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P6 • jaap pieters • Cover Story
P62 • my little what • fashion editorial
P20 • eolo perfido: clownville • photography
P76 • HOOP DOOP MEETS: TORPOR • music
P34 • HOOP DOOP MEETS: Alex Vargas • music
P82 • HARD DAY AT MEXICO STREET • fashion editorial
P44 • it’s about time • by Mark Janicello
P92 • Fellini - the exhibition • art
P48 • erik the viking • art
jaap pieters Super8: It’s All a Matter of Chance. 3’20’’ and It’s Over. Interview: grazia ingravalle photography: attilio brancaccio
This interview with Jaap Pieters follows the screening of some of his most renowned Super8 films last February at OT301 with the accompaniment of Gerri Jaeger (percussion, electronics), Hilary Jeffery (trombone, electronics) and Raphael Vanoli (guitar, electronics). Within the programme: Scream Man (Schreeuwman, 1994, 3’20”), Silver Grey Waves on the Land or The White See [With thanks to TGR] (Zilver Grijze Golven op het Land of de Witte Zee [Met dank aan: TGR], 2000, 3’20”), Beautiful Views (Schone Uitzichten, 1997, 2’20”), Meat Transport (Vleesvervoer, 1995, 3’20”), Taksim Tree (Taksimboom, 1997. 3’20”), Stringless (Snaarloos, 1994, 3’20”), Willem I Willem II Willem III (1991, 17’12”). Since then a series of recorded conversations have taken place in a bar in De Pijp, slowly unravelling as one espresso is made and served after the other. These conversations, in which aesthetics, life, music and anecdotes are inextricably intermingled, eventually led to the publication of this interview.
So Jaap, how and when did your interest in films and cinema emerge? What are the milestones throughout the development of your aesthetic consciousness? My interest in films started with Ingmar Bergman. I was 16 when I saw Ingmar Bergman’s films on television and it blew my mind. I can remember in particular Cries and Whispers (1972). It really struck me so intensely. At that time I “discovered” that a film is not made by an actor or an actress, but by someone who gives body and image to the things he/she wants to show, or express. I used to go to these neighbours’ house when I had a fight at home. I could always sit on their sofa and watch films with them. It feels like it largely made who I am. I felt this intensity, physically inside me. I almost can still smell their sofa. I remember watching there also The Hawks and the Sparrows (1966) by Pier Paolo Pasolini. And in that same period, more or less, I came across a catalogue of a Warhol exhibition that he made in Sweden. I remember the first time I opened that book, the “disaster series,” and mainly the car accidents. One picture of a car accident from a newspaper printed 5 times on one canvas. It was the same hammer in my face, like Pasolini or Bergman. And how come you started filmmaking on Super8? What is the story behind that? It all started by chance. I was always hitchhiking to Germany to see some friends’ films. They had a Super8 film studio in their squat and produced very radical things. Since I was so intrigued, at some point they told me: “Why don’t you start filming?” They wrapped this camera in an old pullover, put it in a plastic bag and sent it at home. And then I had this camera. It was 1985. It might have been worth just trying shooting and I made a lot of things that are actually still in the film boxes. You seem pretty much committed to the analogical medium of 8mm films. How would you explain your choice of this medium? I identify with my images in that speed, on that material and in that length. Many of my films consist of only one reel of 3’20”. This is one reel yeah, and that’s it. This is my unit. Whatever happens in the outer world, I don’t care. It’s like just a shutter in the camera, the light goes out, and that’s how I perceive the reaction of my eye. And
then it’s over for me. Indeed, there’s a fascination with the film medium’s own temporality, its aging. The use of it, watching it over and over again causes scratches and dust. And, of course, nothing will ever remain undamaged. We need every crack, every scratch in every film. It’s only time. However, you should probably admit that there are huge opportunities of circulation allowed by digital technologies. Have you ever filmed with a digital camera? There are always new opportunities. But to be honest I don’t care. Because my world is a limited one, as I think that everybody’s world is limited. And everything is always a matter of chance. I mean, you can see that from my films. It’s all chance. Whatever you want to call it. And in a sense my films are me, because that’s how I’ve always lived. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to make them. Anyhow, my tour in the USA in the fall of 2011 would have not taken place without the Internet. So, in the end you never really know. At one point during my tour between New York – where I was invited by the Anthology Film Archive – and Chicago, I was not able to buy photo film. James Bond, an incredible street man holding a small film theatre in Chicago, and another guy, who arranged the tour, had these two iPhones. So I started using them and taking photographs. And I took hundreds, constantly. I got really crazy. I was sitting in the car for 6-7 hours and I was hysterically taking pictures. “Oh, that’s interesting, that’s funny!” And I loved this border towards abstraction. They have a certain level of abstraction that really fascinates me. Because you drag all those digital images out of context and it doesn’t matter how many you take, it doesn’t matter which angle. Nothing matters. It’s all weird. When we ended in Chicago, James Bond came to me and said: “I have a digital camera. It has been standing on my desk for three years doing nothing. I think you should use it. I’m going to get it.” And the thing I never wanted suddenly was in my hands: a digital photo camera! In those 3-4 weeks running around with that digital camera, I took in the end 10000 photographs. I can’t get them out of my memory. They really bring me back into that rolling mood, being on the road, standing on the platforms in subway stations and holding out that camera constantly. I took about 740 pictures of the NY subway and I showed them at the end of May in a programme in
Switzerland. How would you make a comparison between analogical and digital filmmaking? They are different materials. It’s like watercolour painting and oil painting. I don’t feel like even comparing them because they are different things, they are not substitutes. For me a digital image is like a photograph of a painting. One of the problems with the digital is its seemingly limitlessness. Everything seems to be limitless. All the information seems to be available. All images should be there constantly. On the contrary, I think that the more you manage to limit yourself, the more highly concentrated you are in capturing the essence of what you feel. These 3’20’’ are an interval in which I can concentrate fully on one subject, and it is limited. While an endlessly going video cannot be as dense and concentrated as one of my Super8 roll is. You stress quite a lot this issue of the transitoriness and finitude of things. Your films seem to capture this intensity, the essence of chance. Here stands your poetics, which is all about chance. Your work is inserted in a specific world-view. This is a metaphysics of pure flow of time, flow of encounters between people and people, objects and people, places, spaces, things and objects with objects. Following D.N. Rodowick, it is possible to see a medium – in this case the camera and the 8mm film strip – not only as a passive material thing, but equally as form, concept or idea (2007, 42). So, within this flow of chances you impose a “limitation” through the frame, the action of a shutter, the light you choose, your personal perspective and the length of your recording. In this way you produce meaning. Yes, that is true. It actually reminds me of a friend’s question. He once asked me: “Jaap but isn’t this Super8 for you some kind of religion? People sometimes sound nostalgic when talking about starting this engine, the colours and so on..” Well, no way is nostalgic for me. I never had any nostalgic feeling about filming and Super8 or anything. But let’s consider the etymologic meaning of the word religion. One of its meanings is “re-ligare” that is bringing together, putting together, making a unity. And yes, in that sense to me filming with Super8 is a religion.
