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ISSN 2054-4472 UK £9.99

eclectic

C O C OR O S I E / D U BL ONDE / C AK E S DA K I L L A / V E T E M E NT S / TI GRAN AVE TI SYAN / Y O SH I S OD E O K A / G ORSAD / J OANA VASC ONC E L OS / M OS C OW TRAVE L GU I DE /

ISSUE FOUR FW15


masthead/ Editor-in-Chief/ Anna Barr Creative Director/ Charin Chong Culture Editor/ Andrei Zozulya-Davidov Music Editor/ Pete Buckenham Fashion Editor/ Aroussia Chamakh Art Editor/ Damilola Oshilaja Copy Editor/ Brent Taalur Ramsey Junior Editor/ Carolina de Medeiros Cosme Features Editors/ Jessica Cooper, Elizabeth Aaron Fashion Assistant/ Aline Kaestli COMMUNICATIONS Digital Director/ Anniina Mäkelä Marketing Director/ Stephanie Meisl Online Contributions/ Eclectic welcomes new submissions and contributions for our online site. For more information visit submissions under the contact page on eclectic-magazine.com Published Biannually by On the Corner Records Ltd Registered Company Number: 9716435 Eclectic Magazine is printed in Lithuania and published twice a year International Distribution/ Pineapple Media Ltd Copyright © 2015 Eclectic Magazine in association with On the Corner Records Ltd and Individual Contributors All Rights Reserved. No copy, reproduction, or retransmission is allowed in whole or in part without written permission All Enquires/ contact@eclectic-magazine.com Advertising/ advertising@eclectic-magazine.com Front Cover/ Photography Danil Golovkin, Styling Anna Barr, Photographer assistant Michail Kovynev, Make-up Elena Zubareva@TheAgent.ru for MAC, Hairstyling Marina Melentieva@TheAgent.ru for ORIBE, Producer Katya Mikhaleva, Models Sierra & Bianca Casady of COCOROSIE Location/ Photoplay, Studio Newton in Moscow, Russia Sierra wears/ Jacket and shirt by Y’S BY YOHJI YAMAMOTO Bianca wears/ Jacket byY’S BY YOHJI YAMAMOTO and Shirt by EQUIPMENT Back Cover/ Ashkan Honarvar Title Images/ Photography Cary Fagan Special Thanks to/ Aurelie Piette Pyvka, Belgrad Music, Bellanopolis Studios, Christian Constantin, Francesca Parini, Freddy Mack, Jerome Hanover, Martin Solveigh, Sebastien Bollet, Sinan Sigic, Solenne Mézières, Stella Studios,Valériane Tinguely, Wildrik Batjes,Yoram ISSN 2054-4472


It started with an anonymous quote on an anonymous building: the only good system is a sound system. Fuck the System had been echoing for months across creative industries, something was sick at the core. We were beginning to see fashion without humans and losing faith at the romantic idea of tomorrow. The human touch that we all crave became nothing more than calculated, curated business. Business demands have killed creativity as designers have been churning out collections at a hyper pace. In the end they have abandoned classics, resulting in pieces that are passé in a matter of minutes thus selling us things we don’t need. We have been told that the rest of the world doesn’t exist outside of China. (de)construction marks our fourth issue of Eclectic as we manifest to stick to our niche readers and coexist with integrity. This fall, we are starting to analyze and prepare for the consequences of our decisions to focus on a more subtle and intellectual sense of beauty found in fashion, where people wear the clothes and not the other way around. We have brought in strong creatives from various fields to explore this concept, including the iconic CocoRosie and rising rapper Cakes da Killa, to film French actresses Joana Preiss and Chrystèle Saint Louis Augustin, each of whom allowed us an unfiltered dialogue.

editor’s note/

Inventors, scientists, and philosophers are the creative force today using the mediums of math and science for inspiration as we discovered in conversation with Dr. James Sinfield. Dr. Felix Heidenreich, Professor at the University of Stuttgart gives us a current look at the philosophy of Jacques Derrida on Deconstruction. Playing a strong role in this issue was Derrida’s conclusion that there is no God, and therefore any idea of a fixed center was only imposed on us and doesn’t really exist at all. The series of these discourses run a paradoxical line as Du Blonde pointed out, she rather have the ugliest photo of her used because if she can accept it, she can accept all of her beauty. If we continue on the path of being told what is beautiful, what is luxury, what is art, what is politically correct, we will only keep being oppressed. Radical new thoughts and views are welcome here.

Anna Barr Charin Chong

w w w. e c l e c t i c - m a g a z i n e . c o m copyright eclectic magazine © 2015


contributors/ Ashkan Honarvar, Bryan Schnelle, Cary Fagan, Dr. Felix Heidenreich, Robbert Jacobs, Simon Genowski,Yumiko Utsu

ARNAUD PYVKA studied Modern History at Poitiers University moving to Paris in 1996 where he started to work in photography, film, and art direction. In 2000, he helped create Double Magazine and 4 years later became its Creative Director and Editorin-Chief. Since 2010, he devotes his time to photography and video participating in art fairs like Art Basel Miami, Frieze, La FIAC, and Paris Photo. Arnaud also shot campaigns of fashion houses such as Berluti, Céline, and Diane Von Furstenberg. Last year he released his first book Terrestre assembling his personal work.

DANIL GOLOVKIN studied graphic design at the Art School in Rostov-on-Don. After graduating, he took part in the exhibition Russians are Coming in Germany. He then moved to Moscow and started to work in advertising as an Art Director in 2005. At the same time his wife, a stylist, asked him to help her with a project as a photographer. Within a few years, Danil Golovkin was regularly shooting for well-known Russian magazines, including Elle, Glamour, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, and Vogue. Regarding inspiration, Danil says, “It’s people around me and people whom I works with.”

GORSAD is a Kiev-based art trio made up of Mariia Romaniuk, Victor Vasiliev, and Julian Romaniuk since 2012. Before forming, they were studying in a Fine Art institution and working as separate artists. GORSAD’s art explores: fetishism, nude, erotica, Eastern Europe, and teen skater culture. “We are in love with these people who are not eager to please. Sometimes even the most shy and restrained are unexpected in their behavior during the photoshoot. Shooting for us is an interesting and lively dialogue with those who are difficult to get in touch with in everyday life.”

HENRIK JESSEN was born in the Black Forest about 40 years ago, and has been living and working in Paris for more than 18 years. Being a natural born visual storyteller he developed his work as an Image Director for film, photography, and fashion documentaries. He has many compelling stories to tell and the best way to do so is through his multidisciplinary work with different types of media. A São Paulo resident for many years, he’s continuously bringing his love for Brazil into the many projects developed for brands such as Lancôme, Chanel and Dior as well as for Vogue, POP Magazine, and Harper’s Bazaar.

RENAN ASTIER is a French artist, photographer, and director who graduated from the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure Louis Lumière in Paris. He creates cinematographic images in which he blurs the lines between the genres of documentary, cinema, and literature. His captivating imagery instantly evokes a story where the narration is suspended. Outside of his artistic accomplishments, he also works as a photographer and director for various advertising agencies where his previous clients include Bosch, Phillips, and Skullcandy.

ROMINA SHAMA graduated from London’s Central St Martin’s School in 2004 and started exhibiting her photographic work in London, Geneva, and Berlin. Her portraits are timeless. Her subjects rarely emerge from the background; on the contrary, they are left in the distance and we can only distinguish vague silhouettes and traces of her subjects, yet we can clearly sense their presence. She then moved to Paris and became known for collaborating with high fashion magazines and brands Chanel and Fendi as well as her portraits of actresses, artists, and filmmakers from Miranda July to Vanessa Paradis.


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Culture Schedule Deconstruction: A Project, a Process, Fate?

Music ///////////////// 014 Of CocoRosie and Ruptured Reality 022 Romare: Paying homage with Projections 026 Textured Solar Soundscapes: In Conversation with Jean-Benoît Dunckel 030 Slice of Cakes da Killa 040 Down to Du Blonde Fashion //////////////////////// 046 Editorial: Juxtaposition 058 The Demna Dogma 062 Editorial: A Boring Couple 076 A Conversation on Craft with Joana Preiss 082 In the Atelier with Tigran Avetisyan 086 Editorial: Absent 094 Life as a Project: An Open Dialogue with Chrystèle Saint Louis Augustin 098 The Fashion Tipping Point 102 Of Post Couture: A Conversation with Jean-Charles de Castelbajac Culture //////////////////////////// 106 Yoshi Sodeoka: The Influence Behind Sound Art 108 What is [a] Painting in the 21st Century? 112 Mutable Musings: A dialogue with Joana Vasconcelos 116 MAKING IT: Sculpture In Britain 1977 – 1986 119 Yumiko Utsu: I saw Maria, a Squid Horse, and a Goddess 124 Photography: Kiev in my Arms by Gorsad 132 Documenting The Trouble with the F Word 136 Photography: Letters to Her by Renan Astier 146 A Concern on Culture with Bryan Schnelle 151 The Art of Science 154 Moving Bodies with Pierre Rigal Senses ////////////////// 160 An Illuminum World of my Own: A Shop with No Products in Sight 162 Moscow: The New East 166 Refined Luxury at Lotte in Moscow 168 A Nostalgic Return at L’Escargot 169 Stockists 170 Last Look: Backstage at Milan Fashion Week Marcelo Burlon FW15

contents/


culture schedule/ England: Frieze London 14 - 17 October 2015 // Regent’s Park, London The thirteenth edition of the contemporary art fair will present over 160 of the world’s leading contemporary galleries from almost 30 countries. Unrivaled in range and depth, this edition of Frieze London will feature some of the most relevant and exciting contemporary artworks alongside several highlights, including the Sculpture Park, Frieze Talks and Frieze Projects. The Frieze Projects programme of new works commissioned specifically for the fair will be curated by Nicola Lees for the third year, and is supported by LUMA Foundation for the first time. The Netherlands: Amsterdam Dance Event 14 - 18 October 2015 // Over 150+ Venues all across Amsterdam The most important global conference for dance and electronic music, the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), is the biggest international club festival in the world. Spread across five days of guaranteed partying on rooftop terraces, clothing shops, cinemas, and temporary pop-up stages set up in the middle of town. The aim is to provide the international electronic music industry with an extensive platform to do business, exchange knowledge, and keep up to date on the latest developments and trends of the rapidly evolving global music industry along with veterans including Carl Cox, Richie Hawtin, Gaiser, and Matador. England: A Sadler’s Wells World Premiere Hussein Chalayan’s Gravity Fatigue 28 - 31 October 2015 // Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London Sadler’s Wells presents the first dance production by acclaimed fashion designer and artist Hussein Chalayan, Gravity Fatigue. In his first theatrical work, Chalayan will combine the visual creativity of his designs and concepts with contemporary dance to bring to life a transformational imaginary world. Working with award-winning choreographer Damien Jalet (Babel), the production takes its inspiration from themes of identity, displacement, and the disconnection we experience in public spaces in moments of transition. France: Pitchfork Music Festival Paris 29 – 31 October 2015 // Grande Hall de la Villette Pitchfork Music Festival Paris returns to the French capital for another exciting edition, featuring Björk, Ariel Pink, Father John Misty, Destroyer, Beach House, Deerhunter, Hudson Mohawke, Rhye, and Spiritualized, making up one of the strongest music headlines this fall in Paris. You need not be an apologist of the following statement, but it’s hard to deny the importance of Pitchfork’s role within the industry mostly when it comes to upcoming soundscapes, forecasting, and music curation.

Untitled 2006, Oil on canvas, 200 x 160 cm by Zhang Xiaogang at ARoS A New Dynasty – Created in China

Denmark: A New Dynasty – Created in China Exhibition 21 November 2015 – 22 May 2016 // ARoS Aarhaus Art Museum, Special Exhibition Gallery, Aarhus A New Dynasty – Created in China features 20 Chinese contemporary artists to present an array of painting, installation art, video, sculpture, and photography. By presenting the Chinese view on China, the exhibition breaks with the Western cliché-filled image of a country based on a Made-in-China culture. Grand themes such Chinese nationalism, freedom of expression, and the fast-changing social culture flow through these spectacular works of art like a rising tide. Experience a visual, thought provoking, and stimulating encounter with China as this superpower appears at the moment. Don’t Miss: The world’s leading underground music network Boiler Room X Generator 6 October 2015 // Barcelona; 19 November // Berlin Mitte; 3 December // Dublin; 27 January 2016 // Paris Music fans can register to attend the invitation only sessions or join thousands worldwide for the live stream. For more information on Generator visit www.generatorhostels.com

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Deconstruction: A Project, A Process, Fate? By Dr. Felix Heidenreich Photography by Andrei Zozulya-Davidov

When I met Jacques Derrida in in Heidelberg in 2002, he came to honour Hans Georg Gadamer. I got to know an impressing person, interested in the philosophical work of the students, without the slightest arrogance, mild yet somehow deeply melancholic. He had always hated the question, “What is deconstruction?�, because according to him, deconstruction could only be shown, demonstrated, and illustrated, never simply said or defined.


Now ten years after Derrida’s death, the term deconstruction seems to be well-established in philosophy and the Arts on the one hand; yet is not very attractive or fascinating on the other hand. For years this magical term was framed with the aura of an almost hermetic thinking, a deep insight into the way languages and cultures operate, a profound self-critique of Western metaphysics and philosophy, and even a toolbox for creativity in literature and the Arts. Today? Today deconstruction has ceased to be a promise; it has become a threat. You shall be deconstructed! And more than that: You shall deconstruct yourself! Liberal capitalism continues to put pressure on our institutions, our parliaments, even our courts. The middle class’ economic basis is shattered to pieces by the internet: classical professions such as teachers, MDs, even lawyers are facing a decline which might make them have the same fate as the new “precariat” and the working poor. The case of Amazon shows that the internet basically means: The winner takes it all! Very few people will profit, all the rest will be in trouble, condemned to sell their bookshops and continue their life working for the parcel-service. This picture may seem like a mere caricature; still at the end of the day a growing insecurity, in all respects an exploding economic inequality, is what people experience in their daily lives. Max Weber described modernity as an “iron cage”, but what we are facing looks more like a global jungle. So, what can you deconstruct in a jungle? All the solid rocks have already turned into sand.

“The “selfie” is the ultimate symbol of mass-narcissism.”

The philosophy and style of deconstruction was conceived in the early 1960s when Derrida opposed a specific understanding of the self, of science, and of knowledge. It was a time when authority still existed, a time when students hardly dared to ask their professors critical questions, when institutions such as the Ecole Normale Supérieure still operated almost as a military academy. Today, if you are looking for authorities – Good Luck! A clear and rigorous schooling has become the privilege of an upper class, using public schools to protect their children from growing up in a cultural environment that systematically creates attention deficiency. In the age of accelerated capitalism and the internet we are facing “Small pieces loosely joint,” as David Weinberger put it. In The Towers of Babel, which is perhaps one of his most beautiful texts, Derrida saw cultural edifices crumbling under their own weight. Today, they already lie in pieces. In How Not to Speak, he argued that even to refuse communication is a kind of communication. Today, going offline quickly can look like the coming-out of a burned-out person, thereby communicating the stigma of depression. To refuse communication has become the privilege of those who don’t need to check their emails, the one percent. When Derrida emphasized the role of “framing” in the Arts, he could do so in an art-world dominated by a handful of rather small galleries in Paris, in the early 1960s. Today it would be hard to find the Art world producing anything other than frames which then serve as investment options for venture capital. Subversive, deconstructing Art? In China, maybe. The ramifications of this process seem to leave nothing untouched. The idea of the sovereign Cogito, the self-transparent Ego of modern subject-philosophy which Derrida had confronted so vigorously, appears to exist only in the textbooks

dating from ancient times. The modern smartphone-addicted mind is as dispersed, polyphone, inter-textual as it could possibly be. More than that; It has become a “project,” the material for a constant process of self-fashioning, self-perfecting, self-presenting. The “selfie” is the ultimate symbol of mass-narcissism in which the empty, deconstructed self tries to get hold of anything like a Cogito, grasping only the stupid grin of its own face. The modern self is nothing and that is why it has to have so much. Derrida had described the shifts in semantic evolution as a process without a centre or a peak. Derrida never saw “deconstruction” as a project, and never “his” project. Deconstruction always was meant to be a process taking place on its own, inscribed and pushed forward by the structure of language itself. Today, the internet makes this structure of cultural evolvement transparent and thereby gives us the impression that we are sailing on an ocean of stimuli. However, the waves on this ocean are becoming smaller and smaller. Playing with language, using homophones and puns as Derrida did, may have seemed subversive in a strictly ordered world of linguistic perfectionism. Today, linguistic confusion has become the condition humaine of the multilingual semi and pluri-analphabet. A whole generation of young students who grew up in several languages ends up mastering not a single one, incapable to express their thinking in correct writing. The Monlinguism of the Other as Derrida put it, deconstructed in a literal sense. The philosophy of deconstruction has taught us to see and understand this process. However, our question today seems to be about finding a way to build on this constantly moving ocean of signs. In his latest texts on the Politics of Friendship, Derrida only gave us very few hints. It is time, it seems, to rediscover and create a philosophy of construction. After Derrida this may seem naïve. But rediscovering politics presupposes that whatever happens – construction, deconstruction or re-construction – should not be considered as a mere fate.


music/

“Do not fear mistakes. There are none.� - Miles Davis 15


Of CocoRosie and Ruptured Reality Interview by Anna Barr and Andrei Zozulya-Davidov Photography Danil Golovkin Photography assistant Michail Kovynev Styling Anna Barr Make-up Elena Zubareva @ TheAgent.ru for MAC Hairstyling Marina Melentieva @ TheAgent.ru for ORIBE Producer Katya Mikhaleva Location: Photoplay, Studio Newton in Moscow, Russia


Sierra (left): Jumpsuit by A.F.VANDEVORST Scarf by HERMES Bianca (right): Jumpsuit by A.F.VANDEVORST


Moscow, June 6th 2015,11:05am I’m standing outside CocoRosie’s apartment located on one of the oldest streets in Moscow. The watch shows five minutes after eleven and I start to get worried, looking at every single window in anxiety. There’s still time for another cigarette, I light it up and all of a sudden I hear a noise coming from the building in front. I throw a glance towards the source of the sound and see Bianca waving her hand. “Well I guess this is happening,” I thought exhaling the smoke with relief. A few minutes later, I’m in the car with the sisters, riding the streets of Moscow. I can see them in the backseat of the car, they look so familiar and it feels natural, perhaps because they have been around my ears, my eyes, and my skin for more than a decade. The sisters Bianca and Sierra Casady created a singular, boundarybreaking universe that’s repulsive and bizarre to some, magic and paradoxically constructive to others; It actually doesn’t matter what feelings their art provokes, the fact that you care about them says it all.

Bianca, I would like to start with your universe. Your aesthetics have changed throughout your career. How would you define the reality of CocoRosie today? Or the bubble that people perceive you? It is definitively always changing. Right now we are preparing our new album, album art, making the costumes for our tour, and it’s an interesting process because we can’t really define it while it’s happening, yet within the aesthetics there are always a lot of contradictions. Perhaps the contradictions are something that pisses people off. People get annoyed when they can’t categorize things generally. We are trained in our education to put everything in a category. I always felt kind of uncomfortable even within styles of music, as we don’t particularly identify with a certain style.

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Yeah, we don’t have a clear understanding or idea, it’s more like trying to understand a dream, you sort of have a sense of something but it’s not something that you can really retain. So you just let it out. Frankly, I don’t give a shit about critics, but as an individual, how do you see critics in art and music? What is their purpose? I’ve never found it very valuable or interesting to be honest. We are very critical of each other in this partnership, but I’m not really into the critics. They can be disposable in any case. It can be contradictory when they don’t do music themselves, or art themselves. How can you criticize something when you don’t have the foundation? I hear you.

Is it intentional? Are you looking to be misunderstood or is it something more natural?

I would like to ask about the experimental film you are working on, Eyes of the Moon. How did this project come up?

It’s like an exploration process. Even with politics, we do a lot of exploring and switching perspectives in our music. Some things are ironic but at the same time sincere. Deconstruction is something we do with style, politics, and ideas; sort of trying things on and breaking them down. We have definitely been misunderstood a lot, but we accept that as our role as artists.

It’s a group of friends, we all came from different places and got together in Marfa, Texas. We didn’t have any script and there was no director, just many artists. It’s still a mystery, we just came together and it will be in film festivals and galleries. We just got up and made plans every morning and then filmed. It has a certain psychedelic, Western mood.

If people understand what you’re doing, it’s because you’re not doing the right thing. You are not contributing. That is your goal in a certain way, right? As a listener, your music is always spontaneous.

Jodorowsky inspired? Yes, but from a stronger feminine perspective.


