November 2014 ISSUE 7
An independent magazine aimed at bringing the works of the young and talented to the whole world. Believing in ideas, thoughts and concepts, Garde Magazine follows the principle of simplicity and honesty.
Founders Cleo Tse
Copy Editor Marie-JosĂŠe Kelly
Creators Frances Segismundo
Contributors Sage Basilio
Special thanks Amanda Dafniotis Carlo Volpi Karl Ă–stgĂĽrd
Editorial After the milestone of 6 issues comes issue seven. Despite juggling with full-time jobs, we are striving to maintain the standards of this magazine. Although it hasn’t been easy, we sincerely hope you’ll be happy with what we’ve done!
receiving help from all creators and contributors since we’ve had a very tight schedule this month. Each and every one of them has been putting up with us and communicating via email day and night. So thank you very much everyone! And a special thanks to Miss Amanda Dafniotis who helped us with her writing, even though she is travelling.
We are happy to tell you all that we have something new. Wooo! Other than industrial design and ceramics and sculpture design, we are bringing you animation, tattoo design and performance design and practice.
Please enjoy this issue and we hope it will not disappoint you. If you have any comments/ suggestions/criticism, please let us know because it would be very nice to hear how to improve.
This animation is not your typical first thought – it’s something better. Ever been exploring an underwater world through interactive animation? Simply download the coolest app from Google Play or your App Store and explore it.
Finally, if you also feel like supporting our creators, please let them know by leaving comments on their articles on our website. It is something very encouraging and helpful for everyone. It doesn’t take long either!
Tattoo design in this issue combines delicate and detailed lines, curves and illustrations on human bodies, while performance design and practice brings you to a new and exciting on-stage world.
Cleo & Natasha
Cool or what?
We feel very happy and privileged to be
CONTENT Harumi Foster // Sculpture
I create because it is part of me
Stephanie Johnstone // Animation A world underwater
Vikram Vishwanath // Industrial Design
User experience, practicality and rationality
Marjorie Artieres // Industrial Design A new way to cook
Frances Segismundo // Illustration, Tattoo Design A one-woman production
Philippine Laureau // Performance Design and Practice Creative, addicted and passionate
What is it... Textiles
Creator Carlo Volpi from issue 3 of Garde Magazine comes back and explains further on his expertise...
Movie Review - The Raid FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! A review of The Raid: Redemption
Movie Review - West Understanding West Berlin A review of West
Harumi Foster - Sculpture
Harumi has chosen this photo as her portrait.
I create because it is part of me
Harumi Foster - Piano
Harumi Foster is one of the most modest creators that you could ever meet. She does not brag about her projects and does not bother going into too much detail. She even took time to carefully consider if she wanted to give us her project statement, because she believes that her work is open for interpretation. “I used to use human figures quite often but I realised that viewers try to identify who
the person is. I wanted to avoid that situation,” said Harumi. While her previous projects made use of human figures, her latest project Hunt Horn used fox, sheep and deer to portray different issues. “Actually I am not particularly into animals. In fact, I’ve never ever had a proper pet in my life. Those animals I used in my work aren’t familiar to me at all.”
How did Harumi develop such a still status of creativity? She was born in one of the six oldest pottery centres in Japan, which has produced ceramics for over seven centuries. Harumi’s family ran a ceramic production business and she learnt about ceramics as part of everyday life from a very young age.
“I just make what I feel
Harumi Foster - Television
comfortable with or what I’m interested in. Comparing to my family background, my knowledge and experiences affect me more in my creation.” In spite of her family business, Harumi did not begin developing her creativity in ceramics and sculpture. She studied painting for a long time then shifted her focus to three-dimensional work, which she was quite fascinated with. But in the end, Harumi chose ceramics. Well, to be more
precise she chose sculptures. “Do I belong to ceramics? Ceramics is one of my many parts. Ceramics is just one of many materials to create sculptures. Only the difference is that I know more about ceramics than any other materials,” said Harumi. Harumi emphasises that she considers not only subject matter but also aesthetics and quality. She said she wished to be a conductor, who could use a range of methods and materials, rather than being the
Harumi Foster - Hunting Horn - Deer Mask The sheep and deer masks are our faces in social life. This contrast between sheep and deer project social divisions such as class, race, faith, and politics. The masks look as if they were worn for a protection from the reality of life. The patterns of masks come from the idea of tattoos. The word ‘tattoo’ originated ‘tatau’ in Tahiti and their facial tattoo was for their identity, status, & puberty. Having a tattoo has different meanings in different cultures, although it has been used to identify individuality in many countries in history. Because both words ‘sheep’ and ‘deer’ do not have a plural form, this indicates a disregard for individuality. Therefore the pattern on the mask displays a human desire to stand out. The masks are accompanied by pairs of glass horns and antlers. They are emblematic of power.
Harumi Foster - Hunting Horn - Sheep Mask
Harumi Foster - Dispenser
player of a single instrument. “I have been taught art both traditionally, which required acquiring many different artistic skills and a wide range of artistic knowledge, and intellectually, which does not put so much importance on visual aesthetics and material quality of the piece.
Therefore, I have been very interested in combining those conventional and unconventional approaches.” Currently, Harumi is not working on any project. “I worked very heavily, 7 days a week on my last project until summer. So it is thinking time now,” she said.
