THE ART & CULTURE MAGAZINE
Issue 89 June / July 2019
DESIGN AS POSSIBILITY
The endurance of minimalism as a key trend and creative catalyst
Magnum Photos redefines genre with bold fashion collaborations
Les Rencontres d’Arles marks half a century with eco-conscious exhibits
Daan Roosegaarde is cleaning the planet with interactive installations
UK £5.95 Europe €11.95 USA $15.49
On the Cover Hard sunlight. Bright contrasts. Desolate landscapes. Dutch-Croatian photographer Sanja Marušić creates worlds of irrationality and juxtaposition, drawing upon surrealist concepts and playful storytelling. Characters are embedded within their surroundings like props. www.sanjamarusic.com (p. 90).
Cover Image: Sanja Marušić, Flowers in December, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.
I’m fascinated by trends. How do they start and when they become the norm? When does a consumer product turn into an essential item? How do we move from wanting something to needing something? I am not a materialistic person. I never have been. I used to find great joy in going to vintage and second-hand stores, upscaling clothing and items to create something that was entirely unique. Being the type of person that was not following trends in the consumer sense, I never developed that urge to constantly “upgrade.” However, what really interests me is how entire societies can shift their desires – from gadgets, clothing and interiors to ideas, concepts and thoughts. Why do trends have so much power over us? This issue looks at change, longevity, sustainability and impact. This year’s Rencontres d’Arles celebrates its 50th anniversary. Given the ubiquity of photography today – due to accessible platforms and changes in communication from written to visual – it’s remarkable that in 1969 this festival was launched. Photography was still fighting for its place in the artistic landscape; in 2019 it is firmly placed. The festival considers the environmental crisis at a point of global awakening. The UN has just reported that one million species may go extinct; Greta Thunberg is inspiring nations through her speeches. In architecture, we survey white as a design choice. It’s a tone that can be either a void – hostile and clinical – or a space for imagination. The feature explores how minimalism has endured. Meanwhile, Magnum Photos is synonymous with photojournalism, but the next generation of photographers is redefining genre, moving into editorial collaborations and using documentary techniques to change the way that fashion is perceived in the present day. In photography subtlety is key – using shapes, light and colour to encourage self-reflection. Vishal Marapon, Lydia Whitmore, Andrea Torres Balaguer, Clemens Ascher, Beate Sonnenberg, Letizia Le Fur and Sanja Marušić present a range of images exploring both personal and universal narratives. Finally, we speak with Paul Moorhouse, Curator at the National Portrait Gallery, about a Cindy Sherman retrospective. Cherie Federico
Art 16 Regular Features This edition covers LOOK Photo Biennial, Kraków Photomonth Festival and a survey of women war photographers at Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf.
24 Complex Sequences Clemens Ascher’s works are graphically reduced, using soft palettes that draw the viewer in before revealing unsettling and unexpected narratives.
36 Exploring Geopolitics Rencontres d'Arles celebrates its 50th edition with an engaged programme that considers the state of the planet after decades of mass consumption.
42 Playful Abstraction Beate Sonnenberg draws upon light and colour, revelling in plastic yellows, whites and blues in geometric still lifes that use everyday materials.
54 Painterly Aesthetics Letizia Le Fur's photographs are poetic, formally considered and laden with sensory markers. Skin, glass and grass are captured as textural details.
66 Limitless Imagination Daan Roosegaarde builds a world of possibilities in which algae lights up streets, smog becomes jewellery and space debris turns into fireworks.
72 Layered Portraiture Andrea Torres Balaguer's portraits feature delicate white objects. Glasses of milk, pearls and teacups line up as metaphoric objects inside quiet realism.
84 Beyond Expectations Magnum Photos takes fashion out of the studio and into the real world with a series of editorials that push the boundaries of genre and technique.
90 Human Encounters Hard sunlight. Bright contrasts. Desolate planes. Sanja Marušić's images are filled with irrationality and juxtaposition, offering surreal storytelling.
104 Decoding the Metropolis Vancouver-based artist Vishal Marapon connects to changing cities through the lens of expansion; hyperreal buildings are part of anonymous streets.
114 Reflective Architecture Minimalism is timeless; stripped-back aesthetics provide a blank page of possibility. A series of white buildings uncovers the beauty of simplicity.
120 Inquisitive Photography Lydia Whitmore's portfolio is filled with bright, seamless commissions for a number of brands including Tom Ford, Dr Martens and Moschino.
130 Gallery Reviews Coverage on Tyler Mitchell's first solo show at Foam Amsterdam, William Eggleston at David Zwirner and Jenny Holzer at Guggenheim Bilbao.
134 The Digital Epoch Searching Eva screens at Sheffield Doc/Fest, a film that captures the everyday life of Eva Collé, an online vagabond that shares everything.
136 Inspiration from Elsewhere Cate Le Bon has built a career on crisp, angular fretwork and inventive, deadpan narratives. Her most recent album is entitled Reward.
138 Symbols of Idealism To live in a cabin is synonymous with the idea of being with nature; it is loaded with a romanticism. A new title foregrounds self-sustaining homes.
152 Inside This Issue Across oil paintings, photography, sculpture and design, those featured in this edition investigate shifting identities and changing perspectives.
162 Cindy Sherman Paul Moorhouse, Curator at the National Portrait Gallery, discusses Sherman's major retrospective, which spans 40 years of iconic masquerade.
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Stefanie Moshammer, Rosele e Adriano, 2016. From the series Land of Black Milk.
Image as Mechanism KRAKÓW PHOTOMONTH For its 17th year, Kraków Photomonth takes the headline Like winner of the C/O Berlin Talent Award and nominee of the ING “Moshammer examines We Like It. Powerfully exerting the pronoun “we”, the festival Unseen Talent Award – presents works from Land of Black Milk. the city’s profound refers, collectively, to both admirers and those working in The series is based around the tumultuous period in Rio de transformation the field of photography from around the world, celebrating Janeiro prior to the 2016 Summer Olympics. Developed over from an unexpected the power of the image. Amongst the key shows in the the course of her stay in Rio, Moshammer examines the city’s perspective, dwelling main programme is a new project from Anna Orłowska (b. profound transformation from an unexpected perspective, upon construction 1986). Pompier, Muck, Socrococo explores Poland’s post-war dwelling upon construction materials, bold perfumed colours materials, bold perfumed colours architecture – rife with contradictions between its socialist and shadows through high-contrast, high-saturation images. Elsewhere, at the Museum of Photography's Strzelnica and shadows through present and nostalgia for the grand castles and palaces of a feudal past. The exhibition, at the MOCAK Museum of Building, Curator Wojciech Nowicki encourages audiences to high-contrast, highContemporary Art, looks at the model socialist district Nowa reconsider how photography might be pigeonholed. Cloud saturation images.” Huta created around the Lenin Steelworks on the outskirts of brings attention back to areas of the discipline that might Kraków. The fortress-like administrative headquarters, known have fallen out of favour or fashion, whilst uncovering new as The Doge’s Palace, are thrown into juxtaposition with the "accidental" approaches: unexpected grading or mistakes. Communist-era Poland is the central focus of Joanna nearby 19th century manor house of painter Jan Matejko. You Are What You Eat – also featured in the main programme Helander’s (b. 1948) portfolio, which can be seen at the at Bunkier Sztuki – brings together six artists who turn their Ethnographic Museum. Her work is often compared to the focus onto our relationship with food. The show draws upon famous Sociological Record project of Zofia Rydet; Helander the digitised, beauty-obsessed landscape where recipes and travelled through cities, towns and villages to document daily diet trends have become moral status claims or ideological life, employing a sharp sense of humour to expose the many badges, set against inspirational blogs and Instagram posts. absurdities of the everyday in the Polish People’s Republic. Underneath the images lie the broader implications of the Yet it is a reality from which the artist, having emigrated to Various venues, Kraków food industry for the environment and animal welfare – Sweden, had become detached. The show highlights women Until 23 June conversations rising to the surface of media discourse today. who were closest to the artist as she constructed an identity At Nuremberg House, Stefanie Moshammer (b. 1988) – through a web of relationships across the countries. www.photomonth.com
Balancing the Scales WOMEN WAR PHOTOGRAPHERS
Susan Meiselas, Searching travelling all travelers, Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua, 1978. Inkjet print 50cm x 70cm. © Susan Meiselas / Magnum Photos.
“Women’s contribution to war photography has not received to raw directness.” It is not a place for feeds or shares. “The curators point The pieces range from the 1930s to the present day – via out the importance adequate recognition,” says Kunstpalast Director Felix Krämer. The institution’s latest exhibition attempts to rectify Vietnam and the Middle East. However, it is the stories of the of events such as this this situation by bringing together around 140 works by practitioners which are the crux of the show. Lee Miller (1907- in identifying and eight figures who have covered conflicts across the past 80 1977), for example, was one of the few women to be ac- extracting significant years. Although these names provide just a small portion of credited as a correspondent during WWII. Having begun her photographs from this a long history of women photographers who walked out on career as a model for Vogue, she moved behind the camera, saturation of images the front lines – creating memorable images that define the becoming a collaborator, lover and muse to Man Ray. At the and allowing them to public’s perception of war – this show expands upon these outbreak of war, she became a photojournalist, covering the be properly considered eight women. It looks at an unrelenting commitment to the London Blitz, the liberation of Paris and both Buchenwald as works of art.” truth, balancing the scales of representation. As the exhibi- and Dachau concentration camps, as well as being one of the tion notes, women photographers have often been more suc- first to enter Hitler’s private apartments in Munich. Gerda Taro was the collaborator of Robert Capa. In fact the cessful at winning the trust of families in areas of conflict, and been allowed into their homes whilst under threat from en- name “Robert Capa” was originally an alias shared by herself croaching violence. But these figures should not be defined and Endre Friedmann. Friedmann later adopted the name for purely for their emotional intelligence: they have captured himself. From 1936, they covered the war in Aragon and Cordoba, working under the joint Capa byline, with one of Taro’s unflinching examples from the violence of battlegrounds. Importantly, all the exhibits were created to meet the de- most striking pieces of the time highlighting a woman with a mands of the media and have appeared in newspapers and gun, training for a militia. Taro was killed in 1937 when a tank magazines around the world. As major news pieces generate struck the vehicle in which she was travelling. Françoise Demulder, the first female winner of the World an ever-growing flood of visual content, the curators point out the importance of recognising photographs from the Press Photo title in 1977, captured perhaps one of the most Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf frontlines as works of art in their own right. This show offers a famous images of its kind, depicting a Palestinian woman Until 10 June spaces for them to be fully considered. As Co-curator Felicity in Beirut with her hands raised during the massacre of the Korn notes: “This exhibition switches from neutral objectivity Karatina neighbourhood. A house burns in the background. www.kunstpalast.de
Shunk-Kender, Pier 18 John Baldessari, New York, Winter 1970-1971. Gift of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation in memory of Harry Shunk and Janos Kender (2014). Photography: Shunk-Kender © J.Paul Getty Trust. All rights reserved © Centre Pompidou/MNAM-CCI/Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Photothèque RMN-Grand Palais.
From Behind the Scenes SHUNK-KENDER: ART THROUGH THE LENS The mid-20th century was a time of transformation and innovation. Visual arts movements and disciplines were on the rise, from new realism to minimalism, performance and pop art. The era reflected an overall mood of creativity and social liberation, driving forces which were often captured in the images of Harry Shunk (1924-2006) and János Kender (1937-2009). From the late 1950s onwards, the duo photographed events in Paris and New York, producing an archive of revolutionary documentation whilst experimenting with the lens in the public eye. Galerie de Photographies at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, hosts a retrospective spanning 1857 to 1983, featuring images of over 500 artists who were framed by Shunk and Kender, including Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely, Niki de Saint Phalle, Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg. The duo first met in Paris in 1957 and quickly joined forces, immortalising large events such as exhibitions and performances, but also depicting practitioners at work in the studio or home. Shunk and Kender began building close relationships with their subjects, which led to intimate, deeply personal images which captured the emotional and often tangled processes of sitter and artist as they unfold. Quickly becoming closer to Pierre Restany (1930-2003) and the New Realists, the pair also embarked on a productive relationship with Yves Klein (1928-1962), whose career ranged from
signature blue paintings to experiments in performance, all “From the late reflecting a fascination with space and the idea of voids. 1950s onwards, the Centre Pompidou draws attention to the duo's most duo photographed famous collaborations, such as the 1960 work Saut dans le events in Paris Vide (Leap into the Void), which depicts Klein leaping from and New York, a second-floor window and appearing to fly. The piece producing an archive culminates in two images – one of the empty street and one of revolutionary of the artist leaping whilst friends held a tarpaulin for landing. documentation Following works like these, Shunk and Kender crossed the whilst experimenting Atlantic in 1967, following Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean with the lens in Tinguely to Montreal, before moving on to New York and public eye.” documenting its infamous art world, capturing pioneering exhibitions such as Software at the Jewish Museum of New York (1970) – one of the first shows to consider the impact of information technology – as well as dynamic performances by groundbreaking names Yayoi Kusama and Nam June Paik. Valuation and reputation in the art world has long been a controversial and mystifying topic (to wit: Kusama's paintings are now worth around $7 million.) Following new films that go behind the scenes – such as Nathaniel King’s documentary The Price of Everything – Centre Pompidou's exhibition sheds Galerie de Photographies, light on credibility, visibility and population before the Centre Pompidou, Paris digital age. Shunk and Kender’s photographs captured the Until 5 August social sphere of gallerists and dealers, populating the media as the original influencers behind the lens. www.centrepompidou.fr
Synergised Design LINA BO BARDI & GIANCARLO PALANTI
Lina Bo Bardi on the steps of the Glass House, 1952. Photo: Francisco Albuquerque, IB Archives.
Though born in Italy, Lina Bo Bardi (1914-1992) has become within large-scale projects. Marking these interdisciplinary “Perhaps Bo Bardi’s synonymous with mid-century modernism in her adopted talents, Gladstone Gallery includes the original MASP chairs best-known public home of Brazil. In collaboration with fellow Italian architect produced for the museum’s auditorium. Each piece, made building is the São Giancarlo Palanti (1906-1977), Bo Bardi founded the design of Jacaranda wood and leather upholstery, is foldable, Paulo Museum of Art. It is a suspended practice Studio de Arte e Arquitetura Palma in São Paulo in exemplifying a signature emphasis on functionality. An artist who lived and breathed for cohesion, Bo Bardi structure which stands 1948, where she and her husband Pietro Maria Bardi moved following WWII. It was here that she developed a signature translated design principles into her home – Casa de Vidro upon four gargantuan style, taking inspiration from natural landscapes and rainfor- (Glass House). The structure was one of the earliest examples concrete columns, ests, and offering a combination of contemporary formalism of using reinforced concrete in the domestic sphere. Much offering a public space of the building also stands on columns, blending into the below and preserving with regional vernacular. Such references are now iconic. Alongside key designs by Bo Bardi and Palanti, Gladstone environment with synergy and sophistication – sitting within a view of the city’s Gallery's New York presentation also showcases the vibrant remnants of a rainforest. The open courtyard – situated downtown area.” creative environment within which they lived. The exhibition within the suspended middle of the house – allowed trees to includes pieces from some of Brazil’s most significant grow up through the heart of the house. Again, the idea was modernist figures, many of whom belonged to the radical to do away with the walls that separate public and private – collective Grupo Frente. Such names include Hercules outside and inside – and to invite nature to be at one with Barsotti, Sergio Camargo, Aluisio Carvão, Lygia Clark, Hélio modernity. The main living area was almost completely open plan, with views into the vast green world outside. Oiticica, Lygia Pape, Mira Schendel and Ivan Serpa. A period of military dictatorship in Brazil saw Bo Bardi and Perhaps Bo Bardi’s best-known public building is the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) – realised between 1956 and her radical contemporaries fall out of favour, but she made 1968. It is a suspended structure which stands upon four a dramatic return in 1982 – as the dictatorship was waning Gladstone Gallery, gargantuan concrete columns, offering a public space below – with the SESC Pompéia, a former factory turned into a New York and preserving a view of the city’s downtown area. As both an landmark leisure complex. It incorporated unconventional Until 15 June architect and a designer, Bo Bardi bridged practices through concrete towers and aerial walkways which reflected the a holistic approach, creating both interiors and exteriors landscape in a time of reformation and innovation. www.gladstonegallery.com
Rongqiao Park, Chongqing, China, 2017. From Forest (2010-2017), © Yan Wang Preston.
