Aesthetica Issue 79

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The Art & Culture Magazine

Issue 79 October / November 2017

illusory enterprise

taking responsibility

complex perspective

Charting contemporary structural theory through celebrated design

2017’s edition of Foto/Industria looks at production and labour

A new label questions fast fashion through promoting sustainability

Championing diverse ideas from emerging female photographers

UK £4.95 Europe €9.99 USA $13.49

Collective landscape

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Welcome Editor’s Note

On the Cover Detroit native Elise Mesner has a unique and eclectic imagination that is exercised through a multitude of media. Mesner finds unexpected dimensions and translates scenes from the everyday into a neon, halcyon summer. Idyllic landscapes are the basis for a unique aesthetic that demonstrates energy, vibrancy and playfulness. (p. 114). Cover Image: OH SKYS, Los Angeles, CA | Elise Mesner Photography, Model: Chelse K, Stylist: Vivian Kania, Clothing: Indah & Libby DeSantis, Hair & Makeup: Monica Preciado

It’s hard to grasp the state of world. Whether it is North Korea, devastating hurricanes and terrorism or Brexit, populism and Trump, it feels as if we’re moving at 1,000 miles per hour but just about to run out of petrol. Last year “post-truth” was branded the word of the year by the Oxford English Dictionary. There is a macro level of world events, which operates on such a vast scale, it seems beyond our control and this creates a sensation of powerlessness. However, there is the micro level, and this unfolds with the individual. Desensitisation is the new normal and the realities of internet culture have damaged humanity. The consistent question remains: where do we go from here? This issue looks at practitioners who are responding to the current global situation in intelligent and meaningful ways. Foto / industria in Bologna takes the relationship between humans and the environment to a new level. Featuring Arctic landscapes to suburban settings, this festival highlights the impact we are having on the planet. A+ Architecture: The Best of Architizer 2017 showcases the best projects of the past 12 months. It cannot be underestimated that architects currently have a huge role to play in adopting sustainable methods but also in developing a co-existence between the natural and the built world that is more harmonious. Firecrackers takes females photographers as its starting point. How are women moving forward in this form and what are the reasons for so many female photographers in recent years? In photography, Eric Dufour harnesses architectural forms to make sculpture. Hayley Eichenbaum captures the beauty and timelessness of Americana. Metz + Racine and Kelsey McClellan use food as objects in what would be mundane moments; this is exactly what makes them imaginative and extraordinary. Kovi Konowiecki and Benoit Paillé take subtle images that are flooding with meaning, drawing out narratives of things that could or might have been. Our cover photographer Elise Mesner defies categorisation with a pop aesthetic. Finally, Alec Soth talks about the photograph as possibility. Cherie Federico

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Art 22 Material Playgrounds Interior design and fine art come together in Metz + Racine’s works; a bold mix of colour and pattern contribute to shoots with a sense of movement.

34 Collective Landscape A new book from Phaidon charts contemporary structural theory through celebrated buildings that make use of space as a social connective.

40 Cultural Translation Michelle Maguire and Kelsey McClellan highlight the globalisation of fast-food Americana through colour co-ordinated styling and idealistic settings.

52 Temporal Visualisation Kovi Konowiecki’s introspective and nuanced series Delivering Flowers to Grandpa Jack calls upon the notions of geographical and perceivable identities.

62 Complex Perspective Firecrackers, a visual anthology edited by Fiona Rogers and Max Houghton, champions diverse viewpoints from new female photographers.

68 Emotive Subjectivity Creating tangible dialogues with environments, Benoit Paillé’s images deal with perception and memory through new modes of consciousness.

78 Taking Responsibility Combatting waste in the fashion world, emerging brand Port Zienna focuses on making affordable garments that utilise sculptural minimalism.

84 Abstract Iconography For the past four years, Hayley Eichenbaum has documented the remnants of Route 66, which she translates into pop-coloured, idealistic vignettes.

96 Illusory Enterprise The third edition of Foto/Industria foregrounds the wider themes of industry, work and production through exhibitions that address topical issues.

102 Vibrant Anonymity Flush with a consistently colourful palette, Eric Dufour’s compositions reduce urban buildings to their most basic elements and structures.

114 Idealistic Surroundings With a keen attention to textural detail, Elise Mesner finds unexpected dimensions and translates scenes from the everyday into a neon, halcyon summer.

126 Exhibition Reviews Featured in this issue: SF Camerawork, Serpentine Gallery, Marian Goodman Gallery, Tate Modern, Design Museum and Daniel Raphael Gallery.


Music 131 Memory as Narrative New release Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool is a British showstopper by Paul McGuigan that combats the notion of the Hollywood biopic.

134 Creativity as Remedy Californian visionary Chelsea Wolfe returns to the scene with her fifth album, Hiss Spun – a dark and innovative example of songwriting.


Last Words

135 Percussive Touchstones Beaches’ dual record Second of Spring manages to feel both warm and haunting, like a ring of spectres dancing on some unknown sunlit shore.

138 Sensory Exploration Punchdrunk’s upcoming VR collaboration reflects an age of theatre built upon worldwide notions of digitalisation, acceleration and immersion.

162 Alec Soth Sleeping by the Mississippi is a bold, tumultuous collection of images that depicts the “third coast” through Soth’s characteristically cinematic style.

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

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130 Literary Consciousness When Pablo Behrens discovered Colin Wilson’s 1961 novel Adrift In Soho, he found the perfect expression of the area, and re-wrote it as film.

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

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

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Stephen Shore, Ginger Shore, Causeway Inn, from Uncommon Places, 1977. C-Print, PS W 610 x H 510 unmounted.


Alternative Histories States of America: Photography from the Civil Rights Movement to the Reagan Era The rise of Donald Trump to the US Presidency may have titioners’ work is how change is played out through figures “Audiences see shocked establishment political commentators, but the po- on the margins of mainstream society. Arbus (1923-1971), the importance larised and troubled social landscape in the US that gave for example, created an oeuvre which featured transgender of documentary rise to today’s divided nation has been many years in the people, individuals with learning disabilities, and circus per- photography in making – and has been well documented along the way. The formers including dwarfs and giants. Her visionary practice acknowledging upheavals of the later decades of the 20th century were re- was presented alongside that of Friedlander and Winogrand the value of the corded through the lenses of several generations of innova- in the influential 1967 show New Documents. Dawoud Bey (b. lives of those seen tive documentary photographers, each of whom reinvented 1953) developed a community-based, collaborative practice as lying outside concerned with the everyday street life of Harlem. He has the conventional the form to capture the concerns of their own times. Nottingham Contemporary’s States of America, its first often worked closely with teenagers, noting that their interest borders of society.” group exhibition dedicated to photography, shows how 16 in appearance and style demonstrates most powerfully how influential figures in the field charted the tectonic shifts in a community perceives itself at a particular moment in time. Mary Ellen Mark (1940-2015), meanwhile, covered protest American society from the 1960s to the late 1980s, from the Civil Rights era through to the free-market economics movements including opposition to the Vietnam War and the of the Reagan presidency. The show reveals how social, rise of the women’s liberation movement. Based in New York economic and political forces have manifested themselves during the late 1960s, she documented transvestite culture in the lives of individuals, through the decay of city centres, and the lives of prostitutes. She and husband Martin Bell the decline of once traditional industries and the growth of created the 1984 film Streetwise which follows the lives of child prostitutes in Seattle, and features a soundtrack by Tom suburban sprawl and mass advertising. Canonical pieces by Diane Arbus, Dawoud Bey, Mark Waits. She also worked as a still photographer for directors Cohen, Bruce Davidson, Louis Draper, William Eggleston, including Fellini and Coppola. Throughout States of America, Nottingham Contemporary Lee Friedlander, Jim Goldberg, Danny Lyons, Mary Ellen audiences see the importance of documentary photography Until 26 November Mark, Nicholas Nixon, Bill Owens, Milton Rogovin, Stephen in acknowledging the value of the lives of those seen as lying outside conventional borders of society, where we can www.nottingham Shore, Joseph Szabo and Garry Winogrand all feature. A running theme through many of the participating prac- perhaps glimpse the origins of future political earthquakes.

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Spontaneity as Inspiration Instant Stories: Wim Wenders’ Polaroids ing his craft as a filmmaker in the 1960s. He sees the spon- “The small format taneous, physical images created by the Polaroid process images selected here as representing a liminal space between the subject and the represent a literal and photograph, the photographer and the act of taking a photo, metaphoric journey the intention and the outcome. He is also struck by the con- through Europe trast between the unique and immutable qualities of the and the USA. They Polaroid image and today’s equally instant, but by contrast capture a distinct easily manipulated and duplicated, digital snapshots. and lyrical vision, “The entire Polaroid process ... has nothing to do with our and in the process, contemporary experience, when we look at virtual and van- embody and reflect the ishing apparitions on a screen that we can delete or swipe to evolution of an artist.” the next one. This was ... a singular object of its own, not a copy, not a print, not repeatable,” notes the director. Just as the famous opening sequence of the vast desert landscape in Wenders’ Paris, Texas set to the wailing slide guitar of Ry Cooder, can be understood as a European eye responding both to the reality and the Wild West mythology of America, here we relive the director’s first experiences and face-to-face encounters with American cities and culture. Alongside diary-like impressions and homages to his own artistic inspirations, including Rainer Werner Fassbinder The Photographers’ and Andy Warhol, the small format images selected here Gallery, London represent a literal and metaphoric journey through Europe 20 October - 11 February and the USA. They capture a distinct and lyrical vision, and www.thephotographers in the process, embody and reflect the evolution of an artist.

Wim Wenders, Valley of the Gods, Utah, 1977. © Wim Wenders. Courtesy of the artist.

Wim Wenders (b. 1945), acclaimed director of films including Paris, Texas (1984) Wings Of Desire (1987) and Buena Vista Social Club (1999), has long had a highly regarded parallel career as a photographer, in which he demonstrates a painterly eye and an abiding fascination with landscape; it is a career which has seen his work exhibited internationally. Yet The Photographers’ Gallery, London, presents a different facet of the German director’s career of creating memorable images, which also offers a direct insight into his thought processes and his evolving aesthetic and thematic preoccupations. Between the early 1970s and the mid-1980s, Wenders took thousands of Polaroids, both whilst on location for his films and when travelling the world, the results acting as a spontaneous visual notebook or diary, and as a testbed for experimenting with the composition of particular shots. Instant Stories offers a carefully edited selection from this substantial archive, with more than 200 of Wenders’ Polaroids. They range from portraits of cast and crew, and friends and family, to behind-the scenes moments, still-lives, streetphotography and landscapes. They are accompanied by a selection of moving images from films in which still photographs are not just an influence on the cinematic style, but often form a vital part of the narratives themselves, such as the photo-obsessed protagonist in Alice in the Cities (1974). Wenders began experimenting with the format whilst learn-

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Cindy Sherman, untitled film still 48b, 1979. C2a9 courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.


Visionary Renewal Being Modern: MoMA in Paris One of the great institutions of art history in the 20th and 21st less familiar but highly significant pieces. Amongst the artists “The style of the centuries, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, is showcased in represented are Paul Cézanne, Gustav Klimt, Paul Signac, show also offers an an exhibition which does not simply celebrate the curatorial Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Giorgio insight into how the vision of MoMA, but questions and renews it and, by so doing, de Chirico, Edward Hopper, Max Beckmann, Ludwig Mies New York venue fulfils the museum’s mission to remain perpetually modern. van der Rohe, Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Alexander will be reconfigured Whilst the New York building is engaged in a major Calder, René Magritte, Walker Evans, Yayoi Kusama, Willem following the renovations, adopting expansion and renovation programme, MoMA has partnered de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Yvonne Rainer and Frank Stella. Some are being exhibited in France for the first time, and a more fluid and with Fondation Louis Vuitton to bring a far-reaching representation of its vast collection to Paris. The entirety of works making their debut include Constantin Brancusi’s Bird interdisciplinary the Fondation’s Frank Gehry-designed building plays host in Space (1928); Diane Arbus’s Identical Twins, Roselle, New approach.” to 200 works telling a story from the birth of modern art Jersey (1967); Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962); through abstraction, Pop Art and Minimalism to the present. Philip Guston’s Tomb (1978); (Untitled) “USA Today” by Felix The style of the show also offers an insight into how the New Gonzalez-Torres (1990); 144 Lead Square by Carl Andre York venue will be reconfigured following the renovations, (1969); Untitled by Christopher Wool (1990); Untitled (You Invest in the Divinity of the Masterpiece) by Barbara Kruger adopting a more fluid and interdisciplinary approach. As Suzanne Pagé, the artistic director of Fondation (1982); and Patchwork Quilt by Romare Bearden (1970). Regarding the future direction of the New York-based Louis Vuitton and overall curator of the exhibition, says: “Paradoxically, the immense overall success of MoMA means gallery, and what the Paris exhibition may reveal about it, the that many interesting particularities about the museum have institution’s director, Glenn D Lowry, says: “The disjunctive been eclipsed. It’s almost hegemonic status proposed the nature of modern and contemporary art can – and should idea of a potentially universal art museum – an idea which, – be reflected in the galleries. This means using a collage- Fondation Louis like approach, with each gallery telling an independent story, Vuitton, Paris as its proponents are aware, has now become outdated.” The very idea that MoMA represents a particular, enabling competing and even contradictory relationships 11 October - 5 March uncontestable, canon of work is challenged by the curation of to emerge instead of trying to present a linear progression... Being Modern, which juxtaposes renowned masterpieces with that can never, in fact, be more than an arbitrary abstraction.”

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Charting Creative Synergy An Eames Celebration Eames, which examines how they realised their designs in “Vitra Design practice, with ground-breaking technical solutions. The Museum’s celebration title comes from the name they gave to the noise made by of the Eames legacy a machine they invented for moulding plywood into 3D features four parallel shapes. More than 500 exhibits feature, including extremely exhibitions offering rare plywood sculptures by Ray Eames, models of the Eames unprecedented House and the IBM Pavilion, and reproduction of the room insight into both the installation created for An Exhibition For Modern Living. work itself, and the The duo initially focused their efforts on plywood, exploring synergy between the the limits of its capacity to be moulded into complex shapes. couple, who first In the late 1940s, they began experimenting with plastic, met in 1940.” creating the fibreglass chairs that soon became a common fixture in households and public spaces. Over the following years, milestones included the Eames Lounge Chair, the Aluminium Group and the series of Wire Chairs and bases. The most famous furnishings and buildings by the duo were created over a relatively short period of about 15 years. In the late 1950s, their attention shifted to exhibitions, films and multimedia installations. They created several of the very first multimedia shows, such as Glimpses of the USA (1959), projected onto seven large screens, or the 22-screen slide show Think, presented in the IBM Pavilion for the 1964 Vitra Design Museum World’s Fair in New York. In 1971 they conceived A Computer Until 25 February Perspective, in which the duo who did so much to shape the modern world anticipated the digital era soon to come.

Installation view of Glimpses of the U.S.A, American National Exhibition, Moscow, 1959. © Eames Office LLC

The timeless modern aesthetic created by design duo Charles and Ray Eames encapsulates the exuberance and optimism of a particular moment in post-war American life. Their innovation and technical rigour, not only in the field of furniture, where their designs are classics, but across architecture, film, books and art installations, still shape how our everyday environments look and function to this day. Vitra Design Museum’s celebration of the Eames legacy features four parallel exhibitions offering unprecedented insight into both the work itself, and the synergy between the couple, who first met in 1940 at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. They married one year later and opened the Eames Office in Venice, California, in 1947, becoming arguably the most successful design partnership in history as they ranged across disciplines in the decades that followed. Trained as an architect, Charles Eames possessed exceptional technical skills, whilst Ray Eames’ studies in painting informed her sense of colour, composition and form. Charles & Ray Eames. The Power of Design is shown in the main building of the museum. Alongside, a selection from more than 100 films are presented under the title Ideas and Information: The Eames Films. Meanwhile, Play Parade: An Eames Exhibition for Children invites visitors to discover the many toys created by the duo. Finally, the Vitra Schaudepot hosts Kazam! The Furniture Experiments of Charles & Ray

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Ali Kazma, North, 2017, two-channel HD video synchronised, colour, sound, 5 min 10 sec. Production : Jeu de Paume, Paris, with the support of the SAHA Association, Istanbul. Courtesy of the artist © Ali Kazma


Transformation through Labour Ali Kazma: Subterranean Human activity and its power to transform the world is the theme at the heart of Ali Kazma’s (b. 1971) practice. He is fascinated by the idea of work, in all its aspects and economic implications, from systems of mass production to the artistic and the artisan modes – a subject which is particularly relevant today as the eve of a new era of mass automation threatens to bring about a fundamental transformation in the relationship between human beings and industry. Primarily using video, he creates pieces structured by rhythm and a striking sense of intensity, capturing the concentration of the workers and the repetitions of the machinery and the processes of manufacturing depicted here, eliminating the presence of the artist himself as the subjects remain oblivious to the presence of the camera. These pieces raise questions about the meaning of human activity and the validity of structures of economics, production and social organisation. Kazma was born in Istanbul, and, after studying in New York, returned to his home city. He has won the UNESCO Award for the Promotion of the Arts and the Nam June Paik Award for media art. Since 2006, his video output has been mainly structured around two series, entitled Obstructions and Resistance. The videos constitute an immense archive of the contemporary world of industry. Each piece is a study of the gestures and techniques of workers, and the rhythm of automatic production lines. They capture the tension

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between order and chaos and the sheer human effort and “Primarily using skill which is required to impose the one upon the other. video, he creates A vast spectrum of types of industry and activity is pieces structured represented, from global seed vaults to cryonics, from by rhythm and a taxidermy to tattooing, from a brain surgery procedure to striking sense of an automated car manufacturing plant. The materiality of intensity, capturing the body, our most fundamental way of asserting ourselves the concentration physically upon the world, is a key concern. Kazma has said: of the workers and “Personally, I work in my body ... I have learned that in order the repetitions of for me to learn about the world, it has to learn about me.” the machinery.” This two-way transaction, whereby the act of labour both creates a transformation on the outside world but also takes its toll on the body, is also key. Just as the people he films feel physical impacts, he also has to enter into this: “I cannot work only with my brain and knowledge; I also need to commit physically, tire myself out, exhaust myself, and struggle against boredom and obstruction.” In recent pieces such as Past (2012) and Absence (2011), Kazma makes what seems like a radical departure from the energy of his signature projects, to portray abandoned places filled with only the traces and memory of human Jeu de Paume, activity, including an archaeological dig and a disused Cold Concorde, Paris War nuclear bunker. However, even here, the images remind 17 October - 21 January us that energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed, and it still remains present – albeit frozen and latent in form.

