Danny Bourke // Photography: Joe Earley
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ISSEYMIYAKE_10 PETERGREENAWAY_12 LEIGHBOWERY_14 ROBERTRAUSCHENBERG_20 KARLHEINZSTOCKHAUSEN_22 BLACKSWAN_24 PERFECTION_30
I S S E Y
Miyake is considered the first Asian fashion designer to gain renown worldwide. Known for blending the flowing fabrics and textile designs of the East with modern technology and production methods of the West, he experimented with natural and synthetic fibers and advanced textile science. The winner of nearly every fashion award, he is known to dislike the title “fashion designer” and prefers to be considered an artist whose medium is fabric. Two of Miyake’s most popular lines are the Pleats Please prints that are permanently pleated yet flexible, and A-POC (A Piece of Cloth), a single, ready-to-wear piece of clothing. The Issey Miyake label also appears on numerous non-clothing items, including perfume, hosiery, and home furnishings. Miyake was born in 1938, in Hiroshima, Japan, and was seven years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on that city during World War II. His mother, a teacher, was badly burned by the bombing and died four years later of complications. In an illness unrelated to the bomb, Miyake suffered from a bone-marrow disease at age ten. Ironically, it was the American occupation in Japan that gave Miyake an introduction to western culture.Miyake’s interests turned to the artistic even as a child, and with dreams of being a dancer and an artist, he took an interest in the pictures of fashions in his sister’s glamour magazines. Admiring the way clothes could drape the human body to make a statement, he decided
M I Y A K E “
By the way, Marilyn Monroe was a size 14
“I don’t know much about you,” says Peter Greenaway, sipping his mint tea, “but I do know two things. You were conceived, two people did fuck, and I’m very sorry but you’re going to die. Everything else about you is negotiable.” Negligible, too. For Greenaway, there’s sex and there’s death and “what else is there to talk about?” He believes, he continues, as relaxed as if predicting rain tomorrow, “that all religion is about death and art’s about life. Religion is there to say: hey, you don’t have to worry – there’s an afterlife. Culture represents the opposite of that – sex. A very stupid Freudian way of looking at it, but one is positive and one is negative. Especially against people like you. All religions have always hated females.” Steam billows up from the cup into his face. He looks half David Attenborough, breath fogging the lens as he explores
I A M G OING TO BE A GR EAT ACT R ESS.
I donâ€™t want to be remembered as a person w
I want to
o be remembered as a person with ideas.
26.03.61 - 31.12.94
Leigh Bowery (1961-1994), undoubtedly one of the most
of Margaret Thatcher (1979-1990), the birth of MTV
controversial and avant-garde personalities of the 80’s.
(1981), the fall of the Berlin wall (1989), the release of Like
“About Leigh Bowery” aims to be a photographic cross-
a Virgin (1984) and other music hits like Thriller (1982).
section of the deeds of the artist, performer, fashion
Moreover, with tv, and especially with the promotional use
designer, aspiring pop star and object of art that Leigh
of music videos, visual impact becomes essential for every
Bowery has been. Though almost unknown in Italy, he has
artist willing to enter the commercial circuit. Fergus Greer
changed the visual language of fashion, and his personality
and Johnny Rozsa met Bowery and collaborated with him
from 1986 to 1994,
like Lucian Freud,
away because of
series of portraits,
who all have shared
give to those who
him a real visual
For his ability to
Bowery and all he
Leigh Bowery can be considered as an
own image. Johnny
authentic witness of
the protest against
with Bowery in a
for the creation of
With an unusually
of every life that
rules of conduct
or appearance, in a
style, bringing out the individual with the expressive
transformism, which sacrifices the wearability of the dress
freedom of genius. Bowery offers himself in an image
in favour of the show. As well as actively collaborating
that - in a transgender vision - goes beyond the separation
with him, Fergus Greer is also a dear friend of Bowery’s:
of masculine and feminine appearances and behaviour by
he released the “Leigh Bowery Looks” book, with
means of the body and clothes, originating new concepts
previously unreleased photos. It is Wexactly with this
of glamour and beauty. Leigh Bowery is one of the most
visual account that the more intimate acquaintance
extreme interpreters of the historical context he lives in:
between the two emerges. Greer captures al the profound
the one of the abolition of every limitation in favour of
and hard work that Bowery carries on around his body.
complete experimentation and contamination among the
“I try to have the best possible image thanks to my
languages of music, art, fashion and design. It is the decade
individuality and expressiveness”. (Leigh Bowery)v
He was an astounding innovator who changed the course of art. He was also a bit of a prophet. In honor of his passing, we revisit a 1990 interview full of insights that still sparkle today.
