi-functionality of products through a series of wooden bowls realised in ash and oak, which can be used conventionally or as storage facilities. Bringing in ideas about humanity’s earlier relationships with materials, and with making as a whole, is Oslo-based Sigve Knutson, who utilises elements of sculpture within modern-day shelving. Sara Polmar and Noidoi also come to the fore as notable highlights of this presentation; the latter company was founded only a few years ago, in 2013, but is inspired by the differing cultural and professional backgrounds of its two co-founders, with results that place an emphasis on usability, materiality and craftsmanship working in parallel. Ultimately, what Noidoi’s – and indeed the entire fair’s – ethos is built upon is the idea that an innovative and considered approach to design can provide the mechanism to Words satisfy a vast range of social, environmental and domestic Max L. Feldman needs. As Sivertsen concludes: “Finding new solutions, or im- Kate Simpson aginative ways to use materials, is the most important thing today – thinking about what it is that we actually require. We have enough in the world as it is. Really, it’s about looking at 17-22 April manufacturing as a way to take the world forward, together.”

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Delicate Portraiture Patty Maher

Patty Maher is an internationally recognised fine art photographer based in Ontario, Canada. Working primarily in staged self-portraiture, Maher is widely known for obscuring the faces of her subjects, often using posture, gesture, symbol and colour to convey emotion and narrative. Each image is an exploration of the inner worlds that exist within characters’ psyches, considering the boundaries of identity and the relationship of the individual with the wider world. Traversing the surreal and the commonplace, each story touches on basic yet universal psychological states, inviting the viewer to be a co-creator in the fabrication of meaning. Images from The Quiet Storm and And Then You Just Let Go are examples of this, utilising a rich, earthy palette softened by a foreboding grey sky and open grasslands. Although the figures are transfixed by the all-encompassing atmosphere, there are individual journeys to be found.

Patty Maher, Last Stop Out of Town, from the series The Quiet Storm. Courtesy of the artist.

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Patty Maher, Waiting for Godot, from the series The Quiet Storm. Courtesy of the artist.

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Patty Maher, The Fog Rolls In, from the series And Then You Just Let Go. Courtesy of the artist.

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Patty Maher, Grounded, from the series And Then You Just Let Go. Courtesy of the artist.

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Patty Maher, Land’s Limit, from the series And Then You Just Let Go. Courtesy of the artist.

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Patty Maher, Small Comforts, from Selected Personal Works. Courtesy of the artist.

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Towards Sustainability crafting plastics! studio A Berlin-based studio brings bioplastic into the fashion industry at large by experimenting with plant-based processes to address the global issue of waste.

Established in 2015, crafting plastics! studio began as a nonformal collective of designers, working from a base in Berlin. Since then, their striking, sustainable practice has gone from strength to strength, and has been featured in a wide number of publications as well as being recognised through gaining a number of prestigious awards. The premise is disarmingly simple: to challenge the environmental problems which are created by a culture of so-called fast-fashion by making items that are purposely made to biodegrade over time. In so doing, the group has produced two collections of eyewear, and is currently looking towards interior design. The complexity of the work and the level of care that goes into every stage is stunning. Conceptualising the company’s “core value” as research, it not only focuses upon product design but also material development. Co-founder, Vlasta Kubušová, describes how the team spent years developing a plant-based plastic. “After three years of optimisation, we finally reached the mixture that can be 3D printed, injection moulded and pressed. This opened up a new direction for us.” The studio is currently in the process of registering for a trademark for the bioplastic, which will help “to make wider impact in the future, by offering the material to other companies and creators.” The recognition that this approach has received makes it clear that it’s a viable and attractive option: the company has been awarded accolades from, amongst others, Prague Designblok (crafting plastics!’s first prize, and one they say they will always remember) and the Slovak National Design Award, in the Design with Added Value category.

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Yet the most valuable interactions, they say, come from discussions with people who do not have prior knowledge of their practice and its possibilities: “It is so fruitful to get out of our bubble and meet reality. It is frequently the case that people have partial information, but there are so many misunderstandings as well as prejudices.” Changing perceptions, then, is a big issue. Disposability is the most overt problem in design and indeed the wider world. It is a negative consequence of mass production, demonstrated by the level of waste produced today. However, by making products that have a defined and considered lifespan, crafting plastics! challenges this narrative. “The new generation of bioplastic decomposes as industrial compost,” Kubušová explains. She acknowledges that whilst recycling is important, it is not a long-term solution. In fact, their first eyewear collection almost mocks fast-fashion: “You buy [the item] in faith to use it forever, but in reality, you will buy a new one … You lose it, break it, buy another.” In other words, its disposable nature becomes a central, and vital, design feature. This notion has become a major goal for the studio: changing the way that people interact with objects and materials. “We are consciously trying to create the potential of a new relationship between the consumer and ecological plastic, not just by choosing the right product but also by enabling buyers to understand how it is made.” The collective wants to “show the process, allow customers to be part of the research.” As they do so, they also hope to change the prevalent opinion that green materials can only

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Collection 3 by Adam Šakový, 2018.

“Disposability is one be used for packaging materials and single-use products: of the most pressing “The new line of 100 per cent bioplastic is strong and problems in design, durable. The eyewear collection was just a start, and the new and is usually billed as bigger pieces, such as furniture, are already in progress. By a negative consequence offering durable products, we are combatting a lot of myths: of mass production. for example, we want to prove to people that our material But by making products will not start to fall apart when it is raining.” that have a defined In fact, by making design-driven objects intended for lifespan, crafting wear, crafting plastics! also makes a crucial point that plastics! challenges scientific research into materials is not just for “useful” this narrative.” items. People ask, “why don’t you make something like

Previous Page: Collection 2 by Evelyn Benčičová, 2017. Left: Collection 1 by Anna Smoroňová, 2016.

single-use cutlery?” But, Kubušová says, “it’s difficult to understand. What people don’t know is that ecological plastic will probably not be able to compete with the synthetic plastic price for at least the next year or two. And with the single-use products, it will always be about the cheapest possible options. We don’t have that choice yet.” She hopes that by coming up with durable, beautiful pieces, the company will play a role in encouraging further demand for ecological products. In turn, factories may begin to see the value in creating these on a larger scale. It’s still a new and developing area, and she observes that “it needs more creatives to get involved to inspire bigger change within public and professional perceptions.” A growing contemporary interest in artisanal craft undoubtedly forms part of the broader context in which crafting plastics! works. In fact, there is a certain handmade ethos which underpins their work even from the early days. “At the time we started, we did not have the machines for processing plastic,” Kubušová says. “So we tried to process its raw form using the tools we had around us. We let the

material speak for itself. It is very malleable, and the low melting temperature gave us a variety of options.” They were also impressed by what they call the prototype’s “unusual aesthetic”, something which is evident in the finished products as well as in the manufacturing process. Subverting common ideas about plastic, she says, “it is also non-toxic: even when it is melting it smells like baking bread and you can handle it with your bare hands.” Visual appeal is, of course, extremely important for the studio’s output. It seems clear that interest is growing in sustainable fashion but despite improving over the last few years: “This scene is still not appealing and seductive enough for the consumer.” Pointing to the widespread use of apparently natural colours such as green and brown, the group describe how “many creators feel this is the only way to sell ecological fashion products. They are afraid that using new colours and structure will make customers think that the products are made from synthetic materials. But in reality, the ‘boring’ natural appeal of this colour scheme can be discouraging for high fashion clients.” Instead, the team presents striking ranges that will not simply disintegrate: “They are strong and durable,” Kubušová says, despite a short life span. They do not dissolve when in contact with skin or water, and would need to be placed in specific conditions (a moist environment with a constant temperature in excess of 50 degrees Celsius for a period of 90 days or more) before beginning to biodegrade. Being part of the process at every stage allows the collective to understand their products on a microcosmic level. “As well as developing the plastic themselves,” Kubušová explains, “they are the testers of our designs – we

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Collection 3 by Adam Šakový, 2018.

wear and try out the products, then give them to our friends. – it extends to wider consciousness. “People are slowly We have pieces of bioplastic in our homes – watching the starting to embrace the idea of choice, and with that comes material grow old in real time and in domestic spaces – as power: producers and manufacturers will follow demand. opposed to laboratory simulations.” Knowing an object Customers can either buy a disposable product that will and its properties so well offers the team “a lot of freedom, stay in landfill for hundreds of years, or, for a similar price, because we can be innovative at the earliest stage of an they could buy something that after use, ceases to exist object’s existence – even before it is born. It also gives us a entirely and leaves no measurable trace on the planet.” Having recently launched a studio for inclusive practices, lot of potential for idea generation and production, which the company believes that collaboration is important in can sometimes be overwhelming.” This open-ended energy is channelled succinctly into the achieving their end-goal of sustainability and transparent production of beautiful and sculptural pieces. The work has production. “It is the principle we cherish the most … We evolved since the team’s first collection, which was hand- would not be able to accomplish so much if we were just crafted, and has now moved towards the use of technology on our own. It brings necessary value into our projects, as and filament 3D printing. As such, the delicate frames fulfil well as being fun. Together we can do a lot and also teach their potential as scientific experiments, whilst responding each other even more.” Working closely with scientists, to contemporary fashion trends. The team has also begun for example, is informative for both parties: “We see to play around with colours: “For our second collection, multidisciplinary approach as key to solving complicated the products are available in Orange Seaweed, Bohemian issues.” Moreover, by engaging in discussions and Green, Mysterious Blue.” There is a fourth option: Nude. collaborating with others, they hope to influence greater In the process of creating the new line, the colour of the changes: “This research is not purely for ourselves. By material evolved into an ivory shade that resembled a pale telling our story, we hope we can inspire others.” With their innovative methods and bright, engaging aesskin tone. Whilst the frames are biodegradable, lenses are made from mineral glass: there is currently no “bio-based” thetic, it is no surprise that crafting plastics! is currently working on a number of notable collaborations. The colalternative on the market, but this is at least recyclable. Looking ahead, Kubušová and the team hope to move lective hopes to continue the journey into the ecological towards “more accessible items in terms of price and daily plastics industry, bringing their knowledge to a wider auuse. We want to have functional objects.” This means a shift dience in the commercial marketplace. Additionally, the in focus to interior design and furniture. “We hope it will studio is attempting to develop a substance that would be become more and more commonplace when choosing a suitable for home composting, whilst retaining a focus on new product to ask and get complete information about fashion and product design. As a group, they are not afraid its origins, toxicity and carbon footprint.” In other words, “to dream big” as Kubušová enthuses – and their continued, sustainability is not just a priority in ready-to-wear fashion growing success is testament to this optimistic mantra.

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Right: Collection 2 by Evelyn Benčičová, 2017.

Words Anna Feintuck

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Luminous Environment Alexis Pichot

Alexis Pichot (b. 1980) worked as an interior designer in Paris for more than 10 years, during which he became sensitive to the use and manipulation of space within urban parameters. Since then, the artist has moved his attention away from the bustle of the city and into the welcoming mystery of the landscape. Marche CÊleste was shot in the forest of Fontainebleau, France. Deeply mystical and ritualistic, the images offer a sense of regeneration through depictions of the organic world. The intimate photographs reestablish the supremacy of nature as a powerful and innate force. As such, the following pages are part of a wider awakening of dormant human emotions; each nocturnal scene encourages the viewer to reconnect with the earth’s allure. Drawing inspiration from lunar cycles and astrological phenomena, the compositions reacquaint audiences with the environment, just like eyes becoming reaccustomed to darkness.

Alexis Pichot, from the series Marche Celeste. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alexis Pichot, from the series Marche Celeste. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alexis Pichot, from the series Marche Celeste. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alexis Pichot, from the series Marche Celeste. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alexis Pichot, from the series Marche Celeste. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alexis Pichot, from the series Marche Celeste. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alexis Pichot, from the series Marche Celeste. Courtesy of the artist.

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Material Complexity RIBA Awards Profiling the announcement of the annual awards through a celebration of structural excellence that pushes beyond aesthetics and functionality.

In her dazzling book, Architecture from the Outside, feminist on the outside, it’s also about the way things interact with theorist Elizabeth Grosz (b. 1952), who is most known for their context and add to their neighbourhood, and the way it pioneering work on the body, makes the deceptively simple can lift people’s spirits as they move through a space.” The Awards are realised through a pyramid structure, point that “outside architecture is always inside bodies, sexualities, history, culture, nature”, factors that she calls the which has been developed to reward outstanding practice at industry’s “constitutive edges.” The point here is that whilst various different levels. There are Regional Awards, National history, culture, politics, nature, desire and our bodies shape Awards and then there are a handful of buildings which are buildings, so too are these aspects of our lives shaped by chosen to go forward for the Stirling Award title. As Barthe spaces we traverse and inhabit. Good design, then, has a field comments: “This methodology is a way of rewarding profound impact on the kind of societies which we build. The as much best practice as we can, and recognising quality at annual RIBA Awards are a barometer for outstanding struc- a local and national level. There is also Client of the Year. tural work in the UK, with a record of recognising the most The latter is sometimes overlooked but it is really important innovative and successful projects. In anticipation of the because you can’t get a good building without working with 2018 selection, Aesthetica speaks to Julia Barfield, an Awards someone who is on the same page.” The winner of the 2017 Stirling Prize was Hastings Pier, Assessor for RIBA and Director of Marks Barfield Architects. Barfield and her firm have won more than 60 awards for a community-led regeneration project that caught the their design, innovation and sustainability, including being judges’ and the public’s imagination: a highly innovative named “Architectural Practice of the Year”, winning a Queen’s and contemporary take on the exterior architecture of a pier. Award for Enterprise & Innovation, and being shortlisted for The space was designed by London-based architectural firm the title of Woman Architect of the Year. In Barfield’s opinion, dRMM, and, unlike more familiar 19th century structures, is the RIBA awards are “the gold standard of what constitutes characterised by its use of free and open interiors. It is a kind good architectural practice”, and that recognising this fact of public platform or forum which is suspended over the sea. has a social significance for communities across the nation. As such, it is almost an invitation for the pier to be about “I believe that good design has a beneficial effect on the potential for its users to reimagine and reconstitute the people’s lives. Whether seen in public spaces or in relation significance of a pier for them, for their own time and place. to specific private buildings, architecture is something which This user-centred approach is an important part of the people interact with on a daily basis, both users from the assessment criteria. As Barfield notes: “The judges consider inside and passers-by. It’s really important that people how buildings make people feel. We spend the majority understand that design isn’t all about the way things look of their lives inside. Well-designed housing means lots of

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ACME, Victoria Gate, Courtesy of Jack Hobhouse.