Illumination as Dialogue Parasolstice: Robert Montgomery

Robert Montgomery. Whenever You See the Sun, 2010. Lightwork installed in Hamish McAlpine’s garden Broadstairs. Dimensions 240 x 470 x 170 cm.

The poetic texts of artist Robert Montgomery (b. 1972) have and worked in the neighbourhood, Montgomery responds to “In his practice, become a regular sight in East London, appearing subversive- its specific situation, with the city of London to the south, and we see the city ly across commercial billboards and advertising hoardings, as the “silicon roundabout” at Old Street, as well as historical understood both as part of a practice inspired by the Situationist tradition of creat- sites such as Wesley’s Chapel and William Blake’s grave part of nature – he ing art in unexpected places in order to communicate directly – Montgomery once found himself in the back of a police refers to cities to the public. Moreover, his dramatic text-based light pieces van after posting a poem for Blake on a billboard in Bethnal as ‘the beehive of Green. In his practice, we see the city understood both as part humans’ – and, in and “fire poems” have been exhibited throughout the world. For Parasol Unit’s Winter Light series, the Scottish-born artist of nature – he refers to cities as “the beehive of humans” – the new piece, as ‘a magic sculpture has created a site-specific piece that begins on the gallery ter- and, in the new piece, as “a magic sculpture we live inside”. As well as the inspiration of the Situationist tradition and we live inside’.” race and responds to the surrounding area – which lies at the intersection of the City of London financial district and the European theorists such as Debord, Barthes and Baudrillard, city’s East End – as well as embarking on a psycho-geographic the combination of melancholy and linguistic precision in his art can perhaps be traced back to another formative exploration of the district’s past historical resonances. POEM IN LIGHTS TO BE SCATTERED IN THE SQUARE inspirations the poetry of Philip Larkin, where a feeling of MILE, 2017 is the first light poem to be commissioned by sadness gives rise to moments of great beauty. Montgomery a public London institution. It reflects on a neighbourhood believes that, in a world saturated with images, text-based art that is undergoing a new phase of transformation and can offer a quiet space for thought. The graffiti artists of east “Manhattanisation” driven by the fluctuations and interactions London are a constant influence, creating for Montgomery of the capital’s financial sector and property market, with the ideal of the city as a free space of diverse voices. His eloquent and at times biting statements often reference ambitious construction projects remodelling the skyline. Montgomery’s piece, constructed in wood, metal and consumerism and war, communicating to the person on the LED lights, explores the past and the present of Shoreditch: street. The poems, however, are personal as much as they 19 October - 25 March places such as the disappeared Eagle Music Hall and are political. One of his best-known pieces, People You Love Parasol Unit, London “Grecian Salon” located close by the gallery on the corner of (2004), responded to the death of a friend with the thought City Road and Shepherdess Walk. As an artist who has lived that those we love will always survive as ghosts inside us.

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art 1. Regardez-moi !, 1962. Collection Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris. © Malick Sidibé. 2. Nadav Kander, Water XII, (Grain Marshes towards Elphinstone Point), England, 2015. © Nadav Kander, Courtesy of Flowers Gallery London and New York. 3. Ant by Arne Jacobsen, furniture manufacturer Fritz Hansen. Courtesy of Fritz Hansen. 4. Lee Friedlander. Boston, Massachusetts. 1985. Gelatin silver print. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. E.T. Harmax Foundation Fund. © Lee Friedlander, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco 5. Martin Boyce, Untitled, 2017. Painted and stained perforated steel, aluminium, painted steel, steel chain, blackened nickel plated steel, blackened cast bronze. 110 x 166.5 x 2.8 cm / 43.3 x 65.6 x 1.1 in.

10 to See Recommended Exhibitions this Season







Malick Sidibé

Fondation Cartier, Paris 20 October - 25 February

One year after the death of the Malian photographer Malick Sidibé (1936-2016), Fondation Cartier pays tribute with the career-spanning Mali Twist. Many of the black and white images capture his signature subject matter, the youthful nightlife of Bamako from the 1960s onwards, where couples intertwine, dancers try to outdo one another whilst posing or swaying their hips to the sounds of twist, rock ‘n’ roll and Afro-Cuban music.

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In Dark Line – The Thames Estuary, British photographer Nadav Kander (b. 1961) explores a landscape of marshes and quicksand, slow-moving dark waters and seemingly infinite horizons, where London’s great river merges into the sea. Kander, who won the Prix Pictet award for a previous series about the Yangtze river, creates abstracted, minimal and painterly compositions which envoke the estuary’s long history.

Continuing Aarhus’s programme as European Capital of Culture, New Danish Modern demonstrates how design is part of the Danish national identity, making use of objects ranging from the classic furniture and lamps of the 1950s to the work of young, contemporary creatives. Aside from the comprehensive exhibition, the programme includes lectures and workshops with guest designers themselves.

The impact of computer technology and computational thinking on the production of art, is the theme of Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Computer Age, 1959 -1989. It documents how a vanguard of artists, including John Cage and Lejaren Hiller, Alison Knowles and Vera Molnár, exploited technology to produce new areas such as kinetic sculpture, plotter drawing, computer animation and video installation.

Scottish artist Martin Boyce (b. 1967) is fascinated by the psychology of interiors, architecture and furniture. For Light Years, his fifth solo exhibition at The Modern Institute, he restages the gallery space as a grand domestic landscape, where familiar points of reference from ordinary interiors are employed to connect each of the elements, asserting an individual character and recognisable style.

Nadav Kander

Flowers Gallery, London 17 November - 13 January

New Danish Modern

O Space, Aarhus 12-21 October

Thinking Machines

MoMA, New York 13 November - 8 April

Martin Boyce

The Modern Institute, Glasgow Until 4 November

6. Mauro Restiffe, Empossamento 9, 2003. Gelatin silver print. Photo Courtesy the artist and Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel. 7. Alfredo Jaar, A Logo for America, 1987. Courtesy the artist, New York. 8. Marte 02 (2014), courtesy of Viviane Sassen and Stevenson gallery. 9. Lina Bo Bardi, Bardi House (Casa de vidro), São Paulo, Brazil, 1949- 1952, Lina leaning against a ground-floor piloti, photograph by Alice Brill, ca. 1952 (Detail) © Alice Brill/Instituto Moreira Salles Collection. 10. Nageur sous l’eau, Esztergom, Hongrie,1917 ©André Kertész. Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication / Médiathèque de l’architecture et du patrimoine, Dist Rmn © Donation André Kertész.







Condemned To Be Modern

Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery Until 28 January

The contested legacy of modernist architecture in Latin America is critically examined at LAMAG in Condemned To Be Modern, which brings together the work of 21 contemporary artists. In works produced during the last two decades, artists including Eduardo Abaroa, Jonathas de Andrade and Melanie Smith explore the impact of Modernism in Brazil, Cuba and Mexico.



Politically engaged yet poetic in style, the art of Alfredo Jaar addresses humanitarian trauma and the politics of imagemaking. As part of YSP’s 40th anniversary celebrations, this major solo exhibition sees Jarr’s installations transform the Underground Gallery and its open-air concourse, whilst a new commission, The Garden of Good and Evil (2017), presented in the open air, references the CIA’s secret “black sites.”

In Umbra, Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen (b. 1972) fills the galleries of Fotografiska with eight series of photographs, videos, and light and sound installations. These further develop her sensual and abstract style, making use of shape and shadow and the influences of her childhood in Africa. Her approach invites viewers to bring their own associations to the images and, in doing so, become co-creators.

Alfredo Jaar

Yorkshire Sculpture Park 14 October - 8 April

Viviane Sassen

Fotografiska, Stockholm Until 12 November


Albert Frey and Lina Bo Bardi

Palm Springs Art Museum Until 7 January

Titled A Search for Living Architecture, this show aims to reveal the surprising synergy between the buildings and design of two mid-century modern masters, based respectively in Southern California and São Paulo. Displaying 3D models, drawings, design objects and photographs, the event demonstrates a shared belief in architecture as a way to connect people, nature, building and living.


André Kertész

Foam, Amsterdam Until 10 January

André Kertész (1894-1985) once said: “Everybody can look, but they don’t necessarily see.” Mirroring Life explores his technique of using unusual compositions to create a new perspective of reality. After moving from his native Hungary to Paris, Kertész created images as an anonymous flâneur immersed in street life, finding poetry in the everyday. He observed the city, taking in its cafés and parks, or simply looked out of the window of his flat.

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Material Playgrounds Metz + Racine

Metz + Racine is a partnership between Barbara Metz and Eve Racine, specialising in still life photography and moving image. Originally from Stuttgart, Germany, and Geneva, Switzerland, they met whilst studying photography at the London College of Communication, and, since 2000 have established a reputation based upon compelling storytelling and unique, sophisticated compositions. Fashion, interior design and fine art come together in an expansive mix of deep colours, monochromatic patterns and kinetic energy. Meanwhile, natural forms are contrasted by their domestic surroundings – tables and bedsides dappled with fruit and flowers – and geometric designs create volumes of sensory information. Every photograph presents a motive world held in luxurious stasis, dangling in a particular moment as a jewel of visual stimulation. Previous clients have included Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton, and selected publications are V Magazine and Esquire, for example.

Metz + Racine, CASE DA ABITARE. Stylist: Annalisa Nieddu.

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Metz + Racine, CASE DA ABITARE. Stylist: Annalisa Nieddu.

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Metz + Racine, Mixt(e) Magazine. Set design: Georgina Pagnell.

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Metz + Racine, Corriere della sera Living Magazine. Set design: Janina Pedan.

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Metz + Racine, Mixt(e) Magazine. Set design: Georgina Pagnell.

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Metz + Racine, Corriere della sera Living Magazine. Set design: HervĂŠ Sauvage.

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Collective Landscape The Best of Architizer 2017 a new book from Phaidon highlights contemporary structural theory through celebrated buildings that make use of space as a social connective.

The theory that architecture is a “social condenser”, is an idea first put forward by Soviet architect Moisei Ginzburg in 1928, based on the sense that buildings influence, promote and crystallise social values. Within the context of the Soviet Union, Constructivist building projects were tasked with breaking down hierarchies and creating spaces for communal cohesion. This idea, which has been further theorised and explored more recently by, amongst others, Rem Koolhuis in 2004, is one of the emerging trends evident in the new publication, A+ Architecture:The Best of Architizer 2017, which Paul Keskeys, managing editor, describes as a “barometer of public and critical opinions on architecture. It reveals trends in public perceptions and priorities in relation to the built environment.” The make-up of the volume takes its social role seriously, and the list is put together through a democratic and open mix of public votes and a critical jury: “There were over 400,000 public votes this year. There are over 100 categories, and judging is based on an open process of selection through online voting. There is also a jury of world-leading figures. Our hope is that any project in the world can win an award and be featured in the book, no matter the size of the firm. It’s fascinating to trace how ideas from architectural theory, which might be seen as abstract and esoteric, become translated into contemporary everyday buildings for people to live and work in,” says Keskeys. Taking a human-centric approach to ideas of sustainability is central to Jackson Clements Burrows Architects’ Upper House, (2015) in Melbourne, Australia. These 17-storey buildings house more than 100 apartments, and make extensive use of shared communal space and amenities, using the structure

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to fabricate communities and strengthen a spatial link to its inhabitants. For example, there is a “breezeway” via which inhabitants access their apartments, connecting the outside and inside spaces and creating the opportunity for spontaneous neighbourly interactions. On Level 11 of the building, there is an observatory, and there is a stanza break between the upper and lower floors (the “cloud” and the “podium”); here there is a shared space where residents can relax, read and meet. As Keskeys remarks, Upper House responds to a more general trend towards negotiating both ecological and anthropological concerns: “Many of the buildings selected this year seem to be attempting to instigate interaction, particularly in the urban environment, which has a long-term reputation for fostering isolation. However, Upper House is a great example that attempts to resolve this problem. The building provokes incidental meetings and promotes a neighbourhood feel.” Communal space is also integral to Beijing’s Poly International Plaza (2016) designed by San Francisco’s Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM). The project, which offers both offices and commercial spaces, is located between the Forbidden City and Beijing Capital Airport. It uses a blueprint that draws on traditional lanterns, jewels and other vernacular forms to create areas filled with natural light and reflection. Between the exoskeleton, there is a second interior envelope layer, creating dramatic light-filled interior corridors and pathways. These spaces are a continuation of the topographic layout outside of the building and are designed to avoid the estrangement of its inhabitants, instead promoting integration, and providing accommodation for both formal and informal meetings and

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Domus Aurea, Monterray, Mexico, 2015, by Alberto Campo Baeza and GLR Arquitectos. Picture credit: Javier Callejas.

“The two towers rise and bend like long grass; there’s something almost balletic about the interaction of the two: always in parallel and synchronicity, but never occluding each other.”

Previous Page: Upper House, Melbourne, Australia, 2015, by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, Melbourne, Australia. Picture credit: John Gollings Left: Ribbon Chapel, Onomichi, Japan, 2014, by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP, Tokyo, Japan. Picture credit: Koji Fuji/ Nacasa and Partners Inc.

get-togethers. It is a unique domesticated structure that makes windows and the upward point seen in the outer frame. Similarly, shimmering with glass panels strung like a harp, pausing for a quick conversation part of its raison d’être. Truly representing the “coming together” of people is the Giovanni Vaccarini Architects’ Headquarters of the Swiss spiralling exterior of Ribbon Chapel (2014) by Hiroshi Na- Société Privée de Gérance (2016) is a very recent addition to kamura & NAP in Onomichi, Japan. This wedding chapel is a the historical centre of Geneva. For this project, the architects visual realisation of the ideal of union through two winding began with an existing building which they have renovated wooden clad staircases outside of a glass chapel structure. and extended beyond recognition, transforming it into an The two intertwining staircases, which don’t look binding but environmentally and acoustically advanced space. The façade rather loosely interwoven, cross each other at various points is astonishingly graphic and precise, an almost pixelated and mutually support one another: less like the metaphor of weaving of glass panels and Stahlbau Pichler steel that serves a knot, and more like a spontaneous moment in the tying of the function of providing shade for the building from the sun, a bow. Also involving an interaction between two distinct ele- and visually dissolving into the surrounding environment. ments of the structure, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)’s The Grove Above all, it creates cutting-edge working spaces in a way that at Grand Bay (2016) is a pair of 20-storey contorting towers is efficient and as visually appealing inside as it is out. A similar set of concerns is evident in one of the unrealised in Miami, Florida. The structure draws on the local vernacular of condominium developments but physically twists the idea concept-stage projects from the book, nARCHITECTS’ into something which is unexpected and fresh. The two towers proposal for the Shanghai Library East Hall (2016). This rise and bend like long grass; there’s something almost balletic project features interconnected open floors and a variety of about the interaction of the two: always in parallel and syn- public spaces, envisioned to promote flexibility and inclusivity. chronicity, but never occluding each other. The building uses In an age where libraries in the UK are increasingly under brise-soleil-style balcony shading, extended floorplates and threat, the architects’ vision for Shanghai Library is radical and experimental, involving open floors that connect the floor-to-ceiling windows to provide panoramic views. Another trend portrayed in the book is an approach that library activities to the wider society of the city beyond. Space blends the local and the traditional with the international. is divided between compact floors that store a wide range of This is evident in the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry information formats, and open floors, arranged in pairs, each World House (2016), a remarkable transformation by 1100 promoting social interaction, reading, research, and archiving. Architects of a modest and neglected 19th century residence The floors lead directly out onto the surroundings of the into a centre for global engagement. The original edifice is building, in a generous extension of the library into the world rephrased into an international and highly contemporary rather than keeping separate from it. Also drawing on traditional and local forms is Compass style but doesn’t lose its touches of traditional American building. Outward-looking values are suggested by the large House (2015), by superkül, which is low to the ground to with-