In the exhibition held last February at OT301, as the first short film Scream Man ends, the spectator gets suddenly aware of the “materiality” of the filmic dispositive through the noise of you changing the reel. A few instants later another dispositive overlaps, that is, the live music accompaniment. Which part does music play in your Super8 programmes? And why are most of your films silent? For me the fact that within a film experience music accompaniment might at some point become inseparable from the images is problematic. One of the things that really annoys me about film screenings, especially in the case of experimental or short films, is that they seem to have sound to avoid the silence. It’s how I perceive it. On the other side, images with no sound have an incredible extra quality, to which probably most spectators are not used to. In our contemporary visual culture images always seem to go together with sound. Perhaps people today cannot even imagine watching a painting in silence. They listen to a guide’s voice, to an audiovisual guide or to a documentary about what they see. At first I had a camera with no sound, later on I started using a camera with sound, but then a different cassette for sound recording was needed. For technical reasons the results of sound recording on 8mm films always appeared to me quite poor. It was always messy. After a couple of experiments I thought: “Why do I bother about sound at all? Am I too afraid of showing my films without sound?” Well, I was just afraid of showing the films at all. “So, ok then,” I though “I’m going to face this!” And I just started showing them, the way they were. For me in the end it’s about the image, it’s about filmmaking in that sense. It’s about the way I perceive the world and about how subjects look for my eye. I’m just the recorder of that. I love Hilary Jeffery playing while I’m screening my films. Throughout the different experiments with music accompaniment, in the years I realised that my films have different layers where other people can react on and can improvise around. Sometimes it works extremely well and some others it doesn’t work at all. What was important for me was to find out that I cannot be the “master” that has the final word in the performance. It was really a revealing thing to discover that I can collaborate with people that totally do their own thing, being themselves. While you allow your camera to cross by chance this flow of
people and objects that you portray in your films, what is the position you occupy? Many of your films, such as Scream Man, Beautiful Views, Taksim Tree and Stringless, seem to cast a voyeuristic gaze on the subjects you shoot. Can you think of yourself in a sort of voyeuristic position? Right, do you read Stringless as also voyeuristic in some sense? – Yes! By the way, how did you manage to film him that way? I asked him. But usually I tell spectators this anecdote only after screening the film. He was standing there in the Albert Cuyp Market with this ukulele with no strings. I had been seeing him already for two or three years and every time I run home to take my camera, he was gone. That time I was standing on a balcony of a friend’s house in the market. I saw him. I rushed to get my camera and took 25 guilders from the ATM. I went to the guy and said: “I give you 25 guilders if I can film you for three minutes.” He looked at me as if he could look straight through me. He almost had no reaction so I filmed him and after I was done I thanked him. I handed him the 25 guilders and he took them. Money was therefore a level he understood. All the other words didn’t mean anything to him. I still don’t know if he actually even realised I filmed him, or just didn’t care. It was a level that he couldn’t or didn’t want to deal with. This has been puzzling me for ten or fifteen years. But the thing is, and that’s the whole thing with voyeurism, in the end it doesn’t matter, I think. It’s a moment in time and it hardly matters if you catch it or not. I watched once a Dutch film in which a junkie was filmed from a window. The junkie was standing there leaning against the tree, nervous. At a certain point, there’s another guy and he gets his dose. You see his reaction and then he’s really hanging against the tree. His hand is in his pocket and you clearly see he’s jerking off and then you see that he’s getting an orgasm, but all standing in this street with his hand in the pocket. All I could say after seeing this film was: “I’m glad I didn’t film this.” Why? Because it would have said something about me, about my own view on sexuality and, on a certain level, about my voyeurism. It doesn’t say much about the guy. It’s his human condition. And it’s human like any other situation. Of course, I don’t know if I wouldn’t have filmed him. Should have it happened opposite to my window, should have I seen him, I think I would have started shooting. But I don’t know if I would have ever shown it. In almost all of your films there is a figure, an individual,
either person or object, that stands out against a background. What does this visual pattern tell about the subjects you film? That’s the way I perceive things, the way I see. So, it’s not a decision that I make. “Wow,” I think in that moment, “this is really something that is coming in my eyes.” I’m not the one approaching the subject. The subject approaches my eye to be seen. I’m not looking for something specific. Those things that I shoot are really looking for me, for my eyes, for my mind. And those things that look for me are those things that want to be captured. Therefore, I feel more as a tool, a tool of the things or people that I film, than the other way round. All my films are about seeing and perceiving the world and not about a story within, or about a particular content. I would say it’s not important for me. And that’s why I’ve always deemed to be so important to propose a mixture between more abstract films together, say, with the portraits of homeless people. This is nothing but a short excerpt from 8h recording. Many more stories about James Bond, Willem, The Rolling Stones, Taylor Mead, Monet, Ruth, Timen, Winde and many more have been told between that bar and Jaap’s apartment. To have a hint please follow Jaap Pieters’s next exhibitions on our blog http://www.hoopdoopmagazine.com. References: Rodowick, D. N. The Virtual Life of Film. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007.