Harumi Foster - Hunting Horn - Fox The oversize hunting horn with gold decoration mirrors human ego and ostentation. Fox hunting, which is also referred to as a blood sport is a British tradition of the wealthy class and has been banned because of its brutality. It has also caused political issues. The elegance of the horns sets off the cruel reality and fact. There are many fox tales both in the West and the East. In Japanese folktales the fox is seen as an intelligent animal, which has magical abilities and uses a disguise of a human to trick others. Especially the old foxes, which have lived for hundreds of years, have nine tails. In the UK, ‘nine tails’ often refers to ‘cat o’nine tails’, which is a whip with nine knotted lashes for punishment used in the Royal Navy and Army. The fox could be the one who wears the mask, or it could be the one to be hunted, or could be the one who gives other a punishment. Or could be the witness.
Stephanie Johnstone - Animation
By Karl Östgård
A world underwater
Since the ancient times, the sea has always fascinated people. As very few dared to embark on journeys across the oceans, many myths flourished. We’ve heard that the sea was rife with sirens and mermaids, sea monsters and krakens, even entire sunken civilisations. We couldn’t find them, but we were pretty sure they were down there. This magic died with the invention of the deep-sea diving suit. Suddenly, the sea became mundane – the most exciting thing to find was weird fishes and a few shipwrecks. Stephanie Johnstone’s animation school graduation projects, “A Tale of Aquatic Affairs” and “The Encyclopedia of Aquatic Affairs” place themselves cheekily into this story by asking the question: “what if people lived down there?”
Stephanie Johnstone - The Encyclopedia of Aquatic Affairs
The answer to this question is an underwater, counter-factual universe of clunky yet ingenious solutions to “The Necessary Affairs of Preservation, Employment and Leisure” ranging from sea current-powered grooming brushes for your diving helmet to underwater umbrellas for deflecting incoming schools of fish. This universe is presented in two ways: “A Tale of Aquatic Affairs” is a traditional short film, and “The Encyclopedia of Aquatic Affairs” is a smooth, pleasant app available for your smartphone. A Victorian-age underwater community is certainly a rather unique idea. But Stephanie Johnstone likes these kinds of scenarios. “I find it interesting how capable humans are at adapting to chaos. Setting up an illogical landscape allows me to illustrate this perfectly and creates an ideal canvas to develop my stories,” she said. “The idea [for the Aquatic Affairs universe] was inspired by an image of a ‘Klingert Suit’ - one of the earliest diving suits made
‘The Encyclopedia of Aquatic Affairs ’ mobile app is an animated compendium of aquatic inventions from a time when a fictional colony of humans were discovered to be living beneath water.
of heavy metal and a long breathing tube leading to the surface of the water. I found it so striking because it was so comical yet so inventive and practical at the same time. “I suddenly thought it would be fascinating if a whole group actually lived in those
suits all the time. After I started building up the environment of the world I developed a loose narrative. My intention with this project was more to amuse than to dictate, but I wanted to present a narrative that makes people think about the shelter of our communities and how this influences our fear of
The app was created in conjunction with the graduation film ‘A Tale of Aquatic Affairs’ for audiences to gain a multi-platform experience of the film-world.
‘difference.’” Coming from a background in fine arts, Stephanie naturally segued into animation. From creating narratives using a series of drawings, she progressed to basic charcoal stop-motion setups, to finally making use of professional animation
equipment at Central Saint Martins in London. After getting the chance to direct and animate the short film “Foxy” for Channel 4 Random Acts, she knew she was hooked. She decided to apply for the Royal College of Arts animation program, where her fellow
Stephanie Johnstone - A Tale of Aquatic Affairs â€˜A Tale of Aquatic Affairsâ€™ is a short film with complimentary mobile app set in the early 19th Century at a time when colonies of humans lived underwater. It is never established how they evolved to live like this but is clear that they have done so for many many years.. In a mysterious turn of events, small children have begun to vanish from an underwater community - fished out of the water by their breathing tubes. The story takes shape as the colony pulls together to challenge their unwelcome guest from the land above.
animators, as well as other creative minds at school inspired her. “When I look at the animations created by people I know, I can always see a bit of them in their characters. I’ve been told I react like the characters in some of my animations. I’m not sure how that’s possible, but I do think it’s impossible not to put yourself in there when you spend so much time with the characters you animate,” she said. Stephanie’s fascination for history, myths and quirkiness goes all the way back to her childhood school days, where she would be more captivated by the stories in History class than those of English Literature – explaining the pseudo-historical theme in “Aquatic Affairs.” But why make an app? “When I came up with the idea for the film ‘A Tale of Aquatic Affairs’ I began having to construct a whole world underwater, thinking of rational ways a human colony could adapt to the impracticalities of an aquatic life,” she said.
“I began thinking up all sorts of crazy gadgets they might use, taking inspiration from 19th century drawings and machine diagrams. Eventually I had enough ideas to compile a small ‘Encyclopedia.’ Building an app was a perfect way to make an animated ‘book’ of sorts - an almost tangible digital object that could be carried around and dipped in and out of, like you would do with a physical book. “As ‘The Encyclopedia of Aquatic Affairs’ was the first app I’d developed, there was a learning curve. Constraining my designs to a different proportion was the first thing I had to get used to. Not everything that looks good on a 16:9 screen will look good on a small phone or tablet,” she added. Stephanie wants to continue exploring non-linear interactive storytelling and new technologies. Her goal is to “entertain people with my imagination and build new worlds for audiences to explore,” she said. Her upcoming projects include an interactive animation project for children and a prototype of a location-based game.