“All buildings are unique: each site is different; each brief is different. In judging, we have to assess the architectural ambition and ideas, the sense of vision in the design, and also innovation.”

Previous Page: Nucleus by Reiach and Hall Architects Image: © Reiach and Hall Architects Left: Mole Architects. Image: © David Butler.

natural light, that they enable views out, that there is a good relation between inside and outside, that the circulation is clear, so that people instinctively know where they are. Also, the fact that structures will last and are sustainable.” Amongst the projects on the shortlist for the 2017 RIBA Awards was Barretts Grove, a striking housing development in Stoke Newington by Amin Taha + Groupwork. It has a magical aura, which is unsurprising, given its construction out of the visceral and emotive materials of brick, wood and straw. It is tall and narrow, as if the structure is squeezing against the wall at a party to avoid taking up too much space, and its most charming features are the wicker balconies that each apartment has. This building has drama, usability, and interacts with its neighbourhood (which includes a nearby primary school) in exciting, comfortable, unexpected ways. It feels like one house which has been divided into individual apartments and this element helps to build a sense of communality and sociability. With the pressures of the housing shortage starkly apparent in the UK, Barfield makes the point that housing solutions are one of the areas the RIBA Awards are always interested in. Another area of architecture that Barfield is excited about this year are the transformations taking place in attitudes in the business sector, with companies recognising the importance that workplace design has regarding the ethos, productivity, and overall working environment. “In the last few years workplace design has become hugely exciting because multinational companies recognise that their most valuable asset is the people. There is a clear understanding that the quality of the working environment affects retention of staff, and whether employees are happy to come to

work and able to give their best. There is the same profound effect in educational institutions, from primary schools right through to higher education. The capability of buildings and the spaces surrounding them have a great impact on people’s well-being and overall learning.” In the 2017 Stirling Prize Shortlist, the vast new City of Glasgow College Campus by Reiach And Hall Architects and Michael Laird Architects was recognised for its userfriendliness. The area’s sheer scale, bringing together facilities and teaching which was previously housed in 11 separate buildings across the city within two new central campuses, is remarkable. However, given its immensity, what is most inspiring about the space is how clear and directly it communicates itself as a place that values learning, with a commendable restraint in the materials and fabric used. This isn’t a campus that elevates convolution in design; it is a project that facilitates education – something which cultural theorist Bell Hooks describes as “a practice of freedom.” Of course, the diversity of structures which have been put forward for the RIBA Awards makes the judging process a balancing act, as Barfield remarks: “Some might be quite simple, and some might be much more complex. All buildings are unique: each site is different; each brief is different. In judging, we have to assess the architectural ambition and ideas, the sense of vision in the design, and also innovation. As the RIBA panel, we are progressive, and therefore we should recognise those people who are trying to push the profession forward in an innovative way, and whose work is characterised by invention and originality.” In some projects, originality goes hand in hand with an appreciation of history and tradition. These qualities can cer-

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ACME, Victoria Gate, Courtesy of Jack Hobhouse.

tainly be seen working together in Command of the Oceans at Chatham Historic Dockyard, by Baynes and Mitchell Architects, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Stirling Prize. This project rejuvenated the site through taking a progressive and sustainable approach to a programme of regeneration. A new visitor centre entrance demonstrates a clear interaction with, respect for and understanding of, the historic fabric of the work. The materials chosen for the scheme have been rigorously researched in order to complement and engage with the existing structure as well as connect with the historical dimension of acknowledging its past uses. Simultaneously the building has both modesty and generosity. What one notices about the edifice are the historic elements, and yet the new development makes these more accessible, usable and easy to navigate. This concept is known as “fitness for purpose” and is an important aspect of the assessment criteria. This particular concept concerns how architects have responded to its brief, and, ultimately, what the client thinks. Another example from the 2017 shortlist that can be regarded as being fit for purpose is the British Museum’s new World Conversation and Exhibitions Centre, by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners. This building houses further exhibition galleries, as well as providing space for a series of “behind the scenes” activities essential to the working of the museum, such as laboratories and conservation studios, storage, and facilities for the logistical requirements and loans programme. The relation of the building to its brief is particularly challenging in this case, given the spatial demands of the site, and the iconic status of the museum itself. The project also had to respond to particular objects that might be

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exhibited in the gallery, and which could not be shown elsewhere. Light, temperature control, pest avoidance and other aspects were also vital to how this example met its challenging and complex brief, given the sensitive nature and high value of the objects which would be housed here. The final project on the 2017 Stirling shortlist was by 6a Architects for Juergen Teller, the internationally renowned artist. The brief was to create a photography studio on a site in West London’s Ladbroke Grove that is currently given over to mainly industrial buildings. Since the site doesn’t allow for far-reaching views out from the studio, the designers came up with an innovative plan for networked courtyard gardens that allow for natural light. The attention to detail and sheer quality of the design is what distinguishes this project, with all the elements carefully chosen and combined. The use of in-situ concrete makes a gorgeously abstract form for stairs, which are complemented by seamless brass balustrades; whilst large timber window frames add a special sense of character and warmth to the modern structure. The variety of RIBA’s 2017 shortlist is a testament to the wide range of cutting-edge and progressive architectural works which are being carried out in the UK. The 2018 roster of schemes submitted for consideration is sure to be similarly diverse and exciting. In Architecture from the Outside, Elizabeth Grosz asks the question: “How can we understand space differently, in order to organise, inhabit, and structure our living arrangements differently?” The RIBA Awards, as well as recognising excellence in the profession, play their own significant part in how architects in the UK go about continually answering and revising their answers to these social, political and cultural questions for all of us.

Right: City of Glasgow College City Campus by Reiach and Hall Architects and Michael Laird Architects. Image: © Keith Hunter Photography.

Words Colin Herd

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Intimate Atmosphere Tekla Evelina Severin

Tekla Evelina Severin features in Aesthetica for the second time, with a collection of images that demonstrate the photographer’s whimsical and colourful imagination. A catalogue of the sublime everyday, the selection focuses on intimate, stylised instances – from the contrast of sun against an encroaching shadow to the textures of glossy leaves and netted fruit. Ultimately, the images communicate a sense of joy in quotidian spaces and sensory information – translating architectural photography and portraiture through a 21st century lens that focuses in on detail and microcosmic fascination. The concept of luxury is redressed, taken from moments of grandeur and opulence into the smaller, more introspected reflections. Severin’s visual vocabulary is shaped around the beauty of staged moments held within time, revelling in the vibrancy and warmth of familiarity and interior nostalgia.

Tekla Evelina Severin, from personal photography project, Sunny. Tenerife, Spain.

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Tekla Evelina Severin, Self Portrait. Commissioned for Berlin-based brand New Tendency.

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Tekla Evelina Severin, photography for Note Design Studio; portraying their stand/pop up restaurant at Stockholm Furniture Week, 2017.

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Tekla Evelina Severin, from personal photography project, Sunny. Residential building in Visby, Gotland, Sweden.

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Tekla Evelina Severin, Self Portrait. Location: Suite Grand Hotel Oslo. Room design: Dagny Thurmann-Moe, Interior Planning: Christine Haerra.

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Tekla Evelina Severin, self portrait and still life for Australian shoe brand Radicalyes.

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Tekla Evelina Severin, suburb architectural photo series, from commissioned series for Subtopia Magazine.

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Tekla Evelina Severin, self portrait for Australian shoe brand Radicalyes.

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Tekla Evelina Severin, photography, set design and art direction in collaboration with the wallpaper designer, Iwa Herdensjรถ, for Photowall.

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Haunting Landscapes Edgar Martins

Shot largely on the same set of beaches in Portugal over two years, The Accidental Theorist depicts a series of instances that are devoid of explanation. A familiar yet ubiquitous landscape is pervaded by stillness, offering little by way of narrative. Static and at times uncomfortable, a weighted black sky meets a luminous stretch of sand, splitting each image between light and dark. The photographs communicate a sense of tranquillity whilst building apprehension in the viewer – they occupy a space where reality cannot be distinguished from dream, and anxiety replaces certainty. Edgar Martins’s (b. 1977) series translates the iconography of the holiday beachscape into a staged sense of melancholy – a seismic arena waiting for events to unfold. Familiarity is replaced by eeriness, an intriguing concept that is further exaggerated by the arresting beauty of the settings. Martins offers a complex and highly successful example of fine art photography.

Untitled, from the series The Accidental Theorist, 2007. © Edgar Martins (

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Untitled, from the series The Accidental Theorist, 2007. Š Edgar Martins (

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Untitled, from the series The Accidental Theorist, 2007. Š Edgar Martins (

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Untitled, from the series The Accidental Theorist, 2007. Š Edgar Martins (

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Untitled, from the series The Accidental Theorist, 2007. Š Edgar Martins (

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Untitled, from the series The Accidental Theorist, 2007. Š Edgar Martins (

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Creating Connections Circulation(s) The festival returns for its 2018 edition, showcasing the imaginations of emerging photographers that touch upon wider social and political issues.

The festival’s eighth edition truly develops the notion of American photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams (1902-1984) once stated: “When words become unclear, I inclusivity, extending to different perspectives from various shall focus with photographs. When images become inade- corners of the world from the northernmost city on Earth to quate, I shall be content with silence.” With millions of images the post-war scarred Lebanon. As a socially reflective and disseminated on a daily basis, perhaps a new universal lan- all-encompassing event, this year’s edition addresses today’s guage has been created – one that defies borders and ac- most prevalent geopolitical issues, allowing artists to communicate across various spaces to tell their story and to offer a tively creates connections internationally. In the heart of Paris’s 19th arrondissement a new, dynamic diversity of responses. No topic is off limits: from the intimate, and progressive photography festival that shares this belief complex worlds of gender identity to the outward-looking has been developing for the past seven years. Circulation(s)’ macrocosms of urbanisation, tourism and the wider migraentire raison d’être is to provide a platform for contemporary tion crisis. All facets of day-to-day life are included within this image-makers (regardless of age) from across Europe, and year’s showcase, seeking to illustrate and communicate the to widen perceptions and experiences devoid of social strata. human condition through various modes of representation, Following this ethos, it’s free to everyone; the organisation form and structure, promoting wider understanding. Beyond a diversity of subject matter, this means welcomspends considerable time and energy on reaching out to the local community, in an attempt to make photography a ing a diversity of media, recognising that 21st century imagemedium that anyone can value, learn from and escape within. making is not just about crossing conceptual boundaries and Circulation(s) also settles inside 13 stations of the metro and seeking out varied experiences, but it is about a commitment the RER (the Parisian suburban train), and exhibits on the to young artists through a multiplicity of media. In 2017, this metal gates of Gare de l’Est (one of the main Parisian train stretched to everything from plastic photography, documenstations), truly building on the idea that art should, and can, tary, archive, video and art installation to collage, self-pubbe for everyone, even if only for passers-by. lishing and thermodynamic images. Promoting the importance of visual and cultural connecSpeaking to Aesthetica, the festival’s Secrétaire Générale tions, innovation is given room to develop, flourish and gain Céline Laurent says: “We think it’s a really important thing to recognition. “It’s totally focused on helping emerging talent,” help young talent to gain visibility at the beginning of their says the British photography curator Susan Bright, who is professional career. In this competitive artistic landscape, it based in the city and was asked to act as the festival’s “God- is quite difficult to find representation and exhibition space. mother”, or patron. “So, it’s incredibly fresh – and that makes Therefore, it is essential for us to support this new wave of creait be a very different sort of proposition.” tion.” Bright expands: “Circulation(s) is a very progressive, utter-

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Maia Flore, detail of Theater. Courtesy of the artist and Agence Vu.

“Everyone has equal billing. So it’s strictly non-hierarchical. The refugee crisis, gender relations and also the tension in some countries between tradition and modernity are prevalent in the work exhibited.”