“Winde’s geluk” (Winde’s bliss) © Winde Rienstra
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clownville I’ve always thought of the Circus as a sort of our own society’s metaphor : an “inter- connected” world in which everybody wants to entertain and be entertained, but that holds also great sadness and loneliness. I think that the people in today’s society are well represented by the weird image of the Clown : funny, but sad at the same time, a mask that is tragic, grotesque and ambiguous at the same time. Fascinated by the whole production of Fellini, with his dreamlike atmospheres (on top of all, the movie Le notti di Cabiria), and freely inspiring myself to some characters of the mute cinema (in particular, Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, with their clown-like characteristics due to the heavy make up and the excessive gesture that was necessary in order to broadcast expressions emotions and action), I had been thinking of making a portrait with a clown as the subject for some years now. I ended up liking the making of that photo so much that I turned it into a series that is still in progress. Among the Clowns that posed for me there are not only friends and relatives, but also well known actors and photographers. I don’t think I’ll ever unveil the name of the subjects since I believe a mask holds its beauty while is on. Furthermore, the subjects have been “transformed” to the point where it’s almost impossible to recognize them. www.eoloperfido.com 20
Photography arrived quite late in my life, but fortunately passions are timeless, so at 28 I took a camera in my hands without knowing that after a while my desire would be to keep it there forever. Taking pictures has become something that goes beyond the simple realization of images and has deeply changed my way of experiencing life and relating to others. I was born in France in a small town called Cognac. I live in Rome and work all over the world. eolo perfido.
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“Musically, I didn’t learn formally. I just picked it up naturally, I was surrounded by it.”
At Home In Music WORDS: Sarah-Jane Threipland Photography & CONCEPT: MYSCHA ORèO
Alex Vargas. His first home is music. Born of English and Uruguayan heritage, he lived in Denmark until he was 17, ending up in West London–which he now calls his second home. It’s not surprising that Alex Vargas turns out to be a dark horse. He has sung, modeled, sung some more as a solo artist, worked with a fashion label, and sung his heart out even further. There is definitely something different about him—meeting him as I did just before he played at Hanneke’s Boom, a bar across from the Amsterdam Ij. We end up sitting outside in the sub-zero early ‘spring’. I like that the suggestion ‘we’ll have to sit outside so I can hear you,’ doesn’t faze him like it would some performers. Relaxed in both manner and in speech, at first I can’t quite put my finger on what it is that will be revealed about him. The air around him is warm and calm: “I always sang, and by 12 a lot. My Dad was a performer, a musician who now works in film music, guess you could say it’s in my blood.” Back then, minutes of singing and strumming on the guitar, practicing, could turn into hours that’d end with tears and bloody fingers. There was a frustration that he wasn’t quite good enough (yet). But the skill came, and coupled with a voice like you wouldn’t believe, the whole soulful package now sits here before me. “Musically, I didn’t learn formally. I picked it up naturally, I was surrounded by it.” It was an organic process; listening to songs like those from Aretha Franklin and Sam Cooke, jamming until he could play them perfectly. He learned from the great, and he now composes his own songs and lyrics like a tribute: “I do it the old school way, I take melodies and then put lyrics to them. The rest of the track grows from there.” I think there can be none of this manufactured boy band stuff for him, he’s the real deal. But then another topic rears its head: surprisingly Alex was in a boy band once, Vagabond. Yet instead of trailing along in the big record company’s wake, he quit when he realized it wasn’t musically what he wanted, a year or so in. A brave move, and one not many people in his position would take as they became successful. Now, as he talks about this experience, I see a few glimpses into what he would’ve been like as a teenager: determined and musically aware. He says that Led Zeppelin, Nirvana
and Pink Floyd were what he listened to. He first heard ‘Dark side of the moon,’ when he was 5 years old and it made a lasting impression. Someone like that isn’t going to stay very long in a mainstream record label’s clutches. Fast forward to later on in Alex’s life, and he’s still surrounded by music: he was one of the lucky ones to watch Mumford and Sons before they were big at the Notting Hill Arts Club (his second lounge by the way, if you’d ever like to meet him). He’s also now doing some work with the dance act, Above and Beyond, as well as gigging. He comes across as very versatile and someone who simply wants to play whenever he can. Alex is someone who is able to adapt–the different cultures he’s been exposed to and the different places he’s lived makes him able to adopt much as his own. And music, in