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SPG, Geneva, Switzerland, 2016, by Giovanni Vaccarini Architetti, Pescara, Italy. Picture credit: Adrien Buchet.

stand and respond to the demands of the local environmental conditions and monochrome as a canvas to reflect the changing seasons. Based on the Niagara Escarpment, this low, white structure, discreet to the point of invisible in deep snow, draws on the lexicon of the traditional Native American longhouse, and is settled into its forested backdrop. The living space consists of two perpendicular wings forming a courtyard. Similarly located in Canada, but drawing on a completely different vernacular tradition, is the Aga Khan Park (2015) in Toronto, designed by Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture and Moriyama & Teshima Planners. This project borrows directly from Islamic architectural styles and decorative palette. Surrounded by a densely planted garden area, the park is a continuation out of doors of the concepts and ideas explored in the Aga Khan Museum and the Ismaili Centre. These aesthetic and sensual gardens are contemporary in style but draw on the principles of traditional Islamic garden design, and in particular the notions of the ephemeral and the longlasting. Sounds, smells, visual play and a feeling-rich experience of place are all evoked through a loose gravel area punctuated by five water islands made of solid raised black granite in a traditional Islamic geometric arrangement, amongst which is planted an orchard of Amelanchier serviceberries. The park is an immersive experience, designed to captivate and delight the senses. Aesthetically very different, but with a similar immersive approach is CHROFI’s plan for the Ian Potter National Conservatory (2017) in Canberra. The concept is for the exhibits of the Conservatory to work together with its architecture to create a series of experiences of involving the natural and built environment. Drawing on the latest insulation technology and using a second skin layer, the project dissolves binaries of solid

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and void, air and water, compression and release, light and dark, natural and manmade. The main exhibit is framed by a void to the sky and outlined by a large cube that appears to hover impossibly overhead. This void is specially designed to provide the appropriate light for tropical plants, whilst limiting any potentially harmful effects which may be caused by solar glare. One fascinating aspect of the publication is the kaleidoscopic range of scales. Arranged by typology from purpose to stage of realisation, it is sometimes possible to see the same concerns and trends spiralling through small domestic projects such as public parks, huge residential and commercial towers, and large cultural or institutional centres. On a domestic scale, House in Itamambuca (2016), Brazil, by Gui Mattos, draws attention to the liminality of inside and outside space and promotes communality by opening up the living areas. Likewise, Knapphullet (2014) in Sandefjord, Norway, by Lund Hagem architects, creates a domestic residential and living space emerging out of its rock formations. Whilst this project is small, with space for just two people, it captures the imagination, with its walkable stepped roof, which acts as a ramp towards a viewing platform, and excellent insulation provided by reinforced and water-resistant concrete. The building and the surrounding vegetation work in harmony together. It is easy to see the appeal of reaching impossible vantage points. However, this building also brings about a kind of social condensation as it enacts a non-hierarchical play of continuous surfaces. Reflecting not only trends amongst architects and scholars of architecture, A+ Architecture: The Best of Architizer 2017 crucially provides an informed vantage point over how the public themselves relate to contemporary buildings, across a comprehensive spectrum of typologies and scales of design.

Right: The Grove at Grand Bay, Miami, FL, USA, 2016, by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), New York, NY, USA. Picture credit: Rasmus Hjortshøj – COAST.

Words Colin Herd

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Cultural Translation Michelle Maguire & Kelsey McClellan

Based in Ohio and San Francisco respectively, Michelle Maguire (b. 1977) and Kelsey McClellan (b. 1990) work together at every opportunity. The duo first met in 2013 in Columbus whilst collaborating on a cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts. They have since created a number of editorial and fine art series that translate the act of dining into innovative and visually satisfying compositions. Featured in Aesthetica’s #NewArtists scheme on Instagram, Wardrobe Snacks is amongst their most successful shoots, inspired by anonymous individuals lacking the luxury of sitting at a table. Each image pairs colourcoded styling with icons of fast-food Americana. Every composition demonstrates a sleek and well-practised awareness of aesthetic consideration. Pancakes is Ready, the second series included in the following pages, translates the everyday iconography of food into an arena for cultural reflection.,

From Wardrobe Snacks. Photography by Kelsey McClellan. Art Direction/Styling by Michelle Maguire.

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From Wardrobe Snacks. Photography by Kelsey McClellan. Art Direction/Styling by Michelle Maguire.

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From Pancakes is Ready . Photography by Kelsey McClellan. Art Direction/Styling by Michelle Maguire.

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From Pancakes is Ready . Photography by Kelsey McClellan. Art Direction/Styling by Michelle Maguire.

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From Wardrobe Snacks. Photography by Kelsey McClellan. Art Direction/Styling by Michelle Maguire.

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From Wardrobe Snacks. Photography by Kelsey McClellan. Art Direction/Styling by Michelle Maguire.

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From Pancakes is Ready . Photography by Kelsey McClellan. Art Direction/Styling by Michelle Maguire.

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From Pancakes is Ready . Photography by Kelsey McClellan. Art Direction/Styling by Michelle Maguire.

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From Wardrobe Snacks. Photography by Kelsey McClellan. Art Direction/Styling by Michelle Maguire.

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From Wardrobe Snacks. Photography by Kelsey McClellan. Art Direction/Styling by Michelle Maguire.

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From Pancakes is Ready . Photography by Kelsey McClellan. Art Direction/Styling by Michelle Maguire.


Temporal Visualisation Kovi Konowiecki

Kovi Konowiecki (b. 1992) began working in photography to shed light on different aspects of his identity. After studying an MA in Fashion Photography at the London College of Fashion, he was shortlisted for the 2016 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize with two images taken from Bei Mir Bistu Shein, a series that explores Jewish tradition in contemporary society. His latest project, Delivering Flowers to Grandpa Jack, reflects upon the unique nature of Konowiecki’s home town, Long Beach, documenting the people and places that contribute to a sense of belonging. Paying tribute to the seemingly unextraordinary, the images call upon unspoken narratives, translating mundanity into an arena for speculation. A sense of nostalgia is broken only by the connotations of the closed doors and drawn curtains. Through creating the opportunity for interpretation, the artist questions the very definition of home, and how associations compare with reality.

Kovi Konowiecki, from the series Delivering Flowers to Grandpa Jack. Long Beach, California, 2016.

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Kovi Konowiecki, from the series Delivering Flowers to Grandpa Jack. Long Beach, California, 2016.

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Kovi Konowiecki, from the series Delivering Flowers to Grandpa Jack. Long Beach, California, 2016.

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Kovi Konowiecki, from the series Delivering Flowers to Grandpa Jack. Long Beach, California, 2016.

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Kovi Konowiecki, from the series Delivering Flowers to Grandpa Jack. Long Beach, California, 2016.

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Kovi Konowiecki, from the series Delivering Flowers to Grandpa Jack. Long Beach, California, 2016.

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Kovi Konowiecki, from the series Delivering Flowers to Grandpa Jack. Long Beach, California, 2016.

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Kovi Konowiecki, from the series Delivering Flowers to Grandpa Jack. Long Beach, California, 2016.

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Kovi Konowiecki, from the series Delivering Flowers to Grandpa Jack. Long Beach, California, 2016.


Complex Perspective Firecrackers A new anthology, edited by Fiona Rogers and Max Houghton, champions international female photographers and offers unforeseen points of view.

Firecracker. What’s in a word? A militant stance, a commitment critical reflection of the eye behind the camera. What we to combat. Play – even a hint of kitsch. The bright flash of a see is the female gaze, transmitted back to us in all of its camera, a breaking bulb. A way to describe a woman. A term uncompromising complexity. Houghton has been involved in Firecracker from the early which might express admiration, or distaste. In short, it’s a word which does justice to the volatile issue of the gender days of the project: “I was working at 8 Magazine, across imbalance in the photography industry. Fiona Rogers, the from the Magnum offices at the time, and Fiona invited me Global Business Manager of Magnum Photos, established to guest-edit a Firecracker monthly feature,” she explains. “I Firecracker in 2011 as an online showcase of outstanding chose to write about the work of Samar Hazboun, who had work by female photographers. What started as a scheme to made a series called Hush about gender-based violence in draw attention to underrepresented practitioners soon grew Palestine. Though it wasn’t my brief, for my first contribution into a space for network-building and the exchange of ideas, I thought it necessary to write about work only a woman also providing active support for new work. The Firecracker could make. It really made me think about the importance of Photographic Grant was launched to fund documentary acknowledging and championing work by women.” “Work only a woman could make.” It’s a controversial projects, and the Contributors Award acknowledges the achievements of the wider photographic community, statement, but the book does prompt the question of including mentors, commissioners and educators. Ultimately, whether there is indeed a distinctive, even universal, quality it’s not enough just provide an eye-line to work which might to the way these artists see. The way, perhaps, that the otherwise go unseen; the initiative goes further, striving female gaze is drawn to the peripheries in search of the to ensure the sustainability of vital female practice in an loss which has been obscured by the spotlight of the “main story.” We glimpse this loss in Poulomi Basu’s images of the industry which remains dominated by men. The latest iteration of the project takes the form of a family homes left behind by recruits to ISIS, and Anastasia carefully curated book, edited by Rogers and the writer Taylor-Lind’s portraits of the women who came to lay and academic Max Houghton. The result is a contemporary flowers for the fallen during the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. cross-section of subject matter and aesthetic styles: the “Men fight wars,” she explains. “Women mourn them.” Or perhaps that distinctive “feminine” quality is to be personal intertwines with the political, and the documentary impulse is heightened by powerful concepts and supreme seen in the subtlety with which the “gaze” is reversed, and technical artistry. The human subject appears in multiple the photographers reflect on their own act of looking. The guises: we see bodies scarred or airbrushed, debased spectator is always at risk of slipping into scopophilia, and or idealised, posed or unknowing, and each image is a Anja Niemi’s glaucous self-portraits are parables of the

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The Bedroom, from The Woman Who Never Existed, 2016, by Anja Niemi. © Anja Niemi / courtesy of The Little Black Gallery.

“I thought it necessary to write about work only a woman could make. It really made me think about the importance of acknowledging and championing work by women.”

Previous Page: Patient no. 10 from the Cosmic Surgery Series by Alma Haser, 2013. Left: Patient no. 2 from the Cosmic Surgery Series by Alma Haser, 2013.

entrapment imposed by the gaze. Look and lose yourself, each mise en scène seems to say. Put your hysteria on hold and let the image seduce you into mindless stasis. The underlying disquiet of Niemi’s seemingly static images is amplified in scenes of self-multiplication, where a body double might be seen sprawled under a chair or slumped in the passenger seat of a car; a notion of a split self which is taken to uncanny extremes in the work of Alma Haser. Her surreal Cosmic Surgery portraits imagine a future where human physiognomy has altered to fit our myriad personalities, a future framed in oddly nostalgic terms by her vintage photobooth set-up. Replacing the face of each sitter is a form resembling a paranormal jewel, a prosthesis, a lens or a mask – it is the original image, printed, folded, rephotographed and superimposed. Arguably, the tendency to identify a specifically feminine vision is reductive: it can be understood as a way to define a practice purely in opposition to male counterparts rather than allowing the work to speak for itself. Houghton is well aware of this potential critique: “It’s not just the female gaze we need, but every possible gaze in addition to the dominant gaze of wealthy white men. Men’s work is much more likely to attract a solo show at a major museum, or a monograph, or be collected, as the Guerrilla Girls have so beautifully pointed out. It’s about confidence and it’s about precedent.” A book focused solely on the work of women was always going to be provocative, and both Rogers and Houghton are keenly conscious of the responsibility due to them as editors. In her introduction to the book, Rogers recognises that “you cannot build an initiative about women without attracting comments about its exclusivity, or sexism, or

encountering its reductive nature, and I’m often at odds with the contradictory nature of it all.” The contradictions are symptomatic of the process of distilling a digital project into the fixed and physicalised form of a book – a form which is designed to canonise and archive. Rogers and Houghton had a fine line to tread: the task was to include the very best work whilst also giving space to those who had received less recognition, and to produce a publication dedicated to female photographers while acknowledging they understand the fluidity of gender. The politics of the selection process aren’t easy to navigate. However, the key to making a responsible choice is to follow one’s eye whilst maintaining a critical attitude to one’s position as spectator. “Firecracker began as a European platform, but the book encompasses the work of women who are practising globally,” explains Houghton. “We certainly made sure that we worked with photographers of colour, and we also paid attention to who the photographers themselves were looking at, and how. The criteria included freshness of approach, visual brilliance and rigour. That’s the basis of it: fantastic, world-class work. We didn’t seek to find the best female photographer from country X – we looked at bodies of work that would add to the mix in a new and exciting way. We could have made the book three, four, ten times over.” The collection is too diverse to identify “trends” as such, but the works do reveal impulses towards performativity, collaboration and transmedia approaches. Amongst the most visually striking compositions are Aida Muluneh’s play on Ethiopian body painting techniques, and Mayumi Hosokura’s poetic elision between androgynous young

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Room 39, from Do Not Disturb, 2011, by Anja Niemi. © Anja Niemi / courtesy of The Little Black Gallery.

bodies and glittering mineral formations. Though less theatrically lavish, Corinna Kern’s beautifully lit images have an unplaceable sense of poignancy; her study of an ageing London hoarder – or rather, the contents of his bathtub – represents a supreme example of “anti-portraiture.” Other equally powerful selections defy our desire for aesthetic pleasure, and in doing so ask uncomfortable ethical questions. Natasha Caruana and Haley MorrisCafiero employ tactics of tacit collaboration, turning their subjects into active participants in a manner which reveals a skin-deep seam of human cruelty. Whereas Caruana’s methods might seem ruthless – slyly documenting details of an evening spent with a married man, or sourcing wedding photos from brides selling their dresses – Morris-Cafiero’s images cast light on the casual savagery of the spectator. Using a camera mounted on a tripod, she places herself in her frame and records people’s visible reactions to her physical size and shape. Young girls in bikinis sneer, policemen pull faces, a man even poses for a photo behind her back. She too, poses – performing a sense of innocent obliviousness. What sort of world do we live in, when a denial of the camera amounts to the ultimate pose? A world overseen by a “regime of the image”, as Houghton puts it. “Photography is probably the preeminent mode of communication to bring important ideas into discourse. We can all make a nice image and put it on Instagram, and one of the consequences is that professional practitioners and artists have to be different to be noticed.” In the wrong hands, innovation simply translates to gimmick. However, when the search to define new forms of imagery is motivated by rigorous enquiry, by a need to tell a story which rejects conventional methods, the work can attain an aesthetic

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and conceptual integrity. “The images here address contemporary, urgent issues,” says Houghton. The stories they tell are designed to make us question our eyes. Is it possible to fabricate a burqa from fruit roll ups? Yes, if you are Behnaz Babazadeh, the AfghanAmerican artist who poses in head-to-toe designs made from American candy (“Men will always find ways to find women attractive,” she explains). Lua Ribeira, meanwhile, challenges attitudes towards flamboyant female sexuality in her celebratory images of Jamaican Dancehall culture, presenting the body as a malleable material ready to be transformed. Other stories speak of narratives which are not ours to see: Zanele Muholi’s documentation of LGBTI communities in South Africa places the spectator eye to eye with victims of hate crime, and Diana Markosian finds traces of the Armenian genocide in the trauma inherited by descendants of survivors. Although they serve a documentary purpose, these images maintain a sceptical attitude to fact; what can we take, what can we make from evidence which starkly refuses a simple reading? Ironically, an independence from the image, a way of thinking for ourselves. Rather than heroically exposing the “truth”, these photographs seek to problematise the methods which we have developed to make sense of the world, and in doing so bring forth new kinds of knowledge. It’s a knowledge we’ll need in the months and years to come. We feed on images, but these photographers demand that we never rest satisfied in what we see. What we want is multiplicity, complication, entanglements – real life. And if this book presents a case for feminism, it’s for an understanding of it that is as diverse and indefinable as life.

Right: The Flower Room, from The Woman Who Never Existed, 2016, by Anja Niemi. © Anja Niemi / courtesy of The Little Black Gallery.

Words Matilda Bathurst

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Emotive Subjectivity Benoit Paillé

Images from Benoit Paillé’s (b. 1984)Visions series consider artifice and natural life in juxtaposition. It offers a direct dialogue with the landscape, and deals with perception and memory. Deeply cinematic and conceptually provocative, each piece builds a sense of narrative, highlighting the subjectivity of the lens. The series creates a painterly effect, with deep, poignant shadows and textural consideration. Light filters through small windows and emerges from clouds, softly offering unexpected focal points. Meanwhile, darkened skylines loom, with backyards and car parks filled with a sense of despondency. Paillé’s practice is centred upon a renewed understanding of sight; personal emotions, belief systems and sensory journeys all become part of the emerging composition. Overall, the photographs “document an altered state of mind” and offer portraits of life influenced by buried psychologies.

Benoit Paillé, Untitled, from the Vision series (2014).

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Benoit PaillĂŠ, Untitled, from the Vision series (2014).

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Benoit PaillĂŠ, Untitled, from the Vision series (2014).

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Benoit PaillĂŠ, Untitled, from the Vision series (2014).

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Benoit PaillĂŠ, Untitled, from the Vision series (2014).