Prompting Conversations LOOK PHOTO BIENNIAL “I think we are increasingly aware that photography has an show willing towards a need for vegetation. “Because concrete “Offering an impact on every single aspect of our lives,” says Thomas landscapes actually grow faster than anything in nature, they optimistic vision of Dukes, Curator at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool. The power of didn't want to wait for young buds to grow,” she explains. photography’s ability the image, he argues, has only become stronger in the digital “Very often they just bought mature trees from all over the to communicate era. “We've been in this photo age for long enough to realise place to make ready-made forests.” From there, Preston start- and to bring about that our love lives, political leanings, sales of houses – es- ed asking questions. Whose trees are they? Who is profiting change, LOOK Photo sentially everything – can be changed by photography. This from such destruction? The results are on display as part of promises to breaks through daily online includes people's opinions of themselves and how we should Open Eye's Biennial, shown along The Wirral. The event is making a point of showcasing photography feeds with something treat one another as well as our fragile planet.” This mindset is at the core of LOOK Photo Biennial 2019, an ambitious in innovative ways. “We think about the way our audience more lasting, emotive series of exhibitions taking place across the UK’s Merseyside is going to experience the work, and we want to make sure and reflective.” and Shanghai. The large-scale, seven-month-long event acts it's exciting,” Dukes explains. Affixed to bamboo scaffolding as a conversation-starter for some of today’s most pressing is Shanghai Sacred by photographer and anthropologist questions. The 2019 edition takes China to the heart of the Liz Hingley. Much like Forest, the series explores the desire programme, setting out to provoke new ideas about shifting for authenticity in megacities whilst exploring the country’s national identities and global environmental issues through complex spiritual revival. Other highlights include the group three conceptual strands: Transplant, Translate and Transition. show Distinctly, featuring 12 key figures including Martin Featured above is an image from British-Chinese artist Yan Parr. The exhibition bridges the Biennial’s first two chapters, LOOK Photo Biennial, Wang Preston. Forest is part of LOOK Photo's first chapter. the second of which opens in the autumn. Chapter One: 6 June Offering an optimistic vision of photography’s abilities, 25 September. Chapter The body of work is centred on the widespread practice of replanting ancient trees in apartment complexes, office quar- LOOK Photo promises to break through daily online feeds Two: 17 October - 21 ters and leisure districts of modern Chinese cities. Over the with something more lasting, emotive and reflective. Dukes December. Liverpool and course of eight years, Preston investigated how government notes: “I want audiences to leave with a broader view of the Shanghai, various venues. authorities and property developers import old trees to add world, having learnt about the different ways people do greenery to rapidly expanding urban areas – as a means to things. They should leave wanting to find out more.” www.openeye.org.uk
Photography as Reinvention PHOTOESPAÑA
Eduardo Nave, LIKE. Chapter 3, verse VII. Courtesy of the artist.
Each year a different guest curator is appointed to of personal belongings found in a fleamarket in Lisbon. The “As part of this PHotoESPAÑA. The 22nd edition welcomes Susan Bright, other two exhibitions comprise Laura Letinsky (Canada) and strand, audiences are asked to pause – a Paris-based curator and writer behind How We Are: Sharon Core (USA); and Patrick Pound (New Zealand). Alongside Bright’s guest pieces, the main programme to consider and take Photographing Britain (Tate Britain, 2007), Home Truths (The Photographers’ Gallery and the Foundling Museum, 2014) boasts several major retrospectives, including that of stock of the potential and Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography William Klein (b. 1928). Manifesto marks the artist’s 90th of image-making (2017) – a publication now parallel to V&A’s most recent birthday. Another lynchpin of this year’s offering is Holy, today through exhibition of the same name. Bright has commissioned the latest from American photojournalist Donna Ferrato’s unexpected approaches a series of five exhibitions that collectively survey the (b. 1949) 50-year mission to share women’s battles against and techniques relationship between tradition and contemporaneity. patriarchy and sexual violence, from the revolution of the in disguise.” Bright’s Déjà Vu? investigates the identity of photography. 1960s to the #metoo era. Ferrato is perhaps best-known for As part of this strand, audiences are asked to pause – to con- her ground-breaking documentation of domestic violence in sider and take stock of the potential of image-making today Living with the Enemy (1991) – a portion of which features at through unexpected approaches and techniques in disguise. PHotoESPAÑA. The abiding theme is of strength. The title poses the question: what exactly have we seen, expeThe wider festival is arranged around key principles: narienced and witnessed before, and why is what we are looking tionhood, the environment and the next generation of at now so different? Clare Strand’s (UK) The Discrete Channel talent. Javier Vallhonrat’s The Incised Shadow, for example, With Noise, for example, translates photography into painting, represents more than 10 years of work depicting the Malconsidering how information can be lost in translation. Elina adeta Glacier in the Pyrenees. The digital images call upon Brotherus’ (Finland) Playground – another one of the five the glacier’s delicate state as the climate crisis takes its toll, shows – takes the Fluxus movement as inspiration, looking choosing multiple viewpoints which portray the land’s vulat the importance of authorship, repetition and performance. nerability – from immediate proximity to distant views from Various venues, Madrid The third in Bright’s line-up is Délio Jasse, who concentrates above. Gradual, continuous and deeply emotive, Vallhon- 5 June - 1 September on the life of colonial Portuguese settlers in Mozambique and rat’s project provides striking visual evidence for the progresAngola. The images were originally taken from slides in a box sive disappearance of ice sheets at the hands of humankind. www.phe.es
1. B.A. Van Sise, Nicole Sealey. Courtesy of and © B.A. Van Sise. 2. Ana Hoffner, Untitled, 2016. From the series Disavowals or cancelled confessions. Pigment print on baryta paper. Federal Photography Collection at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg. Purchase 2018, © Ana Hoffner. 3. Dafydd Jones, Butlins, Minehead Yellow caravan in red camp at Butlins, 1979. Courtesy the artist and Turner Contemporary. 4. Ooho!, Skipping Rocks Lab. FOOD: Bigger than the Plate, 18 May - 20 October 2019. Sponsored by BaxterStorey. 5. New Designers, One Year In. Mac Collins, Iklwa, maquettes for ash lounge chair, 2018. Image: Yeshen Venema. 6. Maiko Takeda, Japan, Atmospheric Reentry, 2013, (Headpiece). Courtesy of Barrett Barrera Projects & RKL Consulting. Image: Yuen Hsiehx
10 to See RECOMMENDED EXHIBITIONS THIS SEASON
www.ccp.arizona.edu Arizona's Center for Creative Photography and Poetry Center are collaborating this summer to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Walt Whitman, with a project from B. A. Van Sise. Beginning in 2015, Van Sise embarked on a quest to make portraits of American literary figures which depict the diversity of today’s poetry scene. The exhibition includes a video portrait of Sharon Olds and around 80 images that reflect upon literary icons.
www.museumdermoderne.at Museum der Moderne Salzburg presents a selection of images from the Federal Photography Collection to call upon the human desire to look at each other, from the development of portraiture to today’s culture of constant sharing of digital selfies online. This seminal show raises questions around identity, staging and the intentions of artists as they share the body as a mediator for conversation.
A Portrait of Poetry
Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Until 23 November
Humanity in Photographs
Museum der Moderne, Salzburg Until 16 June
www.turnercontemporary.org Since the birth of photography, beaches and public promenades have been a subject of fascination, resulting in images that have charted great social change. Turner Contemporary examines artists’ relationship to the British seaside from the 1850s to the present, from early depictions of waves and picture postcards to reportage. Featuring Henri Cartier-Bresson, Martin Parr and Ingrid Pollard.
www.vam.ac.uk Taking visitors on a sensory journey through the food cycle – from compost to table – Bigger than the Plate considers how individuals, communities and organisations are radically re-inventing how we grow, distribute and experience food. Featuring over 70 projects, commissions and creative collaborations with chefs, farmers and scientists, the show is split into four sections: Compost, Farming, Trading and Eating.
Turner Contemporary, Margate Until 8 September
Food: Bigger than the Plate
V&A, London Until 20 October
Business Design Centre, London 26 June - 6 July
www.newdesigners.com As a forecast for the future of design, this event brings together products and trends from 3,000 of the brightest emerging talents. The event has been a launchpad in the past for the likes of Thomas Heatherwick, Bethan Gray and Jay Osgerby. This year notably sees creatives responding to social, political and environmental challenges, looking at the use of alternative materials – from mycelium to coffee granules.
7. Thomas Joshua Cooper (American, b.1946). Afternoon – Finding the sea again, Sagaponack, Southampton Township, (South Fork) Suffolk County, Long Island New York, 2016/2018. Silver gelatin print 20 x 24. Collection of the artist. 8. Modern Design Review, Muller van Severen #4, 2013. © Scheltens & Abbenes. 9. Olafur Eliasson (b.1967), Din blinde passager (Your blind passenger), 2010. Fluorescent lamps, monofrequency lamps, fog machine, ventilator, wood, aluminium, steel, fabric, plastic sheet. Dimensions variable. Installation view at ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, 2010. Photo: Thilo Frank / Studio Olafur Eliasson. Courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles. © 2010 Olafur Eliasson. 10. Shen Wei, Doorway (Blue). © Shen Wei, Courtesy of Flowers Gallery London and New York.
A Queen Within
Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle Until 2 September
www.mopop.org Subtitled Adorned Archetypes, this show highlights the figure of the queen as a symbol of feminine resolve and power – here identified with six personality types: The Sage, Enchantress, Explorer, Mother Earth, Heroine, and Thespian. Through fashion, photography and film, archetypes – and their larger meanings – are pulled into question. Big names like Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen sit alongside new talent.
Thomas Joshua Cooper
Parrish Art Museum, New York City Until 28 July
www.parrishart.org Throughout a 50-year career combining art and travel, Thomas Joshua Cooper has long been preoccupied with water as a focal point for understanding historical and cultural geographies, cartography and the problems of picture-making. Refuge is anchored by 20 photographs that Cooper made whilst travelling along the coastal and inland waterways and interior landscapes throughout Long Island.
Scheltens & Abbenes
Foam, Amsterdam Until 5 June
www.foam.org A sense of wonder pervades the still-life artworks of Maurice Scheltens (b. 1972) and Liesbeth Abbenes (b. 1970). The Netherlands duo has reinvented the field of set design, sculpture and photography through an 18-year collaboration. This new show, ZEEN, looks back on a career characterised by capturing the essence of objects. Removing objects from their everyday context, the works zoom in on the beauty of detail.
Tate Modern, London 11 July - 5 January
www.tate.org.uk Olafur Eliasson (b. 1967) returns to Tate Modern – the scene of his renowned installation The weather project (2003) – for a major retrospective. In real life shares the vision of an artist who has always sought to engage with the public in memorable ways. Driven by perception, movement and the interaction of people and their environments, Tate presents over 30 works from one of today's most important creative pioneers.
Flowers Gallery, London Until 22 June
www.flowersgallery.com Shen Wei’s work reflects upon a conservative upbringing in Shanghai. Through self-portraits, nudes and sensuous landscape photographs, Wei explores notions of identity, memory and sexuality. This debut major UK solo exhibition provides space for several strands of work from 2009 to the present day, as well as the new Broken Sleeve series, shining a light on iconic Chinese characters from historical and popular culture.
Complex Sequences Clemens Ascher
Clemens Ascher (b. 1983) has a distinct style. His photographs are graphically reduced, with soft, pleasing colours that act like sweets in a window. Candied compositions draw the viewer in before revealing a sense of artifice through unsettling and unexpected narratives. Works from A Modernist Lunchbreak, for example, depict suited men and women eating lunches in a seeming utopia. The characters look like marionettes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; suspended in surreal landscapes, holding anonymous drinks and fast food items. The act of eating is turned into an uncomfortable performance; figures are transfixed, standing alone, gazing blankly ahead. Meanwhile, a glimpse into Ascherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s On Pleasure Grounds proves just as intriguing. Icons of fun fairs, zoos, parks and tourist destinations are recycled and transformed. Hot dogs, rockets and cameras are symbols of leisure, whilst the sterile landscapes provoke disquieting stillness. www.clemensascher.com.
Clemens Ascher, from Of Rainbows and Other Monuments, detail. Courtesy of the artist.
Clemens Ascher, from On Pleasure Grounds. Courtesy of the artist.
Clemens Ascher, from A Modernist Lunchbreak. Courtesy of the artist.
Clemens Ascher, from Of Rainbows and Other Monuments. Courtesy of the artist.
Clemens Ascher, from On Pleasure Grounds. Courtesy of the artist.
Clemens Ascher, from A Modernist Lunchbreak. Courtesy of the artist.
Exploring Geopolitics Les Rencontres d’Arles THE EFFECTS OF ECOLOGICAL DISASTER LOOM LARGE IN THE FESTIVAL’S 50TH EDITION, LOOKING AT THE POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY TO ALTER PERSPECTIVES AND INCITE CHANGE.
Rencontres d’Arles was established 50 years ago by JeanMaurice Rouqette, Lucien Clergue and Michel Tournier. The intention was to ensure that institutions recognised photography. Today, cameraphones are part of society; images are shared, celebrated and critiqued on a daily basis. As Hervé Schiavetti, Mayor of Arles, notes: “Clergue liked recalling the etymology of the word photography: ‘writing with light.’ Half a century is almost a third of photography’s story, from the spread of Nicéphore Niépce’s invention, to a daily habit for billions of people all over the world.” What are images communicating about the present moment? In a self-reflexive move, Rencontres d’Arles began by taking on board some of the criticisms Director Sam Stourdzé received last year. In an open letter, a group of specialists urged for the inclusion of more women in the main programme. As such, the 2019 festival is giving solo shows to Marina Gadonneix, Libuše Jarcovjáková, Germaine Krull, Helen Levitt and Pixy Liao, as well as centring female practitioners in several group shows. The programme’s new thematic strands suggest that this was no token move. Four interconnected series – My Body Is a Weapon, On the Edge, Living and Building the Image – take on questions of equality, responsibility and power. They remind us that any social or cultural developments depend upon the planet. Indeed, ecological destruction is at the forefront of all discussions – whether in the artistic landscape or the news. In May 2019, the UN published a report revealing that 1 million species are at risk of extinction. As Jonathan Watts, Global Environmental Editor, summates for The Guardian: “The
biomass of wild mammals has fallen by 82% and natural ecosystems have lost about half their area – all largely as a result of human actions, said the [UN's] study, compiled over three years by more than 450 scientists and diplomats. ‘The health of the ecosystems on which we and other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of economies worldwide.’” On 1 July – two months after the report was published – Rencontres d’Arles opens its doors for the 50th edition. Central to the programme are exhibitions about the harrowing geopolitical situation. This starts with Mario Del Curto’s (b. 1955) Vegetal Humanity – part of the Living strand – tracking 10 years of worldwide travel. The collection invites viewers to explore gardens – literally and metaphorically – for inspiration. The Swiss photographer and filmmaker looks at the domestic spaces as slices of nature that are close and familiar. Wild and tamed, natural and curated, frivolous and austere, the gardens reflect how humans fashion nature around their homes. We are driven to manage trees, hedges and flowers for aesthetic or practical reasons, yet when spaces are artificially cultivated, they lose much of their value. Del Curto, who began his career capturing worldwide riots in the 1970s and 1980s, brings a political perspective to these quasi-natural environments. The locations include city gardens, endangered apple orchards in Kazakhstan and an otherworldly Park of Monsters in the Italian town of Bomarzo. The images ask what would happen to our living spaces, cultural practices and relationships if nature started to disappear? What would happen to our public spaces? How would our idea of “home”
Philippe Chancel, Datazone #14, France, Marseille, northern and southern districts, 2017-2018. Courtesy of the artist and Mélanie Rio Fluency.
“This is perhaps the most important edition of Rencontres d’Arles yet, with such geographically diverse exhibitions. Its ecocritical contributions harness the power of photography and demonstrate what festivals can be: a marketplace for ideas.”
Previous Page: Philippe Chancel, Datazone #14 Marseille, France, 2017-2018. Southern suburb "La Rouvière". Courtesy the artist and Mélanie Rio Fluency.
Left: Lucas Foglia, Esme Swimming, Parkroyal on Pickering, Singapore, 2014. Published in Human Nature, by Nazraeli Press.
begin to fade? Del Curto invites viewers to see the garden as sombre and hypnotic images jolt us into realising the a symbol of what’s happening to the planet on a larger scale. permanence of the degradation of Ogoni lands and waters. Even as conditions on planet Earth are reaching breaking Philippe Chancel (b. 1959) takes these questions from domestic to public spaces. For over two decades, the Paris- point, we are also experiencing an era of unprecedented based photographer has bridged art, documentary and knowledge-sharing, mobility and collaboration. Greta journalism, from mass military parades in North Korea to the Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish environmentalist, is one territories of South Africa. His presentation at Arles moves such example. On 23 April in the UK Houses of Parliament, from China to the USA, and Africa to Europe. Datazone she stated: "We should no longer only ask: 'Have we got reveals the traumatic ecology, chaotic de-industrialisation enough money to go through with this?' but: 'Have we got and toxic setbacks that result from 21st century expansion. enough of the carbon budget to go through with this?' That The series is integral to Chancel’s career, asking audiences to must become the centre of our new currency." Chancel’s consider the connections between seven seemingly disparate images visualise Thunberg’s words: depicting areas of places: North Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Kabul, Port- development that are all equal in their reliance on the planet. Similarly, On Earth: Image-Making, Technology and the au-Prince, Fukushima, Haiti and Nigeria. Revealing a grossgeographic narrative of exploitation, disaster and war, all Natural World – curated by Foam Amsterdam – brings locations are subject to decline. None – whether eastern or together a new generation of artists. The works are powerful western, northern or southern – are left unaffected by the on their own, but when curated in one sequence, they provoke the viewer to think laterally across technological, 20th and 21st century desires for expansion. Chancel’s depiction of the Niger Delta – one of the zones socio-economic, spiritual and political dimensions. We are – is a haunting visual reminder. Depicting iridescent oil- dependent on the Earth. Lucas Foglia’s (b. 1983) Human slicked waters, corrugated iron barrels and stunted trees, the Nature, a series of interconnected stories, takes stock of works document one of the most polluted places on Earth. where we are – what we want and what we need and the Ogoniland has seen oil spills for decades, devastating spaces in between. The series is set in different geographies both the environment and the lives of its people. In July – cities, forests, farms, deserts, ice fields, oceans and atop of 2010, Julia Baird, Deputy Editor of Newsweek reported that lava flows – examining the necessity of “wild” places, even between 9 million and 13 million barrels have been spilled when those locations are manmade constructions. The in the Niger Delta since 1958. The testimonies of Ken Saro- upstate New York farm where Foglia spent his childhood Wiwa, the Ogoni eco-activist who brought the Niger Delta to was flooded in 2012 by Hurricane Sandy, prompting him to international attention in the 1990s, backed up by Amnesty travel around the world, befriending and depicting people investigations, revealed gross negligence on the part of working towards a positive climate future. From the age-old Shell and other multinational oil companies. Chancel’s technique of using ice to protect orange trees from cold
House Construction after a Lava Flow, Hawaii 2016. Photo by Lucas Foglia, published in Human Nature by Nazraeli Press.
winter temperatures, to a newly built rainforest in urban Singapore, Foglia’s series looks forwards: towards hope. The show also includes Mishka Henner (b. 1976), who recently exhibited at Paris Photo and ArteFiera. Henner’s oeuvre includes screenshots of feedlots in Texas, which capture the ecological effects of the meat industry. (Meat and dairy production uses 83% of farmland and accounts for 58% of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions but only 18% of food calories as stated in Watts’ article for The Guardian.) Henner’s other works include digital images of hurricanes that made landfall between 2002 and 2017, printed on 12 inch vinyl picture discs. The use of satellite imagery from the likes of Google Earth reminds us that, in an era of information as capital, data and accountability will grow ever more important. His aerial shots of American military outposts (2010) are perhaps the most stark, asking who has sovereignty and surveillance over the Earth. Zones of friction can be much closer to home than oceans or outposts. By 2030, the United Nations expects the number of megacities to rise from 29 to 41, with each having more than 10 million inhabitants. Indeed, German photographer Michael Wolf, who died 25 April 2019, rose to fame for his exploration of soaring high rises in Hong Kong – symbols of modern-day development. The diverse conditions of living in metropolitan spaces are often so co-dependent that the smallest shifts in one can have a major impact on another. Filmmaker Daphné Bengoa and photographer Leo Fabrizio’s debut show, Building on a Human Scale, looks at the work of French architect Fernand Pouillon (1912-1986). This presentation foregrounds the buildings in Algeria that Pouillon created – those with cultural integration in mind.