Bianca


Sierra


What was the message in terms of plot? It’s about nature, the goddess, getting back to a pre-Christian, Earth-centered spirituality. It sounds very free and improvised. I feel a lot of Dadaism expression in your work, creating things without analyzing them. What was your role in the Eyes of the Moon? I was kind of causing trouble to be honest, going against the aesthetic constantly. I was also singing and writing songs. Sierra and I got into a whole rodeo clown mood. We went into this small Texas saloon and she was dressed like a rodeo clown with a hat and overalls and all of these cowboys at the bar drinking tequila in the afternoon just took her completely seriously.They didn’t think that it was theatrical or anything and asked her, “Where’s the rodeo?”, assuming that the rodeo was in town. She had a long-term fantasy about being a rodeo clown. Then we asked one of the cowboys if we could actually try some stuff out at his ranch, he said he had bulls and cows. So we went there and she really jumped with the bulls and had rolling barrels. It was surprising? It was very real, living her dream of being a rodeo clown. This sort of line between what’s real and what’s not in theatre is both experimental and real at the same time in the film. Sierra was really experiencing the rush of being with these animals. At this point in your career, what do you consider to be the purpose of these types of projects? I can’t think of a purpose really, it’s all about the mystery from the beginning. Lately, we have been working in theatre with director Robert Wilson on the music for Pushkin’s Fairy Tales. It’s all about the adventure. Do you keep the same aesthetics or are you looking for new ways to compose, new instruments when it comes to certain projects with certain people, like Wilson for example? How do you keep the human factor when writing music for someone else? It is a challenge to write for other singers, but in the context of theatre it works well for us as we get into the most cartoonish, narrative, and childish aspects of our songwriting. It has been very liberating. You sound very free working on this kind of project. How would you define freedom? No boundaries, nothing is too much, you know? In the theatre context, nothing is too silly, too childish or bizarre. Everything can be exaggerated in theatre. Can you find equilibrium in terms of the music you are producing for Pushkin’s Fairy Tales? In regards to freedom, everyone is telling me that there is a huge censorship on the Arts here in Russia, and that it is getting more extreme. That is pretty scary, when the government is censoring art because the role of art is to question society and to push boundaries. There shouldn’t really be any filter with art as an expression; it kills the whole point. Is art freedom? Censorship is the antithesis of the Arts. It cancels it out and it can’t really exist in a situation where it is censored. How is your creative process now from a lyrical point of view when the two of you are separated in different continents? We have spent quite a bit of time together lately, but I’ve always been writing poetry since I was a kid. I tend to write from the country life side, animals, plants, and imaginary things. I don’t have any direct literary influences. For Pushkin’s Fairy Tales, Robert doesn’t want us to focus on the text at all, just the music. With Peter Pan in Paris, we really got into the text as it had more psychological elements with death and childhood. To be honest, we haven’t read many books, but I have always been very

fascinated with words. I like Jean Genet and read it backwards, because I like the construction of words more than the story. I’ll open up his books and whatever words pop out at me, I type them out, I have a collection of lists based on different books. I do this a lot as an exercise; if I don’t feel like writing, I just write words in no particular order to keep fresh ideas around. I’m just feeding my mind with words; it’s an intuitive process I have developed. I’ve read that your music has caused fear in some people, in particular men. Do you think you are exploring fears? Derrida spoke about part of the process of deconstruction is to explore fears and put pressure on ourselves to confront our fears. Definitely, that’s something that flows through all of our work from the very beginning and that’s also where we run into some misunderstandings. For example, if we are writing about rape, we will take on the perspective of the rapist or write about racism from the racist’s point of view. It is a way of understanding the whole picture without judgment. We explore a lot of voices. When you take something very literally, that’s when we have been called racists for example. If you see it on a very shallow level it can be misunderstood. When you say, “Taking the point of view of a rapist,” is that a sort of cathartic closure through a different perspective or a better understanding of humankind? It can be both; there is definitely a personal healing process that is always going on. There is a personal level which is broader than a historical level. There are always many, many layers. A forgiving level too… Yes, definitely. It can be seen a bit as a forgiveness ritual sometimes. It’s not obvious if you aren’t looking at it too intellectually. A lot of people who listen to our music probably don’t, as many of them don’t speak English very well. But somehow, the real message comes through the music. If you just look at one aspect, it can be confusing. It is more like we are just processing things. Are you a forgiving person? It’s not a struggle for me to forgive.There are other things that are a struggle. And what are your fears? Rock & Roll, but I’ve been exploring it lately with my solo project. I dislike it and I’m traumatized by it, especially electric guitars, but I’m getting through it. I had this moment at a karaoke bar where I sang, “Smells like Teen Spirit” and that was my real breakthrough. We just had bad associations with it and the certain masculinity associated with it, like the Jim Morrison attitude. I grew up listening to L7, Seven Year Bitch and the likes. We never got there. We were too traumatized as kids with our dad playing White Snake. It just didn’t feel nice, the situation wasn’t nice. We never got into rock on any level, but it is exciting to start exploring it. My mom blasted choral music around the house. I was really scared of choral music for the longest time and only recently got into it as I could feel the synergy of so many voices together. But it is way too intense to hear that many voices in unison. I had a psychedelic experience at a concert in a cathedral in Paris. It was really intense choral music and I had an out of body experience. Not just randomly, but I really brought it on with slow breathing, so slow that you can pause ten to fifteen seconds between breaths to the point that you can’t tell if you are breathing in or out. The heart feels like it slows down, really still, and you have this disconnection with the lower part of your body. It feels like it is sinking into the floor. That kind of music and being in that kind of space can do a lot of things. Let’s bring this conversation forward to our reoccurring subject: Feminism. It has become something of a trend in recent years. Is feminism trendy? That’s great! We have really been trying to participate in making it more popular and it wasn’t easy. Feminism had a really ugly moment just a few years ago. It’s still ugly. It’s about transcending dogmas. Many people today are still scared of the word itself.


The worst thing that I have experienced from feminism, which I hate to say, is different women and different feminists attacking each other. We’ve had some really bad experiences with that and that is what needs to stop. There is so much criticism around feminism even among feminists. How can it breathe and move if they are attacking each other with “Your style of feminism is wrong?” You don’t go around hating on other women, as feminists we need to respect other women’s choices. We did this project in New York last fall, Future Feminism where we curated a big program and had many multi-generational artists all the way up to Marina Abramović and down to underground artists. People were so angry, mostly women. It seemed like a certain generation of feminist artists older than us were really angry, as if we were stealing feminism by claiming it. It really wasn’t fun as we were all putting ourselves on the line by doing this very public action. We felt that it was something very generous but people were resentful, maybe because they were trying to do the same things in the 70s and were hated on. The fact that suddenly it became positive or a little bit glamourous, they were angry about it. It was a very ugly feminist role. That unapologetic and not “trying to be a man” aspect, especially in business, are part of the real differences with this fourth wave of feminism. The older generation wants us to continue fighting their wars, but ours have evolved. I don’t know, but we were worn out. The Future Feminism project got very brutal. People were very focused on the topic of race, and I don’t know why it kept taking over the whole subject. We were getting criticized just for being white. We had a very diverse curatorial program, but we can’t help happening to be who we are (Antony, Kembra Pfahler, Johanna Constantine, Bianca and Sierra Casady). People were seeing it as a representation of whiteness. But we were close friends and it was a very personal gesture. Was that something typically American to you, bringing up the race issue? I honestly can’t quite figure out what is happening in America with the race topic. It’s always been challenging for me because it is something I really care about, but there is so much taboo around the language that we can hardly have these conversations. I’ve been in Europe long enough now that I am looser about the things I talk about, but then going back to the States, people go really far in the way they talk about their heritage.There are whole groups of people who won’t say, “I live in California,” they will say which Native American land they are living on.

the place. With the new album, we had a deep desire to limit ourselves to something almost like our first record. It is much more acoustic and minimal with a nostalgic feeling. It is pretty personal. Being personal, my dad and his friend Blueberry would catch fairies with tutus on. When I bring up this memory, my dad will make up some sort of excuse like they are magnetic energy fields, fireballs or this and that. Did you believe in fairies or ever see fairies in your childhood? Definitely. Were the like the ones my dad saw? We used to build fairy gardens with crystals and other objects in the roots of trees and when we would go back to these gardens, there would be more little treasures. Just a few years ago, we rediscovered fairies. We had a big fairy throwback. It might have started when we were in Iceland. Something happened when we were on this hillside in Umbria, Italy, and I remember saying to Sierra, “I feel like there are no fairies here.” Then, suddenly this creepy sensation came over us, like all we had to say was something as ridiculous as that. It was as if suddenly there were these spooky fairies around us. You can have sinister fairies. They were really spooky ones on this hillside, but they took over everything; our music and style for a few years. It’s hard to explain and we were definitely misunderstood. People asked, “Why do you have all these beards and stuff?” It was this whole supernatural style that I can’t really explain. Our whole Grey Oceans album was all about fairies. Perhaps you inherited their energy? It was kept around you and you had to work through it. It was definitely a spell. To remove it we just had to work it out, and it took a couple of years. You can’t run away from it, but going to Iceland was the first place where we felt normal. Their fairy culture is so rich, it was surprising. We didn’t feel special or weird at all. In Iceland, they have actual government positions for elf and fairy communicators to negotiate big construction projects and the building of new roads. They have to consult fairies. The fairies there live in big stones, so you will see a road and suddenly a curve and it’s because the road is curving around their home. Do you think fairies are protectors of the environment?

I think that’s awesome and I have nothing against that, but they do that with gender as well; deconstructing everything. It gets to the point where it is hard to feel safe in having these deconstructed dialogues where there are booby traps set up. Do you know what I mean?

It’s a serious issue there in Iceland. We were with our band and they were giggling around the subject and there were Icelandic people around who were shocked about the lightheartedness of the subject, because for them it is very serious. I see fairies as more of a pre-Christian spirituality to remind us that nature is alive and is giving us a human form between us and the Earth.

I grew up with a mom like that.

It feels more natural than Jesus.

I find political correctness deciphering. I want to dive into topics and talk about them, it’s not like I want to avoid them. But how do we get there? There has to be some sort of safe space, and that is what the world of art is for me. Sometimes it has to be completely politically incorrect.

CocoRosie’s sixth studio album Heartache City is out fall 2015. Eyes of the Moon premiere expected late fall 2015.

I do that sometimes.

You are now working on your new album, can you tell us a bit about it? We really wanted to do a more minimal album.The last two albums I felt were really produced, psychedelic and all over


Romare: Paying Homage with Projections Interview by Pete Buckenham

House music originates from “Black Music”, whether you trace it back to disco, blues, or jazz. The origins of the rhythms and the drums came from Africa and slowly over time evolved and became nuanced with the influence of spaces and places. This in itself is nothing new, though a young producer trading under the name Romare became obsessed, or so it seems, with exposing musical roots and updating their journeys. Projections, Romare’s debut album, has been causing ripples from the forward thinking edge of dance music.

Romare, real name Archie, has overtly paid homage to his influences by casting them on to the waves of contemporary electronic music. Images of the artists sampled are also reconfigured by Romare for the sleeve art. We went to find out how a young man named Archie, from nowhere in particular, came to have such deep reference points and a specific stylistic influence. Like his chosen namesake Romare Bearden, Archie sought to reinterpret art from the vanguard, present it to a new audience and with his own contemporary styling has quite literally ended up wearing his art on his sleeves. Bearden, North America’s finest collagist, captured old masters, resized them and incorporated the contemporary scenes that surrounded him as an African-American, to bring the originals to new life. Romare’s (Archie) own artwork is simple yet distinctive. Paying homage to the artists that have directly influenced each of his works by digging though old photos and then reconfiguring them with collage techniques. We also had the privilege to watch him create the cover art for his next single, “Rainbow” as we shot a few questions his way. What’s the process and inspiration for creating the artwork for your album sleeves? I try to include everyone sampled in the music on the release’s cover, whether it’s the composer, bandleader or a particular musician or instrumentalist. The Projections album cover has pretty much every one represented.

Does this idea for the cover art relate to the method of sampling, or is there a particular style you’re seeking to apply? I get original black and white photos of the sampled artists, rearrange their compositions, and it leads to the expression of a unique collage style. I remove the figure’s heads from one picture and place them on another image of the same person, print them off, trace them, ink them and then cut them up. I build compositions and attempt a visual conversation.The music that the samples are from have been an inspiration, and I have to honour the samples; it would be wrong not to. When did you first come across the work of Romare Bearden? Back in 2008 or 2009, during an “African-American Visual Culture” module in my African-American Studies course. It covered the Harlem Renaissance, the work of Jacob Lawrence and the whole civil rights period, but the art of Romare Bearden struck a cord. Beautiful stuff, firstly his work is really pleasing aesthetically. ork is really pleasing aesthetically; I loved how he represented people, engaging and provocative. He created collages from photos and his own paintings. Bearden was deeply inspired by old masters that were created hundreds of years before he was born. He would photo-statically alter the master he was influenced by through changing their size so he could study them and bring his own vision and experience to them.


Photograph by Sam Gill

Romare

Bearden was documenting the culture he was experiencing whilst also referencing the past, forced migration and Afro-American experiences in the United States. Some of the images looked historic, but were experiences from during his lifetime, such as the vibrant street scenes in Harlem. I’m interested in the history of music and cultures, and feel they need revealing more. You liked his method so much you took his name? I took his name because of the process he used; the collage method was what I wanted to do with music. I wanted to incorporate his process of creating art.At the time I was getting into combining my own samples and spoken word. Musically you can do so much more when you use samples. I thought about how I could reinvent and create a balanced tension between the old and new like Bearden had done visually. I also relate to what American writer Ralph Ellison said, “Art is and should be colour blind.” That’s how I see it. If music affects you, and you’re getting that “thing” from it, that’s the important bit, whether you’re hearing it from a different culture, time, or language. You have to be sensitive to the artist’s meaning, but it’s not the reason why you do it. I want to use the name Romare to do any kind of musical sampling.

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Photo by Pete Buckenham

Would you say your music is political?

roots of certain kinds of American music are in Africa.

Politics have influenced how the music has evolved, but I’m not political. Music is unique and magical; it’s the one place where people can have a shared emotional experience. Physical experience regardless of background!

I made that record in 2011. I don’t want to be pigeonholed as someone who only samples a certain kind of music or from a particular place. I love music so much, and there’s a beauty in all music.

That was the struggle for a lot of “Black Artists” in the United States. They were called “Black Artists;” they should be called fucking “Artists,” not “Black Artists.” Anyone that believes in segregation is holding back the movement towards a more equal world.

Projections ebbs and flows really well. Did you intend to use the time/space of the album format to express a theme?

If you are interested in something, inspired by something, and you can create something new from it that will make a statement, then you should do it. A lot of the music I’m inspired to work with happens to be from North America. I can’t see how my artistic process in reinterpreting that influence is any different. I like to celebrate old artists, in a world now where music is accelerating in an artificial way. It’s important to slow that machine down, and reflect, and consider the history. I’m paying homage to musicians of the past. There is a stylistic difference between Projections and your first groundbreaking releases on Black Acre. Was this to do with where you choose to source your samples? I try and make music that sounds new whilst referencing the past. In my first release, Meditations on Afrocentrism released in 2012, I tried to connect African music to North American music through samples. I attempted to show the source of drum breaks and particular vocal styles. African music through the generations had an enduring impact on modern music, and influenced the birth of pop scenes of the last century. “It began in Africa” was a conversation between the singer and the guy in the track posing the question, “Where did the blues come from?” – “It began in Africa!” There’s real power in the music as it has lasted so long. It’s important to bear that in mind when you listen and that the

It started off with the working-title Homage with the intention to pay homage to musicians who were bandleaders, writers, or composers. That’s why I recorded “Jimmy,” for Jimi Hendrix. The idea was that each track would be a tribute to an inspiration. It morphed into a tribute not just to musicians but actual songs.The 20th century was fascinating and some of my favourite music belongs to that period in the United States. “Motherless Child” is a variation of “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child,” which is a spiritual. “Work Song” is a variation of “Work Song,” which was written by Nat Adderly. “Roots” is a funny one because it’s a sort of break down of Afro-rhythms that have translated into American music. There’s an African drum break with an American disco break layered in there. It’s kind of about that. “Rainbow,” which is the new single, is paying homage to the gay rights movement and the disco period in the United States. Using Projections as the album’s title became obvious as it was the title of Bearden’s first exhibition and featured his black and white style in 1964. His first exhibition was fifty years before I made my first album, and I used the same title in homage to him. What’s next for you, Romare? Well, the live show is still a work in progress, and I’d like to get more into live instrumentation on the stage. I’d like to work on the visual side of the live show too, so I’m looking at a possible collaboration with an audiovisual artist for a show in London soon. Romare’s debut album Projections is out now on NinjaTunes.


Eclectic Selects: The Albums of 2015

Anna’s Pick: Culture of Volume by East India Youth Turn up the volume as William Doyle could easily be presenting his thesis, without pretention, delivering spotless vocals in hyperclarity against orchestral elements in an epic electro sphere. Playing laptop-crafted electronica, churning out experimental dream pop sounds all mixed with a minimal beat buried in intelligent melodies makes for a progressive second album. And you can dance to it.

Andrei’s Pick: Pomegranates by Nicolas Jaar

Carolina’s Pick: Deeper by The Soft Moon

Charin’s Pick: Sacred Ground by Howling

Pete’s Pick: Nohelani by Nohelani Cypriano

Back in February, Nicolas Jaar wrote his hypothetic soundtrack to the avantgarde 1968 Soviet film, The Color of Pomegranates directed by Sergey Paradjanov. Later in June, Nico shared an extended album version of this soundtrack for free. To be honest, this album pretty much as the movie, is a classic that you must hear at the same time as you absorb the mind-blowing imagery of this Sayat Nova inspired cinematic pearl.

This album is without any question my biggest crush. The tantric sounds combined with that cult vibe drag you deeper and deeper into an occult abyss of pure darkness. Smart, provocative, and obscure, The Soft Moon, the dark wave solo project by Luis Vasquez, is precisely what this popish world needs.

The debut album of curious duo Howling, made up of one part Australian folk singer RY X and one part German eclectro DJ Frank Wiedemann. They come together to harness their talents in this addictively hypnotic album. Flitting between dreamy and dancefloor, RY X’s ghostly vocals fit seamlessly with Wiedemann’s meticulously layered compositions. These boys find the sweet spot and know exactly how to get us hooked.

This is the first vinyl reissue for this “needs list” most wanted LP from 1979. Nohelani is a collaborative release between Be With Records and Aloha Got Soul and is a slab of feel-good Hawaiian rare groove / boogie / funk / soul / AOR from Nohelani Cypriano. The well-known Lihue sits amongst a family of Hawaiian grooves on this killer release, out-now!

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Shirt by Y/PROJECT

Textured Solar Soundscapes: In Conversation with Jean-BenoĂŽt Dunckel Interview and photography by Andrei Zozulya-Davidov Translation by Anna Barr Styling Carolina de Medeiros Cosme Make-up Pavla Mihaleff


For more than two decades, Jean-Benoît Dunckel has explored the dark soundscapes of electro-pop as one half of the iconic French duo, Air. Now, in a more romantic, darker turn with his solo projects, he is known as Darkel. With minimal lyrics written in haiku-like prose, I find myself wondering: Where does modern sound begin to further the artistic expression in a world cluttered with sound bites? In the world of Darkel.

You are a classically trained pianist, but how were you first introduced to the synth? What did you explore and how did it evolve for you? I went to a conservatory and always liked playing piano, but when you play piano the synthesizer is always very mysterious. It is a different sound and seems easy to play, when in fact it isn’t easy at all with the programming, and all that. The synth has its own sound, its own soul; it’s a whole different job. I went to a supermarket once and there were these cheap Bontempi keyboards with a bass pedal and rhythm box, and I just thought they were great. I used to play “Enola Gay” all the time from OMD on the Bontempi. I loved the riff of that song. That’s when you started to explore the electronic sound? Later, I was around 14 years old, hanging around with friends at the café, and that’s when I met Nicolas Godin (of AIR) who already had some equipment. I just started recording around that time and I would go over to Alex Gopher to record (who had equipment, synths, and everything). Alex was one of the contemporaries of the “French Touch,” and he taught me how to record sounds. Then I started to buy my own equipment, starting with a four track. You create new sounds with a synthesizer. Do you think you have destroyed the way music was supposed to be heard or composed in order to create something new? Music is infinite. While synths bring us new sounds, it’s very convenient as you can create a piece very fast. You can also work on other instruments through synthesizers, like the voice, which can be filtered or morphed. The sounds of the synth are the sounds of the future.You can also make rhythms and synchronize them together. Nowadays you can just plug it in to the computer and find some incredible sounds. Is that something you will keep exploring? Yes, but always with real acoustic and percussion sounds that are then mixed in, like drums mixed with a beat box, for example, and of course, the piano, lots of acoustics, glockenspiels, etc. So when you don’t find the right plug-ins sometimes you turn to real instruments to create a sample? Exactly, I think I have used only one or two plug-in sounds in my life. It’s mostly hardware synthesizers. My interest in plug-ins is really recent because I didn’t believe in it; I thought they trumped the sound, and they didn’t go with the quality that I wanted.

The richness of the sound is important to you? Very important. Now I can determine if it’s a CD sound or not. Whatever formats I record in, I know the difference given the texture of the sound. You have elements of classical music in your new album. Do you think classical music can be used to change contemporary music? Yes, to me music is kind of like a DNA molecule. You have to find the sequence that existed before. Music is in constant evolution, like human DNA, so the contemporary music is born from the classical. I play, I listen, and I create classical music; I need to be inspired to discover the sound, the harmony, the writing in what I do, in terms of chords. My only chance musically is the harmony. I know the harmony a little, and I can hear it, or not, when I listen to productions of different bands. One day, Olivier Messiaen or jazz will be considered classical music. Ravel and Debussy, and other turn of the century composers, are considered classical now, and I don’t believe they were considered as such in the 1930s. When the Beatles become classical, it’ll be the classical pop, and its evolution. You studied mathematics in the past, are there any correlations between math and music? Do you ever approach the creative process as a mathematician? Sometimes I see it as a mathematical function. I see a note or a sequence of notes, and I use them through a function to transform them into something else. So you can have this mathematical approach. Modulation also is mathematical. When the tunes change (one tone, one half-tone, etc.), I see it as a vectorial transmission. The whole writing process can be influenced by this vision of mathematics. Rhythm is mathematical; it’s a division of time, and harmony is a spectral division of an interval between two notes. Lots of musicians do not see music as logical as you do. 1+1 makes 2, and that is far more beautiful than 1+1 makes 3. You have been in the music industry for twenty years. How have you seen it evolve? Is there a future for music made with computers or analogical instruments? More people listen to music nowadays, thanks to portable technology. Plus, with the computer being the main support for music, there is a strong connection to videos as well in creating new experiences, new music and new sounds. I’ve seen concerts recently, “Les Frigos,” they call it, near the Wanderlust in Paris where you have concerts of contemporary music with videos, sounds and moving images interacting. High Definition, too, will change


the industry of music and the production of it, because we are going to have an awesome sound in our smartphones, which I believe will boost the music industry at financial and creative levels. So you believe we’re at a breaking point, or a changing point in the music industry? I think the changing point has been reached in the music world. There is a whole new dynamic now, thanks to the Internet and HD. New bands come along and they have learned to exploit their music differently. They play more live, and they know better how to manipulate social networks. I believe the Noughties were a revolution because for the first time, the artists, the musicians, had their own means of production, without having to go into a studio. It changed everything in the sound and in the music business. Then in 2010, they reached the means for distribution, through the Internet. They are much freer than ever before. But the Internet isn’t a very selective tool… But it’s a reflection of life. And life is this: If there is a good enough investment by said band on the Internet, its chances of making it big and being famous are much stronger. It is interesting because the Internet has liberalized music, but there is now so much music being made that it can be difficult to find something really interesting. Yeah, listening to music on the Internet is like visiting a porn site, you never know if you’re getting amateur or professional content. You never know. On a personal note, what are the directions you wish to explore now? Do you want to stay on the trail of your last album with Air? Well, I’m working on a pop album that’ll come out in a year under my name, JB Dunckel, a concept album with pop tracks, on which I sing. The subject will be transhumanism. One of our key subjects. I love science, and it’s a subject that opens a lot of perspectives; immortality, well-being, living forever, which is slowly coming to us. But I don’t think that’s possible, imagine if 150,000 humans die every day. What if they suddenly stop dying? Our planet would crack from overpopulation. But immortality, transhumanism can be beneficial with the results of all the research linked to aging, if only for learning new things about healing people. I’m right at the perfect age for this; I’m a transhumanist, neither old nor young. How do you spread transhumanism? I take photos. Transhumanist photos. Well, people take photos of me, and I adopt a transhumanist look. And in music? Well, in music, there will be morphing, changes in tones, in voices, you see? Voices, at the same time, male and female, human and machine. Because voice is the only human element in music? No, everything is human when I make music. Synths are played. Voice is the only biological element. People ask me if I change my voice, but no, that is how I sing. I have a girl’s voice, naturally androgynous with a super French accent and a light stutter. How about other projects? You’ve had many collaborations before, is that something you’ll be looking into again soon? Air is not really finished yet, and 2016 will see things happening for Air. I made an album with Starwalker before, the project of Barði Jóhannsson, he is Icelandic, and we’ll put out a great album, with a great single. I will also be working with Thomas Roislfeld, with Lou, the singer of Young Pony Club. With Lou, I am more of a writer/producer, and more of a singer with Starwalker, but singer #2. I also, produce, record, etc.