Up until May 12, 2008, if you polled the cognoscenti as to who was the worldâ€™s greatest living artist, the winner would undoubtedly have been Robert Rauschenberg. But on that date, Rauschenberg moved into another category of greatness. And though his physical heart finally gave out after he chose to remove himself from life support, his spiritual heart beats on in his generous body of work and in the charities he foundedincluding Change, Inc., which has provided emergency funds for artists in distress for more than 30 years, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to raising awareness of the many issues with which he was involved.
While Andy Warhol may be more associated with Pop art, Rauschenberg was the prime mover of Pop and an enormous
Words like ‘important’ and ‘controversial’ inevitably surface when you examine the lengthy career of German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. A few facts to kick off. He pioneered electronic music in “variable form”. He has written graphical scores that can be read from any direction. Inspired by dreams of flying, he has written works for a string quartet where each participant performs from their own helicopter hovering aWbove the concert hall. In short, he does things none of us really understand but sound really quite impressive.
THE PRICE OF PERFECTION
wan Lake is a beautiful, tragic story. The delicate art of ballet sensitively describes both the joy and turmoil
of its main characters. Tchaikovskyâ€™s accomplished composition of music expressed through dance tells of the love between a prince and a cursed princess, who is bound to an evil sorcerer. In their fight to free her from her captor, they realise that their only escape is to leap to their deaths.
When, in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, the artistic director of a New York ballet school announces that Swan Lake will be the season’s title performance, whispers begin to circulate amongst the dancers. Who will win the role of the white swan and its black counterpart? One of those dancers is Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), a shy, innocent ballerina who lives under the strict watch of her troubled mother. Erica Sayers (Barbara Hershey) was once a ballerina, but sacrificed her career to have Nina. Bitter and twisted, she now lives her life vicariously through Nina’s experiences, and maintains an unhealthy influence over her daughter.
Director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel)
obsessive dancer. Black Swan explores
finally settles on Nina to play the lead, and
the lengths to which someone will go to
challenges her to release her inhibitions
achieve their ambition. Hungry to refine
in order to play both swan roles. ‘When
her talent, Nina embraces self-inflicted
I look at you, all I see is the white swan,’
‘the only person standing in your way is you.’
he says. ‘I never see you lose yourself . . . perfection is not just about control, it’s about letting go.’ And so begins Nina’s harrowing descent into madness, as her yearning for perfection begins to take a consuming, strangling hold on her mind. Natalie
performance as the tormented ballerina is certainly award-worthy. It is with her that we delve deep into the psyche of an
physical and mental pain. Her simple existence is dominated by ballet. She lives in a bubble of strict regime, where her days consist of little more than practice and preparation for routines. Her mother ensures that nothing
to suicide attempts and self-harming, spends the majority of the film in hospital. But Nina believes that Beth is ‘perfect.’ She aspires to be like her idol, disregarding her mental state.
comes between her daughter and her art. The childlike décor of Nina’s bedroom, and her infantile relationship with her mother indicates that she is a woman who has not yet grown up. ‘He picked me, Mommy,’ delight.
as her little girl. When their already shaky
Both Thomas and another dancer, Lily
relationship begins to dissolve, we see
(Mila Kunis), seek to bring out the darker,
glimpses of disturbing behaviour in Erica,
sensual side of Nina. Lily introduces Nina
who stands in the dark waiting for Nina to
to partying, alcohol, drugs and men. She is
return home, and watches her sleep. Erica
Nina’s main dancing rival and a more suitable
“...perfection is not just about control, it’s about letting go”
friends, and any interaction with her peers at the ballet school is distanced and strained.
becomes an uncomfortable, suffocating
Isolated from full adulthood and all that it offers,
matriarch. Beth Macintyre (Winona Ryder) is
the lack of stable, reliable relationships in Nina’s
Nina’s role model, and is loved by many at the
life lends itself to the ease with which she falls.
ballet school. When forced to retire due to her
Erica maintains parental control, preserving Nina
age, Beth begins to unravel and, now prone
black swan according to Thomas. She is ‘imprecise but effortless.’ She knows how to let go without being emotionally affected, unlike Nina. Thomas’s inappropriately sexual teaching methods at first evoke an angered reaction from Nina – to Thomas’s delight – since he can see that Nina has fire within her.