its various forms, exists like this for him in the same way. One of these newer releases, ‘Howl’ is a new direction for him, one that though different, he definitely owns. His newer music is a mixture of sweet soul embedded with a rawness. There is the big booming voice, a sweet, thoughtful side, touching lyrics, and melodies that simply sweep you along. And he has swept a following along. Watching him play later I can see why: this guy can perform. He sings his heart out, and not only because he’s there on stage, also because this is the only thing he knows, or wants, to do: ‘”I live to perform, singing out is the best marketing for a singer. Performances. I love to do them.” He’s happiest on stage. If you watch during a live performance, you’ll see he closes his eyes tight shut. Then his hands cradle the guitar like it’s the only true thing in life… probably because it is. He plays gigs whenever he gets them—this one was in Amsterdam because he’s never played here before and, as he says, ‘why not?’. He also plays regularly in Denmark, going back to his roots and fans, and he’s played before 20,000 people in an arena tour. “I want to bring people to music through hard work, and no set recipes. I live in music. Music educates me. I play as many different musicians.” Alex is someone who sings because he can’t not, and people watch him because they can’t not, and I’ll now follow him because…I’m curious and I can’t not. So what’s next for Alex Vargas? The beauty is, he’s not really sure. But much as he’s already made it, playing as he does for whom he does, he’s still gonna travel far. www.alexvargas.com
MARK JANICELLO International Man of Mystery
it’s about time... MARK JANICELLO HAS BEEN AN ARTIST SINCE HE WAS 4 YEARS OLD. HE HAS WORKED IN EVERY PERFORMANCE MEDIUM FROM OPERA TO TELEVISION TO MUSICAL, ROCK, POP AND FILM. AS A PAINTER, HE HAS ENJOYED 11 SUCCESSFUL INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITIONS AND CURRENTLY OWNS GALLERY LARAVEN. 44
photo: Elisabete Maisão
“Time flies...” “Time heals all wounds..” “Living on borrowed time..” The list of sayings about time, goes on and on and on...
of 10:00, they would saunter in at 10:20, 10:30 or even later, neither apologizing nor having bothered to call and say that they would be late.
Why are we so busy with time?
For your information, in the New York entertainment world, there are numerous unions: AEA (Stage); SAG (Film) AFTRA (Television); and a few others.
Time is generally seen as a precious commodity. The older you get, you the more you become aware that you have “less” time than you did when you were young. The late, great Jim Croce (if you’re under 40, “Google” him) once sang these words... “If I could save time in a bottle the first thing that I’d like to do.. is to save every day, ‘til eternity passes away, just to spend them with you. But there never seems to be enough time To do the things you want to do, once you find them...” Depending on who you are, how “important” you are and how busy you are, the “hourly rate” for your precious time rises commensurately. Strangely, even though creating a work of art is very time-consuming job, most artists, seem to have never considered how valuable time can be. I believe, that this stems from the fact that they don’t value their own time, forget about valuing anyone else’s. How can I make a statement like that? Quite easily, actually. Now that I have replaced the T-Rex as the oldest living creature in Jurassic Park, I can speak from a sh*tload of experience. Let’s look at how a lot of artists live. I ran three art galleries in the Netherlands. If I had an appointment with a businessman at 10:00, most of them were ready for the meeting at 9:55. In Gallery LaRaven’s first year, we exhibited more than 60 international artists. Almost without exception, every artist was late to every single meeting I ever had with any of them. Instead
If you are working on a union contract and you are even five minutes late for a rehearsal or a shooting, by the first offense -- you get an official warning. The second time you pay a large fine. By your third offense, you get immediately fired. End of story. There are 250,000 actors in New York City. If an actor can’t get to work on time, there are countless others, who would DIE to get that job!! Why are the unions in New York so strict? “Time is money!!!” Union filmcrews, orchestras and stagehands are extremely expensive. However, more than costs involved, being on time is a sign of respect, respect for yourself; as well as for your partner’s and/or co-worker’s time. William Paul Young, the Canadian author of “The Shack” once wrote: “Submission is not about authority and it is not obedience; it is all about relationships of love and respect.” Recently, both Rhianna and Justin Bieber made international headlines by arriving hours too late for their concerts. After finally arriving, neither singer offered any excuse or apology for keeping tens of thousands of people waiting. They are making millions of dollars from these concerts. Is that how you respect your business partners, your fans and your friends??
One thing is definite, the concert promoters who booked Rhianna and Justin are all furious. Certainly, the producers of their current tours will ALL think twice before ever working with either Rhianna or Justin again.