JB Dunckel “Yeah, listening to music on the Internet is like visiting a porn site, you never know if you’re getting amateur or professional content.”

I also make movie soundtracks, most recently a Lithuanian movie called Summer, that won five prizes. It’s my third movie soundtrack experience, after The Virgin Suicides and Pioneer, a Norwegian movie. We did some documentaries as well, including one for Roger Corman, the king of American B-series films. He launched the career of many famous actors, including Jack Nicholson. I also made the video for a movie clip by Mathieu Demy. He shot a great movie for Van Cleef & Arpels, and I made the music. I also made one for Agnès B. How do you see this connection between music and fashion? Do you see it as beneficial for both industries? Fashion has the means of production and distribution; sometimes the music created for fashion shows is very interesting. There is a research, an “avantgardism,” and that’s what’s great, this constant research in music and fashion. Musicians are also sometimes muses that influence fashion, sometimes involuntarily. The best way to be fashionable is to have your own strong style. Like in music really. If I want to make a hit, I cannot wait on radios to play it enough. It has to predict what will happen. Summer directed by Alanté Kavaïté and soundtrack by Jean-Benoît Dunckel available now. Darkel EP Man of Sorrow out now. The first LP of Darkel out in 2016.

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Pullover by NACO PARIS Bomber Jacket by BERNHARD WILLHELM Earrings by DIANA LAW PRINTED ACCESSORIES

Cakes da Killa 30


A Punk Slice of Cakes Interview by Anna Barr Photography Robbert Jacobs Photography assistant Marion Parez Styling Simon Gensowksi Make-up Regina Tornwall Set design Sylvain Raillard

Lyrics alone are not music. This already makes rap an outsider in the musical world, but when you remove the lyrical layer, what you get is a layer of rhythm that works into its own grove. Rap is complex and sometimes still viewed as an adolescent in the music industry. Rapper Cakes da Killa appeared as a prominent figure in the emerging underground scene dubbed “queer rap” garnering listeners who were hooked on his addictive party beats and captured by his absurdist syllables on his latest project #IMF released earlier this year. Cakes might be edible and cute, but he will kill you with his flow. With comparisons to hardcore rap queens Lil Kim and Foxy Brown and ongoing praise coming in from Vice, MTV and The Fader, his raunchy lyrics launched him into one of the freshest movements in hip hop. We see Millennials reclaiming the genre with their multiple voices, especially where a gay narrative has been quieted. At its core, rap is about giving a voice to people who feel they didn’t have one, many of those voices coming from the underground; some get heard while others never leave their circles. We caught up with Rashard Bradshaw AKA Cakes da Killa in Paris at the Loud & Proud Festival, where he was billed alongside Zebra Katz, Perfume Genius, Le1f, and Mike Q.


As a rapper, do you feel that hip hop is biased towards certain brands and styles, or is that just dead now? It depends. Sometimes I perform in a skirt, and people ask, “How are you rapping in a skirt?” I saw Arca rapping in a skirt, he was hot. He has the body for it too, incredible. Oh yeah, agreed! Now fashion is such a big thing in hip hop, with rappers having their own brands and sitting front rows at couture shows; that didn’t happen back in the day. People are much freer now than sticking to the cookie-cutter 90s hip hop scene, with baggy jeans, jerseys and stuff. Rap in general is a bit freer now. Thank God, cause I’ve got to pay my bills. What narratives, stories, and characters can we find in your lyrics? I rap mostly about having fun; I don’t like to dwell on negativity, that’s when people start to make dark angry music. I use music to escape from problems, not dwell on them. I put a project out in February because this boy broke my heart, and I thought this would be a way to tell a story about one that’s on the down low. I say a lot of shit; I talk about sex, balls, blowjobs and wanting to have fun all the time.

I’m used to dealing with straight people, a lot of queer kids stay in their queer bubble. But when I started making music, I was making music with straight rappers. I wasn’t rapping in a gay scene or gay bars, I was making music with straight people and performing in straight venues. I know how to handle questions like, “Are you the girl or boy in the relationship?” because I get asked that.You have to understand that for a lot of people it isn’t coming from a place of malice, just ignorance.

How is the overall reaction from straight rappers?

Regarding the term “queer rap,” which I personally don’t like as it’s never good to label music, but when the term emerged in the scene with Zebra, Mykki, and you, some of them have tried not to be associated with it. How do you feel about this?

Depends. I have a lot of straight rap friends. I’m not looking for approval from a straight person; but I know a lot of straight artists are weird about working with me sometimes. Perhaps they don’t want to be perceived as gay. I understand completely, and that’s why I don’t pressure a lot of straight people to work with me. Also, I’m not going to straighten my lyrics for you. I get it, but at the same time, it just shows you how fucked up the world is. But I love straight people; all my boyfriends are straight.

For me, I break it down like this: We are black, so the word “queer” is more of an academic term. You don’t see someone in a club and say “That’s my queer friend,” you know? There are kids in NY who identify as queer, but to me I’m not queer. Queer is its own scene just like Goth is. I’m more of a cunt; they’re more like punks. It’s a different lifestyle; I know queer kids, and I have nothing in common with them.

Not glam-punk though, gay-punk.

I grew up in the suburbs in New Jersey. It was very suburban and boring. I could tell that I was on a different frequency from everyone else. When you are born in a suburb and you are a city kid, there’s something off. I’m not going to just sit here, get someone pregnant and work as a manager at Walgreens. That’s just not me. But you know, I have a mom, a brother; everything is cool. I came out as gay really young, in third grade. That’s why when a lot of people ask me about being an openly gay rapper, it doesn’t make any sense to me because I’ve always been gay. When anyone gives me negative comments, I’m like my mother doesn’t care, so I don’t care what you think. I know people even in my generation that won’t come out, but I get it because this lifestyle isn’t built for everyone. Lots of people give downlow people a bad name, because how can you stay on the down-low and live your life? It’s really hard. A lot of people are insecure regardless if they are gay or straight. People have insecurities and this world is very unforgiving, but I’m just out here being me you know.

I just got back from Croatia, and this little boy told me I was the first black man he had seen. I was like, “We ain’t all gangsters, and I’m not going to rob you.” I prefer just to face things head on and get them over with.

Someone tweeted one of my lyrics and I just cracked myself up. They tweeted, “You haven’t outdone yourself until the line ‘inside of your walls is softer than chinchilla.’” I think people like the metaphor of what you feel like or taste like; I think it’s cute.

You are kind of a punk in rap.

Whats you rapper’s cred?

There’s gay and then there’s race, and Europeans are sitting back thinking America is obsessed with it. Coat by NORWEGIAN RAIN Gilet by WANDA NYLON Jumpsuit by FREDDY MACK

Rap has a history of being very misogynist and homophobic; and then there’s you, Le1f and Mykki. For the first time in twenty years, rap is going through an entirely new creative force. How did you get into it? I just fell into it. I never wanted to be a rapper or make music. I used to make videos just for jokes so people could laugh at me on my Facebook. One day a friend told me to come by the studio, and it was something that just came naturally to me since I love performing. When I perform it’s more of a rap show, comedy show and binge drinking; it’s everything I want to do onstage. What’s been some of the feedback from the mainstream rappers? My main scene is very underground, so anyone who is new and comes to the scene doesn’t know what they are going to get. We don’t abide by the same rules as the mainstream. So I already have the leeway to do whatever the fuck I want. I don’t have to feel like I have to be like 50 Cent or be like Nelly. I can still be me, travel and do what I got to do.

To be honest, it has always been an issue as a person of colour and you hear these stories; they are so upsetting, but you really feel helpless. Now it is getting pushed to the forefront because people have social media. You aren’t just getting the information from the news. Social media is just showing how murky the established media can be. A lot of people ask me about gay marriage, and they are like, “You should be so happy.” But I’m like, “My cousin still can’t go to ShopRite, he might get shot.” There are so much bigger things going on, and I don’t have that much brain space to sit around and think about it. Do you think it’s out of your hands? In my position, I just want to make music to make people feel better and uplifted, especially for gay people. There are problems like coming out or just dealing with themselves. Regarding politics, there is no amount of songs or music that are going to change the system in America. I feel like sometimes packing up and moving to Europe. America is no longer a place for people of colour, and I don’t think it ever was. I love America. I love Philly Cheese steaks, Adult Swim and getting drunk at bars, but I also don’t like that every time I turn on the news, a young kid is getting killed.


Shirt by COMME DES GARÇONS SHIRT Coat by WALTER VAN BEIRENDONCK Sweatpants by Y-3 Socks worn as scarf by BURLINGTON Vintage GUCCI Bag customized by NACO PARIS Figurine by CUNE


What are you working on at the moment? I’m doing something with Redbull that I’m really excited about, and then I’m working on my album and touring. I’m also doing a movie, but I can’t really talk about that. On tour, I’m taking the time to do a lot of writing for the upcoming album. As an artist, you sing, perform, and write. What turned you on to acting? Of course every gay kid is a thespian, it’s engrained in us; I don’t know why! I did theatre in high school, and just like with rapping someone said to me, “Do you want to go into the studio?” Someone asked me to read for this part, and I was like, “Okay.” I already read the script, and in life I like to take the opportunities that come to me. You are so busy touring! Do you have any favourite cities with a cool vibe? Everybody has their own pace and coolness. I felt that in Lisbon, they had their own kind of style without emulating New York, like other places do. For me, the New York moment is kind of dead. Spain and Sweden are cool too.

Pure venom when I spit Just come and make it leak, Like a vein when it split - from “Bind that Bitch”

T-Shirt by CUNE Bespoke Tracksuit by Freddy Mack of WHAT YOU WRITE Coat by SANKUANZ Buttplug Necklaces by WALTER VAN BEIRENDONCK

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Jacket by BYUNGMUN SEO Shirt by ÉTUDES STUDIO


Silver Leather Gilet by ILARIA NISTRI Coat by MARYME-JIMMYPAUL Sunglasses by DOLCE&GABBANA


Cakes Breaks it Down // Fashion: I wear a lot of Mishka NYC, but anything that fits me and is black I’m going to wear, it is my uniform, getting dressed needs to be something quick. T-Shirt and Jacket by TOKEN PARIS

Style: I like to look like I play for a football team, but I don’t want to get dirty. Athletic, but not sweaty. I like the varsity look, cute athletic, a little bit masculine, a little bit feminine too. White Girls: I’ve always had a white girlfriend, ever since I was little. I can’t deconstruct you guys as you are always too complex. But white girls, it is not cool to not wear your shoes outside. That is a white woman thing. I rather have you in Birkenstocks that barefoot on a subway platform. What’s the center of a white woman? A Tiffany’s ring! That’s the white woman deconstructed. Travel Tips: Definitely figure out where the laundromat is wherever you go, at some point you will need to do laundry. I have a bag of dirty clothes and I just want to burn it. America: An expired melting pot. I don’t think America ever knew what America was, that’s its problem. Big question mark, that’s America! Straight People: I love straight people, all my boyfriends are straight. Fag: A fag can be a bitch, but a bitch can never be a faggot. Hyper masculine and hyper feminine. Cakes Da Killa is a faggot. Catch Cakes da Killa: Sunday, 4th October 2015 // Afro-Punk Festival Atlanta // Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, 7th November 2015 // Night of the Living Fest // Tucson, Arizona More on Cakes: cakesdakilla.com

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T-Shirt by ANDREA CREWS Jacket by CUNE Leather Necklace and Bracelet by MOUTON COLLET


Down to Du Blonde Interview and photography by Anna Barr and Andrei Zozulya-Davidov Shot at Alba Opera Hotel in Paris

Ditch the filters, sound and visual, and grab a bottle of bleach for the start of a drastic reinvention. That’s part of the process to burying Beth Jeans Houghton and giving birth to Du Blonde. Like her music, she is raw and real, making her an unusual figure with a bold second beginning in an industry that likes to manufacture female artists down to the nail varnish brands they promote. Her debut album Welcome Back to Milk makes the Du Blonde debut a dazed trip into California-punk before cruising into West Coast Psych and pulling into the garage. If we were to deconstruct Beth, what could we find, and how fucked up would the whole process become?

out of that?” It’s funny; it can take you so long to decide on what the cover artwork should be, but it just happened.

Oh my god… I am very dark. I think everyone has really disgusting, sick thoughts all the time.

I chose not to Photoshop out any of my stretch marks, bruises or anything. I had some, and they were saying, “Yeah, it’s nice, but don’t you want to touch it up?” And I’m like, “Excuse me? It’s my stretch marks. Fuck you!”

Tell me more, on what level? Like super dark, but it’s society that makes everyone feel like they shouldn’t have them, so they never tell anyone what they are thinking. The other day, I was in the bathroom and I had this really awful thought, and I was like, “Aw, that’s terrible, I am such a horrible person.” The next second my last tampon fell into the toilet: Instant Karma. Your reaction is that it’s something disgusting and dark, not funny and normal. What do you think provokes that? Is there a trigger? I usually think that things are funny enough. I have a best friend named Rosie, and from the moment we met I knew I was going to love her forever. The first time I went to her house, we were eating steak in our underwear in her backyard, and I hadn’t finished yet and she started squeezing out her ingrown pubic hair. I was like, “I love you!” I wished that everyone was that free. I like your fur on the Welcome Back to Milk album cover. How did you decide on doing that? It was a last minute decision. Fuck Brazilian, let’s be hairy! Yeah, before that shoot I had been growing my pubic hair, just to see what it would be like and then just before that shoot I was like, “Fuck it, I’m shaving that off.” Not because I thought that I should, but I prefer not having pubic hair because I started stinking more. Then I thought, “Oh fuck, I should have just left it on!” I had this fur coat and said, “What if we just make a “merkin”

Everything is too radiant nowadays; it’s really about reworking the concept of beauty. I don’t mind having scars. It’s more interesting. I think that in terms of deconstruction, the past two years I’ve got to a point where I had so many people trying to analyze me, in terms of what I say, what I look like. The past six months have been more about asking myself, “OK, who am I?” I totally forgot who I was. It’s such an unhappy place to be when you are monitoring yourself. It’s like, I am not a bad person, I haven’t done anything wrong; so I shouldn’t feel bad. So why do I feel bad now? People tell me what not to say and how to project myself as a girl, and I just think, “I don’t want it.” Like being told not to mention feminism or anything, because you’re going to have people thinking that you’re an annoying feminist or whatever. I don’t care. I would rather die having represented myself and what I believe in rather than having a couple more people like my music because I didn’t say something that offended them. Why would I offend someone? You know that’s their issue not mine. I don’t think that “feminism” is a bad word. I know! I was just with this woman the other day, and she said to me, “You know, I am not going to say that I’m a feminist.” I just thought, “Why aren’t you? Don’t you want to have equal rights?” I was reading an interview where they were talking about how they were feminists, and how all of these young girls were doing wrong by showing their skin, as if they were selling sex. It’s like you don’t know what people’s intentions are, to me the album cover is hilarious, I thought it was funny. In the


Du Blonde


music video, you can see my boobs while I dance around, I was not thinking behind that, it just happened that my shirt was opened when I danced. And people online said, “You have the body of an eight-year-old boy,” bla-bla-bla. I know! And I am totally fine with that. Is it being less of a woman, if you don’t have boobs or whatever? Exactly, I just think that feminism is about doing what you want to do and anything that you’re comfortable with. If you want to sleep around, that’s fine. Make your own choices. Just because Miley Cyrus wants to roll around in her underwear, doesn’t mean that all of these millions of mothers can say that she is a bad influence. It’s their children who are making the wrong decisions. They have to be teaching their own children to make their own decisions. It’s not a bad person’s obligation to protect them the way you want them to; it is your obligation to make the right decisions. When I see Miley Cyrus, I don’t think, “Aw, she is baring her body.” I think, “Oh, that girl is having so much fun!” Going back to your album cover, what caught my attention from the beginning was a certain kind of nihilism present in your facial expression. It’s very libidinous, I think it’s very sexy and at the same time, it’s paradoxical. Take the sandwich picture for example; I like that because it was just shot while I was eating a sandwich randomly, unplanned. It was the ugliest that I looked within all the

pictures and that was just what I wanted. If you can project the ugliest side of yourself and put it out in the world, it’s sort of like you can’t do any worse. Your album title Welcome Back to Milk, is strong yet quite ambiguous. It’s very opened to interpretation. For you personally, I suppose it means something like rebirth? No, it’s actually just something that my friend said, and I liked it. I like to have names for records that don’t apply to anything in the album because it’s too stressful for me to sum up a record in a name. At the time, I was working in a café in Newcastle, and the guy who played bass on the record worked there too. I had been constipated for a week, and nothing worked at all and he said, “Aren’t you lactose intolerant? I’ll make you a latte.” So he made a latte and wrote on it “Welcome back to milk.” Personally, I was thinking more about a mother with the milk reference. Regarding the album, I know that Jim Sclavunos produced it and this was another fact that made me go, “Yeah, I fucking love this girl!” How influential was Jim on the whole process of your rebirth and your revaluation as an artist? I was at that point, having trials with five or six producers before that. I wanted the album to sound like a live record, and I didn’t want any synth or adjustments to the guitar. I wanted it to be simple, and I don’t want anything on it that I can’t play live.


I was referencing all of these bands I was listening to and a lot of the producers said, “Oh, I don’t know that band,” and I would say, “I don’t want any auto tune or any effects on anything.” Then I would go in and record, and the next day I have the track back and they auto-tuned my vocals to make it sound feminine. Basically, it was their idea of what I should sound like. It’s just so frustrating. I’ve already recorded the first version of this record in LA and I just trashed it. I finally got to the point where I was just so over everything, thinking that I needed a job in an office. My last chance was Jim. I met up with him and we just had a great conversation about all of my references and it was really refreshing, because I was waiting for someone who already knew what I wanted to do. So in the certain way he helped you to bury Beth? Definitely, I think the whole process of making the record was exhausting. By the end of it, I did not have any options, but to just be my complete true self. I want to make people want to move. The drums he came up with in “If You’re Legal” was definitely very inspiring. Another surprise I discovered on your album was Samuel T. Herring. How did that happen? It was unexpected, but at the same time, it worked so well. In 2011, I saw him play in Newcastle, he just blew me away. Seeing him play live is just insane; it was just as powerful as going to church. Two years later, I was in LA and my pro-

ducer asked me, “What else do you want to record?” I told him: “There is this guy, and I would like to sing with him.” He said, “OK, we’ll get in touch.” I’d already spent ages trying. I’m really good at stalking people, but we don’t have any friends in common. That night, it was so weird, he started following me on Twitter and I was, like, “What the fuck?” After that, we had a month to plan, so we decided that he will fly to LA from Baltimore, and then pick me up at my house and we’ll drive to the desert. We had never met before. I like the idea of living my life like an American road trip movie. He flew over, the day before we met, and I was on the phone with my mum, “Mamma, what if he’s going to be a murderer? It’s in the middle of the desert, and my phone does not even work out here.” But he flew over and it all went so well. We did a road trip of the West Coast, and then he came back to the studio and in one take he just made it up on the spot. What do you think about the quote, “There is no such thing as importance, there’s no transparence or appearence?” I would not agree because I think that there are a lot of things that are important to me. I think that I realize the importance of importance, so that I could continue to live. Du Blonde’s debut album Welcome Back to Milk out now on Mute Records.