Previous Page: Maia Flore, detail of Je te cherche partout. Courtesy of the artist and Agence Vu. Left: Maia Flore, detail of Hôtel de ville from L’enchantement va de soi. Courtesy of the artist and Agence Vu.

ly independent festival. It’s not part of the Parisian traditional (or perceivably traditional) art culture. It’s also wholly energetic, because the organisers are pursuing innovation.” The festival describes itself as “the most original and ambitious project in contemporary photography.” The claim might be audacious but the numbers back it up; since its opening year, the event has exhibited more than 225 artists, all for the first time in France. In that time, it has welcomed around 250,000 visitors. This year, the work of more than 50 emerging practitioners will be on display. The festival has achieved this whilst being totally free of charge for anyone to peruse. An all-encompassing and inclusive event, it is predicated on an open call. Emerging visionaries can send their work online, and the selection is made by an international jury – this year, including Christine Ollier (Les Filles du Calvaire gallery), François Cheval (Nicephore Niecpe Museum), Xavier Canone (Museum of Charleroi), Nathalie Herschdorfer (Le Locle museum) and Hercules Papaioannou (Director of Thessaloniki Museum of Photography). When an artist is chosen, their work is presented in a uniform way, without a single individual given preference over another. None of the images are framed – they are pasted to the walls of pop-up exhibition spaces to be seen by visitors winding their way through the cavernous rooms of Le Centquatre. Artists are invited to attend and, moreover, are welcome to take their images home with them once it is over. “Everyone has equal billing,” Bright says. “It’s strictly non-hierarchical.” For 2018, the jury have put together a programme with some notable recurring personnel. “We noticed this year that many artists were looking back to their roots and familial relationships,” Laurent says. “We are presenting series that deal

with connections between siblings from very different points of view, from issues surrounding illness to a widening gulf as a result of differing identity politics.” As an example, Laurent points to the work of Camille Lévêque, who has photographed a “false” collective of women photographers in a new project Live Wild. The story shown by Judith Helmer of twin sisters, one of whom has undergone a sex-change operation, “is one of the most touching of all we are showcasing,” Laurent notes. Another artist considering such familiar tropes is Alma Haser (b. 1989), a British-based German photographer. Haser’s new series starts with single portraits of identical twins, which are transferred to a jigsaw, where the pieces are mixed to create a singular image. The composition showcases an ability to step out of the digital world and create tangible compositions. On a broader scale, more seismic global events continue to inform the photographic community. “The refugee crisis, gender relations and also the tension in some countries between tradition and modernity are prevalent in the work exhibited,” Laurent says. Within this egalitarianism, many artists have enjoyed notable success. A number of practitioners who saw their work exhibited for the first time at previous iterations of the festival have since been awarded the HSBC Prix Pour La Photographie, a respected annual prize for new artists. Maia Flore is one such example, an artist that won the HSBC Prize in 2015 after Circulation(s) featured her the preceding year. Since exhibiting, Flore has worked extensively, both on her own projects and on commissions for numerous tourist boards around France. She is now represented by Galerie Esther Woerdehoff in the Montparnasse district of Paris, which, coinciding with the return of Circulation(s), presents a highprofile exhibition of recent work, titled Au Lieu de ce monde:

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Maia Flore, detail of Pornic from By the sea. Courtesy of the artist and Agence Vu and Atout France.

“a study of the way my body, my first tool, reacts with the en- after meeting Kürşat Bayhan and hearing of the SO Collective – a new photo agency founded by Bayhan and colleagues in vironment in which it is placed”, Flore observes. This work is certainly new, originating in the autumn of Istanbul and designed as an outlet for native photojournalists 2017 as part of the artist’s studies at the Fresnoy Studio who had fallen foul of the authorities. Erdoğan focused on the School of Contemporary Arts. It involved a “journey-perfor- subcultures of the Kurdish population living in the city. His mance” through France – from the country’s easternmost work was photojournalistic, but developed further once he had coast through to the western border with Spain. The images met Valentina Abenavoli and Alex Bocchetto. The pair run AkinaBooks, an international publisher of phoare highly aesthetic, locating and triangulating Flore’s body in both built and natural landscapes. Whilst faces are often tobooks. Erdoğan began to use a saturated monochrome to hidden, the viewer is invited to find meaning in form and ges- capture activities like illegal dog fights and violent protests in ture, in how the body is located and contorted in various vistas. Gazi. He gained access to parties in which people would copuFlore’s meteoric rise from her emergence at Circulation(s) is late openly. The project became Control, a volume published constructive, demonstrating the sense of public service that by AkinaBooks in June 2017. The publication made a point Lambijou and Hislen have bestowed upon the Parisian scene about the repression of the Kurdish faith and liberal identity with the creation of the festival. After a breakthrough exhibi- in the conservative climes of contemporary Istanbul. Yet Erdoğan was never able to see his work exhibited. Last tion, winning the HSBC prize, a trend started, with other now respected names – Lucie et Simon, Guillaume Martial, Eric September, he was suddenly arrested by state policeman. During interrogation, it emerged that the state prosecutor was Pillot, Marta Zgierska – being awarded the same honour. One can also look to artists like Bruno Fert and Malik Nejmi, using the images published in Control as apparent evidence who have won France’s Le Prix des Beaux-Arts since exhibit- of the photographer’s terrorist sympathies. Erdoğan was held ing in the19th, whilst others used the circuit to gain visibility on pre-trial detention until 13 February of this year. He now for the curators of Rencontres d’Arles and have since been faces charges which could result in a prison sentence of up to 25 years. As part of the campaign to secure his safe reshowcased at the historic Provence festival. For those people deep in photographic culture, Circulation(s) lease, Abenavoli contacted Circulation(s) and, at short notice, has, this year, secured another veritable coups – most nota- they agreed to exhibit the works. The response of the Parisbly the recently imprisoned Turkish photographer Çağdaş ian public of the 19th arrondissement could be integral to the Erdoğan. Laurent says: “We are very proud to present the freedom of a crusading young photographer. Proving part of works of the Turkish artist Çağdaş Erdoğan, who was until very a wider cultural and social reflection on contemporary life, recently imprisoned for his highly subversive works.” the festival is, indeed, part of a wider tapestry for representing, Erdoğan’s story is remarkable. A 26-year-old Kurdish Turk, he showcasing and defending the human condition through its left a sociology degree to immerse himself in photojournalism overwhelming, fascinating complexity and profundity.

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Right: Maia Flore, detail of Colonnade from L’enchantement va de soi. Courtesy of the artist and Agence Vu.

Words Tom Seymour

Until 6 May

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Structural Frameworks Salvador Cueva

Salvador Cueva (b. 1986) moved to Monterrey, Mexico, in 2013, where he began working as a photographer for an advertising agency. Since then, Cueva’s personal series have been recognised internationally across various digital platforms – images acclaimed for their representations of time and memory in the urbanised, almost ornamental metropolis. Brightly coloured structures tie into the wider mould of the city, communicating a sense of endless construction. Elsewhere, windows, balconies and fire escapes become part of a sample of contemporary life. Highly stylised, the images – taken in New York and Cuba – highlight globalised growth through the use of sweeping pinks and digitalised blue skies. What each photograph achieves is an overwhelming and perhaps unsettling sense of repetition. Shapes, colours and structures draw the eye in to the formulae that create today’s mechanistic landscape.

Untitled, from the series Lines of New York, 2017. © Salvador Cueva.

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Untitled, from the series Lines of New York, 2017. Š Salvador Cueva.

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Untitled, from the series San Antonio, Texas, 2017. Š Salvador Cueva.

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Untitled, from the series Lines of New York, 2017. Š Salvador Cueva.

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Untitled, from the series Lines of New York, 2017. Š Salvador Cueva.

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Untitled, from the series Lines of New York, 2017. Š Salvador Cueva.

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Graphic Composition JUCO

JUCO – Julia Galdo (b. 1984) and Cody Cloud (b. 1977) – return to Aesthetica with characteristically bold images that demonstrate excellence in art direction and photography. Vivid patterns, organic textures and built-up sets come together to create deeply animated and visually satisfying interiors. Realised as a collaboration with Los Angeles-based artist duo Kat and Roger – Kat Hutter and Roger Lee – the compositions centre around multi-dimensional surfaces, classic shapes and natural clay ceramics, blending contemporary fashion with traditional craftsmanship and a renaissance of the handmade. An intriguing world is created through colour blocking and fluid lines – primary reds, blues and yellows are rendered as Venn diagrams that overlap into secondary and tertiary palettes. Ultimately, JUCO navigate a world of successful imagery through playful narrative, contemporary design and visual contrast.

Spring Layering Trends for Refinery29 shot by JUCO – collaboration with artist Kat and Roger on the set design. Pedestals created by Canoe Los Angeles. Styled by Emily Holland, Hair by Michael Long, make up by Mia Yang, Set design and props by Kat Cutter and Roger Lee, model Elizabeth Havird.

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Spring Layering Trends for Refinery29 shot by JUCO – collaboration with artist Kat and Roger on the set design. Pedestals created by Canoe Los Angeles. Styled by Emily Holland, Hair by Michael Long, make up by Mia Yang, Set design and props by Kat Cutter and Roger Lee, model Elizabeth Havird.

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Spring Layering Trends for Refinery29 shot by JUCO – collaboration with artist Kat and Roger on the set design. Pedestals created by Canoe Los Angeles. Styled by Emily Holland, Hair by Michael Long, make up by Mia Yang, Set design and props by Kat Cutter and Roger Lee, model Elizabeth Havird.

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Spring Layering Trends for Refinery29 shot by JUCO – collaboration with artist Kat and Roger on the set design. Pedestals created by Canoe Los Angeles. Styled by Emily Holland, Hair by Michael Long, make up by Mia Yang, Set design and props by Kat Cutter and Roger Lee, model Elizabeth Havird.

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Spring Layering Trends for Refinery29 shot by JUCO – collaboration with artist Kat and Roger on the set design. Pedestals created by Canoe Los Angeles. Styled by Emily Holland, Hair by Michael Long, make up by Mia Yang, Set design and props by Kat Cutter and Roger Lee, model Elizabeth Havird.

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Spring Layering Trends for Refinery29 shot by JUCO – collaboration with artist Kat and Roger on the set design. Pedestals created by Canoe Los Angeles. Styled by Emily Holland, Hair by Michael Long, make up by Mia Yang, Set design and props by Kat Cutter and Roger Lee, model Elizabeth Havird.

Aesthetica Art Prize The Aesthetica Art Prize is a celebration of emerging and established artists from across the world. From Photographic & Digital Art and Painting, Drawing & Mixed Media, to Three-Dimensional Design & Sculpture and Video, Installation & Performance, the works included in this year’s exhibition come from locations such as Australia, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Singapore, the UK and the USA. From global financial systems to technology that replicates nature, the subject matter holds innovation at its core, defining a new vocabulary for life in the 21st century. 18 May - 30 September, York Art Gallery.


Reginald Van de Velde, Memento Mori series, 2015 - present

In a constantly developing world, Reginald Van de Velde’s photographs provide an oasis for reflection on the passage of time, offering a new perspective on previously abandoned settings. With information being constantly recorded and disseminated, dilapidated buildings become a haven for the contemporary audience – locations and dates are lost to colossal monuments and overgrown nature. Memento Mori is a reminder; it is a story about both the fragility of life and the delicate nature of our memories. 1


David Birkin, Profiles, 2012 / 2018

Profiles addresses the relationship between spectacle and loss, specifically in the representation of civilian casualties from the Iraq War. In collaboration with the NGO Iraq Body Count, identification numbers from a casualty database were inserted into photographic software to generate a chromatic “value” for each person. These colours were exposed onto 8 x 10-inch transparencies and displayed on X-ray light boxes. The portraits point to blind spots in the record, reflecting on omissions and redactions.


Jiayu Liu, Ocean Wave, 2017

Jiayu Liu is interested in the dialogues between humans and nature; she highlights the various ways in which society observes the organic world. Ocean Wave is one such example; the interdisciplinary artwork offers nothing in the way of instruction or introduction, instead provoking behavioural responses in audiences. The work combines an overlay of images from a short 3-8 second loop, visualising a wave through live data, posing questions about emotive responses and whether they can be replicated.


Jukhee Kwon, Babel Library, 2014 / 2018

Babel Library is made from various editions of Encyclopaedia Britannica that have been discarded. Kwon has collected them and, by hand, cut away each page, line by line, with a knife and scissors. However, as the pages are still connected to the book spine, they cascade like a waterfall. Not only does this create an aesthetic experience but it allows the viewer to emotionally connect with the history of print. As audiences move further into the digital age, Babel Library reminds us of our collective past.



Shauna Frischkorn, McWorkers series, 2014 - present

Fast-food-industry workers serve millions of people daily wearing recognisable corporate uniforms that reflect the conformity associated with low-status “McJobs.” Unattractive and ill-fitting, these clothes serve their purpose: to make the workers look anonymous. Though the importance of these individuals is foregrounded, the compositions are deeply complex, measuring the accountability of fast-food behemoths on a variety of issues including landfill waste and global health.


Noémi Varga, The Happiest Barrack, 2017

Noémi Varga’s work is concerned with pushing the boundaries of documentary filmmaking through applying the tools of cinematic storytelling. She is particularly interested in the representation of memory and history. This is illustrated in her most recent short, The Happiest Barrack, which considers her maternal grandmother’s life in Soviet-era Hungary. The documentary element is presented through the audio, married to deeply emotive visuals that add universal layers to a very personal story.