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Benoit PaillĂŠ, Untitled, from the Vision series (2014).

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Benoit PaillĂŠ, Untitled, from the Vision series (2014).

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Benoit PaillĂŠ, Untitled, from the Vision series (2014).

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Benoit PaillĂŠ, Untitled, from the Vision series (2014).


Taking Responsibility Port Zienna Combatting waste in the fashion world, a new label looks to the future through sculptural minimalism and affordable craftsmanship.

Peruvian designer Francesca Canepa rallies against trend- minimalism and didn’t incorporate my former style into led fast fashion with the first collection from her new label, this collection at all. It’s completely the opposite.” The structure and shape of the garments, then, is a Port Zienna. Based in New York, where she has lived and worked since completing a postgraduate degree at the crucial part of the brand’s visual identity. Inspiration comes city’s Fashion Institute of Technology in 2014, the artist partly from urban structures: “I love Japanese architecture,” combines clean lines and a deliberately limited colour Canepa says, “as well as architects such as Walter Gropius. palette with her expertise in the couture technique of He was a huge inspiration.” The clean lines and geometry draping. The result is a distinctive blend of fluidity and of Gropius’s (1883-1969) designs – and those of the structure, making use of environmentally friendly fabrics, associated Bauhaus movement – are echoed here in the and the results are designed for a lifetime of everyday wear. shirts and palazzo pants created in a restricted, tonal range After graduating, Canepa began working for Finesse of colours with a firm emphasis on structure over detail. Sculpture, too, has had a role to play: American artist Embroideries, gaining crucial experience of producing work for an impressive list of runway designers including Richard Serra (b. 1938) is highly influential through Burberry, Tom Ford, Caroline Herrera and Dolce & his monochromatic pieces, which Canepa describes as Gabbana. Although the designer says she enjoyed working “stunning blocks in the middle of the desert.” She explains with pieces of such “stunning quality,” she goes on to admit that there is, due to these canons of inspiration, a need for her designs to be “clean” – not only in terms of their that “there was always a part of me that missed draping.” She explains this method in simple terms: “you grab aesthetics but also their environmental credentials. Using a tightly-limited range of colours has helped her to muslin fabric and throw it on top of a dress form and start shaping a garment, just following the flow.” Although she achieve this aim on both counts: “We maintained this all the makes it sound easy, the technique is, in fact, a highly way through the collection, thinking also about sustainable, skilled element of couture and demonstrates significant eco-friendly fabrics. Because they are all organic, we don’t craftsmanship in design. Canepa was adamant that her use colours; we keep the whole process very clean. So here we kept a lot of white, a little grey and beige – from the pieces would be suitable for a ready-to-wear collection. Moving away from the “old couture techniques”, the regular organic cotton – and black.” Sustainable, small-scale business operations are at the vision here was to create something fresh. This represented a big step away into unknown ground for Canepa: “I just heart of the company’s ethos. Although the label was wanted to follow my passion again, and because I’d done founded in part due to a desire to move back into draping, all this embroidery detail for so long, I went to extreme Canepa also felt strongly about “giving something back

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Photographer: Alexander Neumann; Model: Anushka Stupakoff; Make up and Hair stylist: Tadayoshi Honda; Art Direction: ISM Miriam Kaplan

“The artist combines clean lines and a limited colour palette with the couture technique of draping. The result is a distinctive blend of fluidity and structure, in environmentally friendly fabrics.”

Previous Page: Photographer: Alexander Neumann Model: Anushka Stupakoff; Make up and Hair stylist: Tadayoshi Honda; Art Direction: ISM Miriam Kaplan

Left: Photographer: Alexander Neumann Model: Anushka Stupakoff; Make up and Hair stylist: Tadayoshi Honda; Art Direction: ISM Miriam Kaplan

to my country” – that is, Peru. She attempts to provide the only girl in the room.’” Using the same technique on industry for the country’s own ateliers where possible, what Canepa describes as a “regular brand – obviously saying: “I have a lot of people there that I know work at the fabrics are a little more expensive being sustainable, these small places, it’s not huge manufacturing … just four but at least not that high,” aims to provide the sense of or five machines. I wanted to help give jobs to communities empowerment of wearing couture, but in an everyday over there.” In order to achieve this, she drapes the sample setting. “As long as you have your palazzo pants and your pieces from her studio in New York, before sending them vest, you might be very casual but you’re feeling … well, back to Peru, where the local ateliers create the same piece a little different. And you’re making the world better, too.” A conscious approach to gender and equality, as in multiple sizes. “Everything is very small,” she says. “We wanted to do this because Port Zienna is a sustainable indicated by a discussion of empowerment, is a big part brand, and the manufacturing has to be, too. Right now, of the brand’s mission statement. Although some of the with fast fashion in the world being as it is, I just feel there’s clothes appear to have an androgynous quality, this is not a lot of excess, a lot of waste, and I don’t want to contribute something that has in itself been considered in great depth to that. I really am against it, so I wanted to go the other as an objective for their designs. The focus, instead, is on way.” Keeping things small is key, she believes, even from playing a part in achieving “complete equality.” The designs aim to take on the capacity to shape a the level of production – the brand produces limited numbers of each piece – to the team of people who are woman’s outlook, whilst remaining focused on the aim of making the clothes. The need to offer employment is also making women feel relaxed, confident and comfortable acknowledged, in a manner that “people can rely on.” In through the power of design: “That’s the first thing. When doing so, Port Zienna is part of a growing number of small you feel comfortable, that’s when you can really be brands which are dramatically distancing themselves from yourself. You can make your point, and not be afraid to the large-scale, exploitative production common elsewhere say it. This is going way over – it’s just clothes, I know – but imagine being like that.” The garments therefore become in the mass-produced fashion industry. As well as environmental and economic sustainability, a pathway to individual expression. The idea that anyone the label hopes to build a positive relationship between should have to “wear a pretty dress and be feminine,” the buyer and the designer. “In general, wearing couture should, Canepa believes, now be a thing of the past. Creating this empowering, everyday wardrobe means that draping makes you feel super-strong – you feel like you stand out from the crowd.” This sense of strength timelessness is a vital part of the company’s ethos. These is, importantly, offered also through pieces at a more are pieces that “will never go out of trend.” Instead, the accessible price point: “I wanted to tell the client: ‘You don’t small collection is full of clothes that are multi-purpose: have to wear couture to feel beautiful, to feel like you’re “you can go out and have fun, alone or with friends. Or

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Photographer: Alexander Neumann; Model: Anushka Stupakoff; Make up and Hair stylist: Tadayoshi Honda; Art Direction: ISM Miriam Kaplan

literally go to work in your blouse and culottes!” There those of the municipal engineer and planner, which are is a resistance to using the words “modern” or “classic”, roles for those carefully trained in technical drawing. Canepa believes that her approach is in tune with the but nonetheless, Canepa acknowledges: “I think these are things you can wear today, and you can still wear them in future direction of the ready-to-wear clothing industry. five or ten years’ time. Fast fashion is just trend after trend: Instant trend-led buying habits are peaking. “Customers will start realising what fast fashion really means. I think in a month it’s all over and you have to get a new thing.” The solution is to wear a selection of “essential pieces.” you just have to go back and think ‘I’m wasting all of this Echoing other minimalist designers and advocates of a time and all of this money – and on what? On pieces that pared-down aesthetic and lifestyle, she suggests that: are not going to last a year.’ Clients are realising this and “Every woman should have a white blouse in her closet, and they want to go back and help emerging designers.” A strong conviction that there is “already a negativity a pair of black palazzo pants. These will never go out of fashion. And I think the idea of owning one good quality forming against fast-fashion” informs this point. This is, piece in a good material – that’s what makes you stand out.” ultimately, a hopeful, positive and active stance,and one In this respect, a keen interest in art clearly provides a which is likely to have a strong resonance with today’s point of embarkation for the anti-fast-fashion principle. By informed and ethically engaged consumers. “I think this seeking inspiration from various practitioners across the is what the world needs right now, with everything that’s 20th century, Port Zienna’s designs are naturally imbued going on. We don’t need more and more – it’s just stuff. with the quality of aesthetic immutability. They do not We have to be conscious of what we choose,” says Canepa. The brand itself looks set to get bigger, in status if not seem to correspond to any particular time or place. This can be explained by the diverse range of ideologies and in size: as keeping things small will remain vital to an ecologically friendly and low-emission business model. stylistic influences which are at play in their approach. As well as Gropius and Serra, as discussed above, her Nonetheless, Port Zienna will present a new collection at passions range from the intricate, “goddess-like” couture a number of fashion weeks over the next year, and will be of Madame Grès (1903-1993) to “municipal plans,” which, showcasing the garments for the first time in February 2018. she says, “drive me crazy!” The first collection represents an “We want to grow, and become known for a sustainable, attempt to merge these visual ideas. It thus becomes clear draped piece in people’s closets,” says Canepa. That said, “there’s no way we’re going to become huge – this is what why she dislikes “modern” as a descriptor of her work. Although the environmental, sustainable ethos which she we want to do – just certain pieces and techniques. Not an advocates initially seems to be a key concern of the 21st empire!” Based on her passionate, principled approach century, the influences stretch a long way back, and each and the fashion world’s affirmative reaction to the first emphasises a certain type of small-scale craft skill: even collection, these goals seem eminently plausible.

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Right: Photographer: Alexander Neumann Model: Anushka Stupakoff; Make up and Hair stylist: Tadayoshi Honda; Art Direction: ISM Miriam Kaplan

Words Anna Feintuck

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Abstract Iconography Hayley Eichenbaum

Hayley Eichenbaum (b. 1989) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, who studied for several years at the San Francisco Art Institute before completing her BFA at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. Her practice is built upon an elasticity in the use of different media, but her best-known pieces arise through digital photography. Examining notions of the façade, each image treads a line between the authentic and the surreal, looking towards a meeting point where these abstract concepts cross over. Over the past four years, Eichenbaum has documented the remnants of Route 66 in the American southwest, resulting in The Mother Road series. A preservation of its romanticism, the photographs offer a space through which to capture and strengthen memory. Bright, pop-coloured compositions offer polished idealism – and, more specifically, the recognisable tropes of Americana reach a new, cathartic sense of climax.

Manicured Church, Route 66, Arizona, 2014. Shot with Nikon D7100. From The Mother Road Series (2013-2017).

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Tucumcari Motel, New Mexico, 2013. Shot with Nikon D7100. From The Mother Road Series (2013-2017).

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West LA, California, 2013. Shot with an iPhone. From The Mother Road Series (2013-2017).

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Siesta Key, Florida, 2013. Shot with Nikon D7100. From The Mother Road Series (2013-2017).

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Venice Beach, California, 2013. Shot with an iPhone. From The Mother Road Series (2013-2017).

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Black Hawk Motel, Wisconsin Dells, 2013. Shot with Nikon D7100. From The Mother Road Series (2013-2017).

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Santa Monica, California, 2013. Shot with Nikon D7100. From The Mother Road Series (2013-2017).

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Gallup, New Mexico, 2014. Shot with Nikon D7100. From The Mother Road Series (2013-2017).

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Palm Springs, California, 2013. Shot with Nikon D7100. From The Mother Road Series (2013-2017).


Illusory Enterprise Foto / Industria The third biennial looks at the wider effects of industrialisation and globalisation through the works of contemporary photographers.

In Precarious Rhapsody, cultural theorist Franco “Bifo’” Berar- disquieting about the pieces, where the worker is envisioned di explores 20th century political and social history through as a detached cog, surplus to the mechanism’s requirements. Thomas Ruff (b. 1958) is similarly concerned with docucultural associations with work: “the productive transformation of the last 30 years: from worker revolt against the as- menting our identities through labour, with a focus on this sembly line, to post-industrial technical restructuring, to the most ambiguous and polysemous word “energy.” His exemergence of the cognitariat, the virtual unorganisable class hibition Machine & Energy at MAST, Bologna, fuses digital of mental labour.” Berardi’s thesis is that our relations with and analogue processes to explore perceptions of reproducwork are fundamental to structuring our senses of self and tion and industry through digitally-manipulated images of autonomy. The latest edition of Foto/Industria, Bologna’s bi- 1930s glass negatives of machines from a manufacturing ennial of photography and industry, explores exactly these plant. Ruff’s practice is a reminder that our identities are intertwining notions of work, identity, production and illusion. perhaps more shaped by digital manipulations than by the The festival, in its third edition, opens up dialogues around mechanistic age. Ruff’s subtle but disruptive digital intervenphotography, production and industry, inviting debate tions raise questions about agency in an era of daily technoaround how we interact with the latter. Curator François Hébel logical engagement, which happens internationally. Italian photographer Michele Borzoni (b. 1979) looks tocomments: “There are so many different aesthetics involved in the programme, from documentary to landscape to con- wards vast factories, offices, warehouses and workplaces in ceptual, and across contemporary and more historic artists. his series Workforce. The compositions investigate the way This is the exciting part of the festival, and at the same time, that the sheer scale of logistics, communication and mechanisation impacts on the ways we see ourselves. As Hébel comwe are always committed to exploring real life concerns.” Questions of identity in relation to work entail public and ments, the edifices are “gigantic places where almost nobody private activities, and look at how both realms affect each works.” On these sites, ideas of craftsmanship and artisanal other through a sense of multiple performativity. The pho- production are side-lined and replaced by the omni-power tographs of Swedish artist Mårten Lange (b. 1984) entitled of row upon row of product. However, the images are also Machina and Mechanism explore our detachment from the haunted by the absent figure of the consumer, awaiting highly complex and specialised machines through which we delivery of these seemingly endless supplies. Staggeringly work, and the extension of the logic of machinery into our large, the images convey exhaustive administrative activity, everyday lives. In his images, offices are highly complex ma- work that feel like an end in itself – work for its own sake. chines, as esoteric as laboratory equipment, with their own This sense of labour is the prized activity itself; Borzoni shows pathways and networks. There is something existentially thousands of prospective Italian civil servants undertaking

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Kaltenback #2 [Tyrol], Austria, 2015.

“Many of the pieces in this show bring to light the negative impact of industry on the environment, and how public policy impacts on production in the context of broader social concerns.”

Previous Page: Detail of Val-d’Isère #2, [Savoie], France, 2016. Left: Detail of Val-d’Isère #3, [Savoie], France, 2016.

exams in the hope of getting a job. They take place in large sports halls and arenas; the idea of industry as sport, even as entertainment, is provocative and inescapable. Catalan-based Joan Fontcuberta highlights how our identities are still shaped by the Cold War space race in a surprising series of documentary material and photographic “evidence” regarding a Soviet cosmonaut, Ivan Istochnikov, who the artist purports to have been the first person on the moon. His Borgesian meta-fiction is beguiling, making palpable the thrill of the hoax, the delight of being duped. Fontcuberta builds his contrived evidence so convincingly because he taps into what media producers everywhere recognise: our desire as an audience to believe what we really know to be false. As Hébel comments, “You walk out of the show and you don’t know the difference between reality and fabrication. The ideas of Fontcuberta’s images are particularly current, with questions of ‘fake news’ high in our consciousness.” A fascinating contrast are the visions of Vincent Fournier (b. 1970), represented by Past Forward. In this unique display, the utopian ideals and possibilities that fuelled the space race and the projects of cosmonauts are reframed in light of commercial space exploration via private companies and wealthy individuals. The linking of research within the ideology of the Cold War period, contrasted with the denationalised private enterprise of space study, is a stark one that may come to define the future. Fournier’s photographs confront this possibility, whilst also conveying the drama and excitement of the human narrative that early space exploration represented for millions of people. Stakeout Diary, an exhibition by Yukichi Watabe (19241992), also takes place in a changed landscape and amidst

mid-20th century concerns from which we are now distant. The compositions document the investigation of a brutal murder that occurred in Mito (Ibaraki Prefecture) in 1958, showing Watabe closely following the two police detectives, as they go about their fact-finding work. In a character list that seems drawn from hardboiled detective fiction, one of the officers is from the Metropolitan Police Department and the other from the local area. The images detail the investigation as it unfolded around downtown Tokyo, an area that has since changed beyond recognition due to shifts in industry. Since its inception, photography has been one of the artforms most engaged with representing and shaping perceptions and identities. A new survey of the work of Aleksandr Rodchenko (1891-1956) acts as a reminder of his almost sculptor-like approach to the physicality and multi-dimensionality of images. Cogs, plants, factories, and people at work feature extensively in his compositions, and they articulate different attitudes and dialogues around what work means and its role in society. His pieces look at the dynamics of the subject and object relationship through series of single-subject compositions from different angles and under different conditions. Whilst it performs certain documentary functions, the practice also includes a fascination with the materiality of a physical photograph. The work of Lee Friedlander (b. 1934) is similar: but he produces tender portraits of people at work, in ways that feel remarkably distant from the recognisable Amazon warehouse model of distribution. Many of the pieces in this show bring to light the negative impact of industry on the environment, and how public policy impacts on production in the context of broader social concerns. The landscape of industry is profoundly and irre-