Fabrizio also documents how the design, function and use of Poullon’s emergency housing, universities and hotels facilitated living in harmony with the environment. Meanwhile, Daphné Bengoa’s contributions often focus on those who carry out their day-to-day lives in such places, zooming in on the individuals behind the as case studies for what’s possible from one human to the next. In 2 (2018), eight storeys of a social housing block extends the full length of the photo. The sand-coloured Brutalist façade is punctuated by the endearing signs of longtime habitation: satellite dishes, drying laundry, potted plants and balconies that have doubled up as storage spaces. The images depict an abundance of water, stone and flora, undermining the presumption that urban spaces either contain or do away with the elements. There can be synergy. This is perhaps the most important edition of Rencontres d’Arles yet. Its eco-critical contributions harness the power of photography and demonstrate what festivals can be: a marketplace for ideas. As Festival Director Sam Stourdzé notes: “Talking about yesterday, today and tomorrow, tirelessly exploring photography, entering its zones of friction where artists reveal the unspeakable – Arles has gone all-out to offer an ambitious, electric programme.” The festival is leading these discussions, opening our eyes to the destruction of the planet at a turning point in history. It is using the lens as a way of looking backwards in order to look forwards. As Greta Thunberg exclaimed: "Sometimes we just simply have to find a way. I’m sure that the moment we start behaving as if we were in an emergency, we can avoid climate and ecological catastrophe. Humans are very adaptable: we can still fix this. But the opportunity to do so will not last for long. We must start today. We have no more excuses."
Right: Mario Del Curto, Artificial bridge and trees, Dubai, 2018.
Words Sarah Jilani Rencontres d’Arles 1 July - 22 September www.rencontres-arles.com
Playful Abstraction Beate Sonnenberg
Refraction and reflection have long been a source of interest for artists working with light. Barbara Kasten (b. 1936) is one such example, who, in turn, references Le Corbusier (1887-1965) and Lรกszlรณ Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946) as life-long influences. Beate Sonnenberg (b. 1966) touches upon these elements, bringing them into the contemporary sphere. Images from Somewhere in Between are inherently Kasten-esque, pulling on plastic yellows, whites and blues through a constructivist methodology. Shining light through prisms of transparent material, the walls are filled with spatial paintings. Fields of light meet at a striking intersection of colour, creating an almost Venn-like diagram of shapes. Meanwhile, Becoming Aware focuses more on physical materials. In collaboration with artist Johanne Mills, Sonnenberg assembles industrial materials such as wood, pebbles, plastic and paper, angling the viewer at the source of abstraction. www.beatesonnenberg.com.
Beate Sonnenberg, Yellow, from the series Somewhere in Between. Courtesy of the artist.
Beate Sonnenberg, Origin, from the series Becoming Aware. Courtesy of the artist.
Beate Sonnenberg, Eternal, from the series Becoming Aware. Courtesy of the artist.
Beate Sonnenberg, Next Interaction, from the series Somewhere in Between. Courtesy of the artist.
Beate Sonnenberg, Grey, from the series Becoming Aware. Courtesy of the artist.
Beate Sonnenberg, Out and In, from the series Becoming Aware. Courtesy of the artist.
Beate Sonnenberg, Space Blue and Yellow, from the series Somewhere in Between. Courtesy of the artist.
Beate Sonnenberg, Self, from the series Becoming Aware. Courtesy of the artist.
Beate Sonnenberg, Secret Sharer, from the series Becoming Aware. Courtesy of the artist.
Painterly Aesthetics Letizia Le Fur
Letizia Le Fur (b. 1973) first engaged with painting as an artistic practice, drawn to its profound sense of colour, composition and structure. Each brushstroke offered complete agency, allowing the imagination to take hold of contrast and texture. Le Fur has since translated this autonomous methodology into photography, balancing light and dark through a distinctly soft and inviting aesthetic. Her compositions plunge from one scene to the next, whilst maintaining a gentle sense of stasis. Viewers pause to glimpse at the markings of a frosted windscreen or a balloon rising into the air. Le Furâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s works are nourished by a sense of wanderlust â&#x20AC;&#x201C; moving round urban, domestic and natural landscapes with a sensitive gaze. The images are poetic, formally considered and laden with sensory markers. Skin, glass and grass are captured through the most minute details, allowing scenes with both sweetness and depth to be constructed. www.letizialefur.com.
Letizia Le Fur. Image courtesy of the artist.
Left & Right: Letizia Le Fur. Images courtesy of the artist.
Left & Right: Letizia Le Fur. Images courtesy of the artist.
Left & Right: Letizia Le Fur. Images courtesy of the artist.
Left & Right: Letizia Le Fur. Images courtesy of the artist.
Left & Right: Letizia Le Fur. Images courtesy of the artist.
Limitless Imagination Daan Roosegaarde INSTALLATIONS THAT CLEAR THE AIR, LIGHT WAVES THAT REFLECT UPON RISING SEA LEVELS, A NET THAT CLEANS UP SPACE JUNK: THIS IS THE WORK OF DAAN ROOSEGAARDE.
Daan Roosegaarde (b. 1979) grew up in the Dutch town of Nieuwkoop. He spent his days roaming in the tranquil countryside surrounded by water, building forts and tree houses. He still taps into that playful sense of idea generation today, whilst tackling some of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. “I’m on a mission for clean air, clean atmosphere and creativity,” he says, building a world of possibilities where solar-powered stones or smart coatings illuminate bike paths and highways, ancient algae light up streets, smog becomes jewellery and space debris turns into fireworks. Roosegaarde’s practice is interdisciplinary. It encompasses art, architecture, design and engineering all at once. Seeking to reverse humankind’s destructive tendencies by rendering the otherwise intangible forces of nature visible, this citizen-artist manages to invite contemplation as well as call for action on a grand scale. It is with equal measures of idealism and pragmatism that Roosegaarde illustrates the dangers of rising seas in Waterlicht (2016-2018). The work uses LEDs to offer a striking horizontal membrane of blue beams that floats in mid-air, extending over a large space with a swaying, wavelike motion. This virtual flood serves as a potent reminder of how water can both give and take life. Roosegaarde explains: "Experience the vulnerability and power of living with water." For its initial presentation in Amsterdam, Waterlicht illustrated what would happen if levels rose in the Netherlands, itself an aquatic wonder of sorts that relies heavily on embankments for protection – a quarter of the country lies below sea level and almost 60 per cent of
the geography is susceptible to flooding, teetering on the edge of destruction. Ultimately, the land would become inhabitable. This is a truth that, in Roosegaarde's eyes, should never be forgotten. “Without design and technology, we would drown. At the same time, we’re always trying to live with nature. That kind of balance is in the work I make.” Waterlicht, as a collective experience, attracted 60,000 people in one night across Amsterdam’s Museum Square. Since then, the installation has travelled to various Dutch cities as well as to some of the largest metropoles worldwide, including Dubai, London, New York and Paris. Roosegaarde may be inspired in part by Romantic ideals from the Dutch Golden Age, but he remains keenly aware of the need to harness nature in order to better live in harmony with organic matter. As such, Waterlicht lends a poetic dimension to tackle a very present, problematic issue. The installation has a mind of its own, changing along with the natural light or humidity of its surroundings and causing raindrops to appear to float when they hit the blue projections. Whilst the result is aesthetically pleasing, Roosegaarde capitalises on the sense of wonder that the work elicits, banking on people’s attention to offer sustainable solutions. His “landscapes of the future” reflect the concept of “schoonheid” – a Dutch word pointing to both purity and beauty. “That’s where the magic happens. My role is to demonstrate the potential of a new world and not be scared but be curious.” Roosegaarde’s new monograph, available from Phaidon, is an invitation into a world of intrigue. The title produces a sense of wonder, starting with early
Dune, 2006-2012. Fibres, LEDs, sensors, sound speakers, interactive software and electronics, 2m x 20m, installation view at the Media Art Institute Montevideo, Amsterdam, 2006. Artwork © Daan Roosegaarde.
“At a time when today’s key artistic figures are proposing that we live in a geological epoch defined by humankind’s negative impact on the environment – the Anthropocene – Roosegaarde’s vision is much more optimistic.”
Previous Page: Waterlicht, 2015 - present. LEDs, software, lenses, humidity, installation view at Waterschap Rijn En Ijssel, Westervoort, The Netherlands, 2015. Artwork © Daan Roosegaarde. Left: Lotus Dome, 2010-2016. Smart polymer laminated foils, Perspex, steel, lamps, sensors, software, 200cm x 200cm. Artwork © Daan Roosegaarde.
works that question the possibilities of the digital age. Many of these examples were largely indoors and focused on technology as both concept and medium. First realised in 2006, Dune, for example, features a techno-natural topography of cattail-like fibres which light up and emit sounds when “welcoming” approaching visitors. Hundreds of them are strewn like blades of grass or underwater worlds. The pole-like sculptures also react to speech with noises and movements. Similarly, when Lotus Dome (2010) was installed inside the 17th century Sainte-Marie-Madeleine church in Lille, it presented an overwhelming vision. Mimicking a lotus flower, the silver structure “bloomed.” Hundreds of smart foils – which covered the surface – unfolded organically in response to the heat of a visitor’s hand. After these experiments, Roosegaarde gradually shifted to increasingly large-scale assignments where technology was used as a mechanism for social innovation, achieving specific results, or more precisely, responses, in urban spaces. To reduce the deadly air pollution that plagues many major cities, he sought to build “environments that can heal us” with a Smog Free Tower (2015-present) that cleans the air in public spaces. Having been situated in the likes of Beijing, Tianjin and Rotterdam, the seven-metre aluminium tower uses only 1,170 watts of green energy and positive ionisation. It can clean up to 30,000 cubic metres of air per hour and the area around the structure becomes 20 to 70 per cent cleaner than the rest of the city. At an installation in Kraków, small dogs could smell the fresh air from afar, abandoned their owners and rushed toward the tower. Rabbits crowded at the Rotterdam site. “If nature can sense what is good for them, why can’t humans?”
Roosegaarde asked. Couples have proposed or gotten married with Smog Free Rings made from compressed smog particles collected by the tower. Each purchase contributes some 1,000 cubic meters of clean air to a city. In another spin-off, bicycles have been designed to absorb polluted air, cleaning and distributing it back to the cyclist as they ride around the landscape – as tourists or commuters. At 39 (turning 40 this July), Roosegaarde has churned out a lifetime’s worth of projects – nearly half of which have been self-commissioned. Now, he is looking at the potential of anticipated or actual human interactions. This is the basis for a range of new tasks for those in his eponymous studio, where a mingling of engineers, architects and scientists push the boundaries of what those respective disciplines consider possible. “It’s sort of a West Side Story of two gangs who don’t belong to each other but have this common love to create, to perform, to engage and to explore.” The pieces often take years to develop, with the artist ready to acknowledge that it’s challenging at first to know an idea is a good one, something that at first is just “like a taste in your mouth.” His team spent two years harnessing the unique properties of bioluminescent algae – some of the oldest micro-organisms – that will produce prolonged natural light when touched in the right conditions. Polymer shells filled with the algae illuminate when they are touched in Glowing Nature. Roosegaarde, who is eager to find functional applications for research, is now developing blueprints to use the plant for self-sustaining, responsive street lamps. Glowing Nature was first presented in 2017-2018 as part of Icoon Afsluitdijk, an innovation programme commissioned by the Dutch government along with two other projects:
Waterlicht, 2015 - present. LEDs, software, lenses, humidity, installation view at Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, 2018. Artwork © Daan Roosegaarde.
Gates of Light and Windvogel. The latter involves “smart” energy-generating kites that can supply up to 200 households thanks to the push and pull of their cables connected to a ground station. The specially produced fibre lines emit a green light. It composes a visual symphony in the night sky in one of many efforts to show the beauty of green energy. “I’ve always had a fascination for technology and science, but it’s about the people and their interactions, like with Gates of Light. It’s both functional and fancy at the same time,” he said. The largest of the three commissions, it is conceptual on a massive scale. Permanently lining the 32-kilometre Afsluitdijk Dam, the work draws attention to the 60 soaring concrete floodgates. Lines made of reflective material surround the structures, originally produced by Dirk Roosenburg in 1929, the grandfather of architect Rem Koolhaas. Headlights from passing cars cause the lines to shine brightly, underscoring the huge slabs of concrete that protect the land and – in extension – people’s lives. In a tribute to Vincent van Gogh, a bicycle route connecting the town of Nuenen – where he lived from 1883 to 1885 – to Eindhoven glimmers at night with countless small stones covered in a unique phosphorescent coating. Ripples and swirls of light recall one of the artist's best-known works: The Starry Night (1889). The installation also serves as a public safety function. In collaboration with construction engineering company Heijmans, Roosegaarde uses similar techniques to develop smart roads whose traffic lanes harvest solar energy during the daytime and illuminate at night for eight hours without any additional source of energy. In his most ambitious project yet, Roosegaarde is turning to the universe. Space Waste Lab, a collaboration with the
European Space Agency, looks at capturing the more than 29,000 little pieces of broken rockets and satellites floating around the Earth. These bits of debris can damage existing satellites and disrupt digital communications. In extension to their technological problems, visually the junk looks like the paint splatter of a Jackson Pollock. This is taking the monumental to another level: “There’s not a lack of money or technology in this world, but perhaps a lack of imagination.” The floating junk has since been identified with large LED-powered beams that use real-time tracking information. The plan is to capture the shards with a net and drag them to Earth, where they will burn when hitting the planet’s atmosphere and, in the process, eject an astronomical display of “shooting stars.” It is set to be premiered at Dubai World Expo 2020 or the Netherlands’ Floriade 2022. In the offing are plans to use the debris for 3D printing of future moon habitats and even to build a giant sun reflector that would help reduce the climate crisis. We live in a geological epoch defined by humankind’s negative impact on the environment – the Anthropocene. It is in such a moment of vast, near irreversible change that Roosegaarde’s vision is much more optimistic and completely necessary. It’s one where human beings are a small part of deep time with the potential to leave the environment a better place. That’s no small feat, and one that requires an uncanny amount of creativity, something he calls the “true capital” that distinguishes man from machine. “It’s obvious that we need to change. We do this for two reasons – out of love or out of fear. We can scare people with numbers or doomsday scenarios, some of which are really true, but my job is to generate interest in the future.”
Right: Dune, 2006-2012. Modular system of fibres, LEDs, sensors, speakers, interactive software and electronics, fibres height varies from 10cm to 100cm, overall length: 400m, installation view at the river Maas, Rotterdam, 2010. Artwork © Daan Roosegaarde.
Words Olivia Hampton
Daan Roosegaarde is published by Phaidon. www.phaidon.com www.studioroosegaarde.net
Layered Portraiture Andrea Torres Balaguer
The Moon comprises carefully considered portraits featuring delicate white objects. Glasses of milk, shards of glass, pearls and china cups line up on crinkled tablecloths through quiet, meditative realism. Muted studio settings enhance the purity and simplicity of the compositions; figures emerge from the darkness through clean, silvery light. By contrast, The Unknown is a series defined by expression and spontaneity. Moving into regal tones of reds, greens, black and golds, each character sits or stands as if posing for a large-scale oil painting. Combining analogue and digital, each of the photographs is then layered with coarse brushstrokes that seize the focal point, cutting across the faces like fine art pixilation. Andrea Torres Balaguer (b. 1990) has exhibited widely, including having presentations at Paris Photo, Art Madrid, London Art Fair and the Sony World Photography Awards at Somerset House, London. www.andreatorresbalaguer.com.
Andrea Torres Balaguer, white pearl, from the series moon. Courtesy of the artist.
Andrea Torres Balaguer, gingerbread, from the series moon. Courtesy of the artist.
Andrea Torres Balaguer, gazelle, from the series the unknown. Courtesy of the artist.
Andrea Torres Balaguer, moonlight, from the series the unknown. Courtesy of the artist.