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Kenji Ouellet, I Am One, 2016

I Am One comprises a collection of quotes about individuality, from celebrities and unknown figures. Each phrase is heard over scenes of densely populated cities; urban architecture is shown as part of anonymous landscapes. The film is, amongst other interpretations, a retelling of collective and individual perspectives on singularity. In today’s world – dominated by globalisation and life online – cities have become the locations in which most of the population live, yet, in this film, they become part of a replicable, indiscernible tapestry. I Am One creates a challenging contrast between form and concept, encouraging viewers to remember what it is that makes them distinguishable from the crowd.


Electra Lyhne-Gold, Lost in Translation, 2017

Electra Lyhne-Gold is inspired by the power of cinema. She experiments with the camera by staging herself in surreal, fictional narratives, inhabiting various personas. She explores how the viewer interacts with figures presented in films, and the levels of emotional response evoked by concepts that are at once familiar and distant. Lyhne-Gold reimagines the languages of everyday life, which, once recorded and manipulated through layers of rehearsal and mimicry, become fragmented. Lost In Translation considers advertising and commerce from a social, economic and personal point of view.


Peter Davis, Zeitgeist series, 2017

Both works taken from Zeitgeist consider the implications of technology on the lives of individuals. The body of work can be read as a social documentary that considers the digital epoch and the shifting status of the human condition in society. Cardboard Reality 1, for example, looks at the emergence of virtual reality and the connections it has with actual reality. In the painting’s composition there is a deliberate dichotomy between the inviting expression of the young woman and the blank surrounding emotionless environment. This serves to challenge the immediacy of perception and also to suggest the opposing nature of physical isolation in an environment of mass digital dissemination.


Lisa Chang Lee, Laughter Project, 2017 / 2018

Laughter Project is an interactive sound device which looks at the complex social and psychological effects of laughter. Extracted from its original context, the sound of laughing is captured and recreated by a computer so it will react to the viewer. In the process, it becomes obscured, ambiguous and somehow disturbing. Using the laugh as a symbol of entertainment, Lee examines the difference between manufactured and real emotions, questioning the dominance of entertainment culture in an age of anxiety. Lee is fascinated by the way we interact with the external world, and how this is reflected in our imagination. The end result provokes seemingly familiar yet surrealistic encounters for the audience.


Laura Woodward, Web (Encore), 2018

Web (Encore) was developed from a series of earlier works, presenting a self-regulating and selfcontained system. It creates a stark contrast between inherent – and necessary – inflexibility, as well as the potential for fluidity, variability and material agency within structural confines. Woodward’s work is often powered by water, highlighting the intersection between materials, movement and time. The piece considers how each individual part sits within the wider framework – the larger structure both relies upon and provides a place for every component. Web (Encore) comments on global systems and that which cannot be seen, such as the invisible reach of the internet and the effects of digital culture.


Fabio Lattanzi Antinori, Fortune Tellers, 2016 / 2018

With a research-based process, Fabio Lattanzi Antinori uses coded surfaces and data-informed structures to negotiate wider information systems. Fortune Tellers incorporates forecasts of the Shanghai Stock Exchange – provided by data analysts and a financial astrologer – translated into musical notes that can be activated by the public. Traversing sculpture and installation, the work is led by information from the last 10 financial years, the data presented as harmonies performed by three Chinese sopranos. Using the Shanghai Stock Exchange as a model for global markets, Antinori asks questions about value and geopolitical systems and how little we actually know of the world that controls our daily lives.

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exhibition reviews

1 Wilderness a group show

By definition, “wilderness” is an uninhabited, inhospitable or abandoned area. But is there anywhere that is truly wild given these standards? In a bid to escape today’s urbanised landscapes, the artists in this exhibition forge multi-faceted experiences of natural spaces, slipping environmentalism and humanism beneath the sleek surface of screen and printbased media. Boomoon’s ethereal photographs of cascading waterfalls, Ralph Fleck’s snowy hillside paintings and Vija Celmins’s meditative celestial prints instil a wondrous distance and a romanticised respite from societal chaos. Moving through the show, surrealism comes to the fore in Scarlett Hooft Graafland’s choreographed performance-led images, which cross-reference the limitations of culture with the openness of nature. In Wrapped, a yellow rope encircles an Icelandic snow-mound, whilst in Discovery, the base of a towering cactus is enclosed by brash, bare legs. In contrast,

Noémie Goudal imposes an alternative human presence: Mécaniques, displayed here as a commissioned wall-print, uses 90 mirrors to reconfigure the Thai jungle’s vegetal denseness. The temporary manipulations reflect our ability to connect with landscape and responsibility not to irreversibly alter it. The theme of “coexistence” resurfaces in Ben Rivers’s Astika, whilst Esther Johnson’s Hinterland portrays nature’s ferocity, albeit encouraged by climate change. Her 16mm footage of crumbling shacks on Europe’s fastest-eroding coastline brings immersion to an exhibition that is otherwise sparse and highly two-dimensional. It complements Celmins’s sublimely grainy aesthetic and resonates with Boyd & Evans’s hyperreal depictions of a flood-ravaged Bombay beach. Richard Long’s No Footprints, meanwhile, humbles its viewers still further: down in Antarctica, the frozen environment refuses the impression of Long’s footprints and retains its dominion, for now.

Words Selina Oakes

New Art Gallery Walsall 2 February - 6 May www.thenewartgallery

2 David Goldblatt a retrospective

David Goldblatt’s black and white portraits of ordinary people make him the Walker Evans of South Africa. Whilst still in his teens, the artist started photographing mine workers in Durban just before the first signs of Apartheid began to appear. One of its most profound and politically notable developments, The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act came into effect when Goldblatt came of age in 1949. Although present for the first manifestations of social turmoil in 1952, the artist quickly realised that he was not drawn to reporting action scenes, preferring to record the traces of iniquity as revealed through architectural structures, with few or no people in his frames. During the preview of the show, Goldblatt insisted that he was more interested in “the art of work than the work of art.” Indeed, it’s true that some of the photographs seem more professional than artistically confected. There is a deliberate anti-drama to some of the pieces, instead the

artist chooses to intensify reality, asserting that historical realities are sufficiently arresting in themselves. Despite this, many of the compositions are powerfully iconic, memorably illustrating social disruption and segregation. Goldblatt is equally drawn to the end of things. In the 1960s, he started reporting on the decline of South Africa’s gold mining industry. In the 1990s, he was present to capture scenes relating to the end of the Apartheid system and then the dismantling of public symbols of white supremacy during the Rhodes Must Fall campaign in 2015. Speaking openly about the line between documentary and social realism, the artist states that whilst he sympathised with the students’ rejection of the colonial figure of Rhodes and their demands for social equality, he objected to the artworks and amphitheatre inside the University of Cape Town being set on fire, all of which happened during the Fees Must Fall riots (2015-2016).

Words Erik Martiny

Centre Pompidou, Paris 21 February - 13 May

3 Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ Literary and visual reflections

Margate, a once lively seaside town, now sits dismal and mood and form as they reflect upon the poem’s shifting seasonably grey. The colourful candy shops, arcades and flow of diverse voices, references, characters and places. Paul Nash’s painting The Shore (1923) captures a lifeless Victoriana-style architecture suggest its bygone era. It was here in 1921 where TS Eliot, recovering from a nervous sandy seascape, not unlike the view seen from the windows breakdown, wrote much of his famous poem The Waste of the gallery. The four oversized canvases of Cy Twombly’s Land. His words “On Margate sands. / I can connect / Noth- The Four Seasons (1993-1994) embody themes of life and death in a frenzied yet fantastical way through splashes ing with nothing” still resonate with the community today. The exhibition Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ at Turner of colour and scrawlings of poetry, whilst Ana Mendieta’s Contemporary has been curated by locals who formed The Burial Pyramid (1974) video emphasises the idea of rebirth. Lee Miller’s Portrait of Space, Al Bulwayeb, Nr Siwa, Egypt Waste Land Research Group. The show is extensive, featuring more than 60 artists and 100 works selected by these (1941) portrays a beautiful emptiness whilst Man Ray’s Dust knowing residents in a pioneering approach to curating. Breeding (1920) feels forlorn. John Stezaker’s Mask collages Direct references to the poem are found in pieces such as convey surrealistic fragmentation in contrast to Vibeke Barbara Kruger’s chess set Untitled (Do you feel comfortable Tandberg’s analytical breakdown of the use of words in the losing?); whereas Eliot appears throughout, poignantly in the poem. Overall, the exhibition wholly succeeds in its levels of contextualisation, from the unification of art and literature abstracted portrait East Coker-Tse (1979) by Philip Guston. Most works on display draw connections through their to the inclusion of locals and the sense of place.

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Words Ashton Chandler Guyatt

Turner Contemporary, Margate 3 February - 7 May

1a. Scarlett Hooft Graafland, Still Life with Camel, 2016. © Scarlett Hooft Graafland, Courtesy of Flowers Gallery London and New York 1b. Scarlett Hooft Graafland, Sweating Sweethearts 2, 2004. © Scarlett Hooft Graafland, Courtesy of Flowers Gallery London and New York. 2. David Goldblatt, On the corner of Commissioner and Eloff Streets. Boksburg, 1979. Gelatin silver print, 40cm x 30cm. Courtesy David Goldblatt and Goodman Gallery Johannesburg and Cape Town. © David Goldblattt. 3. Lee Miller, Portrait of Space, Al Bulwayeb, near Siwa, Egypt 1937. © Lee Miller Archives, England 2017. All rights reserved.


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4. Jędrzej Franek. 5a. Lost River, 2015. Tania Brassesco & Lazlo Passi Norberto / Segolene Brossette Galerie. 5b. The Wind of Absence, 2015. Tania Brassesco & Lazlo Passi Norberto / Segolene Brossette Galerie. 6. Jasmina Cibic: Nada: Act II (2017). Single channel HD video, 13 min 01 sec, production still, courtesy of the artist.


4 Post-Soviet Visions A GROUP SHOW

Investigating the new wave of creativity emerging from Eastern Europe 27 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, PostSoviet Visions gives voice to a generation whose upbringing has been shaped by the colliding worlds of communism and capitalism. As the homogenising force of globalisation dissolves the physical and ideological boundaries of East and West, the exhibition features work by 14 photographers born in the 1980s and early 1990s hailing from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Architectural photographer Jędrzej Franek examines the concrete tower blocks and apartment complexes ubiquitous across the Eastern Bloc in his Polish hometown, Poznań. Bathed in the pastel hues of dusk, Franek captures the unburied skeletons of an authoritarian past with curiosity and tenderness. His fresh perspective finds beauty and intrigue in their geometric certainty and bizarre uniformity – an elegy for the overbearing utilitarianism of a utopian

housing project destined to fail. Integrating cityscapes with human narratives, filmmaker David Meskhi documents a group of skateboarding millennials amidst abandoned buildings in Tbilisi, Georgia. As radical and liberal attitudes clash with a residual conservatism, Meskhi illuminates the pressures faced by youth today and the growing pains of a country still navigating its economic and social transition. Meanwhile, Moscow-based Masha Demianova photographs her contemporaries with a compelling, cinematic eeriness reminiscent of film noir. Transmitting a sense of honesty and purity, the portraits channel a vehemently female gaze. Depicted in lakes, forests and shadowy rooms, each subject exudes self-possession and individuality to challenge the prevailing representations of female sexuality and desire in Russia. Seen through the eyes of burgeoning counter-cultures and creative communities, Post-Soviet Visions presents us with a dynamic vision of the New East.

Words Verity Seward

Calvert 22 Foundation, London 23 February - 15 April

5 Le Temps d’un Silence

Tania Brassesco and Lazlo Passi Norberto

Featuring photographs from The Essence of Decadence (2010) and Behind the Visible (2015), Le Temps d’un Silence, the first exhibition by the artist duo Tania Brassesco (1986) and Lazlo Passi Norberto (1984) at Galerie Ségolène Brossette, Paris, is both a heartfelt homage to the style of 19th century painting and a tribute to the cathartic power of art. The photographers, who have worked together since 2008, create markedly artificial settings, wherein Brassesco, who also doubles as model, poses as nymph, bucolic goddess, femme fatale or decadent flâneuse. The images’ rarified quality is coupled with artistic and literary references or allusions echoing through the minutely constructed scenography. Whilst works from The Essence of Decadence privilege a mise en scène inspired by pictorial masterpieces at the turn of the 20th century, images from Behind the Visible display greater freedom in the duo’s aesthetic choices. Restaging quintes-

sential fin de siècle portraits by Herbert James Draper and Ramon Casas in Pot Pourri and Pel & Ploma (2010) or conjuring a self-referential cosmos in photographs such as Call of the Wild (2015), Brassesco and Passi Norberto conjure up a universe that is both comforting and outlandish, wherein the female protagonist is portrayed either deep in contemplation or haunted by the personifications of her own unconscious. At times, the microcosm presented within the photograph is fragile and threatens to fall apart. The strength of the images lies in the tension between the intense sensuality, the almost dangerous eroticism of Brassesco’s double and her naivety, the candour of her clueless alter ego. Together with the complexity of the pictorial references, the escapist quality of these works opens a new door to the classic genre of self-portraiture, mixing the quest for self-identity with the exploration and reworking of pivotal moments of art history.