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The Messner Mountain Museum, Zaha Hadid, Corones #1, [Kronplatz], Italy, 2015. Right:

versibly altered. American Power, by Mitch Epstein (b.1952), next to oversized tin cans, and uniform housing estates all Detail of Val-d’Isère #1, [Savoie], France, 2016. hones in on how energy production is omnipresent in con- feature in Myers’ distinctive monochrome images. However, temporary American landscapes. Coal plants, refineries and it is his enthusiasm for substations that is most striking. These oil platforms are all envisioned as central to the landscapes small, squat shed-like structures are symbols for the energy and towns of the American imagination. Icons of the Ameri- that underpins industrial and commercial activity but also of can Dream, such as the Star-Spangled Banner, advertising a pressurised and inaccessible human energy that is somematerials and the vast desert, are conceptualised side by side how stunted, shut off and controlled. French artist Mathieu Bernard-Reymond (b. 1976) also with industrial devastation, pollution and social depression. The juxtaposition is quite startling: cultural supremacy is focuses on the architectural lexicon of the energy industry; however, his compositions are much more collaged and abboth threatened and supported by power production. The canonical visionary Josef Koudelka (b. 1938) offers stract. Photographs of rock-like power stations and industrial a fascinating representation of similar industrialisation in a advertising are mixed with expressionist, painterly flourishes European context, featuring abandoned plants, ore, mines, to create a challenging and confusing aesthetic experience. huge fences, cranes and machinery. These images were Work, which at its most fundamental means activity, i.e. a taken over a 30-year period, allowing a narrative of chang- change, is realised visually through the image-making proing landscape and the declining status of industry in rela- cess; entitled TRANSFORM, the show offers what seems to tion to identities. Koudelka’s poetic monochrome images are be a continuation of sampling and resampling media. If an suffused with a sense of pollution and blight, coupled with iconic image of the early 20th century would be a churning economic deprivation. In these projects, in contrast with Ep- vat of some product or other, Bernard-Reymond reconceptustein, the glitz of the American Dream is replaced with a deep alises this as a multiplicity of ambivalent digital possibilities. gloom, a lyrical realism of social hardship. The story, though, This is an aspect of Foto/Industria that Hébel stresses: is the same, and it’s one in which the landscape seems rav- “Industry is still alive, but the ways we work are changing. aged by industry in pursuit of fleeting prosperity. Sometimes it’s for the better. Sometimes for the worse. WorkHébel highlights the work of the British artist John Myers ing conditions have improved in some areas, but they have Words (b. 1959) in this regard: “He explores the redefinition of com- become most difficult in others. Our programme tries to re- Colin Herd munities of English working people by the politics of Thatch- flect these changing definitions of industry and production.” erism. His quiet and lyrical images show the destruction and Photography as an artform is evolving just as quickly as the devastation of industrial towns.” The pieces are not bombas- subjects it documents, and the abiding feeling left by this Foto/Industria tic or didactic, but they detail in agonising starkness The End unique event suggests that photographers will continue to 12 October -19 November of Manufacturing in the Black Country, has an overarching be at the forefront of questioning, representing and engagaesthetic of emptiness. Rows of lock-up garages, 1970s TVs ing with our relations to globalised labour.

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Vibrant Anonymity Eric Dufour

Eric Dufour’s (b. 1964) photographic practice is based upon the simple desire to evoke a variety of emotions and concepts through images devoid of unnecessary content. This notion resonates through the entirety of Dufour’s oeuvre, built upon a bold and uninhibited documentation of urban topographies. Flush with a consistently colourful palette, asymmetrical buildings are reduced to their basic elements. Only fractions are shown, taking away the opportunity for the viewer to assert a particular identity. Opening up dialogues about anonymity, the images are at once reductive and openended. Simplicity, ironically, allows a multitude of dialogues. Colours and shapes evoke their own associations, and ask intriguing questions about the larger structures to which they belong: how does context feed into the judgments that we make as audiences, and how important is it for the reception of the image?

Eric Dufour, Berlignes 2, Berlin-Germany 2013.

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Eric Dufour, Coca cooler, Grenoble-France 2014.


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Eric Dufour, Polychromie, Denmark 2013.

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Eric Dufour, Rainbow, Essen-Germany 2016.

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Eric Dufour, Berlignes, Berlin-Germany 2013.

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Eric Dufour, Mondrianesque, France 2015.

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Idealistic Surroundings Elise Mesner

Detroit native Elise Mesner (b. 1983) has a unique and eclectic imagination that is exercised through a multitude of media. With previous clients that include Miu Miu, Microsoft, Samsung and Taschen, and publications in Dazed and Esquire, the Los Angeles-based visionary thrives in a near-fictitious world filled with pastels, organic life and whimsical sensibilities. Idyllic landscapes are the basis for a unique aesthetic; cloudless skylines, palm trees and fruits come to the fore as symbols of energy, vibrancy and playfulness. With a keen attention to textural detail, Mesner finds unexpected dimensions and translates everyday scenery into a halcyon summer. Block colour sets and cloudless skylines capitalise on minimalist composition and high exposures – achieved through both natural and artificial lighting. Mesner utilises digital photography as a form through which to see life as a bold and uninhibited experience – packed with bright, sensory details and sun-tinted idealism.

SWISS CHARDS, Los Angeles, CA Elise Mesner Photography, Model: Chelsea Debo.

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SWISS CHARDS, Los Angeles, CA | Elise Mesner Photography, Model: Chelsea Debo.

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LE TIGRE, Los Angeles, CA | Elise Mesner Photography, Model: Jarina De Marco | Makeup: Nathan Hejl

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JALJIE, Los Angeles, CA | Elise Mesner Photography, Model: Alexis Lilly, Makeup: Shelley Rickman

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OH SKYS, Los Angeles CA | Elise Mesner Photography.

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FOAM PIE, Los Angeles, CA | Elise Mesner Photography, Model: Tim Schumack.

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FOAM PIE, Los Angeles, CA | Elise Mesner Photography, Model: Tim Schumack.

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OH SKYS, Los Angeles, CA | Elise Mesner Photography, Model: Chelse K, Stylist: Vivian Kania, Clothing: Indah & Libby DeSantis, Hair & Makeup: Monica Preciado.

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8NINE, Los Angeles, CA | Elise Mesner Photography, Bates Motel.

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TROPICAL BUNZ, Detroit, MI | Elise Mesner Photography, Hands: Darin Rajabian.

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TIPPY, Los Angeles, Ca | Photographer/Co Creative Director: Elise Mesner, Co Creative Director /Producer/ Makeup: Shelley Rickman, Stylist: June Suepunpuck, Assistant Stylist: Victor Tapere, Hair: William Clark, La Model: Bronte Schleppi.

exhibition reviews

1 The Artificial Now

carolina mizrahi & Morgan Ward

Artificiality is examined through the female lens of Carolina Mizrahi and Morgan Ward in Daniel Raphael Gallery’s exhibition The Artificial Now. Mizrahi’s glossy photographs Cai and Avator 01 embody the seductive lure of fashion magazines as they emphasise a contemporary spirit and feminism state with millennial pink saturation. Their vibrancy is muted by dark thematic undertones, with surrealistic cues incorporated into the compositions. The models’ bodies are covered in paint, and whilst arguably the photographs could be fashion advertisements, this purpose is not suggested by their overall essence. Darkness ensues within the Ruby prints drenched in scarlet, with recurring red vinyl gloves adding to their mystique. Eve 01 is a kaleidoscopic portrayal of the metaphorical relationship between flowers and femininity which Mizrahi explores deeper in her latest collection The Farewell Party. Installation supplements surrounding prints with physicality,

drawing the content from within the photographs to a table setting ready for the party. Under a chandelier, the dining table awaits, serving brightly painted feminine fruits and sex toys. Reminiscent of traditional Dutch paintings through their subject matter and motifs, the prints in Mizrahi’s series are unified through their striking colour palette and still life arrangements. As such, the fruit, flowers, and insects in these works signify sexuality and mortality. Across the lower floor of the gallery, Ward’s abstract paintings offer more colourful expression. The balance of the weight of oil paint against the acrylic wash and layers of colour allude to shifts of dimensionality of space attributed to the influence of Michael Fried’s Art and Objecthood. If following Fried’s concept of Minimalism, theatricality plays a role in both Ward’s and Mizrahi’s works, leaving the overarching extent of artificiality to be determined.

Words Ashton Chandler Guyatt

Daniel Raphael Gallery, London 20 September - 4 October

2 Begin Anywhere: Paths of Mentorship and Collaboration A group show

The current exhibition at San Francisco’s SF Camerawork is dedicated to one of the most important, yet often underacknowledged aspects of artistic practice: the impact of mentorship and creative collaboration as it plays out in its entirety in the photographic medium. In order to illustrate inspirations, mutual influences and divergences, Begin Anywhere, Paths of Mentorship and Collaboration juxtaposes the works of three emerging visionaries, Amanda Boe, McNair Evans and Kevin Kunishi with works by their canonical mentors Jason Fulford, Todd Hido, Mark Mahaney, Mike Smith and Alec Soth. In the individual sequences on display, all three of the young photographers tell highly personal stories whilst examining concepts of home, family and heritage against the history and the contemporary realities of America. In addition, the practitioners realised small joint projects with their mentors, which demonstrate a range

of influence and cross-development. These encompass formal correspondence between the images by Boe and Fulford, the shared exploration of issues of identity and memory by Kunishi and Mahaney, or Boe’s very presence in Hido’s haunting photographs. Building on these smaller forms of partnership, the show also features two collaborations by all eight artists, a version of the Exquisite Corpse parlour game as well as a conceptual play on the pop-culture word search puzzle. These long-term projects, which both started in October 2016, exemplify yet another form of exchange and shared inspiration. In the competitive climate of the contemporary art world, mutual support has become more significant than ever. Curator Monique Deschaines highlights this important issue, rightfully stating that to collaborate “is to allow ourselves to trust another person: to listen, accept criticism and persist with what feels right.”

Words Anja Foerschner

SF Camerawork, San Francisco 7 September - 14 October

3 Francis Kéré

Serpentine pavilion

Amongst the foliage of London’s Kensington Gardens emerges the architectural feat of this summer’s Serpentine Pavilion by Diébédo Francis Kéré. The structure, which mimics the large trees from Kéré’s hometown in Burkina Faso, is sympathetic to its surroundings – marrying form with landscape – albeit without going unnoticed. The first African architect to be chosen to design the gallery’s annual pavilion, Kéré has dressed the structure’s geometric, curved walls with an indigo blue, a colour significant in his culture worn for the most celebratory times. The walls are protective yet airy, perhaps like the textiles that the stacked pieces of timber in triangular formations seemingly resemble. Following 16 impressive predecessors, it was important to Kéré to stay true to himself. The building is grounded by his authenticity from its aesthetic appeal to its climatic characteristics; with Kéré ensuring its contribution to its location by sourcing timber

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in England and provoking a dialogue with nature. The structure is inviting, fitting to its purpose of providing a place for people to come together, or have a peaceful moment. Under the wooden orange-tinged roof canopy the light from the English sunshine, if present, retracts through the translucent polycarbonate layer. At the centre, the lightweight roof is supported by its “trunk” of steel framework open to the elements above, ready to channel rainwater into waterfalls before irrigating the gardens. The openness of the pavilion at the core acts as a skylight, allowing the structure to breathe further beyond the apertured walls and uplifting canopy. At night the canopy illuminates, symbolising the familiar glow of a gathering. Inspired by Mies van der Rohe and his rationality, Kéré’s structure succeeds with its storytelling and sense of purpose, as well as its overall – and widely celebrated – strength and simplicity.

Words Ashton Chandler Guyatt

Serpentine Galleries, London 23 June - 19 November

1. Carolina Mizrahi, The Farewell Party 5. Courtesy of the artist and Daniel Raphael Gallery, London. 2a. Amanda Boe, Spinnaker Roses, 2016. From Silver Lining. 2b. Amanda Boe, Cypress Trees, 2016. From Silver Lining. 3. Serpentine Pavilion 2017, designed by Francis Kéré. Serpentine Gallery, London (23 June – 14 November2017) © Kéré Architecture, Photography © 2017 Iwan Baan.


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4. Bruce Nauman, VIOLINS VIOLENCE SILENCE, 1981-1982. Artist Rooms, Tate and National Galleries of Scotland. Lent by Anthony d’Offay 2010. © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2017. 5a. Chantal Akerman, Courtesy Estate de Chantal Akerman et Marian Goodman Gallery. Image: © DR. 5b. Chantal Akerman, NOW (film still), 2015. 7 channel HD video installation, colour, sound, various objects. Courtesy Estate de Chantal Akerman et Marian Goodman Gallery. Image: © Chantal Akerman. 6. Photo by Roger Webster 1971, courtesy of Environmental Communications


4 Bruce Nauman artist rooms

To complement the return of Bruce Nauman’s Raw Materials to the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, 13 years after its original installation there, the Artist Rooms programme is showing works from across Nauman’s career in the dedicated galleries of the recently renamed Blavatnik Building. The exhibition incorporates his focus on words and language combined with an element of physicality. Several of his signature neon signs are shown, demonstrating the ambivalent correspondence of word and meaning, as simple anagrams completely alter the perception and interpretation of the artworks. Word play continues in Good Boy Bad Boy (1985), a twin-screen video in which a middle-aged white woman and a young black man repeat verb conjugations. As each actor escalates the level of sentiment and force of their oral delivery, the words cease to be mere tools for a grammatical exercise and instead assume different

emotive meanings that are implicitly and unavoidably linked to the perceived identity of their speaker. Meanwhile, pieces such as Raw Materials, Washing Hands Normal (1996) and the most recent work, Walks In Walks Out (2015), focus on the artist’s own body and use a combination of ordinary occurrences with extraordinary connotations in order to corrupt and transform the most mundane actions. Whilst Washing Hands Normal shows violent, obsessive repetition of an everyday habit, Walks In Walks Out gives a more peculiar insight into Nauman’s existence. In this piece he walks towards and away from video projections of himself so that both the scale and representation itself become distorted, resulting ultimately in an odd, discombobulating mixture of forms. Spread across two main rooms, this dedicated display provides a whistle-stop tour through the back catalogue of one of the USA’s foremost conceptual art pioneers.

Words Ruby Beesley

Tate Modern, London 24 July – 1 July

5 Chantal Akerman Now

Although the two works by Chantal Akerman (1950-2015) are displayed on separate floors, they feel superimposed. Entitled Now (2015), the multiple screen projection on the lower level is so noisy that it almost obliterates the muted sounds coming from In the Mirror, a single-screen projection of a film shot in 1971, refunctioned in 2007. This deliberate strategy underlines the aggressive imposition of Now, a show which reflects the violence inherent in our contemporary world. This thematic reading is further extended through In the Mirror, a work in which a virtually naked young woman examines herself in the mirror, commenting dispassionately on her physical attributes. The slight awkwardness of the actress (Claire Wauthion) is touching; the unglamorous underwear neutralises the erotic potential of the piece. Meanwhile, the reflection is dimmed by low-key lighting, which lends an

additional sense of strangeness to this soft-focus portrait. Gradually assaulted by the sounds of animal screams, dirt-road trucks and gun shots, viewers walk down the stairs to the basement where five retro-projected screens present an empty, arid landscape. Five sound tracks hurtle towards audiences, creating a measure of unease; it’s like a sequence from Twentynine Palms (2003) by Bruno Dumont, when everything starts to go wrong and the emptiness of the geography finally unveils its inhuman hostility. It’s hard to gain a complete understanding of the range and diversity of Akerman’s work from just these two pieces. However, the samples do, in fact, show the evolution of her practice, from the early films – which tended to shy away from montage as a form of spectator manipulation – to her last offerings, which fully embrace special effects and, in extension, a disorienting sense of poly-focality.

Words Erik Martiny

Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris 14 September - 21 October

6 Environmental Communications rethinking urbanism

Within the parameters of what is traditionally considered to make an urban space work to the benefit of its dwellers, Los Angeles is in various ways a far from perfect city. This is not least because its sprawling layout has long bred an inevitable reliance on cars by its inhabitants. For a time, this was considered a drawback. However, in the early 1970s the activities of Environmental Communications – a collective of architects and photographers founded in 1969 and based in Venice Beach – documented the eclectic visual culture that was in many ways unique to the City of Angels, and helped change the conversation about what really matters in the field of structural education. Presented in conjunction with the current exhibition, California: Designing Freedom, the Design Museum in west London currently has a display dedicated to the group and the influence they had on the architectural establishment. As a form of rebellion against schools’ short-sighted focus at the

time on only famous buildings, members travelled the city with 35mm cameras, taking pictures and creating slide sets that they would later sell to educational institutions. The small display, which complements the larger exhibition’s survey of design as it evolved in the Golden State – providing us with some of today’s most iconic objects from skateboards to MacBooks – includes examples of these slides and the catalogues the group created to distribute them. Depicting billboards, freeways, hot dog stands, drive-ins – all the liminal spaces of the spread-out city and the things and people that inhabited them – Environmental Communications helped future architects to think beyond the confines of traditional aesthetics and conceptions of urbanism. Good design is about improving lives, and this accompanying tribute reminds us that, in order for this to take place, designers of all stripes should consider where these lives happen.

Words Ned Carter Miles

Design Museum, London 26 August - 17 October

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Still from ADRIFT IN SOHO, directed by Pablo Behrens. Actor: Owen Drake as Harry Preston. Wardrobe: Lisa Duncan. MAKEUP: Pippa Buist. HAIR: Martin McClean. Photographer & DOP: Martin Kobylarz.