Andrea Torres Balaguer, moon, from the series moon. Courtesy of the artist.
Andrea Torres Balaguer, kumquat, from the series mesmerize. Courtesy of the artist.
Andrea Torres Balaguer, quince, from the series the unknown. Courtesy of the artist.
Andrea Torres Balaguer, cosmos, from the series the unknown. Courtesy of the artist.
Andrea Torres Balaguer, eve, from the series moon. Courtesy of the artist.
Andrea Torres Balaguer, autumn, from the series moon. Courtesy of the artist.
Andrea Torres Balaguer, pumpkin, from the series the unknown. Courtesy of the artist.
Beyond Expectations Magnum Photos THE LEGENDARY AGENCY – KNOWN FOR ITS PHOTOJOURNALISM – IS BREAKING THE BOUNDARIES OF GENRE, TAKING FASHION OUT OF THE STUDIO AND INTO THE REAL WORLD.
Their eyes have seen some of the bloodiest, most gutwrenching conflicts – pitting man against man and, armed with their cameras, they have recorded war as witnesses to history. But what happens when photojournalists turn the lens instead to fashion? The results can be surprisingly innovative, in an amalgam of various disciplines that is growing increasingly common. Magnum, the legendary photography agency that emerged in the wake of WWII out of joint efforts from Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger and David “Chim” Seymour, is best known for its documentary work. Its artists also have a long history of portraiture, editorials, as well as coverage of politics, news events, disasters – the list goes on. Through its younger generation, the agency is now making a concerted push for cross-disciplinary portfolios, with fashion at the forefront. Fashion and war, what could be more dissonant? However, for a photographer, the fundamental concern of visually transcribing the world around us dictates image-making, regardless of the subject. Such examples can be found throughout history. For example Pieter Hugo – best-known for The Hyena & Other Men (2007) – collaborated with Italian luxury brand Bottega Veneta for a spring campaign in 2014. Indeed, Magnum’s history has also shown just how narrow the artificial divide between disciplines can be. Capa, who died after stepping on a land mine whilst covering the First Indochina War (1946-1954), is celebrated as the greatest combat photographer. Yet he also chronicled Christian Dior’s first collection worn in the streets of Paris and along the banks of the Seine in 1948, Spanish-American photog-
rapher Moises Saman (b. 1974) recently collaborated with Alex McWhirter for a fashion feature in the latter’s Public magazine. Whilst models were used for the shoot, they strike realistic poses and respond directly to the setting around them as they move about a rooftop in Brooklyn. Saman’s heavy use of natural light and the intricate shadows cast by rotund water towers and their steel armature adds a scenic, everyday quality to the pictures. “In many ways my approach is exactly the same, and ultimately it is based in a narrative style. When the story is established, then I react to form, light and body language,” he notes. Sarah Mahini, Magnum Photos' Agent for Brand and Advertising Assignments, explains that creative agencies are increasingly seeking “unexpected” practitioners for their campaign spreads, looking for fresh eyes. Editorials are taking new steps and looking for reinvention along the way. “We are becoming an answer to current trends, which is searching for authenticity – for what’s real – and working less and less with models. Fashion photography is turning increasingly towards reporting, so Magnum is ultimately responding to this demand,” adds Mahini, who, in turn, has a background in fashion. There are about a dozen of Magnum’s more recent crop currently delving into the field. “It's a different approach to image-making as a whole,” Alex McWhirter says. “Moises would see elements in the environment that others wouldn’t. He's invested in structural and textural details that make an environment human, and, in doing so, he's able to bring out the models’ persona within these wider parameters.” Interspersed between pop-
Photography: by Jérôme Sessini; Female Talent: Bianca O’Brien; Male Talent: Paraskevas Boubourakas; Creative Direction: Alexandra Mercuri; Fashion Editor: Nicolas Georgiou; Project Manager: Nikandre Koukoulioti; Production: AM Studio Paris; Hair Stylist: Daniel Babek; Make-up Artist: Athena Karakitsou.
“Like photojournalism, fashion does carry with it an element of truth – of capturing something as it is, because it freezes a moment in time. ‘The genre reflects the contemporary world around us. It can help to grasp cultural changes.’”
Previous Page & Left: Photographer: Moises Saman / Magnum Photos; Creative Director: Alex McWhirter; Stylist: Shibon Kennedy; Make-up artist: Janessa Pare; Hair stylist: Tiffani Patchett; Models: Jiji and Wayne at Heroes Models; Casting Director: Clare Rhodes; Production: Pony Projects; Project Manager: Sarah Mahini / Magnum Photos.
colour, highly saturated compositions are black-and-white renditions that reflect on the icons of a New York cityscape. Whilst in these examples, the tone may be more languid and muted than disquieting, Saman’s instinctive response to the subject recalls some of his techniques from depicting the wars in Iraq and Syria or the Arab Spring clashes. Like photojournalism, fashion does carry with it an element of truth – of capturing something as it is, because it freezes a moment in time. “The genre reflects the contemporary world around us. It can help us to interpret society and grasp cultural changes,” says Jérôme Sessini (b. 1968), who sees his forays into clothing collections as a means to experiment and challenge himself. He reportedly comments: “I don’t like rigid categories. Sometimes there is art in journalism and vice versa. Conscience, heart, beauty, balance and loss are the essentials.” Sessini has been published by a number of prestigious newspapers and magazines including Time, Stern and The Wall Street Journal. His eye-opening pictures have also led to exhibitions at the Visa Photo Festival in Perpignan, the Rencontres d’Arles, the French National Library’s François-Mitterrand site and the French Ministry of Culture. Sessini covered the Israeli-Palestinian and Ukranian conflicts as well as the war in Iraq. He was one of the first journalists to visit the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 and to document the opioid crisis in the United States. Informed by those experiences, his more stylised work is tinged with a healthy degree of cynicism. An editorial spread for Vogue Italia entitled Solitude, featuring Bianca O’Brien and Paraskevas Boubourakas, shows them unable to communicate – facing silence and stillness as a result. Man and woman drift apart in a concrete and glass urban jungle, lost in a kind of
solitude and loneliness very much current in these divisive times. They have only their own reflections as companions. In another shoot also produced by Paris-based AM Studio, Sessini made deliberate use of “real people” – such as a yoga instructor, skateboarder or student – to craft a story in a series of portraits of Athenians that bears the trademark intensity of his other work. The backdrops and gear appear clearly in some of the shots, becoming props with which the subjects interact on a roof in Athens. Viewers can almost feel the sunlight burning across their skin, the bustle of traffic below and the cries of birds circling in the air above. Amongst the actors Sessini turned to as well are Angeliki Papoulia, who has appeared in three of Yorgos Lanthimos’ films: Dogtooth (2009), Alps (2011) and The Lobster (2015). Wearing a black deconstructed jacket and stiffly pleated skirt that falls below the knee, Papoulia is seen standing precariously still, just like the stilted dialogue and histrionics of her Lanthimos stints, at one point almost leaning into the void on the edge of the rooftop. Fashion, Sessini tells us, “is not necessarily superficial. It can serve as a means to develop a language, a way to communicate.” Indeed, fashion is about much more than just selling clothes – it has a narrative, freezing an epoch, a trend or a personality. As Coco Chanel once put it: "it has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” Sessini's images show the human condition as it is lived, rather than a superficial, idealised, more-than-perfect realm. There is a search for authenticity where the featured figures are no longer objectified. Instead, the subjects seem hyperreal as they evolve under neon city lights or a setting sun and, in Sessini’s case, in a neorealist cinematic narrative and setting. Moises Saman,
Photography: by Jérôme Sessini; Female Talent: Bianca O’Brien; Male Talent: Paraskevas Boubourakas; Creative Direction: Alexandra Mercuri; Fashion Editor: Nicolas Georgiou; Project Manager: Nikandre Koukoulioti; Production: AM Studio Paris; Hair Stylist: Daniel Babek; Make-up Artist: Athena Karakitsou.
too, is concerned with how new genres can be a gateway to an “intricate” part of society – as a reflector, an expander of ideas. “I am interested in the vast potential that fashion has as an influencer,” he notes. Indeed, the works shown here depict some of the raw emotion found in his documentation of conflict. His secret? “Just continuing to strive for honesty in the relationship between the subject and myself.” Indeed, such statements might cause the reader to delve into the ethics of photojournalism and the presence of the artist, but what Saman emblazons is the ultimate need to connect on a human level now more so than ever. Like many practitioners traversing disciplines, Sessini, who is now producing a book of his work in Ukraine, is quick to reject easy labels, strict definitions or rigid categorisations. “I didn’t try fashion to get rid of this image of myself as a war photographer,” he clarifies. “My practice is an endless quest. Be it clothes, violence or something else, I stay myself, so I stay the same artist.” Photography remains a way to explain or rationalise the confusing planet on which we live, whether in times of peace or strife. A narrative element – which is devoid of any sense of idealism – ties his portfolio together. “I have always tried to challenge being tied to one genre; to me it implies having to operate within a certain set of parameters that only apply to a particular approach.” When shooting on hazardous frontlines, photojournalists tend to work alone, save the occasional fixer. So one of the biggest draws of editorial campaigns is their collaborative aspects: the chance to bounce off other creatives and work with a tapestry of voices. The pieces are brought into being as a direct result of a team effort – with contributions from stylists, assistants, hair and makeup artists, editors and retouchers. Saman exudes: “I enjoyed the experience very
much, and one of the main takeaways is that no matter how much you are able to limit the variables in the composition (models, light, location) the best outcome is ultimately as unpredictable as when everything is out of your control.” In a separate project, he collaborated with Dutch-Iranian artist Daria Birang for Discordia, a book on the nearly four years he covered the Arab Spring across the Middle East and North Africa. Caption-less, non-linear sequences illustrate the hopes and dreams of people seeking to overthrow deeply entrenched dictatorial regimes, and the heavy price they paid to do so. The resulting pieces were often taken before or after a main news-making event. They are juxtaposed with Birang’s photocollages of Saman’s images, which take on a completely different meaning when removed from their context, with the subjects’ natural choreography or expressions becoming the focus. It’s often unclear who is the victim and who is the aggressor – the lines are blurred. The outlook certainly differs from a traditional fashion photographer, contrasts made clear in certain aesthetic choices, such as lighting (more natural) and composition (more dramatic). “When calling on Magnum names, the approach is more documentary in nature. It’s about capturing a specific kind of light or a gesture, rather than perfection,” explains Mahini. Indeed, Saman, Sessini and all others under this new generation of artists develop personally and professionally along the way, and isn’t that the beauty of art as a mirror or a mechanism? With their human-centric focus, they have the ability to push aside some of the more political aspects of the fashion industry. It’s a win-win situation for all involved. As McWhirter describes: “we’re finally leaving the photo studio and shooting out in the open world much more, and that has to be a good thing.”
Right: Photographer: Moises Saman / Magnum Photos; Creative Director: Alex McWhirter; Stylist: Shibon Kennedy; Make-up artist: Janessa Pare; Hair stylist: Tiffani Patchett; Models: Jiji and Wayne at Heroes Models; Casting Director: Clare Rhodes; Production: Pony Projects; Project Manager: Sarah Mahini / Magnum Photos.
Words Olivia Hampton
Human Encounters Sanja Marušic
Hard sunlight. Bright contrasts. Desolate landscapes. Dutch-Croatian photographer Sanja Marušić (b. 1991) creates worlds of irrationality and juxtaposition, drawing upon surrealist concepts and playful storytelling. Through images that are taken all over the globe, the idea of emergence is key. Characters are embedded within their surroundings like props, enhanced by aquamarine waters, bold orange wallpaper, verdant fields and hazy skies. The human body is almost rejuvenated by the landscape, dipping into interior and exterior structures as a source of inspiration and euphoria. Open roads, seas, walls and shores are the meeting ground for new ideas. In these dreamlike meditations, Marušić offers a spectacle of colour and performance, composing every detail along the way. The artist experiments with all the theatrical and technical elements – from handmaking the costumes to acting within the shots. www.sanjamarusic.com.
Sanja Marušić, I Met Him By The Swimming Pool, 2015. Courtesy of the artist.
Sanja MaruĹĄiÄ&#x2021;, from Flowers in December, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.
Sanja MaruĹĄiÄ&#x2021;, from Flowers in December, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.
Sanja MaruĹĄiÄ&#x2021;, Friends or Enemies, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.
Sanja MaruĹĄiÄ&#x2021;, from Flowers in December, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.
Sanja MaruĹĄiÄ&#x2021;, from Flowers in December, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.
Sanja MaruĹĄiÄ&#x2021;, from Flowers in December, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.
Decoding the Metropolis Vishal Marapon
Urban development and the vernacular firmly inform the practice of Vancouver-based artist Vishal Marapon (b. 1981). Connecting to changing cities through the lens of gentrification, expansion and progression, the images are both aesthetically pleasing and intensely hyperreal â&#x20AC;&#x201C; capturing surroundings with a simultaneous sense of detachment and beauty. Each structure appears isolated, spliced and framed â&#x20AC;&#x201C; devoid of temporal or contextual identifiers. Even so, the featured streets are teaming with colour and pattern, drawing the viewer into a landscape that is equally as alluring as it is deserted. The viewer is unable to form a direct relationship with the sites as no information is given about location, history or purpose; the buildings could belong to any city. Ultimately, the importance of geographic identity is called into question. The geometry of stairwells, doorframes and faĂ§ades is simply to be appreciated for the striking, satisfying forms. https://vishalmarapon.com.
Vishal Marapon, Santa Fe & Rene, Santa Fe, NM, 2018. From the series Me to Georgia. Courtesy of the artist.
Vishal Marapon, Pink Walls, Hollywood, CA, 2016. From the ongoing series Rambles. Courtesy of the artist.
Vishal Marapon, Blue Wall, Hollywood, CA, 2016. From the ongoing series Rambles. Courtesy of the artist.
Vishal Marapon, Empty Window, Albuquerque, NM, 2018. From the series Me to Georgia. Courtesy of the artist.
Vishal Marapon, Abbott Kinney Side, Venice,CA, 2016. From the ongoing series Rambles. Courtesy of the artist.
Vishal Marapon, Yellow Wall, Los Angeles, CA, 2017. From the ongoing series Rambles. Courtesy of the artist.
Vishal Marapon, Blue Corners, Vancouver, BC, 2018. From the ongoing pocket series. Courtesy of the artist.
Vishal Marapon, White Corners, Los Feliz, CA, 2018. From the ongoing series Rambles. Courtesy of the artist.
Vishal Marapon, Abbott Kinney, Venice, CA, 2016. From the ongoing series Rambles. Courtesy of the artist.
Reflective Architecture White Houses MINIMALISM IS TIMELESS. IT OFFERS SIMPLICITY AND STRIPPED-BACK AESTHETICS; NEW BUILDINGS DRAW ATTENTION TO DESIGN AS A BLANK PAGE FULL OF POSSIBILITY.
“White reflects and intensifies the perception of all the shades – be it paint, plaster, marble, concrete or stucco – for its ilof the rainbow – which are constantly changing in nature,” lusionistic properties. Russian painter and theorist Wassily stated Richard Meier (b. 1934) when he accepted a Pritz- Kandinsky (1866-1944), who is best known for booming, ker Prize. He is the creator of the Getty Center, Los Angeles, vibrant canvases wrought with abstract forms and dancing and Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art. His practice pops of pigment, once stated that “colour directly influences has become synonymous with a signature monochromatic the soul.” And weighing in on white, specifically, he said, “it palette. Bending the viewer’s perception, such constructions is not a dead silence, but one pregnant with possibilities. It favour walls, windows, floors, doorways and rooms as an ex- has the appeal of nothingness that is before birth.” Similarly, avant-garde artist and scholar Kazimir Malevich (1879perience – a pathway through space and light. Meier is, of course, not alone in his curiosity for stark 1935) invited his peers to embrace limitlessness when he simplicity. As Juan Serra Lluch states in Color for Architects said: “I have broken the blue boundary of limits, come out (2019): “In his early texts, Le Corbusier primarily warned of into the white; beside me comrade-pilots swim in this infinthe dangers of colour. The Swiss maestro refused to let ‘the ity.” The idea that absence has the power to elicit soul-stirring wall turn into a tapestry, and the architect into an uphol- emotions is interwoven in Jodidio’s compendium. There are sterer,’ suggesting we should ‘research and select the colours 40 examples that demonstrate this concept, segmented into that can be called eminently architectural and restrict them five digestible strands: Sculptures for Landscapes, New Angles, Elemental Forms, Urban Oases and Waterside Reflections. The so that we can tell ourselves: these are enough.’” The use of, and meaning behind, white in contemporary lack of colour isn’t just a design consideration, it’s inherently architecture is the subject of Philip Jodidio’s latest title, pub- about stirring curiosity about what surrounds us. It is apt to start with the idea of a blank slate. White buildings lished by Thames & Hudson. Jodidio is the author of more than 25 books, including substantial monographs on Tadao have the power to deprive inhabitants of their senses – as seen Ando, Renzo Piano and Zaha Hadid. In this new publication, in Jin Otagiri’s appropriately named Ghost House (2005) – or he culminates research around the surprising ways contem- heighten them, as exemplified in the seaside retreat by Kapsiporary practitioners, like Meier, produce domestic spaces that malis Architects, named Summer House (2017). Presenting a invite contemplation, functioning as both residences and spectrum of opportunity and interpretation, white, as the inworks of art. “Though these modern houses tend to appear troduction to this book explains, causes viewers to look more quite simple and geometric in their plan, they are sculptural. closely and to feel more deeply. “If any architectural volume They verge on abstraction. They represent a new archetype.” can be assertive and still make way for the observation of Creatives across disciplines have long been drawn to white nature and the propagation of light, then white it should be.”