Words Virna Gvero

Galerie Ségolène Brossette, Paris 8 March - 12 May www.segolene

6 This Machine Builds Nations Jasmina Cibic

Cultural production can shape a nation’s identity. Jasmina Cibic dissects the modes of soft power entangled within modernist art and architecture in a theatrical labyrinth of film, props, performance and installation. This Machine Builds Nations transports its audience through Nada – a film trilogy which is situated around the work of three European modernist architects, whose designs became “beacons” for their respective countries at pivotal political moments. Cibic sets Nada’s stage with a monochromatic panorama of romanticised landscapes pulled from Yugoslavia’s first president’s archive. This composite – gilded with “nation building” rhetoric – greets visitors with a gaunt, stately prowess alongside three idiom-bearing iron rings which guide viewers into the heart of an allegorical maze. Within, Cibic revels in her ability to reimagine historical narratives. In Nada: Act I, she exposes the power-play behind Vjenceslav Richter’s unrealised design for the Yugoslav Pavilion at

EXPO 58 by reframing it as an instrument tenderly played by musician Dejana Sekulić. This literalises the Yugoslav politicians’ “playing” of the pavilion whilst shattering the illusion of woman as ornamental Mother Nation. Nada: Act II enforces the notion of political control by refashioning The Miraculous Mandarin into an allegory about civic spaces. Performed as a tragedy inside Arne Jacobsen’s Aarhus City Hall, the ballet’s characters are replaced by a young Mother Nation, her lover the architect, and a trio of leering politicians. While all of Cibic’s work is intelligently executed, Nada: Act III – The Exhibition is gloriously astute. Three women, performing as artist, curator and Germania within Mies van der Rohe’s Krefeld architecture, recite historical statecraft proclamations to critique Germany’s personified 20th century image whilst also critically appraising the frameworks of galleries and their ability to steer audiences towards selected ideological and aesthetic directions.

Words Selina Oakes

BALTIC, Gateshead 9 February - 28 May

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Courtesy of Curzon Artificial Eye.


Contemporary Tragedy The Square

“The humour is biting, bone-dry and excellently delivered. Alongside Bang, Elisabeth Moss is devilishly quick in her confrontational performance as Anne, a journalist who spends the night with Christian.”

Words Beth Webb

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Ruben Östlund’s Oscar-nominated satire The Square is a finely crafted, though vastly meandering, slightly lengthy sniff at the world of contemporary art. It bares many faces; it’s a despairing comedy that questions viral sensations and the fragile masculine egos that drive big decisions, a sweeping piece of theatre, and, depending on interpretation, a minor tragedy. Claes Bang is Christian, a comfortably handsome chief art curator for a museum in Stockholm, where he mostly lives alone (he has joint custody of his two children, who appear late into the film). In the wake of a controversial new exhibition that he’s championing (or not), Christian is pulled to breaking point by the responsibilities of work and fatherhood, whilst largely distracted with trying to retrieve a phone and wallet that could easily just be replaced. The humour is biting, bone-dry and excellently delivered. Alongside Bang, Elisabeth Moss is devilishly quick in her confrontational performance as Anne, a journalist who spends the night with Christian. Their rapport dances from interrogation to flirtation to impatience and leaves you wanting more screen time from Moss and the supporting cast. Though the tone of The Square bounces from surreal to undeniably bleak, no sequence feels unwelcome. A scene where Dominic West’s esteemed artist is constantly interrupted by a Tourette syndrome sufferer is perhaps a cheaper shot, but Terry Notary crashing ape-like through

a dinner party held for the art world elite is the film’s most notorious scene, as the performance reaches further and further into pure horror. Earlier, an industrial floor cleaner slowly, accidentally, partially destroys an exhibit. There is no slick narrative coursing through the film’s 150minute lifespan; instead, expect a series of pristine sketchlike acts, loosely tied together by Christian’s lack of coping, something that quietly baffles him. Only towards the film’s finale do you see him with a beaten brow and a sagging frame. Predictably, the film boasts devastating beauty. Fredik Wenzel, who worked with Östlund on Force Majeure, creates a decadent look for The Square that rivals a Paolo Sorrentino film, and adds a poetic flourish to the film’s peculiar exchanges. That said, the feature has more value than pure vanity. Östlund uses Christian’s status and materialism as a punchline. Several shots highlight the indignity of being homeless, whilst two millennial marketing executives cheer as their horrific advertising campaign concept goes viral. The common ground here is that none of The Square’s key players come off favourably. By painting his characters as insecure, greedy, pretentious and even violent, Östlund taps into his idea of what humanity should look like, not through an idealistic vision of an egalitarian future where superficial motivations aren’t important, but rather by highlighting the hilarity in situations where people are shown at their worst.

Multi-Layered Narratives Not(e) For A Dreamer

Still from Not(e) for a Dreamer.

Designer Antonio Labroca has for the first time started Call Me By Your Name, a hazy romance in which Timothée “It’s impressive working according to seasons in his role with Italian fashion Chalamet’s Elio spends a summer in swimming pools and that Poli can spin line MONO-Y. Formerly hesitant about being told what leaning over pianos, not wanting the season to end. “We had a multi-layered clothes can and can’t be worn over just a short period of time, this whole idea about playtime but also about what it looks narrative from a single he believes in fashion that can withstand time and surpass like when playtime is over,” explains director Poli. “We have item of clothing; as generations. If he is to succumb, then, to the seasonal shifts our main character at a party, but then also in the bathtub. well as highlighting the multifunctional in his industry, the least that he can do is make a bright, The feeling changes but the clothes remain the same.” The star of Not(e) For A Dreamer, Matilde Benedusi, hadn’t appeal of the idyllic short film to mark the occasion. Not(e) For A Dreamer is shot with longstanding collaborator acted before the film, but caught the attention of Poli and clothes, the movie Enrico Poli, an award-winning director who has a clear grasp Labroca after they saw her on YouTube. Poli was instantly taps into feelings of Labroca’s vision and how to shine a spotlight on the craft drawn to Benedusi’s childish physicality, something they’d all too familiar.” and longevity of his garments. “I have to see what’s on been looking for to fit the message of the film: “We wanted Antoni’s mind at a specific time and then translate that to Anaïs to be an adult, but her body hasn’t changed yet. She’s film,” says Poli. “The idea in this film was to reinvent the past already become a woman, but not in a physical sense,” he and make it contemporary. These clothes could be worn by explains. “Then we got sent this video by Matilde playing a kid who’s borrowed from his grandfather’s wardrobe but the guitar, and she was amazing. She was one of only a few has reinvented what he wears so that it’s his own style.” The Italian girls of that age that didn’t show any knowledge of clothes are best in motion: billowing shirts, enlarged frames – English. We ended up using her for the voice-over as well.” It’s impressive that Poli can spin a multi-layered narrative but with an occasional nod towards modern streetwear. “The from a single item of clothing; as well as highlighting the cut may be contemporary but the fabric is a very refined.” The film is shot in Chianti but doesn’t appear to be tied multifunctional appeal of the clothes, the movie taps into to any specific moment in time. Teenagers inhabit a sun- feelings all too familiar, subconsciously bonding the piece Words filled stately house, pushing food into their faces, energetic with the beholder. His next film is based on the significance Beth Webb but aware that things won’t stay this way forever. There of a good coat, again gently pushing the clothes to the are immediate similarities apparent to Luca Guadagnino’s forefront as an element of a story rather than a collection.

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Image: © Danny Clinch.


Euphoric Darkness Chvrches

“As with its predecessor, the band’s 1980s pop influences, are worn heart on sleeve here, from the soft-focus Madonna-style drum machines and early Depeche melodies to the twinkling, comingof-age synths that frill everything.”

Words Charlotte R-A

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Chvrches has gone from strength to strength since their the end, according to the band’s recent interviews – is a meblogosphere inception, and it’s not hard to see (hear) why. diation on “coming to terms with the fact that there are great The Glasgow trio make accessible, sublime and stadium- things in the world and there are awful things in the world and ready electro pop, music that feels both epic and intimate. that you can’t get one without the other,” says Mayberry. That And they’re steadfastly independent – writing, mixing and sense of gravitas is felt throughout, with particular poignancy on Really Gone, when she sings: “I’m trying my best to lift you mastering their own songs from their jointly-owned studio. The trio first broke out in 2012, with the now iconic blogo- up, to repair … I’m trying my best to toughen up.” The heady, rushing dance tempos Chvrches do so well are sphere hit, The Mother We Share. Their 2013 debut, The Bones of What You Believe, went top 10, earning the band major fes- still here, effervescent on Heaven / Hell’s last days-style disco tival billings and a support slot touring with Depeche Mode. and heroically aerobic on the sweet euphoria of Forever. But Their follow-up, 2015’s Every Open Eye, went top five. Along there’s plenty to love when they slow the BPMs down to epic, the way, frontwoman Lauren Mayberry become a revered vo- emotive proportions on the likes of Never Say Die – a title calist and a millennial feminist icon following her op-ed for straight out of Goonies-era Cyndi Lauper’s songbook – and The Guardian (“I Will Not Accept Online Misogyny”) on the the hard-won wisdom of Wonderland’s temporarily slackened chorus: “Can’t live forever with my head in the clouds.” Fans gendered harassment which women constantly face online. Album three, slated for release this May, might just be their of The National will be pleased to hear Matt Berninger guest best yet – a record that wanes and accelerates in all the right on the gloom-laden My Enemy, a hook-up that came about places. As with its predecessor, the band’s 1980s pop influ- when the band collaborated with Berninger on 7 Inches For ences, are worn heart on sleeve here, from the soft-focus Planned Parenthood, a fundraising and awareness campaign Madonna-style drum machines and early Depeche melodies to support America’s non-profit sexual health organisation. Almost every song on Love Is Dead – the first Chvrches to the twinkling, coming-of-age synths that frill everything. But if Every Open Eye had a rushing, face-to-the-wind quality, album to feature contributions from outside producers Love Is Dead feels a little darker – not quite jaded but cer- (GRAMMY-winner Greg Kurstin, BRIT Award-winner Steve Mac) tainly grounded, the bass synths more prominent in the mix. – would be at home in the climactic scenes of a John Hughes Love Is Dead – which is meant to be read with an ellipsis at film. This is music to ache to, to cry and dance and shout to.

Songwriting Through Structure Ryan Vail

Image: © Lisa Byrne.

“The music industry can be amazing,” says Ryan Vail, “but it can chines, mixers, synths both vintage and new. “The album was “There’s a lightness also very toxic at times. I think this is the case for most artists all written and recorded here. The only part that I didn’t do was to the record, thanks to Rachael Boyd’s finding their way.” On the cusp of the release of his second the mastering; I like to leave that to the professionals.” Beyond the studio, Vail drew from film, taking cues from ten- violin work and album, Distorted Shadows, it’s little wonder that the Derrybased composer is in a contemplative mood. Vail’s brand of sion-filled cinematic scores. “I remember films like (Denis Vil- Laura McCabe’s electronica – moody, ambient, piano-led grooves with subtle, leneuve‘s) Arrival (2016), which was soundtracked by Jóhann cello – a combination classical flourishes – has seen him nominated for the North- Jóhannsson. (David Robert Mitchell’s) It Follows (2014) also of strings that add a ern Ireland Music Prize twice. He’s shared stages with marquee springs to mind. I have a deep love of sci-fi and horror films. gentle, subtle weft to names in dance and electronica (Nils Frahm; Jamie xx; Todd I think this is mainly due to the darkness of the [soundtracks].” the looped, engineered But, for all those influences, there’s a lightness to the record, warp of the synths.” Terje). “But success is a subjective thing,” the musician admits. “It’s taken me a fair bit of time to understand how to handle thanks to Rachael Boyd’s violin work and Laura McCabe’s the ups and downs of the industry. It seems that there is always cello – a combination of strings that add a gentle, subtle weft a balancing act, between making music that will pay the bills to the looped, engineered warp of the synths. Vail’s voice is in and concentrating on integrity and artistic merit. This album there, low and intimate in the mix. His wife, Katie, also has a was about returning to what I loved, and forgetting about presence. “Katie’s vocals can be heard on nearly every track – what’s expected from me.” Distorted Shadows was written after pitch dropped, distorted or with heavy reverb on them.” In the press materials for this record, Vail claims the songs the two years of touring that followed Vail’s 2015 debut LP, on Distorted Shadows are “challenging the standardised way Every Silence, and shaped by observing that time on the road. “During the tour, people really engaged with certain parts of in which musicians nowadays think they have to structure the music – specifically the more synth- and beat-driven parts. songs and tracks.” This seems a rather high-falutin’ claim. Can As the touring progressed, those parts started to become more he elaborate? “I feel that the art of songwriting has peaked,” Words of a focal point in my shows. And so when I began recording he says. “Quite a lot of songs sound the same nowadays. Charlotte R-A this new album, that connection was always in my mind.” It was The focus has turned purely to the vocal and the music has written during late night sessions in Vail’s new studio, built last become secondary. I don’t hear new structures or ideas coming year to serve as home to the gear he’s stockpiled – drum ma- through. It almost feels like artists have stopped being curious.”

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Craig Ellwood, Palevsky House, Palm Springs, 1971. Courtesy of the Estate of Marvin Rand.


Chronicles of Modernism California Captured

“With images that chronicle some of modernism’s most celebrated architectural creations, including work by Irving J. Gill and Richard Neutra, Rand’s book is critical in capturing the now iconic mid-century style of Californian modernism.”