Literary Consciousness adrift in soho

“Scored with jazz, more authentic than the rock’n’roll traditionally associated with Soho, the result is a film that immerses audiences ‘in the mood of the period’.”

Words James Mottram

Adrift In Soho will be released in early 2018.

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From Expresso Bongo (1959) and Absolute Beginners (1986) the film. Then he made an amazing discovery: Wilson had to Mona Lisa (1986) and The Look of Love (2013), the glamour featured in a Free Cinema film, the radical documentary and the squalor of London’s Soho district has always been movement co-founded in the 1950s by Lindsay Anderson. By creating two characters who are fictionalised Free a draw for filmmakers. But according to writer-producerdirector Pablo Behrens, nobody has ever captured the feel of Cinema directors and meet with Harry at various points, this infamous square mile in quite the right manner. “I didn’t Behrens was able to “interact with the thinking that is in the novel”. Recreating several sequences from Free Cinema see the flavour of Soho as I knew it,” Behrens explains. Most approach it from just one angle, he says, whether films – including the club-set Momma Don’t Allow and Nice through the prism of the once-notorious red-light district or Time, set across Piccadilly at night – it provided an elegant via the literary and artistic scene, home to writers and artists solution to the film’s narrative challenges and complexities. Despite the 1950s Soho setting, Behrens did not want to like Jeffrey Bernard and Francis Bacon. In reality, particularly in the past, “you would walk around the streets and you take a traditional approach. “I didn’t want to do a standard would meet the pornographer, the artist, the sex workers, the period film which means lavish wardrobes and vintage writers, the drinkers and the drug addicts, all in a few blocks.” cars,” he says. Inspired by Soho Nights, an exhibition at the When Behrens discovered Colin Wilson’s 1961 novel Adrift Photographer’s Gallery in London in 2009, he created a In Soho, he found the perfect expression of the area he so fell more timeless feel for his film. “You watch the film and you in love with. Set in the 1950s, the story sees youngster Harry wouldn’t know if it was four years ago or sixty years ago.” Whilst two-thirds of the movie is shot in Soho, Behrens Preston (played by Owen Drake) – an alter-ego for Wilson – arrive in Soho at the time of the Beat generation. There also used The Lace Market in Nottingham for some scenes. he meets actor James Compton-Street (Chris Wellington), “I would say The Lace Market is still today what Soho was 50 years ago.” Scored with jazz, more authentic than the striking up a potent friendship at a time of social upheaval. With Wilson’s novel a stream-of-consciousness, Behrens rock’n’roll soundtrack that is traditionally associated with had to consider how to adapt it for the screen. Rejecting the Soho, the result is a film that immerses audiences “in the idea of voiceover, he considered using a drama-doc style, mood of the period”, says the director, rather than distances getting his characters to talk to a documentary crew within us from it. You may never look at Soho the same way again.


Jamie Bell and Annette Bening in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (Lionsgate UK).

A young man meets an ageing Hollywood legend; it sounds Glasgow-raised McGuigan, best known for directing episodes “Starring Jamie Bell like Billy Wilder’s classic Sunset Boulevard. In fact, Film Stars of BBC drama Sherlock, came close to directing 2006’s Casino and Annette Bening Don’t Die In Liverpool is no fiction. Adapted from the memoir Royale with Daniel Craig – but Film Stars is a very different as these two unlikely by Peter Turner, back in 1979, this little-known British actor prospect. Whilst the movie was shot in Liverpool, sets were built lovers, the film cuts in his late 20s met former starlet Gloria Grahame whilst she in Pinewood for scenes in America – lending it a theatrical feel. between their nascent For film lovers, references abound. Grahame’s Manhattan romance and two was living in a Primrose Hill boarding house. Then in her mid50s, it was a far cry from her days in Tinseltown, when she apartment, for example, is inspired by her character’s residence years later when in The Big Heat (1953), where Lee Marvin famously throws coffee failing health means won an Oscar for The Bad and the Beautiful (1952). A moving May-December love story, Film Stars is no glitzy in her face. Another scene, set around Grahame’s beachside she briefly moves into Hollywood biopic. “It’s not about Gloria’s life, it’s about a love house in Los Angeles, saw McGuigan’s team use back-projection Turner’s family home affair that she had with this young boy from Liverpool,” says to show the ocean – a deliberate nod to In A Lonely Place (1950), on Merseyside.” director Paul McGuigan. Starring Jamie Bell and Annette the film in which she co-starred with Humphrey Bogart. Casting Bening was also essential. “She’s a real student of Bening as the unlikely lovers, the film cuts between their nascent romance and two years later when failing health means Gloria and her films,” says McGuigan, who notes that when she made The Grifters (1990), director Stephen Frears told her to she briefly moves into Turner’s family home on Merseyside. Adapted by Matt Greenhalgh (who scripted the northwest watch Grahame’s work. “That’s who she based her performance England-set music biopics Control and Nowhere Boy), Bell had on. .. I took a picture of Gloria Grahame and a picture of Anaccess to the personal accounts of Turner, who was present nette from The Grifters, put them together and it’s seamless.” Words Whilst it also affords a reunion between Bell and his Billy James Mottram during the shoot. “I could tell it took a toll on him, recounting this relationship,” the actor recalls. “I could see the exhaustion Elliot co-star Julie Walters, who plays Turner’s mother, Film in him, [with] me probing for more personal details and more Stars is not drenched in nostalgia. An odd couple romance, it’s Film Stars Don’t Die secrets. I was really grateful that he was willing to share this also a validation of family – something which Grahame, with In Liverpool opens four failed marriages, never managed. “It’s not an old lady on 17 November. part of his life; it’s affected him in such a massive way.” Intriguingly, the film is produced by Barbara Broccoli, who dying in her room,” says McGuigan. “If anything, it’s the opis more famed for overseeing the James Bond franchise. The posite. It’s about being alive and Gloria was always alive.”

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thirteen thirty one

cafe bar - grill - venue - little cinema - Stay over

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film reviews Return to Ithica

Land of Mine

Laurent Cantet Network Releasing

Martin Zandvliet Nordisk Film

The latest film from French director Laurent Cantet (The Class, Foxfire) explores the emotional impact of a long-overdue homecoming. With a nod to Homer’s return in its title, our middle-aged protagonist is Amadeo (Nestor Jimenez), who has returned to Cuba after 16 years as a writer in Spain. Return To Ithica sees him reunite with the old friends who never left. Once impassioned political thinkers, they have been worn down by the country’s economic restrictions during the Special Period. There is Rafa (Fernando Hechevarria), a former painter; Eddy (Jorge Perugorría), an artist-turned-accountant who doesn’t always work above board; Tania (Isabel Santos), an eye doctor with empty-nest syndrome and Aldo (Pedro Julia Diaz Herran), a former engineer who has found peace with his new position in life as a humble factory worker. Whilst there are moments of celebration and folly, there’s also a lot of unfinished business The film, set on a beautifully lit rooftop in Havana, resembles a play in its claustrophobic setting. The result is, in equal parts, revealing and touching.

The adversarial nature of the modern world is at the Blending illustration and heart of Martin Zandvliet’s visual storytelling, UK diSecond World War drama rector Lisa Gornick returns Land of Mine. Veteran with this intimate and coDanish sergeant Carl Rasmussen (Roland Møller) medically complex feature, The Book of Gabrielle. is tasked with clearing the western coast of Den- The narrative follows the title protagonist as she mark of the two million mines which were planted begins to put together a sex-guide. But relationby German forces during the Occupation. ships – and events – are up-ended when she meets Under his command are a group of young a straight, male author at a book launch. German POWs, promised their safe return to Filled with delicate, British humour, and subtle Germany once all the mines have been cleared. nuances from the everyday, the narrative seems Within the folds of the play’s adversarial nature, to unravel as seamlessly as the world which it dewhat strikes most powerfully is the duality of picts. Entries into the publication-to-be are oddly feeling: of conflict, yes, but also of solidarity. satisfying, with voiced-over entries as believable as This duality resonates outward, presenting diary entries that speak about adulthood, and the the audience with a moral quandary. Echoing twists and turns along the way. Completely frank, Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt, the drama divides Gabrielle invites us into her psyche as if the viewer sympathies, casting war itself as the villainous force were part of the oddly formed relationships. that has imprisoned all in an unenviable fate. Mixing subtle themes – recognisable from the tuShedding light on a forgotten event in history, multuous world of romanticism – jealousy, tension Zandvliet captures, with maturity and respect, the and sexuality, this unexpectedly gripping feature realism of emotion. Yet, lingering after the credits is draws the viewer into a small universe suffused with the internal ghost of a disquieting moral confusion multi-layers: dramatic dialogue, mental introspecremains, of what happens when innocence is lost. tion, memory and authentic meet cutes.

Grace Caffyn

Paul Risker

Kate Simpson


Tom of Finland

My Pure Land

Joe Stephenson Network Releasing

Dome Karukoski Peccadillo Pictures

Sarmad Masud British Council

The Book of Gabrielle Lisa Gornick Peccadillo Pictures

Richard is a 15-year-old For his seventh release, boy with learning difficulFinnish director Dome ties, who lives in a caravan Karukoski (b. 1976) capwith his erratically abusive tures the life and soul of brother, Polly. The two lead Touko Valio Laaksonen a desperate existence, punctuated by Richard’s lov- – best-known by Tom of Finland – an artist reingly prepared meals that Polly frequently sees nowned for his representation of fetishisation, and out in silence. The squalor of their life is contrasted influence on late 20th century homosexual culture. with their surroundings; Eben Bolter’s cinematograWholly resonant in today’s society, this creative phy captures the lonely beauty of the landscape. biopic provides a sense of visual catharsis, docuScott Chambers’ exceptional portrayal of Rich- menting the efforts towards a state of social libard – his mannerisms, speech patterns and im- eration and freedom. Though set in a seemingly mensely natural chatter with his only friend, Fiona different era, the film offers threads between histothe chicken – means he never becomes defined by ry and contemporary reality, and points towards his disability. When a new rich family moves into similarities. Returning home after the war – and its the grounds where they live, Richard befriends the subsequent horrors – Helsinki proves to be a city daughter, Annabell (played by Yasmin Paige), who riddled with hardship for Laaksonen; a darkened marries teenage bravado with maternal affection, mirror through which to see homophobic regimes. and the two cultivate a truly believable friendship Finding relief through art, he begins to work on as Richard’s and Polly’s circumstances worsen. illustration of men depicted without inhibition. This A shock twist leaves a sour taste, but throughout, act of creative defiance becomes an emotive and Richard’s warm, witty character makes this a heart- psychological outlet reflective of a new world. Revbreaking yet poignant portrayal of rural poverty. olutionary, bold and scintillating, this feature is a This insight into life on the edges of society is made fitting commemoration to an icon that contributed unmissable by the stunning performances. to a movement of change.

Deeply enigmatic and wholly arresting, Sarmad Masud’s 2017 feature My Pure Land is based on the true story of a group of young women who survived a siege on their home by relatives and a militia of 200 bandits. Based in rural Pakistan, where land disputes are common and possession is taken through “legal and extra-legal means”, the thematic context at once echoes and contrasts the feuds prevalent in the American Western. Re-invented through the eyes of protagonist Nazo, the feature follows a feminist focus, and usurps stereotypes. Forging a connection with Daniel Barber’s The Keeping Room, a tale of two Southern sisters who defend their homestead in the Civil War, the film builds upon cultural identity whilst offering universal themes. Masud allows visual brilliance and the sounds of gunfire and angry voices to collide, as the director combines past and present through circular timeframes. An assured directorial debut and one of the best films of 2017, action and drama are meticulously united here with empathetic characters and tangible emotional resonance.

Pauline Bache

Paul Risker

Kate Simpson

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Chelsea Wolfe. Photo Credit: Kristin Cofer.


Creativity as Remedy chelsea wolfe

“Wolfe is striking and formidable live: a tall, pale and eerily commanding mezzo-soprano who plucks everything from scorched acoustic folk to crushing, diabolical drone from her guitar strings.”

Words Charlotte R-A

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“Music has a singular power,” says Chelsea Wolfe. “For me, it’s like my religion: I dedicate my life to it, and it revives me.” That last verb carries a certain weight in the context of Hiss Spun, the Californian artist’s excellently dark fifth album. In a recent interview, Wolfe disclosed she’d been struggling with anxiety and insomnia, and spoke about how her coping mechanism for these things – addiction – has “carried” into the music on this album, particularly on album songs 16 Psyche and Spun. “It’s not something I’m completely healed from either, but I think putting those kinds of issues into music makes you want to overcome them. Having to get onstage to sing these songs, I want to be stronger than them.” Wolfe is striking and formidable live: a tall, pale and eerily commanding mezzo-soprano who plucks everything from scorched acoustic folk to crushing, diabolical drone from her guitar strings. As a lyricist, she mines the odd and unsettling to thrilling ends. Lead single Vex, for example, references the mysterious deep-sea hum researchers discovered last year, a noise with an unknown source. It’s wild to consider just how much we still don’t know about our planet, and by extension, how we risk its future with climate change. Is this a peril that Wolfe considers? “I’m always inspired by the strange and beautiful parts of nature, but I also recognise its power and force. Natural disasters are something that bring us together. They also remind us that things can get much worse.”

Five studio albums in, Wolfe feels capable as a creator. “I feel armed to communicate my ideas better, and more confident to pursue them, but I also feel like I still have a long way to go and many things to explore.” In recent interviews, she’s touched on her choice to record Hiss Spin in Salem, a site infamous for the massacre of women (and some men) accused of witchcraft, and touched on “the anger on this album, for what my female and genderqueer antecessors have had to face.” Does Wolfe ID as genderqueer? The song Two Spirit, a reference to the indigenous Native American term, certainly seems to imply it. “I’ve often considered myself and my music genderless, but a lot of the songs on this album are very much from the perspective of a woman. I wanted to be inclusive in my anger for my foremothers. I want to fight the chaos of the outside world with my own internal chaos.” As the late, great poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning pointed out, the rage of women can taste, “salt and bitter and good.” And it’s needed now more than ever in the social media age, where so many of us feel compelled to present a respectable, filtered fascia of ourselves. When she spoke to Nisey. com recently, Wolfe made a point of calling out this insidious imperative: “In this era, everyone is expected to really have their shit together at all times and present it as such on social media, but it’s okay to embrace the mess of yourself. That’s the first step towards personal growth.” Who could disagree?

Percussive Touchstones beaches

Still taken from video for Void, directed by Ali McCann and Joel Roche.

Second of Spring is a 12-minute song the band recorded via “There has to be Double albums are risky business, says Beaches’ lead guitarist Ali McCann. “They’re a bold – some would say foolhardy four-track, back in 2007, on the second day of spring. “It’s some respite. Music – move, but we thought we could pull it off.” Reader, they did. such a strange and beautiful piece. There are some weird and has always been a Second of Spring manages to feel both warm and haunting, ethereal sonic textures – my guitar sounds like a church bell vehicle for this. like a ring of spectres dancing on some unknown sunlit shore. – some wonky moments and sections where it almost falls I’m not saying The Australian pysch quintet began writing and record- apart and some of us stop playing altogether. It’s become that music can ing for their third studio album in 2015, and found them- a symbol for this immediate, cosmic synchronicity that we cure the world’s selves enjoying an unexpectedly prolific period. “I guess it often experience but can never later replicate. We had con- ills, but it can help was a really productive time. We were really locked-in with sidered slipping the song in somewhere on the album, but lift the spirits” each other.” They spent days and nights at Phaedra Studios decided it was better left in its original, ghost-like state.” Beaches’ creative touchstones ranged from study (a number with engineer John Lee. As the songs racked up, the ladies decided they’d forego the usual culling process. Instead of of them have branched out into academia) to bereavement. cutting the longer, instrumental tracks, as they’d done on McCann’s mother passed away before recording began; the their preceding albums (2008’s self-titled Australian Music grief can be felt clearly on songs such as Wine and Mothers & Prize-shortlisted debut; 2013’s She Beats), they centred them, Daughters. “Yet, being around a bunch of beautiful, supportive and talented women, plus John – we have all been friends giving them the space that they needed to really shine. “When the idea of a double album become a reality,” ex- for so long – really helped,” recalls the guitarist. We all struggle in one way or another, particularly now plains McCann, “we began taking note of double albums that worked, and those that didn’t. I got really obsessed with Todd during these turbulent, global times. What does music – Rundgren’s Something/Anything? during that time; Side 3 is pysch, specifically – offer us? “There has to be some respite. really something. And Tago Mago by Can remains one of my Music has always been a vehicle for this. I’m not saying that Words favourite albums.” Their only real objective, says McCann, music can cure the world’s ills, but it can help lift the spirits.” Charlotte R-A was to ensure that each side had a particular vibe, conceptu- McCann should know. Beaches have been together for over ally and sonically, and that the record as a whole stayed true a decade now. How does it feel? “It’s a rare thing. We’ve have been there for each other through all of it; it’s pretty special.” to the beguiling, archival song the album is named after.