Why? When a concert runs into that much overtime, it needlessly costs the concert producers enormous amounts of aggrivation and money. Understand that most big international venues have union contracts, and you can only imagine how many angry ticket buyers will demand a refund. Union performers, musicians and technicians know what their time is worth – because the unions have set guidelines for their salaries and their time. As an visual artist, what are you worth? What is your time worth? This is the eternal question. How do you put a price tag on that? How do you know how much to charge for one of your pieces, be it sculpture, painting or installation? There are material costs, like paint, canvas, gemstones or marble. More important than than those costs that, is putting a price tag on your original idea and the execution thereof. This is mostly determined by charging for your own time. How much of “yourself” did you invest in your creation? Marketing can raise the “value” of your time. The better known you are, the more your works (and consequently your time) will be worth to others. Still, this is an “external” measurement. How much is your time worth to you?? That’s the real question. Honesty is what people see. Integrity is how you behave when no one is looking. How much personal integrity do you have as an artist? Alone in your studio, do you value your own time, your own life? Are you wasting your life “playing at” being an artist – or do you have the personal integrity to truly be busy with creating and creation every single moment of your life? When you have an appointment, do you show up on time? If you don’t, you’ve already got your answer. www.markjanicello.net www.gallerylaraven.com
.c k o o aceb
g a m oop
d p o o m/h
ERIK THE VIKING
We all have a friend who turned out to be a asshole after years of being pretty cool. Things started working out for them in all the wrong way’s, and they became insufferable. For the most part, this is how I feel about New York’s nightlife. What it became after “bottle service” stabbed the city in it’s heart and pocket. A bunch of people from the bible belt, who decided to move to the Big Apple, play banker and happily pay 400$ for a bottle of booze, leaving small town morality behind them along the way. A lobotomy provided by club owners, who will remain nameless and wealthy (a VIP seat in hell waiting for each of them). I could wax historic about the good ol’ days of NASA and Limelight, a bunch of other spots which are all but forgotten with no movies being made about them, but this is not a history lesson, this is a conversation about the now. As New York changed, a few “historic preserves” have kept up the fight and are well in to the late rounds. Offering up a dose of what things were like in the bad old days at full throttle. We have watched the city clean up it’s image, showing no mercy in it’s addiction’s to status. As if New York’s a person convinced that they must continue to have plastic surgery, cutting away piece after piece of themselves, until the only thing left to remove is their nose, which they happily cut off, smiling as they tell you about the complications over another round of Appletini’s. If I was going to tackle all of this, even in my own half assed way. I had to make every effort to cover my tracks, to have someone to blame if it all went wrong. So I called up Destiny Mata, a lovely young Mexican girl who I asked to take pictures of her night. Convincing her to chat up the riff raff as she saw fit along the way, she would be our frontline troop in to a night at LIT. A prime example of what end’s up happening when you go to a bar with a healthy dose of alcoholic lubrication and lose motivations to help with a unpaid gig. With all this in motion, I called up my friend Erik Foss who is a co owner at LIT FUSE, a bar and gallery on 2nd ave, and asked him what the fuck is going on and his life and our city.
words & interview: julian lynn quotes & Photography: destiny mata - unless otherwise stated
Does it feel like a odd responsibility to have one of the last “real spots” in LES? I guess that most business owners would be happy that there is almost no competition left, it honestly makes me sad. Between the greedy landlords and overzealous capitalism, it has morphed into this island of decadence. The lower and middle class are being priced out at the speed of light. It’s hard to say what the future has to hold for us, the few left like us. The people that came with only the shirts on our backs, looking to achieve something in New York Fucking City, “the American dream”, I guess we can say its become the American nightmare. But what do I know, I am just a kid from the dessert. Does it get easier to find like minded people, as the city continues to eliminate the “creative class”? I guess after living and working here for almost 20 years its a no brainer for us. Between the club attracting artists from all over the world, all anyone really has to do is be present, pay attention, and not be a dick. Who does not want a show in a gallery where all you have to do is be talented. It’s all about the work, the community, and a bunch of artists are the ones taking it all in, showing it respect, showing you respect. It’s a easy sell when you look at it properly. All we are doing is offering people a shot to work with people they want to work with, who we want to support. I could list the artists we have shown, but it would sound like I am bragging, needless to say, we have some big guns behind our humble doors. Do you prefer to own a bar or a gallery? You own both so deal with it (or do they own you?). One with out the other would not make sense at this point. Its all the same thing, the gallery funds the bar, the bar funds the gallery, round and round. Well that was at least the plan to start out. Does being a owner without artistic intentions make it easier to sell things? Do you feel more pressure to sell now that you are putting more effort in to your own work? I was an artist long before I owned a gallery. I have been making art since I was a kid, now I am just a 40 year old kid. Most artists sell work out of their studio, I would much rather have dealers move my work for me, but truthfully speaking I am not at that level yet. I
am not really a dealer either, we run the gallery more like one would a non profit, and by the way, all non-profit galleries sell work; it’s just on the down low. We show work that we like, and its that simple. Usually, when it sells, then it sells itself. I don’t represent any one artist. I sell the work in the gallery and ninety days after the show comes down, I direct all inquiries directly to the artist. We are not here to play middle man for a percentage and try to fuck people over. Fuse is here to help artists get a start in NYC, not to profit from their talent. This is our program in a nut shell, without giving away all the juicy bit’s. When I was growing up, LES was that girl in your class who was too cool or too fucked up to deal with. Now it seems like the chick who would give you a hand job and call it sex. Do you like what she has become? NYC changes her make up like I change my socks, it’s ever changing and thats what makes it so special. Thats the attraction, thats the addiction. The bar does not run itself, it is still a daily process. It’s a hard job and dealing with drunks is not always as fun as they make it look on TV. It’s a necessary evil to deal with the evolution, so we can continue to run the spot the way we choose. They are going to have to pry my cold dead hands from this city no matter what it looks like when it’s done with me. It seems you are always packed with folks who are playing NYC or are really representing the old vibe, that seems like a odd mix to work out like it does. The beauty of a bar owned by artists is that we think creatively, this gives an advantage most club owners do not posses, especially now that the east side is under siege, just look at what’s going on and you can see where things are going around here. Creative thinkers are always in the minority, and have always survived. The longer we stay open, the more important what we do becomes. The reality is, that no one will really get a full grasp of what we have done till we are gone, and what developed here branches out on it’s own momentum and is observed for what it is. It’s like a artist who slaves their whole life and does not get recognized till they are dead. What we do is more of a romantic gesture than anything, about the culture and creating a space for creativity. Every day we are open, something special happens, and it’s the people who make
“ I Stumble into LIT already drunk and see Nick Gazin bobbing around and twirling his mustache, contemplating what he was going to play next. I give him a big hug and he offers to buy me a drink. He was really excited because he had just gotten a text message from Gangstaboo, saying she was coming through to LIT to chill. After a few drinks and some chit chatting for a bit, Nick introduces me to Erik, the owner of Lit Lounge. Nick being Nick says, “Hey Erik, meet Destiny, one of my favorite photographers in NYC”. Erik smiles and shakes my hand, we had already planned to meet that night to take photos for this article, so it made the first moments of meeting a little less awkward. ”
“I was immediately attracted to this dude who had liquid courage to talk to him. He was surprisingly himself as Nick between sips of cheap whiskey. He had is a member of Children of the Night (a Queens rap he said; “I’m just trying to get drunk and listen to my teeth. Nick told me, “I was riding my bike hit a pot hole asked.”Because its $10,000 to repair my teeth. I would said with a broken smile, offering me a sip of his drin
no front teeth. As the night wore on, I built up the surprisingly proud of his missing front teeth and introduced had come to Lit Lounge with his friend DJ Nigel ((who rap group)). I asked if he was expecting to get laid and my friend DJ”. Then I had to ask what happened to his hole and ate shit”. “So why don’t you get fake teeth?” I would rather spend that shit on other things; like you” he drink.”
