Aesthetica Issue 85

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Issue 85 October / November 2018




Olafur Eliasson is celebrated for dismantling physical boundaries

Conceptual photographers navigate censorship in the Chinese art market

Fashion newcomers set an example with clean lines and social activism

Images from the 21st century provide a glimpse into the everyday experience

UK £5.95 Europe €11.95 USA $15.49


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Welcome Editor’s Note

On the Cover German artist Laura Zalenga utilises the power of photography to tell stories, communicating raw emotions and tapping into the almost therapeutic quality of imagemaking in today’s world. Introspection takes the focus within a self-portrait; surreal figures confront the idea of individuality within an empty field. (p. 118) Cover Image: Self Portrait. Courtesy of Laura Zalenga.

Curiosity is the fuel for innovation and creativity is the ignition for invention. It’s this notion that when faced with a challenge or barrier, you can think of a solution. There is always an answer and sometimes it’s just an idea away. That is a liberating concept and one that I embody throughout my work and my personal life. You see, it’s important to see the glass as half full and many times that’s half the battle. This issue is a celebration of ideas. We start with a feature on the fifth edition of PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai and we look at how contemporary Chinese photographers are responding to censorship in the wider art market. This article traces the trajectory of photojournalism and fine art photography whilst acknowledging the surge in super collectors. Moving forward, Civilization is a new title that takes global expansion as its starting point and uses photography as a medium to understand the world. For example, think of all the shopping centres, retail parks and new housing estates – many of them have the same type of landscaping, such as trees that are small and sculpted. It looks very clinical and on a philosophical level, it’s eye opening how humankind’s relationship with the natural world has shifted so much that even nature is something that is constructed. We also highlight the work of Olafur Eliasson – one of the most prolific artists today, who has now turned his hand to architecture, cementing the intersection between art and design, whilst dismantling physical and cultural barriers. Bright, bold installations follow. In the photography features, Alessio Albi, Alexis Christodoulou, Kris Provoost, Sing-Sing, Louis MacLean and Glashier perfectly combine to depict the vast scope of contemporary images, from minimal landscapes and surreal concepts to dramatic portraits and colourful architecture. Laura Zalenga’s thought-provoking cover calls into question the need for self-reflection in a world riveted by images, profiles and social media. The self-portrait questions the multitude of layers in the individual. Finally, Aesthetica Art Prize alumnus Gabriela Torres Ruiz takes the Last Words. Enjoy! Cherie Federico

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Art 16 Regular Sections The October / November issue provides coverage of Photaumnales, Artes Mundi 8, Bruce Nauman at MoMA, FotoFocus Biennial and The Hepworth.

24 Networks of the World The fifth PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai highlights the work of contemporary Chinese artists looking beyond state censorship through metaphors.

30 Spatial Landmarks Kris Provoost documents a range of buildings in order to better understand the metropolitan world; his urban photographs replicate this wider interest.

42 Playful Messages Collaborative duo Sing-Sing produces a bank of on-screen characters surrounded by comedic props that connect with audiences from today.

54 Cultural Anthropology Reconsidering humanity’s place within a mediasaturated, highly complex and ever-expanding planet through a diverse selection of images.

60 Dramatic Portraiture To incorporate a filmic sense of drama, Alessio Albi uses wildlife to embed anonymous figures within a highly textured and detailed landscape.

72 Inclusive Collections Californian fashion label LAND of Distraction redresses the notion of femininity through clean workwear staples and steps into social activism.

78 Minimal Construction With an appreciation for detail, Louis MacLean reinjects a sense of dynamism into the city with angular viewpoints and bright, pop colours.

90 Reviving Analogue Glashier captures the raw energy of youth with a soft and intriguing palette; each picture utilises organic topographies as a space for reflection.

102 Shifting Perceptions Iconic artist Olafur Eliasson leaps from design to architecture and back again, breaking down the boundaries between space, light and experience.

108 Digital Possibilities Inspired by the endless dimensions of graphic art, Alexis Christodoulou extends realities through rendering new spaces with a seamless aesthetic.

118 Capturing the Elements Laura Zalenga uses the power of photography to tell stories, tapping into the almost therapeutic quality of image-making in the 21st century.




130 Gallery Reviews Included in this issue: Bruce Silverstein Gallery, ICP New York, Brooklyn Museum, Museo Reina Sofía, Getty Center and George Eastman Museum.

134 Beyond the Horizon This year’s BFI London Film Festival takes charge within an exciting programme and marks itself as a significant platform for women in the industry.

136 A Sense of Belonging After emerging in 2010, Derbyshire Dales trio Haiku Salut return with a dreamy folktronica sound that has garnered them critical acclaim.


Artists’ Directory

Last Words

138 New Structural Languages Rick Joy’s latest publication celebrates the 25th anniversary of the architectural firm, considering the power of construction to inspire humanity.

153 Inside This Issue Our selection of both emerging and established practitioners makes use of multiple materials and new media to communicate the concept of space.

162 Gabriela Torres Ruiz With pieces from the Silence photography series, Aesthetica Art Prize shortlistee Torres Ruiz exhibits landscape motifs at Galerie im Tempelhof, Berlin.

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

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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.

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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. Printed by Warners Midlands plc.

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General Enquiries: Press Releases:

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Alfred Seiland, Toltec, Arizona, USA, 1989. C-Print, The Albertina Museum, Vienna. © Alfred Seiland.


Documenting the Land ALFRED SEILAND Fighting the corner of analogue photography in a digital advertising campaign for Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine age, Alfred Seiland’s (b. 1952) fascinations have ranged Zeitung daily newspaper from 1995 to 2001. The campaign from the cultural landscapes of contemporary America to revived the newspaper’s founding slogan “Hinter dieser Zeithe remnants of long-vanished empires. Born in Austria, Sei- tung steckt Immer ein kluger Kopf” (“Behind this newspaper land was self-taught, drawn to American culture, following is always a clever head”), and featured famous figures from in the iconic footsteps of Joel Meyerowitz, Stephen Shore politics, the arts and sport pictured with their faces hidden and William Eggleston, by working exclusively in colour, behind the pages in various locations. A more recent long-term project, Imperium Romanum, inrapidly developing a signature aesthetic and process, where dense, atmospheric scenes are kept under control through cluded visitation of former key sites in the Roman Empire, meticulous and detailed composition. The unstaged images travelling through Europe, the Mediterranean countries are filled with depth and striking shifts of perspective. Using and the near east, seeking out cities, ruins, landscapes and the same analogue camera, Seiland revisits each location nu- museums, the physical records of ancient cultural connections across this vast area of territory – one where, in the premerous times to find the perfect angle and situation. Vienna’s Albertina Museum presents around 80 works in this sent day, the recent refugee crisis has seen links re-emerge retrospective that has taken the photographer to Syria, Iran through the mass movements of people. Many of the feaand Egypt, as well as turning the lens on the artist’s home tured locations are not on the tourist trail and are difficult country in the selection Österreich, which demonstrates a hu- to access, lost to the public eye despite the status they held. These juxtapositions between ancient and modern worlds morous view of the world around us. Seiland’s relationship with the USA is compiled in the early series East Coast – West Coast are revealed as the viewer is drawn to consider the issues (1986), a journey through sweeping vistas, vibrant streets and around protecting ancient remains and cultural assets from neon signs which creates an individual response to American uncontrolled economic development and the impacts of culture. The final selection of 48 pieces was compiled from tourism, as well as the consequences of recent war, conflict and mass displacement. The remnants of a vanished settlemany visits to the USA from 1979 onwards. Aside from documentary works, Seiland found a wide com- ments shed light on the power structures of the contempomercial audience whilst working on the famous international rary world, pulling history into an age of media saturation.

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“Vienna’s Albertina Museum presents around 80 works in this retrospective that has taken the photographer to Syria, Iran and Egypt, as well as turning the lens on the artist’s home country.”

The Albertina Museum, Vienna Until 7 October

Rediscovering History PHOTAUMNALES

© Christoph Sillem / Courtesy Peter Sillem Galerie Frankfurt.

Photography as an artform is intrinsically concerned with Stèles, which highlights monuments from WWI, following on “A key example is time, memory and, through its ability to turn the lens upon from his previous series on the Berlin Wall and the remnants Ambroise Tézenas’ itself, questions about the relationship of images to truth. of the D-Day landings. These physical objects preserve both investigation of ‘dark Where Memory Remains is therefore a thought-provoking the memory of the dead and the trauma of contemporary tourism’ – the allure of visiting places theme for the 15th edition of Photaumnales, especially in to- conflicts in distinctly human and archival presentations. As well as solo exhibitions, the curators have created group which have been day’s world of fake news and media indiscrepancies. The exhibition involves Amiens, Beauvais, Clermont, Creil, Noyon and and joint shows. In one such juxtaposition, the threads of con- marked by tragedy, Douchy-les-Mines, as the Hauts-de-France region plays host nection between Emilie Vialet – whose subject is zoos around whether through to an international festival. A total of 27 photographers ex- Europe, and Christoph Sillem – who photographs the urban natural disasters plore how traces of history are recorded in the landscape and surroundings of Disneyland Paris, are revealed; both capture such as earthquakes, in collective cultural memory: how they can be rediscovered. a sense of absence in what seem optimistic, celebratory land- or through human error or intent.” A key example is Ambroise Tézenas’ investigation of “dark scapes, yet which are places of control and surveillance. Growing up in communist east Germany, Sibylle Bergetourism” – the allure of visiting places which have been marked by tragedy, whether through natural disasters such mann led a revival in photography before and after reunificaas earthquakes or tsunamis, or through human error or intent. tion. Known for employing absurdity and a sense of melanTézenas selected a dozen locations and registered with tour choly to reassert the individual in a controlling society, Das operators to be immersed in the same experience as any other Denkmal (The Monument) charts the construction of the Marxtourist, photographing only what an ordinary visitor would Engels Forum in the Mitte district of Berlin between 1975 and see. From the site of the Nazi massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane, 1986. At the centre of the construction are the bronze statues France, in 1944, where the ruins of the village still stand as a of the two political theorists whose work came to shape much memorial, to the remaining traces of the devastation of the of the 20th century. In Bergemann’s images, the sculptures Various venues, 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China, and from Cambodia to by Ludwig Engelhardt become the characters of the series as Hauts-de-France Rwanda, Ukraine and Lebanon, Tézenas turns his camera on they undergo the construction process, sometimes suspend- Until 31 December the 20th century’s most harrowing corners. The physical stig- ed in the air or packed for transportation, creating images that mata of history are also the subject of Patrick Tournebœuf’s are surreal, humorous, dreamlike and poetic.

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Christian Hoehn, Gornergrat, Wallis 2014 Lightbox. Courtesy of the artist.


Alienating Topographies CHRISTIAN HÖHN The relatively recent phenomenon of the “megacity” – vast Megacities project, which now comprises more than 50 works “His large-format urban areas with more than 10 million inhabitants – has documenting the phenomenon around the world. images, often A related project, One Station, was inspired by the role of photographed from become part of everyday life for an exponentially growing number of people. There are 47 such locations in the world, the railway station in literature around the world – here, the a raised perspective and though the category includes New York, Moscow and human presence absent from Megacities is restored to the and devoid of people, London, the phenomenon is centred in the East, reflecting the foreground. The stage sets for sad farewells, happy reunions convey both the explosive transformation of Asian and Indonesian economies and coincidental meetings, and the start and end points for monumental scale over the last century. China alone has 15 megacities, and India some of the world’s most legendary journeys, these real-life of the structures, six. Tokyo, Shanghai and Jakarta are ranked as the world’s landmarks are enduring locations of transience, proving and an atmosphere irresistible to writers from a number of cultures. of anonymity and largest examples, all exceeding 30 million inhabitants. Höhn travelled within five continents to capture the unique alienation.” These monumental cityscapes have become a careerlong fascination for German artist Christian Höhn (b. 1968). magic of these locations including the Gare du Nord, Paris; His large-format images, often photographed from a Dresden Hauptbahnhof; the ultra-modern Kanazawa Station raised perspective and devoid of people, convey both the in Tokyo; Cape Town, Mumbai and the Australian outback; monumental scale of the structures, and an atmosphere and Gornergrat, Wallis (featured in the image above.) The of anonymity and alienation. Moving from continent to resulting series ranges through space and time, myths, art continent, Höhn reveals both the diversity and the uniformity and history, where hyper-realism shifts into the surreal. Another recent subject for Höhn is the extravagant at work in the international architectural vocabulary of urbanisation. And, though the human inhabitants are architecture of Dubai, which needs little introduction. For invisible – indeed, perhaps as a deliberate consequence of this, he captured moments of hesitation – a series of images their absence – the viewer is compelled to imagine and to document the financial crisis, when construction work was halted as the machinery associated with capitalism suffered Herforder Kunstverein empathise with those who live in this hyper-real landscape. Herforder Kunstverein’s show brings together work a systematic shock and a rare moment of stasis. Through this Until 4 November from two series, including large-scale acrylics and light monumental work, and the series showcased at Herdorfer, boxes. It features a range of major projects, such as the contemporary landscapes are thrown into question.

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Championing Female Artists ING DISCERNING EYE 2018 of my own little world which I thought I knew well.” “Focusing on ING Discerning Eye creates opportunities within the indus- recognising talent try – with at least 25% of selections taken from the open- and reassessing the call. Focusing on recognising talent and reassessing the changing nature of changing nature of today’s financial and artistic landscape, today’s financial and the national exhibition has consistently sought to showcase artistic landscape, the those pushing the boundaries of contemporary media whilst national exhibition has addressing gender imbalance within exhibitions. Homma consistently sought to continues: “I think the restriction of scale and size is really in- showcase those pushing teresting, especially where male dominance is still prevalent the boundaries.” and larger or more ‘ambitious’ compositions can be seen to be stronger pieces. My works are literally produced in my kitchen, utilising the heat from a gas hob to burn the images on paper, and washing off the acidity in the bath.” Though created in the domestic environment, these compositions delve into the post-truth of today’s globalised politics. “I entered the competition to challenge my own practice, to see if an entry can be selected without contextual frameworks. The process of assessment gives practitioners the The 2018 ING Discerning chance to compete with those that are already recognised.” Eye exhibition runs Judges for the 2018 ING Discerning Eye exhibition include 15-25 November at Bridget McCrum, Artist; Frances Hedges, Associate Editor for Mall Galleries, London. Harper’s Bazaar; Cherie Federico, Editor of Aesthetica Magazine; Nick Ross, Radio and Television Presenter; John Benja- min Hickey, Actor; and Sadie Clayton, Artist.

01-2”, A problem of annihilation, 2005. Digital Print edition 1/50, 540mm x 780mm x 35mm. © Kaori Homma.

This November, the ING Discerning Eye exhibition returns to London’s Mall Galleries. Having invited six judges to select works from both nominations and submissions, the 2018 show includes a presentation of established and emerging practitioners, demonstrating innovation and diversity. Following on from previous editions of the prize, this year’s selections continue to support women in the arts. ING Discerning Eye has championed many female practitioners – early to mid-career – offering a number of varied prizes. Previous winners have included Dee Standford (Sculpture & 3D Work Prize, 2013), Oona Grimes, (London Regional Prize, 2014), Alison Lumb (St Cuthberts Mill Award, 2015) and Laura Critchlow (The Wright Purchase Prize, 2016). Alongside 2017’s winners – Jill Desborough, Camilla Dowse, Victoria Atkinson, Diana Evers, Jane Morgan, Sarah Jane Bellwood and Deborah Grice – Kaori Homma was awarded the Parker Harris Print Purchase Prize for Under the foreign sky IV, a fire-etching inspired by her 2005 film installation, A Problem of Annihilation. She notes: “The winning work stemmed out of a feeling of bewilderment. Earlier in 2017, I came across a news article about the sky over Tokyo and I discovered that a large part of the sky above my head where I grew up actually belonged to America. The realisation that invisible boundaries existed overhead – and the fact I was totally unaware of it – suddenly challenged my perceptions

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Blue Hole from Lone Stars, 2016. © Matt Henry / Courtesy Polka Galerie.