Words Gunseli Yalcinkaya

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The sunny optimism of post-war America is central to a new like drive-in cinema and restaurants, as well as the increased publication, California Captured, by Emily Bills, Sam Lubell use of washing machines and dishwashers in the private and Pierluigi Serraino, which documents the work of late sphere, revolutionised the level of comfort at which people Los Angeles photographer Marvin Rand. With images that could live their lives. “The love affair that America had with chronicle some of modernism’s most celebrated architec- the future is found in the architecture of the period,” he states. This is embodied in the blemish-free technicality with which tural creations, including work by Irving J. Gill, John Lautner and Richard Neutra, Rand’s book is critical in capturing the Rand operated, emphasised in his attention to structure and now iconic mid-century style of Californian modernism. “It line, and evoking the forms of his subjects. Rand’s photowas imperative for us to re-insert Rand’s presence in the mid- graph of Craig Ellwood’s Case Study House 16, which feacentury photosphere since it was one of the key contributors tures a single-storey, open-plan house in black and white, is typical of this style. “The light flowing inside the bedroom to that iconography,” explains co-author Serraino. Characterised by open layouts, natural lighting and an through the glass walls projects long shadows, accentuating embrace of the future, Rand’s images set the tone for a new the structure and singularly modern design,” says Bills. Similarly, in his photograph of Killingsworth, Brady and modernism. “Southern California’s architects incorporated the underlying principles of modernism with the unique Smith’s Cambridge Office Building in Long Beach, Rand emqualities of local ecology and a relaxed lifestyle,” says Bills. phasises the patterns which are created by sunlight. “[This] Whilst the movement took its references from industrialism, creates a complex abstract composition that eschews an unand its maxim “form before function”, Rand’s photographs derstanding of how the space functions and provides a phepoint to a less severe version. “The industrial expression of nomenological experience instead,” Bills explains. California Captured embodies the zeitgeist of post-war Mies van der Rohe found a less severe version under palm trees and pools even though conceptually it was anchored California as an epicentre of wealth and optimism translated through the technical flawlessness of Rand’s photography. to the principles of the German master,” explains Serraino. “Comfort and ease of use were two critical ideas permeat- The broad range of structures and insightful commentary by ing the architecture of the period,” he says. The popularity the authors, make this a must-read for anyone interested in of motorised movement, for example in public architecture the architecture underpinning America’s Golden State.

An Iconic Contribution Where I Find Myself

Red Interior, Provincetown, Massachusetts, 1977. Courtesy and Copyright of Joel Meyerowitz.

There is a photograph titled Paris, France, 1967 in Joel composition and theatrical lighting, than a documentation “‘Chance is everywhere, Meyerowitz’s new book, Where I Find Myself, which shows a of a horrific event. In it, a group of anonymous firefighters it’s what you make of it man who has fallen to the ground, whilst above him another are standing amongst the rubble of the World Trade Centre, that is most important,’ man with a hammer steps over without bending down to offer whilst a red flame burns in its centre. It is a photograph that he begins. ‘There is him any kind of help. Elsewhere, a scattered crowd of passers- captures all the commotion of the “open-ended world” it always some element of by stare, gawking at what unfolds. “I enter the scene, I make is situated in – it captures chance as it is unfolding. “A still this: the way the light camera takes an epiphany – the single highest moment of is angled, the sudden the photograph, and that’s chance,” Meyerowitz explains. fog that comes rolling Chance is a central theme in Where I Find Myself, which the arc of that event in front of you,” Meyerowitz notes. Another quality that stands out here is optimism. “I think in, the people I chance is Meyerowitz’s first major single book retrospective. The Bronx-born photographer, who pioneered the New Colour the joy of being alive and out in the world, carrying a camera myself to meet along movement alongside William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, and making photographs, is truly what my photographs are the edge of the water.’” offers an anecdotal account of his career to date in reverse about,” he reveals. “They’re a positive response to the world.” chronological order, ranging from his exclusive coverage of Images in From The Car are visual affirmations, invoking Ground Zero to his work inspired by the artist Giorgio Mo- spontaneity in their intense physicality and vivid framing. randi. Underpinning it all is the visual dictum that was fa- “Each time something comes up that is funny or tragic or mously referred to by photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson beautiful or unexpected in some way or a ‘revelation’, I as the “decisive moment”. “Chance is everywhere, it’s what recognise some little piece of it that touches me and I say you make of it that is most important,” Meyerowitz begins ‘yes’ to it by pressing the button on the camera,” he says. Approximately 55 years on, Meyerowitz’s work is still in his new book. “There is always some element of this: the way the light is angled, the sudden fog that comes rolling just as relevant as when it was first exhibited. With a huge in, the people I chance myself to meet along the edge of retrospective currently on show at C/O Berlin titled Why Words Color? and a new show at Tate Modern on the cards, Where Gunseli Yalcinkaya the water or the crowds I immerse myself in,” he explains. Even in Five More Found, which captures the brutal aftermath I Find Myself is a welcome new addition to a wider discourse of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York, Meyerowitz’s image surrounding and celebrating an iconic career that will be feels more like a Renaissance painting, with its grandiose remembered as a part of photography’s history.

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film reviews


Queerama Daisy Asquith

From the treasure trove of the BFI archive, Daisy Asquith unearths a century of gay culture within a succinct 70minute window; the resulting Queerama unfolds with a voracious spirit. Unsurprisingly, the director reveals the darker side of social cultural, political and legal attitudes in a narrative of reluctant, yet documentable, progress. This sense of social movement is complemented by the film’s visual and musical aesthetic, which brims with a self-assured confidence. Each edit is a decisive choice that forms a choreographed series of montage sequences with their own individual theme in the wider discussion. In the hands of Asquith and her editors, every scene – moving between grainy black and white film and polished digital reels – has been authored with a complex and well-considered eye. In moments where music and visuals coalesce, Queerama exposes the magic of cinema as a conscious

and unconscious experience – filled with sensory material beyond the visual narrative. Powerfully emotive, the film is a testament to the people held within the frames. The narrative is chronological – starting with the first gay relationship presented on film in 1919, moving right through to the marriage campaigns of recent years. The film steps between moments of history with compositional flair, traversing both news and interview excerpts in a way that encourages audience intrigue whilst communicating the realities and hardships of LGBTQ communities in Britain’s history. Foregrounding the decriminalisation of homosexuality – left until the 1960s and 1970s – it is a necessary, and at times harrowing, portrayal of populations suppressed and chastised for their desires. Perhaps Asquith’s true achievement is successfully sitting on the borderline between entertainment and vital commentary.

Words Paul Risker

BFI Distribution


Redoubtable Michel Hazanavicius

Films about filmmakers can easily descend into self-indulgent naval-gazing, particularly when the subject is JeanLuc Godard, the leading light of the French New Wave who, in the 1960s, was the country’s most famous director. So credit Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) for delivering Redoubtable, a quicksilver look at Godard and those around him that doesn’t fall into simply worshipping at his altar. Inspired by 2015’s “novel” Un An Après by Anne Wiazemsky, Godard’s former wife and muse, the story begins as Godard (The Dreamers’ Louis Garrel) is directing her in La Chinoise, his 1967 tale of Maoist revolutionary students. They are lovers and seemingly have the world at their feet, but when the film is poorly received, Godard questions everything about his life, including his relationship. Playing Wiazemsky, who was then 20 to Godard’s 36, is the English-French actress Stacy Martin, best known for her work in Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, and the chemistry


she and Garrel generate is beguiling. But Redoubtable is more about intellectual fireworks, not least when Godard becomes increasingly influenced by the protests in May 1968, as students take to the streets to demonstrate. Sympathising with the protestors, Godard was instrumental in getting the 1968 Cannes Film Festival shut down, although we only see the before and after – at the seaside house which he and Wiazemsky occupy and on the cramped car journey back to Paris. These ordinary domestic moments quite wonderfully burst the artist’s not inconsiderable aura, showing him as irritable and insufferable. Godard purists may be aghast at their master being kicked off his pedestal, but Hazanavicius never lampoons him. Rather, he does him a huge favour, re-painting him as a human being. A tribute to his work, with the camera even aping some of Godard’s own shots, it’s a funny, tender and wise exploration of the difficulties of the artistic life.

Words James Mottram

Thunderbird Releasing

The Touch Ingmar Bergman

Unavailable to audiences for years, Ingmar Bergman’s The Touch, first released in 1971, chronicles the toll taken by the psychological and emotional upheaval of a love affair on dutiful Karin, who was previously contentedly chugging along in her 15-year marriage to Andreas, a doctor. Then along comes American archaeologist David as the original cuckoo in the nest to reignite Karin’s longdormant sexuality. Upon its release the film was met with mostly negative reviews and bombed at the box office. Bergman’s focus is on the clash between Karin’s ordered domesticity and the turmoil created by David’s emotional neediness. She is the cool to his heat, the courtesy to his instability, the calm to his crazy. This, then, is a portrait of two very different lovers who are caught in a web of desire that each wishes to control but cannot. There is a stillness to The Touch that lends itself to the theatrical, which is born partly from Bergman’s script

but also from the joint Swedish / English dialogue and the underplaying of both Elliott Gould as David and Max von Sydow as Andreas. The heart of the tale is Bibi Andersson as the deep-thinking Karin, whose infidelity is presented as ordered and precise in her performance. Yet despite the calm there are also the building blocks of intimacy, obsession and betrayal. The couple break up, write incessant, urgent letters to one another and then rekindle their relationship, whilst all the time Andreas suspects their emotional involvement from a distance. As an unconventional love triangle, The Touch unravels at leisure as the characters’ foibles and fragilities are steadily laid bare. But, as the movie’s title suggests, this is a film that is more about physicality than about emotion; the characters who are presented here certainly yearn for contact but they also possess an overwhelming need to deconstruct their affair, and that, truly, is classic Bergman.

Words Tony Earnshaw

BFI Distribution

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music reviews


The Acid Caves Vol 1 Esther Joy

Esther Joy doesn’t do half measures. The firecracker London producer hasn’t just created an EP, she has created an alternate universe. In The Acid Caves Vol 1 we follow the plight of Siliphur, an alien who escapes her own world to seek the chaotic energy of Earth. Sequentially, these three tracks each tell a different part of Siliphur’s story, accompanied by a section of prose. But don’t expect spaceship battles and a good-versus-evil plot. This sci-fi project has complex themes of belonging, sacrifice and being at the mercy of your emotions. Beginning with Day 1 (Siliphur Leaves Home) Joy paints an aggressive and abstract collage of sounds, with her deep, ethereal vocals giving the chaos an emotional intensity. It’s somewhere between Grimes and a hardcore, drug-fuelled rave. The tempo is frenzied, as if there isn’t enough time to fit in everything that’s important to ad-


Words Grace Caffyn


Lavender Half Waif

Shimmery, glittering hypnotic pop showers this intimate new album from the Massachusetts-born, Brooklynbased songstress Nandi Rose Plunkett, better known as Half Waif. Full of hope, yet layered fundamentally with underlying tones of loss and reckoning, Lavender is an ode to time passing ever swiftly and the undeniable battle we face with finding our meaning in spite of it. Sprinkled with electronic, 1980s-inspired drum machine hits and dusty synth noises songs like the straining pained tones of Keep It Out open up this personal project to a more varied soundscape. Lilac House takes the retro inspiration up a notch, with a similar bounce and energy to Metronomy’s English Riviera album whilst In The Evening ricochets off target with its out of place auto-tune experimentation. The shoddy drum programming on Slit also sits uncomfortably within the album’s slow middle section, before finishing


dress. It almost feels like an unexploded bomb was ticking down to zero in the corner of Joy’s studio. It’s also worth noting that this self-released record is Joy’s third in four years. Besides this, she has also been touring with grime-pop princess Charli XCX and collaborating with the likes of Tourist. This relentless drive comes through in the production value of each of these tracks. They show a monumental level of intricacy and a varied palette of textures well beyond the usual down-beat electronic pop that has defined the genre in 2018. For instance, track Day 4 (Landing) flicks between screeching bashment melodies, ominous 1980s synths and obscure vocal samples to craft an intense mix of high octane noise. Even calling this record “pop” feels jarring as it’s miles from easy listening. It’s challenging, impossible to ignore and it promises a lot more for Esther Joy, too.

strong with a remarkable, emotive, slower turn. This approach is embodied within the true highlight of the album, the masterful Back In Brooklyn with its haunting, undulating solo piano, etching a divine tale through switching time signatures. The inspiration from the solo piano power and undulating vocal range of Tori Amos is clearly evident, in the finest possible way. On the remarkable Leveler, the album truly reaches its stride, demonstrating frighteningly poignant levels of passion and candour, whilst on the floating Salt Candy, Half Waif eerily repeats the macabre “I wanted to be buried in my mother’s arms”, taking this record’s morbid tinge right through to the final moments. The closing track Ocean Scope sees Half Waif’s Celticsounding vocal dalliances flutter quietly over Unklereminiscent production, a performance which rounds off the album’s breathless imagery with dynamism.