Dwek Architecture + Partners. Silver House, Zakynthos, Greece, 2015. Image credit: © Serge Anton.
“It is apparent A paradigm of a perception-bending construction is Dwek that Meier and Architecture + Partners’ magnificent, postcard-perfect Silver his likeminded House (2015), which merges the disciplines of design and contemporaries favour fine art to create a one-of-a-kind treasure on the Greek white because, in the island of Zakynthos. In this instance, the building takes style absence of colour, we cues from French artist Yves Klein (1928-1962), known for a are offered a blank page. trademark blue hue. He once commented that the shade “is White architecture beyond dimensions.” The powerful combination of the rich punctuates a world blue ocean with the flat white home induces the atmosphere of constant noise and of immersive exhibitions – not unlike the jaw-dropping mirglobal expansion.” rored surfaces of Yayoi Kusama’s blockbuster Infinity Rooms,
Previous Page: Montenegro Architects. Sugarcubes, Grândola, Tróia, Portugal, 2014. Image Credit: © Montenegro Architects Studio, Ltd. Left: Cala House (Raumplan) Image Credit: Javier Callejas.
or indeed Kimsooja’s mirror installation To Breathe, currently on display at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield. Olivier Dwek speaks about the creation: “From the terraces, the sitting room, the dining room, kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms, the living space is oriented towards this fascinating seascape, which the architecture emphasises, making it even more theatrical.” The use of the word “theatrical” is rather fitting in this instance, as the resulting home is as dramatic, remarkable, and, in some ways, unbelievable as a stage production. The key here was to produce an otherworldly oasis using a deliberately limited colour palette, blurring the lines between home and horizon, reality and fantasy. Why choose something so simplistic, which evokes questions about what’s real in a world of media saturation, posttruth and overstimulation? Perhaps the answer lies within humanity’s emotional attachments to the spectrum – experiments that have long been realised by the likes of Dan Flavin, Olafur Eliasson and James Turrell. As Color for Architects’ author notes: “It is well-known that white is associated with purity and innocence in western culture, whilst in eastern
countries it is associated with death.” Unlike blue – reportedly the world’s most calming of hues – red, yellow or brown, white teeters on the brink of reality in our minds – it is devoid of detail or over complication and is only with us for our most human moments: in meditation or reflection. When did white become a trend? The latter part of the 20th century was filled with patterns, colours and embellishments – from fashion to interiors. However, moving into the 21st century, a number of key influencers recognised the demand for simplicity as a symbol of renewal – pulling at the desires for sleek functionality. It is here that successful design is split into two categories: responding to a need or providing us with an aspiration. White clothes have endured as a staple to be coveted. This ranges from DKNY’s statement underwear to Lacoste’s polo shirts. Similarly, the wardobe itself has changed – brands like IKEA publicise affordable, stripped-back Scandinavian living – offering almost all flatpack items in a version of white (to wit: the lowest cost option.) IKEA even made an appearance at London Fashion Week in 2018, with a range of bags, tops and belts. Moving further back down the production line, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s simplistic stainless-steel Barcelona chair (1929) is still enjoying mass-distribution 90 years after its creation. The discourse surrounding the evolution of design must include new technologies. Apple – now valued at $1 trillion – revolutionised the world of music with the first iPod, unveiled in 2001. Such an instrumental accessory – though now dwindling in circulation with the rise of the iPhone – marked an empire of selling all-white earbuds. As Chris Weller stated for The Business Insider in 2016: “Apple followed up the release with a huge advertising campaign highlighting the
White Cave House, Takuro Yamamoto, Kanazawa, 2013.
headphones. Blacked-out silhouettes danced over tropical- Like in any meditative Sky Space by James Turrell, the time Right: White Cave House, Takuro coloured backgrounds, all whilst listening to the tunes play- of day, particular season, and amount of cloud coverage dic- Yamamoto, Kanazawa, 2013. ing through their earbuds. More than ever, those buying into tate the viewing experience from within – meaning no two the products saw the company’s commitment to standing moments are ever the same. Architecture is performative – it out and thinking differently. The company got its money’s encourages its inhabitants to truly be present. “I think people worth with the idea, running for more than five years between search for light,” Jodidio states. “It is a way of making your own existence somehow simpler, allowing us to appreciate 2003 and 2008 as they released new generations.” What was the purpose of such a high-cost campaign? “Psy- what is around us. It is an invitation to stay.” Domesticated and civic spaces are at the crux of innovation. chologists have acknowledged, since iPod's release, the decision to make its earbuds all-white sent Apple’s cache as an This is wholeheartedly true of White Cave House in Kanazawa, uber-cool company into the stratosphere. ‘Tell-tale earbuds Japan. Built in 2013 by Takuro Yamamoto, this cosmic creaindicate to passers-by that the bearer ascribes to certain no- tion differs from other examples in that it was produced to tions of style,’ behavioural scientist Gad Saad wrote in Evo- withstand four distinct seasons – in particular, a snow-filled lutionary Psychology in the Business Sciences. The iPod user winter. “The project is, in part, an echo of the typical snow‘engages willingly in some degree of conspicuous consump- falls in Kanazawa,” writes Jodidio. “The strict, often closed tion.’ As Saad points out, ‘that's a lot of information content volumes as seen from the outside make this into a luminous space where dimensions and time can seem to dissolve.” for less than an ounce of plastic and wire.’” Upon first glance, the buildings can be interpreted as Minimalism – by way of taking away unnecessary patterns, gadgets and gizmos – can often provide room for the most stark, clinical – even hostile. Going deeper, the structures complex ideas. Many examples from Jodidio’s research re- offer clean, open expanses as a source of creativity. Much Words order and re-contextualise rooms and spaces for the benefit like a white cube space, the blank walls offer artworks room Stephanie Strasnick of the user in this way. Alberto Campo Baeza’s dream-like to breathe. It is apparent that Meier and his likeminded conCala House (2015) may seem simple, but the streamlined temporaries favour white because, in the absence of colour, geometric shape conceals the utter labyrinth of its design. we are offered a blank page. White architecture punctuates a White Houses is available It was inspired by Austrian-Czech architect and theorist world of constant noise and global expansion. Referencing from Thames & Hudson. Adolf Loos’ Raumplan system, which divides the interior of Kandinsky, we return to Jodidio’s opening thoughts about www.thamesandhudson.com. a residence into a series of multi-level spaces arranged in the appeal of nothingness: “White has this harmony of siorder of importance. It is here that Apple’s intelligent and lence that works upon us in a negative way, like many pauses Color for Architects is internationally distributed decisions ring true: the absence in music that temporarily break the melody.” Looking to the available from Princeton future, the minimalist trend provides something we may both Architectural Press. of colour provides the space to reevaluate and prioritise. Furthermore, the Cala House has an open-roofed terrace. want and need: it teaches us to stop, think and imagine. www.papress.com.
Inquisitive Photography Lydia Whitmore
A catalogue of assorted objects and ideas: suspended furniture, sci-fi-inspired sets and gobstoppers. Images for Kanpai Magazine showcase obscure cocktails from around the world â&#x20AC;&#x201C; coming together in a mad hatter-esque collection of ideas and recipes. From cactus to corn, the unlikely ingredients are thrown into visual array with elegant table settings. In other pages, works for Moonman draw upon the aesthetics of gymnasia; draped curtains and primary colour ropes tie Yinka Iloriâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chairs together in a jigsaw of forms and directions. London-based Lydia Whitmore (b. 1978) is a master of still-life photography, producing bright, seamless commissions and clean-cut editorials for a range of clients including Tom Ford, Samsung, Dr Martens, Moschino, Nike, Net-A-Porter and DKNY. Having studied painting at Central St Martins and Chelsea School of Art, Whitmore creates sharp images that draw on an understanding of colour and composition. https://lydiawhitmore.com.
Lydia Whitmore, Kanpai Magazine 2. Set Design: Vicky Lees. Courtesy of the artist.
Lydia Whitmore, Kanpai Magazine 4. Set Design: Vicky Lees. Courtesy of the artist.
Lydia Whitmore, Moonman Magazine 2. Set Design: Gemma Therese Pearce. Courtesy of the artist.
Lydia Whitmore, Gumballs Project. Courtesy of the artist.
Lydia Whitmore, Kanpai Magazine 3. Set Design: Vicky Lees. Courtesy of the artist.
Lydia Whitmore, Kanpai Magazine 5. Set Design: Vicky Lees. Courtesy of the artist.
Lydia Whitmore, Future Altars Project. Courtesy of the artist.
Lydia Whitmore, Moonman Magazine. Set Design: Gemma Therese Pearce. Courtesy of the artist.
Lydia Whitmore, Kanpai Magazine. Set Design: Vicky Lees. Courtesy of the artist.
1Anna & the Jester in Window of Opportunity JULIE BÉNA
French-Czech artist Julie Béna has, in recent years, exhibited at a host of renowned institutions including Centre Pompidou and BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels. She is well-known for subversive, playful and “undefinable” works – viewers are often unable to discern the events laid out in front of them. Brought up in a mixed arts-and-theatre environment, Béna populates her works with semi-fantastical worlds as well as bohemian characters, jesters and clowns, whilst being deeply attached to the format of the one-woman show. For the 2018 Les Ateliers de Rennes biennial, the artist created Who Wants to Be My Horse? – a film installation of her sharing intimate confessions. Since the early days of her career in the 2000s, the body and desire have been the main point of focus. Although, in Anna & the Jester in Window of Opportunity, the idea has shifted. Its main character – Béna’s alter-ego dressed up as a clown – flies between sky-scrapers and
occasionally talks art theory with a multi-legged cuttlefish lobby boy, her newly-found guide. Curator Laura Herman defines the work as “a critique of transparency in the form of an architectural tale.” Béna’s celestial city – rendered in 3D film – is a steel and glass purgatory. It is a utopian nowhere land illuminated by cold sunlight. She presents audiences with an Orwellian version of built-up locations such as Dubai or Singapore through the lens of virtual reality. In this allusive critique of modernity, Béna goes even further: everything, not just the architecture, is twisted. The characters are tricksters. Intentionally obscure dialogues produce the impression of speech that is more digital than human – a simulation of emotion. This universe is lonely and sterile – no place for us. Even though the walls are transparent, the clearer and cleaner they are, the better equipped they become for keeping audiences out.
Words Nikita Dmitriev
Jeu de Paume, Paris 12 February - 2 June www.jeudepaume.org
2 Thing Indescribable JENNY HOLZER
Not surprisingly, Jenny Holzer’s (b. 1950) retrospective at – changes dates, names, nationalities and languages from Guggenheim Bilbao keeps the audience alert. The banality Guantánamo Bay to Syria to Basque Country or the former of evil is brought to the forefront through posters and neon Yugoslavia. The method of presentation also varies greatly, letters. Stories go on for 14 hours. Poetry provides little from carved marble blocks to moving electronic signs. Though there is consistency in Holzer's style – political, relief along the way. Holzer announces: “Now is the time.” Over a prolific career, Holzer has invited the viewer to current and articulate, constantly moving and responding engage with and reflect on humanity’s own tragedies. In to our times. The artist explains this process: “Indifference is the 1970s, she hung warning posters all over Manhattan. ghastly; lack of action is criminal in some areas.” Holzer calls us to action, using poetry as a respite Moving into later decades, her works were simple, amplifying first-person testimonies of refugees or survivors and catalyst. One poignant extract comes from Anna of sexual violence. The words easily created a strong Świrszczyńska’s Building the Barricade, creating a larger emotive response. They resonate today in this retrospective picture of the wall that Warsaw residents erected to stop – which rallies between old and new – suggesting that the oncoming tanks and Nazi forces. Centred on words just like this, the Guggenheim’s show becomes a huge literary issues we faced decades ago are still with us. The heart of this show is the content. The source material – expanse – a tour de force of past and present – which might collected in partnership with INGOs and local organisations well be utilised one day as a soundtrack for a revolution.
Words Gülnaz Can
Guggenheim Bilbao 22 March - 9 September www.guggenheimbilbao.eus
3 I Can Make You Feel Good TYLER MITCHELL
American photographer and filmmaker Tyler Mitchell (b. 1995) produces playful and sensual images that create a utopia of emotion and youth. Having grown up in Atlanta, Georgia, Mitchell began by creating skate videos, spanning music, fashion and friendships as points of focus. He has since gained international acclaim, with clients such as Prada, Marc Jacobs, Converse, Nike, The New York Times, The Guardian and Dazed, as well as being listed in Forbes' 30 Under 30 in 2019. Foam Amsterdam hosts Mitchell’s first solo exhibition – a milestone event and a must-see exhibition this summer. I Can Make You Feel Good is urgent in its intent: to construct new realms of optimism, reclaiming and reflecting upon the beauty of black cultures. Alongside a series of photographs – both commissioned and personal – the exhibition ruminates around dreamlike video works. In the first, Idyllic Space, simple pleasures such as
eating ice cream, skateboarding and playing tag are depicted with leisure, grace and fluidity, almost luxurious in their portrayal. Such episodes cut deep alongside citations from alternate realities of being a black youth today. One such example rings clear: Tamir Rice was a 12-year-old boy shot by Cleveland police in a similar environment of leisure and relaxation – simply being a child. Such politics are constant underneath the visuals of freedom and empowerment. Mitchell builds a whole universe. Even the commissions for the fashion industry – such as a cover image of Beyoncé for Vogue in 2018 – lie close to garden scenes and idyllic environments, dip-dyed in a candy colour palette and natural light. Whether fashion photography, fine art or documentary reportage, these images are tools to balance the scales – where Mitchell and his friends lounge around freely, expressively, effortlessly and proud.
Words Monica De Vidi
Foam Amsterdam 19 April - 5 June www.foam.org
1a + 1b. Julie Béna, Anna & the Jester in Window of Opportunity, 2019, video. Co-production: Jeu de Paume, CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux and Museo Amparo, Puebla. © Julie Béna and Galerie Joseph Tang. 2. For Bilbao, 2019. Text: Lives One More Hour, from Building the Barricade by Anna Świrszczyńska. Translated into English by Piotr Florczyk. © 2016 Tavern Books. Used with the permission of Ludmilla Adamska-Orłowska and the translator. Trikuarena, by Bernardo Atxaga. © 1990 the author, from Six Basque Poets, 2007. Used with permission of the author. © 2019 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / VEGAP. © FGMB, Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa, 2019. Image: Erika Ede. 3. Boys of Walthamstow, 2018. © Tyler Mitchell. Courtesy of the artist.
4a. Porthcurno, Cornwall, England, 2017. Picture credit: © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos. Only Human: Martin Parr , National Portrait Gallery, 21 February 2019 - 27 May 2019. 4b. Durban July races, South Africa, 2005. Picture credit: © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos. Only Human: Martin Parr , National Portrait Gallery, 21 February 2019 27 May 2019. 5. William Eggleston, Untitled, 1977. Courtesy Eggleston Artistic Trust and David Zwirner. © Eggleston Artistic Trust. 6. Golden Mouse, 2014, Pixy Liao.
4 Only Human MARTIN PARR
Whilst Martin Parr is synonymous with candid seaside portraits of sunburnt Brits, this idiosyncratic retrospective at London’s National Portrait Gallery (NPG) showcases many other facets of his prolific, varied career. Each room across the sizeable gallery space is dedicated to a different journalistic project; audiences traverse between celebrity portraits and pre-watershed BBC video commissions to the bizarre 3D Photo Escultura – tin and wood sculptures of his likeness handmade in Mexico City by a local craftsman. A large chunk of the exhibition takes a wry look at hobbyists and fanatics of all types, but Parr also casts himself in a large role. A particular highlight is the wall of expressionless Parrs dressed in exotic and far-fetched outfits showcasing various visits to professional photo studios across the globe. It’s at once a comment on identityas-commodity but also his own notion of self.
As you’d expect, Brexit looms large as a harbinger, taking up NPG’s biggest room. Access is (of course) via a functioning greasy spoon café decorated in Union Jack kitsch, which sits in high contrast to the restrained, classic Victorian surrounds. Next to the portraits on the wall there’s even signage prompting guests to “Leave” or “Remain.” Elsewhere, scenes of Brits abroad – taken from Parr’s international travels – during the 1980s and 1990s, exploring those who fetishise and covet “Britishness” even from a distance. Threaded throughout these various decades of work is the question of identity as both a construct and performance. Though Parr is a satirist by nature, he offers no judgement or solution to the questions that are flagged up throughout the show. His job, as it has always been, is simply to hold up a mirror with the saturation turned up, however uncomfortable and unsettling the reflection might turn out to be.
Words Grace Caffyn
NPG, London 7 March - 27 May www.npg.org.uk
Shot on a two-and-one-quarter-inch medium-format industrial dominance into something haunted and aware. This extradiegetic presence recurs in the image of a tired camera, the photographs on display at London’s David Zwirner Gallery are unique in their format – unlike anything storefront, papered over with signage. Words like “Sale”, else William Eggleston has made, since or prior. Taken “Free” and “New” appear on faded posters in yellows, pinks throughout California and the American south circa 1977, and greens that were once electric, now bleached and these images – starring cars and people – mark a tipping weathered. An air conditioning advertisement morphs into point in American culture: the seemingly endless economic an economic slogan: “Improve Your Own Environment.” expansion after WWII gave way to something new – a period These scenes are flattened into a palimpsest of text and colour. All of the photographs are shot in a waning light – of recession, unemployment and staggering inflation. Eggleston’s works capture landscapes in transition – washed with long shadows and bone-warming heat – save petrol fantasies marred with rust. One image displays a for one. Taken in a bar, from the low angle of a hunched crimson pickup truck against a pale sky, shot in angled patron, this image shows three figures above a cash register: profile. Amidst the paint’s glossy sheen and the chrome JFK, Martin Luther King Jr and Robert Kennedy. It is a painful bumper’s reflection, we see a small figure, bent over an moment in history, but also inviting, nostalgic. Dr King’s object (a camera, perhaps). The effect feels borrowed from eyes have been painted in: he is looking at something Jan van Eyck or Pieter Claesz, turning a symbol of American behind us that, decidedly, we aren't allowed to see.