Tales from America MATT HENRY Brighton-based photographer Matt Henry (b. 1978) spe- world of each narrative. Indeed, his cast had compelling “Henry specialises in cialises in photonarratives which resemble film stills that backstories in their own right, including a former police scripted series, with were never made, compelling viewers to imagine the links detective, NFL cheerleaders and a bodybuilding lawyer who an abiding fascination between dream-like images. His latest series, Southern Gothic lent his own 1967 Mustang and collection of firearms to the for American and Other Stories, pays homage to the fictions of authors shoot. The resulting works are sinister, dramatic and violent, culture, notably such as William Faulkner, Carson McCullers and Flannery though bright and polished. As Henry notes: “The small the counterculture O’Connor, who revived the conventions of the Gothic novel town has always been the perfect stage for the stories we tell of the 1960s and 1970s, influenced in the early 20th century, transplanting them to the American ourselves about what it really means to be human.” Lone Stars – including the image featured above, Blue by literature, south in order to examine the region’s post-Civil War character. It’s a genre where sinister situations and settings of Hole – channels the surreal atmospherics of David Lynch cinema and TV.” decaying social structures – notably rural communities and as disturbing events unfold in a mysterious Texan setting. plantations – give rise to stories steeped in folklore, which The TV series True Detective provided one of the inspirations emerge from a flux of poverty and racial and religious di- behind Born on the Bayou, shot in Louisiana, where Henry vision. Meanwhile, the use of absurdity and magic realism sets out in search of the kind of bar deep in the swamplands makes clear that this is a modernist reinvention rather than a in which the protagonist Rust Cohle could have retired. As in a film noir, the events that take place seem ambiguous. throwback to the tropes of European romanticism. Henry specialises in imaginative, scripted series, holding an Against a background of racial tension and violence, a drama abiding fascination for the USA, notably the counterculture unfolds before the viewer’s eyes and makes links to today. of the 1960s and 1970s, influenced by literature, cinema and Though set in the 1960s, this journey into hidden, neglected TV. For this show at Polka Galerie, Paris, he has created three communities that have long forgotten the “American Dream” innovative tales: The Curse of Nanny Goat Island, Lone Stars brings obvious resonances of the present political climate, Polka Galerie, Paris and Born on the Bayou, all set in small towns in the 1960s. He and the economic alienation and resurgent racism that fed Until 27 October works partly from a storyboard, partly from improvising with into the rise of Donald Trump to the presidency. The three his cast of unconventional, usually amateur local actors, to stories are also brought together in Henry’s new book Night create eccentric characters which exist in the self-contained of the Hunted, launched alongside the exhibition.

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Deconstructing Illusion THE BEAUTY OF LINES Amongst the thematic sections is a study of what the straight “In its curation, line can do – whether it is controlled and strictly parallel, or The Beauty of Lines takes on a seemingly more spontaneous form, as demon- creates juxtapositions strated through work by Stéphane Couturier, Hiroshi Sugimo- between diverse works, to and Lewis Baltz, amongst others. Within this section, audi- which, though they ences are invited to consider the lines of force within images. may be far separated For example, in pieces by Couturier, the dynamic vertical and in time and geography, horizontal perspectives and strong lighting effects express reveal unexpected the opposing cycles of construction and demolition in the echoes and resonances modern urban landscapes, resulting in compositions that of form and structure suggest both a lack of control, and a state of precise harmony. between them.” Curves, meanwhile, are the essential element in representing and recognising the human form in all its complexity. Pictures by the likes of Robert Mapplethorpe, Edward Weston and Léon Levinstein emphasise how the curve defines both male and female bodies – along with a sense of intimacy and fluidity between the two. Finally, the exhibition leaves any idea of representation of the real world behind and moves into the sphere of pure abstraction through work by Minor White, Ray Metzker and Harry Callahan. For Aaron Siskind, straight photography crosses into the realm of abstrac- La Propriété Caillebotte, tion simply by focusing in tightly on details which, though Yerres, France originally taken from nature, architecture or the street, lose Until 2 December the context of the original subject in order to reveal a world which is composed of form, texture and, crucially, the line.

Cig Harvey (1973, United Kingdom), The Pale Yellow Cadillac, Sadie, Portland, Maine, 2010. © Cig Harvey.

Taken from the New York-based collection of Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla, and curated by the Musée de l’Elysée, Paris, this investigation of the development of the photographic line through two centuries, which was previously seen in Lausanne, comes to La Propriété Caillebotte, once the home of Impressionist painter Gustave Caillebotte. The starting point is the illusion that forms the basis of experiencing photography, and of today’s screen-based image culture: the way in which even the most discerning viewer can easily forget that they are looking at a twodimensional surface. They are drawn into the seeming depth of a picture, to the details of the landscape, the subject of a portrait. The show aims to highlight the line as the basis of composition, which makes possible the mimetic illusion of three dimensions, and how artists have understood this within their practices. Henri Cartier-Bresson, for example, spoke of “the instantaneous lines made by movements of the subject” with which the artist must work, in unison with the subject, to capture the point when all elements come into equilibrium. In its curation, The Beauty of Lines creates juxtapositions between diverse works, which, though they may be far separated by time and geography, reveal unexpected echoes and resonances of form and structure. The featured visionaries include Cig Harvey, Berenice Abbott, Eugène Atget, Robert Adams, Walker Evans, Vik Muniz, Man Ray and Lee Friedlander.

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1. Ugo la Pietra, La casa telematica, 1983. Courtesy Archivio Ugo La Pietra, Milano. 2. Bruce Nauman. Human Nature/Life Death/Knows Doesn’t Know. 1983. Neon tubing with clear glass tubing suspension frames, 273.1 cm × 271.8 cm × 14.6 cm. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Modern and Contemporary Art Council Fund. © 2018 Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA 3. Roman Vishniac, Interior of the Anhalter Bahnhof railway terminus near Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, 1929 - Early 1930s. © Mara Vishniac Kohn. Courtesy International Center of Photography.4. PIXEL by Hiroto Yoshizoe and Shunsuke Watanabe for B&B Italia Tokyo. 5. Architectural Workshops: ELEMENTAL, Villa Verde, Constitución, Chile, 2010. Photo: Elemental.








Home Futures

Design Museum, London 7 November - 24 March Asking the question: “What happened to the future?” Home Futures explores social and technological aspirations in the home, through more than 150 objects and experiences. With works by Ettore Sottsass, Joe Colombo, Superstudio, Archigram, Alison and Peter Smithson, Hans Hollein, Jan Kaplicky, OMA and Dunne & Raby, it asks whether we are living in the way that pioneering architects and designers once predicted.

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4 Encompassing the artist’s entire career, Disappearing Acts occupies MoMa’s sixth floor and the whole of MoMA PS1. For nearly 50 years, Nauman (b.1941) has explored spatial and psychological tensions, and how they structure the wider human experience today. This joint presentation demonstrates a wide range of media, from drawing, photography and neon to performance, video, film, sculpture and architecturalscale environments.

www.thephotographers Fascinated from childhood by photography and science, Russian-born Roman Vishniac (1897-1990) is best known for creating a photographic record of Jewish life in eastern Europe in the inter-war years, a way of life about to vanish at the hands of the Nazis. Escaping to New York in 1941, Vishniac then began a new phase of his career as a pioneer of photomicroscopy, filming minute life forms. Returning for a second year, DESIGNART TOKYO turns the Japanese capital into a city-wide celebration of creative culture, spanning design, art, fashion, technology and more. Participating artists include architect Sou Fujimoto, design studio Yoy and furniture manufacturer Conde House. Bethan Laura Wood and Kazunori Matsumura collaborate on a colourful designed environment in a special commission.

Bruce Nauman

MoMA/MoMA PS1 21 October - 25 February

Roman Vishniac

The Photographers’ Gallery, London 26 October - 24 February

Designart Tokyo 2018

Various venues 19-28 October



Louisiana, Humblebaek 11 October - 28 February The latest in the Louisiana’s series The Architect’s Studio focuses on Chilean studio ELEMENTAL, headed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Alejandro Aravena. The company built its reputation on an innovative and pragmatic approach to social housing in the Chilean capital Santiago. It has gone on to design everything from museum buildings to private homes, with the UC Innovation Center at Santiago University a signature project.

6. FAIZA BOUGUESSA, for FAIZA BOUGUESSA (est. 2014, United Arab Emirates). Geometric Abaya dress with belt, 70˚ Collection, 2014. Polyester crepe, satin lining. Courtesy of Faiza Bouguessa. 7. Shirley Baker, Abandoned Car, 1961. Courtesy the artist estate 8. Trevor Paglen, Maximally Stable Extremal Regions; Good Features to Track, 2017. Pigment print, 72.39 cm x 101.60 cm. 9. Basir Mahmood, A Message to the Sea, 2012. Single-channel video, color, sound, 06:04. Courtesy of the artist. 10. Chris Engman, Landscape for Quentin, 2017. Digital pigment prints, 109.22 cm x 140.97 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.







Contemporary Muslim Fashions

De Young, San Francisco Until 6 January From Nike’s first professional sports hijab, to a veil made up of stars and stripes as a symbol of political protest, the interaction of faith, culture, fashion and individual expression is examined in this world-first exhibition. It traverses interpretations of religious dress codes from high-end fashion, street wear and commissioned couture in order to consider how Muslims express themselves through dress.


Modern Nature

The Hepworth, Wakefield Until 22 April From the collection of Claire and James Hyman, this new exhibition of photographs by leading British photographers such as Shirley Baker, Bill Brandt, Anna Fox, Chris Killip, Martin Parr and Tony Ray-Jones explores our evolving relationship with the organic world in an age dominated by urban living, and how this shapes individuals and communities. Modern Nature charts this journey from the end of WWII.


Artes Mundi 8

National Museum Cardiff 26 October - 24 February The shortlist for the eighth edition of the biennial art prize, worth £40,000, has been announced, selected from more than 450 nominations from 86 countries. The five artists in competition are Anna Boghiguian (Canada/Egypt), Bouchra Khalili (Morocco/France), Otobong Nkanga (Nigeria), Trevor Paglen (USA) and Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand). The prize, last won by John Akomfrah, is awarded in January.


Basir Mahmood

Letitia Gallery, Beirut Until 3 November Basir Mahmood (b. 1985) uses photography and video to reflect upon the social and historical dimensions of a closely-observed everyday life. The solo exhibition Eyes Recently Seen, features works from the past five years, including his meditation on the lives of fishermen (A Message to the Sea, 2012) and new pieces that investigate communal activity, consumption and the division of resources, such as 2018 works Milk and All Good Things.


FotoFocus Biennial

Various locations 4-7 October The largest lens-based biennial in America, and now in its fourth iteration, the 2018 edition of FotoFocus encompasses more than 90 projects at museums and galleries across Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Dayton and Columbus. The unifying theme this year is Open Archive – emphasising the centrality of photography to modernity and examining the fundamental need to preserve images in the current landscape.

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On 9 November 2015, at a Christie’s auction in New York, This number is set to continue to expand dramatically, with an oil painting of a nude woman was sold for $170.4 mil- a 250% increase in the number of exhibitions in 2017 comlion. The sale would prove to be the second-highest price pared to 2014. As for the event, it reports visitor growth as ever paid for an artwork at auction. It was bought with an exceeding numbers by over half: 64% since 2014. The expansion of PHOTOFAIRS, coupled with the ostentaAmerican Express card. The painting was by Amedeo Modigliani, an early 20th century Italian Jewish painter and sculp- tious rise of super-collectors, serve to capture the Chinese tor who died at the age of 35. The buyer was a former taxi art market at a pivotal time of emergence. In the past decade, driver, Liu Yiqian, who had risen from a large working-class photography has moved forward as the nation’s most popufamily in Shanghai in the 1960s to become one of China’s lar medium for purchase. This has been powered by the somost famous multi-billionaires. After dropping out of middle called “fuerdai” (which translates literally as “second genschool, he began selling leather handbags, and then later eration rich”). Many of these collectors are millennials, who drove a taxi, before finding more successful ways to profit have come of age as China has globalised, with the spread from the liberalisation of Chinese markets in the early 1990s. of the internet allowing for an understanding of the wider Liu Yiqian is a controversial figure – he’s regarded by many, world like never before. These individuals comprise one of and indeed is happy to be called, a “tuhao,” a popular Chinese the key demographics for buyers this year. Yet what are they buying? In China, any photograph, or, for term for the nouveaux rich. Heads were turned when later he bought a tiny Ming dynasty porcelain cup for $36.3 million that matter, any creation of artwork or expression of journalat a Sotheby’s auction, and proceeded to be photographed ism is subject to approval from the Communist Party, the in the bar drinking tea from the 600-year-old cup. Yet these founding and ruling singular group. If a practitioner is cenpurchases also serve to highlight a remarkable meeting of Chi- sored by the state apparatus, there can be widespread implinese wealth and the western art market. They led a cohort of cations on their career and social freedom, including whethcollectors who, quite suddenly, began dominating the auction er they have the ability to leave and return to the country, how they are seen within artistic circles, and their acceptance houses in the years following the millennium. This September, PHOTOFAIRS, devised by the World Pho- in everyday civic life. All this provides photographers with a tography Organisation, launched its fifth Shanghai edition, complex set of issues – how do they express their concerns, allowing people from the city to buy artwork from across whilst also successfully navigating the authorities? How do the world – and from across China. Since the inaugural edi- they remain sanctioned, but create truthful artwork? It’s important to contextualise photography’s remarkable tion, four dedicated photography museums have opened, and more than 70 exhibitions have taken place in the city. rise in China. During the Cultural Revolution – an era largely

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Chen Wei, In the Waves #5, 2013. © CHEN Wei, courtesy of ShanghART Gallery (Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore).

“The expansion of Photofairs, coupled with the ostentatious rise of super-collectors, serve to capture the Chinese art market at a pivotal time. Photography has become the nation’s most popular medium.”

Previous Page: Chen Wei, Stairs, 2015. © CHEN Wei, courtesy of ShanghART Gallery (Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore). Left: Chen Wei, The Door, 2014. © CHEN Wei, courtesy of ShanghART Gallery (Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore).

recognised as between 1966 to 1976 – image-making was used, effectively and comprehensively, as a propagandist tool by the state. Practitioners were told what to document, and their negatives were held by authorities. Any privatelyheld pictures in the country were deemed to be illegal. As the 1970s wore on, an underground movement of defiantly unofficial photojournalists emerged, propelled by the ideals of confronting power with unvarnished, unmanipulated truth. This pioneering revolution was largely quashed, or at least kept securely underground, by censors keen to hide the inequities of the system. From this dialectic between state-backed photography and insurgent journalism came a virulent third strand – an experimental, highly conceptual and figurative style of fine art photography. In the midst of the photojournalism movement was Liu Heung Shing, a Pulitzer-Prize winning artist who left the country to become Time magazine’s foreign correspondent in Los Angeles, New Delhi, Seoul and Moscow. In the early 1980s, he returned home to create the seminal photobook China After Mao. Newsweek referred to the publication as “a uniquely informed transcultural perspective on the complexities of the post-Mao era,” and described Liu himself as “the Henri Cartier-Bresson of China.” In 2015, Liu Heung Shing opened the Shanghai Centre of Photography, one of the largest public-facing institutions of its kind. He notes: “When I was growing up, all the photographs in the newspapers were fake.” After the sweeping Cultural Revolution and the free market reforms of the 1980s, “the economy accelerated at a speed no-one expected, and we forgot that these ideological constraints are always there. Photography is accepted if it doesn’t threaten the order of the government.”

For Liu Heung Shing, the dearth of photojournalism since the 1970s heyday, and its replacement by a newer, more experimental strain of compositions, is troubling. “Through social media, exhibitions and travelling, photography has become hugely popular for the millennial generation,” he says. “This art is something that can keep people happy, so the scrutiny is relaxed. But [the government] is still behind it.” One of these new practitioners – and one of the most commercially successful artists in recent years – is 38-yearold Chen Wei. At PHOTOFAIRS, his works are hung alongside a mini retrospective. Viewers see ravens picking through trash in a tiny, claustrophobic space. Or a stained tablecloth spread over a long dining table vacant of food or life. They will see televisions standing side-by-side in tiny private cubicles, or a club-like gathering of ghost-like youngsters. In other photographs, we see a pair of glasses with the lenses blown out, as if the owner’s head has exploded. In another, a man stands on an obelisk-like podium, dogs prowling beneath, their eyes turned up towards him. Empty landscapes are often used – where doors lead to nowhere and bold, concrete structures allude to open spaces. They are dark and haunting pieces, ones that swim deep into the fathoms of your brain. Although lacking overt – or perceivably obvious – political commentary, they seem to suggest that we are at risk of losing our freedom, or that it has already been taken from us without our knowledge. Yet, on the surface level, they are photographs that constantly elude any ideological definition. Chen’s images have all passed the censorship test and will be on sale for thousands of pounds. If recent history is anything to go by, there’s little doubt he will prove widely popular with young buyers.

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Chen Wei, In the Waves #4, 2013. © CHEN Wei, courtesy of ShanghART Gallery (Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore).