Words Kyle Bryony


Hush Syrra

Syrra, comprising Swedish vocalist Aneta Wrzos and Berlin-born producer Sinah Blohberger, have an interesting way of making music; there’s a fundamental connection between them. Their tracks are produced in a shed in the shadows of the Portuguese mountains. The name Syrra, which came to Aneta in a dream, derives from the Swedish word for “sister” and embodies a creative space in which the two friends can bring their flaws, insecurities and struggles and support each other. With influences including Warpaint and The Knife, they combine to create dark, layered soulful electronica. Debut single I Can Be Mean, which forms part of this EP, was released last year to critical acclaim, bolstered by two subsequent live shows in London. With lyrical themes of self-worth, this downtempo track marked a notable statement of intent. Follow up Sick covers similar

lyrical territory looking at the impact of mental health on a relationship, encapsulated in the repeated refrain of “All I ever wanted was a lover, all I ever got was just another little brother”. The track was mixed with Mikko Gordon (Thom Yorke, Alpines and FEMME), who has assisted in creating a landscape filled with atmosphere and opulent, sonic transitions in which Blohberger’s layered avalanche of synthesizers blend intricately with other instruments around Wrzos’s icy vocals. Hush is in a similar vein, equal parts fragile, subtle and experimental. Syrra’s lyrical ingenuity and stark rhythms have resulted in a work of beauty and a teasing glimpse into an otherworldliness, captured perfectly by the ethos of the project. The overriding message is one in which flaws and imperfections create vulnerability and from vulnerability comes strength in unity, a true sisterhood.

Words Matt Swain

ZNA Records

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book reviews


Madam and Eve: Women Portraying Women Liz Rideal and Kathleen Soriano

Jana Sterbak’s Vanitas (1987), a dress of raw flank steak on a female model, may today bring to mind Lady Gaga’s now-iconic “meat dress” for the 2010 VMAs. Sterback’s radical gesture was a double critique of both the objectification of the female body and humankind’s consumption habits; Gaga, too, was making a political statement. For women, art’s ability to question norms and express the unspoken is its especially powerful promise. But as Madam and Eve examines, there is much wit, humour, sensuality and camaraderie on this creative journey, too. Five evocative themes – Body, Life, Story, Death and Icons – introduce readers to women artists working from the seventies to the present, largely in the West. Decades of feminist art-historical theory and many artistic foremothers later, women still account for 30 per cent of all solo shows in major UK and US museums. Acknowledging this hard-

won and inadequate reality, Rideal and Soriano move on quickly: female art has never been mere response to maledominated art history, but life itself – work, bodies, money, birth, death, sexuality, technology, identity. Described through one key piece, the reader meets women from diverse artistic practices and backgrounds. Mona Hatoum’s “ultimate self-portrait” using an endoscopic camera; Sadie Lee’s oil-on-canvas works on mixedrace women’s experience; Melanie Manchot’s affectionate photographs of her mother’s aged body; Nezaket Ekici’s performance art on (and testing her own) physical endurance; Ana Mendieta’s installations rich with South American symbolism; and Hattie Stewart’s bold doodles “defacing” ads and magazines. The selection is extensive, including (but not prioritising) heavyweights like Barbara Kruger, Lubaina Himid, Tracey Emin and Marina Abramović.

Words Sarah Jilani

Laurence King Publishing


Paper: Material, Medium and Magic Nicola Von Velsen and Neil Holt

This is a history of paper, perhaps the most ubiquitous of materials, but it is far from straightforward or biographical in its approach. Although the book opens with an accessible description of the technicalities of papermaking and its various forms (including a wonderful A-Z glossary), it also goes far beyond this to explore ongoing artisanal practices, emotional responses, hidden stories and more. It does not shy away from personal and subjective accounts: the German artist Nanne Meyer, for example, describes direct experiences with paper as a catalyst for her own work. She collects scrap, allowing herself to forget about specific pieces and their origin, instead simply waiting for an idea to strike and its purpose to become clear. In the section entitled Maps and Globes, Philipp Hontschik explores the craftsmanship of modern practitioners such as London-based Bellerby & Co, whose work he links

to a history of cartography stretching back almost 12,000 years. Paper, he shows, was key to the development of urban planning and, in a broader sense, the ability to present space in an abstract, codified form. This enabled a deeper understanding and knowledge of places, without – for the first time – needing to witness them first hand. The volume finishes, appropriately, with a section on paper and the book. From the social role of libraries to the art of bookbinding, there are clear statements that these beloved objects cannot be neatly replaced by a digital alternative. It is argued that a book’s physical form is absolutely key to its meaning: this is a vital message for modern times, and a call to arms for anyone whose days are increasingly full of plastic and metal, buttons and screens. This publication will appeal to anyone who enjoys thinking about the complex stories of everyday objects.

Words Anna Feintuck



Trevor Paglen author

In 1949, George Orwell’s iconic dystopian novel, 1984, was published, establishing a vision of the near future defined by official deception, surveillance and the manipulation of facts. Over 60 years later, the first episode of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror aired, tapping into the same concerns for an increasingly digital age. These dystopian narratives reflect the anxieties of the modern world: the impact of mass observation and technological dependence. Trevor Paglen (b. 1974) shares an interest in these issues, investigating surveillance methods and bringing into focus timely questions about government secrecy and control. Endeavouring to uncover the “unseeable and undocumentable” in the contemporary landscape, the practitioner’s diverse body of work highlights the clandestine activity of the state and intelligence agencies. A multidisciplinary approach defines his practice, comprising photography, installation, journalism and science. This

investigative methodology unearths the pervasive nature of government scrutiny, emphasising the extensive reach of global information and data networks. Surveying anything from underwater cables to orbiting satellites, Paglen explores multitudinous angles. For example, Landing Points spotlights the mechanisms underpinning the internet, whilst interactive works such as Autonomy Cube study the relationship between human beings and machines. As a whole, the pieces offer dialogues about the nature of public and private spheres in the 21st century. Phaidon’s new publication is the first monograph to explore the artist’s highly conceptual oeuvre, presenting personal reflections and essays alongside 200 colour images. Coinciding with a major retrospective at the Smithsonian, Washington DC, the book offers readers an insight into the sociopolitical structures that define the everyday experience, establishing its importance to a broad spectrum of audiences.

Words Eleanor Sutherland


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artists’ directory

MENG ZHOU | At the heart of Meng Zhou’s work is a conversation between tradition and modernity. Through painting, sculpture and installations, he merges and transforms classical Chinese symbolism and imagery using Western styles and techniques. His artistic projects draw on poetic analogies of Chinese cultural history and myth. Zhou’s cinematic oeuvre runs parallel to his painting and sculpture. The immediacy of the camera allows him to document and explore single incidents and narrate stories that hover between disconcerting dreams and reality.

ronnie jiang |

Medan-born Ronnie Jiang arrived in France in 2013, launching a career built upon fantasy and altered perceptions. Defined as expressive portraits that are at once enigmatic and uncanny, Jiang offers an almost Freudian imagination, influenced by fairy tales and social analysis. Her latest work is on show at the FLUX Exhibition at Chelsea College of Arts, 11-15 April.


Digital artist Fei Alexeli found her passion for mixed media and photomontage when studying architecture in Oxford. Her pieces create utopian microcosms that occupy a space between surrealism and the everyday, building upon pop-coloured Americana and lush, collaged landscapes. Alexeli’s work has been shown at numerous exhibitions and art fairs. | Instagram: @fei_alexeli

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artists’ directory

Left: Self-portrait with Bird of Los Angeles Drifting. Oil and mixed media on wood. 61cm x 61cm. Right: Archival Box with Bird of Los Angeles Drifting. Oil and mixed media on wood. 61cm x 61cm.

anne notebaert

Anne-Marie Giroux

Antwerp-based Anne Notebaert revels in the simplicity of nature. Her intricate glassware offers a sensory experience that pulls the viewer into the sights and smells of seascapes. Unique and recognisable, each piece reflects the beauty of complex organic systems. Notebaert studied glass art at the Academie Berchem, Antwerp, and at IKA Mechelen – Instituut voor Kunst en Ambacht Mechelen.

Montréal-based artist Anne-Marie Giroux’s practice focuses on creating conceptual projects through painting, sculpture and installations. Work on the series Drifting began in 2017. Combining humour, poetry and sarcasm, Giroux explores themes, references, subjects or objects that resonate with her in the studio and that are an integral part of her daily creative process.

brett dyer Brett Dyer is an art professor and artist from Texas. His recent work combines figures with evocative colours and patterns, revealing the complexity of the human spirit. His work is exhibited throughout the USA; Dyer will have a solo exhibition Deliverance: Rescued and Set Free at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts in Longview, Texas, 5 January - 23 March 2019. I Instagram: @brettleedyer

Genius Loci, 2017. Acrylic and oil on canvas.110cm x 160cm x 2.5cm.

Left: Hecuba, 2017. Acrylic, ink and mixed media on canvas. Right: Reaction IX, 2017. Acrylic, ink and mixed media on canvas.

ben dobson Cambridge-based Ben Dobson explores texture, colour, perspective, light and shade using mineral, vegetable and animal matter prepared with skill for the microscope and camera. He recently co-organised and exhibited at the SciArt Exhibition at the world-renowned Cavendish Laboratories. Dobson will next be exhibiting in July at the Fulbourn Art Fair in Fulbourn, Cambridge. I Twitter: @microscopeman74

Cécile van Hanja

dean rossiter

Corsica-born Cécile van Hanja graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. She is inspired by modernism, in particular the architecture of Bauhaus and De Stijl. Genius Loci refers to a distinctive atmosphere that captures the spirit of place, examining the interactions between interiors and exteriors. She is represented by the Lisa Norris Gallery in London and the Rob de Vries Gallery in Haarlem.

Dean Rossiter investigates how contradiction can become a vital tool for re-engaging in a world dominated by a seemingly endless stream of digital imagery and synthetic information. His bold and colourful works exist in a state of fixed fluidity, combining the immediacy of movement with the stasis of two-dimensional compositions. Rossiter has exhibited worldwide, most recently at Scope New York.

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Elaine Longtemps

eran goldfeld

Elaine Longtemps’ socially conscious practice is built upon embedding meaning into the conformation rope can take when forcefully twisted and combined with symbolic colour and the conceptual potential of everyday objects. Shown here is a detail of FLINT, on display at Longtemps’ solo exhibition at the Foundry Art Centre near St. Louis, Missouri. Until 4 May in Gallery III.

Eran Goldfeld’s current body of work combines abstraction, geometry, architecture and the theme of isolation, as shown here in Geometric Flow. Utilising large-scale canvases, he feels that the size intensifies the painting, especially when dealing with anonymous spaces. Goldfeld finds inspiration from the works of Soulages and Diebenkorn. Instagram: @erangoldfeld

eric wiles

fede saenz

Northern California-based artist Eric Wiles combines fine art and landscape photography to reveal dynamic images of natural beauty and manmade objects. His contemporary approach has propelled his work to exhibition at the Musée du Louvre, and he was recently nominated for the prestigious International Color Awards as well as the Black & White Spider Awards.

Fede Saenz is an Argentinian painter and sculptor based in Woodstock, New York. His latest series this is how we urges the viewer to look past the subject and consider the process of creating an image, pushing the boundaries of what is accepted as the “norm.” Saenz notes that he has aligned himself with the avant-garde movement, “opening new possibilities where there was only monotony.” | Instagram: @fedesaenz

frea buckler

Galini Scarlatou

Frea Buckler studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. Since then, she has established herself as a multidisciplinary practitioner who employs an interest in sculpture, wall painting and screenprint. A freestyle methodology rejects digital processes, using systematic compositions to draw a balance between chaos and control. She has exhibited work throughout the UK. I Instagram: @freabuckler I Twitter: @freabuckler

Galini Scarlatou is a Greek artist, graphic designer and maker whose jewellery uses electronic devices, creating one-off pieces. Her multidisciplinary practice explores the connection between nature and technology, producing items that reflect the future of design through recycling materials and bespoke aesthetics. Scarlatou will exhibit her work at the Tokyo International Art Fair, 25-26 May.

For submission enquiries regarding the Artists’ Directory, contact Katherine Smira on (0044) (0)844 568 2001 or

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artists’ directory

hanna ten doornkaat Hanna ten Doornkaat’s work is an exploration of the possibilities of abstract line drawings in perception and understanding. The repetition of lines and grids are a constant throughout her work, alongside the subjects of renewal and reinvention. Upcoming exhibitions include the Kunsthuis Gallery in Crayk, 18 May - 8 July and In the Zero of Form at One Paved Court gallery in Richmond, 6-16 June.

Photograph of the Canvas in Thames installation.

gary plummer Gary Plummer is an Irish artist who divides his time between Ireland and Canada. His work is inspired by his love of the outdoors, with a focus on abstract forms and colours in the landscapes that interest him, to create mixed media and collage art. Plummer’s art has been exhibited in galleries and been published internationally.

harriet moutsopoulos


Sydney-based Harriet Moutsopoulos is a collage artist who works under the name Lexicon Love. Drawn to the surreal and unsettling, she seeks out the unexpected connections between humour and tragedy. Ultimately it is the way in which collage art challenges traditional notions of aesthetics, which she finds most appealing. I Instagram: @lexicon_love

The work of Helene Koch explores the boundaries between architecture, art and landscape. Inexpensive materials are utilised in the same way as neglected locations in the city. A photograph of the installation shown here is at the Saatchi Gallery as part of the Saatchi Screen project. Koch’s work will also be seen in the group exhibition Material at Alfa Gallery in Miami, 7 May - 7 July. |

helga dorothea


Helga Dorothea is a film director and visual artist whose work involves music videos, experimental short films and projected installations. She works with both analogue and digital media, with a particular affection for handmade textures, visual illusions, personal histories and the interplay between the natural and the mechanical.