Vikram Vishwanath - Industrial Design
Vikram Vishwanath - Percolation Range Coffee is amongst the most commonly consumed beverages worldwide. It generates a natural high that many require on daily basis. People drink coffee to gain focus, energy and stamina to stay competitive in their hectic lives and crave it almost like a drug. However studies have shown that simply inhaling the scent of coffee and induce these feelings and physiological responses without actually consuming it. It provides all the desired effects without inducing feelings of indigestion or nausea. Using recycled coffee grounds, sourced from global coffee house franchises and bio-resin I have proposed that this eco-friendly and physiologically stimulating material as the core foundation of this project.
Inspired by a “design technology” course in school, Vikram Vishwanath saw a connection between the real world and design. He decided to study the subject in order to find better ways to process data and information and to make them visually accessible. Contrary to most of our featured creators, who usually hold a bachelor and a master degree in different subjects, Vikram has both his BA and MA in Industrial Design. According to him, while his BA allows for more trial and error, his master’s degree encourages critical and independent thinking. When we asked him which country he liked best, Vikram answered, “the three cities that have had the biggest influence on my life in terms of
cultural, professional and international exposure are Singapore, New York and London. These cities have shown me the most cultures within one dense environment mixing and surviving together in one of the most competitive environments where wealth and luxury are all within arm’s length and are only accessible to the individuals that are truly hungry” “Professionalism and skill are high in these areas and in order to achieve anything, you have to always strive for the best in every scenario. Living in those locations have been an invaluable experience and factors in shaping me as a designer and person,” he added. His design, Percolation Range uses one of the most popular drinks in the world –
coffee ground, to make furniture. Without actually consuming the beverage, users can have their energy levels raised by simply smelling the furniture. “While I was working on my coffee furniture project, I drank nearly 8 cups a day. Of course this isn’t a good thing and I wouldn’t advise it to anyone, however it was necessary to fully immerse myself in the addiction that many people have,” he said. “Coffee in itself has no effect on me, however it’s the rituals and processes involved in making a cup of coffee that are significant. I won’t say that caffeine has no effect on the body, because it does, but I will say that it’s healthier and more effective to smell it and simulate the drinking action with another hot beverage to avoid the nega-
Stimulating User Experience I therefore looked at coffee as an element of the user experience factor, using olfactory senses to enhance and differentiate the userâ€™s interaction with the object and brand touch points. Exemplifying these values through bespoke luxury furniture made from the high quality recycled coffee grounds, the objects inspire and instigate a positive experience during usage and creates a unique brand identity through smell, physical characteristics and versatile manufacturing capabilities, making this an excellent material for an alternate to plastics or other non-renewable resources saturating the market today.
tive come down effects.” While smellable furniture, especially if it smells of high-end coffee ground, sounds amazing, Garde Magazine dared to ask Vikram a potentially scary question: what if the furniture loses its scent after a while? “No offense taken, I’m glad people ask this question because it is completely relevant to this project. Yes, the smell does fade, but over the one and a half years I have been doing this project, even my earliest test samples still hold a fairly strong scent of the coffee used,” he said. “In any case, this furniture once matured will aim to hold a luxurious feel but be more accessible to the user. This means that they are intended to change after a medium term of usage. Don’t get the concept wrong, as it is in no way going to be
Ikea-esque in the way they are disposal furniture, but rather much more like the way one updates the fabric on their sofa.” Combining the three elements he emphasised on: user experience, practicality and rationality, Vikram concluded with his design signature. “My signature I would say is emotion and possibilities through the manifestation of desire through bold and user-centred ideals. I want my designs to appeal to the child in the user, the innocence and playful nature of their inner being. Whether it is mechanical or electronic or just a service orientated design, simplicity is the focus. If your idea can be described effectively within three phrases, it is a good idea. Without desire or curiosity there is no design or at least no design that is worth showing.”
Customization is Key Making a piece of furniture unique to the user is essential in ensuring its success. Each chair is made from the coffee that is specifically chosen by the user. This creates a mood and highly positive interaction between the user and object that is an interesting talking point when describing the home. This along with the near infinite options of colour and toning available for use on this coffee material make it a truly stimulating experience.
Marjorie Artieres - Industrial Design
By Karl Ă–stgĂĽrd
A new way to cook
It’s 2024. 3D printers have found their way into the kitchen and everyday meals. They are uniformly shaped and coloured and effortlessly created. Though we now enjoy new types of food with ease, the pleasure and rituals of cooking is gone. Enter Marjorie Artieres’ “Note by Note” project. Combining her background in industrial and product design and her passion for food and cooking, “Note by Note” is a creative concept for enjoying the journey of cooking in the technocratic near-future. Using retro-futuristic tools of metal, glass and copper, “Note by Note” envisions a new
way to cook. By combining the basic building blocks of food – shape, colour, texture, smell and taste – the chef of the future can build brand new meals from scratch with total control, without losing the opportunity to “get his hands dirty”. Cooking becomes a laboratory experiment, but one mixed with passion and improvisation and “recapturing the heritage of analogue cooking,” as described by Marjorie herself. Marjorie started studying design after a post-high school foundation year at an art school, with an admittedly vague idea that she “could improve so many things and save the world.” Go-
Marjorie Artieres - Note by Note â€œFusing the choreography of cooking with future digital processesâ€? It is 2024 and each domestic kitchen has a 3D printer for everyday meals. Food is uniformly shaped, coloured, and processed. Although 3D printing has provided new opportunities for preparing food at home, it has removed the pleasures and rituals of cooking. The project explores the advantages these emerging technologies could bring to the culinary world, focussing primarily on the composition of food from its individual compounds. Note by Note is unique, offering a new laboratory for creation for those passionate individuals who seek a theatre for cooking. It recaptures the heritage of true cooking by combining the physicality of the analogue with the precision of the digital. It invites technologists to rethink the potential of cooking by passion. There are no recipes to use with Note by Note. Cooks experiment with food compounds to innovate and find a whole new repertoire of flavours, textures and colours.