= © Jean-Phil design

© Jean-Phil design

Coming This Fall...


fashion/

“Maybe we have to break everything to make something better out of ourselves.� - Chuck Palahniuk 45


Photography Henrik Jessen Styling Aroussia Chamakh Hairstyling Christos Vourlis Make-Up Noemie Masselin Models Edouard, Axel, Taka, Al, Yassine @ Rock Men Styling Assistant Aline Kaestli


Taka wears: Shirt by JUUN.J Shorts by BORIS BIDJAN SABERI Boots by KTZ

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Yassine wears: Jacket and Trousers by KTZ Leather Shirt and Gloves by BORIS BIDJAN SABERI Shoes by PIERRE HARDY


Taka wears: Shirt, Cardigan and Scarf by PIERRE-LOUIS MASCIA Trousers by Y/PROJECT


Al wears: Suit by DAMIR DOMA


Axel wears: Shirt and Trousers by YOHJI YAMAMOTO Coat by Y/PROJECT

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Al wears: Red Leather Vest, Black Leather Vest and Leather Shorts by BORIS BIDJAN SABERI


Edouard wears: Hat by KTZ Shirt by DSQUARED2 Gold Belt by SANKUANZ


Axel wears: Jacket and Shorts by ISSEY MIYAKE Loafers by WEEJUNS Edouard wears: Turtleneck by Y/PROJECT Jumpsuit by TOPMAN DESIGN

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Al wears: Shirt, Raincoat and Trousers by SANKUANZ Sweater by SONGZIO


The Demna Dogma Interview by Carolina de Medeiros Cosme Photography by Harley Weir

Earlier this year, the Paris-based designer collective label Vetements was in the running for the coveted LVMH Prize, and there’s an exceptional reason for their being there. The seven designer team behind Vetements are risk takers who are allowing women to finally free themselves from the shackles of garments. This brand is about much more than just making clothes, they are creatively reinventing pieces while fighting against trends and the massive fashion industry that we live in. In a world where labour laws are still swept under the rug, it is mandatory that designers push forward and distinguish themselves by being not only pioneers but also examples to follow. With increasing buzz generated around this young collective,Vetements is breaking new ground in understanding style and gender. Eclectic had the opportunity to catch up with founder of Vetements, Demna Gvasalia, to talk about his bold contemporary label and his approach towards fashion.

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Vetements FW15


Vetements is a straight forward name for a brand. Is this the motto behind your inspiration too? Work hard, party hard. You worked with brands that have a solid reputation in the industry, such as Maison Martin Margiela. Did your time there influence you as a designer? Of course, Margiela’s heritage has indisputably had an influence on my design aesthetic. It was a great school in understanding what I like about clothes. Looking at your collections (past and present), it’s clear that you observe deeply what people wear, but more importantly, what they want to wear. Would you say you’re a “Street Voyeur”? That’s a nice term! Yes, we are definitely street voyeurs. Observation and sociological analysis of clothes and how and why people wear them is one of the most exciting parts of our creative process. Vetements is, in the creative sphere, a collective label. How is it working with different personalities? And how did you originally meet the rest of the group? It started with me, and a couple of friends and colleagues from before, but now it’s already a team of twelve people on a daily basis. Some in design, some in production and development fields, some in sales and management. Intercommunication is a vital part of our brand. We discuss, find solutions, argue, brainstorm altogether; it helps to bring out a more objective and well-balanced product. Almost everyone on the team is under the age of thirty, so it’s quite a fun and relaxed, easy atmosphere. It’s very clear that you know exactly what people want to wear in the 21st century. How did you achieve this creative formula? Oh, that’s a big compliment, thanks! We are trying to know and understand this better by observing, interrogating, questioning. It’s a very personal reflection on fashion and society today; we often follow our intuition and ask friends and people around us for their opinion. There are also a lot of statistics going on apart from the pure visual design process. As you probably know very well, the fashion industry has some overworked terms.When you hear the word “trend,” does it make you feel like cringing? It just feels like a “lazy” term. It’s easy to follow trends, so one does not need to think or question anything. It’s part of the globalized idea of fashion, and it destroys the notion of individuality, which is very sad. We strongly disbelieve in trends; we actually have no interest in them whatsoever. Garments are sometimes referred to as mirrors of our personality and extensions of our bodies. In your last collection, you played a lot with oversize and icons. What is the story behind that? We love working with iconic wardrobe garments because we believe it would be strange to create a “new garment” in such an oversupplied and oversaturated market as fashion has become. What we do is work with what we know and can relate to, and we put it

onto a new frame, new concept or proportion that gives a new “attitude” to the wearer. There is a theatrical side to the looks with the plastic gloves, the deconstructed uniform, and so on. Are you trying to revolutionize certain dogmas? We just ended up having loads of fun making those looks, even if in a way it turned out to be comical. There was no particular statement intended, but we do love the social uniforms and stereotypes. It’s amusing how they can twist the context and connotation of visual self-expression. Your pieces have a certain androgynous feel to them.Would you say your garments are meant to break the gender diaspora? Not really. For now, all our products are thought about and made on-and-for women. However, as many of our pieces have masculine origins, they might as well be worn by guys. In the future we would like to make a product specially fitted for men, though. Selfridges recently took a big step forward with the creation of three “agender” floors. Do you see this as a belated revolution? It’s definitely belated, but great that it finally happened. There are still many questions to be answered in this field, but it’s a great start. People are going back to a place where we own the clothes, not the other way around. Is Vetements a pioneer to this fashion rehabilitation? We simply try to reflect the thoughts and reality of today’s society in our product. This way, we continue to make clothing that is needed and actually worn by someone real. And surely fashion, as always, is rehabilitating itself now; and we are super excited to be part of this process and to live it. Do you consider Vetements as a strategic black sheep on the current fashion industry? Not as strategic as black, for sure.


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a boring couple


Joana wears: Leather Dress by ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER Ballerinas by CHANEL Aurelie wears: Dress by MAISON RABIH KAYROUZ Ring by SERGE THORAVAL Boots by PIERRE HARDY

Photography Arnaud Pyvka Styling Aroussia Chamakh Hairstyling Roberto Pagnini @ Freelancer Make-Up Kathy Le Sant @ Airport Models Joana Preiss & Aurelie Pyvka Photography Assistant Arturo Astorino Styling Assistant Aline Kaestli


Aurelie wears: Dress by A.F.VANDEVORST


Aurelie wears: Cape and Trousers by YOHJI YAMAMOTO Boots by KENTA MATSUSHIGE Joana wears: Jumpsuit by AVOC Earring by HUBER EGLOFF Sandals by PIERRE HARDY

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Joana wears: Dress, Coat, Bag and Boots by LOUIS VUITTON


Aurelie wears: Coat by SHARON WAUCHOB Ring by SERGE THORAVAL


Aurelie wears: Headpiece by A.F.VANDEVORST Jumpsuit by VANESSA SEWARD Ring by SERGE THORAVAL Sandals by PIERRE HARDY

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Aurelie wears: Dress by VERONIQUE BRANQUINHO Sneakers by PIERRE HARDY


Aurelie wears: Dress by TALBOT RUNHOF Sandals by PIERRE HARDY


Joana wears: Dress by ELIE SAAB Gloves by YOHJI YAMAMOTO

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Aurelie wears: Dress by ANNE SOFIE MADSEN Jacket by ROCHAS


Joana wears: Top and Trousers by MAISON RABIH KAYROUZ


Aurelie wears: Dress by MAISON RABIH KAYROUZ Ring by SERGE THORAVAL Boots by PIERRE HARDY


A Conversation on Craft with Joana Preiss Interview by Brent Taalur Ramsey and Charin Chong

Actress, artist, director, and musician, Joana Preiss’ celebrity status may be a product of filling distinguished roles in films such as Ma Mère and Dans Paris by Christophe Honoré, Boarding Gate by Olivier Assayas and more recently, Le Dos Rouge by Antoine Barraud where she plays the wife of Bertrand Bonello. But in the years since landing her first role as in Assayas’ Late August, Early September in 1998, her inimitable combo of beauty and talent has since marked the actress as one of France’s most-loved homegrown personalities. Having trained in classical and contemporary music in Paris and New York, Preiss’ career has transcended stage and film, previously performing at Galerie Kamel Mennour, the l’Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, and the St. Merri Church in Paris. She continuously opens up uncharted territories for creative stretching, from the art of acting to the behind-the-camera tasks of directing. Now she’s taking up the camera for a new film she is currently shooting in Spain, as well as filming a new role in Vincent Dieutre’s upcoming film. We recently sat down with the star to talk about craft, career, and creativity.

happening in your life or work, so it’s an intuitive and cognitive approach, as well as getting involved in the character through assimilation and absorption time, mentally and also with your body.

With your career spanning two decades, you’ve made a lot of decisions when it comes to taking on new roles. How do you approach a new project when you receive one? Is there a particular process that you go through?

Do you ever look back and watch any of your old films? What do you think when rewatching them?

I have a particular process that is the sum of three elements; the filmmaker, the character, and the film’s scenario, I’m very sensitive to the writing. It’s something that touches and transports me. When approaching a project, I really appreciate when I’m offered a role that has nothing to do with a character I’ve already played. The more I evolve as an actress, the more I am touched when a director offers me a role to break the mould of what I have done before or that he’s seen me play before. I like surprises and challenges and being in a role I myself never thought possible; that is an important aspect to me. After accepting a new project, how would you describe your process, as you prepare for it? It’s a mix of two things, in my case; something strange happens to me after I read the script a few times or after I have accepted a role in a film, I feel that something comes alive in me. For example, if it’s about somebody who is really sad or in a separation or a love story, I open up a part of myself to accept this sadness and allow these feelings to enter. Most of the time when you first read a script, until the day of the shooting, it can be a span of six months or two years. And within these two years, you can have other things

The second part is more conscious and active; I do basic preparations like yoga, pilates, meditation, walking, reading and writing almost every day. I need to feel that my body and mind is totally free to start a new character. This is vital, as I need to be in a total immersion, before and during production.

I have to say that I am more comfortable doing that today, because in the past I couldn’t watch myself after playing in movies. I could only see my faults and mistakes. I would only criticize myself, but since a few years ago, I can finally watch different movies that I acted in to see the evolution that I went through since the beginning, and that I can continue to work on. It’s kind of a part of my “work in progress”. I can see the evolution of my work and how innocent I was back then, even though the characters were intense. I also see my way of bringing a character to life, and it’s quite interesting. Your work has managed to transcend genres, from film and stage to music and now directorial. What is it that draws you to these different platforms? I feel that cinema and books saved me when I was a child. I had a few incredible experiences when I was 5, 8, and 12, where people or situations brought me towards cinema. When I was 5, my aunt would take me to the cinema every Wednesday. Back then, my little sister was sick and perhaps it was my aunt’s way of taking care of me, since my parents were busy taking care of my sister. It was mostly Disney movies, but there was one movie I will remember for the rest of my life; Comencini’s Pinocchio. It was such a cinematic shock at my age, because the film was really dark, but masterfully directed, and I was obsessed. All this sadness about this poor boy... the film left a mark on me.


Joana wears: Jumpsuit by AVOC Earring by HUBER EGLOFF Sandals by PIERRE HARDY

Joana Preiss


Joana wears: Leather Top, Trousers and Shoes by CÉLINE

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When I was 8, I had to spend time in a sanatorium for my asthma, and every Sunday they had a movie screening. Since the camp was for all ages, they played different movies meant for older audiences, like George Lucas’ incredible film, THX 1138. I spent two months there and my parents would visit me some Sundays and when they left, I would watch movies, so to me it was very related; affection and watching movies. When I was 12, I had a teacher who would give drawing lessons but she couldn’t draw, but because she was a massive fan of cinema, every week she would show us videotapes of Renoir, Jean Vigo, Eisenstein, etc. Essentially, because of these three periods in my life, cinema became an obsession. When I was a child, I wanted to be a dancer, but I secretly thought about being an actress because I loved classic and cult cinema. I acted in school plays since I was young and I was really lonely and shy, but I had this paradox of being able to do incredible things when I was on stage. It was my way of escaping, of expressing myself. In my plays, people would say that I had a beautiful voice, so I started music lessons later at 17 and I met a teacher who was a classical singer who taught me classical singing. I came to Paris at 18 to continue my classes and I met a theatre director who took me in. I had the chance to learn classical singing and at the same time, theatre at a professional, contemporary theatre with a great director that I’ve worked with for ten years, Pascal Rambert. I also got to act with amazing actors, it was another great immersion and through that came cinema. Some directors who saw the plays asked me to act in their movies. I was so glad because movies were my first love and it happened in a natural way. It wasn’t forced; it was just because of my journey. What are your thoughts on the connection between these genres? For me, acting, singing, and filming is complimentary. It might be hard to be credible in different forms of art, but to me they are complimentary, I cannot think about just one for now. I need to sing because my universe when I sing is total and complete, I do improvisations and it’s very connected to my being. In my plays and movies, it’s something different, and directing has become so important to me. For now, I need the diversity of these three genres. I like to think of myself as more of a multidisciplinary artist. I feel that I’ve been building these three aspects since the beginning in the same way, and finally they are all connected but still have their own space and freedom to grow. What was your first acting role? In theatre, I played a poetic character in De Mes Propre Mains. It was a pregnant angel and I was singing in the play; it was beautiful. My first role in cinema was in a short film by Olivier Torres where I had the role of young woman dating a heroin addict, and the other role was in Olivier Assayas’ movie Late August, Early September with Mathieu Amalric. I’ve worked with the same director for ten years so far and it taught me so many things. In June 2012, you made your directorial debut with Siberia. How would you describe that experience, especially at the beginning of your directorial career? I don’t know why I waited so long to do it, because it was so natural when I took the camera, yet before that I had never even taken a photo. For a long time, I didn’t want to take pictures or film because I wanted to live the moment. I felt that if I photograph or film something, that I couldn’t feel what I was feeling in that moment. The film came by the best way, it came by love, which is very important. I met Bruno (Dumont) and we decided to do a film together and at first, since he is a director, I thought he would film me, but we decided that we would both film and both act. I thought it was the best idea ever; it was natural. I didn’t have any questions about techniques, I took my own pace and it was great. I loved filming, filming in Siberia, with Bruno and feeling the danger of filming something that was not allowed since it was almost a documentary. It was an amazing experience and I think my way of filming is more about the adventure, the process, not only about the subject. I also discovered that I enjoy filming in a foreign country because of the intensity and the strangeness of it. When it comes to your own films, you’ve shot in locations like New York, Taiwan, across Trans-Siberia, and now in Spain. How important is the location to your story and film-making? Location is really important; to feel like a foreigner in another country means a lot to me because I feel that cinema is to be a foreigner in a way. All the filmmakers I love, like Orson Welles, Pasolini, Cassavetes, John Huston... I feel their films are not only about the location, but about being a foreigner in life. I love the feeling of being lost, without language. You need to find another way to communicate and it gives more power to what you’re filming because

you’re communicating with another kind of language, your own language of cinema. Sometimes it can be difficult, but being in a different country is another way to be totally absorbed in what you’re doing. I love doing films with a small team, or when I’m my own team because I feel freer. I heard you’re working on your new film project. Could you share with us a little about what it revolves around and what drew you to this subject? I can’t share a lot because I’m still filming, but I had this story in my mind and wrote the script four years ago. It’s between a documentary and fiction. I started filming the fictional part a few years ago and the documentary part last year, spending 8 months shooting every day by myself. I was my own team, the DOP, sound engineer, producer, assistant... everything. I’m shooting on Super 8, and it’s a process related with my subject – the world of bullfighting. It’s a world no one really knows except the people in it, and to me it is the ultimate form of art; the music, gestures, paintings, rituals and the confrontation with the bull, everything. I’ve met incredible artists, from professional bullfighters to bull farmers. I saw my first bullfight when I was 13 and I was always fascinated about bullfighting. When I was a teenager, I read many related books by Michel Leiris, Hemmingway, Jose Bergamin... and when I wrote the script, I read all these books again. I filmed every day and the advantage of Super 8 is that I have to be careful. It’s not like digital video where you can take a lot of footage because it’s convenient. It will be a long process to finish everything, but I hope to have it out at the beginning of 2016. I’m excited to realize this dream that was such an important part of my life. How important is your scriptwriting? Once you have an idea, what is the next step? I have a strange method, perhaps it is why I can only film alone for now, because my writing helps my filming and vice versa. For me they go hand in hand. At the beginning, I would write and then immediately go film, the way I write gives me things to film and the way I film gives me things to write. For now, both are equally important in almost the same moment, I capture in film a moment that I had just written about. For this reason, I need to feel total freedom around my process. When you filmed Siberia you also paid a lot of attention to the sounds, what drew you to this? It’s a bit contradictory because I’m attracted to sound as a musician, but for this film, I didn't know how the sound would turn out at all because I recorded it directly with the mic on my handheld camera. The first sound producer I met told me it would be impossible to make a good sound editing for the film, but I was sure it was possible. Then, I met my sound editor, Thomas Fourel and we worked together on the sound. He told me that I was the only filmmaker that stayed with him through the whole process, because it’s really exhausting, but I was fascinated. We did the sound together and he did a great job because I needed to keep different layers and different elements of sounds you hear when you’re in a train. Being with him was a big part of the editing because I wanted to feel what I felt when I was there. It was precise, like working on a symphony. I wanted to give viewers the feeling as if they were there. I had a friend who watched the film say it was like a punk opera, because the sounds were equally as important as the images to tell the story. When you’re acting and interpreting a character, it often takes a very intimate perspective, how do you cross the line between acting and reality? I think the line is very thin, I have to feel something inside, even if it is not me, it is a part of me. I always compare the fact of being an actor to having several different personages in your body. To do a film with one character is to take one of your own many personages and put them under the spotlight. It might be a character that is far away from myself, but I always try to make it mine and to bring it closer to me. It’s really something internal; you have to find something inside you to connect yourself to that role. Do you have any filmmakers that you would love to work with or who inspire you? I would love to work with Miguel Gomes, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Philip Garrel, David Cronenberg, Albert Serra, Lisandro Alonso, Vincent Gallo, Pedro Costa, David Lynch, Francis Ford Coppola, and I would love to continue working with Olivier Assayas. These are directors who really inspire me. Can you tell us a little about your latest film with Antoine Barraud, Le Dos Rouge?


He offered me a role that no one has before, a burlesque role. He chose me to play Bertrand Bonello’s wife, a tragedian actress. He asked me to sing in the film as well, so I got to do my two passions, singing and acting on stage. He asked a theatre director to direct me for my theatre scenes and he gave me a blank slate and told me to improvise for my singing scenes. I was back in my element, and even though it was for small scenes, we worked hard to make sure it was perfect. For my improvised singing scenes, after thirty minutes he said it’s good, we got it. It was in one take. We had a great relationship as we worked together before and he always pushes me to improve and to do more. He wrote some dialogue and I had the freedom to choose and change what I wanted. The character was a burlesque woman who had a beard in one of the scenes and I loved that because I’m a fan of Stravinsky’s opera, The Rake’s Progress where one of the main characters is a bearded woman. We built this fantasy character together and it was one of the first times I had a role that wasn’t just serious and dramatic. If you could give your younger self one piece of advice when she was starting out, what would it be? I would tell her to follow her own way and not pretend to be someone else or follow someone else’s way. There are no rules; everything is personal, follow intuitions and trust in yourself. Keep to your own craft, mind, and body when you follow your path. You have to stay wild too. The difference between great actors can be that one still guards their mysterious, wild side which pushes them to better things. Also, staying independent and free.

or performance. It’s the perfect place for it because we don’t know what is going to happen; even I don’t know what I am going to sing. It’s a unique performance and what better place for a performance than an art gallery? I feel the same about my films; they are between cinema and art. Siberia and my next film can be shown in movie theatres or in museums. My work feels like all my different stories are becoming one piece of art. What’s something never done but would love to try? To play a man in a movie, or to play in a Hollywood movie. I would love to continue making my own films and crazy concerts, and to continue feeling free in all my work. Lastly, what would be your perfect dream? Maybe I’m living my perfect dream. I’m still a little girl, but I’m more conscious about life; sometimes I wake up and I think I’m dreaming, sometimes not. With this new film, I feel like I’m approaching something that was a dream and speaking about something cultural in an intimate way. It’s difficult, yet gratifying because you mix yourself and your experiences with an old, cultural ritual to make something deep and meaningful. To wake up to my life, I can feel it’s becoming like a dream.

What else are you currently working on? I did a film with Vincent Dieutre that is being edited and it was a great experience working with him. I knew his work and met him when he came to a screening of Siberia. He loved it and offered me a character in his film. He has a similar approach to me, a wild documentary approach, and he had a perfect team that was really spontaneous. Everything was written but sometimes he’d see something and tell us to improvise and that was amazing. In 1998, you founded musical group, White Tahina, with sound artist Vincent Epplay, but recently you’ve been performing with your son, guitarist Lou Rambert Preiss. Together you’ve performed in several extraordinary places, including the Cartier Foundation, the Espace Louis Vuitton and St. Merri Church in Paris. How does it feel to be performing again, now side by side with your son? I met Vincent when I was singing for one of my art pieces, performing in an art gallery and we started playing music together right after. He’s a sound installation artist using electronic music in a very special way. At the time, not many singers used electronic music and it was an experimental sound. Now, performing with Lou is extraordinary because we lived together for twenty years, so share the same music references.The first concert we did at Venezia Festival was for Tonino De Bernardi, a filmmaker I had worked with who is always filming his family. He wanted me to do a concert and I had the idea to do it with my son because it was about family. We locked ourselves away for a week and we had the same rhythm; he’s hardworking and an insomniac like me, so in the middle of the night we’d both wake up to work. He’s one of the best musicians I know, very receptive to improvisations. For our second concert we did improvisations and it was like a transmission from me to him. We’ve now done many concerts together and I feel comfortable and free with this intimacy. How do you prepare yourself before a performance? I take a lot of time preparing myself a week before concerts, not speaking, concentrating on the performance and isolating myself. When I perform, I’m very receptive to the location and the audience, so I prepare this calmness inside to allow inspiration to enter. When I’m on stage, I feel like I’m in a trance with my body and spirit. For example, before my performance at St Merri’s Church, I had been filming bullfighting in Andalucía and it was an inspiration for my concert. Amazingly, someone who listened told me afterwards that they heard the sound of a bull in my singing. What draws you to present your vocal art in these spaces? I started with classical singing and parallel to that I did contemporary music from the age of 17. I was really interested in contemporary music and for me, it is always related to art. I love John Cage, one of the founders of the Fluxus Movement using mixed media art. I was always drawn to visual arts, artists, and exhibitions that are Avant Gardist. I started doing experimental concerts when I was 20 and there was always a connection to the art in galleries or museums. I feel like I’m improvising and building something like an installation

’’It might be hard to be credible in different forms of art, but to me acting, singing, and filmmaking are complimentary.”


Joana wears: Top and Trousers by MAISON RABIH KAYROUZ Sandals by PIERRE HARDY

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In the Atelier with Tigran Avetisyan By Anna Barr Photography by Andrei Zozulya-Davidov

In a converted Soviet factory near the Baumanskaya metro, it feels as if Russian menswear designer Tigran Avetisyan, who grabbed the critics’ attention with slogans “no jobs” and “nothing changes” scribbled on his oversized signature coats, is hiding; but a visit to his atelier brought us face to face with the designer who breaks stereotypes down to the very definition of an atelier.