Born in 1980, Chen was introduced to a China that was in conflict with the police, but much more difficult to flag still responding to the arrest of the notorious Gang of Four up an image of violently broken glasses, or of a chair splatin 1976 and adapting to the beginnings of Deng Xiaoping’s tered with the red of pelted tomatoes. Chen is carefully and free market reforms. His teenage years coincided with the skilfully making statements through the judicious use of country establishing itself as the world’s new superpower – metaphor, symbolism and multivalence, and the resulting a one-party state based on untold resources and the relent- images, though less direct, are all the more powerful for it. As James Donald states in Framing Impossible Futures: less embrace of commerce. At the Mayfair Gallery of Brown Fine Arts in 2014, he spoke of his work as being “a reaction Chen Wei’s Surreal Documentation and The Demise of Hyperto Chinese life.” But the pieces remain defiantly oblique, bole, “Chen is part of an emerging post-cultural revolution, one wholly unlike those of generations past. Chen’s age depicting troubled human environments absent of people. The most important picture he has ever taken, Chen noted, group has begun to concern itself with themes transcendis of a decrepit statue of a young boy. He is standing in ing the disarray spawned in the aftermath of Mao Zedong’s a fountain, and adorned with gold coins, which glitter in disastrous nationwide social experiment. He is part of a genthe water around the podium on which he stands. “These eration less focused on political history or obvious social fountains were everywhere in China during the 1980s and criticisms than wider personal and intellectual freedoms 1990s,” he said, explaining that the boy’s posture was one and the individual’s place in a now modern and developed of deference to communism. “Nowadays, all these monu- China. History for these populations has been obscured by ments are demolished. You can barely find one anywhere. economic reforms, and the speed and scale of development in the contemporary country which they have witnessed.” Now they are abstract. This is the government’s decision.” So how are practitioners like Chen finding a new kind In a further interview given to Ocula in 2017, Chen commented on what motivates him to make his photographs. of aestheticism in today’s market? How are they building The answer? “Because of tragedy. These are the forces that connections and breaking down barriers in today’s mediadrive my creation. They are more like a quality of spirit. Dif- saturated landscape? Perhaps censorship itself is an unexferent people have subtle understandings of them. For ex- pected element that – whilst tricky to navigate – provides ample, in the New City series, I hope to highlight the gap some source of inspiration and motivation. As Professor between people’s imagination of urbanity and the reality. Jiang Jiehong, Director of the Centre for Chinese Visual Arts at Birmingham City University and editor of the Journal of The space lying inbetween is one of the tragic elements.” It’s possible Chen is merely acting out a purposeful strat- Contemporary Chinese Art concludes: “Avoiding censorship egy here – for he does not want to overtly critique the is a creative process. I see that method as a reinforcement of system in which he so successfully exists. It’s easy to censor the artist’s strategy … It’s too easy and too lazy to say ‘ok, I a photograph depicting, for example, a political protestor give up.’ Scaling that wall is part of the beauty.”

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Right: Chen Wei, Lost Hotel, 2016. © CHEN Wei, courtesy of ShanghART Gallery (Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore).

Words Tom Seymour

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Spatial Landmarks Kris Provoost

Kris Provoost (b. 1987) is a Belgian-born photographer, currently designing and documenting buildings in order to better understand the world. After graduating in 2010, he relocated to Beijing, working for Zaha Hadid and Buro Ole Scheeren, before moving over to Shanghai for GMP Architekten. Complementing a knowledge in architectural infrastructure, Provoost’s images merge the analytical with the creative – surveying glassy monuments with an eye for anatomic detail. The following pages provide a sea of manmade textures and lines, following the curvature of city icons and the angles of office blocks. Featured projects include the 632-metre-high Shanghai Tower and Heatherwick Studio’s UK Pavilion, which was themed around the future of cities and their relation to nature in busy spaces. Beautifying dissected forms, Provoost draws attention to the pavilion’s intriguing surface – where 250,000 seeds are implanted into acrylic hairs – merging the organic with the engineered.

Kris Provoost, Shanghaitower, Shanghai. Designed by Gensler.

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Kris Provoost, Duo, Singapore. Designed by Buro Ole Scheeren.

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Kris Provoost, Spanish Pavilion, Shanghai World Expo 2010, Shanghai. Designed by EMBT.

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Kris Provoost, Shanghai 2010 Expo Main Boulevard, Shanghai. Designed by SBA.

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Kris Provoost, Unknown Building, Shanghai. Designed by Unknown.

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Kris Provoost, British Pavilion, Shanghai World Expo 2010 , Shanghai. Designed by Heatherwick Studio.

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Playful Messages Sing-Sing

Sing-Sing is the award-winning collaborative studio of set designer / photographer Adi Goodrich and animator / director Sean Pecknold. The duo work together on everything from design to film, creating projects for the likes of Sagmeister & Walsh, Fleet Foxes and, showcased here, Lyft, a taxi travel app providing over 1 million rides per day in the USA. For this, Sing-Sing produced a bank of on-screen characters for social, advertising and promotional usage. With environments built around comedic props and narrative prompts, viewers are encouraged to look further into the commercial side of imagery, considering the numerous layers of craftsmanship written into each photograph. Architecture, design and art coalesce in colourful worlds to create something truly multidisciplinary, whilst figurative scenarios reflect upon humanity today – where busy workers pay no attention to each other and smartphones provide perfect mealtime company.

Photography & Set Design: Sing-Sing | Production: Connect the Dots, Meghan Gallagher | Lyft Creative Director: Jesse McMillin Lyft Art Director / Designer: Will Geddes Lyft Producer: Max Morse | Lighting: Gregory Brouillette, Chris Moore, Clay Rasmussen | Art Department: Dustin Ruegger, DD Rozas, Aaron Wiley, Cliff Collins, Sam Margherita | Wardrobe: Kat Rumford Hair: Chanel Croker | Makeup: Erin Walters.

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Photography & Set Design: Sing-Sing Production: Connect the Dots, Meghan Gallagher | Lyft Creative Director: Jesse McMillin Lyft Art Director / Designer: Will Geddes Lyft Producer: Max Morse | Lighting: Gregory Brouillette, Chris Moore, Clay Rasmussen | Art Department: Dustin Ruegger, DD Rozas, Aaron Wiley, Cliff Collins, Sam Margherita | Wardrobe: Kat Rumford | Hair: Chanel Croker Makeup: Erin Walters.

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Photography & Set Design: Sing-Sing Production: Connect the Dots, Meghan Gallagher | Lyft Creative Director: Jesse McMillin Lyft Art Director / Designer: Will Geddes Lyft Producer: Max Morse | Lighting: Gregory Brouillette, Chris Moore, Clay Rasmussen | Art Department: Dustin Ruegger, DD Rozas, Aaron Wiley, Cliff Collins, Sam Margherita | Wardrobe: Kat Rumford | Hair: Chanel Croker Makeup: Erin Walters.

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Photography & Set Design: Sing-Sing Production: Connect the Dots, Meghan Gallagher | Lyft Creative Director: Jesse McMillin Lyft Art Director / Designer: Will Geddes Lyft Producer: Max Morse | Lighting: Gregory Brouillette, Chris Moore, Clay Rasmussen | Art Department: Dustin Ruegger, DD Rozas, Aaron Wiley, Cliff Collins, Sam Margherita | Wardrobe: Kat Rumford | Hair: Chanel Croker Makeup: Erin Walters.

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Photography: Sing-Sing Art Direction / Set Design: Adi Goodrich Build: Dustin Ruegger Wardrobe: Katrina Rumford Production: Vacation Theory.

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Photography & Set Design: Sing-Sing Production: Connect the Dots, Meghan Gallagher | Lyft Creative Director: Jesse McMillin Lyft Art Director / Designer: Will Geddes Lyft Producer: Max Morse | Lighting: Gregory Brouillette, Chris Moore, Clay Rasmussen | Art Department: Dustin Ruegger, DD Rozas, Aaron Wiley, Cliff Collins, Sam Margherita | Wardrobe: Kat Rumford | Hair: Chanel Croker Makeup: Erin Walters.

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It didn’t make headlines. For most of us, it passed unrecognised – just another day on Planet Earth. But a decade ago, in 2008, the human race underwent a profound cultural shift. For the first time in our history, a majority of us lived not in a small pocket of the world’s endless natural expanses, but all on top of each other – in cities. The scales swung the other way, and we became “an urban animal.” Scientists have widely named this phenomenon the Anthropocene – the age of man. And it is, as the title of William A Ewing and Holly Roussell’s Civilization attests: “The way we live now.” Published by Thames & Hudson, the book combines images from a wide range of contemporary series with a series of essays, exploring how, as co-editor Ewing writes: “Today we are mostly in awe of ourselves.” He touches upon a profound shift, not only in the ways in which we inhabit the planet, but a change in what we understand to be photography. The invention of the camera in the mid-19th century gave birth to a mass media tool, a way of reflecting and seeing our surroundings that, whilst fighting for recognition, also fundamentally altered the form and role of modern art. But in the 21st century, this came under threat, Thomas Struth acknowledges, with the irruption / disruption of the digital era. “Photography as we’ve known it is fast disappearing, overpowered by technological inventions,” he writes. Civilization considers such a thought, investigating how the still image has this knack for addressing the state of the world. Artists are at work everywhere, looking at everything. Although they’re participants in a new and still emerging medium, they are perhaps the documentarians best placed

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to capture what has become known as the “global village” – the experience of a newly urbanised species which is now also able to communicate with each other instantly, and without the inconveniences of distances of geography, or the imposition of linguistic and cultural boundaries. We may be more aware of our divisions and opinions than ever before, but we are in fact far closer together, more bound by mutual interest, than at any point in our shared history. Ewing is the former Director of the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne and has since established himself as a leading publisher of photobooks that look at the fast-moving intersection between photography and anthropology. “Something astonishing is happening, at rapid pace,” he says. “A planetary civilisation is emerging. Think of the recent World Cup; half the population watched some part of it – 3.2 billion of us. Think of the Olympics, which reaches down into every village on the Earth’s surface. Billions of people watch these events, and globally we spend trillions on them. “Think also of air travel. You or I can decide today to fly to Ulan Bator tonight, and be there tomorrow. Armed with a slim piece of plastic, with codes inscribed on it, which anyone can verify, we can drive to the airport, choose from a number of routes and airlines, and have ourselves picked up. Hours later, we could be placed down on the other side of the planet – fed, watered, entertained – and safer than if we’d stayed on the ground. We keep two million people in the air at all times, which is an airborne metropolis that is bigger than San Francisco and Vancouver combined. “Nike, Hubble, Airbus, Mercedes, CERN, antibiotics, heart

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Henrik Spohler, THE THIRD DAY. Reservoir for greenhouse irrigation, El Ejido, Andalusia.

“Maddow’s point of humans as genetically social also applies to photography. As Ewing points out, no man (with a camera) is an island. ‘We’ve been trained to think of artists as solitary workers. But, on examination, that falls apart.’”

Previous Page: White Road and Trees, Adams, MA, 1987. Ref. #: LS_2659_27. © Alex MacLean.

Left: Detail of Untitled (Train Crossing Great Salt Lake), Utah, 2016. Chromogenic print. © Victoria Sambunaris. Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery.

transplants – all are evidence of us increasingly inhabit- athletes, but the rest of the organisation is more or less foring the same world. Is this a smooth process? Of course not. gotten. Similarly, Hollywood, the dream machine with an There is much friction. But terrorists are also using smart- international reach, leaves us dazzled by a handful of stars. phones, YouTube and Twitter. The fact of the matter is we But I am always reminded of the collective reality of filmmaking when the final movie credits roll and roll and roll.” both inhabit this same human-made skin of the planet.” Spanning more than 350 pages and including close to This idea is captured through the book’s impressively diverse collection of photography, spanning epic manu- 500 images – many previously unpublished – such a mamfactured landscapes, like Edward Burtynsky’s now famous moth enterprise has been broken down into different chapimage of a chicken processing plant in Dehui City, China, ters, each exploring the underpinnings of provocative titles: along with sweeping vistas of the built environment, like words like Control, Rupture, Escape, Persuasion and Hive. Most compelling of these is maybe the chapter titled InRobert Polidori’s stately shots of the slums of Mumbai, to portraits of individuals in enclosed domestic spaces, such as dividual Combined / AloneTogether. Intriguing because, as in Benny Lam’s Trapped, which documents the living condi- the chapter attests, people have an instinctive, atavistic tentions of migrant workers in Hong Kong, or Michael Wolf’s dency to seek each other out. Ben Maddow, from his 1977 geometric series Architecture of Density, depicting expansive text Faces – a historical overview of portraiture – is quoted: “We are not solitary mammals, like the fox and the tiger,” urban skylines, which adorns Civilization’s cover. But amidst these compositions – the kind you might expect Maddow writes. “We are genetically social, like the elephant, to find animating Ewing’s argument – are more subtle depic- the whale and the ape.” His point is drawn alongside Ahmad tions. A double page spread is given to a grid-like staging of Zamroni’s bird’s-eye view of Muslims bowing together in Roger Eberhard’s recent series Standard, showing the many prayer – countless backs are bent in a moment of heartdifferent hotel rooms he has visited throughout the world – stoppingly beautiful shared synchronicity and faith. Maddow’s point of humans as genetically social also apall of which look strikingly similar. Or there’s Mark Power’s queues of tourists waiting in similar orderly lines whilst sur- plies to photography. As Ewing points out, no man (with a rounded by some of humanity’s greatest creations, in the camera) is an island. “We’ve been trained to think of artists as series L’Italia E Gli Italiani. The curation of these diverse solitary workers. But, on examination, that falls apart. They compositions provides a visual impression of how big and need camera and lens makers, electronics experts, drivers, diverse the planet is, and yet how uniform our experience of pilots to transport them. They rely on labs, paper-makers, pigment and ink-makers, then agents, dealers, curators, cultural icons can be, from one person to the next. As Ewing says: “The collective reality of our lives is dis- funding institutions, editors, designers, publishers, promoguised by the cult of individuality. Those trillion-dollar tors. Each is immersed in a web of interdependency. But I Olympic Games end up worshipping a handful of superb think of the collective in another sense,” Ewing says.

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Henrik Spohler, THE THIRD DAY. Tree nursery, rows of clipped trees, northern Germany.

“Imagine a satellite view of the world, or any country or city. If you had good enough eyes, you’d see thousands of photographers busy beavering away. Some work for themselves, and some for others. Here’s Raimond Wouda focusing on schools, or Thomas Struth looking at museums, Dona Schwartz with family arrangements, or Edward Burtynsky on the oil industry. They are producing a portrait of our planet. Some work on landscapes, cities and machines, others on order, and the rest on conflict. There are hard-nosed realists, and those that employ fictive or metaphoric techniques. “In Civilization, we have simply taken the widest view of this that was possible. It’s a sampling, of course. Even a show of 100,000 works would be a mere sampling. There are billions of pictures which are being made annually, perhaps even daily. Who know, or cares, beyond a certain number. But most are mere flickers, ones that don’t come close to anything resembling permanence. But amongst them are those which do tell us something which we didn’t already know.” It’s a compelling idea. Also featured within the pages are Adam Ferguson’s portraits of soldiers returning from war in Iraq and Afghanistan. They’re simple, closely-cropped portraits of starkly-lit faces in a sea of black. They’re of people who carry with them the internal scars of the battlefield and are expressing this through their 1,000-yard stares. What does this have to do with the idea of being alone and together? And yet the inference is clear – soldiers survive such brutal wars by developing the kind of ties that transcend friendship. They entrust each other totally with their lives, in the proper functioning of a unit of interdependent people as a way of protecting an individual against an overwhelming existential threat. Another example might be Victoria Sam-

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bunaris’s open salt lakes complementing Henrik Spohler’s uniformed, plastic-looking landscapes. Both document an unprecedented type of living where artifice is the new normal. In these instances, viewers are tasked with questioning what is “real” or “natural,” and, indeed, whether the outcome of such a process of inquiry is important at all. Alex MacLean’s aerial images offer a similar view of the world – documenting the working of transportation and agriculture with an almost omniscient and, therefore, distanced view. Then there’s George Georgiou’s slightly haphazard representation of parades, which were taken across America’s deep south. The pictures, in monochrome, have little in the way of organising principles to them at first consideration. But the title, Company of Strangers, and Georgiou’s own accompanying words, are key to understanding this work – as an outsider trying to work out the practices of a strange and alien culture in a bid to find his own place within it. The artist notes: “In a lot of places, a community doesn’t see itself – then you have that day when you can see people you haven’t seen for ages. And an outsider can see that community and lose any prejudices of that neighbourhood.” Georgiou, in that sense, has found a way of discovering a unifying idea in photography that, at first glance, can appear crowded and chaotic. It’s an idea that appeals to Ewing: “Our book proposes ways of looking at works that support our central theme,” he says. “It’s a purposely ‘loose’ structure, and any viewer is free to say: ‘I would have put this work in that other chapter.’ But the reader will be thinking of doing so. This is what curators want. We’re in a sense holding up a mirror with this book, one in which I hope people will recognise themselves, or see a world they know.”

Right: Rice Fields, Davis, CA, 2003. Ref. #:LS_8320_28. © Alex MacLean.

Words Tom Seymour

Civilization: The Way We Live Now is published by Thames & Hudson on 16 October.

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Dramatic Portraiture Alessio Albi

To incorporate a filmic sense of drama in his works, Alessio Albi (b. 1986) uses surrounding wildlife to create an improvised shadow, silhouette, or border – embedding anonymous figures within a highly textured and detailed landscape. Set amongst rugged topographies, each image has a carefully considered colour scheme – deep seas match with denim styling, rich copper desert tones blend into auburn hair and pale white bedding reaches a focal point with the light of the sky outside windows. Following on coherently from each other, the images are united by a light blue palette and an almost melancholy effect found within the models’ hair. Albi utilises the ability of each strand to swerve, curl and wrap around the characters’ faces like an organic frame, connecting the photographs to a wider feeling of fluidity and freedom, despite their staged theatricality.