ing with the flow since then, she has never regretted it. With a bachelor in product design and a master’s degree in industrial design, she has the capacity to shoot and aim high. “Product design brought me a pragmatic approach in brand projects but also sensitivity to materials, processes and aesthetics,” she said. “[It] was much more art based than technical. This gave me a good creative input. I guess industrial design tackles bigger lines than product design but I don’t like the word, it makes it sound like my job is to make components for planes. Industrial design is more multi-disciplinary, not necessarily applied to objects but consumer goods in general.” Coming from a family of French chefs, Marjorie’s interest in food came naturally. She is fond of many things: “travelling, sketchbooks, random drawing, inks... playing several musical instruments and breaking the ears of anyone who wants to listen to me,” she jokes. But above all, it’s cooking. As a matter of fact, five out of eleven featured projects on her webpage have some connection to food or cooking. “It all began as a child, after I asked my mother if I could bake a cake. I realised that instead of waiting for the cake to come to me, this way [cooking] worked much better.” Marjorie appreciates the daily practice of old-fashioned cooking, the rituals, traditions and the community aspect, but her view on the future of cooking is neither gloomy pessimism nor unbridled optimism.
“I think we may lose a big part of our heritage and traditions and I am also afraid we will lose in food quality in general. But we will gain in new experiences, new sensations, new foods, more innovations, new technologies, and different therapeutic and social values,” she said. “Those who enjoy cooking will cook and those who don’t will just eat - all happy gluttons,” she said. “More seriously, I expect high-end cuisine to become more and more elaborate, with improved tools and new technologies. I am also afraid people will cook less and less, so it will become something very niche. Maybe this will be the opportunity then to valorise it and focus on quality. I also can imagine a big development in the ‘experience’ side of cooking.” She is also realistic about the role of technology. She said it’s a tool for the chef to work with, which can make things easier and provide new possibilities.
“If technology is here, there is no reason not to use it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with living with the times, on the contrary. In the bigger scale, however, technology enables the food industry to go further and further in the steps of meal preparation, which has already taken away any cooking necessity for today. So technology is also guilty in diminishing the cooking scene,” she added. Apart from freelance work and a possible job in a design studio, Marjorie wants to keep pushing “Note by Note” one way or the other. We’re guessing her interest in food is unlikely to disappear, so fingers crossed for many opportunities in that field! As for her long-term plans, Marjorie says she wants to “try as many éclairs au chocolat as I can” and let’s be honest…who can blame her? Long live good food!
Frances Segismundo - Illustration / Tattoo Design
production By Kristine Sage
“The beauty of art is the possibility of being multi-disciplinary. And me being the type of person who wants to do everything, I still have that goal in mind—I want to attempt to do everything.”
manipulates all the standards of art, as we know it.
‘Boring’ is not in Frances Segismundo’s dictionary.
Going by no rules, no books, and just the look, it’s definitely not a party without this lion-hearted individual.
Having been a citizen of the world since birth, her work is radioactive. Streetwise going in, streetwise going out, it is designers like her that ultimately cultivate the creative community, sparing thoughts for underdog talent that practically disregards all consumerism thinking.
Disregarding all f**ks about marketability, most— if not all—of this artist’s designs are raw, yet all kinds of phenomenal at best, and Frances is proud to give the credit for that to her “never-ending” journey in the field of art.
Incorporating a piece of everywhere she goes into her design aesthetic, Frances exhibits her works with a creatively rebellious nature that
“I’ve gone through all sorts of creative pathways—music, performing arts, fashion, many more… I still want to do everything
else. Having said that, I took up illustration as a current pathway because of the way I think, and the fact that I want to communicate to my audience.” “Primarily my work involves the audience experiencing my concept, and I like communicating ideas through intimate participation—I feel it communicates best.” “I also took illustration because unlike a fine artist, I’m someone who enjoys briefs, I’m not the best person to create a project and have it prolong for the rest
Frances Segismundo - Hallucination ‘Hallucination’ was a project I did during my first year in college. It was based on the experience of hallucination, attempting to trick the mind of the audience when looking into the mirror. The mirror was a concept that related to how horror films use the mirror as a tool to create suspense. The project was an experimentation into finding an easy method to create a different visual experience - using glass paint to screen print images of faces to almost look like as if they aren’t there, when in reality they are. The illustration of the faces came from an experiment I did with a scanner, I played around with staying still and moving along to create differences in effects. It came in two parts, the first was to illustrate the ‘normal’ side of a person, and the second was to create the ‘inner demon’ or the ‘insane’ side. Each image was placed onto the mirror depending on where the average person’s eye-level would stand, so that the image would then overlap onto the person’s face.