that happen. As long as people keep coming from all over the place with impossible dreams, things will remain relevant or worthwhile wherever you live. Artists feel a not so secret shame when they tell you that their next show is at a bar. How did you create a space where this was not the case? It’s simple actually, and it all has to do with our glass door that separates the gallery from the bar. You cant go in at night, but you can see the work (that kind of idea is the gold of creative business owners). That glass door is the key to keeping things separate but equal. To offer a legitimate space for people to show in, drink in, while keeping things tidy as we coordinate both side of the circus. Does life feel easier for you now that we live in the future? That most of us grew up. I will put it this way, there was no such thing as social networking when we opened. 9-11 happened 3 months before we opened. The wealthiest mayor in the history of the NYC took office a few years after we opened. Like I said; NYC is always changing and evolving. It’s not good or bad, it’s just how it is. That’s what separates the men from the boys (or the girls from the woman). I am 11 years older, sober, and a bit wiser. hell I am just grateful to be alive man, every day is a miracle to me. Is it hard to be a bar jockey now that you have chosen a sober life? I drank enough in my time to realize that alcohol is just a small part of what it takes to run a successful spot. What is important is the service, the attitude, the music and the over all vibe. Everyone drinks at some point, I just had enough of it personally, it got in my way, and wasn’t fun any more. I watched my father drink himself to death, and I would rather die from something else. What the hell were you thinking when you started? My friend and now partner David Schwartz asked me if I would help him with opening a gallery, and I suggested a bar/gallery. I think that’s how it happened anyway, those days are a bit hazy now. As far as what what I thought it would be like, I guess I can only compare it to dropping in on a half pipe for the first time. You grow a set and
go for it, its exhilarating at first and you probably end up eating shit. But if you face the fear, and really want it, you get back up on your board and try again till you pull it off. After you can pull that trick, then you learn more, finding your line and focusing on style, becoming the best you can be at it, like anything in life really. I am much better at running my business than I was at skating. What shows or moments have been your high points? What constitutes the low points? (I usually hate questions like this, but every now and then they score, so fuck it, buzzer beater at half court). The highest point is tough, but I will tell you a mind melter. Elliot Smith tried to buy some of Mick Rocks photos of Syd Barrette one night about 10 years ago. His manager ended up making Elliot cancel the purchase due to lack of funds. So Elliot felt so bad the next day, he offered to play a secret show at LIT, and it winded up being his last NYC show (as it turns out he was wearing the Syd Barrette shirt we made for the show when he passed). The low point is not one thing, but many. All the friends that I have seen pass on (die) over the years, that have come through the bar/gallery. It’s been a lot more people than I would like to think about. But I suppose that’s a part of owning a place that a million people have come through. It’s one of many problems we come across in life. One of the worst mistakes of my life was meeting HR GIGER’s manager at your old place and not buying a ring he was trying to sell me. I still beat myself up about that about once a year or so. Was living upstairs a blessing or a curse? You are referring to the first two years the bar was open, and I lived above the bar. All I can say is “use your imagination” and then add a atom bomb on steroids. It was a roller coaster to say the least, and again I have to say it, I am lucky to be alive. Has owning a bar Given you more or less faith in people? As long as I have faith in myself, everything else takes it’s course. People are here for a minute and then we are gone, I am just offering a set of experience’s to people. Art, booze, friends, music, memories; job’s a job right? Has owning a gallery Given you more or less faith in people?
After interrogating the no teeth dude I searched for the oldest guy in the bar, because I believed he would have the best stories, and wouldn’t spit resumes at me. Maybe I can actually have a decent conversation. I found a guy sitting in the middle of the bar watching “cookie” the go go dancer, do her thing. He looked like a well put together dude, wearing a collar shirt and blue jeans. I made my way over to him, to ask him what he’s drinking. He told me he was sipping a vodka cran. I was pretty tipsy by this point and asked if he was expecting to get laid tonight. He replied, “I’m just here for the atmosphere, unless you are offering”.