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music reviews Angus & Julia Stone

Pale Honey

Yumi Zouma

Devotion Bolero Records

Willowbank Cascine

Working alongside your sibling cannot be an easy task, but somehow, the Australian brother/sister duo have harmoniously created another uplifting long player born from their Byron Bay cottage studio. Having had success separately, the pair first collaborated on their 2014 debut under the advice of veteran producer Rick Rubin, but Snow is the first time they have sat in the same room and written an entire record in each other’s company. There is a natural, calm beauty, with songs like Nothing Else emanating an honesty that could only have come from such a close bond. The album pleasingly plods along with rock tinged ballads, and impassioned stand-outs like Bloodhound leaping into slow Kings of Leon territory with in-the-pocket drums and vocals. When Angus and Julia harmonise, it is truly magical. The bouncing Chateau hears them wispily flitting in and out of each other’s voices, and you can vividly see the eight weeks they spent in solitude recording this outstanding ode to the strength of the sacred familial, creative bond.

Playful, immediate and effortlessly cool, Swedish duo Pale Honey’s follow-up album, Devotion, comes two years after their debut, which was hailed by the canonical likes of DIY, Q, Clash and NME. Utterly sophisticated and unexpected, this trailblazer of a record invites listeners into the explosive upwards path of a band who are clearly set for international renown. Bringing to mind artists working in similar territory, such as Warpaint and PJ Harvey, the sound here is uniquely polished and reflective of alternative rock at its best – well-paced, sensitive and, above all, energetic. Their attention to detail is evident across all the tracks presented, every part as intentional and essential as the next. It’s hard to pick out individual tracks from the long list featured , and the record has everything that you could ask for in terms of stylistic complexity whilst still maintaining a constantly authentic overall sound. Arresting from the first minute, Devotion, as interpreted by Pale Honey, translates the memory of 1990s alternative rock into the digital realm for a new generation.

Following the release of debut album Yoncalla, the members of Yumi Zouma headed home to New Zealand for the summer to work on the follow-up, Willowbank, the first significant work written and recorded entirely in their home country. They rented a studio in Christchurch’s semi-demolished CBD; the album came to fruition in one of the few remaining blocks that still characterises the city prior to its suffering a series of earthquakes. Blending exquisite, hazy vocals with delectable pop melodies, danceable electro beats and dream pop arrangements, Yumi Zouma create a sound has evolved into something of even greater beauty, recalling at times the sumptuous sounds of Empire of the Sun and PNAU. Opener Depths (Pt. 1) sets the tone with deliciously layered warm synth sounds paired with melancholy harmonies and guitars whilst Persephone and the gentle disco-pop of A Memory enable Christie Simpson to shine vocally. Willowbank is characterised by beautiful detachment, in an album full of verses and choruses that are consistently strong and memorable, each element working to make the songs a sublime whole.

Kyle Bryony

Kate Simpson

Matt Swain


Frida Sundemo


Ratatatat Tantrum Records

Flashbacks & Futures Cosmos Music

Reflections of Youth Big Dada

Scottish experimental alt-pop singer MALKA unveils new album Ratatatat, the followup to her highly acclaimed 2015 debut, Marching To Another Beat. MALKA first drew attention as Tamara Schlesinger, the frontwoman of alt-folk collective 6 Day Riot and also as a songwriter. Her previous work has been featured in a host of high-profile syncs for TV series and films that have included Skins, Scream 4 and 127 Hours. The album as a whole is perfused with insistent drumbeats, deep bass grooves, handclaps and airy, animated vocals bathed in a sparkling commercial light. Percussively vibrant and dominant, Fell For You and No No No are particular standouts both sonically and lyrically. Musical diversity and ingenuity overflows throughout and despite commercial pop leanings, lyrically, MALKA takes on deeper and more universal themes, with an astute political awareness, offering hope in these troubled times. It is the combination of buoyant melodious energy battling against the darkness in society that makes Ratatatat so enjoyable to listen to.

With EPs Indigo and Lit Few contemporary Up By Neon and a role songwriters traverse in director John Niven’s the lines between iden2015 movie Kill Your tity and adulthood with Friends under her belt, Frida Sundemo has already such addictive poignancy as Norwegian artist been making waves in the industry. But her latest EERA. Following on from the 2016 debut EP, offering, Flashbacks and Futures, allows the singer 2017’s Reflections of Youth is a weighted affair, to flesh out her artistic vision into something that bringing in themes of love, failure, trust and is considerable bigger and bolder in its scope. family, with building, deeply cinematic climaxes. Exploring themes of space and time, the SwedWhilst the concept of perceived “adulthood” is a ish songstress has harnessed as many synths as trope that has been covered by many in the culshe can to create a 1980s-tinged epic that feels tural realm, this record is a colossal and refreshboth futuristic and nostalgic all at once. ingly intimate affair, tinged with a delicate sense The album’s title track, with its pulsing bassline of despondency, where archaic rhythm parts comjuxtaposed with saccharine, fidgeting melodies bine with velvety vocals. As a whole, the album would be equally at home on an arcade machine creates a multi-layered realm of emotion. in Tokyo. Meanwhile, We Are Dreamers delivers a Living, Beast and Survived are equally narcotic, sweeping orchestral chorus and stadium-sized presenting an audible world of memory through sound that could conceiveably pass as a Eurovi- stirring distortion and lavish lyrics. Wise Man and sion entry that’s beamed in from another planet. 10,000 Voices, meanwhile, are playful throwbacks, But it’s not all lasers and aliens here. There are swinging into nostalgia – both conceptually and quieter moments of shoe-gaze introspection, with stylistically – and layered with elements of a Sundemo’s rounded, breathy vocals creating a dreamy psychedelia. The self-titled closing track sense of intimacy amongst the noise. At its best, provides a lilting and powerful end to the record, the album manages to achieve both at once. one that is raw, honest and filled with passion.

Matt Swain

Grace Caffyn

Snow Le Label / PIAS

Kate Simpson

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Sensory Exploration Punchdrunk The company’s upcoming virtual reality collaboration heralds a new age of theatre that is reflective of contemporary digitalisation.

Over the last few years, virtual reality, also known as VR, has ing on stage, and theatre writers are used to developing techreally begun to find its audience. Whilst the concept and niques to focus audience attention on the significant details. In fact, perhaps the most significant similarities can be drawn some of the elements have existed for over 60 years, it’s only in the last ten that the technology has started to accelerate between VR and immersive theatre. In the former, the story has and headsets have begun to make their way into people’s to exist in an open world environment. In the latter, audiences homes. It’s a new and exciting technology, and is rapidly are free to wander. The difficulties then are comparable. Enter being adopted as a tool in the medical, architectural and Punchdrunk International. A world-renowned company led scientific industries, amongst others. Its use as a storytelling by Felix Barrett, it has been developing large-scale, immersive environments for the last 20 years and has recently begun device, however, is something that is still being explored. This is the first year that Cannes Film Festival will feature experimenting with the new techniques around VR. Barrett talks about the international impact of their work: such a production: Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Carne y Arena. Iñárritu is notorious for pushing the boundaries of filmmak- “Our production Sleep No More will mark its first-year ing – he was responsible for the hugely ambitious Academy anniversary in Shanghai in December; in New York it has Award winning Birdman (2014) – but other visionaries are now been running for an incredible six years.” The Shanghai more daunted by the prospect of VR. Steven Spielberg has production became the fastest-selling theatrical production said: “I think we’re moving into a dangerous medium with vir- in the city. They’ve collaborated with the musician Damon tual reality. The only reason I say it is dangerous is because Albarn and the English National Opera, and over the past two it gives the viewer a lot of latitude not to take direction from decades have worked in both digital and live performance. Punchdrunk’s first foray into the world of VR was a colthe storytellers but make their own choices of where to look.” The near-total freedom of an audience member, or viewer, laborative project with Samsung North America and was means that, despite surface similarities, narratives presented powered by Samsung’s technology. A 4D experience, crein VR are worlds apart from those presented in a traditional ated by the firm’s Associate Director, Hector Harkness and film. Directors usually have complete control over what the Creative Associate Kath Duggan alongside Artistic Direcaudience sees, and viewers have little or no agency in this tor Felix Barrett, Believe Your Eyes uses real actors, film and (particularly when extreme close-ups are used like in the case complex soundscapes to lure participants into a ghostly of Quentin Tarantino). But through this new, revolutionary dream world. The resulting work has just been awarded the technology, each individual is immersed in a 360° film and prestigious Silver Lion at the Cannes Festival of Creativity. Harkness talks about how they were able to translate their can choose to look anywhere. This brings it much closer to theatre than to film: audiences can look at anything happen- experiences from live, large-format shows to the smaller,

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Left: Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More, Shanghai Paul Zivkovich. Credit: Yuan Studio. Right: Believe Your Eyes, Punchdrunk International and Samsung Electronics North America. Image courtesy of Samsung Electronics North America. Previous Page: Katie McGuinness, Believe Your Eyes, Punchdrunk International and Samsung Electronics North America. Image courtesy of Samsung Electronics North America

more intimate environment of virtual reality: “It’s all to do with how much significance the performer places on where they are headed and why. For instance, the simple act of opening a suitcase might have a huge level of tension for the character, which in turn draws the audience’s attention into that moment. Likewise, in our VR piece, the eyeline of the character and the high stakes of what they are looking at are used to direct the viewers’ gaze where we want it to be.” Gaze is an important concept in these new technologies and Punchdrunk discovered that this gave them different opportunities particularly with regard to light and sound: “The 360 surround sound in the piece means we’re able to pull the focus to very specific moments in a way we wouldn’t be able to in a larger mask show.” Unlike in the large productions, the audience here remains in a fixed position, which means that directional sound and lighting can have more impact than they might from an undetermined position. Harkness discusses the positives and negatives of this aspect of all-encompassing sensory environments: “Making this piece involved a lot of focus on lighting, especially within the restrictive confines of VR live-action stitching. But in the end, that helped us craft the space in the film and focus the action. A technical constraint meant we needed to have areas of brightness and areas of pitch black. In turn, this helped us focus the storytelling, landing moments of significance in the strongest pools of light.” Punchdrunk are excellent at turning things other creators might see as limitations into possibilities. The audience agency that so concerned Spielberg is exactly what excites Harkness: “This simple attribute can make you feel so empowered. As long as the audience are implicated in the action

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and feel like they can affect it and that their decisions have “It’s a new and exciting power, we are excited.” With decades of experience in open technology, and is world storytelling, Punchdrunk are clearly an asset to these rapidly being adopted new digital worlds, but the technology also has an impact on as a tool in the medical, their work. Harkness explains: “It’s allowed us to create mo- architectural and ments of magic that are impossible in a live context, but you scientific industries, can do it in film – characters duplicating for instance.” amongst others. Its For years now, the company’s live work has sought to blur use as a storytelling the boundaries between the real and the imaginary. The ad- device, however, is dition of VR into their toolkit will enable them to break these something that is still down further: “Such tech gives us the possibility to take our being explored.” work beyond the confines of a performance space and out into the real world or into people’s homes.” As can be expected from a group with its roots deep in live performance and theatre, Punchdrunk lean to the idea of shared experience in the future: “It’s often a solitary experience and this leads us towards wanting to create VR work that is still interactive in some respect but can be experienced anywhere. We’re really keen to explore how to make a group experience in which the other participants can become key characters.” These experiments have already begun with the creation of Fallow Cross: a physical village they have made in Tottenham and a digital village running on a games engine. Hark- Words ness discusses the concept: “Gradually we’re working towards Bryony Byrne these two versions of the village being intricately linked and co-dependent. Audiences might play the village from their classroom and then discover the real one in Tottenham and then return to the digital village to see how their presence Kaberoi runs until affects the narrative.” It looks like the future of virtual reality 5 November. might well find itself best represented not primarily through film, but through the innovative techniques of the theatre.

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book reviews All About Yves


Catherine Örmen Laurence King Publishing

Karsten R.S. Ifversen Hatje Cantz

Fashion Photography: The Story in 180 Pictures Eugénie Shinkle Aperture

Catherine Örmen pays homage to the elite designer Yves Saint Laurent in a stylish, literary tribute. As a curator of fashion history, Örmen uses her expertise to map out an insightful survey of Saint Laurent’s trailblazing career – from his upbringing in Oman, to his haute-couture stardom in Paris. Each chapter covers distinguished moments and is colour-grouped into themes such as his personal life; the couture house; and his iconic suit designs. Whilst category introductions would not go amiss, the reader is able to compare concepts across time-periods – the book is not necessarily guided by a chronological order. All About Yves shines in its unveiling of rarely seen drawings and images, as well as archival items. An expansive timeline provides an accessible overview of Saint Laurent’s contributions to cinema, theatre and design. Of particular note is Imaginary Journeys, which depicts his affinity with influences beyond Europe, whilst A Revolutionary Courtier provides insight into the creation of his signature 1960s women’s tuxedo.

Vibrations: A Portrait of Houses Designed by Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects is an insightful and resonant publication that charts the aesthetics of architecture and the creative trajectory of one of the best-known duos from Nordic culture in the field. With insightful introductions to each building, followed by undisturbed image features taken by Jens Markus Lindhe, the book explores the concept of space, and contemporary living, as if they were fuelled by kinetic energy. Each example of design here looks deeper at its own purpose, and does so through the lens of philosophy. Through their demonstration of communal frameworks, with atmosphere and autonomy, the buildings in question look at theory in practice, and do so through abstract concepts turned concrete. As Ifversen explores what makes architecture great, the answer lies in the realisation of sociological dynamism, with structures achieving functionality in a way that “vibrates” with life. This is an original and arresting volume that succeeds in turning architecture into something poetic and deeply human.

Selina Oakes

Kate Simpson

Anna Feintuck

Stephen Shore: Selected Works 1973-1981


Bystander: A History of Street Photography

Various Editors Aperture

Sandra Piesik Thames and Hudson

Eugénie Shinkle’s latest book offers a whistle-stop tour through some of the most important fashion photographs of the last 150 years. It begins with a fascinating overview of the genre, from its earliest beginnings in the 1860s to the present day, and goes on to present a series of iconic images, with insightful commentary running alongside. The book is organised chronologically and whilst there is undoubtedly a temptation to flick straight to the big names – the glossy perfection of Guy Bourdin’s work, or Corinne Day’s now-iconic grunge shots – to do so would mean missing out on some of Shinkle’s most important insights. Her discussion of late 19th century practitioners, for example, shows the steady specialisation of work in this period: many were not photographers by trade (we learn that Camille Silvy, 1834-1910, trained as a lawyer and worked as a diplomat). The long historical view offered here provides valuable contextualisation for the better-known images included. Fashion Photography will be an excellent addition to a study shelf or a coffee table alike.

Colin Westerbeck

This inspiring volume presents a selection of images chosen by a group of 15 artists, curators, authors and cultural figures from the archive of Shore’s Uncommon Places collection. The participants were invited to select up to 10 pieces from a larger pool; most of them are published here for the very first time. The reasons each individual has for selecting their works are varied; some of the decisions are detailed by an introduction to each section, but often the images are left to speak for themselves. Many of the participants refer to the possibility of narrative in Shore’s photographs, for example, in the case of Wes Anderson’s selection, he accompanies every image with a personalised glimpse into the story that he sees within the composition. From these tongue-in-cheek observations to David Campany’s interest in the colour green, the involvement of these curators lends the book an interesting and original perspective in a widely discusses practice. Their interaction with Shore in some ways alters perceptions, yet still delves into the overall, idiosyncratic commentary on America.

With essays on the nature and Joel Meyerowitz of vernacular architecture, Laurence King the built environment, and Publishing the immediate concept of a changing world, Habitat is an aptly named publication The latest edition of Colin Westerbeck and Joel that charts the temperament of awe-inspiring Meyerowitz’s landmark book, first published topographies that are at once radical and supreme. in 1994, is a timely reminder of its importance. Separated into sections by climate – Tropical, Bystander: A History of Street Photography Dry, Temperate, Continental and Polar – also considers the role of the photographer – the known as the Koppen-Geiger system, the volume eponymous bystander – throughout the late 19th holds the landscape at its core, providing and 20th centuries. It shows how the genre evolved, in-depth and scientific readings of how we tracing a street photographer’s development from have responded to basic human needs across being someone who would take tourist pictures for universal, yet ultimately diverse, climates. a fee, to the important place they have come to With examples from an extensive list of occupy in the documentation of urban life today. contributors, and notes on how different A new introduction, Now and Then: In Defense of locations have evoked different responses to Traditional Street Photography, sets the scene and living, materials and design, the text provides shows the politics – and, indeed, legal restrictions a vital glimpse into anthropology within the – in place behind many of these images. The book context of the landscape. Deeply informative then goes on to showcase the most important in a time of social, political and geological work of the last 160 years, beginning in the 1860s. upheaval, this book provides conceptual relief. The authors’ commentary is illuminating. As editor Sandra Piesik notes: “This story Westerbeck and Meyerowitz first provided these urgently needs to be told if we are to navigate crucial insights nearly two decades ago, but this our changing relationship with our planet.” re-issue shows the subject to be no less vital today.

Bryony Byrne

Kate Simpson

Anna Feintuck

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Buy directly from award-winning designers selected for their quality of craftmanship and originality of design. Join us for a series of expert talks including a panel discussion on jewellery as art and Gemstone Cutting and Sourcing by Matthew Morrell. More talks, infor mation and advanced tickets available on

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Subscribe & Save 20% Digital £16.99 UK £28.95 Europe £35.95 Rest of  World £37.95 (0044) (0)844 568 2001


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9:45 AM

Fetal Movement 1.