of my life. I often get bored easily, and occasionally go through a brain block, and having a brief, personally I find, keeps me constantly inspired and constantly making.” How does the way she work differ from that of most other artists? “To a certain extent, everybody does things differently, but it’s hard to distinguish myself from others. Typically, I like to think of the final outcome immediately and stick to it, but I’m trying to get myself to enjoy failing and to enjoy coming out of my comfort zone.” “These days I do feel a change where I push myself to create with things other than pen
Frances Segismundo - Ida Pfeiffer
Ida Pfeiffer was an Austrian traveller, writer, and ‘biologist’. She was one of the first women to travel around the world, and to get her books translated into seven languages. All her life, she focused on gathering specimens from different parts of the world, and created written accounts of her travels, and the creatures she’s seen and collected. Pfeiffer was a woman I was delegated to by my tutors, due to similar personalities and interests. I share the same fascinations as her with creatures and botany, and the idea of collecting and preserving. This was my focal point to the project, my concept was to focus on the very idea of examining an unknown ‘creature’ - but because Idea Pfeiffer is not a well-known figure, it was difficult to find any information aside from her books (which also were difficult to get a hold of) - which lend in favour because I then interpreted Pfeiffer as my own type of ‘specimen’. The jars illustrated her last world tour, where she travelled to Iceland, Jerusalem, and Madagascar - which she passed away due to contracting a disease. The elements within the jar, are plants (based off of actual plants from that particular place) that I’ve collaged together out of cells and molecules; creating the settings and surroundings to which Ida Pfeiffer may have perceived these places. Each jar comes with its own magnifying glass where the audience has a chance to take a closer look at the details of the drawings, almost as if they were examining Ida Pfeiffer herself.
and paper. It’s what makes me a better artist at the end of the day,” she said. “Where the development is constant and where there’s really no end to self-improvement is where [I find home]. It’s almost magical, I often reflect and wonder how the f**k I manage to get from point A to point B.” Her creativity is contagious, but what makes Frances special is how she embraces the reality of it all. “There is no right or wrong answer in art. Everything is subjective, and it’s impossible
to get every single being in the world to like you work. But at some point, somewhere, someone is bound to like what you do.” “With being an artist, it comes with the fluctuation. One day you’re on point, then the next you’re all over the place. And that’s the challenge. “I’m essentially always problem-solving and trying to figure out how to communicate to the masses through a visual language that can be universally understandable. But with the same breath, it’s what makes it so fun,” she said.
“When I worked with Goods of Desire, I had to create drawings off the bat—short deadlines, final pieces—and as much as I loved to experiment, I often had to go with my first instinct. It taught me to be assertive with my decisions and to work quickly. Eventually, it became routine, and then it got easier for me to produce several drawings by the end of the day.” What you find in the branches always started with the roots. And this applies profoundly to the personality in this artist’s work.
Frances Segismundo - Animated Tattoo
This project was a short project in which I had to create a short film on a topic of my choice.
For a while I’ve been thinking about ways to make tattoos ‘new’, and came up with the concept of the ‘Animated Tattoo’. Although the short I created isn’t entirely what I wanted, due to limited time, it allowed me to take the initial step towards what I had originally envisioned. The idea of the animated tattoo was to challenge myself into utilising the body to its full advantage, to create a tattoo that essentially moves. For this short experiment, I focused on the abstraction of the body in order for the audience to focus on the illustration itself and how the body could move it, depending on its placement. It was my way of attempting to create another animation technique, completely disregarding the use of complex editing software or effects. The project was a way for me to transform my concept into reality, which I could use in my future practice as (hopefully) a tattoo artist.
“My parents were definitely supportive with my stubborn, indecisive behaviour, and due to my extensive exposure I wanted to do everything from quite early on. From all that, I learned to become a one-woman production, where I have full control of every aspect of my projects.” “Many people may think art is ‘easy,’ ‘straightforward’ and ‘simple,’ but it’s really not. It’s tougher than I expected.” I asked her to choose one veteran artist in the world she would like have dinner with and discuss art with. And she said… “Salvador Dali. I’ve been an avid fan of his work ever since. The fact that he’s a surrealist says a lot about why I would want to go on a date with him. He fascinates me—the way he thinks, the way he perceives the world, and the way he creates art. He appears to be completely carefree about what others think of him and remains the odd self he is. To me, he’s completely nuts but that’s what makes him a genius! I just want to get inside his head and experience—as a little person—how his mind works! OK, Frances. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? “I honestly have no idea. Hopefully well and in one piece. We’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?”