Alessio Albi (Instagram: @alessioalbi). Model: Martina Esposito. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alessio Albi (Instagram: @alessioalbi). Model: Martina Vodanova. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alessio Albi (Instagram: @alessioalbi). Model: Ksenia Finenko. Stylist: Fluidadesign. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alessio Albi (Instagram: @alessioalbi). Model: Martina Esposito. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alessio Albi (Instagram: @alessioalbi). Model: Martina Vodanova. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alessio Albi (Instagram: @alessioalbi). Model: Ksenia Finenko. Stylist: Fluidadesign. Courtesy of the artist.

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LAND of Distraction (LoD) founder Danita Short knows workwear. The designer grew up on a sprawling farm just outside the rural Canadian town of Coronation, Alberta (population 940). It’s an isolated place, hours by car from the nearest city, where rickety wood-clad grain silos from decades past cause the only interference on a horizon that stretches well beyond comprehension. It’s a level-flat platter of butter yellow fields under a sky so big you can read the incoming weather like a book. “Being removed from the city, I was able to use my imagination a lot as a child,” Short says. It seems the tranquil, unchanging prairies of her upbringing are still working their magic, providing inspiration for a fledgling label long after moving south, having since traded the Albertan wheat fields for Laurel Canyon, an address steeped in glam-rock folklore. Originally trained as a nurse, Short relocated to Los Angeles several years ago – in what she describes as a “spontaneous move” – harbouring dreams of starting a new creative life in southern California. She met her now business partner, the Canadian investor Laurie Venning, during a planning session in the city and the rest, as the story goes, is history. “He inspired me to follow my passion and start the fashion brand,” she says. And just like that, LoD was born. The next step was finding someone with the technical know-how to realise the creative visions that had been swimming around Short’s head since childhood. She was introduced – in a manner described as a “business blind date” – to New York-based designer Christian Juul Nielsen. A fashion industry veteran, Juul Nielsen previously held

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senior positions at Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta and as of September 2018, has added the notch of Creative Director at Herve Leger to an already distinguished belt. Now on its fourth collection, LoD has become synonymous with clean lines and boxy yet flattering cuts that provide fine canvases for rich, durable materials in an array of playfully muted shades. “The core tenet of our brand is easy-going clothing that is both functional and wearable, made with luxury quality.” The wide-ranging line includes full-length suede skirts that look as though they were purpose-built for kicking up the dust as well as slightly cropped nubby wool jumpers that channel a lived-in, thrift shop feel – in the best way possible. There’s of-the-moment wide wale corduroy in the form of 1970s-style suits, lots of denim, rubberised trench coats and bombers, plus heavy-duty cotton twill which is found on western-inspired shirts and sleek flared trousers: the types of textiles that wouldn’t rock the boat if they showed up for duty on the ranch. To contrast the harder elements, there are velvet mini-dresses in pale pink, dreamy floor length tulle sundresses and sportybut-feminine blouses in floral-printed silk, providing just enough feminine romance to swing the collection out of androgynous territory. Decoration is minimal, but it does remain loyal to a number of signature motifs which run through the collection: “topstitching, big pockets, textures and unique colour palettes” are emblematic of the brand. “We wanted to use soft fabrics that are still luxe,” says Juul Nielson, who decided early on to focus on easy movement and effortless comfort. “The clothing had to be something

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Courtesy Land of Distraction. Image: © Alessio Boni.

“To create a collection that is thoroughly durable and built to last through seasons one has to understand how the body moves, how garments will wear and fray over time, as well as how exactly to reinforce them.”

Previous Page: Courtesy Land of Distraction. Image: © Alessio Boni. Left: Courtesy Land of Distraction. Image: © Alessio Boni.

people could throw on and go, but still look very put of high and low dressing, but fast fashion has an expiration together, nothing too constricting. For Collection Two, we date of two-to-three wears. LoD is made of materials that removed the darts from many of the shirts and insisted on are meant to last longer than other collections. We view the adding pockets to the dresses,” he explains of the pared- brand as seasonless, so our customers can build a story.” It may have taken a village to launch the company and down design process underlying the brand’s evolving aesthetic. “I wanted to be comfortable and still fashionable,” recruiting a former design head from Dior certainly helps to stoke up the buzz around a new label, but when it comes adds Short, “which isn’t always the case for many brands.” As for the colour palette, earthy tones are a direct to inspiration, Short needn’t look far. Created in her own response to a recent trip home. Taking a pilgrimage to image, she’s the collection’s heart, soul and perennial muse, the motherland – Short’s family farm – Juul Nielson was seeking inspiration in cross-country road trips. Having able to glimpse firsthand the day-to-day uniforms which previously traversed the United States and the Czech are found on a working farm. Whilst there, he filled up on Republic, searching the globe for new creative sparks, she inspiration from the lived-in garb men were wearing in the looks as though she could have toppled headfirst out of a fields. “We fell in love with all of the vintage uniforms and motorcycle flick, flared jeans, tattoos and all. The collections the unintentional styling of the farmhands,” he says of inevitably mix the prairie-inflected influences of her rural their trip north, from which he took cues back to New York, and minimal upbringing with a rocker twist that’s based on “borrowing some of the elements of the finer elements from her current location and its colourful cultural associations, the landscape and translating them into cool and wearable “imagining what life was like in Los Angeles in the late 1970s, where groupies chased after rock stars – and borrowed their pieces with a feminine and contemporary update.” “I think that shoppers still want clothing that looks amaz- clothes – before getting all dressed up for the clubs at night.” However, LoD’s wares remain restrained amidst this launing, actually fits beautifully and is made of real fabrics,” explains Short of what she believes sets LoD apart in an dry list of influences. The utilitarian designs are also a welindustry that cycles through styles at a lightning fast rate. come break from the hyperbolic take on western dressing The key to the collection’s approach to quality includes an that has been permeating the fashion world as of late. Fall understanding of the rigour that goes into proper workwear. / Winter 2018 collections were rife with such references: To create a collection that is built to last through the sea- fellow Canadians, Dean and Dan Caten of DSquared2, trotsons – both in style and in durability – one has to under- ted cowboy-style shirts and bolero ties down the runways stand how the body moves, how garments will wear and of Milan, whilst Versace offered a leather-bound take on fray over time, as well as how to reinforce them, which re- the trend with their bondage-inspired rodeo garb. Maxquires the kind of thoughtfulness that much of the industry Mara and Isabel Marant’s interpretations involved copious is sorely lacking at the moment. Short says: “We are aware amounts of fringe: wide-shouldered blanket coats by the

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Courtesy Land of Distraction. Image: © Alessio Boni.

former, ponchos and roughly-hewn fur coats by the latter. Alongside this, it was Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior that took the trend to its logical conclusion with a collection that was deeply inspired by the iconography of the American west, and which included flat brim hats (a nod to Georgia O’Keeffe), turquoise jewellery and patterns sourced from ancient rock art. The historic French fashion house went so far as to celebrate the collection by holding an over-thetop rodeo-themed runway show in the Santa Monica mountains, complete with models on horseback and hot air balloons. But these brilliant daydreams of an Italian couturier in Paris certainly exist on the opposite end of the spectrum from the real farms that inform LoD’s collections; they are ample evidence of a trend that shows no sign of slowing down or giving up, especially in a competitive industry. Indeed, a rural upbringing makes for a good story and plenty of imaginative fodder, but it also sets Short apart as an independent visionary drawing on inspiration from outside of metropolitan bubbles. She inhabits an unconventional place in the fashion industry, having eschewed the well-trodden design school-plus-internship route, choosing instead to jump headfirst into her own line. “I would definitely consider myself an outsider in fashion,” she says of her unusual path. Instead of this unorthodox beginning boxing her in, it seems that it has brought a fresh perspective to an industry which is often accused of having a narrow lens. “We’re making clothes that can be attainable to a broader audience.” And isn’t that what art should do? This inclusive attitude has now led Short to partner with the United States of Women (USOW), a US-based organisation that promotes gender equality and female empowerment through networking opportunities and a yearly

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summit. Short describes her motivation, in seeking out the innovative and remarkable work of USOW: “When launching the label it was important for me to find a way to give back and help others. We partnered with the organisation because they support women as leaders, as entrepreneurs, as people.” As the 2018 apparel partner of the organisation, the LoD team produced a capsule collection of slogan tees, the proceeds of which went to the 2018 event. An accompanying campaign saw the label teaming up with activists who are vocal in their respective fields, including disability rights campaigner Emily Ladau, publisher of Feminist Press; Jamia Wilson, founder of @equalityforHER; Blair Imani, organiser of the Women’s March; Sarah Sophie Flicker and adapted athlete Mia Ives Rublee. “I think that it’s important to acknowledge the issues, and then work to make this industry more inclusive,” says Short, “I want to make lines for all people. It’s something that we, collectively, are still working on, but definitely, it’s a core tenet of what I’m trying to do personally.” Looking towards the future, the brand’s image is going to remain steadfastly set in the real world as it aims to grow in an accessible way. “We are launching a campaign called This is my LAND,” she explains of the label’s next steps, “it showcases real people wearing our collection whilst highlighting their passion. We also want to continue to support emerging artists and performers and welcome them into our vision.” More than just a marketing stunt, LoD’s decision to align itself with such a diverse and inclusive world view hopefully signals a changing wind and the arrival of new voices in the notoriously homogenous fashion industry. “Our ‘land’ is diverse. It’s made up of highly creative individuals across a range of media.” One hopes the wider fashion business will follow suit.

Right: Courtesy Land of Distraction. Image: © Alessio Boni.

Words Laura May Todd

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Minimal Construction Louis MacLean

Scottish photographer Louis MacLean (b. 1984) has a keen eye for detail, taking away the formal function of landscapes and reinjecting a sense of dynamism through a considered perspective. Having moved from Edinburgh to Spain, MacLean harbours a grid-like understanding of his new surroundings, where tennis courts, stairwells and garden benches attribute to a wider visual encyclopaedia. Sun-drenched courts match with pastel columns, whilst bold shadows cut through structures and provide a distance between viewer and location. The straight lines further perpetuate the idea of the photograph as a fixed object, one which is controlled by the individual vision of the artist. The graphic style almost alludes to the constructivist movement, in which all art is seen to be autonomous, translating vistas into a fixed experimentation of striking colour, concrete frameworks and multidimensional layers.

Photo by Louis MacLean.

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Photo by Louis MacLean.

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Photo by Louis MacLean.

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Photo by Louis MacLean.

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Photo by Louis MacLean.

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Photo by Louis MacLean.

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Photo by Louis MacLean.

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Photo by Louis MacLean.

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Photo by Louis MacLean.

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Photo by Louis MacLean.

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Photo by Louis MacLean.


Reviving Analogue Glashier

A self-taught filmmaker and photographer, Glashier is based between Berlin and London, working exclusively on film, capturing narrative images and producing both documentaries and music videos for artists such as Juno Temple, Harry Shearer, Bonobo, Maximo Park and Ghostpoet. Having started out as the official photographer for the Mercury Music Prize, Glashier’s passion for analogue has accrued international acclaim, producing pieces for renowned brands such as American Apparel, and featuring on a week-long takeover on The Photographers’ Gallery’s Instagram. Each image is instilled with a deep sense of intimacy – from self-referential moments to the silent company of others in a car lay-by. The following series captures the raw energy of youth with a soft palette. Meanwhile, rocky waters, foggy streets and cloudy skies pervade the settings, offering spaces for self-reflection.

Josephine, 2017, Berlin. Shot on Film. Image: © Glashier.

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The Runaways, 2015, Dungeoness. Shot on Film. Image: Š Glashier.

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Emily Bador, 2014, Ride Exhibition. Shot on Film. Image: Š Glashier.

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Hotbox, 2014, Ride Exhibition. Shot on Film. Image: Š Glashier.

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Beth (LOYAL), 2016, Promotional Shot. Shot on Film. Image: Š Glashier.

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Sedger, 2015, Brighton. Shot on Film. Image: Š Glashier.

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In Iceland, the nation’s parliament is referred to as the “Alth- how we react to our surroundings and how we understand ing,” the loose translation of which means a space for each the world,” comments Anna Engberg-Pedersen, Head of Reand every object, person and exchange – a meeting place search and Communications at Studio Olafur Eliasson. “What where people from all walks of life can come together to do we see? Why do we see it? Why do we understand the speak about differences and engage in wider productive world in the way we do? These are questions that have all dialogues. The French philosopher Bruno Latour (b. 1947) been central to his practice since the very beginning.” Born in Copenhagen, the artist has maintained a steadfast further unpacks the term: “A thing is, in one sense, an object out there and, in another sense, an issue very much in there.” interest in space and consciousness, and the myriad ways This notion that strife and conflict are inherent to matter is in which people interpret and navigate their surroundings, an idea that, for years, has resonated deeply with Latour’s throughout his creative life. As a teenager, Eliasson had a close friend, Danish-Icelandic artist and architect Olafur passion for break-dancing and from this developed the Eliasson (b. 1967), whose socially conscious creations have notion that personal space can be altered, distorted and long challenged viewers to confront real-world issues that otherwise disrupted using only the body. This fascination range from climate change to immigration and displacement with perception grew throughout his education at the Royal to sustainable agriculture. Just as no topic, regardless of its Danish Academy of Fine Arts and in the early years of his complexity or polarity, appears to be off limits, no medium eponymous studio, which he established in Berlin in 1995. His award-winning enterprise has expanded exponentially seems too challenging for him to tackle. The practitioner’s wide-ranging oeuvre encapsulates large-scale, immersive over 23 years – Eliasson’s work has been showcased in exhiinstallations, miniscule sculptures and portable electronics, bitions across the globe, including a solo show – The Speed of paintings, films, cookbooks and, more recently, architecture. Your Attention – currently on view at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Eliasson’s multifaceted, confrontation-generating output Los Angeles (until 22 December), and his team now comis the subject of a new and exciting tome by Phaidon, titled prises more than 100 technicians, architects, craftspeople, Experience. This weighty compendium of essays, interviews historians and programmers. In summer 2019, Tate Modern, and mind-bending colour images spans three decades of in- London, will launch a survey of the artist’s career. The exhibinovation and experimentation by the artist, and charts the tion follows his colossal 2003 installation The weather prodistinctive ways in which Eliasson’s custom-built, perception- ject – presented in the Turbine Hall and considered one of changing environments break down barriers, not only in rela- Eliasson’s most iconic creations – and the 2004 installation tion to the viewer and the space, but also with regard to other of the mesmeric Your double-lighthouse projection that envepeople, cultures and belief systems. “He’s very interested in lopes the viewer in a sea of monochromatic light.

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Your double-lighthouse projection, 2002. Installation view at Tate Modern, London, 2004. Picture credit: Tate photography, Andrew Dunkley & Marcus Leith.

“Olafur supports a friendly embrace of conflict – he likes some discord, but where you can respect each other, try to cultivate some mutual understanding, or, reach a territory where you can be together despite differences of opinion.”

Previous Page: Gravity stairs, 2014. Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul. Picture credit: Hyunsoo Kim / Courtesy of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art. Left: I only see things when they move, 2004. Installation view at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2015. Picture credit: Dmitry Baranov.

As Michelle Kuo, the Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, New York, and former Editor-in-Chief of Artforum, describes, in the introduction to the Phaidon publication, one of Eliasson’s most remarkable talents, which he has demonstrated relentlessly throughout his career, as the distinctive ability to arouse tension through installations and spaces. It’s through this force that he inspires understanding and empathy in countless international viewers. She writes: “[Eliasson] understood that our togetherness, our intertwinement with people and things and places, is never seamless or whole, never complete … His art makes a difference; it generates experiences that are discontinuous, always changing, shifting in relation to others and ourselves.” These consciousness-awakening experiences have been described by the artist as “frictional moments” and they’re nearly omnipresent in projects highlighted in this text. Amongst the most tension-generating creations is a 360degree walkway, Your rainbow panorama (2006-2011), for the ARos Aarhus Kunstmuseum in Denmark. The winning commission for the museum’s rooftop revamp, the piece casts rainbow hues over the surrounding landscape, dividing it into zones of colours. Viewed from within, the enclosure functions as an alternative lens from which to see the city, and from a distance, it serves as an orientation device – a new brand of north star – as each band of colour can only be viewed from a specific vantage point. Though an addition to a preexisting structure from Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, this mindful construction is regarded as a local landmark, and a navigational beacon, in and of itself. A similar phenomenon transpired during the 2011 solo exhibition at SESC Pompeia, São Paulo, Brazil. The show’s

titular artwork, Seu corpo da obra (Your body of work), was a nod to the now-legendary Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica, who is recognised today for a trailblazing exploration into the multidimensionality of colour, and comprised dozens of sheets of bright plastic. These massive cyan, magenta and yellow panels were suspended from the ceiling to form a multi-hued labyrinth which visitors could traverse. The movement and vantage point of each individual determined the colour they perceived and no two encounters were alike. Eliasson’s real gift for manipulating the viewer’s perspective, however, lies in his ability to alter not only how a person sees the world around them (as illustrated in the Aarhus and São Paulo example), but also how they see themselves. Many installations call upon museum-goers to play an active role – their image is often reflected directly into the work, elevating them from passive audience member to willing and active participant. His site-specific construction Gravity Stairs (2014), for instance, is a modern take on the mise en abyme. Created for the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, this permanent installation features a mammoth, reflective model of the solar system arranged above stairs. As visitors climb the staircase, they are confronted with a kaleidoscopic view of planets, and, in the centre of it all, their own likeness. With a growing inventory of large-scale projects like Seu corpo da obra and structurally significant contributions such as Your rainbow panorama and Gravity stairs, it’s no surprise, then, that Eliasson has opted to add the title of architect to his ever-expanding list of credentials. In 2014, the artist formed the experimental firm Studio Other Spaces (SOS) with German architect Sebastian Behmann and earlier this summer the pair unveiled their first completed building,

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Seu corps da obra (Your body of work), 2011. Installation view at SESC Pompeia, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2011 Picture credit: Olafur Eliasson.