Art Directed: Jack Sanders Photography: Cicely-Grace Ellison
I’m human, I’m not perfect.
Many people strive for ‘perfection’ in their life,
and neutral neutrons do everything they can
is a little bit more negative than positive (with
through their work, their family, and their love
to balance out in any and every situation
their thoughts and actions), that there will be
lives. All the time we hear about, or are even
imaginable. By that logic, all of our faults
another person in the world who is a little
called ‘perfectionists’, and usually in a negative
and imperfections exist inherently as part
bit more positive than negative. If more of
context. There have been many great humans
of our perfection. How could we ever do
humanity is positive than negative, maybe the
throughout history that we choose to revere
the most important work in life (learning
balance of energies could show up elsewhere,
and respect because of their virtuous deeds,
to love), if we already know everything?
Everyday we go to work and we do our utmost
The point of this article is to get you to
to do the best job possible. We want things to
question your desire for a perfect life.
Nobody’s Perfect is a cool motto that
be perfect. Supposedly no circle ever drawn
Maybe it already is. Maybe you are already
appeared on Lisa Simpson’s hat when TV’s ‘The
has been perfectly round. I believe it’s the same
aware of it. If life was all happiness and joy
Simpsons’ (you had better know who they are)
with people.You might now be asking, ‘If we are
we wouldn’t know what happiness and joy
family went to Australia . Could imperfections
all inherently flawed and have no possibility of
were, as we’d have nothing to compare them
be paradoxically perfect in themselves? If you
attaining a perfect state, what’s the use in even
to. If we never made mistakes, how would
look close enough at all of the great names
trying? The answer is as simple as two Hydrogen
we know we were even learning anything?
in recorded history you will see that besides
atoms coming together with one Oxygen
What would a life be without the experience
their crowning achievements they also carried
atom to make a single molecule of water.
of learning? What would it amount to?
average person. John Lennon beat his first
We may always have faults, but if we do our
There’s no need to try and be perfect. Either
wife, Martin Luther King Jr. had extramarital
best with altruistic intention driving us forward,
you already are perfect, or you will never
affairs…Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Einstein, and
we will make the world a better place. You
achieve perfection.There is a point in doing the
even Mother Theresa must have done things
may still obsessively eat chocolate but if you
best you can everyday, even if today that simply
that were socially or morally unacceptable.
write up the achievable ‘2050 Plan for World Peace’, people are going to forgive you. On the
ever lived had doubted their abilities because
So, is striving for perfection a pipe-dream when
other hand, if you sit at home hating yourself
they had faults, nothing great would ever have
we realize that no matter what our lives are
means getting out of bed. If everyone who
because of your chocolate addiction, you
been done. If everyone compared themselves
destined to become, there will always be a
aren’t going to help the world, and in essence
to people who have already come and gone
balance of negative influence in our actions?
you’re not going to achieve the balance of
and achieved greatness, then no one would
What about the Buddha? Buddha means
energy (both positive and negative) that
‘perfect one’, and when he supposedly achieved
you require to attain satisfaction in your life.
but were they perfect? It probably comes down to how you look at it, ‘it’ being perfection.
with them the faults and mistakes of the
‘enlightenment’ he no longer had imperfections.
But look at what he had to go through to get
Within paradox there is always the other
to that feeling/awareness. Was his life up to that
side of the coin and so I have to suggest
have had the courage to follow their dreams,
point flawless? No way. If you asked the Buddha
yet another perspective. If everything in the
goals, and purposes. If Einstein had compared
about his life I’m sure he’d say right away that
Universe is already balanced then doesn’t that
himself to Da Vinci, and subsequently been
he only learnt what he did by making mistakes.
imply that no matter what we do, good or bad,
scared into inaction, we would never have
we will balance out evenly? It depends upon
gained the knowledge that he shared with
Could it be that we are all already perfect?
what size picture you’re analyzing. If you’re
the rest of us. Einstein wasn’t perfect. My bet
Everything in the Universe is scientifically
looking at human society as a whole you might
is he probably had a few problems with his
balanced. Negative electrons, positive protons,
choose to believe that for every person that
personal hygiene, you know, cutting his nostril
Published on Jan 29, 2013