Philippine Laureau - Performance Design and Practice
By Marie-Josee Kelly
Philippine Laureau - Spleen 2.0 Through emotions I wanted to talk about my personal vision of the flood nowadays: How human is very attracted by the beauty of the city and how the original human being is modified by it. How new technology is taking over the nature; How nature feeds our silence. Beaudelaire in his poetry used to talk about the Spleen, to describe the melancholy with no apparent cause, characterised by a dis- gust of everything. He used it to talk about boredom, nostalgia and depression. SHORT FILM COMMISSION: SPLEEN 2.0 This project was in collaboration with Sylvana Lautier
What do you come up with when you think of art? If you take a look at Philipinne Laureau’s work, you’ll be sure to find that it exemplifies the definition of art quite effortlessly. Her background in performance design and practice combined with her experience in graphic design and fine arts makes for truly fascinating stuff. When asked to describe herself in three words Philipinne said: creative, addicted and passionate She designs various types of shows, using a wide range of media including installations, costumes and immersive performances. Always looking for a new challenge and experimenting with new technologies is crucial to her. “What I love about set and costume design is the infinity of possibilities in the creation and in storytelling,” she said.
“I also love the idea of immersing people in a world that I created—to fulfill an expectation and surprise them as much as I can.” Philipinne finds inspiration in just about everything but a lot of it comes from watching documentaries on studios and artists. Some of her favourites include Pipi Lotirist, Pierrick Sorin and fashion designers Hussein Chalayan, Nancy Tilbury and Anouk Wipprecht. As for set design, she is influenced by Tim Walker and Robert Wilson, which is reflected in her own style. The polyvalent designer is always striving to “push her creativity out of the box.” Philippine spends a lot time in between Paris and London working on different collaborations. She recently teamed up with
Sylvana Lautier and designed the set and costumes for Spleen 2.0—a short film that explores themes such as isolation, time and nature all in the context of our fast paced lives in the 21st century. She is hoping to bring the thought-provoking film to festivals and galleries in the near future. “I know I can and love to work alone but I feel a collaborative project to be much more exciting and vibrant,” she said. “Working with people is a strength.” She is currently working on a few different projects. Philippine wouldn’t give too many details just yet but went as far as to say that she will be costume and set designing with “an amazing 3D and mapping designer.” This has left us wondering, who could that be?
Philippine Laureau - Beyond ‘Beyond’ explores the unity of dance and the unique- ness of each dancer. It challenges the dancers to go beyond their physical capabilities to embody the meaning of unity through dance. Furthermore, dancers strive to let their inner light shine through. ‘Beyond’ let see relationship between soul, dance, body and beat. That’s why I found interesting to start my re- search with the sea theme. It is a peaceful and freedom universe to express the ‘beyond’ meaning. More over I saw in this dance piece beauty and graceful which could suit very well in an aquatic world. The jellyfish sting symbolise that even the most vulnerable has the ability to shield and protect itself from out- side influences. The jellyfish is an electrifying totem. It offers a spark to energise and illuminate.
What is it...
Creator Carlo Volpi from issue 3 of Garde Magazine comes back and explains further on his expertise...
1. What does Textiles mean to you? I spent three years of my life wondering what is or isn’t textiles. I don’t think it can be defined. That’s what is so great about this discipline. In my opinion, textile design has to do with creating a surface. But then again, most design practices deal with that same thing: creating a surface. 2. What is the process of creating a piece of fabric in
textiles? It depends on the type of cloth that you need, but usually it’s weaving, knitting or felting. Most of the fabrics that we wear today are either knitted or woven. I think it is incredible that despite all our technological progress, we still rely on ancient methods of making fabrics. The machinery has evolved incredibly, but the methods have practically remained the same. 3. How does it become a piece
of garment? If you are weaving a cloth, the fabric is then cut and sewn together by a seamstress or a tailor. With knitted garments it’s slightly different: for hand knitting, you can practically make a whole garment with two needles. If you’re machine knitting, the garment is usually made in panels (front, back, sleeves and neck trim), which are then assembled using another piece of equipment called linker. The garment pieces can be “fully
fashioned,â€? this means that they are knitted to the right shape and there is no fabric waste. Alternatively, you can knit a length of fabric on a machine and then cut the pieces and sew them together. Having said that, there are some knitting machines that can produce entire garments and fully-fashioned fabrics that have the same qualities as woven ones. 4. Architecture constructs spaces and buildings. Fine arts makes abstract concepts come to life. What does textile make? Textile makes all of that. And much, much more! 5. Can you give us examples of materials that can be used to create make textiles? If we assume that making textiles means creating a surface, then the only limit is your imagination! 6. What is the most difficult thing in textile design? I think finding your own space within the realm of textiles. It is such a broad subject that you can get lost in it so easily if you donâ€™t know what you want to do: you could work in interiors, fashion, fine arts, archi-
tecture...those designers who have a more technical approach research and develop textiles for certain purposes, like the fabrics of astronautâ€™s suits for example. 7. Some patterns look very complicated. How do you do it so that the patterns on the clothes look exactly the same as those from the drafts? Again, it depends on the pattern and the method used for creating that particular pattern. In knit, usually Jacquard or Fair Isle patterns are not very difficult to machine knit, but some other textured patterns can be quite difficult and time consuming. 8. From your perspective, what do you think the future of textiles will be like? A lot of people talk a lot about wearable technology embedded within the fabrics of our garments...I think thatâ€™s a very sci-fi vision of the future, but itâ€™s not something that I find interesting or inspiring. I would like to see new developments in the creation of fabrics that go beyond knitting and weaving. It would be great if 3D printing could be pushed in this direction, to create beautiful and sustainable fabrics.
Movie poster of The Raid: Redemption (2011). Directed by Gareth Huw Evans. Produced by Merantau Films.