Words Hunter Dukes
David Zwirner, London 12 April - 1 June www.davidzwirner.com
A GROUP SHOW
Elsewhere, Margaret Mitchell tells the story of three siblings The word “Kinship” suggests notions of support and comfort. However, as Open Eye’s show explores, familial relationships – her nieces and nephews – tracking them from childhood to adulthood. The artist photographed the children in 1994 are often highly complex – filled with emotional tension. Perhaps most unexpected is the journey that Johanna and again 20 years later. Displayed together, the portraits Heldebro took to find out about her father. Following years provide sharp, shocking contrasts, reflecting upon the effects without contact, Heldebro crossed the Atlantic to visit his new of urban displacement and socio-economic deprivation. Other dynamics play out in the field of romance. Pixy home in Sweden, breaking into his house. The series poses important questions about surveillance culture and forced Liao’s Experimental Relationship looks at power-plays rooted in traditional gender expectations. What happens when a intimacy, asking what it takes to “know” someone. Every stage of life provides different familial pressures. relationship doesn’t follow social conventions? Similarly, In Jenny Lewis’ portraits of new mothers, their smiles beam Momo Okabe’s Dildo is both tender and explicit. For this, outwards, but their eyes indicate mixed feelings of what’s to Okabe followed her lovers, documenting their struggles with come. In contrast, Lydia Goldblatt’s Still Here is a touching gender identity. However, Kinship’s most touching moments portrayal of her father’s decline into dementia. His figure come from A Portrait of a Sixty Year Friendship. Jemma becomes increasingly fragmented in the compositions; small O'Brien's film is a heartwarming depiction of what it means to love and appreciate someone through thick and thin. glimpses of objects offer clues towards lost memories.
Words Julia Johnson
Open Eye, Liverpool 9 May - 7 July www.openeye.org.uk
Still of Searching Eva. Image: © Janis Mazuch (DOP of Searching Eva).
The Digital Epoch SEARCHING EVA "Since she was 14, Eva has thought of privacy as old-fash- detail to be lingered on too long or to be tied down. “‘We focused on The collaboration between filmmaker and subject didn’t this phenomenon of ioned. With incredible consistency, she lives her entire life in public online, constantly commented on by her fans. At 17, end there – with Eva subtly steering the direction of the work being so open and she left her parents' problems behind." To approach a col- at various intervals over its lifespan. “She was giving hints transparent that it laboration with an online icon who wears her contempt for on the blog about what is interesting in her life right now,” kind of throws you Hellenthal remembers. “We realised that this was a clue for back on yourself. conformity on her sleeve must be done with caution. Eva Collé is an Italian model and sex worker, skirting around us to go and shoot whatever it was. There was some amount It’s really about the the shadows of Europe whilst sharing photos, thoughts and of guidance along the way.” Viewers follow Eva through deconstruction of calls to action on her Tumblr. It was her raw take on the world interactions with family, friends, clients and strangers. Each an identity rather that would pique the interest of filmmaker Pia Hellenthal: “It encounter is spliced with startling, stoic photography of Eva than focusing on offered this insight into something that I felt was in the air – adapting to new urban backgrounds with style and confidence the plot of a girl.’” that I wasn’t able to define or put words to,” Hellenthal recalls, – building a digital portfolio. In spite of an unbridled sense reading Eva’s work for the first time. “She was brutally honest, of honesty, Eva still had the ability to surprise Hellenthal describing things like abuse in the same way as breakfast. I during their time together. “She constantly contradicts herself, which is incredible because she’s also assured. The was intrigued by this, she doesn’t censor herself.” Living in the public eye should make for an easy transition surprising moments were when she went from being a heroin Words into film, but for Eva, a special relationship with the Director addict to suddenly being incredibly in control. These are Beth Webb had to exist as well. “It’s not so much that she hates being things you wouldn't necessarily put together.” Much as Searching Eva observes all areas of a controversial told what to do, it’s more that there’s so much exposure with this film,” says Hellenthal. “So we focused instead on lifestyle, it’s also a warm, even funny account of a woman Pia Hellenthal will be this phenomenon of being so open and transparent that it who many would struggle to place. “She works so hard to be attending Q&A sessions for kind of throws you back on yourself. It’s really about the free of other people’s opinions,” says Hellenthal. “Through Searching Eva, 9 & 11 June. deconstruction of an identity rather than focusing on the filming her, I realised the extraordinary work that’s been plot of a girl.” In this way, there was an ultimate sense of trust done. It’s way smarter and wiser than many people’s work Sheffield Doc/Fest, 6-11 June that was gathered around nothing ever truly being fixed – no that I’m around. I’ve never found someone like that before.” www.sheffdocfest.com
Double Vision IN OUR PARADISE
Still of In Our Paradise. Image: © Claudia Marschal.
There are two running motifs throughout In Our Paradise, France or Bosnia, the weight of prejudice is heavy and limiting.” “Following the In Our Paradise finds its lighter moments when tailing parallel lives of Claudia Marschal’s trenchantly intimate documentary about two battle-worn sisters striving to make better lives for their Mehdina’s children, who turn the stark walls of their sisters Mehdina and children away from home. One is a series of shots of the Earth temporary homes into worlds that no one else can see. Indira – who spend from outer space – a vast and foreign-looking orb kissed by Capturing subjects with short temperaments does not make the film in France and the sun. The other is a series of black backgrounds, holding for an easy shoot, but Marschal perfected a rhythm that Bosnia-Herzegovina white, short, lyrical phrases. “It’s a Bosnian Roman prayer, and allowed her to slip unnoticed into their imaginations. “The respectively – the film great thing about kids is that when you turn on the camera, documents despair it’s used to shelter the film’s protagonists,” explains Marschal. Following the parallel lives of sisters Mehdina and Indira they’re going to be performing for you for 20 minutes, and and isolation through – who spend the film in France and Bosnia-Herzegovina then after that they get bored and forget about it,” she says. a kind, respectful lens.” The lasting impact of the interviews on the children is respectively – the film documents despair and isolation through a kind, responsible and empathic lens. “I met anything but transient – especially with Mehdina’s eldest Mehdina in 2003. She had just moved with her husband to daughter. The filming proves to be a positive influence: “She an abandoned synagogue in a rural village in eastern France, now has a small camera, and she wants to make a film.” Whilst the future of representing displacement on screen which is where my grandmother used to live,” Marschal recalls. Enticed by the prospect of anything exciting happening in appears to be in promising hands, Marschal is here, today, Words her grandmother’s insular town, the filmmaker’s curiosity led hoping to tell the stories of those seeking a better future for Beth Webb her to document Mehdina for the next decade, though the themselves and their families. “I think that we should question work – taking its world premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest this the prejudices that we all inherit,” says Marschal. “I hope that the digressions in this work can remind people about Claudia Marschal will be summer – wouldn’t come into fruition until later. “It wasn’t until we went to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2013 that I how small human beings are as inhabitants of the universe.” attending Q&A sessions for met her sister Indira and that I found the story I really wanted Indeed, upon watching, the film is filled with cinematic magic In Our Paradise, 7 & 9 June. to tell,” she says. “The work is about these two sisters, because – instilling a sense of hope as well as the importance to share their stories are so interlinked. I had the desire to investigate and understand each other within such times of mass migration, Sheffield Doc/Fest, 6-11 June what exile means within a family, because whether you’re in population growth, expansion and unsteady politics. www.sheffdocfest.com
Image: © Ivana Kličković.
Inspiration from Elsewhere CATE LE BON Cate Le Bon is in Marfa, Texas, making a chair. In the decade me at least, and it feels more intimate. It lent itself well to “It’s fair to say since the release of her 2009 debut, Me Oh My, listeners the drama of my surroundings. It was the perfect tool for there’s a shift in this new collection of have come to associate her with guitars (expertly plucked) some expressive howling into the night sky.” Le Bon is definitely not the banshee she pertains to, but songs – a sense of rather than chisels and handsaws. She’s built a career on crisp, angular fretwork and inventive, deadpan narratives, it’s fair to say there’s a shift in this new collection of songs emotive transparency but recent years have found the Welsh musician and – a sense of emotive transparency where the surreal usu- where the surreal producer downing her usual instrument – albeit temporarily ally prevails, half-burying everything in double-meaning, usually prevails, halfdeep emotion and dry wit. “I'm a huge fan of absurdity as burying everything – in favour of new tools and an inherently fresh vision. Le Bon learned to build furniture during a stay in Cumbria, a means of engaging with today – especially in these be- in double-meaning during a period of intense creative introspection. “I went wildering times. But I do also love the starkness of direct and dry wit.” there because I knew that I needed some time away. I’d been language. When the two meet at the right time and validate writing, recording and touring for a solid six years between one another – that’s when it kicks in.” New single Home to You (and accompanying music video), solo albums and my side-project, Drinks, with Tim Presley. My relationship with music was starting to feel a little for example, finds the artist standing in clear solidarity with fractious. It felt like a good time to check in and re-evaluate.” marginalised people. “The politics of division are in full Furniture school proved grounding – a meditative practice effect with the likes of Brexit and Trump. It's important to around which Le Bon could anchor writing sessions for her stand in solidarity with the people being denied a sense of new record, Reward. “I would often give away pieces that belonging.” The times may be bewildering, but Le Bon has I’d been working on for months, which was a very freeing, found her centre. “When my time here in Marfa is done, I’ll liberating process. I was learning to appreciate that the be returning back to Wales soon to start rehearsing with my reward was in the making, not the end-product. I wanted the most wonderful band of loved and trusted musicians. I am Words same to apply to the album.” The course proved “so intense truly excited to tour the album with them, which is a joyful Charlotte R-A feeling to have; there have been times when it has felt like a that music became a hobby again – a cathartic outlet.” Reward is predictably engaging fare – much of it written chore, but, thankfully, taking time away and redressing the on piano. “It’s a much more involved instrument to play, for balance has ultimately restored my relationship with music.” www.catelebon.com
Surfacing New Emotions SNOW GHOSTS
Image: © Steve Gullick.
“We were drawn to the carnyx because it seemed to talk to us Cartwright took cues from the rituals humans use to honour “Though each of the from across centuries,” explains Snow Ghosts’ Ross Tones. The loss. “I attended several funerals over the course of writing tracks are behemoths instrument Tones refers to is a semi-reconstructed Celtic relic this record and was struck by how, in the west, we flounder of both sound and of unworldly appeal, and the centrepiece of the band’s third when it comes to grief. Without a common religious or mood – cavernous, album, A Quiet Ritual. The British-based trio, who emerged in cultural structure, no one seems to know how to behave. thundering, industrial 2008 as purveyors of dark, folk-inspired alt-metal, discovered Instead, there’s this stoic reserve, a cold, awkward approach.” laments of primal Moved to research alternative, historic funeral rites, power and foreboding, the bronze-cast Iron Age relic via a BBC documentary Cartwright came across the Celtic practice of keening. “The eerie melancholy – the featuring renowned carnyx player and expert John Kenny. The instrument Kenny plays is a boar-headed example, verb ‘to keen’ comes from the Gaelic ‘caoineadh’, to weep.” album was informed unearthed in Deskford, Scotland, 1816. The Deskford For this, several women from the local village would be asked by more quotidian, carnyx has a striking, trumpet-like timbre, and whilst to wail and lament. They’d perform the collective grieving private ceremonies.” historians frequently refer to them as war horns, Kenny – of the group, facilitating the mourning process for all and who guests on A Quiet Ritual – is increasingly convinced that encouraging those who want to express and release their loss these awe-inspiring artefacts are more suited to ceremonial, in a more vocal, open and down-right visceral way.” The songs are undeniably demonstrative, even paniccelebratory or communal purposes. The carnyx’s use in both war and ritual also appealed to the trio, echoing the inducing on the war horn carion call of opening songs Rip timeless themes that dominate their new sound: death, and Keening. Though each of the tracks are behemoths of love, loss and fate. Their 2019 offering was recorded in the both sound and mood – cavernous, thundering, industrial Wiltshire countryside in an old, isolated castle surrounded laments of primal power and foreboding, eerie melancholy by verdant forests. The band meditated on lineages both – the album was informed by more quotidian, private pastoral and mystic, drawing on Norse mythology, nautical ceremonies, claims Cartwright. “When you hear the word Words ‘ritual,’ you generally picture grand, ceremonial events Charlotte R-A imagery and the poetry of W. B. Yeats for inspiration. Whilst all three members (Tones, Oliver Knowles rather than the smaller, quiet and more personal ones,” says and Hannah Cartwright) allude to navigating various Cartwright. “The everyday, solitary procedures are arguably bereavements over the course of writing, vocalist and lyricist more important and far harder to communicate.” www.snowghosts.net
DD16, BIO-architects (www.bio-architects.com), Moscow, Russia, 2016. Photography: Vlad Mitrichev; Ivan Ovchinnikov.
Symbols of Idealism CABINS: ESCAPE TO NATURE Perhaps we’ve all had the urge to simply pack up our bags and trade our busy, complicated lives with something altogether quieter and more frugal. To live in a cabin is somewhat synonymous with the idea of returning back to nature. It is loaded with a romanticism reserved for those who value simplicity and the pared-down joy that comes with living an off-grid life that is as self-sustaining as it is devoid of the social pressures of city dwelling. As Damon Hayes Couture, author, states: “The projects give new form to an old idea. Whilst they may not look like the rustic examples of the past, they share similarities: they exist on the frontier.” Complete with over 30 examples of remote living, the publication, which is arranged by terrain – forest, mountain, water, remote, rural and urban – chronicles cutting-edge cabins from across the world, and their role in 21st century architecture. “The notion of a cabin blurs the boundaries between dream and reality, inspiration and experimentation, tradition and technology, and nature and culture,” Hayes Couture continues. “Between sunbathing and jigsaw puzzles, the desire to connect to a picturesque beauty remains a part of every visit.” Oregon-based architect Erin Moore’s tropical getaway in Hawaii, which is made of two wooden pavilions, is a perfect example of this: nestled in between a 300-year-old lava formation, visitors must walk through the surrounding land to move between both structures. “The two
modest pavilions shape the basic rituals of daily life, but the “Complete with over interstitial space between them allows the owner to live out 30 examples of remote an intentional relationship with the land.” living, the publication, An isolated yet inspiring place, cabins can also incite self- which is arranged reflection. Norwegian environmental historian Finn Arne by terrain – forest, Jørgensen writes that the structures are “as much ideas as mountain, water, actual places; they are observation points outside of time and remote, rural and space from which we can observe not just nature but ourselves urban – chronicles and the world we live in.” In this sense, the buildings aren’t so cutting-edge cabins much concepts devoid of society but reactions to it: places from across the world.” shaped by a shared cultural narrative. “More than simply wood, concrete and steel, cabins are imbued with past and present cultural values and communicate our relationship to the landscape,” Hayes Couture offers. The Klein A45, a prefabricated and flat-pack design by architects Bjarke Ingels and Søren Rose is a “product of its time”: distinctly Scandinavian, and reminiscent of the 1960s, the piece evokes the current trend toward downsizing possessions. What stands out the most, perhaps, in this title, is the idea of Words the cabin as idealism, optimism and digital escapism, despite Gunseli Yalcinkaya being a retreat largely found through online platforms. The question is: how does nature function through technology if we need the digital world to get us there? As the title Damon Hayes Couture summates: “Rather than a substitute for the experience, Images Publishing images are part of it, contributing to our stock of dreams.” www.imagespublishing.com
Ancient Traditions MAJA DANIELS: ELF DALIA authenticity and ownership. Daniels notes: “I felt a deep pull to his images. They hold a unique sense of eccentricity that drew me to Älvdalen in the first place, along with the desire to create a distinct non-linear, timelessness in my work.” In juxtaposing both artists’ portfolios, the publication acts as a conversation between the past and present, as well as tradition and modernity – nestled within atmospheric landscapes and dappled compositions. “By mixing my images with Tenn Lars’ archive I carve out a timeless space whereby mystery, strange events and humour can co-exist and where we can think of ‘myth’ as a creative expression, a sort of mode of communication,” she explains. An example of this is two compositions – which are 100 years apart – depicting town men wearing Santa Claus masks, reflecting the ongoing fables still prevalent in Älvdalen today. For Daniels, these stories are the most important. Here, magic is not meant to be supernatural but rather “an emotional relationship with place through notions of ancestry and folk beliefs.” On this reading, Elf Dalia is not only a selection of wellcurated and insightful photographs but a visual history set down for generations to come. “One of the key functions of including an archive is to consider how we got here and to look to the future,” she explains. “This is something the youth in Älvdalen are forced to confront since they are directly responsible for the survival of their language now.”
“The isolated and mountainous landscape of Alvdale – a small town on the border of Sweden and Norway – is the starting point for Elf Dalia, a collection of photographs by London-based Maja Daniels.”
Words Gunseli Yalcinkaya
MACK Books www.mackbooks.co.uk
Maja Daniels. Image from Elf Dalia (MACK, 2019). Courtesy the artist and MACK.