Fjordenhus, in Vejle, Denmark. In its conception, the new Kirk collaborators such as model Naomi Campbell, acclaimed Right: rainbow panorama, 2006-11. Kapital headquarters challenged the limits of digital render- filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu or artist-activist Ai Weiwei. Your 360-degree walkway installed on top of the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, ing and models. In its awe-inspiring execution, the brick, el- Eliasson teamed up with the latter for the 2013 web-based Denmark. Picture credit: Thilo Frank lipsoidal office space – which appears to rise from the waters venture Moon – a participatory drawing that took four years to / Studio Olafur Eliasson. of the Vejle Fjord like a sandcastle – is as much a life-sized create and features a rotating globe of messages and drawings sculpture as it is a functional and lived-in structure. “Fjorden- crafted by a community of online users. In the write-up for this hus is really quite different than other buildings because it’s piece, the project’s founders penned the lines: “Creativity defies a bit weird – you feel outdoors because you can see the har- boundaries. Ideas, wind and air no one can stop.” In 2017, the pioneering producer further evolved this bour and feel the wind, but you’re also contained,” remarks Engberg-Pedersen. “That’s something that came out of this concept of a collaborative art-making experience with the release of an original project on the virtual reality exhibition dialogue taking place between art and architecture.” In signature Eliasson style, the master maker has taken space Acute Art, which is billed as a museum without walls. space-creating impulses one step further, investigating new Titled Rainbow, Eliasson’s contribution to the platform invites mechanisms through which his constructions can transcend viewers to align digital water droplets, light waves and their the physical world and enable art lovers and design enthu- line of sight to create the titular weather phenomenon. siasts – regardless of their location – to experience his work Multiple users, regardless of their physical location, can digitally, through experiments in virtual reality, digital art engage with one another to produce a digital rainbow, and social media. As Engberg-Pedersen explains, pivotal further testing the limits of literal space and boundaries. to Eliasson’s practice is the idea that an encounter with art “VR promises, in a way, the opportunity for people to enter or architecture “does not only take place in a gallery. It can spaces that they’re not physically in,” explains EngbergPedersen. “And that’s an interesting thought for Olafur.” happen in the street, in a public space or online.” Through examining this publication, it becomes apparent The studio has more than 270,000 followers on its encyclopaedic Instagram page, and the account’s twice- that regardless of scale, material or medium, a consistent Words daily posts include a selection of images from inside the ethos is ever-present in Eliasson’s work. Both a child-like Stephanie Strasnick company’s day-to-day activities, including elegantly plated curiosity about the world around us and an unwavering meals from Studio Olafur Eliasson Kitchen (which is headed commitment to questioning the status quo in the service of up by the artist’s sister, chef Victoria Eliasdottir), interviews with humanity are always at the heart of his wide-ranging output. Olafur Eliasson: Experience In keeping with Latour’s earlier meditations, Engberg-Ped- is published by Phaidon the artist, video footage highlighting recent exhibitions and architectural projects, behind-the-scenes snapshots, and, of ersen states: “Olafur supports a friendly embrace of conflict on 15 October. course, the occasional selfie of a bearded Eliasson trekking – one in which you can reach a territory where you can be through Reykjavik or posing with friends, fellow creatives or together despite the wider differences of opinion.”

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Digital Possibilities Alexis Christodoulou

A self-taught 3D artist living in Cape Town, South Africa, Alexis Christodoulou (b. 1983) has spent the last four years building a collection of works that focuses on the creation of imaginary architecture. Based on a life-long interest in digital worlds and multidimensional graphics, Christodoulou extends realities through rendering new spaces. Offering a clean, seamless aesthetic, each composition – which starts as a sketch – is influenced by the boundless concepts and muted palettes of leading artists and designers such as David Chipperfield and Aldo Rossi. Shadows cut across endless landscapes, whilst ripples of light sit on the surface of undetermined pools. The images ask questions about the evolving methods of post-production and their place within the appreciation and realisation of contemporary art: how far does a viewer need to be convinced that something is real? Can our idea of beauty be replicated through a calculated algorithm?

Alexis Christodoulou. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alexis Christodoulou. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alexis Christodoulou. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alexis Christodoulou. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alexis Christodoulou. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alexis Christodoulou. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alexis Christodoulou. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alexis Christodoulou. Courtesy of the artist.

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Alexis Christodoulou. Courtesy of the artist.


Capturing the Elements Laura Zalenga

Laura Zalenga (b. 1990) utilises the power of photography to tell stories, communicating raw emotions and tapping into the almost therapeutic quality of 21st century imagemaking. Introspection takes the focus within each page; languid figures grip to trees, submerge themselves into pools and sit alone in the middle of the ocean, whilst mirrored characters confront the idea of individuality within an empty field. Part of an impressive cinematic portfolio, these self-portraits demonstrate an interest in today’s organic world, where deserted geological formations and open forests create an intriguing parallel to insular characters. Dramatic lighting casts a heavy and embedded contrast into the pictures; small strips of sunlight and subtle hints of colour lift the works with a sense of the surreal. Zalenga’s impressive list of publications and clients include Adobe, Sony, Disney, Fiat, MaxMara, Ignant,, Lenspeople and Fubiz.

Self Portrait. Courtesy of Laura Zalenga.

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Self Portrait. Courtesy of Laura Zalenga.

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Self Portrait. Courtesy of Laura Zalenga.

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Self Portrait. Courtesy of Laura Zalenga.

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Self Portrait. Courtesy of Laura Zalenga.

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Self Portrait. Courtesy of Laura Zalenga.

exhibition reviews

1Icons of Style


Fashion is inherently of a time and place. Dependent on trends and available materials, taste and personalities, it’s a reflection of the values in a particular moment and their expression. Walking through Icons of Style, viewers consider how photography captured these moments, whilst evolving into its own art form. Weaving through the lower level gallery, the show brings together images from the collection to show how industry and art are influenced by each other, and by external forces like the media and war. Beginning in 1910s and ending in the 2000s, the exhibition is broken up into decades, each anchored by the iconic dress of the period. Here, important designers like Chanel, Alexander McQueen and Dior exist in a space with images of their work. However, it is the photographs that are the true stars. The rise of magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar created a new genre of image, beginning when publisher

Condé Nast hired Baron Adolph de Meyer in the 1910s. Avant-garde and commercial sensibilities intertwine in the 1920s and 1930s with iconic figures like Man Ray, and in images of models in bombed ruins that showcase a British sense of “keep calm and carry on.” Street photography of the 1960s replaces the ultra-glamorous 1950s. The increasing diversity of what fashion is, and who it is for in the 1970s and 1980s, paves the way for the 1990s and 2000s, as the digital age breaks down barriers of genre and media. Ultimately, this exhibition explains how a growing number of tastes and voices have influenced other aspects of the media world: how space, light and figures are used, whilst referencing the rise of a particular form of consumer culture. Getty Center succeeds in enlivening viewers to what fashion photography can be, and has been, for the last century: aspirational, grounded, subversive and truly eye-opening.

Words Melissa Karlin

Getty Center, Los Angeles 26 June - 21 October

2 Vantage Point 24: Celebrating 20 Years STUDENT AND ALUMNI EXHIBITION

After her grandmother died, one student’s film came up blank every time, except for the few final images that she had taken of the matriarch. Another budding artist snapped pictures of his first Gay Pride parade as a means to come out to his parents. In a gritty southern corner of the Bronx known more for its poverty and crime, now grappling with the impact gentrification, hundreds of youths have been initiated into photography over the past two decades. Children as young as nine pick up cameras and turn them on their communities for an unassuming look at the small beauties and intricacies of their daily lives during four 10-session terms each year at The Point community centre, in partnership with the ICP. They learn the basics of black and white analogue, including processing film, as well as writing and public speaking. “A lot of the students come here not knowing how to handle their emotions, and they

learn a form of art to express what they are feeling and be more confident in who they are as a person,” said Tiffany Williams, who has spent 18 years in the free programme, first as a student and now as lab manager and coordinator. The resulting images reflect their dreams, hopes and aspirations. A pensive youth gazes outside his train window in a print by Sofie Vásquez, who became a teaching assistant and subsequently spent her summer building a portfolio in Ecuador. Kevin Nestor shot a girl hiding behind a sombrero, whilst a heavily tattooed barber shaves the head of a squinting customer in an image by Faith Colón. There’s a trio of brothers – Christopher, Tony and Roy Baizan – the latter a graduate of ICP’s documentary programme in Manhattan. He notes: “Being a photographer in the Bronx, I feel responsibility to show and represent a side that is often overlooked by popular media because it is often not newsworthy.”

Words Olivia Hampton

ICP, New York 25 July - 31 December


It all started innocently enough when, in 2005, Gail Albert Halaban’s daughter Zoe turned one, and her neighbours from across the street sent balloons and flowers to celebrate. She was inspired by the idea of connecting with those who we live alongside every day, and, upon reflection, turned her lens on the opposing windows, developing an ongoing project which displays the intimate, unguarded moments of people in their homes. But the result is not a voyeuristic exercise. Instead, the protagonists of Albert Halaban’s photographs are fully complicit in making what are, in fact, carefully staged images of imagined and private lives, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy. Behind the work lies a common feeling: a craving to reach out in an increasingly impersonal world. “I feel like there’s this magic that happens when you can bring this gap between window spaces, and it’s a way we can make links to

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people from all over the world without going very far.” Out My Window has flourished since its inception to encompass more than 15 cities and an upcoming Aperture Foundation book on various locales in Italy, as well as this intriguing show at Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York. Meeting strangers and then bringing them together is a daunting task, one which is made more complex by the widely-varying cultural norms of the various communities Albert Halaban has visited, from exhibitionist New Yorkers to shy Istanbulites, discreet Buenos Aires porteños and overly polite Amsterdammers. But the concept always seems to win over the support of its subjects in the end. “In Paris, people were totally against it in the beginning and would say “that’s got to be illegal, the tax man will come get me if I let you photograph my stuff,” she recalls. “Then when it became hip and cool, people were totally into it.”

Words Olivia Hampton

George Eastman Museum, Rochester, New York 7 July - 1 January

1a. Guy Bourdin (France, 1928-1991), Untitled, for Charles Jourdan, Spring 1977. Negative, 1977; printed later. Chromogenic print, 45.7 cm x 34.3 cm. The Estate of Guy Bourdin, courtesy of Louise Alexander Gallery. Image © The Guy Bourdin Estate 2018, courtesy of Louise Alexander Gallery. 1b. Edward Steichen, (USA, b. Luxembourg, 1879-1973). Perfection in Black; Margaret Horan, 1935. Gelatin silver print, 25.4 cm x 20.3 cm. Courtesy of and © Condé Nast / Vogue, November 1, 1935. 2. © Destiny Garcia. 3. Gail Albert Halaban (USA, b. 1970). Upper East Side, Manhattan, 1438 3rd Ave, Families Just Before Dinner, 2008. Inkjet print. © Gail Albert Halaban.


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4. Carrie Mae Weems (born Portland, Oregon, 1953). Untitled (Man Smoking/Malcolm X), from the Kitchen Table series, 1990. Gelatin silver photograph, 79.4 cm x 78.4 cm. Brooklyn Museum; Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund, 1991.168. © Carrie Mae Weems. (Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum). 5a. © Todd Hido, Courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York. 5b. © Todd Hido, Courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York. 6. Isabel’s Album. Period copy, silver gelatin bromide on paper. Museo Reina Sofía. Autric-Tamayo family’s donation, 2018.


4Half the Picture


A direct response to the crucial social and political issues that have dominated the global conversation in the past year, Brooklyn Museum’s new exhibition is an ambitious and essential new look at aspects of their permanent collection. Half the Picture presents work by over 50 practitioners from the past 100 years, tackling wide-ranging and poignant issues from gender inequality to racial discrimination. The show’s title is taken from a 1989 Guerrilla Girls poster on display that reads “You’re seeing less than half the picture without the vision of women artists and artists of color” and epitomises the exhibition’s intent. Pieces to highlight include the 2014 series 1880 Crow Peace Delegation by Wendy Red Star, which uses CM Bell’s photographic portraits of Native Americans to challenge America’s racial imagination. Making use of red ink, the portraits are annotated with informative remarks pertaining to indigenous customs,

culture and traditions, seeking to humanise the kinds of communities that have often been hushed or silenced. Visitors familiar with the museum’s permanent collections will appreciate the inclusion of new acquisitions, namely Betty Tompkins’ Fuck Painting #6 (1973) and one of Beverly Buchanan’s celebrated shack sculptures. Buchanan’s work draws inspiration from the history of America’s rural south, and specifically refers to the legacy of slave cabins on the south’s architectural landscape. Brooklyn Museum allows viewers to get an understanding of the relation between art and politics, using feminist theory as a theoretical thread. Divided into broad thematic sections (Resistance and Protest, Make America, The Personal is Political, Rewriting Art History and No Surprise), the exhibition manages to remain both coherent and didactic, and is an essential viewing for an important part of cultural history.

Words Louis Soulard

Brooklyn Museum 23 August - 31 March

5 Bright Black World TODD HIDO

With Bright Black World, the fourth solo exhibition at Bruce Silverstein Gallery in New York, Todd Hido presents new photographic work coinciding with the upcoming publication of an eponymous book. The 17 photographs in the show, most of them never previously exhibited, include familiar themes and visual leitmotivs which are often found in Hido’s work. Psychologically charged portraits, images of country roads leading to nowhere, and apocalyptic winter landscapes are all depicted in cool or sepia colours. At first glance, the pieces intrigue by their brisk and moody beauty, engaging the viewer through narrative devices – a road at the forefront – or notable lighting effects. #11755-2192 (2017) contrasts a perfectly horizontal road with a stormy sky that looks more like a watercolour. It is clear though that there is more here than meets the eye. In #11798-4172 (2017), a wide-angle shot of a glade is

held within a desolate and foggy forest, in which both burnt wood and burgeoning trees coexist. A recurrent motif, Hido plays on the mutual dependency between creation and destruction. Human intervention in this cycle is often suggested through subtle reminders – a street lamp in #117973252, a road partly covered in snow, as seen in #113420103 – bringing new societal meaning to the landscapes. The pieces on display in this selection are bizarrely ominous. They can be interpreted as visual reminders of a not-so-distant future in which nature does not provide the calming source of reassurance that it once did. They allude to a process of moral decay, and Hido makes it clear that we as humans are implicated in this process. Considering that it addresses such heavy themes, the varied selection of photographs included in Bright Black World is particularly coherent and resonates more than ever in the present day.

Words Louis Soulard

Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York 13 September - 3 November


The AFAL group constitutes one of the most significant ventures in the history of Spanish photography. Through AFAL magazine, edited by Carlos Pérez Siquier and José María Artero García, this collective proposed a renovation of visual language in a country that had remained largely isolated from the rest of the world since the end of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the years of Franco’s dictatorship (1939-1975). It constituted a break-away from a stuffy environment which was dominated by conservative salons. In 1950s Spain, photography as an art form remained heavily dependent on pictorialism. Throughout its brief existence (1956-1962) and despite the diverse nature of the group’s members (most of whom were not professional artists), AFAL was a statement in favour of photography’s full independence as an art form in its own right. It also served to introduce ideas and debates which were taking place in

Europe and America, a process vital for young practitioners. In addition to transforming aesthetic values, the movement served as a document of deep social and political changes which were taking place in late1950s and early1960s Spain: rural flight and the rapid growth of cities, as portrayed by figures like Paco Gómez and Gabriel Cualladó; tourism and the internationalisation of local traditions such as Pamplona’s Sanfermines, made world-famous by Ernest Hemingway, who is profusely portrayed in a great series by Ramón Masats. But there is also room here for bolder social commentary, such as Carloa Pérez Siquier’s impressive pictures of La Chanca, a marginal neighbourhood inhabited mainly by gypsies in his native Almería. The current exhibition provides an insight to a time of cultural renaissance of the visual arts in Spain, not a minor achievement in a country that had still to endure almost many years of a dictatorial regime.

Words Rubén Cervantes Garrido

Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid 13 June - 7 January

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Still from Widows. Credit: 21st Century Fox.



“The main strand tying all areas of the festival together this year is powerful storytelling, with a focus on diverse voices. Cinema consumption habits may be changing rapidly, but progress is also being seen on screen.”