The Raid: Redemption by David Madsen
FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT
Movie Review After the beginning of the new millennium it would seem that the martial arts genre has mostly been dominated by extremely stylised, Matrix-like movies such as House of Flying Daggers, Hero and perhaps most prominently, Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, while the low budget martial arts movies like Fist of Fury, The Street Fighter and Enter the Dragon so dominating in the seventies and eighties have all but disappeared into the ether. It’s a shame really. While I immensely enjoy some of the more modern takes on the martial arts genre, in particular the excellent and completely ludicrous Hero, there was a brutal physicality and kinetic energy to those old classics that the modern wire-frame, CGI-fuelled action of the newer movies completely lack. In this sense the Indonesian, martial
arts movie The Raid: Redemption from 2012 is almost like reuniting with an old friend who has been gone for far too long. Like most of its predecessors, The Raid’s plot is almost criminally undercooked and perhaps best summed up in the poster’s tag-line” “1 CRIMELORD. 20 ELITE COPS. 30 FLOORS OF HELL.” It follows a day in the life of rookie cop, Rama, who together with 19 other police
Tama seen getting ready to execute an unknown character. The context and point of this scene? To show that Tama is a bad guy. Directed by Gareth Huw Evans. Produced by Merantau Films.
officers, are sent in to clean an apartment complex of the notorious crime lord, Tama and his gang of gun toting, machete-wielding henchmen.
With such a thin plot, the movie pretty much gets all of its story and character development out of the way in the first 20 minutes, After the bust goes horribly wrong, leaving where after it mostly revolves around Rama and a only five cops alive, he has to fight his way up to couple of other stragglers, hiding, getting spotted the aforementioned crime boss, capture him and by guards, punching and stabbing said guards in get the hell out of dodge. If that sounds familiar, the face, hiding again, confronting one of Tamas’ it’s because the movie basically has the exact same main henchman, kicking the living shit out of said plot as Dredd 3D, a movie that came out around henchman, hiding some more, and so on and so the same time as The Raid. forth. There’s a bit more to the story, mostly in the form of a couple of people switching sides during Both even feature a speech around 30 the raid, but their motivations are weak at best minutes in, in which the crime lord declares that and with no real characters to speak of, it’s hard to the cops are basically doomed and that everyreally care. one who helps gun them down will be rewarded greatly – thus creating the overarching conflict for Of course it’s not the story, but the action the rest of the movie. that should draw the audience to a movie like this and as a pure action flick, this is one of the most Although where Dredd 3D is more of adrenaline-pumped, exciting movies I’ve seen in a an homage to American action movies from the long time. That’s mostly due to the excellent direclate eighties – namely Die Hard and Robocop – tion from Gareth Huw Evans and the lead charthis is more in line with old school martial arts acter, Rama, played with a great, stoic presence by movies, in particular the 1974 cult-movie, The professional martial artist and first time actor, Iko Streetfighter, starring Sonny Chiba in its brutal Uwai. hand-to-hand combat scenes. In other words, the similarities between the two movies pretty much The 7-9 really big fights the movie throws start and end with their plot synopsis. That and at the audience are all perfectly choreographed, both movies are quite possibly some of the best with an emphasis on crowd control. The camera is examples of modern takes on action movie tropes held steady during fights which make the location in each of their respective subgenres. of each fighter easy to follow, yet the frantic edit-
ing keeps them from feeling stale.
feel somewhat… flat.
They also have a certain air of desperation in them that I really appreciated: While Rama is extremely capable singlehandedly taking down tens of bad guys during the movie, he is still vulnerable. He gets hurt, fatigued and often has to rely on others to make it through a fight. He is like the John McClane of martial arts except less charming and more… punchy. As an effect this makes the fights feel more real, more impactful and more exciting.
Even so, with the directing chops of Evans’ great stunt work from everyone involved, every punch feels visceral and every stab makes you cringe. But it’s the variation of fighting techniques that makes the movie entertaining all the way till the 96 minute mark.
If there’s one area in which these action sequences somewhat stumble, it’s in the frequent use of digital blood effects. While I can understand and respect that the already complicated stunt choreography would be even more troublesome to shoot with the added complication of practical blood effects - and that the movie no doubt works on a limited budget - it nonetheless took me out of the otherwise stellar fights. This is especially true in the gunfights, which makes the otherwise brutal executions the movie features
From cops sweeping in the apartment complex taking down criminals one by one, desperate shootouts in dark hallways and staircases, knife fights and hand-to-hand combat, no two fights feel alike and it helps the movie overcome its own drab, mediocre plot. Because once you’ve accepted that it’s basically just a vehicle to get the characters from one fight to the next, you realize that the story-element is completely obsolete. The Raid: Redemption may be low-brow, action entertainment, but its low-brow, action entertainment of the best kind: Brutal, to the point and absolutely unrelenting. Comes highly recommended.
The setup for one of the better fights in the movie, which is really saying something. The Raid: Redemption (2011). Directed by Gareth Huw Evans. Produced by Merantau Films.
West by Natasha Chan
Understanding West Berlin
West (2013). Directed by Christian Schwochow. Produced by Main Street Films.
When we think about the end of World War II and the building of the Berlin Wall that divided Germany, many of us are only aware of the basic facts: the East, which was the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was occupied by Soviet forces and the West was a free city that was occupied by American, British and French forces. Many of us will also believe that the East was a secret state that strictly controlled its citizens and obstructed basic human rights, whereas the West was a place of liberty and safety. But in the eyes of those that fled the East for the West, was the other side really a place of refuge? Was it that simple to be granted the freedom to start a new life?