The isolated and mountainous landscape of Älvdalen – a small town on the border of Sweden and Norway – is the starting point for Elf Dalia, a collection of photographs by London-based Maja Daniels. Laced with history (the location of the Swedish witch trials in 1668) and with a population of 2,000 people, the town – where Daniels spent most of her youth – is one of the few places that still speaks Elfdalian, a North Germanic language derived from Old Norse that dates back to the Middle Ages. “Not only is it a mystery to linguists how it has been kept alive, but it also represents a personal mystery to me since I was never taught how to speak it due to the stigma that has been haunting previous generations.” Featuring approximately 100 images, the publication explores both the mystical and the vernacular through the day-to-day lives of a hidden community. “I became interested in exploring the cultural value of a language and how the act of speaking reproduces a specific worldview,” Daniels explains. The pictures are structured as a visual dialogue-of-sorts between the young artist and one of the founders of the Älvdalen Local Heritage Foundation, Tenn Lars Persson, a photographer from the early 1900s, who – like Daniels – dedicated a large part of his life recording the town’s culture, folklore, superstitions and beliefs, through a collection of 5,000 old glass plate images. There is a deep connection to be found in the spaces between analogue and digital –
Tucked JAMIE PATTERSON
Jackie Collins (Derren Nesbitt) is an ageing drag queen whose health begins to take a sharp, sudden decline. Collapsing in the kitchen after one of his regular performances at the local club one night, Jackie wakes up in hospital to be told he has less than a few months to live. Not long after this news, he meets Faith (Jordan Stephens) who starts working the same late-night shift as him. Following a back-alley fight with a group of homophobic men, Jackie and Faith forge a close bond of friendship. Faith moves in with Jackie (having nowhere else to go) and we gradually begin to discover more about each character as this domestic relationship unfolds. Jackie’s wife left him after finding out about his cross-dressing, which also leads to the estrangement of his daughter. The unfolding is intimately bound up in each character’s struggle with issues surrounding mortality and gender.
Put like that, Tucked sounds quite compelling. But something isn’t quite right. Whilst Nesbitt brings Jackie to life with real sensitivity, Stephens’ performance is unfortunately wooden. Every other character feels like an inconvenient tool to sustain the narrative. At times the film comes together but the script is hampered by bad jokes and overdrawn monologues. The real problem, though, is how obvious it all feels. Tucked tends to rehash the same conflict over and over again without taking the conflict further through emotions or concepts. Disbelieving minor characters cannot get over the fact that Jackie and Faith do not conform to typical gender stereotypes. It’s as if the film assumes its audience has only a faint understanding of the difference between gender and sex. The overall effect is that Tucked is far less radical than it suggests.
Words Christopher Webb
Bulldog Films www.bulldog-film.com
Our Time CARLOS REYGADAS
Carlos Reygadas’s Our Time is a deceptively emotional and intellectual film about a marriage in crisis – husband Juan and wife Esther are played by the director and his real-life wife Natalia López. Likely to challenge some art house fans as a meandering, even self-indulgent film, at almost three hours long it requires patience. Set on a Mexican ranch, the seemingly happy marriage is unsettled when Juan begins to struggle to contain his jealousy following Esther’s most recent sexual encounter. Their domestic drama consumes our focus, and indeed the surrounding landscape. The setting is metaphorically ripe and reflects the dynamics of a tearing relationship – in one scene, a bull slaying a mule acts as a transformative omen for the couple. These figurative concepts only surface fully following the film’s conclusion – Reygadas allows us only to
embrace each of the events only as they have passed. Throughout, there is an effortless feel – a lightness as we are allowed to piece together our own understanding through the constructed layers: the domestic unrest, the spatial surroundings and the carefree youths who sit opposite adults burdened with responsibility. In the end, Reygadas’s feature is neither optimistic nor cynical and is not driven to answer the question of whether the marriage will survive or perish. In this accomplished and mature piece of filmmaking, any statements or themes are ambiguous. With two characters struggling to know themselves, it would be disingenuous to say we understand the work with only a single viewing. The satisfaction to be found in Our Time is that it is an incomplete experience – a complexity to be enjoyed, considered and gleaned as an outsider looking in.
Words Paul Risker
New Wave Films www.newwavefilms.co.uk
Gwen WILLIAM MCGREGOR
Ambiguous and eerie, William McGregor’s directorial debut Gwen is not short on atmosphere. Howling winds, creaking doors and flickering candlelight pervade this tortured 19th century drama set in the shadow of the mountains of Snowdonia. Quite what the film wants to be is harder to discern, with a story that teases the audience with meaning, without ever fully revealing its hand. On the surface, this Wales-based film bears similar traits to Gareth Evans’ recent Apostle, another missing person tale wrapped inside a folk fable. Here, the story is seen through the eyes of the eponymous adolescent (Eleanor Worthington-Cox), who lives on an isolated farmstead with her younger sister Mari (Jodie Innes) and their mother Elen (Maxine Peake). Gwen and Mari’s father, meanwhile, is absent, off fighting an undisclosed war. This absence is keenly felt, with the family finances
dwindling and men from the local quarry circling their land like vultures. Facing ruin, Gwen takes responsibility for the household, even wheedling some much-needed medicine from the doctor for her increasingly disturbed mother. But it’s at night when the nightmares begin. Is there a demonic presence in the house? Why is Elen drawing blood? Why is the father absent? As mysterious as it all is, the story’s dabbling with the occult never quite knits into a satisfying whole, but it’s not for the want of trying. McGregor, who cut his teeth directing television with Poldark and Misfits, draws fine performances, particularly from an unhinged Peake and a stoic Worthington-Cox. Aesthetically, Adam Etherington’s cinematography captures the surrounding landscape with a sense of dread. There’s a pared-down score too from James Edward Barker that swells the gothic mood.
Words James Mottram
Bulldog Films www.bulldog-film.com
Lust for Youth LUST FOR YOUTH
The prolific Copenhagen-based duo returns with a pleasingly compact album in eight retro, navel-gazing songs, gluing melancholy dance-pop to fast-paced Euro-house beats. Mostly erring on the side of straight up four-to-the-floor addled drum machine percussion, the programming jauntily shakes underneath the angsty, droned ballad vocals that race throughout. The lead single Great Concerns is an unrelenting storm of 808 throwback gold, and whilst it is perhaps percussively disjointed, it feels very on-brand in our current epoch of swathes of 1980s-inspired pop culture. Each song feels like it would perfectly adorn a Gooniesstyle teen high school adventure montage – or indeed Stranger Things – with perfectly crunchy bass lines and panned sine waves. Hints of Talking Heads and New Order are obvious comparisons, but it’s the Morrissey-
style vocal delivery that really make it feel captivating, and carries the listener through from start to finish with refreshing authenticity and likeability. The female-led vocal on Fifth Terrace lifts this selftitled project above the undulating crunched bass lines and melancholic guitars, whilst Adrift shines as a stand-out beacon of considered production and fervent mastery. Whilst staying very much audibly on one level throughout, Lust For Youth has created an easily digestible, reflective album that contemplates the state of our world and yet is not entirely placeable in any time period due to the deep and hearty Blade Runner sounds wobbling throughout. And as cinematic as it sounds, it is a wandering collage of a 1980s moodboard of what the year 2019 might sound like – Euro techno house and analogue synthesisers in abundance.
Words Kyle Bryony
Sacred Bones Records www.sacredbonesrecords.com
End of Suffering FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes is an English punk rock band formed in 2015 by former Gallows and Pure Love frontman Frank Carter. Recorded with Cam Blackwood (George Ezra and Jack Savoretti) and mixed by Alan Moulder (Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age), End of Suffering follows on from acclaimed debut album Blossom (2015) and its follow-up Modern Ruin (2017). Recorded in just six months, it is the sound of a band mastering its creativity and entering its own space – lyrically and musically. Carter, together with cosongwriter Dean Richardson, has crafted sonic mountains and valleys for a wider vision, unfettered by expectation. Opening track Why A Butterfly Can’t Love A Spider sets the tone for what follows – namely taut riffs and strikingly intense vocals which are elevated in the mix. The impressive Tyrant Lizard King features Tom Morello (Rage
Against the Machine and Audioslave) as a guest guitarist whilst first single Crowbar is a vibrant excursion into comparatively melodic territory, with the accompanying video by long-time collaborator Ross Cairns. More restrained moments include the anthemic and festival-ready Anxiety which links back to #abetterplaceforyouandme, an online initiative launched by the band in conjunction with CALM to provide a safe forum for people to discuss ways of overcoming and living with anxiety. The distortion-heavy Love Games is a particular standout that references Amy Winehouse’s Love Is A Losing Game whilst Angel Wings is a harrowingly bleak chamber of lyrical despair. End of Suffering is frequently stark, edgy and antagonistic, with shades of Nirvana and Muse throughout. These are messages designed to lift the spirit beyond the first, second and even third listen.
Words Matt Swain
International Death Cult www.internationaldeathcult.com
Perfect Version JULIA SHAPIRO
Following three albums and eight years fronting American alt-rock foursome Chastity Belt, Julia Shapiro is going it alone. Written during a tumultuous period, Perfect Vision marks Shapiro’s first solo release. A paean to introspection, it’s a record celebrating the quiet revelations and terrors solitude can bring. Fittingly, many of these 10 highly intimate songs were not only written but mixed by Shapiro in her studio apartment in Seattle. Whilst Chastity Belt’s body of work saw Shapiro’s vocals soar over perky, Foals-like guitars and care free percussion, Perfect Vision is an experimentation with a more muted, hazy sound. Her lung-filling croon has transformed into a (frequently inscrutable) poetic whisper that’s layered into the production rather than above it. Each song is pared back in a way that’s completely disarming. Repetitive California-tinged guitar riffs lull
the listener quietly into a middle-distance daze before Shapiro jerks you back with an all too relatable reflection on lost youth. On A Couple Highs she sings “So much potential, a lot of disappointment. But back then I was so insecure” over a grizzled, Weezer-ish riff that’s caught somewhere in 1996. Parking Lot is equally as evocative, capturing that tension between nostalgia and regret: “I don’t wanna go back,” she muses. Elsewhere, things get a little heavier. Harder To Do is all plugged-in with a bucket load of distortion. Meanwhile, the hazy garage riffs of Shape feel like heat rippling off a summery tarmac road. With only two songs breaking the four-minute mark, these are short, sharp bursts of storytelling. In the vein of rule breakers Devonté Hynes and Courtney Barnett, Shapiro is moulding a transformative year into a record that's every inch an artistic vision.
Words Grace Caffyn
Sub Pop www.subpop.com
Futurekind ROBERT PHILIPS
“Making is what will get us to a better world.” From the get-go of Swiss designer Yves Béhar’s opening statement, Thames & Hudson’s Futurekind emphasises the importance of creativity and collaboration in driving design forward. Focusing on inspiring change in a variety of areas – including civic and economic empowerment, healthcare, accessibility and sustainability – the publication shows how everyday ingenuity can be harnessed to solve the problems facing today’s world. As author Robert Phillips describes: “Social design is about imagining solutions that solve critical issues which an underserved part of the population have had to overcome.” For example, projects such as the People’s Fridge Brixton reduce food waste whilst helping those in need. Mauricio Cordova’s bottle-mounted filter Faircap makes water safe through an affordable and accessible solution – a
Words Eleanor Sutherland
Thames & Hudson www.thamesandhudson.com
Archiphantasy ALEXANDER WONG
An iridescent feast for the eyes, Alexander Wong Architects’ first monograph lives up to its hybrid name. Containing essays on contemporary architecture as well as high-quality photographs of fantastical interiorscapes, Archiphantasy is both a portfolio of brick and mortar spaces and an exercise in imagination. Full-page glossy images capture the high-concept designs behind Wong’s futuristic retail spaces, and residential interiors. The cinema projects, in locations including Shanghai, Ürümqi and Hong Kong, push the boundaries of the movie-going experience. Some are inspired by classic sci-fi films like Ridley Scott’s Alien and James Cameron’s Avatar: they utilise organic forms reminiscent of leaves, metallic materials and violet LED backlighting to evoke an otherworldly biosphere. These filmic designs reach philosophical dimensions in
goal shared by innovation camp POC21, responsible for the easily constructed 30$ Wind Turbine. As much as 10 million tons of plastic enters the oceans each year. Addressing this crisis is The Plastic Tide, working on algorithms to help drones identify waste in the world’s seas. Reducing pollution is also at the heart of the PET Lamp scheme, which unites craftsmanship and cultural skills to address pollution. Engaging networks of practitioners across Colombia, Chile, Ethiopia, Japan, Australia and Thailand, the initiative works with local textile workers and retailers, fashioning lighting from bottles whilst celebrating local production techniques. At the crux of the text is community, with each initiative putting people – and their environments – first. These projects prove that we can all become active participants and change-makers, no matter the scale or budget.
a pair of 2016 projects that take the universe, Russian constructivism and Italian futurism as inspirations; Beyond Future in Wuhan represents dark matter with its dramatic, shiny black surfaces, whilst its sister White Futura in Shanghai suggests an existential point zero with its all-white, crystalline aesthetic. Wong’s signature spherical lines and futuristic minimalism carry on to the penthouses and retail spaces. All have been created with an attention to detail to be expected from the super-luxury end of residential buildings; many feature structures that pay homage to both the client’s life and to broader artistic movements. The essays tie these at times inscrutable architectural feats together, taking us through an imaginative approach to the proposals, contexts and techniques. Archiphantasy offers a futuristic vision for making.
Words Sarah Jilani
Images Publishing www.imagespublishing.com
World Press Photo 2019 WORLD PRESS PHOTO FOUNDATION
We are only halfway through the year and already it has been filled with mass migrations, tyrannical world leaders, senseless violence and race-based hatred. To capture these issues in a collection is no small task, but this is what the World Press Photo Foundation has been doing since 1955. Six decades later, for the 2019 edition, 17 jurors from 12 different countries reviewed nearly 80,000 entries chronicling joys, tears and fears from the world over. The collection of winning images is vast. To rattle off the world’s crises is something any well-informed world citizen can do, but to visualise the faces of those living in the thick of it takes real footage, captured with the empathy and respect of a fellow human being. That unwavering commitment to dignity is the common thread throughout the winning pieces. Take the first-prize winner for sports by John T. Pedersen, in which a young female
boxer trains in Uganda's Katanga slum; we sense hope and dedication despite the decaying surroundings. Similarly, a triple-image series by Olivia Harris chronicles the complex but successful overturning of Ireland's strict abortion prohibition, fueled by staged demonstrations and social media campaigning. Philip Montgomery shows the desperation of opioid addiction in America’s Midwest in sombre, arresting black and white. As much about the artistry of the image as the details outside of the frame, this collection offers viewers a tangible and empathic way into understanding the world in which we live. Such initiatives are only the start to creating change. As Managing Director Lars Boering writes: “It is integral to connect professionals and audiences through reporting that can be trusted. Photography might be the centerpiece, but it can no longer be the whole story.”
Words Marie Salcido
Thames & Hudson www.thamesandhudson.com
YUKO MIZOBUCHI “Today, when so much information is being circulated, what we actually feel is almost unfathomable.” Yuko Mizobuchi’s works, as such, are devoid of explanation. She seeks to communicate through the subconscious on what she describes as a “neo-primitive” level. Mizobuchi has exhibited work at numerous shows throughout her native Japan and is currently preparing for the Tokyo International Art Fair, 7-8 June.
RUINI SHI Combining the language of film and technological aesthetics, Ruini Shi’s practice traverses art and design. The resulting works explore notions of virtual intimacy and question humanity’s compatibility with the digital world. Shi’s first film Strings won the Award of Distinction at Prix Ars Electronica 2019. Desire Line, which she completed at the Royal College of Art, has been nominated for the Royal Television Society (RTS) Student Television Awards 2019. Upcoming screenings include Animafest Zagreb, 3-8 June.
CHO, HUI-CHIN Through a practice primarily concerned with painting and sculpture, Londonbased Cho, Hui-Chin demonstrates a deep interest in the amalgamation of materials. Distorted subject matter and abstract motifs intertwine in each piece – a figurative depiction of the artist’s integrated cultural upbringing. Cho is a winner of the Cass Art Painting Prize and the Steer Medal and Prize.
www.chin.art | Instagram: @chohuichin
GUDRUN NIELSEN Through site-specific, large-scale installations, Icelandic sculptor Gudrun Nielsen addresses human impact within contemporary cityscapes. The Mountain series, showcased here, comprises a collection of works inspired by the location of the artist’s studio – on the site of Iceland’s leading provider of clean energy. The photographs document small but constant changes in the surrounding environment. Nielsen has exhibited widely and is a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors.
AMY HUGHES HARRIET MOUTSOPOULOS Sydney-based Harriet Moutsopoulos is a collage artist who works under the name Lexicon Love. Drawn to the surreal and unsettling, she seeks out the unexpected connections between humour and tragedy. Ultimately it is the way in which collage art challenges traditional notions of aesthetics which she finds most appealing.
www.lexiconlove.com I Instagram: @lexicon_love
Amy Hughes is a British artist based in New York. Thematically, her work deals with the female body. Hughes manipulates and renders flesh in oil paint, exploring the ways in which women’s bodies are depicted in contemporary visual culture. Hughes has exhibited both nationally and internationally, and her work has sold at Sotheby’s New York. Hughes is currently exhibiting as part of the WMOCA International Biennial Portrait Competition at the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art until 29 June.