Words Beth Webb

10-21 October

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In the Special Presentations category, there is an unmissaBFI London Film Festival has put itself ahead of the rest this year as a platform for women in film. The political land- ble chance to see Park Chan-wook’s new TV series The Little scape of the industry in the last 12 months has been a place Drummer Girl on the big screen. LFF, in celebration of the of controversy, devastation and galvanisation, and so the cinematic new realms of television, will be showing the first news that almost 40 per cent of the works in the programme two episodes of the Oldboy director’s adaptation of John le involve a female practitioner has at the very least stirred in- Carré’s work before its silver screen release this year. The most fun at the festival can be found in the Cult strand. terest, and at the most helped to spearhead a serious moveThis year’s programme has been built on big, rambunctious ment for change amongst film festivals across the world. This year, the programme is an inclusive smorgasbord of stories, like Assassination Nation, a modern retelling of the works; world premieres, feature debuts and cult classics in Salem witch hunt involving an elusive hacker and a gang of the making. The festival’s opening night film is Widows, Steve girls fighting to restore order in their hometown, and Mandy, McQueen’s long-awaited follow-up to 12 Years a Slave, which Panos Cosmatos’ revenge horror-boasting, if possible, Nichfollows four women collectively trying to clean up the mess olas Cage’s most unpredictable performance to date. Queer cinema raises the bar with Lukas Dhont’s superb that their criminal husbands left behind. Adapted for the screen by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, this is a refreshing feature debut Girl, a festival favourite about a tentative trans choice for an opener, which for the last few editions have fa- teen who dreams of pursuing a career in ballet. Meanwhile, voured British-centric historical dramas and paves the way in Kenya, a neon-tinged Romeo and Juliet of sorts sees the daughters of two opposing politicians fall in love in Rafiki. for a decidedly colourful fortnight of cinema. The main strand tying all areas of the festival together this In competition this year, Robert Redford’s swan song The Old Man & the Gun, a kind-hearted comedy about a charm- year is powerful storytelling, with a focus on diverse voices. ing bank robber, directed by A Ghost Story’s David Lowery, Cinema consumption habits may be changing rapidly, but contends with Destroyer, one of the most sought-out pro- progress is also being seen in the faces on screen and the jects from Cannes. Home talent Peter Strickland presents his narratives that they follow, the result of a wealth of exciting erotic department store thriller In Fabric whilst Carol Morley practitioners both established and emerging, keen to move recruits Patricia Clarkson for contemporary noir Out Of Blue. away from outdated conventions into a brave new realm.


Still from Werk Ohne Autor. ©2018 BUENA VISTA INTERNATIONAL / Pergamon Film / Wiedemann & Berg Film.

The 75th Venice Biennale paved the way for change this year, who last made the Kristen Stewart-starring thriller Personal “The calibre of work at with its agenda pointing firmly to the future of filmmaking. Shopper, deftly switches gears for Non-Fiction, a razor-sharp this year’s Biennale was strong, with some Not only did the festival host a wealth of well-received big satire starring Juliette Binoche and Guillaume Canet. Joining the pair in competition was a heady mix of interna- serious hints as to budget premieres and indie hits alike, it also marked a significant movement in the distribution market. VOD companies tional cinema with just a few Hollywood offerings, namely what to expect from planted a firm stake in the programme this year, with Net- the Coens’ latest and Paul Greengrass’ 22 July. Florian next year’s awards flix and Amazon presenting some of the most anticipated Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Werk ohne Auteur, a lengthy season, but herein and talked about pieces of the fortnight, including Alfonso but well-received historical drama set around Nazi Germany, may lie a problem Cuarón’s monochrome masterpiece Roma, Mike Leigh’s epic proved a return to form for the director of the Oscar-winning that whilst these films period drama Peterloo and the Coen Brothers’ ensemble The Lives of Others, whilst László Nemes’ follow up to Son of dominate, other voices comedy The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Also throwing their hat Saul divided festival goers with his Hungarian mystery Sunset. struggle to be heard.” Whilst the films were dominated by big stories of women in the ring, the indie streaming service MUBI co-presented Suspiria, a gruelling remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic in the monarchy, in the war, and on stage (Natalie Portman received praise for her star turn in Vox Lux), only one out from Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino. Roma is already stirring awards season murmurs, thanks of 21 films in competition was directed by a woman – Jento Cuarón’s dedicated process that pays off in a majestic, nifer Kent’s The Nightingale. Coming under fire in a particudeeply cinematic character study. Returning to Mexican- larly poignant year for sexism in the industry, festival chiefs language storytelling for the first time since 2001’s Y Tu signed the 5050 x 2020 pledge, ensuring more women in Mamá También, Cuarón wrote and acted as director of pho- the programme and festival board moving forward. The calibre at this year’s Biennale was strong, with some Words tography on this period drama inspired by the memories of his childhood. It’s a challenging, profound piece of work serious hints as to what to expect from next year’s awards Beth Webb with powerful central performances from first-time actress season, but herein may lie a problem that whilst these films Yalitza Aparicio and Marina De Tavira, who play the women dominate, other voices struggle to be heard. It can only be hoped that when next year’s programme is announced that based upon Cuarón’s nanny and mother respectively. Also returning to his native language, Olivier Assayas, the welcome pledge for greater diversity will be honoured. en/cinema/2018

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Image: © Elly Lucas.


A Sense of Belonging HAIKU SALUT

“Celebrating community, making tiny changes and having positive conversations and rejoicing and celebrating each other is what we need to do. That’s the feeling we want to put across.”

Words Charlotte R-A

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Instrumental music is a curious thing, a medium of sympa- forting brass (courtesy of fellow West Country troupe Glasthetic magic. In lieu of a human voice and in the absence of tonbury Brass) that dapple the album throughout. These are entirely intentional conceits according to Sophie lyrics and choruses to press a song’s point home, it prompts us to actively participate rather than passively absorb – it Barkerwood, in a recent interview with Loud And Quiet magazine: “It’s really easy to see these are really awful times and asks us to imagine and project, and to intuit a meaning. Anyone who’s ever been swept up in a film score knows how it is so tense and uncertain for so many people. When things this works. Composers such as Yann Tiersen (Amélie, Good are so bad, it does feel like a privilege to write electronic Bye, Lenin!) and Benoît Charest (The Triplettes of Belleville) music in a village in Derbyshire. But championing commuhave shown us how the medium can evoke not just deep nity, making changes and having positive conversations and mood and complex sentiment but also a profound sense of rejoicing and celebrating each other is what we need to do. time and place – a crackle of vinyl for nostalgia; a concertina That’s the feeling we want to put across – that triumph and flourish for a sense of the rustic. It’s little wonder then, that joyousness of working together. Making music helps us feel Haiku Salut cite these titans of soundtrack as core influences. we belong, and we hope people feel this belongs to them.” It’s easy enough to find a way in to There Is No Elsewhere; The Derbyshire Dales trio – Gemma Barkerwood, Sophie Barkerwood and Louise Croft – emerged in 2010, with a with its meditative, looping rhythms and subtle, shifting dreamy folktronica sound that’s earned critical praise. A moods. However it’s equally easy to drift away from these debut, Tricolore, arrived in 2013, followed by Etch and Etch reveries, into the preoccupations of the day or night. There are flashes of colour here; the intricate, stuttering Deep in 2015. Their latest, There Is No Elsewhere is the first via break-beat manipulations of Nettles and Chokehold are a neo-classical and electronica label PRAH Recordings. It’s a curious title for an album and echoes the spell of the thrill, as is the Tiersen-esque accordion and earthy brass ruby slipper in The Wizard of Oz, “there’s no place like home.” tones that weave throughout. Yet there’s no doubt that There And while there’s no kitsch camp sing-alongs here, there is a Is No Elsewhere will be best enjoyed live, with the trio’s muchcommonality: a preoccupation with connectivity, of homes loved lamp show – vintage charity shop lamps wired to within homes. It’s there in the comforting, clock-like chimes “dance, flicker and surge in time with the music” – adding a of Cold To Crack The Stones, and the flushes of warm, com- sense of the dramatic to this otherwise gently stirring album.

Instrumental Energies FARAO

Image: © Maxime Imbert.

A full-on musical paradigm shift prompted her second clearly hear how so much of it was made by jazz musicians: “Pure-O isn’t boogiealbum, says Kari Jahnsen, the Berlin-based Norway-born Aleksei Kozlov, Zigmars Liepiņš. I love how rhythmically and fied in the traditional artist known as Farao. “I was so bored of everything I’d been melodically challenging it is at times. The complexity, the Parliament-Funkadelic listening to, and the stuff I had written up, until that point raw, absurd sounds – it makes me laugh and feel great.” The sense – though there’s became too much for me. I started listening to a lot of disco zither, too, offered both sonic appeal and personal balm. plenty to pop and and boogie; turns out all I need to feel invincible is an epic “The harp and zither are healing instruments. They offer the sway to here. Imagine, bass line and I wanted to maintain energy on the new album.” sound of serenity, bringing me to a state of total calm and rather, a midnightPure-O, named for the strain of OCD Jahnsen believes she peacefulness. This state doesn’t come easy to me – I tend to neon hothouse of has, isn’t boogie-fied in the traditional Parliament-Funkadelic go too far the other way if I don’t look after myself.” Jahnsen lush, opulent, synth sense – though there’s plenty to pop and sway to here. Im- describes the push and pull between her studio and Berlin’s arrangements draped agine, rather, a midnight-neon hothouse of lush, opulent, famous party culture; was Pure-O a triumph of keeping one over drumlines.” synth arrangements draped over electronic drumlines and foot in each world? “Definitely,” she replies with emphasis. Pure-O ’s strength lies in its fidelity to a seam that owes as hung with velveteen vocals. Pure-O’s bedrock utilises two unlikely influences: Soviet-era disco, and the cascading spell much to 1990s R&B staples – Janet Jackson, Terry Riley, TLC of the zither. The latter is a stringed, lap-held instrument; – as it does to the esoteric, third eye-opening influences that the former, a sub-genre discovered by Jahnsen by chance supplemented Jahnsen’s newfound self-care practice. “I was during a late night YouTube session – and a kick that’s turned listening to a lot of Laraaji, Alice Coltrane and Gail Laughton her into something of an analogue synth collector. “What I when I first started, and [that music] gave me access to a love about Soviet-era synths is that they have such strong place within my consciousness I hadn’t known before. Medipersonalities. They’re alive, and behave differently every tation changed my life more than anything. It’s so liberating.” Touring for Pure-O will involve two iterations of shows: “A Words time I turn them on. There’s this special moment when you’ve made a sound you really like – once you change the param- solo setup, where I play synthesizer, zither, chimes and com- Charlotte R-A puter, and a full band setup, with drums and badass harmoeters this specific sound will probably be gone forever.” Jahnsen describes Soviet disco as “weird, eccentric, un- nies by my good friend EERA. It’s really nice playing the earthly-sounding. I was immediately hooked. You can zither live, although it’s a bitch to tune with its 63 strings.”

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Photo by Jeff Goldberg/Esto from Studio Joy Works. © 2018 Princeton Architectural Press, reprinted with permission of the publisher.


New Structural Languages STUDIO JOY WORKS

“The publication sets architecture in wider contexts of humanity. Here, it is believed that there is transcendental power in the act of living in a space: our memory of a place is shaped by its context, culture and surrounding nature.”

Words Gunseli Yalcinkaya

Princeton Architectural Press

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Set on the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains on the northern-most perimeters of Tucson, Arizona, is the Ventana Canyon Residence. Five stories high, the secluded family home – which is coated in heavy-gauge steel – nestles itself against the uphill face of a cliff, its shadows stretching and receding in time with the motions of the sun. It is the work of American architect Rick Joy, whose practice is the topic of this publication entitled Studio Joy Works. Following on from Desert Works, which documents nine projects shaped inherently by their surrounding landscapes, Joy’s latest release celebrates the 25th anniversary of his firm, featuring a vast range of attention-grabbing structures, from houses in Vermont and California to his first public assignment, a railway station in Princeton, as well as international residences created in Caicos and Mexico. Contextualising these works are two introductory essays: one by Joy and the other by the renowned scholar Michael J Crosbie. The publication sets architecture in wider contexts of humanity, and that which we perceive in our everyday experience. Here, it is believed that there is a transcendental power in the act of living in a space: our memory of a place is shaped by its context, culture and surrounding nature – the belief that you can only gain a sense of a location when you take the time to fully immerse yourself in it is key according to Joy. “Beyond being an object for static photography, a

building becomes architecture when graciously enlivened,” he explains. “It is the stage for personal events where daily life and momentary dramas unfold in spaces that we design.” The building is therefore not simply a mirror that reflects the lived experience of its owners, but a dual force that can also directly alter a person’s perceptions. “Spaces condition behaviours as much as they are eventually conditioned by their inhabitants,” he reveals. “There is an ongoing exchange of vision and dream; it is shaped, messaged, reiterated, refined and reduced to its essence of an atmosphere in a crafted space.” What makes Studio Joy Works an enticing read is the expression and development of this underlying philosophy: the understanding that architecture is both a physical and an existential phenomenon today. An example of this theory in practice is the transit hall and market created for Princeton University, where “arriving and leaving are embedded in sequences of memorable threshold experiences that are grounded in the structural language that resonates with the local spirit of refinement.” Wrapped in concrete columns, the space features a slanted, blackened steel roof and a rectangular body. “The places we have been and that remain with us in our memory and imagination commune with the context, culture and nature of new sites,” explains Joy. In other words, we do not simply inhabit a space but rather, it takes its form within us.

Cultural Tourism DESTINATION ART

James Turrell, House of Light, 2000, 2891 Uenok, Tkamachi, Niigata 948-0122, Japan. Image: Echigo-Tsumari Art Field. Courtesy Pace Gallery. (C) James Turrell. Photo: Tsutomu Yamada.

Walking into Yayoi Kusama’s mind-boggling Infinity Room tails, but it’s not the same as experiencing them,” McCa- “The aim of the book at The Broad in Los Angeles feels like entering into an eter- rthy continues. For her, there is something to be gained by is simple: to provide nity of time and space. Surrounded by seemingly millions seeing a work of art in person: an appreciation of the three- a comprehensive guide of LED lights, flecks of blue, green and yellow bounce like dimensional characteristics and how the work is situated in to public art in city fireflies – ad infinitum – against acrylic panels and mirrored its surrounding environment. Take Abramović’s The Spirit of centres, parks and walls to create a sensation of endless repetition. Much like Mozart in Salzburg – which encourages visitors to sit in con- memorials designed her foray into polka dots, Kusama’s work centres on a feel- templation, whilst another chair is suspended above them. by prominent figures, ing of depersonalisation: to enter into one of these rooms is An image can only vaguely approximate: “The bodily expe- including Alexander rience of feeling your size and scale against these physical Calder, Jenny Holzer to lose yourself – or, in her words, to “self-obliterate.” and James Turrell.” “No image or text can make you understand what it is to components, and against the horizon and the sky.” Then there are the spaces in between A and B. By making feel those sensations,” says Bridget McCarthy, Editor of Destination Art: 500 Artworks worth the Trip, a new publication by the conscious effort to travel, the piece in question becomes Phaidon that provides a guide to contemporary sculptures a destination in its own right. Walking, driving or flying to and installations and how to find them. Divided into seven a piece of art becomes as integral to the experience as the regions – Australasia, Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, piece itself. This is where tourism plays a part in the appreNorth and South America – the featured pieces are grouped ciation of culture today – especially in such a globalised geographically, with country maps and GPS coordinates in- world where everything is at our fingertips. Whether this enterspersed throughout each section. The aim of the book is tails getting lost and discovering new sections of a city or simple: to provide a comprehensive guide to public art in simply being close to the people you travel with, the expericity centres, parks and memorials designed by prominent ence of the actual works is intrinsically tied up to the events Words figures – including Marina Abramović, Alexander Calder, on the lead-up to it. McCarthy concludes: “It’s an investment Gunseli Yalcinkaya Jenny Holzer and James Turrell – and perhaps, as a result, of time and energy in pursuit of something specific, and to encourage people to leave their smartphones, computers when you’re making a pilgrimage for art, the end result is, hopefully, the discovery and experience of something that Phaidon and books and to journey to see the real thing. “A photograph can capture physical and contextual de- is personally enriching or challenging or beautiful.”

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film reviews


A Moment in the Reeds MIKKO MAKELA

Returning to Finland from his studies in Paris to help renovate his parents’ run-down lakeside cottage, Leevi (Janne Puustinen) finds himself unexpectedly partnered with Syrian worker Tareq (Boodi Kabbani). Left alone when his father (Mika Melender) is called away on business, the duo share a series of confessional conversations and mutual experiences that lead to a growing intimacy which finds its full expression in an explosion of passion. Whilst there are obvious and relevant comparisons to be made with Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country – a story of the relationship between an isolated sheep farmer in the remote Yorkshire moors and a migrant worker – in that both stories share common ground and themes, Makela’s film arguably occupies a more idyllic landscape. The two men’s slow-burn romance is made all the more plausible here by hesitancy and initial awkwardness.

His father’s prolonged absences provide ample opportunity for Leevi’s relationship with Tareq to evolve. The liberating sexual abandon it lends to viewers is presented erotically, artfully and with a raw physicality that matches that of Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain. Meanwhile, the father’s suspicions are made material when Tareq outlines his love of theatre and ignorance of sport. It’s these ingrained prejudices that the film illuminates skilfully as it confounds white generational European assumptions about Middle Eastern men. Yet there is an overriding sense in this film that this is but an interlude – a fleeting moment in time – that these lovers will remember long into their lives. On that basis, this is a classic romance that crosses boundaries as cleanly as it shatters stereotypes and explodes myths. It bursts a bubble on so many levels.