The Goethe Institutâ€™s Kino 2014 opening night started off with an eye-opening bang. The insightful movie preview of the drama, West, directed by Christian Schwochow was an artistic and educational representation of the difficulties that refugees from the East to West faced. Through this movie, we come to terms with the reality that things were not as pleasant and easy going on the West side as people imagined.
West (2013). Directed by Christian Schwochow. Produced by Main Street Films.
I have to admit, some of the filming techniques used in the movie (although with good purpose) were personally a little uncomfortable to watch. Some scenes were shot to make it look as though the camera was being held by hand, similar to the movie Cloverfield. Whether this was actually the case or not, it is evident that the technique enables the audience to get a real feel of what the particular scene is about, as though they themselves are the ones filming it. The purpose of this technique was clever and definitely succeeded in immersing the audience into what was happening on screen, however it also made it a little difficult and dizzying to watch.
What I really enjoyed were the brilliant close-ups from the camera, such as of the face of the main character Nelly Senff, played by German Film Award for best actress, Jördis Triebel. This particular character was very interesting and complex and with close-up shots of her face, it was very easy to feel the emotions the actress portrayed. This technique lets you into the most personal of spaces and intimate secrets of characters. It’s even more personal than being there in real life. The setting of the movie was clear from the start. It opens with a snowy scene where Nelly and her
son, Alexej, are waiting outside their home. It is winter and they begin to throw snowballs at Alexj’s father before he leaves in a car and drives away. Much of the rest of the movie is shot during the winter time as you can see exhales of steam, shivering people, bleak and damp roads, extra large smoke puffs and all sorts of imagery that cause you to feel the cold, sadness and distress of certain characters. It’s as though the weather is a pathetic fallacy in the story, as it’s almost as though the feelings of the Senff family are portrayed through it. But let’s get back to the character of Nelly Senff, who I find particularly in-
West (2013). Directed by Christian Schwochow. Produced by Main Street Films.
triguing. The movie allows the viewer to watch the character of Nelly progress and change as she faces obstacles and hardship, as well as positive events. You can witness this confident, and bright single mother with a PhD suddenly lose herself with the negative events that unfold, causing her to become paranoid, neurotic and lose those closest and kindest to her. Then you see her find herself again and finally accept the past and attempt to move on. Nellyâ€™s weaknesses are love and deception. When she learns that her sonâ€™s father may still be
alive, she enters a world of suspicion and paranoia â€“ believing that she is being watched, even on the West side of Berlin. Alexej her son, in an attempt to calm her down and cheer her up, goes out to buy a bunch of flowers and places them in their dingy room in the refugee camp they have been living in. Upon returning home, Nelly sees the flowers and immediately jumps to the conclusion that an intruder has entered their home and that nowhere is safe and private in the West. She seizes the flowers and thrashes them, unknowingly scaring her son and causing the two to drift apart.
This is not the only relationship Nelly unintentionally destroys. In a state of fear when living in the refugee camp in the West (a place where she thought she would be granted immediate safety and freedom), she also nearly destroys a relationship with a fellow man named Hans, who on several occasions, takes care of Alexej and plays and cooks with him. At the beginning of the movie, before Alexej’s father leaves, he hands his son a white sweater to remember him by. Alexej hangs onto this jumper until he meets Hans in the refugee camp who is kind to him. Alexej feels an attachment to Hans, to the point that he asks him to wear his father’s sweater. This in turn makes Nelly feel uncomfortable and later on in the movie she tries to prevent Alexej from seeing Hans. Nelly’s change in character is understandable. She thought she was fleeing towards freedom, yet comes to find that in the West, it is also difficult for her to settle due to her connections with her ex-lover who she presumes to be dead and who we
discover is allegedly a spy. She is interrogated by intelligence agents, as are all refugees who want to enter and is told she must stay in a camp with her son. Here, she shares a dirty communal bathroom and a bedroom. She also learns from others that some refugees have lived in the camp for years and have not yet been allowed to enter the real West and find a job. Once she has been approved by the officers and gained citizenship after weeks of interrogations, the job the employment department offers her is far too menial. She starts to wonder whether fleeing the East was the best decision. Aside from Nelly, the entire cast was also well played. Native German actors that played American officers even added an American accent when they spoke in the German language, really immersing themselves into their roles. I think the cast was well chosen and the movie worked very well in educating the audience about those that fled the East for the West, as it captured the living conditions of refugees and the difficulties and
obstacles they were faced with. The ending of the movie was positive but there was no absolute final conclusion as to what happened. We see Hans escaping from the refugee camp and getting on a bus to where Nelly and her son have been living since they attained full citizenship in the West. Nelly takes out a turkey from the oven as it is Christmas and we see Hans ringing their doorbell. Alexej goes to check who it is and we see Nelly waiting in her apartment to see who the stranger is. This ending is positive and does not have an absolute conclusion because it is not necessary to see Hans, Nelly and Alexej reunite. Having watched the movie up until this point, the audience already knows and imagines what will happen when they see each other’s faces because of each character’s relationships with one another. Although the characters in the film each faced their personal and social challenges and difficulties, the ending ties everything up perfectly with a warm reunion on Christmas.