For submission enquiries regarding the Artists’ Directory, contact Katherine Smira on (0044) (0)844 568 2001 or email@example.com
Brett Dyer is an art professor and artist based in Dallas. His most recent work combines figures with evocative colours and patterns, revealing the complexity of the human spirit. Dyer’s work has been shown in numerous exhibitions throughout the USA. His latest solo show Deliverance: Rescued and Set Free is at the Irving Arts Center in Irving, Texas until 28 July. www.brettleedyer.wixsite.com/artist I Instagram: @brettleedyer
Passionately inspired by the ocean, Colette Gambell explores creativity through colour, fragility and the emotive landscape. These combined elements form the basis of her ever-evolving artistic language. Her practice is rich in diversity. It is haunted by depth and evocative of experience – melding memory and emotion in timeless beauty. Gambell is an artist, tutor and curator. www.colettegambell.com I Instagram: @originalcolettegambell
Bristol-based David Miles explores oil painting as both an academic and emotional process. He challenges conventions of the medium, as demonstrated by his “strip paintings”. For the American Flag series, Miles investigates convention, identity and politics. The piece shown here echoes the techniques of the pointillists to produce a heavily-layered and textured rendition of an iconic symbol of power. www.davidmilesart.com
The abstract paintings of UK-based Chilean Artist Enrique Azócar evoke the icy mountain landscapes of his native South America, going as far as to mix the gritty minerals into the pigments. However, these are not mere place-portraits – they are expansive expressions of the changing earth, ones full of emotional charge. www.enriqueazocar.com Instagram: @thewallnorthcontemporary I firstname.lastname@example.org
farihah aliyah shah
Culture, identity and land are themes at the heart of Farihah Aliyah Shah's practice. Using lens-focused media, she foregrounds personal and collective memories through figurative photography. The debut series Prefix is a retelling of origin through self-portraiture and symbolism. Shah's work has been exhibited in Europe, South Korea and Canada. She lives and works in Toronto. www.farihahshah.com I Instagram: @rihah
Gavin Smart is an award-winning Scottish photographer. Originally trained as a classical and jazz musician at London’s Guildhall School of Music, his photography is as diverse as his background, telling thought-provoking stories through creative imagery. His practice spans both advertising and fine art genres, with particular attention to theatre and arts promotion. www.gavinsmart.com I Instagram: @smart_gav
Inspired by the surrounding landscapes of Cumbria in the UK, Ian Heslop creates dynamic large-scale oil paintings. Blending analogue and digital methods, the abstract works evoke dreamlike atmospheres which ask the viewer to consider the subconscious and approaches to mental health. www.ianheslop.co.uk I Instagram: @ianheslop79 I Twitter: @ianheslop10
Transylvania-born Ioana Marinca uses photography as a visual diary. Now based in London, she focuses on street and documentary genres, exploring the notion of "home" – particularly in trying to understand what makes a country welcoming and what it means to "belong". Recent group exhibitions include 24:2019 in London and Shutter Hub Open in Amsterdam. www.ioanamarinca.com I Instagram: @transilvirish
Jae Young Park
Paris-based photographer Jacques Brun investigates nature as a utopia. From private to public spaces, the images consider how various environments became domesticated – offering a sense of nostalgia for humanity whilst expressing questions surrounding myths and dreams. Brun has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions. www.jacquesbrun.com I Instagram: @jacques_brun
Jae Young Park's Woolscape series considers dual aspects of minimalism and realism. Almost meditative in its depiction of interwoven strands, the works question what it means to be an individual – each strand of wool takes the foreground as being part of a tightly-knit structure. The faces remain hidden. Recent exhibitions include Graft for Life at Jumee Kim Gallery in Daejeon. m.blog.naver.com/melppang I Instagram: @jyp_artist
Day By Day, 2019. Acrylic painting, 120cm x 60cm.
Jessie Pitt is an Australian artist based in Austria, whose contemporary landscapes are inspired by mountains, light and shadow. She has presented work at The Other Art Fair London and ArtLab Munich, amongst others. Up next is a large-scale, multilayered installation – on the theme of connection between humans and the natural environment – for the Film Festival St. Anton in August. www.jessiepitt.com I Instagram: @jessiepitt_art
Julijana Ravbar is a self-taught artist who sees the abstract images she creates as being an intuitive visual diary of a unique interior language. The work emerges through a technique of balancing shape, line, colour and texture. Based in Slovenia, Ravbar's works can be found across the world in private collections and commercial businesses. www.artfinder.com/julijana-ravbar I Instagram: @julijana_ravbar_art
For submission enquiries regarding the Artists’ Directory, contact Katherine Smira on (0044) (0)844 568 2001 or email@example.com
Katharina Goldyn graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław with a doctorate in painting and is a currently a professor of drawing and painting at Studio Zeiler in Munich. Her brightly coloured works fuse traditional imagery with new age visual semiotics. An award-winning artist, Goldyn's recent shows have included participation in the Woman's Essence concomitant exhibition at the 58th Venice Biennale in May. www.goldyn.de
Brighton-based fine art photographer Mel Allen’s landscapes blur the lines between digital imagery and conventional media. The Tidal project explores the notion of how weather and tide affect our perception of reality, where the subjects are isolated and motion is controlled, achieving a calmness unseen by the eye. www.melallen.com | Instagram: @melallenphotography
NPier's photographs are a suspension of time. Inspired by his extensive travels, the works are a discovery of abandoned architecture, exploring structures through stillness and dilapidation. They anchor the viewer in isolated interiors away from the outside world. The image shown here is Anthem, from the Vertigo series. NPier lives and works in France. www.npierphotography.com
Ricky Leaver is a fine art photographer specialising in British settings. His cityscapes capture London as a modern yet timeless metropolis whilst his landscapes depict the country as wild and remote, yet tranquil and bucolic. The images feature bold lines, pronounced geometric shapes and vivid contrasts. Often textural in composition, Leaver's photographs sometimes veer towards abstraction. www.rickyleaver.com
Tzyy Yi Young
Japanese artist Satomi Sugimoto gained a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and now lives and works in Tokyo. Her art combines sculpture and painting in order to express the richness and complexity of natural, organic and elemental forms. The artist regards her practice as a spiritual process by which she uncovers the essence of an object. www.sugimotoworks.com
Tzyy Yi Young was born and raised in Taipei. Through a chance encounter with ceramic and glass she found her voice – translating ideas into sculptural forms and asymmetric displays. Each piece reflects upon the vernacular of the everyday – using form as a means of embodying and interpreting different spaces. Young holds a BFA from the University of Washington. www.tzyyyi.com/ceramicandglass I Instagram: @tzmakerstudio
Spanish photographer Ana Junko explores the interplay between light and darkness as a visual language. In the Hymn to Silence series, she explores "thoughts about time". Long exposure techniques offer deep shadows and soft distortion, creating a feeling of silence and mystery in monochrome landscapes. Junko notes that the series "transmits my personal vision and sensations". www.anajunko.com
Guatemalan jeweller and painter Andrea Rosales-Balcarcel considers the connection between personal identities and the environment. Since graduating from the Pratt Institute, she has exhibited internationally at LOOT: Mad About Jewelry in New York and Artistar Jewels in Milan. The work shown here is from the Walking Manhattan collection. www.andreabalcarcel.com Instagram: @andrea.balcarcel.studio
Charlotte is a painter and printmaker based in York. Her collagraphs and acrylic paintings express emotions through colour, taking inspiration from abstract art and music to create what she describes as "a feeling of sunlight." Willoughby-Paul exhibits with York Printmakers and West Yorkshire Print Workshop. www.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/ starletcharlotte Instagram: @starletcharlotte
Brazilian-Dutch painter Claudia Pombo offers an adapted view of nature and human situations. Different forms of her creative expression include illustrations of Amazonian mythology and metaphysical art, as well as landscapes. The piece shown here is entitled A View from the Balcony at Night. www.clpombo.wordpress.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Rotterdam-based photographer and visual artist Dineke Versluis is interested in the boundary between the public and private self and turns a documentary lens on how people live, work and spend their leisure time. She is often drawn to situations and sites which are momentarily devoid of human activity, captured with an eye for symmetry and detail. www.dinekeversluis.nl Instagram: @dineke.me
The work of Jordan-based multimedia artist Dodi Tabbaa has featured in numerous exhibitions as well as public and private collections around the world; she is currently preparing for a show in October. The Homage to my Parents (Deceased) collage series centres on the early life of Tabbaa's parents and utilises photographs, notes and rare textiles belonging to her mother. www.doditabbaa.com
Utilising primarily analogue processes, photographer Eleanor Rickard seeks beauty and narrative in both the landscapes and the people she encounters. Drawing upon established traditions in the literary and cinematic worlds, she explores the emerging genre of fictive documentary, questioning the nature of the real through a constructed narrative. www.eleanorrickard.co.uk Instagram: @eleanor_rickard
Frankie McAllister is a Londonbased photographer specialising in a semi-documentary style. The primary focus of her work is the imprint of human activity on natural landscapes. The Winter Playgrounds Manipulated Landscapes series examines how areas that have been developed for winter sports affect previously remote mountain communities. www.frankiemcallister.com Instagram: @frankie.mcallister
For submission enquiries regarding the Artistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Directory, contact Katherine Smira on (0044) (0)844 568 2001 or email@example.com
Stockholm-based Gunilla Daga uses primitive shapes and bold, contrasting colours to produce an essential aesthetic. Each piece is an investigation of materiality, achieved though natural tones and delicate forms. Daga has exhibited work at numerous fairs, including Artexpo New York and Spectrum Miami. www.gunilladaga.se Instagram: @gunilladaga Facebook: Gunilla Daga
Beautiful African Woman is an ongoing series by award-winning artist Houda Bakkali. Throughout the work, she seeks to pay homage to her heritage. Striving for colour and balance, the images are based upon digital illustrations and graphic design techniques. Bakkali’s recent solo exhibition Women and Digital Art: Breaking Stereotypes was held in May 2019 in Lorca, Spain. www.hbakkali.es Instagram: @hbakkali_
Using plant dyes, traditional paper and natural scenery, Jaehee Yoo's practice draws upon materials and techniques from ancient South Korea. The paintings are indicative of tradition and identity, revealing personal memories and emotions surrounding solitary landscapes. This is demonstrated in the displayed piece, Birch Trees of Inje. Yoo will be exhibiting work at Red Dot Miami, 4-8 December. Instagram: @jaeheeyoo78
Jean Davis is a figurative abstractionist painter who integrates subjects into undefined environments to express subconscious thoughts and feelings. The various compositions represent psychological and selfportraits. The piece shown here is Mnemosyne, created using oil and silver leaf on panel. Davis lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and works from her studio in Alameda. www.jeanzart.com
Mexico City-born, New York-based artist Jessica Alazraki's figurative portraits convey everyday stories through bold, hyperreal colour schemes. The characters confront the viewer without interacting with one another. The effect is both emotional and isolating. The narratives draw from American and Mexican cultures, investigating the spaces between the two. www.jessicaalazrakiart.com
Beijing-based Jingfeng Li specialises in the intricacy and potency of the black line. Shading with pinpoint precision, the artist achieves painstaking realism that approaches photographic accuracy. The featured work builds a richly detailed portrait – a fine representation of artistic skill. Li has participated in solo and group exhibitions and has won numerous awards in Europe and the USA. www.clatia.com/artist/index/214-1
Johanna Reich's Virgins Land is a video work that depicts the artist on a deserted beach, holding a golden rescue blanket caught in the wind. The material resembles a flag – providing connotations of emergency, humanity and a sense of urgency. Reich is exhibiting work for Women in Media Technology, as part of the Athens Digital Arts Festival, 1-12 June. www.johannareich.com Instagram: @johanna.m.reich
Kexin Di is an established oil painter, creating dark and highly textured portraits that capture elegance and serenity. A successful example of expressing likeness, the works balance light and dark with rich jewel hues and complex skin tones. Di is a full-time artist in the Wuhan Fine Art Academy and has exhibited work in China, Hong Kong, Japan and France. dikexin.artron.net Instagram: @dikexin
Scottish photographer Kit Martin engages with the opposite ends of the scale, moving between historic camera-less techniques and digital technologies. Drawing upon a background in medical and police photography, she constructs images with botanical precision and dramatic introspection. She notes: "I am, by nature, curious." The works are a culmination of intrigue and process. www.kitmartinphoto.co.uk Instagram: @kitmartinphoto
Florida-based artist Kristin Pavlick poses important questions about consumerist societies: how much does visual culture influence our decisions? Referencing pop art and 21st century icons, the works render contemporary images through traditional techniques. Her pieces are held in numerous private and public collections, including the Coral Springs Museum of Art. www.KristinPavlick.com Instagram: @kristinpavlick
lorette c. luzajic
Award-winning Canadian artist Lorette C. Luzajic creates affordable art for small spaces. Square foot-sized mixed-media collage paintings are noted for their urban, surreal, pop and abstract styles. Luzajic’s works are featured in private and public collections in Toronto, Los Angeles, New York, Mexico City, Edinburgh, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Bogota, Tunis and beyond. www.squarefootartbylorette.ca
Swiss artist Margaretha Gubernale utilises traditional materials such as oil on canvas to express a sense of spirituality and interconnectedness. In Networking, she builds an ephemeral landscape centred around the sun – a symbol of our place within the natural world. Gubernale notes that it is a figurative call to action around which we should base all technology. www.margarethagubernale.org
Wispy brushstrokes. Free-flowing colours. Fluid outlines. Ming Ying's paintings blend Chinese philosophy with western modes of representation. One of the key concepts concerns the Buddhist idea of renewal. Each composition is an impression of change. Currently based in London, Ying is an MA Painting student at the Royal College of Art. www.mingying1204.wixsite.com/ mysite-1
Based between Cárdenas, Cuba and Miami, Nadal Antelmo is a self-taught artist with a background in mechanical engineering. His creative output centres around visual codes and viewer perception; the Cuba: Times of Change series documents the island from a personal perspective. Antelmo's work has been exhibited throughout Cuba, the USA, Mexico, Argentina and Italy. www.nadalarte.com
nunan & cartwright
Inspired by the visual archetypal languages of ancient cultures, Shona Nunan focuses on the essence of being. Michael Francis Cartwright’s works exude balance and freedom, exploring concepts within nature and beauty. The Australian artists will celebrate the opening of their new studios in the Provençal village of Correns, France, on 18 July. The event commences at 18:30. www.nunan-cartwright.com/studios
A classically trained stone carver, Oleg Lobykin uses conceptual ideas to communicate his fascination with contradiction: order and chaos, light and dark. Originally from Saint Petersburg and currently based in Palo Alto, Lobykin notes: "As a resident of Silicon Valley, I live between cuttingedge technological progress and concerns about its impact on the environment and our future." www.lobykin.com
For submission enquiries regarding the Artists’ Directory, contact Katherine Smira on (0044) (0)844 568 2001 or firstname.lastname@example.org
With an improvisational process, Ros Johnson takes stock of a wide range of media including painting, drawing and textiles. Each threedimensional work highlights the intersection between maker and material, filling the gaps from inception to creation. Forms and lines are a visual vocabulary for the abstract artist. Johnson lives and works in York, UK. www.rosjohnsondesign.com Instagram: @rosjohnsondesign
Rosie Waring is a textile artist based in Yorkshire, UK. Handweaving patterns with bold, blocky colours and fine lines, Waring produces vibrant designs that bring the outdoors in – using nature's polychromatic palette as inspiration. The featured designs are prominent in a number of interior products and personal accessories. www.rosiewaring.co.uk Instagram: @rosiewaringtextiles
UK-based Samantha Silverton transforms ceramic pieces using glaze and mark making. The uniqueness of each threedimensional painting reflects memories, emotions and colours associated with particular landscapes. Through what she describes as an intuitive energy, "every brushstroke made is a reaction to the last; each new dab, splash and flick of colour creates a rhythm and flow." Instagram: @samanthasilverton
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 emotions. www.purdysart.co.uk Instagram: @purdysart
STEFANIE SCHMID RINCON
German-Colombian photographer Stefanie Schmid Rincon is currently based between Berlin and London. Street life and urban dwellings are key inspirations. Working primarily in analogue film, she unearths fleeting moments in the everyday. Schmid Rincon's work has been shortlisted for several international awards and has been exhibited worldwide. www.stefanieschmidrincon.com
Susanna Bauer is a German artist based in the UK. Directly crocheting onto natural leaves with fine cotton thread, she creates highly detailed three-dimensional works that demonstrate a balance between fragility and strength. Each piece reflects individual stories whilst paying tribute to the enduring beauty of nature. Shown here is Everything That Surrounds Us. www.susannabauer.com Instagram: @susanna_bauer
Erosion seen as abstract forms. Rocks shaped by the natural forces of wind, waves and currents. Suzy Corby’s photographs evoke her compassion and serenity from a perspective that is honest, elegant and assertive. The work reflects a profound respect and admiration for all aspects of the natural world. Shown here is Dragon from the Erodere series. www.suzycorby.com email@example.com
Thelma Pott's work is an ongoing investigation into the effects of abstraction on one's mental state. Opening dialogues about the psychological experience, each of the works considers the space between what we see and what we perceive. Pott is a winner of the Calouste Gulbenkian Project Grant. She lives and works between London and Porto. The piece shown here is entitled Lotus Flower XVII, 2019. www.thelmapott.com
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Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #21, 1978. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.
Paul Moorhouse Curator and Art Historian
Cindy Sherman is widely recognised as one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading contemporary artists, but she is also amongst the most unconventional. Her first solo exhibition held in 1976 in New York revealed an entirely distinctive approach. Using make-up and costumes, she manipulated her appearance in order to create a range of invented characters, and then photographed herself in role. Quoting cinema, television, magazines, fashion and pornography, her images expose the modern world to the glare of a subversive gaze. In her recent work, Sherman presents multiple personae within single photographs, as if the false identities are proliferating. This elaborate masquerade now spans more than 40 years and is the subject of the major retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery, 27 June - 15 September. www.npg.org.uk.