Words Tony Earnshaw

Peccadillo Pictures



Ali Soozandeh’s rotoscoping animation Tehran Taboo focuses on the lives of three individuals to peer beneath the veneer of restrictive Iranian society. Having garnered acclaim as part of the International Critics’ Week section at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, the feature follows the story of single mum and sex worker Pari as she moves into an apartment with her mute son. Soon afterwards, she befriends her neighbour Sara, a middle-class mullah who seems to have an ideal family life. But she too hides her own secrets, and in Pari she finds an escape. Pari and Sara’s lives then intertwine with a struggling musician, who moves into the plot as a troubled individual forced to raise funds for an illegal operation, all in order to save the girl he loves. In this transgressive piece of filmmaking, Soozandeh reminds us of the wider power of cinema to reflect upon the contemporary


world and expose both truths and desires which, in today’s saturated culture, are often stifled by the weight of tradition and by the authoritarian status quo. By offering an imitation of Tehran, the strength of the film lies in its intriguing and emotive animation. Taking its viewers one further step away from realistic portrayal – and entering new worlds in doing so – the film accentuates the elements of both angst and humour. Soozandeh provides a striking example here of how the use of representation – as opposed to realism – can evoke a more visceral connection to the story being told, offering layers of conceptual and artistic depth. From the outset, Soozandeh exercises little restraint, crafting a memorable and original narrative of unlikely human connections that seems at once bemused comical and timely, within the absurdity of contemporary culture.

Words Paul Risker

Peccadillo Pictures

Reinventing Marvin ANNE FONTAINE

From the fashion biopic Coco Before Chanel (2009) to the Flaubert update Gemma Bovery (2014), French filmmaker Anne Fontaine’s CV is as eclectic as it is elegant. Her latest project is another leftfield turn – a queer coming-of-age tale about a young man from rural France. Inspired by writer Edouard Louis’ best-selling 2014 autobiography The End of Eddy, the film is a sensitive, poignant tale that boasts a strong lead turn from the French-English actor Finnegan Oldfield. Scripted by Fontaine and Pierre Trividic, Reinventing Marvin juxtaposes scenes from young Marvin’s early life with his years in Paris after he makes his escape from what is clearly a pretty miserable upbringing. As a youngster, Marvin (Jules Porier) is bullied by schoolmates and berated by his coarse father (Grégory Gadebois). His only escape is through drama, and a strict

school principal who shows him some encouragement. Cutting back and forth, the story also takes us to the older Marvin, played by Oldfield, in his 20s, where he joins a theatre troupe under the patronage of the older Roland (Charles Berling). This allows for one of the more eccentric elements of the film to take place, where Marvin – who has re-christened himself “Martin Clement” as a stage name – is introduced to the real-life figure of Isabelle Huppert. Playing herself, the famed French actress becomes an artistic flame for Martin / Marvin. Fontaine does occasionally lean into expected moments, like playing Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing, as if we hadn’t already realised that our protagonist is in deep need of finding his true self. Yet for all its indulgences, Fontaine’s camera gazes lovingly, but never lasciviously, at him as it stares deep into his soul. It is marvellous to watch.

Words James Mottram

Peccadillo Pictures

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music reviews



Hyper Super Mega is the eagerly anticipated third album from Chilean psychedelic duo, The Holydrug Couple. Following the release of second album Moonlust, Ives Sepúlveda Minho and Manuel Parra found themselves back at home with a feeling of exhaustion, both of the planet and of culture, drowning in the constant overuse of references and information that permeate fashion, literature and music. Amidst this feeling, the words “Hyper”, “Super” and “Mega” struck a chord, terms with origins steeped in history and mythology but which have come to represent the escalating superlatives of consumerism. Taking this ethos as a backdrop, the duo began to lay the foundations of the psych-pop drenched album that has become Hyper Super Mega. The title track, with a graceful and poetic wash of analogue electronica and psychedelic vocal effects, takes a reflective and dispar-


aging look at the state of the planet and a society which is overloaded with information, governed by immediacy, social media and global structures of consumption. At times recalling MGMT and Empire of the Sun, Sepúlveda and Parra have also strived to make this a classic pop album, with reference points to The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Fleetwood Mac. Several tracks, including the entrancing Ikebana Telephone Line, have sound effects that weave in and out, creating a nod to the sights and sounds of Chile. Two instrumental tracks – Lucifer’s Coat and Western Shade – take this concept further, deep meandering cuts that could fit on a film soundtrack. Although Hyper Super Mega doesn’t quite reach the intended “classic pop” status that its creators were aiming for, overall, it presents a capsule history of the band, offering a tantalising insight into what may be coming next.

Words Matt Swain

Sacred Bones Records

Matters FRÖST

Linking up in Brighton, the dynamic duo of synth-loving producer Steve Lewis and vocalist Johanna Bramli, who come from French and Swedish roots, meander through a set of 1980s-inspired pop influences. Straight edge in its execution and rarely straying from its course, Matters is equal parts Enya as it is Sebastian Tellier, the results all wrapped up in a production of electronic pleasantries. The highlight Éternelle is entirely in French, and flits around a charging up-tempo drum machine while evoking a little sultry Serge Gainsbourg-style spoken word for good measure. Keratin, meanwhile, is ambient electronica, and serves to drive up the emotive tension in the middle of an at-times floating project, with vocals that seem to live just aside from the rest of the production. Although this sense of disconnection between the elements is a factor that unhinges most of

this otherwise intriguing listen, the music teeters on the edge of a journey, alongside a slow delivery of lyrics. And, whilst the singing on Scars On The Lining just misses the sensual mark – veering instead towards spoken word – the instrumental anthemic buzz of Delta Antena awesomely hits the mark with its stabs of sound and dramatic computerised movement. Similarly, Matters plays like a modern take on the work of the Sneaker Pimps but without the roar or the sassy vocals, and instead it gets close to being psychedelic trip hop and almost magical in places (also present in the vocal break downs in Crackling on the Wire, for example). This hard-hitting tumultuous record presents the listener with enough to wonder what the duo will achieve in the next years to come – showing illuminating signs of something truly riotous, and waiting to come alive.

Words Kyle Bryony

Lost Room Records



Obey is the second album from multinational trio Annika Henderson, Hugo Quezada and Martin Thulin, who perform under the moniker Exploded View. Whilst these 10 songs share the same off-the-cuff feeling as the band’s self-titled debut, this record sees the musicians strip their production back, laying themselves bare in the process. Recorded live at their respective studios in Mexico City, each track has its own raw, visceral energy. The listening experience lands somewhere between an underground poetry slam and a messy punk gig in a no-good town. Second track Open Road kicks off with a 1960s-tinged guitar track that harks back to an America gone by: all dusty highways, hitchhiking and cola. It would feel dreamy if it weren’t for the background bubbling noises and off-kilter synths that shoot through the soundscape to create an unnerving, melancholic presence.

This unease is continued with the nervous energy of the Echo and the Bunnymen-esque Gone Tomorrow. It’s all video game samples and an undulating bassline worthy of any troubled 1980s pop group or David Lynch soundtrack. However, the structure of the song takes the trio out of pop territory as the chorus never arrives. Instead, we are left with verse after verse of a stream of consciousness poetry, as the melody crashes like waves. The band’s improvisational spirit extends to their lyrics too. On Obey, we hear threatening commands above a chaotic whirlwind of sound. It’s almost Dada. Whilst the genre is near impossible to pin down, the album’s emotional arc is clearer: we swing from melancholy through hysteria to a quiet final rage on fuzzy punk closer Rant. This raw emotion, alongside their quirky production, has given this trio a new edge.

Words Grace Caffyn

Sacred Bones Records

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book reviews


Shaping Cities in an Urban Age RICKY BURDETT AND PHILIPP RODE

Cities have always been home to new innovations: from writing to religion, music to labour unions. Today, these leaps may be more along the lines of robotics and AI, but urban environments are still where major social changes are initiated. This also means they are where macro-economic processes and global shifts are felt immediately. Yet where such forces intersect, solutions are all the more measurable. That is why The Urban Age project has conducted research in some of the largest and most complex locations worldwide, including London, Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai, Istanbul, Lagos and Tokyo, in order to better understand global dynamics. This third publication in a series from LSE Cities Centre dedicates chapters to the factors shaping these metropolitan centres: emergence, power, uncertainty, constraints and intervention. As resourceful for architects and policy-makers as it


Words Sarah Jilani


Ravens & Red Lipstick LENA FRITSCH

Ravens & Red Lipstick is the first chronological overview of Japanese photography to be published in English. Interspersed with original artist interviews, Lena Fritsch’s vivid commentary and nuanced scholarship contextualise the influential characters, important works and entangled political movements of a fascinating history. The narrative opens in the post-war years when Japan’s visual language was dominated by photojournalist imagery of scorched cities and traumatised citizens. In the subsequent period of reconstruction, Fritsch shows how a more sensitive realism emerged, witnessed in Ken Dōmon’s close-ups of the seated Buddha or Shōji Ueda’s sand dune dreamscapes. Fritsch goes on to dissect how in the 1950s and 1960s an increasing interest in photographic discourse – disseminated through camera clubs, independent magazines and art schools – coincided with an appetite for new


is for anyone interested in how we live now, this book results from 15 years of study, in a collaboration with 50 academic institutions and municipal authorities in 40 cities. As a depository of a wider human experience, it enlightens on everything from climate to crime to culture. As a data-driven study, it has a proven takeaway: civic participation is key to defining metropolitan problems; while design is key to providing the right solutions. City transformation is a mid- to long-term process. Hidden agendas, politics and quick wins will usually have unsustainable outcomes. There is no one-size-fits-all solution; for instance, the kind of sustainable growth that a mid-sized European city pursues cannot be realistically expected from a rapidly-industrialising Asian city. This new book, in asking the right questions and answering some of them, shows that our future is interdependent.

modes of expression; Kikuji Kawada’s black and white depictions of cigarette cartons and Coke bottles are presented alongside Shōmei Tōmatsu’s portrait of a girl blowing a chewing gum bubble. Eikoh Hosoe’s dramatically composed nude of a man, woman and octopus exudes eroticism, brutality and desire. These iconic artists opened the door for a new kind of photographic freedom in the latter half of the 20th century: Kōhei Yoshiyuki’s softcore voyeurism in Tokyo parks, Daidō Moriyama’s experiments in light, materiality and printing, and third wave feminist and punk photographers such as Yurie Nagashima whose naked portraits explored gender and the female body. The survey culminates with a selection of contemporary photographers such as Hiroshi Sugimoto, Ryūdai Takano and Yasumasa Morimura. Fritsch offers predictions for the future, allowing the images to speak for themselves.

Words Verity Seward

Thames & Hudson

Atlas of Brutalist Architecture PHAIDON EDITORS

Across civic buildings, residential areas and cultural institutions, Brutalist architecture is universally recognisable and often controversial. Harnessing the raw power of concrete, the movement – established in the post-war years as a riposte to Modernism – foregrounds a rugged, monumental approach to urban planning deeply rooted in utopian idealism. Phaidon’s new publication looks to the past, present and future of the style, revaluating the timeline and examining a deeper geopolitical context. Revealing its global reach and continued influence, the publication offers 850 classic and contemporary examples of existing and demolished buildings. In doing so, it highlights a pervasive trajectory, positioning Brutalism as a continually evolving tradition. Each case study is illustrated by striking imagery and compelling text, whilst revealing a meaning far beyond the provocative aesthetics.

The book navigates more than 100 countries to showcase celebrated examples in the UK and USA as well as lesser-known buildings in Europe, Asia, Australia and further afield. Placing contributions from renowned 20th century names such as Lina Bo Bardi, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright alongside contemporary icons such as David Chipperfield, Jean Nouvel, OMA, Renzo Piano and Zaha Hadid, it demonstrates the legacy of Brutalism and how its philosophy can be reinvented for our century. In this way, Phaidon offers readers new perspectives on their everyday surroundings, encouraging individuals to re-evaluate the built environment. Tapping into the aestheticisation of the Brutalist movement on social media, this intriguing tome repositions and reinvents 20th century icons – many of which are derelict, abandoned or scheduled for demolition – to foster new appreciation.

Words Eleanor Sutherland


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A Prize for representational painting with an increased Prize fund totalling £35,000

LYNN PAINTERSTAINERS PRIZE 2019 CALL FOR ENTRIES Deadline: 3 December 2018, 5pm Image: Tessa Coleman, Roof Life Mercer Street, Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2018

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Art. Architecture. Design. Fashion. Photography.

Subscribe & Save 30% 12 months from ÂŁ20.95 + p&p. Available in both print and digital formats. 152 Aesthetica

artists’ directory

ABStudio ABRAMOVICH PATRICIA Patricia Abramovich’s paintings are inspired by the merging of colour and the rhythms of applying shapes to a blank canvas. Developing these ideas further, Abramovich launched ABStudio, a textile design and fashion brand that focuses on wearable art, sharing the aesthetics and meditative process of painting through bold, colourful prints. Instagram: @abramovichp

DIANA STOREY MOSAICS Sheffield-based Diana Storey works within schools and local community centres, designing and creating mosaic projects, as well as running public workshops. She notes: ”Mosaic is such an inclusive and exciting art form – it engages a wide range of people.” During the process of making the work, Storey draws upon nature, poetry, fairy tales and mythology.

DAGMAR DOST-NOLDEN Czech-born, Cologne-based artist Dagmar Dost-Nolden is a painter, sculptor and performer. Her work is radically subjective and individual, communicating a sense of freedom. Often it shows a fusion between contemporary media as well as environment and space, abstraction and figuration.

XIAOWEI CHEN Xiaowei Chen works in the USA and China. She is known for dense and intricate drawings in figuration and abstraction. Current focus is placed on large-scale drawings and sculptures which explore the interconnectivity between natural environments, disasters and human thought. Chen was awarded an Artadia Art Foundation Award in 2007 and an Arte Laguna Prize in 2017. Her works are collected and exhibited in New York, Boston, Chicago, the UK, Italy and China.

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abbey corbin

Aliona Kostyukova

Abbey Corbin is fascinated by the idea of reimagining everyday objects to invite new ways of perceiving the world around us. She is particularly interested in transforming overlooked domestic objects, here warping metal dish racks into new shapes and volumes. These forgotten objects take on an anthropomorphic character within the ''feminine sphere.'' I Instagram: @abbeycorbin

Aliona Kostyukova investigates liminal states and dualities – such as crossroads and corridors, subjectivity and objectivity – through archetypes and mythology. The interactive installation Folding Screen recreates these psychological and organic phenomena through the use of alternating, opposing spaces. Kostyukova is a graduate of Chelsea College of Arts at UAL. I Instagram: @ aliona_delaet_choto

Andrew Harrison

daniel holfeld

Incorporating elements from the surrounding urban environment, London-based Andrew Harrison organises layers, dimensions and colours with a fascinating sense of geometric order. Reducing metropolitan details down to their simplest forms, strong, solid lines cut through dynamic shapes as a render of the material world. | Instagram: @andrewharrison1979

After more than 10 years of working as a fine art and fashion photographer, the Morocco series is a breakaway from the style traditionally associated with Daniel Holfeld. Deeply moved by his experience of Arab culture whilst on location, his work explores dark and light, the intimate and the public. Holfeld will exhibit the series at The Other Art Fair in London, 4-7 October at Victoria House, Stand 2.

Duša Jesih

elke hirsch

Living and working in Ljubljana, Duša Jesih is interested in structural abstraction and colour theory. The Between the Lines series ruminates around black and white, balancing compositions as experimentations with geometry, line and form, and providing a dynamic visual playground where striped and repeated patterns adhere to the viewer’s sense of curiosity. I Instagram: @dusa.jesih

Elke Hirsch crafts dishes from certified European precious wood at her studio in Bruchsal, Germany. These unique pieces are characterised by size, weight and surface design, revealing annual rings of the trees from which they were made. Hirsch is a German Design Award 2018 nominee. She will exhibit her work at Zeughausmesse Berlin, 6-9 December.

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ewa Piotrowska

feng zhixuan

Ewa Piotrowska is a UK-based artist whose work is influenced by a Polish upbringing and oscillates between socio-political issues. Through installations, oil and mixed-media paintings, she explores the human condition in a contemporary world. Her recent works address the idea of female oppression in the harsh reality of a society dominated by the rule of the Catholic Church.