When he moved in last February, he started with one fourth of the factory space that’s now expanded to half, the other half he shares with a group of friends. His work, like the building itself, transforms the negative into a positive. Avetisyan has set the trend that now sees Russian creatives returning to the motherland after studying abroad. Though there are still no leading fashion schools in Russia, the future of Russian fashion industry begins with this generation. The designer explained, “There is definitely no fashion industry here, but I’m able to survive because I’m exporting a lot. The demand for my pieces is mostly overseas. Japan is a big supporter of my work, along with the USA I think Moscow is very up and coming, though, because many people are returning, like me, the people who had their education abroad and are bringing something back, some experiences. The fact that we don’t have many things here makes it easier to start from scratch,” he continues. “There are a lot of opportunities, while in London for example, there is a lot of competition. It’s a very exciting time. My generation is one of the first that doesn’t have any recollection of Soviet times, even though I was born during U.S.S.R. in Saint Petersburg. We just have a different take on things; we are more metropolitan.” What started with him returning to Moscow two and a half years ago, alone and following the release of his graduate collection sponsored by LVMH, is now a workspace made up of himself, two pattern cutters and a stylist. On our visit, they were working on his SS16 collection and though the team is small, it doesn’t hold him back as business is going well with his FW15 collection tripling in the amount of stockists. Not one to shut himself away, he shares this factory with a photography studio, a 3D printer and various other services that bring artists together. In fact, the 3D model for his Duty Free perfume was printed under the same roof. The now Moscow-based, Central Saint Martins-educated Avetisyan doesn’t consider himself a fashion designer. For him, a fashion designer is someone who embellishes, Avetisyan refers to himself as a product designer. His roots are actually in product design which he first started studying in London before moving into the creative industry. He likes objects: chairs, stools, and tables. But it was the immediacy, the fast turnaround of collections, and the reflections of the times of today, that attracted him to fashion.


“Fashion is one of the best forms of communication. People are attracted to fashion by default, to put their message across. In product design, for instance, there is only a very specific group of people that care about your work, but fashion is universal,” Avetisyan explains. “I’m only attracted to shapes, details, and embellishments as long as it puts my message across. It must be relevant. If it’s just for the decorative sake, I’m not interested.” With his fifth collection, he found himself influenced differently since leaving London, and by the way people dress in Russia, particularly women. “I’m really into the leopard print this season. We can’t generalize how people dress here. Some kids here are even more stylish than kids in London; but generally people are a bit old-fashioned in the way they dress here. It’s some sort of parallel universe; it’s glamourous in a cheap way, which I find naïve and cute. I’m continuing with slogans like I did in my first collection, along with some bondage dresses.” “It would be a bit silly of me to still be inspired by London when I’m surrounded by Russians here,” he continues. “Authenticity is something very important, and people can really tell when you are showing a collection if you are faking it or if it’s true. I want people to know what I’m about.” This change in direction has resulted in more women wearing his clothes, as they can be quite challenging for Russian men; but it’s because of this challenge Avetisyan prefers to shoot men wearing his garments, finding the images more striking and bolder. Without backing from a major fashion house, he likes to be as bold as he can at this stage in his career. As contemporary menswear designer Gosha Rubchinskiy once said, “I want to speak internationally, but with a Russian accent,” this is what Avetisyan is bringing. A distinct style made up of Russian soul and spirit; far deeper elements than just a maximalist approach. Hopefully, this is just the beginning.

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absent Photography by Romina Shama Styling by Aroussia Chamakh Hairstyling by Christos Vourlis Make-up by Corinne Fouet @ Airport ’ Saint Louis Augustin Model Chrystele Make-up Assistant Andreas Krueger Styling Assistant Aline Kaestli

Dress by JEAN PAUL GAULTIER

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Dress by ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER


Dress by AZZEDINE ALAÏA

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Dress by DICE KAYEK


Dress by FRANCK SORBIER


Coat by SCHIAPARELLI

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Dress by ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER


Life as a Project: An Open Dialogue with ` Saint Louis Augustin Chrystele Interview by Anna Barr

French-born Chrystèle Saint Louis Augustin might be recognizable at first as one of the original 90s supermodels, having graced the covers of Vogue and Elle in France before moving to New York in the late 90s where she lived until 2007. Everything she couldn’t be back home, open and culturally mixed, became a big liberation when modeling brought her to NY. Now back in France after spending several years in Italy with one of the two performing groups of The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards, Chrystèle is hitting the silver screen in Mon Roi, a film directed by Maïwenn that is both anti-romantic and ultra-romantic.

You started your career as a model; it must have opened up a lot of doors.

disregard, ignorance, and prejudice against “otherness” in France, and the discomfort at being the “Other”.

I was already interested in photography and was willing to participate in beautiful images in an artistic sense. It first and foremost opened a door in my consciousness; the fashion industry took me in from a society where I did not see my reflection as beautiful. It awakened me to the fact that I could “exist”, be seen, within my own society. Modelling and fashion is often seen as superficial, but to me it helped me to embrace my identity, it was meaningful. Then it allowed me to travel – I’ve always wanted to travel, and to witness different ways and references than what I was used to in France. “Les voyages forment la jeunesse,” as we say here. It helped me see that I didn’t need to be stuck with what I knew if I didn’t like it.

There were many non-white models in the late 80s and 90s, many others, just look at Jean Paul Gaultier or Yves Saint Laurent models. Fashion then presented powerful women, with distinctive types of beauty. It hasn’t been the case lately, instead it’s a “Clone-age”. What happened? However, there is a call getting stronger from the “invisibles” who are yet to be seen. People are tired of being the in the “blind spot”. Sadly, it’s a general phenomenon found in every professional area in our society. This discrimination is not only in Fashion.

Fashion can be such a communicative tool, even down to the fact that you’ve kept your hair natural and decided not to straighten it. I immediately took my image in fashion as a political action. Not straightening my hair was one of the actions to give validation to “Otherness”. From the beginning, I said “I’m an Afro-descendent and I wanted to communicate as such. I never wanted to “pass”. To straighten it would have felt like “passing”. My mixed cultural heritage is beauty. I wanted to communicate that. It was always important for me in regards to what I perceived very early as a

How has forging your acting career in France been different than Hollywood? First of all, I haven’t forged an acting career yet. I don’t feel that I have enough experience as an actor to call myself one. It would be very pretentious. I didn’t like calling myself a model either until I could look back at what I did. I have a problem with giving myself titles. I prefer to think in terms of projects, I’m always searching for understanding and my constant subject has been the human being. Cinema is one tool I’d be happy to use to share what I see, what I question, and what touches me. What I see difficult in France is the idea of segregation. America is a very segregated society, but France is as well.


Dress by FRANCK SORBIER

Chrystèle


People need to be recognized as talents and creators and as individuals. There’s a need of support for narratives that embrace and show that. One that embraces my Afro without wanting to neither tame it, nor make it a 70s period piece or “Hair” or even a re-vindication of anything than just being. It’s an image, do you see what I mean? I believe that the media and the movie business have a big role to play in this because images play a big role in our societies. Art should be forward thinking, not behind. I believe there is a potential for social, political, and creative renewal in embracing more of the narratives present in our Western societies via our diversity. Your career has spanned so many artistic projects. What is art to you and why is it important to your core? There is an intensity, a posibility of sincerity and communion that artistic endeavors allow that make you feel totally alive. When it succeeds, it moves you body, mind, and soul all at once, whether you are the giver or the receiver. I think of Nina Simone, and the first time I heard “Sinnerman,” I was in a trance! It reaches the consciousness through the gut, the senses as well as the brain. It is a way to reflect on things, to give back what has been absorbed, with humor, poetry, rage often, sometimes even despair. “Art is important because life is important,” said James Baldwin. It doesn’t need a discursive, linear way. Art can awaken, enchant, open a third eye, offer new perspectives about our lives, societies, dreams, and struggles. I believe sincere Art connects the sensitivity of an artist directly to the sensitivity of the people. It’s a vehicle, said a great teacher. A vehicle to reach our inner selves. Your latest film Mon Roi directed by Maïwenn was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. What drew you to this film project? The week before I learned about the project, I was in a state of hypersensitivity. I needed to find ways to channel that sensitivity. Then I got a call asking me to go and meet Maïwenn who was casting for her latest film. I found many similarities with her as a woman. What really convinced me to do the project – which was about playing an ex-model, exactly what I would have never wanted to do – was her. How she approached me with interest and curiosity for the person I am. I felt there were things I could say through that character, so it served my personal project too. I want all my projects to be personal projects, as my life is my project. I do not want to refuse anymore opportunities that may have frightened me before just because I felt insecure, and I was unable to believe in such opportunities. It was an experience I wanted to have, chance, the universe conspiring, first being a model, then joining the theatre company, and now this experience. Mon Roi has an impressive cast including Vincent Cassel, Louis Garrel and Emmanuelle Bercot who took home the Best Actress award for the film at Cannes.What have you learned from your fellow actors and director Maïwenn? From Maïwenn, I’m learning from a creative woman, her sense of herself and courage to pursue her dreams came calling from a very early age, her fire. She is very generous as a director and person. She wants to give, and I feel she really was the main person I worked with while filming. There was a sense of partnership with her that was very comforting, and a great sense of camaraderie on set which suited the purpose of the film too. Critics can be harsh toward directors who get their start as actors, such as Maïwenn who has carved a career with her films as a director with a recognizable style. How has the transition been to you as many critics might categorize you as a model?

The idea is to grow, seize opportunities, use one’s potential in every way. You can’t stop at the critics or the clichés, really. I want to follow dreams. It’s important not to be scared to fail too. I’ve often been scared that I wasn’t “enough”. The work for me this lifetime is to learn to go for it. Why should your talents be limited to one ability if they are not? See how talented of a director Maïwenn is, and others with her? That speaks for itself. As for transitioning, I stopped modelling in 2007 when I joined the performing arts company in Italy. Then for this role, Maïwenn auditioned real life ex-models. You can say I came full circle reconciling two talents I have worked on in my life. So it was an advantage to know what a woman can go through in that type of business. What interested me was the woman behind the mask. Very little remained of what was filmed, but there would be material in that experience to tell a valuable story. Even Maïwenn must be facing critics’ clichés of female directors. What are those clichés? What I know is that Maïwenn is going after what she believes in. She is working at telling her stories. And she is a woman. But what does it mean to create as a “female” director? Is that bad? Is it better to create as a “male” director? What’s important is the pertinence of the work, the maturity of the perspective. Male or female, and if it speaks to you. I wish for a conversation beyond race and gender in society. How is it possible that we are still there, stuck on these stereotypes? Aren’t they “tired” conversations? Yet we are still there, so they are important conversations to still have, I guess. Maybe it’s ok to just go beyond without even explaining anymore! I feel the true conversation is really a conversation of human values. In your career that has spanned several projects, what is the most frightening thing you’ve had to do? It is frightening to open up, to expose myself. Yet secretly that’s what I wish for. I’ve always been looking for ways to do just that. You asked why art? Maybe that’s why. I want to explore the realities or illusions we create and inhabit. However I’m a very shy, private person and perhaps that is why art is a good way for me.The first reason why I wanted to do theatre was because I felt there were authors who could express better than how I knew I felt. Through these artistic means, I can reveal and hide at the same time. On a personal level, how can you really trust a director or photographer? There’s the first impression. Then, there are tangible professional considerations. You meet the person, you see what they do, listen to their discussions, hear what they want to talk about and how. How does it all register with who you are and where you’re at. Then, I guess you take a chance and trust yourself. There is always an element of risk before starting anything new. You have to trust the thrill. Mon Roi release date 21st October 2015


The Fashion Tipping Point By Elizabeth Aaron Photography by Andrei Zozulya-Davidov

“Fashion is dead,” declared Li Edelkoort during her lecture earlier this year at Cape Town’s Design Imdaba, calling it “a ridiculous and pathetic parody of what it has been.” A bold statement coming from a worldrenowned trend forecaster, but one that perhaps needed to be made. At one time, fashion was ruled by the freaks, geeks, and outlaws of society. Outliers with a majesty of vision, they were elevated by the few but eventually accepted by the many: Isabella Blow championed Alexander McQueen, John Galliano’s exuberance helmed Dior, and Central Saint Martins star-maker Louise Wilson guided the new recruits. Before the two men’s respective implosions, they were rebels and superstars, in the true and unadulterated sense of the words. Who of our current crop, in all honesty, could you apply those adjectives to?


AF VANDEVORST FW15 Presentation

Today, craft has been hijacked by commerce. Celebuspawn representatives, uneducated, untested and worst of all, extremely dull are favoured over the trained and talented. There was a time when you needed to make an effort to be cool. You needed to physically seek out the latest zine, speak face-to-face with other humans in order to hear about an underground gig; at any rate, do more than sit at home taking selfies and accruing virtual likes. When the world that is literally available at your fingertips and divided neatly by hashtags, “cool” has become disposable. It begs the question, does fashion with a capital F even exist any more? The instantaneous appearance and disappearance of trends has created a strange sort of visual nihilism, where impact is global but lasts only a nanosecond, yet concurrently, trends refuse to die. Once, different decades had a unique visual stamp, easily divisible from the past. Subcultures ruptured completely from what was current, adopted only by the mainstream over time; by which point, those early adaptors had moved on to the next best thing. In our pick-and-mix society, we have a limitless supply of fresh combinations. You can wear neon pink gaucho trousers with a vintage mink coat over a white A.P.C. t-shirt as you teeter on platform Miu Miu espadrilles worthy of Studio 54. You will look of the moment, yes, but what is the look of the future? Is anyone even attempting to design it? In yesteryear’s science fiction, they imagined us in totally different garb to anything worn ever before. Somehow, we are the first generation where radical change has not caught on, preferring instead a post-modern melting pot with all the depth and complexity of Cher’s outfit generator in Clueless. Does the endless supply of stimuli in our interconnected society paradoxically mean we are left with homogenized products and artistic laziness? Are we so creatively bankrupt that “Normcore” and “Anti-Fashion” are all there is left to explore?


MAREUNOL at Art Rock Festival

To some degree, this backlash might be a natural fatigue with conspicuous consumption in a society where injustice, wealth disparity and urban unrest are inescapable, if not in your backyard then on your television. There is now a sense of vulgarity to getting dressed up to go to the ball, especially when you're confronted by clumps of homeless people sleeping on the Metro platform on your daily commute to work. Decadence has become unseemly. Editors complain that traditional catwalk shows are losing their relevance in the industry, preferring showroom viewings or fashion films to get a truer sense of the designer’s internal landscape. Experiences and presentations, rather than the runway, are deemed more worthy of our expenditure. Food, travel, and lifestyle rival fashion on social media, as the dreaded appropriation of the term “curation” from the art world becomes an acceptable way to describe our public self-masturbatory fervour. The snobbery and elitism of the fashion industry used to be bearable because it actually was elite. Now, between the reality stars, celebrity labels, and bloggers too dependent on gifts to engage in incisive criticism or a few minutes of social media stardom, the fashion scene has become a whirlpool of the banal. Buyer-driven designs have translated into signature repeats, rather than a business based on evolving style. With fast fashion, you can see the latest Balenciaga collection interpreted by a Geordie Shore cast member within the week. Poseurs, peacocks, and pretenders distract from the artistry of it all, in what Suzy Menkes controversially deemed, “The Circus.” As print media slowly dies and a sea of barely employed industry creatives vie to become the “voice of their generation” à la Lena Dunham, no one dares to be a voice of dissent. We become professional fluffers and innovation suffers for it. The end of Jean Paul Gaultier’s ready-to-wear line last fall is a refreshing but rare show of integrity in a world where everything has become monetized. Condé Nast is turning Style.com, once the reference bible for the fashion world, into a buyable Vogue in an attempt to tap into the $1.5 trillion e-commerce market. The Internet has become a cannibalistic snake devouring its

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JC DE CASTELBAJAC at Art Rock Festival

own tail; the ceaseless demand for new content over quality means that not only are we saturated by mediocrity, but everything is now for sale. Is the magic lost forever? Or is there so much variety that it simply vanishes unappreciated, in a puff of smoke? With the Karl Lagerfelds and the Anna Wintours of the world approaching retirement, the old guard will forcibly shift, with no clear replacement. There have never been so many gifted people endeavouring to stake their place on the cultural landscape. However, the increasingly corporate nature of creativity means that everyone is now a brand. In a world where education is unnecessary given enough exposure, the followers are becoming the leaders. There are no breakaway stars. In a way it’s rather socialist; everyone has a piece of the pie. But at the same time, it is dissatisfying for those who grew up with something more extraordinary, who are still dreaming big. As Golan Podgorny Frydman of Fyodor Golan, winners of the Fashion Futures Best New eCommerce Award 2015, describes, “Every person is their own editor. They edit what they want to see, what they want to hear. I read that in the music industry there are no ‘hits’ like they had in the 90s. MTV told you what to like.Today people discover it for themselves, so you have all these great new bands but none of them are going to be a ‘hit.’” In fashion, as in life, it is the bleak and hopeful nature of things that inspiration begets creation begets attainment begets boredom. And so we turn to new horizons. 3D printing in the home will one day revolutionize fashion and the concept of consumerism in remarkable ways. It will be the true test of commerce reduced to its most basic level: desire. In a future where any individual can potentially create almost any thing, only exceptional ideas will be replicated on a global scale. Then, it will be up to the outliers, the freaks, geeks and outlaws, to reassert their unique vision. Crossdisciplinary work will be what pushes our artistic boundaries forward, but for now, we return to the pure craftsmanship of clothes. Look out for the revival of couture.

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JC DE CASTELBAJAC at Art Rock Festival

Of Post Couture: A Conversation with Jean-Charles de Castelbajac Interview and photography by Andrei Zozulya-Davidov


Jean-Charles, I know it happened before but still I’d like to start our conversation by asking why did you decide to skip the last season fashion week in Paris? For different reasons actually, but the main reason is that I don’t identify myself with the current system. Obviously I love fashion and I’m currently busy looking for other ways to express it. I think if I return some day it will be with a couture collection, a very popular kind of couture. My goal is that couture becomes my secondary line; I want to create financially accessible haute couture dresses. Are we talking about some kind of low-cost couture? No, it’s not at all about low-cost, it’s about changing the habits. The idea of haute couture is the crystallization of savoir-faire, but I also think that there’s savoirfaire in popular techniques. I love the savoir-faire of tshirts, I love the savoir-faire of sweatshirts and I think there’s a way to reinterpret the crystallization of the idea under a more accessible prism. I want to come back with a rupture. Do you think that the concept of a fashion show has become obsolete? No, I don’t think so. I think the concept of a fashion show has never been as pertinent as it is today. It has become a work of art, a performance and an installation. From my perspective, the issue today is not the show itself, but rather its content, because the content being shown doesn’t match my idea of making fashion. Let’s say, I don’t have this vision of luxury, for example, the performance I created for Art Rock Festival has a huge dimension of proximity, of accessibility, of appropriation, I can’t find all these aspects in contemporary fashion. I’d like to ask about the Fantômes performance that you created back in May for the closing of Art Rock Festival. What was the purpose of it? Well the purpose itself appeared back in 1997 when I was dressing the Pope John Paul II, together with another 500 bishops, 5000 priests and another million young theology students. At the time, I created all those costumes for an absolutely mental celebration and when I saw the results, I was wowed “that’s it!” - I thought, “my fashion shows must have at least 15.000 people.” After that moment I started to construct this performance idea, about three years ago I did a show in Lille before 80,000 people where I was mixing live pretty much everything I love; music, special effects, hair styling, fashion, make up, to create a very epic and oneiric universe. My pleasure was tremendous, it was great to interact with the public, to have the capacity of drawing live on the screens that was the closest

way to express fashion like I always idealized. I love the idea of putting myself in danger and at the same time give the public the feeling of sharing something unique with me, creating a communion, a procession if you want. Meaning that you kept this performance in your head for quite a while? Exactly, but once again I changed everything because I had never shown it before. You have both ghosts and angels in there, it’s a quite disturbing show. There are no models, I simply chose women from the village along with traditional Bretagne bagpipe musicians. MR NÔ took care of the electronic compositions and we used bagpipes as synths backed by traditional “Waterloo” drums, and the effect was very dramatic. So the purpose of presenting your creations in a “fashion-hostile” territory is to bring the culture of fashion to the masses? I love the idea of bringing couture to the masses not fashion, I think today couture carries a certain feeling of peace. Our world is ruled by marketing results and economical data, but the beauty is something metaphysical and it’s definitely a resisting force. Speaking of resistance, me and my group of friends we were all totally into the concept of resistance, today I think the best solution is that of becoming a virus, a positive virus and contaminate people with positivism. That’s very interesting, there’s no place for revolutions today, so probably the only way to pass your message is through contamination. Exactly (laughs). Jean-Charles, to finish our conversation, I’d like to ask if you could recite a Dadaist poem? Oh great! You know that 4th February 2016 is the 100th anniversary of Dadaism. I knew Raoul Hausmann very well because he immigrated to Limoges. At the time, I was 15 years old and everyday I could observe this man hanging around with two beautiful women, it was a very conservative town so all the bourgeois were scandalized by his behavior. So one day my mom says to me, “Son we are invited to an antiquary to see some photographs.” So we arrive there and the poem I will tell you now is the one he use to recite before opening the door. So imagine, if you will, this man wearing a huge sleeping shirt, a beret, a pair of clogs, carrying a candle and a little bell reciting very loud the following: Taka Taka Da Taka Da,Taka Da,Ta Da Da Da Da Da Da Fantôme

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culture/

“Always destroy what is in you.” - Tristan Tzara


Yoshi Sodeoka: The Influence Behind Sound Art Interview by Andrei Zozulya-Davidov Moving Images by Yoshi Sodeoka

A multidisciplinary artist and musician, Yoshi Sodeoka possesses an impressive portfolio with a variety of neo-psychedelic work in video, GIFs, and print simultaneously inhabiting the spheres of fine art, music, fashion, and advertising. He first caught our attention back in 2014 with his great collaboration with Psychic TV; his aesthetics came up naturally while working with Genesis, herself being strongly influenced by the William S.Burroughs cut-up technique. Some of his many visual sound collaborations also include Tame Impala,Yeasayer, Beck, and The Presets. His visuals have even popped up behind Cakes da Killa. As a pioneer in his field, his permanent collections are at New York's Museum of the Moving Image as well as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


Is your process purely digital or do you also rely on the use of analog machinery? If so, how does the communication process between you and the machines occurs?

driven video art and recognize that as a movement. I feel that it’s important for someone to document it — and Undervolt serves some of that purpose.