Birth? The Pomegranate and the Motherboard is by UK-based photographer Henry Rice. Created using a photograph of a pomegranate and motherboard, it has been transformed by a specially designed piece of software that reorganises its pixels by RGB value. The digitally manipulated photograph is then moved from the computer screen to the gallery, whilst the original remains in the digital world.

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Julia Aurora Guzmán Amsterdam-based Dominican artist Julia Aurora Guzmán utilises mixed media to create sculptures and installations that play with scale and the audience’s perception. The work ignites an imagination within spaces through the phenomenology of immensity. Guzmán creates active and conscious relationships between human, architectural and sculptural bodies. | Instagram: @juliaguzmanconde

Into Eternity, 2018. Acrylic painting, 120cm x 80cm.

I’m blue I’m pink I’m Blue I’m Pink is an art direction, set design and photography studio located in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Spain. Thriving on a detailed approach and process, the duo create images that are at once playful and surreal, applying storytelling with various textures and colours to create enigmatic concepts. Their work with international clients spans editorial and commercial projects.

julijana ravbar

Katia Lyubavskaya

Julijana Ravbar notes that her work is “an abstract reflection of what is within my heart and soul.” Through the use of colour, light and texture, she invites the viewer to see a world expressed through the power of shapes and tones, rather than pictures or words. Ravbar’s paintings are purchased and displayed in private collections around the world. I Instagram: @julijana_ravbar_art

Katia Lyubavskaya is a Moscow-based artist who uses hyperreal colour palettes and surreal compositions to question the saturated world of post-truth. Playful sculptures imply a utopian space built upon altered realities. She notes: “In the digital era, I think the subject of tangibility is more relevant than ever.” The pieces Perfect Temperature and Baby Cream are shown here. @magic.yes

kim youdan

michele fletcher

Artist Kim Youdan creates mixed media work that reflects her global nomadic lifestyle. Inspired by colour and changing geographies, these bold, minimalist pieces translate the joy of travel and all the topographies it can offer. Youdan says: “I am passionate about inspiring people and believe that my way of life provides the perfect platform for me to express my love of colour and travel.”

For Michele Fletcher, painting and the garden are sources of refuge and solace, tempered with change and addressing curiosity, impermanence, decay and renewal. Communicating a sense of visual memory, her works are created through decisions dictated by colour, ground and mark making – the entire process building upon itself. Originally from Canada, Fletcher lives and works in the UK.

For submission enquiries regarding the Artists’ Directory, contact Katherine Smira on (0044) (0)844 568 2001 or

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artists’ directory


Olena Bogatska

Tokyo-based Naomi Yuki draws from the essence of objects, projecting abstracted styles and emotions onto the canvas as multidimensional and deeply kinetic forms. She says: “I am trying to create animation on a static panel – I call it ‘Artwarp’.” Yuki’s next solo exhibition will be at Space 2*3 by KURUM’ART Contemporary in Tokyo, 26 June - 8 July.

Olena Bogatska’s paintings are a quest to experiment with the canvas; her practice sits somewhere between beauty and imagination. Subject matter is used as a starting point, allowing for spontaneities in colour and texture. She notes: “I prefer to use a palette knife instead of paintbrushes, as this technique gives me enough room for my experimentation.”

Sivan Kaufman

Thomas Zika

Israel-based Sivan Kaufman’s practice is inspired by the spaces within landscapes, investigating the relationship between the environment and individuals. Her works experiment with the audience’s reaction, encouraging dialogues between materiality, content and encounters with viewers. Kaufman notes: “The view is always some kind of illusion, which relies on the things between us and what is actually there.”

In the Drama Queens series, fine art photographer Thomas Zika explores the symbolic balance of death and beauty through late 19th and early 20th century female portraits. Engaging with serendipity, he develops photographic methods that utilise chaos and chance. Each distinctive artwork is printed in limited edition.

valentina loffredo

yvonne jones

An Italian artist based in Hong Kong, Valentina Loffredo uses photography to paint a world of beauty and possibility. Since her debut in February 2017, her series As For Me, I’m Very Little has been exhibited in Hong Kong, London, Venice and Milan. Her latest series, Stillness will be in Hong Kong and Geneva as part of two solo exhibitions. | Instagram: @thatsval

Yvonne Jones explores post-human thinking and the body, integrating the inner experience with the outer event. Her work is featured in The New Hall Art Collection (Murray Edwards College) at the University of Cambridge and in private collections in the UK and the USA. Her pieces are being installed in the new Centre for Cancer Immunology at the University of Southampton. I

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Slugs II, 2018. Mixed media, porcelain, oil and tape on board, 18in x 24in x 1/2in.

adriana poterash Wandering with a camera, Adriana Poterash collects images of daily life to fuse them into a surreal world of uncommon alliances in her paintings. The compiled images are figurative, but their presentation is conceptual. Years of training have contributed to a greater freedom of self-expression, whilst a background in science prompts experiments with new techniques and materials.

anca stefanescu For Bucharest-born Anca Stefanescu, time is a constructed concept and painting is a practice through which she finds a universal connection of life, devoid of context. Stefanescu has exhibited at numerous art fairs and is preparing for a return to World Art Dubai and artexpo New York; she will also exhibit work at the Amsterdam Whitney Gallery in New York.

The Innocent Perception, 2018. Oil on canvas, 120cm x 100cm.

beata guzinska

claudia pombo

Fashion designer Beata Guzinska was born in Konin, Poland. Her career began in 2011 when she won the Best Designer prize at OFF FASHION in Kielce; she has since become an ambassador for the prize. Guzinska is currently based in London, where she launched her latest collection I am off to Dalston.

Brazilian-Dutch painter Claudia Pombo offers an adapted view of nature and human situations. Different forms of her creative expression include illustrations of Amazonian mythology, metaphysical art, as well as landscapes. The piece shown here is entitled Meditation in Herrischried. designer/beata-guzinska Instagram: @guzinskabeata


dongyi wu

David Good is a Brooklyn-based artist and designer whose work examines the role of the Internet in society. In his collages, he utilises bright colours and absurd juxtapositions, beckoning viewers to question how the screen has transformed their understanding of the world. Good received his MFA in Communications Design from the Pratt Institute in 2017.

Dongyi Wu is a jewellery and sculpture artist, currently based in the USA. Inspired by the subconscious, Wu is interested in psychology and surrealist art. Her jewellery pieces narrate stories by using various materials with different colours and textures. Shown here is a necklace from her latest collection. Wu’s work is featured in the book New Brooches by Nicolas Estrada, available in June. Instagram: @dongyi.w Instagram: @davidgooddesign

Photo: Elizabeth Torgerson-Lamark.


german fernandez

Florence Iff is a Zurich-based artist working with photography. She is interested in what spaces the medium inhabits and explores image-making through different approaches using own or found analogue and digital materials, magazine cut-outs, as well as NASA and medical pictures. Her inspiration comes from philosophical, scientific, political and social issues.

German Fernandez is a Peruvian artist and designer based in Dubai. He explores the nature (and struggle) of communication, technology and self-knowledge through drawings, collages and paintings populated with pseudo-fantastical figures. The acrylic on canvas piece shown here is entitled Dinner.

For submission enquiries regarding the Artists’ Directory, contact Katherine Smira on (0044) (0)844 568 2001 or

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artists’ directory

gevorg tadevosyan

hayah sheps-avtalion

Armenia-based sculptor Gevorg Tadevosyan is engaged in the creation of bronze sculptures. He believes sculpture is a form of magical art, by which fleeting, volatile and immaterial ideas and concepts are somehow transformed into a visible, tangible real-world object by the intervention of the artist.

The photography of Israeli artist Hayah Sheps-Avtalion explores the potential of the medium. Transforming light, by direct photography, into drawing and sculpture, she creates contemplative abstract images. She currently studies art at Beit Berl College, after a photography course at Blake College, London. Sheps-Avtalion has exhibited in solo and group shows in Tel Aviv. Facebook: gevorgtadevosyanartist

Oil and gas field 7-2, from the series Industry, 2016. Archival pigment print, 148cm x 186cm. Instagram: @hayahsheps

jalal binthaneya


In his latest series, Dubai-based photographer Jalal BinThaneya captures the inner workings of the petroleum industry and the fate of desolate gas stations that reflect a past that is slowly being replaced. The project takes a neutral view on a controversial subject and invites the viewer to contemplate a time when the last barrel of oil leaves the region. Instagram: @binthaneya

Jean Davis explores the balance between transience, stability and intention in her painting. She uses gestures taken in isolation from her subjects’ movements to remove context from the narrative and to allow elements of her subconscious to guide the finished work.

jessie pitt


Jessie Pitt is an Australian artist based in Austria, whose contemporary landscapes are inspired by mountains, light and shadow. Her pieces echo changing moods and the deeper essence of natural environments. She utilises a mixture of mediums on unstretched canvas. Pitt recently exhibited her work at The Other Art Fair Los Angeles. Instagram: @jessiepitt_art

UK-based Josh Bowe’s work represents an ongoing investigation into representation and abstraction. Each painting combines form, colour and texture to capture intuitive emotions, stimulating the viewer through complex compositions. Bowe’s current exhibition of landscape paintings is at The Lion Street Gallery in Hay-on-Wye until 15 May. Instagram: @josh_bowe_artwork

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State of Being, 2017. 130cm x 170cm.

karin hay white

kat gaidukova

The work of UK-based Karin Hay White makes use of structure inspired by architecture and industrial design, with blocks of colour and waves of fine lines. The repetitive and energetic gestures of abstract lines appear to make the geometrical forms float on the surface. White’s paintings are held in private collections in the UK, Germany, the USA and The Royal Collections in Norway.

Dubai-based artist Kat Gaidukova challenges the frenetic pace of modern life through portraits that express people’s identities in raw moments that capture emotion and personality. Through her digital art, she explores abstract minimalism in unique works that submerge the viewer in an aesthetic experience. Instagram: @art_from_kat_dxb

markus gollner

mhairi ballantyne

Photographic and artistic alterations are at the centre of Markus Gollner’s creations. Producing eye-catching, thought-provoking images that utilise both fantasy and technicality, Gollner offers creative solutions to visual design. Imaginative, conceptually striking pieces tread a line between reality and a dreamlike plane.

In her recent artworks, painter Mhairi Ballantyne explores the allure of distant places. The immersive environments created are remote yet within reach, imparting a sense of the known. Instagram: @mhairiballantyne

Peer Christensen


Born in Copenhagen and working in Peterborough, Canada since 1985, Peer Christensen has decades of professional experience in oil painting. He applies a classical technique to bring a signature luminosity to his subject matter, whether a commonplace object or a rural or urban landscape.

Pixi’s figurative works contain multilayered narratives, even though the illustrations rarely portray human figures. Key themes include animals and nature, combined with technology, grasping biological, intellectual and cultural diversity. She received a distinction for her car illustration series at the See&Say portfolio review.

Sanja Feratović


Zagreb-based Sanja Feratović is an illustrator and graphic designer. She specialises in whimsical pieces that draw from everyday iconographies, presenting figures from pop culture captured through unique, emotive characters. Feratović’s work is currently on show at ILUSTRARTE 2018 in Portugal.

Stephen Carley focuses on context, process and materials. He says: “I am not interested in making work for a mantelpiece, an office wall, a stage or a white cube space. I am interested in engaging with ideas that subvert or compliment those contexts. I try to avoid associations with art HIStory. This is my punk rock.” Instagram: @carley.stephen Twitter: @stephen_carley Instagram: @halfway_there_ mostly_nowhere

Stone of the Philosophers, 2016. 200cm x 200cm x 5cm.


Ylenia mino

YANN is a Hong Kong-based artist who primarily creates figurative works using oil on canvas and mixed media. She is a also a sculptor and creates installation art projects; her creative philosophy of embracing art in daily life provides a strong foundation for her aesthetic and visual style. YANN’s work has been exhibited in Hong Kong and Europe.

Award-winning Italian-born fine artist Ylenia Mino lives and works in the USA. Fresh from her recent show at The Liberty Hotel in Boston, she looks forward to exhibiting at the Beverly Hills artSHOW and at Gallery Sitka in Massachusetts. She says: “My desire as an artist is to provide pieces of sky that people can take home and enjoy the piece coming out of them.” Instagram: @theartofyleniamino

Plum Island, 2016. Acrylic on canvas, 20in x16in.

For submission enquiries regarding the Artists’ Directory, contact Katherine Smira on (0044) (0)844 568 2001 or

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Mide, from the series NGL, 2015 © Namsa Leuba

last words

Namsa Leuba Art Director and Photographer

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NGL, an acronym for Next Generation Lagos, explores the creativity of Nigeria’s youth culture. Produced in 2015 during a residency with Art Twenty One, the series follows my previous work in fashion photography. I’m inspired by the energy of the city – its chaos, vibrancy and determination – translating this spirit into a visual language. I collaborated with local fashion designers and models, often sourced from the street, to create a potpourri of clothes, props and accessories. Being part of Foam Talent is a great opportunity for me; it’s an interesting event that travels all around the world, giving wider visibility and enabling me to meet many other talented artists as a source of inspiration. Foam Talent is in London 16 May - 10 June, Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall. | |

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