Based between China and the UK, Feng Zhixuan specialises in socialist public art. Having studied Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London, Zhixuan has since crafted a series of works that critically engage with the world around us, whilst establishing an inventive and multidimensional aesthetic. The work shown here is from the Day Day Sanatorium series. I Instagram: @feng.zhixuan

hua wang

Jovanna Tosello

Utilising clay materials, Hua Wang applies drawing, painting, sculpture and video to echo the ways in which family stories and social events are woven into an autobiographical structure. Part of a generation of Chinese artists who grew up during rapid urbanisation, Hua notes: “With gender and hierarchy, there is often more to these than meets the eye.” I Instagram: @huawang_wanghua

Brazilian-American illustrator and animator Jovanna Tosello is based in New York. Her award-winning freelance pieces are characterised by bright, bold designs which convey movement. Her clients include The New York Times, Condé Nast, Comedy Central and Tokyo Broadcasting. The piece shown here is an editorial illustration of composer Rosemary Brown. | Instagram: @ jovannananana

louise galea

ragnar b. varga

In an age where society is centred around the dissemination of visual media, Louise Galea’s works traverse a line between fine art and the human condition, documenting icons from today's culture within new contexts; between what we see and don’t see, what is shared or kept secret, public versus private. The work shown here is entitled Lost in Translation. I Instagram: @artlouisegalea

Ragnar B. Varga is an award-winning photographer based in Bergen, Norway. Known for a distinct monochrome aesthetic, each image is a reflection upon global environments – where detail lies within architectural structures and anonymous passers-by. Embracing light and shadows encountered whilst living abroad, the work shown here is from the Lost in Spain series. I Instagram: @ragnarbvarga

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

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Geometry in Pink. Acrylic paint and mixed media, 40cm x 40cm.

artists’ directory

sandra morellato Montreal-born Sandra Morellato has a degree in architecture from McGill University; training to draw landscapes and cityscapes has had a profound effect on her paintings. Bold shapes, shadows and highlights depict a vivacious lust for life. Working full-time as an artist, Morellato's pieces can be found in international public and private collections. | Instagram: artmorellato

sara lee roberts

Terrance Keenan

Searching for a presence – human or otherwise – Sara Lee Roberts’s abstract and figurative paintings play with space and light, sitting somewhere between concept and abstraction. Minimal yet haunting, each piece searches for something between the fold or behind the shapes. A faculty member at the Royal Drawing School in London, she has shown in numerous exhibitions.

Artist, writer and Zen Buddhist monk Terrance Keenan spends every day trying to put into form that which cannot be seen or spoken. Inspired by The Blue Cliff Record, a collection of kōans, Keenan has created an artist's book, using the pages as a space to explore the expression of Buddhism – visual stories, dialogues and symbols within the journey to awakening.

Liberty’s X Escape by Brooklyn Bridge, 2015. Digital.

roland blum Liechtenstein-based Roland Blum specialises in abstract aerial photography. His latest series Poetry of Silence was created in the Sperrgebiet, a diamond mining area in the Namib Desert. Blum believes that to those in a hurry, the desert will appear grey and desolate. For the sensitive and patient viewer, however, it will reveal itself as a most uplifting landscape, ranging from sublime subtleties to dramatic colour highlights.

vincent da vinci


UK-based Vincent da Vinci is known for an abstract use of Post-Pop Art lines superimposed with playable wordsearches. Pushing the boundaries of digital and conceptual art, his most recent series Flags of the World communicates with viewers through linguistics, semiotics and cryptography. Additional series include Celebrity Stars, Disasters of War and War on Terror.

Yulia Iosilzon produces fragmented narratives across large-scale works; through the grotesque, burlesque, irony and humour, silk and cotton paintings communicate both delicacy and bold themes. Creating an intriguing disconnect between form and concept, illustration, fashion and theatre are used as childlike renders of identity today. | Instagram: yuliaiosilzonart

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abdelkarim lagder

Amale Freiha Khlat

An emerging painter specialising in abstraction, UK-based Abdelkarim Lagder highlights the complexities of colour and shape as endless possibilities for experimentation. The artist works with tension across the canvas – between boundless conceptual spaces and physical limitations within the composition. Each colourful piece is an investigation of the push-pull in artistic processes.

Amale Freiha Khlat’s research translates the memory of war, with the imperative to create ties between destruction and creation. Her installations play with viewer perception and remind them that looking – as opposed to seeing – is based upon selection and exclusion. In The Testimony of a Refugee I: Question Time, Khlat investigates the spectacle of war as an observer, director and actor.

amber gosden

annelie Carlström

As a multidisciplinary artist, Amber Gosden utilises both photographs and drawings as visual investigations of diverse environments and realities. Currently exploring the boundaries of traditional processes such as printmaking and paper folding, she considers the relevance of materials in the digital age. Gosden won the 2018 Aesthetica York St John Degree Show Award. Instagram: @ambergosdenart

Award-winning artist Annelie Carlström lives and works in Stockholm. A graduate of Beckmans College of Design, she works with a number of high profile clients on editorial, pattern and package design projects. Carlström's detailed illustrations – created with pencil – combine naturalism with naivety, seriousness and humour. Instagram: @anneliecarlstromillustration

Brigitte Yoshiko Pruchnow Munich-based artist Brigitte Yoshiko Pruchnow experiments with multimedia to blend analogue methods with a Japanese heritage, playing with light and shadow. Detailed, contrasting works sit between realism and experimentation – raising the awareness of the optical experience. Pruchnow presents the Back Portrait series at Kultüren 2018 in Munich, 6-7 October. Instagram: @brigitteyoshikopruchnow

Human, February 2018. Ink on tracing paper, 200cm x 90cm.

brigitte lurton Upon completion of a two-year project involving a 58-metre frieze, Brigitte Lurton’s most recent pieces draw upon life-size human forms. Using ink and tracing paper, she searches for what makes us who we are, breaking down the barriers between us and confronting viewers with cross-cultural connections and bodily similarities.

Caterina Lombardi

Cecilie Neumann Hansen

UK-based Caterina Lombardi strives to create highly conceptual photographs, with the aim to encourage conversations about difficult ideas, including issues surrounding women's suffering, climate change and understanding loss. The Satis series encourages conversation about women’s rights through the use of images inspired by vanitas still-life paintings. Instagram and Twitter: @caterinalomb

Having graduated from The Glasgow School of Art this year, Danish artist Cecilie Neumann Hansen currently produces photographs that combine analogue film with darkroom printing, creating sculptural and imaginary interpretations of the land. Seeking remote areas – with no human presence – Hansen pursues a quiet state of mind, removed from populated surroundings. Instagram: @cecilieneumann

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

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artists’ directory

Charlotte Fraigneau

christopher perrett

Approaching concepts such as the mental, physical and emotional responses to feeling overwhelmed, Charlotte Fraigneau’s fine art photography series Deluge translates the literal experience of drowning, being buried alive and being set on fire into figurative environments. The images illustrate the feeling of time slowing down as one travels through heavy affliction. Instagram:

UK-based artist and designer Christopher Perrett creates clock sculptures using wood from reclaimed or sustainable sources. Inspired by the shapes and forms found in nature, he considers the influence of time on daily life. Traditional materials are balanced by the inclusion of modern quartz movements. Perrett accepts commissions for bespoke pieces.

Christina Galbiati

Ciara Gowing

Christina Galbiati is passionate about emphasising the importance of tangible communication. Paper and printed word are the main catalysts – juxtaposing chaotic patterns with reduced form via collage. The result is a subtle homage to craft and pop art with contemporary allure. A graphic designer by trade, Galbiati also teaches design at university level in the USA.

Drawing connections to conceptual and commercial photography, Ciara Gowing is inspired by 21st century environments. A new project, entitled Over the Line, draws attention to curved or straight lines that indicate a journey from A to B. Navigating a sense of travel and connection, the series considers human pathways. cgphotography710

Demi Bromfield London-based artist Demi Bromfield explores the world of painting and abstraction. Manipulating the notion of haptic criticism, her pieces encompass an ambivalent illusion of texture and façade, harnessing elements of raised and flat surfaces. The work adopts a conflicting balance between realism and abstraction, painting and sculpture, with a reference to photography and the emerging digital age. Instagram: @d.bromfield

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Behold, I'm coming soon. Oil on board, 42cm x 60cm.

d.O.M. Expressive and unapologetically bold, D.O.M.’s new My Queendom series seeks to liberate women from representational constraints by tackling stigmas. She notes: "I develop a framework that uses VR as a new approach in sharing artistic experiences.'' Live streaming of the opening night on Friday 5 October can be seen at:

donna gough

Dragos Burghiu

Highlighting the spaces between the real and the referential, Donna Gough's works build upon a conceptual framework alluding to Vedic philosophy, quantum thinking and spatial perception. Linking drawing, sculpture, installation and light-based media, Gough's practice is an enquiry into the unknown, and the illusion of time within our consciousness.

Dragos Burghiu views art as a border between the known and unknown. Through abstract expressionism, he explores the idea of how the viewer can relate to a painting. He notes: ''By showing highly abstracting figures and landscapes, there is a space for ambiguity which allows me to ask the question: where does art lose its borders?'' Instagram: @dragosburghiu

Elaine Duncan

eleni tsamadia

Santa Fe-based Elaine Duncan incorporates the act of dance into her art practice. By partnering with the media and the canvas, painting becomes a physical act of rhythm, texture, surface and subsurface, always moving, always in flux. Contradiction, irony, negative and positive shapes are excavated by masking or scratching through the paint, revealing hidden surfaces in her work.

Based in Athens, Eleni Tsamadia addresses complex ideas through performance, video, sculpture and installation. Her latest pieces investigate how the body can be transformed through emotion and sentiment. Jump in the Line uses alienated humanlike figures to represent silent forms of failure and desire.

emily morgan

Esra Kizir Gokcen

Beneath the Surface began with a documentation of models in their homes – an attempt to move away from what is seen in magazines. Morgan notes: “As the project developed, it became apparent that the images reflected something beyond the surface and unknowingly, I had begun to make photographs that reflected as much of myself as the sitter. The portraits denote a sense of fragility and ambiguity.” Instagram: @emilygrace_morgan

Esra Kizir Gokcen's practice is focused on exploring the daily conflicts in urban life and their effects on human attitudes and behaviour. Acrylic ink is her primary medium, which allows for bold colours to express spontaneity and symbolism. Gokcen's latest work can be viewed at The Other Art Fair in London, 4-7 October at Victoria House, Stand 112. Instagram: @ekg_art_studio

Gabriella Parisi

Giulia Parlato

After studying scenography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, multidisciplinary artist and academic Gabriella Parisi has exhibited her works widely, including at the Venice Biennale in 2011. Currently, Parisi is working within the parameters of glitch art and neuroscience. Her latest research is a documentary exploring string theory and the fourth dimension.

Currently pursuing a master’s degree in Photography at the Royal College of Art, Giulia Parlato centres her work around Sicilian culture and a sense of loss, referencing ancient archetypes and mythologies. Each piece combines study in history, philosophy and semiotics. Parlato notes: "I am interested in how the meaning of symbols changes over centuries to adjust to contemporary society." Instagram: @giuliaparlato

Hasti Sardashti

Houda Bakkali

Iranian-born Hasti Sardashti is based in London. Her work addresses experiences of migration and a life in perpetual motion. Making art, often based on selfportraits, is a vital practice in order to maintain a sense of stability, calm and fluidity. Sardashti believes that in a world in constant flux, art offers both a home and a space to express one’s authentic self.

Beautiful African Woman is the new series by Barcelona-based Houda Bakkali. The artist seeks to pay homage to her African heritage though a straightforward and vibrant concept. Striving for colour and balance, the featured image is based upon digital illustration and graphic design techniques. Bakkali's work was most recently exhibited at Artistes du Monde 2018 in Cannes. Instagram: @hbakkali_

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

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artists’ directory

il sun moon

laura carter

UK-based Il Sun Moon is a multidisciplinary visual designer whose practice includes installation art, design and interactive visualisation. Posing questions about contemporary media and cultural representation, her works consider the impact of digital environments, where spaces can become interactive and communication is rewritten through motion and gesture.

Laura Carter has long been interested in materials and the process of image-making: how a photograph becomes an object. The Shoreline series began whilst Carter was studying at Bath Spa University. Shot in Weston-super-Mare, the landscape compositions look at absence as presence – what is left behind.

mark edmonds

Megan Ogley

Mark Edmonds is based at the historic Spode Works in Stoke-on-Trent, UK. Inspired by the post-industrial surroundings, he combines paint and raw materials in a fusion of iridescent colour, with contrasting base layers of fabricated texture and themes relating to personal events. He notes: “I attempt to capture my internal world and bring it into the ‘reality’ of the viewer.” Instagram: @markedmondsart Twitter: Mark_Edmonds_Ar

Specialising in both medical and scientific themes, Megan Ogley’s photographs document the world around us, communicating the diverse spectrum of humanity and the power of individuals. Demonstrating remarkable strength, the Capability series questions the definition of disability, focusing on the achievements of those with prosthetic limbs. Instagram: @meganogleyphotography

Miriam Griffiths Knitwear

Mohsen Modiri

London College of Fashion graduate Miriam Griffiths has built an awardwinning, small-scale knitwear label based in Sheffield. All pieces are created from high quality, locally sourced natural materials. The contemporary collections are designed, knitted and finished by Griffiths in her atelier at Yorkshire Artspace’s Exchange Place Studios.

Iran-based Mohsen Modiri is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice includes visual art, music and literature. His painting style is rooted in abstract expressionism, with earth and water as primary subjects. Modiri's work has been exhibited throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Upcoming exhibitions include Chester Arts Fair, 16-18 November. Instagram: @art_mohsenmodiri Instagram: @mgknit

molly behagg Molly Behagg works with historical and alternative photographic processes to explore light, colour and architectural space. She is interested in the roles that memory and photography play in constructing our experience of the present. Behagg is exhibiting in Obsolete and Discontinued, a collaborative photographic project on show at Waterstones on Gower Street in London, until 27 October. 160 Aesthetica

Ocean loren Baulcombe-Toppin Ocean Loren utilises fine art practices to explore ontology – the philosophical study of being. Her current series, (A Mapping of) The Way Things Go, comprises over 600 instinctively-made monotypes produced on graph paper. The prints are considered "diagrammatical fossils", fluctuating between seeing and understanding.

Oliver Martyn

Rebecca Shears

Oliver Martyn is an artist currently based in London. Recently graduating from the Slade School of Fine Art, Martyn attempts to shatter the "seriousness" of art and its history through humorous and absurd interventions, underpinned by a distinctive British sensibility. The work shown here is entitled Doormat. Martyn's work will be exhibited at The Other Art Fair in London, 4-7 October at Victoria House.

Intrigued by the process of photography, Rebecca Shears’s pieces evoke an eerie and almost melancholy sentiment. Referencing artists such as Julia Margaret Cameron, Shears focuses on lens-based media as a way to explore the notion of time and photographs existing as tangible, physical objects. Instagram: @RebeccaShearsPhotography rebeccashearsphotography

Santiago Ribeiro

Siobhan Purdy

Santiago Ribeiro has been a professional artist for the past 35 years. In that time, he has achieved worldwide recognition, with surrealist works featured in museums, galleries and perhaps most notably in Times Square. Ribeiro is currently organising the 2018 International Surrealism Now exhibition in Coimbra, Portugal, from 17 November until January 2019.

Born and raised in Cornwall, Siobhan Purdy paints in oils, building history through the layers of colour and alluding to memory and familial relationships. Offering a sense of vulnerability, the structure and composition of each canvas mimics childlike qualities, delving into personalities and caricatures to make sense of emotion. The piece shown here is entitled King Fishing.

sue mann

tanja nyo

Sue Mann’s Skin series is concerned with close examination of architectural structures and the sensory experience of touch. The monochrome project comprises drawings made on translucent paper that are activated by natural light. Mann’s works are on display as part of Forms Assembled in the Light: The KPP Prize for Art, Architecture + Design exhibition at Sunny Bank Mills Gallery in Leeds until 28 October.

Movement pervades the works of Finnish painter Tanja Nyo. Revelling in a sense of fluidity and bodily rhythms, she creates imperfect shapes with oil colours, highlighting the individuality of the human form, whilst questioning the viewer’s perception of beauty. Nyo notes: "The imperfectionism opens up new meanings for both myself and the viewer." Instagram: @tanjanyo

tolmie macrae

yunhan liu

Tolmie MacRae is an Australianborn, Germany-based video artist. In his current series of video work Transimmanence, the subjects’ movements and actions fold in upon themselves, such that past and present meet in various layers, generating visual and temporal abstraction in the moment and the body. Instagram: @roguesimian

Yunhan Liu concentrates on the interactive dialogue between audiences and environments, based on the notion of the sublime. In Horizon, sunsets are used as a model for spiritual and visual experiences – the work invites the viewer to reengage in this artificial phenomenon and to renegotiate the way they perceive nature through simulacra. Instagram: @y_unhan

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

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#30, from the series Silence, 2015. Courtesy of Gabriela Torres Ruiz.

last words

Gabriela Torres Ruiz Artist

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In my practice, I try to demonstrate how the concept of silence can be captured by photography – translating a sonorous experience into visual representation. I am interested in the poetic interplay between light, colour and space, juxtaposing landscapes and interiors and drawing upon the contrasts that make up the world around us. The buildings’ decay makes reference to the inevitable cycle between architecture and nature – where the organic world eventually reclaims the environment. Silence is on display at Galerie im Tempelhof Museum, Berlin, until 7 November and is part of the European Month of Photography 2018. Her book of the same name is published by Hatje Cantz. Torres Ruiz was shortlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize in 2016. |

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