As I was leaving the bar I realized I didnâ€™t get a photo of the old sleazy dude. And happened to see him smoking in front of Toy Tokyo, I grabbed a picture of him surround by his cartoon friends, who he was hanging out with. A few other people I bumped into over the night were less interesting but somewhat noteworthy. One girl named Ana was drinking gin and tonics all night, because she was getting a beer belly. She was there with her boyfriend dancing until the bar closed. To top it off, I got to meet Gangsta Boo from the original 3 six mafia. Caught her doing her make up at the bar, throwing back Budâ€™s, she was definitely feeling good. She hit on my roommate and they exchanged instagram and twitter info.
Most artists are grateful and very thankful for the opportunity we give them. The minority of ones that weren’t, they know who they are and I made it very clear that they were, let’s say, “unprofessional”. That might be a small group of people, but it is a list I have memorized. Who and what is motivating you to paint? It seems almost impossible to think that owning a gallery would make you want you to live that life. Is it pure passion or in some way’s a luxury? Ultimately NYC inspires me. Everything that happens here. It’s impossible to say That just one person or thing inspires me. Everyone and everything motivates me to paint. Love, pain, people, things, music, art, life. It reminds me, has taught me, that me we are but a blip, and the time we have, we should we be grateful for. When I make art I am happy. Imagine a life were you wake up and all you have to do is create art, I have friends that have succeeded at this, seen that it can be real. We all have to commit to the process, not just the material rewards. How the hell did you end up in NYC? I knew from around the age of 12, that this is where artists come to really be artists. It’s that simple. As far as the bar go’s well that happened through years of going with the flow. I was a pretty good bartender, and good bartenders can make pretty good bar owners. The universe and New York City provided the rest.
It’s your typical last night on earth scenario. Zombies, plague, war, diabetes. How would you like to go out? (In this version of things you get to choose. Or at least share with us what you wish was happening, as you get flayed alive by Floridian cannibals.) Hopefully, I would be in the arms of the woman who has my heart. Music or movies? SLAYER x FOREST GUMP Please add anything else you would like to say to our lovely readers. Thanks for this opportunity, thanks for reading this. Know that what we have done and experienced is for the love of life, creativity and people. I am grateful and so blessed to have what I have, what I have experienced, to be alive writing these words now. If you have a dream than just go for it, don’t listen to any one or anything besides your heart. If I made it this far, anyone can. The world needs all the dreamers it can get it’s hands on. Make art, make love and love each other. Don’t take anything for granted. Life is short. God bless and good luck.
So is it all paint brushes and dog’s now? You looking for investors for LIT FUSE Miami MTV edition? Imagine having something so special that it would be impossible to replicate, no matter how hard you tried. Now think how punk it is that we stayed open this long, what a story. What a adventure. We would rather have the the legacy, not the bank account. There can only be one LIT / FUSE. I came from humble beginnings and have never really cared to much about material things, it’s people and memories that matter most. My fortune is that we are still open, still employing creative people and still helping fellow artists. For now we are here and were not going anywhere any time soon, unless you know something I don’t. The song remains the same, I am just going with the flow.
No one can tell you what NYC was like back in the day, it can told properly, no matter who is reporting on it. The universe and objectâ€™s in the mirror are not closer then they appear
It is places like LIT and people like Erik, who keep a bright city was, is, and will be. You are part of that future, we are thatâ€™s what makes it worth doing, sharing. His story is my JULIAN LYNN
can hardly be said that what happened today can ever be universe is mostly blind to what has happened to each of us, appear when it comes to life and love; memory.
spot in the minds and hearts of many, of what New York are all parts of what can happen in each otherâ€™s lives and my story, his nightâ€™s, a slice of your life.
Photos: cheryl man
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Photography : Rachel Schraven Styling: Jolijn de Wilde Make-up & hair: Christel Man @ Oozaga Agency Illustrations : Nina Mathijsen Customized My Little Ponyâ€™s: Chris Kattepis Models: Ray@ 77models and Marijn@de Boekers
Sweater: River Island / Denim blouse: American Apparel / Necklace: H&M
Denim Jacket: Leviâ€™s Strauss / T-shirt: H&M / Bow tie Kermit: H&M
Denim Jacket: Leviâ€™s Strauss / T-shirt: H&M / Pants: H&M / Sneakers: Vans
Denim jacket: River Island / Top: H&M / Printed pants: River Island / Pink sneakers: Adidas / Pink collar: H&M
Denim grey jacket: River Island / Singlet: Zara / Jeans: H&M / Buttons: stylist own
Dark blue sweatsuit: River Island
Sweater: River Island / Denim blouse: H&M / Necklace: River Island
Denim grey jacket: River Island / Singlet: Zara
Jacket: Zara / Flamingo earring: Six
hoop doop meets
torpor Interview: Anna Kelhu Photography:Falk-Hagen Bernshausen