Tamara Piilola

Tamara Piilola paints large canvases that depict imaginary landscapes. Bold, fluent brushstrokes and pure pigments combine to render each work as an illuminated composition.

Mika Yajima produces commercial artworks mainly for architectural spaces, making use of fibre as material. Since 2006, she has exhibited conceptual installations, pursuing a spiritual direction with strong, resonant messages. In recent years, she has shifted her focus from folk art to techniques reflective of modern art.

4’33’’. 273 brass clock hands soldered on brass wire.

Lisa Chang Lee Lisa Chang Lee is an internationally published and exhibited artist based in London and Beijing. Utilising various media from printmaking to computer programming, Lee’s work explores the relationship between consciousness, identity and time by embedding her understanding of eastern philosophy and perspective into materials extracted from the everyday.

The Garden of Eden (Autumn). Photographer: © Marco Longo

Cristina Rodrigues

Trained as an architect, Portuguese artist Cristina Rodrigues combines social concerns, ethnography and gender relations in her practice. Using a diverse variety of media – including handmade tapestries, embroideries, drawings and installations – she assembles a hybrid of cultural identities through fragmented pieces of specific histories.

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

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artists’ directory

Image: The Tower, 2017. Interactive installation with VR headset, printer and EEG.

Image: The Rule v2.0, 2017. Digital interactive installation.

Zhao Huang A Central Saint Martins graduate, Zhao Huang has been working as a professional artist in Beijing since 2008. His work explores the relationship between technology and nature. |

Mariojosé Angeles

Born in the Dominican Republic, where he originally studied architecture, Mariojosé Angeles has exhibited in numerous locations, including the Salon Grands et Jeunes d’Aujoud’hui in Paris. He subsequently lived and worked in Brussels. The expression of his Caribbean identity is a key objective of his work.

Dave Weindorf

Sweet Clarity Glass Art Studio, Melbourne Structurally complex and intricately designed, these unique pieces call upon environmental consideration. Through the inspiration of natural forms, glass is transformed as a material through which to re-enliven Art Nouveau.

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Dave Weindorf’s practice is built upon a fascination with hieroglyphics and historical runes. Blending the past with contemporary contexts, he offers a sense of conceptual and compositional movement. Bold colours delve into the raw nature of expression, translated through modern materials.

Steingrímur Gauti Ingólfsson

Based in Reykjavík, Steingrímur Gauti graduated from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2015, having also studied at Universität der Künste Berlin and the Reykjavík School of Visual Arts. He says: “In a way, painting is a form of meditation. It’s an escape from reality and a reflection of it at the same time.” | Instagram: @steingrimurgauti


Paul Biddle Rearranging Reality Solo exhibition at the Argentea Gallery 28 St. Paul’s Square, Birmingham 21 September - 21 October

Natalya Nova

“She is not human, she is art.” | Instagram: @supernovaplayroom

Gilles Tarabiscuité Gilles Tarabiscuité takes an approach to photography that is characterised by the tension between realism and conceptualised narrative. He distances himself from the idea of the “decisive moment” by introducing new minor elements or modifications. Based in Montréal, he is an art historian and is influenced by the documentary approach of the Düsseldorf School of Photography as well as the aesthetics and themes of the American colourists.

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

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artists’ directory

Detail of Organised Kindness. Diptych.

Bridget Adams

Daisy Dickinson

The art of Bridget Adams aims to confront ignorance and fear, and celebrate what she believes is the decency and courage at the heart of human nature. Adams explains: “If humanity can come to nurture and source respect, admit responsibility for current human atrocities and barricades, it will survive on this planet with dignity.” |

Daisy Dickinson is a London-based director and visual artist whose work involves experimental short film, music video, projected installation and live visual performance. Dickinson’s visuals have been described as “magmatic and sulphurous, cosmological and transcendental, drawing attention to the wonder of the earth and our sensuality on it.”

Friederike Hantel

Gabriela Torres Ruiz

Friederike Hantel’s artwork is inspired by a mixture of international pop influences. She creates a bizarre but aesthetically considered view of the world around her, using stylistic quotations from, and new arrangements of, different artistic eras. Each image provides cultural reflection and reinterpretation through a comedic lens. I Instagram: @friederikehantel

Gabriela Torres Ruiz’s work explores the relation between time and space. In her latest series, she uses photography to preserve her personal experience of silence. She establishes, through diptychs, a dialogue between images, one which is found within nature, the other left to be consumed by it. Her book, Silence, published by Hatje Cantz Verlag, will be available in October. I

Irina Neacsu

Jacques Deneef

Irina Neacsu is a designer and botanical artist. She is intrigued by organic forms, which she approaches using various techniques – from classical to abstract. In The Book of Moods, Neacsu employs realistic painting as a storytelling technique to depict intricate moods as surreal stories. Botanical subjects become metaphors of mortality and ephemeral beauty.

Jacques Deneef is a Belgian artist from Antwerp. He is fascinated by the possibilities of found objects, such as glass, wood, leather, paper and wax, which he transforms in an effort to give them a new life. His works have been displayed at numerous international art fairs and exhibitions, and will be at the Accessible Art Fair Brussels, 5-8 October. I Instagram: @jacquesdeneef

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Kun Fang Kun Fang uses traditional pigments and techniques, inspired by the likes of Rembrandt, to express a decorative style that ultimately translates authentic craftsmanship through a westernised, contemporary and unique lens. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, Fang has exhibited throughout Europe since 2000.

Photo: Shoe Cycle, Nik Ramage. Photo: Broom, Ian Daisley.

Kev Howard Kev Howard’s photographic series d-FORMED explores aspects of his body. His work is an honest depiction of formed and reformed limbs. He explains: “By taking away the context of flesh and replacing it with coloured latex and organic materials, the body is shown in a new way, one of shape and texture.” d-FORMED will be exhibited at the Constantine Gallery in Middlesbrough, 6-24 November.

Monika Drabot

Nik Ramage

In the art of Monika Drabot, the subject is both concrete and fugitive; still lives are made permanent by photography. In these works, she experiments with abstraction and a manipulation of light, using transparency, reflection, projection and other methods to create pieces that are non-subjective and fully abstract.

Nik Ramage makes sculptural machines that have drifted away from utility, and objects that have forgotten their purpose. Some move whilst others teeter on the edge of movement. They are assembled from found objects, scrap and steel. Each work embraces absurdity but runs to its own logic. I

Nikita Russi

Reggie A. Davis

Nikita Russi was born in Basel and is a Fine Arts student at the University of the Arts London, having previously studied in Zurich. Russi works primarily in video, digital art and painting, combining contemporary mediums and traditional forms. She is also an experienced graphic designer.

Reggie A. Davis sees art as a metaphor for mental alchemy and the creative person’s tool for illumination and self-mastery. For Davis, this transformation comes through the upcycling of discarded objects which are repurposed into abstract, open-framework figurative sculptures. They represent the potential for emotional containment and release. I Instagram: @rdavis6560

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

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artists’ directory

Ryan Ovsienko Ryan Ovsienko’s series Structura explores the visible and invisible patterns which influence our values, beliefs and actions. Beneath the surface, things are often tangled, twisted and complex. As there are many layers to life and our experiences, Ovsienko asks the viewer to look deeper and seek out the underlying principles and frameworks which expose the richness within.

Odysseia – I’ve Seen it All, from the Odysseia-Cycle series.

Robert Elling Field Robert Field’s photographic work ranges from European and North American landscapes through to reportage, portrait, still life and abstraction. Currently he uses silver-gelatin and archival-pigment media together in a finished print, creating volatile studies in tone, light and form. His work features in several museums as well as in public and private collections. I

Simon Dray

Simone De Saree

Simon Dray’s paintings are influenced by torn and weathered advertising hoardings. The layering – and partly concealed words and images – are metaphors for a world of alternative truths and fake news, yet they have an aesthetic appeal, a visual vibrancy and, in some cases, elements of irony, humour or pathos.

Simone De Saree, an artist and photographer, is based in Bonn. Her work explores the topics of chance, space and time, and is realised in prints, photography, installation and drawing – mostly in black and white or using a reduced colour palette. It leads the viewer to re-evaluate the usual concepts of perception.

Suzanne Forrest

Victoria Young Jamieson

Suzanne Forrest is an award-winning Glasgow-based photographer. Having recently graduated with a first class honours degree, she has been named Scottish Student Photographer of the Year 2017. Forrest’s process-based approach allows her practice to be influenced by various techniques. This enables her to explore the boundaries of medium. I Instagram: @SuzanneForrestArt

Victoria Young Jamieson is a Cornish artist based in Bristol. Inspired by her native peninsula, she experiments with different materials to capture the mood of nature in landscapes, as well as in its more abstract forms in colour and texture. The most recent exhibitions of her work include The Other Art Fair (London, 5-8 October and Brooklyn, 9-12 November). I Instagram: @victoriayj

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Alexandra Haley-Chattaway

Alizé Wilkinson Alizé Wilkinson is a London-based French artist who specialises in highly pigmented and textured oil paintings. Her expressive, multi-chromatic compositions explore raw feelings with modular intensity. At the frontier between impressionism and abstraction, her subjects range from landscapes to outer space and love, rendering both nature and emotions with a passionate impasto brushstroke.

Alexandra Haley-Chattaway is a UK-based artist. She has expanded her method of painting beyond the use of acrylic and oil. Influenced by aestheticism, she uses a combination of corrosive chemicals to evoke erosion as a non-traditional technique. Instagram: @alizewilkinson

Carolina Tafalla Carolina Tafalla is a multidisciplinary artist. She creates compositions, installations and situations that reconsider our environment and play with predetermined ideas and rethink social behaviour. Tafalla will present a new participatory installation I was here. The cabin at BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts during the Accessible Art Fair Brussels, 5-8 October.

Chris Langley Chris Langley’s paintings explore the landscape in a variety of formal and conceptual ways as they seek to evoke the otherworldly. His pieces are based on drawings and photographs, mostly from the UK and South Africa, and are built up by layering patterns and mark making.

London Eye. Acrylic on paper on board, 91cm x 61cm.

Cathy Read Cathy Read’s vibrant cityscapes are spirited depictions of architecture. From dramatic close-ups to street views, a closer examination reveals subtlety, precision and detail. Geometric shapes and inherent patterns combine with a freely expressive style. She describes her approach as moving from watercolours to “kickass, ninja watercolours.”

Trees like Light, 2015. Oil and enamel on canvas, 105cm x 65cm.

Ariel Lavian A contemporary designer and jeweller, Ariel Lavian is a lecturer at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. Lavian’s designs are influenced by the raw materials surrounding him; he creates new worlds from limited resources, small but complete scenes of staged nature, “ex-wild.” He says: “I believe that through design – as a tool – I can make a change, make a difference, affect people.” Instagram: @ariellavian

Claudia Torán

elisa deane

Claudia Torán is a London-based illustrator and graphic design artist. Her work approaches a new style in which expressiveness and bold colours are fundamental; the results include fresh, innovative and uninhibited designs.

Elisa Deane is a London basedpainter making contemporary work with a traditional twist. She is inspired by traditional miniature techniques derived from India and Persia. Creating joy through colour is of paramount importance and many of the colours – lapis lazuli, malachite and cinnabar – have been sourced from the earth. Instagram: @claudiatoran

Instagram: @elisadeane

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

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Fernando Holguin Cereceres works across painting, sculpture, photography, video, installation, writing, film and performance, in order to illustrate our challenging times. He aims to question conventional thinking and assumed ideas through his choice of subjects, whether conceptual or otherwise.

Gigi Lopez

Instagram: @5537fernando holguincereceres

Based on the idea that the world has become over-complex and austere, Gigi Lopez revels in the quirkier aspects of culture, providing whimsical relief through her new series of acrylic and mixed media paintings. Combining the head of a religious Santos and a sense of comedic bathos, the works offer new perspectives of two-dimensional forms.

waiting to play the game. 200cm x 120cm.

Fernando Holguin Cereceres 5537

Hannah Dakin London-based Ibrahim Azab explores the subject of language within photography. Focusing on the photograph itself, he considers it as an object which communicates through a visceral process. Linking the act of “looking” or “seeing” with the unconscious process, Azab’s work highlights the failures within realism, surfacing a phenomenological understanding of perspective.

Senseless. Showing at Unseen Photo Fair 2017.

Hannah Dakin’s process-based practice revolves around the object as memory and metaphor. Through the layering of materials and the techniques used after shooting the original image, the viewer is left to decipher what appears as an incomplete scene; objects and places are abstracted from their surroundings, inviting audiences to fill in the gaps.

Jacqueline Macleod

Joel Biddle

The work of Jacqueline Macleod explores female identity within urban online existence. She questions the way in which digital connectedness and platforms such as Facebook act as an arena for the augmentation and commercialisation of memory and human emotion; how this affects social structure and the forming of self.

Joel Biddle is a photographic artist whose work combines astrology and neuroscience with photography. This concept is manifested in the following proposals: light from a star 42 light years away, captured on 42-yearold 35mm negative; a photograph infused with neurochemicals; an exposure time representing every mind that has ever existed; data predicting the sun’s life cycle.

I Once was French. Oil on linen, Perspex and silver leaf, 700mm x 700mm.

Laura Gray Laura Gray’s abstract expressionist paintings explore the physical and emotional connection an artist has with the canvas – the act of becoming lost in painting. Her work acts as an outlet of emotion through automatism, each piece a visual projection of the mind through colour and texture, highlighting the dimensional quality between light and dark. Instagram: @lauragrayart

Atrophy. Mixed media on canvas, 122cm x 76cm.

Judith Beeby Judith Beeby is based in Wiltshire, UK. Her paintings are created by manipulating the flow of gloss paint and are inspired by aerial photographs of the Earth. They are subjective landscapes of a fantasy world, reflecting the colour and vibrancy of our planet. Instagram: @beebyjudith

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Capella, 42 light years.

Lesley Birch

Lila Chemin

Lesley Birch’s paintings convey her feelings about place and connection to family. She is as interested in the qualities of the medium as in the subject itself. Birch has shown at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and the ING Discerning Eye in 2016 and 2017.

Lila Chemin’s practice explores our ever-changing connections with home. Her series Echoes of Home reflects upon where she grew up in Devon, UK; residing within the fissure that ensues after leaving and documenting the spaces which she will no longer return to. Her silver gelatin prints, existing as objects of rediscovery, evoke a wish both to remember and to mature. Instagram: @Lila_Chemin

All Our Yesterdays. Oil and cold wax on board, 34cm x 34cm.

lucia ferrara

Margaretha Gubernale

Lucia Ferrara investigates the concepts of duplicity and transformations. Her fundamental preoccupations are the unconscious, the quest for human transformation and the value of colour. Ferrara has exhibited in New York, Miami, Berlin and Italy. Research into cosmetic surgery and violence against women informs her new visual project (N) Ever Perfect.

Margaretha Gubernale is an international artist from Zug, Switzerland. The sources of her inspirations are nature, anthroposophy and philosophy. She has created artworks for more than 30 years. The Airmaid, 2017. Oil on canvas, 80cm x 100cm.

Marika Akula

messiah willis

The artwork of Latvian photographer Marika Akula is based on the subject of agricultural pesticides and human health. Colour film negatives are soaked in a weedkiller spray and then digitally scanned. The aim of the project is to raise awareness of production methods and to consider ideas of commercial aesthetics, artificiality and vanitas.

Messiah Willis is an artist and director specialising in contemporary fine art. His pseudominimalist approach combines meticulously planned compositions and conceptual equilibrium. He currently lives and works in New York where his studio, Messiah Joshua, is based. Instagram: @messiahjoshua

Somebody in Need.

Raquel Baldocchi

Sarika Bajaj

Raquel Baldocchi is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She works on panels, incorporating layers of pigment, glue, paper and drawing materials. Her current work seeks to present characters from distant eras and locales within a modern, abstract construct. She is drawn to stories and images of incidents, both real and imagined, and aims to recreate some sense of their wonder in her work.

Indian artist Sarika Bajaj is fascinated by the role played by birds in mythology. Subject to intricate symbolism, they are considered sacred – known to belong to the upper world in shamanic lore. In the Flight series, naturally discarded feathers are meticulously applied in layers. Rearranged and transformed, they evoke new life.

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

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Alec Soth, Cemetery, Fountain City, Wisconsin from Sleeping by the Mississippi (2017). Courtesy of the artist and MACK.

last words

Alec Soth Artist

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When talking about individual photographs, I sometimes make the analogy with pop music: its creation is not rocket science. Just as you don’t need to be Mozart to write a catchy tune, more or less anyone can snap a good picture. But from the countless songs being written every day, now and then one of them becomes an earworm that we continue to carry with us. What is the formula? This picture of a gas station at dusk is just one of hundreds I made whilst travelling along the Mississippi river. I liked the picture when I took it, but never thought I’d still be talking about it all these years later. What’s the key to its success? Is it the colour or composition? Is it the small cemetery behind the gas station? The price of the gas? I don’t have a clue. Like a pop song, it resists that sort of analysis. Photography is a humble medium capable of magic.

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