I do use both digital and analog tools. I kind of don’t think about that so much, though. It’s always natural for me to mix the two. I’m not so good at planning all the details before, when it comes to making things. I improvise a lot and figure things out in the process. I just go back and forth between analog and digital and see what looks good. The context of the work usually determines that.

What are your thoughts on the current state of music and art in terms of creativity? What do you consider to be the current tendencies or trends?

The philosophy of your video art label, Undervolt & Co, is quite groundbreaking. Taking in consideration the music and art industry, how would you describe the purpose of the label and how it might influence the future of those industries? I’ve honestly never thought of this as something groundbreaking. I just wanted to try to merge two things I understand the most: art and music. I wanted a place where my fellow video artists and I can showcase our new work. I’ve been seeing a lot artists making audio-

It won’t be easy for me to describe the current tendencies. There’s lot going on. Trends come and go, and things are always changing. So I stopped paying attention to that a long time ago. I just try focusing on my own things and everything is easier that way. Finally, do you have any upcoming plans or projects? Where can we catch up with you for a cup of tea in the next months? I’ve been working on a new title for Undervolt lately. It’s been a while since I published my own work. So, I’m excited to get those out soon. Then I have a few music video commissions coming out. I’m usually at my studio in Tribeca, NY. Hit me up if you around.


What is [a] Painting in the 21st Century? By Damilola Oshilaja

“A work of art can be called revolutionary if, by virtue of the aesthetic transformation, it represents, in the exemplary fate of individuals, the prevailing unfreedom and the rebelling forces, thus breaking through the mystified social reality, and opening the horizon of change.�

Anish Kapoor, Installation view of the exhibition, Anish Kapoor 2015 at Lisson Gallery, London featuring silicone and pigment work Image courtesy of Lisson Gallery, and Pickles PR

~ H. Marcuse {1978, xi}


Neal Rock, Herm Triptych 0314, 2014, Oil paint on canvas, silicone paint on polystyrene & MDF Image courtesy of the Artist

It is difficult to write about what my impressions of painting are in this 21st century time without taking account of Capitalism and its evolution since the early 1900s, camera and technology, and Marcel Duchamp as a prophet of the Ready-made. It is appropriate to glean that these factors have at one point or another contributed to the many so-called “deaths” of Painting; whether it is the death of painting as an art, or an idea, or a function.

The moment where the artist confirms the portion of an Artist’s capability to divine art – or as de Duve puts it “the baptism of an object as art.” Personally, I believe that repetition is inescapable in life as well as art. I perceive that one can also have difference in repetition. My estimation of concept art is that it has not succeeded in escaping repetition, but it has contributed to the evolution of painting.

The Oxford dictionary defines a painting as a process of using paint, in a picture or a painted picture. But, in my opinion I believe this is a poor definition of Painting. With the consideration of the origin of painting to be cave paintings, then I believe Painting has made only a tad of a leap into its present evolutionary state and deserves a better and more appropriate distinction in definition.

The invention of the camera in the late 1800s killed the artist as the purveyor of resembling pictures, and at the turn of the 20th century, it was here that art for art’s sake met art as ideas. Agreeing with de Duve, it is at such a moment that painting transcends social utility and more or less becomes a document of the cosmos of culture, and possibly a membrane of history.

For instance, we should consider the work of Neal Rock, where paint has taken a three-dimensional form along with fissures of the Ready-made; or work where a picture is not clearly definable as shown in The Landscape Redux (my body of work on landscape painting), or where 2D meets 3D as in Anish Kapoor’s protrusions, when defining Painting. For Thierry de Duve, in today’s terms the Ready-made should be interpreted in connection with painting. I would tend to agree; after all, Marcel Duchamp started his “life of an artist” as a Painter. It is in my opinion that defiance has played a role in both great art and great artists. Thierry de Duve describes this defiance as abandonment of history – Marcel Duchamp owes much of his success and acuity in Ready-mades to the history of painting, a pantheon of which he certainly belongs. Duchamp saw himself as not having the talent for painting, and deserted Painting after creating what is arguably his best work in Le passage de la vierge à la mariée 1912 or The King and Queen Surrounded by Swift Nudes 1912. The abandonment came after the realisation that if one isn’t born a painter (art-maker), then intensive labour is necessary to be reborn as a Painter; but once birth has taken place, what is the point of carrying on – since there is the risk of repetition. It is at this point that the first Ready-made is unleashed to the world.

At this point it is a question of reinventing painting, and the exploration of a new meaning in Painting. Although for Duchamp in 1913, reinvention was out of the question; he would rather opt for abandonment and produce The Bicycle Wheel 1913, a work of art that should belong to the history of painting, despite its three-dimensionality and sculptural tendencies (because it is Duchamp’s way of logging-in his abandonment), while his counterparts like Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, and Malevich remained within painting to expound on ideas as art, by popularising Cubism. Concurring with de Duve that Ideas are not visible, but confirming that I believe that ideas can have colour or form, or even sound or smell (because I perceive ideas as being generated from the collision course between memory, stimulus, and imagination) – it is true that it is a difficult thing to reinvent in Painting. Nonetheless, abstract painting provided the crucial step in the rebirth of painting. Thierry de Duve ascribes abstract painting as the context for the birth of the Ready-made, rather than Duchamp’s abandonment of painting in general. Abstract painting in early 1900s was rising amid the commotion of industrialization and the birth of capitalism – commercialism was just off the starting line. Abstract painting as an idea of painting was a vanguard of pure visibility in art, and according to de Duve it centres on the issue of specificity – or purity – attached to the word “painting.”


Above all arts, it is in painting that the reflexive striving for purity begins, it is in painting that the idea of abstract art came into being. With the birth of abstract art a new set of aesthetic principles was born. For when the early abstractionists spoke of pure painting, they understood its specificity to mean, that which defines painting qua painting, transhistorically and universally: some essence that was apt to distinguish a painting from everything that is not a painting. They also prescribed that the painters’ task was to make this essence visible by purifying painting of everything that was not specifically pictorial. They sought the essence of painting in painting itself, as if it were hidden in the structure of matter and had to be purified by narrowing the field of painting techniques in order to extract from it some elements, some “pictorial atoms” [as de Duve calls it] accounting for its being as art. This time is not too dissimilar from the era that Thierry de Duve describes, instead of the swing of capitalism and the advent of industrialization as the background; we have the uptake of democracy and the digitization of our world. Painting in the 21st century should reflect the history of painting, and respond to the time in which it is created. Painting, is much more than a painted picture, it is a moment, as Bourriaud says of the image – is a moment M of the real. All images are moments, just as any point in space is both the memory of a time x, and the reflection of a space y. A painting as a moment in this time is different from a moment as a painting in 1913, primarily due to the perceptible view of the human condition. In today’s world, technology has a great say in what is essential to life, and our knowledge of life as a phenomenon has expanded to reveal new truths, such as the Nano

particle (the Higgs boson or ‘god particle’ as it is commonly known). The industrialized nature of global mass media, new scientific advancements and discoveries (such as genetic or biometric sciences), as well as the stealth militarization of our world due to high terror threats all combine to produce a parallax view that informs the perceptible view of the artist in this 21st century. Remembering the abstractionists of the early 20th century, I believe they were appropriately right in their musings and work on [a] painting, they were of just mind – I humbly follow in their footsteps. Hither to this, in the voyage to the discovery of pure painting, I wish to expand the field of painting technique within one moment as a painting. A Painting would have parallaxes, seemingly having no beginning and no end, always changing – almost organic. In other words, it would not be dead. A painting would operate on a conglomeration of values that correspond to materiality, process, aesthetic sensibility, and a multi-disciplinary view of the making of a painting. A painting in the 21st century in my opinion, is smart matter, multi-dimensional in its essence, it reaches for conceptualism through painting as a foundation. Painting is firmly a work of now and the future. Rather than reborn, Painting is climbing over. Consider the work of Maria Ribeiro, a practitioner who represents herself as an artist who draws – no less I see a Painter on a collision course with sculpture and drawing. In the artist’s series called Imbibed 2015, process and sensibility engineers a work fusing paper and concrete in a variety of ways including dipping and dousing. Rather than the hardness of paint, the viewer is confronted with materiality at the aesthetic junction of concrete on paper de-

Maria Ribeiro, Detail view of imbibed #1 2015, Paper & Concrete Image courtesy of the Artist

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formed and re-formed. For me, it is a particularly unique take in 21st century painting. In the same breadth, one should consider the work of Edward Collison, another drawer and sculptor, whose drawings conjure the ether of paint: “The drawings are dealing with time, my time. Ultimately, I think they have something to do with the value of life, and there’s a sense of morality, this has mostly to do with the investment of time. The drawings are not drawings of something, but rather they physically replicate a thing. Most of the materials, which the drawings replicate, can be found on the street. I do think about painting, particularly when working with the ballpoint pen that has thick and sticky ink. It seems the qualities of painting, like the liquid and the gestural are present somewhere in-between the drawing and sculpture.” Collison and Ribeiro are practitioners after my own heart, specifically defining the blurred line, and drawing in to place an Other persona of Painting. Time, after all is an Artist’s best friend. In the series I call CHIP-SURFACE, such as the painting called CHIP-SURFACE II: Ichiban/Corpus Negra 2011, the lateral matter of paint melds its way with the Ready-made, and figuration – extending the Rauschenberg discourse – and charting a path to deconstruction. Further development of art historical intelligibility is warranted, and a new engineering of transformations of subjectivity and nature, of sensibility, imagination and ethics persists. It would make arise a vista of new things.

This essay is based on the written work by Thierry de Duve called The Readymade and The Tube of Paint. I believe that it argues the case for the difference between being an artist in the generic term and an artist in the specific term, and how painting may provide the answer as a missing link, of the conundrum of being an artist in this post-Duchampian era. BIBILIOGRAPHY Herbert Marcuse, The Aesthetic Dimension, London: Macmillan Education Ltd, 1978 Thierry De Duve, Kant after Duchamp, Massachussetts: MIT Press, 1999 Julian Spalding, The Art of Wonder, London: Prestel, 2005 Erwin Panofsky, Meaning in the Visual Arts, Garden City New York: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1955 Dawn Ades, Niel Cox, David Hopkins, Marcel Duchamp, London: Thames and Hudson, 1999 Jean-Paul Sartre, The Psychology of Imagination, London: Methuen & Co Ltd, 1972 Nicolas Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics, France: Les presses du reel, 2002

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Damilola Oshilaja, Installation view of the exhibition, Untitled 2014 at Tafeta, London, depicting a detail of CHIP-SURFACE II: Ichiban/Corpus Negra 2011 (Triptych), and an exemplar from The Landscape Redux Image courtesy of the Artist

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Mutable Musings: A dialogue with Joana Vasconcelos Interview by Andrei Zozulya-Davidov Translation by Carolina de Medeiros Cosme

Joana Vasconcelos, Installation of Valkyrie Octopus at MGMMACAU, Photo by Luís Vasconcelos Courtesy Unidade Infinita Projectos_2

Internationally celebrated mixed media artist Joana Vasconcelos’ extravagant installations denounce common preconceptions portraying themes of a social nature, whilst opposing the idea that form neccessarily follows function. In addition to her extensive exhibitions at numerous editions of Venice Biennale, including her initial rise to recognition in 2005 with her sculpture The Bride, a 5 meter high chandelier comprising of 25,000 tampons, Vasconcelos has had solo exhibitions at venues around the world, including Château de Versailles and her works from the François Pinault Collection at Gucci Museo. This year she opened her first solo exhibition in China at the MGM Macau coinciding with Art Basel Hong Kong where her Valkyrie Octopus measuring 20 meters in height presides like a guardian at the centre of the Grande Praça.


Joana Vasconcelos, Call Center, 2014, Analogue telephones, Photo by Luís Vasconcelos Courtesy Unidade Infinita Projectos

I’ve been following your artistic career and have always admired your unconventional approach in terms of your creative process or the materials you use. Was your rupture with traditional methods meant to be intentional? If so, how does it translate in your work? What the artist does is present a new proposition, giving the viewer new ways of seeing. In my case, I find my inspiration from my surroundings and in the mundane chores of our daily life by observing with a critical mind and deliberating what these represent in society and its collective memory. The materials and objects that I choose to use follow the concept that I plan to work on and communicate. These are the instruments that I use to transmit a certain idea with the purpose of enlarging the horizons of those who observe and experience my work. I’m thinking about The Bride and Marilyn specifically where you use elements strongly associated with the female gender – especially in patriarchal societies like the Portuguese one – and through them, your monumental pieces give the spectator divergent messages. In what way do they reflect your position about women in society in general and respectively in Portugal? I’m a woman, so it is natural that I’m drawn to the feminine universe since my perspective and ways of observing the world

are undeniably connected to this condition. However, contrary to what I’m usually labeled as, I’m not necessarily a feminist since what worries me the most is in fact to achieve equality for everyone without any judgment of gender, sexuality, age or origin. I don’t intend for my works to be segregated to one type of discourse, instead, that they are sufficiently open to generate diverse readings. Both The Bride, 2001 – 2005 and Marilyn, 2009 came from a reflection on the role of women in contemporary society and certain concepts that are still associated to and/or enforced on our gender, like the fact that women (despite the fact they are not virgins anymore) continue to marry in white; and that outside the household it matters that they be successful, polished women all while continuing to take care of domestic chores inside the house. Why the O.B. label and not Tampax in The Bride? The O.B. is the father of tampons, but it was chosen taking in account the plastic qualities of the object. When I designed this chandelier, it was mandatory that it should keep the sparkling aura associated to chandeliers, thus the transparent cases of O.B. tampons were perfect to achieve this effect. When seen from a distance, the work resembles a preeminent and gleaming chandelier, worthy of being found in ballrooms across Europe.


But from a certain proximity, we are surprised to find that in place of glass or shimmering crystals you find the immaculate tampons of which the shine results from the plastic that encases them. In Call Center one of your latest works in collaboration with Filipe Faísca, you conveyed a very obvious critic to the fragile condition of the job market in Portugal, please correct me if I’m mistaken. I’ve always considered fashion to be an artistic domain and a social phenomenon much more intricate than what the majority see in it, transforming it into something futile due to lack of interpretation. With this collaboration did you seek to defend the importance of fashion as a social and political tool? Call Center was already conceived and being worked on when Filipe Faísca invited me to collaborate in the presentation of his collection for SS15. Our friendship and history of collaborations goes back approximately twenty years now, and evidently I accepted his challenge. His collection is set on black and white and is based on the garments used by feminine and sophisticated idols of the 1960s like Buñuel’s Belle de Jour, which had aesthetic and conceptual common ground between his collection and the project I was working on. Call Center is presented in the shape of a humongous Beretta made of 168 rotary dial telephones, and their independent rings serve as an instrument for a symphony composed by the musician Jonas Runa. The work in itself reflects not only the fact that communication is the greatest weapon these days, but also the aggressive character that congregates the freedom and variety of the means of communication with which we are confronted daily. When I read about your most recent work Valkyrie Octopus, I was tremendously excited with the fact that you were working along with several artists to help you create your masterpieces, something I’ve had an idea about but previously thought that your atelier worked more as a factory. While establishing the creative process as a close-knit community, do you think that it ends up destroying the concept of an atelier in which the artist takes the role of the leader? My atelier has absolutely nothing to do with a factory since everything is handmade following precisely my drawings and directions; each collaborator in production executes the techniques he excels at and is allowed to give his personal creative input. For the time being, the team is composed of fifty people from several domains, divided into the departments of architecture, production, finance, communications and press, photography and video, workshop, sewing, crochet, and electrical technicians – and everything is supervised by me. Meaning, like the ateliers from the 17th century, I created a team of professionals that execute my pieces but everything that is made is controlled and orientated by me. Even though you are a revolutionary artist, you are able to maintain a close “relationship” with traditional elements from the Portuguese culture, do you see it as an obligation or more like a natural process? Do you consider recycling of traditional values as an important element for their own rupture and evolution? I believe it is necessary to reconstruct national identity, the legacy of our traditional arts, somehow adulterate them and reinterpret them. Identity is something you build from generation to generation. We can accept what is given to us, without overthinking and just limit ourselves to repeat it, or we can interpret and rethink the subjects. Lastly, what is next for Joana Vasconcelos? What other new projects and collaborations are you working on? Presently I’m working in a monumental public art piece for the celebrations of the 450th anniversary of Rio de Janeiro entitled Pop Galo. I have a show in Korea and the following year, one at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku and at the ARoS Aarhus Kunstmusuem in Denmark. VISIT: Valkyrie Octopus by Joana Vasconcelos specifically created for The Grande Praça at MGM Macau until 31st October 2015 www.mgmmacau.com

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Joana Vasconselos, Installation A Noiva [The Bride], 2001-2005, Antonio Cachola Collection Elvas, Photo Luis Vasconcelos Courtesy Unidade Infinita Projectos

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Cornelia Parkerm Fleeting Monument, 1985 © the artist, Courtesy Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London Photo by Anna Arca

MAKING IT: Sculpture In Britain 1977 – 1986 By Damilola Oshilaja

The title of this piece, and the named show, housed at the Longside Gallery in Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Yorkshire calls to mind methodologies of transfigurare. I think of alterations of form, or aesthetic semblance – a construction or deconstruction of objectivity and subjectivity – things that have traditionally been the focus of art science and technology: a preserve of true artists, the world-over.


Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) is the leading international Centre for modern and contemporary sculpture founded in 1977 as an independent charitable trust and registered museum situated in the 500-acre, 18th century Bretton Hall estate in West Yorkshire. YSP was the first sculpture park in the UK, and is the largest of its kind in Europe. The Longside Gallery at Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a distinct space for exhibitions set amidst the greenery of West Yorkshire. It exists as an alternating space in use by the Arts Council Collection and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. It is adjacent to the Sculpture Centre which houses the Arts Council Collection’s sculpture holdings, and serves as a Centre that enables the Arts Council Collection to extend its research and conservation programmes, as well as enables access to the sculpture collection through exhibitions. Since its opening in 2003, the Longside Gallery through the mandate of the Arts Council Collection has engineered a host of innovative and critically acclaimed shows including: Sixty Years of Sculpture in the Arts Council Collection (2006), and Uncommon Ground: Land Art in Britain 1966-1979 (2014). This exhibition is about celebrating the time in which a revival of the interest in the sculpted object was confirmed, and where practitioners regained a focus on materiality, and ideas around production procedures.

“Making It captures the breadth and vitality of the sculpture being produced in this country during this period. Many of these artists went on to achieve international recognition and acclaim and their influence is very much in evidence on younger artists today.” - Jill Constantine

The late 1970s and early-to-mid 1980s beckoned the emergence of a younger generation of artists based in the United Kingdom, who achieved international acclaim; and Making It is the first exhibition of its kind to survey this particular moment in British sculpture. The exhibition is curated by Dr Jon Wood, the Research Curator at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds in conjunction with Senior Collection Curator, Natalie Rudd. The ensemble that makes Making It is assembled primarily from the Arts Council Collection, and propped by significant contributions from public and private collections in the UK from holdings such as the Henry Moore Institute, and Lisson Gallery.

Richard Deacon,The Eye Has It, 1984 © the artist. Courtesy Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London Photo by Anna Arca

Jill Constantine, Head of the Arts Council Collection recounts, “Making It captures the breadth and vitality of the sculpture being produced in this country during this period. Many of these artists went on to achieve international recognition and acclaim and their influence is very much in evidence on younger artists today.” There are 44 artists represented in Making It, including Edward Allington, Eric Bainbridge, Phyllida Barlow, Kate Blacker, Tony Cragg, Michael CraigMartin, John Davies, Richard Deacon, Antony Gormley, Shirazeh Houshiary, Anish Kapoor, David Nash, Julian Opie, Eduardo Paolozzi, Cornelia Parker, and Richard Wentworth to name a few. Majority of the artists on show were born after 1945 and were in their thirties during the period this exhibition covers, graduating from college in the 1960s and 1970s, with a number belonging to what became known as “New British Sculpture.” “Making It showcases a diversity of individual sculptural sensibilities while pointing to important shared concerns and qualities,” at a moment where artists were re-thinking the possibilities of sculpture, preceded by a period of conceptual, performance-based, site-specific and environment-orientated practices. This immediately pre-

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Richard Wentworth,Toy, 1983 © Richard Wentworth. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015 Courtesy Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London Photo by Anna Arca

ceding period imbued intellectual and aesthetic traces upon the New British Sculpture movement. Jon Wood remarks in a fully illustrated publication accompanying the exhibition, “The immediacy and emotional urgency of material objects, and the consideration and deployment of physical processes and intuitive activities of making, unmediated by photography and film, but nevertheless informed by image-making and framing strategies, were all-important.” As highlighted in Jon Wood’s essay, Michael Newman’s 1982 essay about New British Sculpture makes note of this period as one of bricolage and the redeployment of the archetypal, the metaphorical and the iconic. As Wood puts it, for Newman, “the combination of the worldly and otherworldly, the streetwise and the spiritualized, were important qualities” excavated within the works produced across the group. The most notable piece in the exhibition is a work by Michael Sandle called Mickey Mouse Head with Spikes 1980; I gravitated towards this work for its iconic qualities. I perceived not the Mickey Mouse I grew up with, but a Goth-version – a Mickey for adults. A memorable sculpture that is unique in its essence and materiality. Of the work the artist writes: “I wanted to be able to communicate in the same way as medieval European sculpture was able to and as, to some extent, nineteenth-century sculpture was able to too, compared with the inability of a great deal of contemporary sculpture to say what I wanted to say, coupled with its affective aridness – after all how many welded RSJs [rolled steel joists] can a man bear to look at in his lifetime?” Making It is an Arts Council Collection touring exhibition, launched at Longside Gallery,Yorkshire Sculpture Park before touring to Mead Art Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick (8 October – 5 December 2015) and City Art Centre, Edinburgh (7 May – 3 June 2016). The Southbank Centre in London, manages the Arts Council Collection.