We jam and record our initial ideas in the practice room, and then start thinking about arrangements in more depth. You define yourself as a sludge/post metal band. Where do you draw inspiration from? Simon: We all have quite different inspirations but there’s definitely common ground with bands like Neurosis, Converge, Will Haven, Mastodon and Torche. The sludge genre has an integrity that hasn’t been diluted, which we respect and identify with. I think most of all it’s the thick down tuned guitar; sheer groove; and honest ferocious vocals that draw me to it. We also describe ourselves as post metal, because this explains our effort to write music that is progressive and forward thinking. For me personally, Abe Cunningham (Deftones) and Jackson Thompson (Black Sheep Wall) are inspirations for my drumming style. Lauren: Mike Martin (ex Will Haven) is my alltime bass hero - I love his power, aggression and simplicity. The attitude and energy of bands like Planes Mistaken for Stars and Hot Water Music have always been an inspiration to keep creating and playing music. Nats: Lyrically, bands like Defeater, Pianos Become the Teeth and Touché Amoré have inspired my lyric writing over the past year as well as singer-songwriter/ producer James Blake. A long standing vocal inspiration for me is Chino Moreno from Deftones and recently, Chlo Edwards, vocalist in Vales, has blown me away with her vocal style. I am also constantly inspired and in awe of musicians who cross over into art and illustration, like John Baizley from Baroness and Jordan Buckley from Every Time I Die. How did the band first come together? Lauren: Simon and I had been talking about putting this band together for years, but it took a long time to find musicians who understood what we wanted to achieve with our sound. After coming close to giving up, we found Jon through an online ad and he blew us away immediately! Finding a vocalist took a few more months, Nats answered an ad we posted online, sent over some tracks and we knew she was right even
before she came down to the studio. We’ve had the full line up since July 2012. …and how did you end up with the name Torpor? Lauren: We liked the imagery of the vibrant hummingbird entering a torpid state which is barely sufficient to maintain life, simply to survive the night while it cannot feed. It’s appealing to think of these two extremes of existence and draw parallels with modern life - finding ways to adapt and survive, not burning out. Nats: When the guys told me the idea of the name when I joined, it felt right straight away. Thinking about my own experiences from the past few years, I was drawn to the imagery of a reduced heart beat and inactivity while still being alive, still surviving. What a cool idea to release a cassette, as opposed to just a vinyl or CD. Proper retro How did that idea come across you? Nats: Headless Guru Records contacted us about releasing our ‘Bled Dry’ EP on cassette after hearing about us through a mutual friend and promoter who gave us our very first show. They are a DIY label releasing punk, hardcore and metal bands including Sea Bastard, War Wolf, Minors and River Jumpers. Lauren: Cassette made sense for our first release as the analogue format works with the raw sound of our live recording. It also makes the release more special, giving fans something interesting and collectible for their money. We’re passionate about making our music as accessible as possible, so the EP is also available as a free download and a CD too. We would love to do a vinyl release for our next recording, possibly as a split with another band. How do you write the music? Does the whole band participate in the process or is there a designated someone handling that on their own?
Lauren: Our music usually starts with a guitar riff or drum pattern and develops in a very collaborative way from there. We jam and record our initial ideas in the practice room, and then start thinking about arrangements in more depth. We are all very involved in the writing process. We’ve had experience of being in bands before where there is one main songwriter and it work sometimes, but with Torpor we’re more interested in creating music that is a true reflection of all of us. Have you any plans to play in Amsterdam any time soon..? Lauren: We would love to come over at some point, either later this year or next year. We’ve had people checking us out from The Netherlands as well as Austria, Germany and France. The heavy music scene is great in the UK and Europe right now with bands such as Ishmael (UK), LoveSexMachine (France) and Abraham (Switzerland) pushing things forward. http://torpornoise.bandcamp.com https://www.facebook.com/torporsound http://headlessgururecords.bigcartel.com
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Product: H & M, Virgenes de Buenos Aires, Pepe Cantero, Bimba Ropa, Ana Magliano, Carey, Via Uno team: styling: Natalia Zubeldia model: Karla para ARGmodels makeup Mariela Burgos Hair Patricia Juarez photoassistant: Leonardo Coulon Cisneros thanks to : Ramiro Ignacio Zubeldia y Natalia Villa location Hotel Babel Suites. disign Ramiro Zubeldia & Arturo Peruzzotti
HARD DAY AT MEXICO STREET photography: FABIO BORQUEZ
Fellini The Exhibi From 30 June to 22 September 92
Les photographes à l’arrivée de la vedette de cinéma, La Dolce Vita, 1960 Photographie de tournage de Pierluigi Collection Christoph Schifferli, Zurich, courtesy Fondation Pathé
Anita Ekberg et Marcello Mastroianni, La Dolce Vita, 1960 Photographie de tournage de Pierluigi Collection Christoph Schifferli, Zurich, courtesy Fondation Pathé
Federico Fellini was born in 1920 in the seaside village of Rimini in Italy, in forty years of his career he became one of the most influential filmmakers of the 20th century, he won five Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. Films like La Strada (1954) and la Dolce Vita (1960) are universally considered masterpieces. The exhibition includes fragments from the films, drawings (made by Fellini), pictures by photographers such as Gideon Bachmann, Deborah Beer and Paul Ronald. An international selection of posters, several of which hail from the EYE collection. Also on display are an array of magazines from the period 1960-1985 (Domenica and L’Espresso). Films, talks, events: All is Fellini Fellini – The Exhibition is accompanied by a wide-ranging contextual programme under the title ‘All is Fellini’. This includes a complete film retrospective (from Luci del varietà, 1950 to La voce della luna, 1990), lectures, round-table discussions, interviews and a film quiz. Various speakers
will draw attention to Fellini’s influence on other filmmakers and on European culture and media. The special collaboration between Fellini and the composer Nino Rota, and Fellini’s interest in psychoanalysis, dreams and the ideas of Carl Gustav Jung, will also be discussed. Credits The exhibition is curated by Sam Stourdzé in collaboration with EYE. Exhibition design: Claus Wiersma. Graphic design: Joseph Plateau. The exhibition is made possible with collaboration and support from Fondation Fellini pour le Cinéma (Sion, Switzerland) and Fondazione Federico Fellini (Rimini, Italy).
HOOP DOOP ISSUE 23 - JUNE 2013