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Squid Maria, 2012

Yumiko Utsu: I saw Maria, a Squid Horse, and a Goddess


Thousand Armed Goddess of Ibacus, 2013


Under the Lantern If you give me ten cups to drink I shall throw you a kiss Ah, what a pitiful waitress I am. Outside the blue window, rain falls like drops of cut glass Under the light of the lantern All has turned to wine. Is Revolution the wind blowing north...? I’ve spilled the wine Opening my red mouth over the spill on the table I belch fire. Shall I dance in my blue apron? «Golden Wedding,» or «Caravan» Tonight’s dance music... Still three more cups to go How am I doing? You ask I’m just fine Although I’m a nice girl A really nice girl I scatter my feelings Generously like cut flowers Among petty pigs of men. Ah, is Revolution the wind blowing north...

— Translated from the Japanese by Janice Brown (from Aouma wo mitari / I Saw a Pale Horse, Hayashi Fumiko, 1929)

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Watasenia Horse 2014

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Watasenia Horse 2014

Taking Out the Liver In the chicken liver fireworks scatter, and night comes Ladies and gentlemen! Hear ye, hear ye! The final scene with that man has come slowly but surely In his bowels Sliced open with one sword cut A killfish swarms smartly. It’s a fetid, stinking If no one is home, I’ll break in I’m poor And so that man has run It’s a night that wraps me up

night like a burglar! from me in darkness.

— Translated from the Japanese by Janice Brown (from Aouma wo mitari / I Saw a Pale Horse, Hayashi Fumiko, 1929)


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Kiev

in my Arms

By Gorsad


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Documenting The Trouble with the F Word Interview by Charin Chong

Recently, a trend has permeated conversations surrounding feminism, as we see more celebrities and young women voicing out AGAINST feminism while within the feminist community, we sense a schism forming in differing opinions and beliefs. There’s been a slow move away from the “F word” but no one can pinpoint the exact reason why. This is a question that documentary director Vanessa Pellegrin examines in her recent film, The Trouble with the F Word, which analyzes the current negativity surrounding feminism from diverse standpoints. While certain celebrities like Shailene Woodley and Kelly Clarkson have spoken out against feminism, others like Emma Watson and Amy Schumer have declared themselves feminists and call for more female emancipation. Is feminism still relevant in today’s society? Vanessa Pellegrin offers her insight regarding the F word, her upcoming documentary as well as her thoughts on the future of feminism.


Stills from The Trouble with the F-word documentary

What can you tell us about your new documentary The Trouble with the F Word? What inspired you to confront this issue? We got the idea to make this documentary after the 100th anniversary celebration of the death of Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison in 2013. During this time, surveys establishing the “death of feminism” were spread across the media and I felt the need to investigate this together with Executive Producer, Beverley Morisson. We discovered an incredible amount of people, men and women, rejecting feminism and claiming it had become a sexist movement that was no longer representative for the majority of women. In 2013, Caroline Criardo Perez received death threats for suggesting putting a woman’s face on a tenner, and sex workers were complaining about modern feminism because it ostracized them. Last year, the Tumblr page called “Women Against Feminism” broke the news about the launch of Emma Watson’s “HeForShe” campaign. We had no doubt that the debate around feminism had become a hot topic. The Trouble with the F Word is more of a performative documentary than a classical one. The two central characters, Lucy Anne Holmes from the “No more Page 3” campaign and TV presenter Nick Lancaster – a woman and a man with differing views – participate in an experiment to test their established beliefs about feminism and anti-feminism. The film employs animation and unexpected, dramatic set pieces, to challenge stereotypes and spark questions that will push the feminism debate forward. The tone is humorous and entertaining to engage the widest audience in what is, in fact, a serious and extremely divisive debate. Why do you think there is this negative shift towards the idea of being a feminist and supporting feminism? Does this signal, like you mentioned, a “Death of Feminism”? Indeed, feminism isn’t very popular these days, and claiming you’re a feminist isn’t either. However, when some women and some celebrities say they are not a feminist they end up getting really harshly judged, for instance Kaley Cuoco, the actress in The Big Bang Theory, had to apologize for saying she is

not a feminist. In my opinion, no one should be bullied for their opinions, especially when they don't harm anyone. There is definitely something about the word or the ideology in the modern days that put off quite a number of people. Why is claiming you’re a feminist or not a problem whereas saying you are in favor of gender equality isn’t? Our aim is to investigate and to understand where all of this comes from. Even by a simple search on articles about feminism, one can find much dissonance within current feminists on the core issues, actions, and ideologies of the movement. Why do you think it’s such a divisive and polarizing subject, especially in modern years? What could this mean for the future of feminism? I think that is the main problem of modern feminism. When our grandmothers were fighting for equal rights and treated as second-class citizens for asking for those rights, the sisterhood was much more unified. Today, we live in modern societies that provide this equality by law. However, the issue is that some of these rights aren’t respected all the time and that the stereotypes are still pressuring both men and women. Maybe modern feminism and social media are not the answer to these problems? Modern feminism is different movements speaking on behalf of women and which often disagree with each other: the activists, the radicals, the sex positive, the queer feminists, the ones against transgenders, the gamergate and so on… Most of them want women to achieve the perfect equality with men, but the way they are shown on the mainstream media is often counterproductive. I think rethinking feminism as an end of the battle of sexes is necessary as much as it needs to stop targeting individuals, such as scientist Matt Taylor, because he wore an alleged sexist T-shirt. This is not helping the debate; it makes feminism toxic, and it is a shame as many people are doing great work to improve things. In the early stages of feminism in the Western world, clear goals were evident: the right to vote, the right to work, etc. Now, while today’s generation is reaping the benefits of feminist pioneers, we are confronted with movements like “Women Against Feminists” and female celebrities like Shailene Woodley and Lana Del Rey


Stills from The Trouble with the F word documentary

who have outspokenly rejected being labeled feminists. One could argue their idea of feminism may be misconstrued, but a bigger question is what has caused this anti-feminist movement? Is it a backlash? It is the lack of homogeneity from different feminists’ organizations which creates that rejection; feminism encouraged women to become free from anything that could enslave them. From that point of view, religion, being financially dependent, and prostitution are enslaving women. However, people and mostly the women we interviewed, consider feminism as a freedom of choice, a choice that is not respected by those organizations. Clearly, there is a philosophical debate as opposed to a practical one. The actions taken by some associations do not show the point they want to make. Their goal is to build a better society, free from stereotypes and prejudices, but instead they give the impression of being against women who made their own choices. Women who blame feminism for being extreme often don’t see the harm of taking pole dancing classes, or being glamour models or housewives and depending on their husbands. Of course their choice must be respected but from a feminist perspective, it does not help to create a better society and to set women free. On the contrary, it feeds the capitalist system. I understood the feminist message since I was involved in this project for a long time, but if I was just a normal citizen looking only at the current situation, I would probably not claim to be a feminist. There is a big gap between the message and the action taken and this is how many experience feminism. We need to find an alternative way to educate people about gender equality. When we look around the world, it's very clear that in many countries we have a far and long way to go in terms of gender equality, violence against women, and misogyny. What do you feel can be done to bring change and advancement toward these issues? In many countries where men and women aren’t equal by law, there is also a problem with their human rights. Angelina Jolie is doing amazing work for women victims of sexual abuse during war times but many lesser known people are on the field trying to make the world a better place. I am not a politician and I

don’t own a NGO but I am sure education is key, as people stop being ignorant and learn respect. This implies the UK and the US, if the gender equality message hasn’t been heard; it is because we missed something in terms of education. I really believe that is the only way to get things better: listen to them, let them speak and teach them what they don’t know. In your documentary, you choose to film through the viewpoint of a feminist and a non-feminist who are then put in opposing situations. Do you feel that if everybody had the opportunity to be put in these situations, it would change the current perspective of feminism? I think it would change anyone’s perspective. There are lots of myths from both sides, about both sides. Anti-feminists aren’t necessarily anti-women or misogynists. Often they encountered an unpleasant experience of feminism. Same for feminists; they aren’t all men hating, unattractive, and aggressive. We want to show that it is much more complex than what they think. In the Western world, there are still causes to be pursued, equality in the political scene is a jarring example, maternity leave rights, polarized opinions on women's body issues and the list goes on. The true cause of feminism is far from attained. How can we refocus on these issues, and not on the polemic of the F word? In my opinion, men should get more involved in the debate of gender equality and we must stop with the battle of the sexes. For example, the “HeForShe” campaign, focusing on both gender issues. Also, creating a movement where women would be their best friends instead of their own best enemies. A snippet of Emma Watson’s UN speech for the “HeForShe” campaign is featured in your documentary, a campaign encouraging men to stand up for the cause of feminism. In your opinion; could this help the cause or is this a double-edged sword? I think it helps because it has a modern view; men are finally associated to the feminist debate. Yet a lot of men criticize this campaign because they claim it is ignoring their issues and only focuses on men to become better for women. I am not sure if


that is the aim of “HeForShe,” but it might be worth to listen to those comments to bring some changes. At least I think it is a good start. The men’s rights movement is also gaining traction, but it isn’t necessarily mutually exclusive from women’s rights. What made you decide to explore men’s rights issues in The Trouble with the F Word? Mainly because men’s rights are often anti-feminist. Not anti-women, but anti-feminist. They consider that feminism isn’t fighting for gender equality, but for women rights only so they feel ostracized by the movement and decided to create their own to raise awareness on their issues, and this got us interested in them. Feminist groups like Femen, who represent a small fraction of feminists, have gained a lot of media attention that regularly portray them as angry, misandric women. While each feminist voice adds a unique perspective to the discussion, someone trying to get a comprehensive idea of feminism might find the landscape confusing. What are your thoughts on this? I would say that Femen isn’t radical, but sex-positive feminists. They use the female body for the feminist cause, a bit like the Slutwalk. I understand why they do that; when Kim Kardashian reveals her anatomy, everyone calls her beautiful and empowered, whereas when it comes to breastfeeding or protesting, it becomes unacceptable. Why should the woman body only be involved in beauty? The radical feminists like Gail Dines and Julie Bindel consider Femen or the Slutwalk counterproductive. To them, they obey the patriarchy as they are still objectified by their peers. Feminism to them means you can’t be objectified. Radical feminists are against any form of prostitution and pornography as they consider that women aren’t items that can be sold. Femen disturbs that idea because they are good looking women who aren’t showing their bodies for modeling. I think misandric women are often the ones attacking individual men in the name of feminism for their behavior or making counterproductive campaigns against them. For example, the “man spreading” campaign in NY was absolutely unnecessary and gave the impression that men were taking space on purpose to annoy women. I also find that when it comes to discussing rape, fake rape allegations from women are rarely condemned and often justified. When someone tries to stress the issue, he or she will be automatically considered as a “rape apologist.” It seems that the lack of possible debate on certain areas of feminism creates that “men hating” impression. We are currently in the fourth wave of feminism, but the first and second wave unified women and men across social classes, much more so than we see today. What do you hope to see in the future of feminism? Do you think it will be possible to bring feminism back into a positive light? All the people we interviewed are in favor of gender equality, which is a great thing so everything is possible with work, free speech and free dialogue. I really hope it will gather people together and we wouldn’t need to fight for gender equality anymore. If not feminism, what is the alternative way to achieve it? I hope people will come up with some ideas and debate with us after they watch the film. The Trouble with the F-Word will be released in late 2015, for more information follow @FwordFilm on Twitter

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Letters to Her Photography and concept by Renan Astier Written words by Pete Buckenham, Charin Chong, Carolina de Medeiros Cosme, and Andrei Zozulya-Davidov

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natalie, i know that you’re in denial. i’m not saying i’m not either, we all are. it’s the things you’re afraid to recognize, afraid to deal with because you don’t want the inevitable disappointment that comes along with it. maybe you should stop expecting, maybe we should all stop expecting. there’s greater things in this life that what we set for ourselves. you shun yourself from the things that you long for because you don’t want them to finally come and show you how you’re not worth it. no one wants to be worth nothing. there’s only so many walls you can build around your heart. there’s only so many lies you can tell yourself before your whole life turns into one. it’s not about finding that perfect route through life. it’s not about never having to get hurt again. it’s about knowing that whatever you are now is the concoction of all the goods and the bads, and it’s that very thought that runs through your veins allowing you to carry on. you don’t always have to keep searching for answers. you don’t always have to keep running. i watch you from a million miles away. you don’t smile as much as you used to. i just want to say that it’s still worth it. we’re all paper bags full of jumbled up parts, we might be a bit broken here and there, but we’re still worth something. you’re

still

worth something. jessie

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Julia, Do you remember? Do you remember everything? Of course you do, Your rage, The sound of falling tears, The cutting words you threw into my face The sound of cracking ribs, Six cracked ribs, My love provoked. Do you remember? How I was falling down, I wanted to prevent your fall, Your loss, A mother and a monster I adored, How could I look into your face And see a friend, Instead of a disturbed cunt, I was a cunt, My love provoked Thomas

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A There before me Remain unknown, uncategorised, in new illusion Always Miles ahead Never for the mediocre shadows Holding-on to our dreams Sitting as Ornette’s liberated song Ain’t no place we can’t be down Provincial, pastoral & glib girls fade away Fallen short No experience without pain Ain’t no desert without a well Grappling frontiers, free of fear A shouldered plinth for your talent Doubt, vaulted away, until ascension Trusted in my BPM Your words a World of quiet Elevated in action from on the corner Bellowing integrity Without script or observation In the spotlight, a song of yourself Embraced in the limelight Let’s journey the Other side of the Sun - R


Dear Anya, I remember that stormy night like today. The night I decided going to the sleaziest strip club in my hometown would be a good idea. I left such a long time ago, I forgot how much I hated this place. Walking in, my feet were sticking to the carpet, I could smell that dirty vanilla stench I unfortunately got to know too well and then, well then I found you just like they said. I remember your face more than any other part of your disfigured body, a face of a souless human being rolling hard on meth. We locked eyes and you recognized me after all those years. You tried to pretend you were sober while you slurred a hello and hugged me reeking of that skanky perfume your dad always got you for Christmas. As we sat down for drinks, you ordered one of those cheap ass cocktails you always loved, it was undoubtedly a trip back to memory lane of Redneck County. We talked about how we met in school, how you pretended to be a posh girl and I naively bought it, about the fact that I left you with a baby who surely wasn’t mine, about the fact that I snapped out of it and understood I never really loved you. Unconsciously, or not, I walked in just to tell you that leaving you was the best thing that I could have done. Holding the grudge of what you did to me made me stronger and there’s nothing wrong with a small dose of hatred, especially if you want to be successful in life. Being the person I am, forgetting the good times often happens, forgetting the bad is utterly impossible. I’ll see you again in 10 years, at your funeral. Sluts don’t last long. Tick Tock. Frank


A Concern on Culture with Bryan Schnelle Interview by Andrei Zozulya-Davidov

Los Angeles-based intermedia artist Bryan Schnelle uses commonly found imagery as a departing point to explore an array of themes from hedonism to objectification. Mixing fashion with religious symbols, cinematographic, artistic, political references, and celebrity worship, he proposes his unique thoughts on commodification and value created by the capitalist consumer culture. His work is reactionary, as he lifts the veils on what society marks as important, he exposes the emptiness underneath. Shunning expensive art supplies, most of his mixed media work requires supplies that can be found at the corner store, translating into a medium that is as minimal and as surreal as his aesthetic. 146


50/50 Studies


Your work strongly emphasizes the deconstruction of fashion dogmas and criticizes consumption. I personally analyze it more as an anthropologic phenomenon. How do you see it? I like to use a lot of super common, omnipresent imagery in my work, and some fashion magazines are among those; but that’s not a decision I’m making. If fashion seems to have a strong presence in my work, it’s because it’s popular. Celebrities are in the magazines, celebrities are popular, and so these sort of typical obsessions and common curiosities trickle down into the work. Fashion itself is never a point of departure for me. Images are pulled from other types of common magazines as well. The images are just tools, like paint or clay. I’m interested in exploring bigger ideas. In this issue we’ve featured your 50/50 Studies series in which you dissect luxury brand campaigns such as Gucci and Marc Jacobs among others with reprinted images from the Renaissance and Byzantine era, as well as religious icons and leaders. What was the idea behind this series? In that series, I used 50 percent of a common advertisement (usually for some kind of luxury brand), 50 percent of some kind of religious imagery (usually Christian, I live in the US after all) and integrated the images through the use of simple geometric patterns. The idea was to explore the religion of consumer culture and mass consumption, and where our attitude or feelings toward it differ, if ever, from actual religion. Of course, there is more than one way to interpret these images and there are no wrong answers, but that was sort of my jumping off point. The How to Lose Yourself Completely series saw 840 pages of Vogue whited out with the exception of all faces masked with a sharpie. Can you tell me about the concept? How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue) is something I made for several different reasons. First and foremost, it’s a commentary on notions of identity (or lack thereof) and value in our greed-of-money-soaked culture. I think it does a very good job of addressing those issues directly. It’s also the longest project I’ve ever undertaken time-wise, taking me almost four years to complete. So there was a pretty hardcore personal challenge wrapped up in there as well.

Also, in its own way, I suppose it was a comment on something I had been thinking about quite a bit at the time: one of the things I dislike about the art world is how the current trend seemed to be focused almost exclusively on art that took a long time to create. I had been noticing a flood of pencil-onpaper photo-realism, realism, and surrealism in painting. This was a way for me to sort of comment on that by taking on this colossal project. If you just look at one spread at a time (which is all you can do), you’re still seeing these quick, somewhat crude appropriations which only took a few minutes to make, but you’re forced to see it in a context that forces you to take it seriously and spend more time considering it than you would if it was just one spread on a wall. It’s asking the viewer to re-examine their ideas of success and what is valuable. Throughout these projects, your work has been extremely intricate and autonomous. Do you usually like to work in silence or listen to music? I actually remember seeing several band logos in your works, some coming from the “black metal” subgenre. Do you like black metal? I almost always listen to music as I work, and a lot of it is “heavy music.” I do like some black metal (the classic first wave stuff, as well as some of the more experimental stuff, like Xasthur, Lurker of Chalice, and recent Leviathan). But lately I’ve been listening to a lot of slower doomy stuff, like Sleep’s Dopesmoker and Electric Wizard’s Dopethrone. That and a lot of drone, like Sunn O))), Earth, and Swans. But yeah, I enjoy a lot of different types of metal and music that is “heavy” in different ways. We would have to get really nerdy and break it down into precise subgenres in order for me to give you my “favourites.” But my absolute favourite metal bands of all time would have to be Bathory and Celtic Frost. Those two bands did more for metal than anyone else I can think of. I hear you’re working on something new. Could you share with us more about it? It’s far from finished; I’m currently working on a new body of work titled Megachurch using my 50/50 method but stepping things up a bit in terms of scale. The work further explores the notion of the religion of consumerism, as well as ideas of US superiority and Christian superiority, while also commenting on religion itself.


How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)

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50/50 Studies


The Art of Science Interview with Dr. James Sinfield by Pete Buckenham

Godel Block TV

Dr. James Sinfield is a Doctor of Science that has transformed the dilemmas, large questions, and profound abstractions from his academic field of vision into a body of visual art. An ironmonger, bomb disposal expert, neuro-to-cosmo Ologist, astrophysicist, artist, and soon-to-be editor; we didn’t know whether to use a micro, tele, or a periscope to get a closer look. Pete Buckenham honed in on Dr. Sinfield to explore the world he inhabits, filled with scientific experimentation its expressions through various physical and visual art forms.


Reality Chasm - Everything is Real

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You’ve trodden a diverse academic path with a string of disciplines lesser mortals shy away from; theoretical physics, neuroscience, and mathematics to name a few. Are you a genius or intellectual masochist?

Godel #11

I’ve been influenced by the John Wheeler quote,
“In any field, find the strangest thing and then explore it.” I’ve always been attracted to strangeness and the counter intuitive. I use photography, model making, and illustration to make images based on scientific and philosophical principles that inspire me and inform my worldview. How do you manage to relate these challenging fields in science to the art you create? Science provides the lens through which I view the world. Scientifically I’m attracted to the theoretical, the philosophical and the power of abstraction (by abstraction I mean removing the specific in pursuit of a greater truth). The same is true for the art I love. Art and science provide two different but related ways to understand the World. The work of Gödel and Turing have inspired a large part of your work. Who are they and what were they up to? Philosophically, I think that Gödel is the most interesting of mathematicians. His findings, despite being rather difficult to process, have had an enormous effect on how we all view the World. For millennia it was thought that mathematics was in a way perfect and somehow “true” and not infected with human foibles; that there was somehow a truth to maths that transcended the physical world. To paraphrase and simplify greatly Gödel’s incompleteness theorem was able to show that mathematics can never be complete or accurate, and to show this, he used tools of mathematics. I have spent a long time trying to portray this and capture its spirit in my images. It’s something I come back to time and again. One of the many consequences of Gödel’s theorem is that his contemporaries’ switched focus to look at the power of computing machines. Alan Turing, famous in Britain for cracking the Enigma code and being a vital part in winning the Second World War, was also one of the pioneers of computer theory. Turing’s conception of a “Universal Computer” is the basis of all PCs, smart phones, and pocket calculators. These are powerful but limited machines – debate rages about the ability of machines to simulate creative, human-like thought. Turing also proposed a meta-computer that would be capable of more powerful computation, but no one has been able to build a machine like this… yet! The works that form Everything is Real are rich, ethereal and are yet strikingly present. What’s the story? This is a series I made about the reality of the non-physical world. Despite Gödel’s theorem, there is a reality to mathematics; and mysteriously, it is cable of remarkable feats of explaining the physical world. There is another form of reality, too, and one I only realized when making the images. This is the reality of completely human narratives and constructs. Humans have a remarkable ability to tell (and believe) stories. Some people think that it is this ability that has made us such a dangerously successful species on the planet. These stories attain an independence and reality of their own. In this way, even a staunch Atheist must concede that gods exist. Along with Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem and Turing’s Universal Computer, what other ideas have you given an artistic life too? I’ve created works inspired by different scales in neural systems, the heat death of the universe, Einstein’s field equation, cloud chambers, the reality of mathematics, resurrection and hoaxes and Maxwell’s equations.

Do you think a layperson could gain an understanding of the concepts you’re representing just by looking at them? Probably not, to be honest. I make these images for myself as a means to get to grips with complex ideas. I make image samples that start to form a visual language for the pieces – these then mutate and become the final images. Whilst I might start with a firm idea of what the image will look like, the final product rarely resembles what I’d envisioned. I like this unexpected element. Who inspires and influences you? When it comes to style and approach, I am most influenced by Dada, Constructivist, and Bauhaus artists of the early 20th century. Particularly Moholy Nagy, Hannah Hoch, El Lissitzky, and Rodchenko. In terms of content, my influences are philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians. 

 Do you have an idea or scientific problem in mind for your next project? I’m wrestling with the fact that we’re currently living in the 6th mass extinction that planet earth has experienced. Everyone knows about the one that killed the dinosaurs, but there were more devastating mass extinctions before that. We are currently living through the sixth and humans are responsible for this one. While I start on that though, I’ve just become the founder/editor of a zine called Simulacra (thescarrowpress.com), Issue One is out in fall 2015. It is a showcase for new and unpublished photography, printmaking and illustration.


Moving Bodies with Pierre Rigal Interview and photography by Andrei Zozulya-Davidov at ArtRock 2015


A recent player in the French choreography scene, Pierre Rigal’s iconoclastic approach to dance and the near-untouchable art of classic ballet has turned him into one of the generation’s most interesting choreographers to watch, and let’s hope for decades to come. He breaks down the current tendencies spreading throughout the world of choreography with critically acclaimed works, including Micro or most recently Salut, a tremendously compelling and deconstructive exercise on classical dance. Pierre is currently preparing his new solo project entitled Mobile.

I was firstly introduced to your choreographic work last February at Opéra Garnier, you brought on stage the excellent and iconoclastic Salut. Tell me how did you end up in the world of dance and choreography? I don’t originally come from a dance environment, when I was young I was much into athletics. I wasn’t at all connected to dance or even to the culture. When I was twenty-three I suffered a serious injury and since then I couldn’t recover to the physical level I had prior to that accident. Naturally I decided to switch to another less exhaustive physical activity; I followed my intuition and decided to take an African dance workshop. It was a huge emotional and physical shock to me but I loved it from the very beginning. Since then I started to do internships with choreographers and dance directors. At

twenty-nine, I started to work as a professional dancer in a company. After six months of work at the company, I decided to create my very own first show, it was called Erection. Your story is very thrilling, being a self-thought man you also managed to become one of the most exciting choreographers out there. I’ve noticed how sometimes an autodidact can become a sort of revolutionary in his or her own way, there are so many examples like Tadao Ando and Frank Lloyd Wright in architecture or Rei Kawakubo in fashion. All of them managed to partially avoid the academic influence and scholastic approach to their art, creating something peculiar and unique. Your career is a great case study within this frame.


I don’t consider myself to be revolutionary, but in a certain way you’re right since I have a very instinctive approach to my choreographies. Dance is the best media for me to express something. I also noticed that I have certain particularities due to my lack of academism, so I take advantage of all the differences I have when compared to other choreographers. Obviously I was interested in the dance academism, but I also wanted to develop my very own distinctive features. I consider myself to be a very curious person and my work is a reflection of this curiosity that’s why all of my productions are so different, you’ve seen Salut and Micro is a totally different experience. Micro is not a concert, it’s neither a theatre piece nor a dance performance it’s the fucked up intersection of the three, it’s a body movement study with an insane physical involvement between the performers and their musical instruments. I actually love intersections. Going back to your Salut show, I remember a strong presence of technology, and technology isn’t something I would typically associate with dance. Are there any benefits technology can bring into dance? It’s not the first time I mix technology and dance. I actually did it before in my aforementioned piece Erection, which is about a man laying on the floor and trying to get up, that’s why, it’s called Erection. It had a very strong technological component and strong references to the human kind as a whole, the man tries gradually to get up and once on his feet he will attempt many different things, like flying for example, but he fails. Afterwards his body transforms itself into something electronic, precisely as a reflection about the future of the human body and about its condition. It’s more and more evident that the technology will start to integrate the human body and consequently the dance. In Micro there’s less high-technology presence, though it reflects on the evolution and the transformation of the biological body, the animal body, the reptilian body and finally the human body through musical more traditional technologies such as amplifiers, electro guitars, drums and synthesizers. I wanted to ask you about the fashion aspect of Salut, the costumes were incredible and more compelling than 98% of any other fashion shows out there. How did you develop the visual part of Salut? Who was behind the costumes and why did you decide to integrate the fashion aspect into dance? When I was invited to work with Opéra Garnier, they asked me who was the costume designer I would like to work with. I didn’t know what to tell them, because I didn’t know any costume designers, they proposed me many different options but I didn’t feel inspired. Fortunately I had the idea to work with someone I knew for a long time from the cinema industry and as I lately discovered he also happens to be the artistic director at Issey Miyake. He had seen my work before and loved it but I also knew that he never created costumes for theatre before, in any case I called him and after a discussion with him decided to team up for Salut. Adelaide Legras joined the team who worked in haute couture for a while and all together we started our reflection about the costumes for Salut. We kept on thinking about the costumes and at some point decided to create multifunctional pieces, from there on deconstructed the idea of classic ballet through garments, that’s why the show starts as a classic ballet and develops into something bizarre. Was your main goal by creating these multifunctional costumes to let the dancers deconstruct the concept of classic ballet through costumes and allow them to construct something new on stage? Exactly. The first few minutes you see a totally classic dance choreography, then you start to notice that the costumes are actually a bit oversized, the shoes are bizarre and you start to feel that something is not right. Then progressively there’s a glove or a wig that falls and every minute you start to notice more and more anomalies coming, transforming and deconstructing the concept of classic ballet to finally using all the resulting chaos to create something new, in a certain way exaggerated and unexpected. Your work feels very chaotic, but at the same time very


organized. How do you communicate with the dancers and implement your ideas on stage? You know, there are hours of research behind all of my creations. I like to work a lot with what I call “supervised improvisation.” During these mini-workshops, I organize for my dancers; there are always little choreographic and dramaturgic ideas that pop up, and in the end we create a big cosmos of ideas that we bring onto the stage. In any case, there’s always a lot of collective work at this phase. Afterwards, it becomes more personal, and I take care of filtering and cutting off all the unnecessary material to build a narrative. What can we expect from you in the near future? I’m currently preparing a new solo project called Mobile, which you can see on stage in November and also on a new experimental musical comedy that will probably premiere in June 2016.


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senses/

“All credibility, all good conscience, all evidence of truth comes only from the senses.� - Friedrich Nietzsche 159


An Illuminum World of my Own: A Shop with No Products in Sight By Jessica Cooper

Somewhere on Dover Street, around the corner from the highbrow Mayfair filled with shopaholics frantically shopping the luxe fashion houses of Burberry, Prada, and Dolce&Gabbana, there lies a fairy tale grotto filled with tranquillity and effortless calm. Upon entering, I feel that all time has stood still. Suddenly, I am not filled with my shopper’s impulse. 160


Here I am. I have stumbled into Illuminum’s perfumery boutique in London, except it’s unlike any other boutique in Mayfair. More than a store, Illuminum is a sanctuary. Before I can even enter, I must remove my shoes and slip on a pair of soft, white slippers. The grey carpet beneath my feet is thick and lush, but the walls are what take my breath away. The whole room has been coated with a grey, volcanic ash imported from the slopes of Mount Vesuvius in Naples. Angrily trowelled on the wall, it is almost primate-like in its essence, yet it’s unusually soothing. This space is pure luxury, encasing and enveloping me in a womb-like sense of privacy – a far cry from the madness mere steps away, outside on the street. Briefly disrupting my semi-hypnotic state, a soft-spoken sales assistant asks me whether I would like to have some green tea and offers a delicate ball of matcha teacake. And then it was back again to my purpose. What was I here for? Perfume. Except, there’s one thing missing: the perfume. Where are the elegant bottles that often sway my opinion of the perfume I want to buy, regardless of its scent? Where are the counters and pushy sales assistants? Instead, suspended by only a thread, are 37 irregularly shaped glass “bubbles,” each enclosing an unnamed, evocative Illuminum scent just waiting to be uncorked and discovered. All I’m tasked with now is to explore this playground of perfumes. I find myself uncorking every bubble from its place to find one that calls to me. After all, the Illuminum boutique encourages you to select a fragrance that beckons your pure instincts and subconscious, like a perfumed siren.

Illuminum’s fragrances awaken the hedonist within to incite feelings and memories associated with particular scents. While wandering around, I find myself saying: “This smells of something familiar. From my childhood, but I don’t quite remember.” I am immediately struck by how amazing it is that a scent can trigger certain forgotten thoughts from the subconscious, as memories I have forgotten are suddenly remembered. In this room with no colour, these haute couture scents explode with colour and life, making the room alive. Illuminum has created a multi-sensory space where people can purchase fragrances while shattering our preconceived expectations of the “buying experience.” The creator of this romantic grotto of fragrance is Sicilian architect Antonio Cardillo, who received global recognition for his love of sensual forms and use of natural materials. Cardillo is the second artist invited by Illuminum to transform their boutique, as part of their ongoing collaboration with artists and architects. Throughout the year, Illuminum’s boutique will be reincarnated through the eye of their next chosen collaborator (as they say, nothing good lasts forever) as Illuminum continues with their quest for challenging the boundaries of scent and perfumery through a spectrum of olfactory-based relavations. “Colour as a Narrative” is the second of Illuminum creative collaborations at Illuminum London Gallery on Dover Street. October will see the next project in the Illuminum series.


Moscow: The New East By Anna Barr Photography by Andrei Zozulya-Davidov

Blum Cafe

A new Cold War Cool has been rising in recent years starting with Berlin and now photographers, designers, and filmmakers are looking as far as Moscow for inspiration as post-Soviet kids have been defining their creative struggle to express themselves among faceless tower blocks. There is no denying the rise of interest also has political undertones. We go further into the Eastern Bloc as Moscow suddenly becomes in style from the tower block suburbs sprouting a new wave of musicians and rebellious designers to luxury in a culture where consumerism didn’t exist two decades ago. It rivals New York and London in size and starting in fall, Muscovites return from the countryside bringing the city alive in the darker months with their creative hotspots tucked away between brutalist buildings. This is a city that doesn’t look at the past, but the present where pristine roads intersect with dirty imperfections.


Stay at/ Cheap and creative are new words to hit the capital where hostels are usually stark reminders of Soviet Modernism. Fabrika Hostel is found in the artsy culture of Red October where the converted factory now plays home to art spaces, creative work hubs and dining with an anti-establishment vibe. Across from Red Square & The Kremlin sits the city’s first art concept hostel Artel Artistic Hostel. While Artel is found on the third floor, the building is a great art escape with the bohemian art club Masterskaya found on the second floor. Editor’s Pick: For a glitzy antidote to the city, book yourself into five star Lotte Hotel the first hotel in Russia to win the Gran Prix for the Best Hotel in Europe from the prestigious Prix Villegiature award.

Eat at/

Ugolek evokes a romantic Russia from the candle lit ambience, mismatched furniture to the fireplaces providing a place for the bourgeoning bohemia. Ugolek is all about homemade comfort food cooked on an open charcoal oven in a relaxed atmosphere. Blum Cafe with their faded textured elegant walls feels right at home tucked away in in the yard of Condé Nast publishing house with a fresh international menu.

MSK Eastside Gallery

Editor’s Pick: With unforgettable views overlooking the Kremlin, Quadrum at the Four Seasons is a modern replica of Hotel Moskva, serving up authentic Italian dishes in the most unexpected setting.

Drink at/ Moscow Mules and White Russky are in order at

after a stroll through Red Square at seductive Moskovsky Bar using authentic Russian ingredients. Denis Simachev is popular spot for fashion freaks, set in a boutique that becomes a club after 10pm, Soviet kitsch mingles with the eclectic interiors. Chainaya Tea & Cocktails is a low-lit secret place that you can only enter if you know someone there or can find it located in a former teahouse in Chinatown, it is the brainchild of mixologist Roman Milostivy.

Party at/ The city is full of high-end glamourous locales behind the red ropes, but with the growing electronic music scene turning a new page in the dark hours, it would be worth making some new Russian friends to show you where kids party without breaking the bank as you fall into the late night after hours. ARMA17 (Manufactura), is an institution for techno fans in a converted warehouse with a Berlin-like feel check out the lineup on RA for an international and local roster. The trend for former industrial states extends to the more intimate Pravda housed in a constructivism Monument. House fans can make their way over to Krysha Mira.

Moskovsky Bar

Shop at/ KM20 will break any stereotypes you had about style coming out of the city along with brands from abroad you can find a wave of Russian talents. Other concept shops to explore include Project 3.14 centered on dark fashion, LeForm was the first store of its kind to open in Russia carrying a curated selection unique pieces from womenswear to homeware with a strong following, SV Moscow is the most secret shop in Moscow with a selection avant-garde creations from Yohji Yamamoto, Rick Owens and Ann Demeulemeester. Designers to Watch: A.W.A.K.E., Forget Me Not, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Holodno, Standard Deviation, Tigran Avetisyan, and Walk of Shame.

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Art Spaces/ The opening of the revamped Garage Musuem of Conteporary Art designed by Rem Koolhaas’ OMA was the most anticipated opening of the year setting a new bar for art in the capital that sees young creatives offering alternative insights. Further reflections on the current developments in Russian culture can be found at the Strelka Institue, galleries scattered at Red October, Former Factories Flacon, Vinzard, Artplay Design Center and a visit to the MSK Eastside Gallery is the perfect place to discover artists making up the underground and urban art scene. Artists to Watch: Anton Vidokle, Arseny Zhilyaev, Denis Korobov, Natalie Maximova, Petr Davydtchenko, Sonya Kydeeva and Vadim Zakharov

Hidden Treasure/ Look through the periscope of Soviet children dreams at the Museum of Soviet Arcade Games. Join in on the fun as the cold world games from the 70s and 80s are still playable on the restored machines with a few 15 kopeek coins you can get buy in addition to the museum ticket. Get ready to brush up on your shooting accuracy. Tips/

Make sure to request an Invitation Letter when booking a hotel in order to secure a tourist visa before travelling and don’t forget to take the metro at least once!

Addresses/ ARMA17 Lower Susalny 5 Building 3A Moscow, 105064 Denis Simachev Per. Stoleshnikov 12/2 Moscow, 105187 Fabrika Hostel 5, Bersenevsky pereulok Krasny Oktyabr Moscow, 119072 KM20 Concept Shop Kuznetskiy Most, 20 Moscow, 107031 MSK EASTSIDE GALLERY CCI Proekt Fabrika Perevedenovsky Preulok 18 Moscow, 105082 Museum of Soviet Arcade Games Baumanskaya St., 11 Moscow 105005 Quadrum at the Four Seasons ul. Okhotnyy Ryad, 2 Moscow, 109012 Strelka Insitute Bersenevskaya nab, 14, стр.5 Moscow, 119072 SV Moscow Malaya Molchanovka, 6 Moscow, 121069

KM20 Concept Shop


Listen to/ The following selection is hand picked by Andrei Zozulya-Davidov for your Russia bound playlist:

Sonic Death - Named after the homonymous Sonic Youth 1986 live album, the St.Petersburg based garage rockers perfectly learned the lessons of the NYC legends and their older cult compatriots GrOb (coffin) to tell the stories of the modern Russian youth in their own way. Join the indie satan party from the noughties. sonicdeathwhatever.bandcamp.com Recommended Tracks: “Ulitsy” // “Sosaad” // “Сейчас” (Son of a Bitch). Mujuice - Roman Litvinov is the name of the multidisciplinary artist and composer behind the project Mujuice. Being one of the pioneers of the contemporary Russian electronic scene Mujuice is undoubtedly the best place to start your journey into the exciting Russian beats world. soundcloud.com/mujuice Recommended Tracks: “Swan Path” // “Ghost Friend” // Geist // “Юность” (Youth). Buttechno - As the name might suggest Buttechno is a Butt Techno producer based in Moscow and his music has the power to transport your mind into the darkest corners of Berghain. He also signed a killer set at Boiler Room Moscow back in May and scored the music of two latest Gosha Rubchinskiy shows. soundcloud.com/buttechno Recommended Tracks: “Fag Tapes” // “Boiler Room Set” // “Yalta Untitled Heroin E.” The Retuses - These kids exploded the Russian indie scene about three years ago after their live reprise of “Shagane, You Are My, Shagane!’’, a poem by Sergei Yesenin. Unfortunately the band ended last year after their composer and singer Mikhail Rodionov decided to pursue a solo career. Still their excellent LPs Waltz Baltika! (2011) and Astra (2013) are a must listen for any folk music lover. soundcloud.com/the-retuses Recommended Tracks: “Harmonica” // “Tilsit” // “Письмо к Женщине” (Letter to a Woman) // “Сet Amour” ХVЕБ: It’s very unfair to suggest an artist from Russian rap scene, because it’s hard to appreciate this genre in full if you don’t speak the language. But oh well, let’s forget for a second about the language barrier first of all because I enjoyed listening to the Onyx and Public Enemy back in the 90’s without understanding a shit of what they said and second of all because the Eclectic team had crazy fun listening to the nonsense trap of these dudes during their first trip to Russia. Enjoy this with two or three friends and a bottle of Stoli or Jaegermeister. soundcloud.com/xveb Recommended Tracks: “Чай, Сахар” (Tea, Sugar) // “Рэп Цепи” (Rap, Chains) // “Камерун” (Cameroon)

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Lobby at Lotte Hotel, Moscow

Refined Luxury at Lotte in Moscow By Anna Barr Photography by Andrei Zozulya-Davidov

Relive Moscow’s golden days at the city’s Lotte Hotel, where guests are welcomed into an era of luxury with a modern flair from the moment they enter the five-star hotel’s grand marble lobby. The Lotte Hotel has built a reputation by setting a luxury standard, in the city of billionaires.

Inside, behind all of the opulence, the large but intimate rooms overlook the Moscow skyline, made up of Soviet skyscrapers among modern new towers are an architectural reminder of New Russia.The attention to details and their visitors is the hidden luxury that makes every experience feel closer to home, even while in one of the largest cities in the world. Luxury today is all about comfort, which Lotte has refined. Their suites have become famous for each room’s luxurious charm, ranging from the Bang & Olufsen audio system in the Presidential Suite to the freestanding bathtub in my personal favourite, the gorgeous Charlotte Suite, or the ever-so-romantic Atrium Suite with its private terrace overlooking the hotel’s winter garden. But the suite that has all of Moscow and the international jet-set crowd talking is the Royal Suite, which has welcomed heads of states and a list of celebrities. Behind its doors, fortunate guests will find the largest suite in Moscow, with an area of 490m2 situated behind bulletproof windows with an unforgettable view of Moscow. Unlike the others, a winter garden, private library, and a grand piano are all part of this miniature palace’s elegant furnishings. Tucked away in true Muscovite style, an escape to the hotel’s Balineseinspired sauna during the winter months might find itself a nice reprieve after a stroll on the nearby Old Arbat pedestrian street. Wherever you’re coming from, or going to, Lotte will welcome you with the comforts of modern luxury. A home away from home for even the most cynical of travelers. Lotte Hotel 8 bld.2, Novinskiy Blvd., Moscow 121099, Russia +7-495-745-1000 lottehotel.com


CQUENCE al production v isu

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„When I think about C‘quence one For the last 10 years we built up our thing comes to my mind: it is a way of brand and had the chance to collaborate with a lot of great creatives commercials, and moving images. It and artists from all over the world. is a lived passion that enriches every We transport this passion to all our day of two women‘s lives. Me and clients, to every big and tiny project.“ my co-founder, Alexandra Braschel. Founder, Stephanie Meisl

I. ONLINE VIDEOS

II. TV COMMERCIALS III. FASHION & ART MOVIES

IV. BEHIND THE SCENES V. MUSIC VIDEOS VI. ANIMATION

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L’Escargot Restaurant in London

A Nostalgic Return at L’Escargot By Anna Barr

Eating is the ultimate sensorial experience, filled with emotion and memory as food is axiomatic to human existence. London has spent the past decade reinventing itself as a foodie capital with über-choices.

The trend for fusion food now looks tired and elitist art-gastronomy tiring. Food is the most accessible form of design, with more people taking interest in the importance of presentation and concepts, but there is a return to the classics and most notably the bourgeois approach to the brasserie with menus evoking nostalgic qualities to making up today’s freshest dining experiences. Set in an 18th century Georgian Soho Townhouse, L’Escargot has been part of London’s dining history since 1927, but it was only last year when Brian Clivaz (founder of The Arts Club) and Laurence Isaacson (founder of Chez Gerard) took over that a new generation, the Eurostar Generation, discovered their bistro favourites on par with those from the City of Lights. Authenticity in an exclusive ambiance is a new luxury for the future foodies. With a menu that boasts Coq au vin, Duck Confit, Châteaubriand and unsurprisingly escargots; L’Escargot is once again becoming Soho’s creative community’s new home. Downstairs is intimate with subdued lighting from the fireplace and eccentric furnishings that work itself with the original artwork on the walls, but the Club Privé upstairs is the lively place to rub shoulders and have a cocktail among the burgeoning media scene taking root in Soho. For an elegant affair, book the newly refurbished green dining room. Editor’s Suggestions: Steak Tartre for starters, followed by the Châteaubriand shared by two along with Dauphinoise, Cheese from Maître Androuet, and finished with a Crème Brûlée. With over 200 wines to choose from, ask the staff for their suggestions, but the Petit Chablis is excellent with snails! L’Escargot 48 Greek Street, London,W1D 4EF


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eclectic

ISSUE FOUR FW15

Eclectic Issue Four FW15  

For Fall, we follow Jacques Derrida’s vision of (de)construction, as we examine the “Fuck the System” mentality echoing across creative indu...

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