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1st Issue Spring 2012

UK ÂŁ10

be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers the creatures of the common place the slaves of the ordinary

cecil beaton

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CONTENTS 7. LEIGH BOWERY Find out how this outrageous and outlandish artist influenced a generation of designers on both sides of the atlantic

11. HOMAGE We pay homage to Leigh Bowery through our very own photo shoot inspired by the very man himself

29. KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN We pay tribute to the German Composer who redefined electronic music

33. FRANCESCO SAMBO Between art and design, there are strange hybrid creatures lurking

45. PETER GREENAWAY Spend an evening with one of Britains’ most contraversial film director’s

49. ISSEY MIYAKE We talk to the Godfather of Japanese fashion himself and find out what he has in store for us this summer

SHOCK &

CONFUSE LEIGH BOWERY

WHETHER HE WAS MAKING HEADDRE S S E S OUT

OF

TOILET

SEATS,

OR

GI V I NG

BIR TH TO A FULL- GROWN WOMAN I N A NIGHTCLUB, WE OUTRAGEOUS

AND

TAKE A LOOK AT TH E OUTLANDISH

ARTI S T

LEIGH BOWERY WHO DEFINED LO ND O N’S CULTURE OF OUTR AGE AND INFLUE NCE D A GENERATION OF ARTISTS AND DES I GNE RS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ATLANTI C . 7

Contrary to popular belief, Bowery was not part of the New Romantic movment that was popular in Britain during the early 1980s. Though perhaps he is more properly placed within the context of early fashion clubs such as Cha Cha’s at Heaven and the “Hard Times” movement, he was always at the centre of the pansexual set of young and fashionable Londoners. From being a plump, studious, and often bullied child, Leigh grew up to often be uncomfortable in his skin, and used his frequently bizarre designs as an armour for his insecurities. As he got larger he used his costumes to exaggerate his size, and the effect was frequently overpowering and unforgettable for those who encountered him, the more so because of his confrontational style.. Bowery was not a wallflower. In the early days Bowery felt comfortable with describing himself as “gay”, although he had intense and passionate friendships occasionally of a sexual nature with women, often in the form of a sadomasochistic type relationship, with Bowery firmly in the role of master puppeteer. With his bizarre looks Leigh often had difficulties attracting the men he was sexually attracted to, and he would often describe having sex in risky underground situations such as “cottaging”, with unattractive individuals. Unlike many of his club contemporaries Bowery was highly intelligent, widely read, and passionate about all forms of artistic expression. While he could be extremely witty and charming, he would often be a malicious fashion bully, intimidating friend and foe alike with his sharp tongue and accusations. These all reflected a sign of the times where “hardness” went hand in hand with the club scene.Although Taboo was over by early 1987, Bowery was at the very heart of London’s alternative fashion movement. It was probably at this time he contracted HIV, although he kept this a closely guarded secret from most friends until days before his death. Being HIV-positive at this time was seen as a death sentence and there was much fear and discrimination to be faced – Bowery did not want to be described as an artist with AIDS, feeling it would overshadow any of his artistic achievements. In 1988 he had a week-long show in Anthony d’Offay’s prestigious Dering Street Gallery in London’s West End, in which he lolled on a chaise longue behind a two-way mirror, primping and preening in a variety of outfits while visitors to the gallery looked on. The insouciance and audacity of this overt queer narcissism captivated gallery goers, critics and other artists. Bowery’s exquisite appearance, silence and intense self-absorption were further accentuated by his own recordings of random and abrasive traffic noises which were played for the show’s duration. The very intimate and private was flung in the face of the public complete with a “street life” sound track, hinting perhaps at something still darker. In some outfits he appears like some strange roadside creature, like a cat that finally got the cream (of art world attention); in others he is the “Satan’s Son” that he would whisper, years later, on his deathbed.

‘‘

rather than doing a painting on canvas or sculpting with clay, I put all these ideas on to myself

9

HO MA G E to LEIGH BOWERY

P h o t o g r a p h e d b y L E E WA L LW O R K

11

P H O T O G R A P H Y : L e e Wa l l w o r k M O D E L : S a r a h Mc Il v a r S T Y L I N G : L e e Wa l l w o r k

H E

W R O T E

3 0 0

W O R K S

G E N R E S A N D

M O R E I N

F R O M

C O M P L E X

P I E C E S

T O A N D

C O M P O S I T I O N S P F O R M E R S ,

P R O D U C E R S , R E C O R D I N G A U D I E N C E S

29

O P E R A

M U S I C

W H E R E

B E C A M E

V A R I O U S

T H E

O R C H E S T R E A L

E L E C T R O N I C

T H A N

H I S

H E L I C O P T E R S , E Q U I P M E N T A L L

A N D

T O G E T E R

I N S T R U M E N T S .

30

A

m u s i c a l

p i o n e e r ,

K a r l h e i n z

t a b o o s . 
 S t o c k h a u s e n c o r d e d

s o u n d s

i n

t h e

t a p e - r e c o r d e d t i o n a l

s o u r c e s

e l e c t r o n i c R u n d f u n k c o r d e d i n

i n g

a t

s u c h

a n d

i n

t o r i c

( c o n t r o l l e d

c o l l a b o r a t e d s t a g e d

X I

w i t h

h a p p e n i n g s

f o r m e r s

o f

t h e

p e r f o r m e r s a n d

t h e

w e r e

t a i l s 33

a u d i e n c e o f

c h a n c e )

s u c h

p u r e l y

i n

i n

G e o r g e

w h e r e a

n e w

o n e

t h e

N e w

A t

t h a t

e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n s

n o t

We s t

t h e

t h e

( W D R )

w i t h

r e -

f i r s t

e l e m e n t s e a r l y

t o

w o r k s

1 9 6 0 s

t i m e

e v e r

b e i n

p e r a l e a -

S t o c k h a u s e n

c o n c e r t s .

H e

a l s o

a v a n t - g a r d e

h e

p e r -

e x p e r i m e n t e d

a u d i e n c e s

a l l

i m a g i n a t i o n a n d

m a d e

g r o u n d - b r a k -

e v e n

i n s t r u m e n t s . b e

w i t h

D e u t s c h e

w o r k

H i s

o t h e r

o b j e c t s ,

m u s i c a l c o u l d

a n d

r e -

u n c o n v e n -

R a d i o

w e r e

a n d

a n d

c o m p o s i t i o n s

l o f t

p r o v o k e d

n o n - m u s i c a l a s

e a r l y

a n d

m u s i c i a n s t h a t

t h e

Yo r k

o t h e r

t h e

g e n r e .

o f

p l a y e d

l e a d i n g

1 9

b a r r i e r s m u s i c

C o l o g n e

( 1 9 5 3 ) ,

M a c i u n a s

s e t t i n g

u s e d

t h e

H e

a n d

a t

f e a t u r e s

m o v e m e n t .

v a r i o u s a l s o

h e r

l i v e

e l e c t r o n i c

t h i s

w a s

i n

a t

w o r k

S t u d y ”

w h i c h

w i t h

w o o d

w a s

m a n y

1 9 5 0 s .

a n d

m u s i c . 

 I n

O n o

s h o w s

v e n t i v e n e s s .

H i s

s e q u e n c e s ,

w i t h

m e t a l ,

C o l o g n e

( 1 9 5 6 ) ,

“ F l u x u s ”

c r o s s - g e n r e

b e c o m e

i n

w o r k s

Yo k o

e a r l y

S t u d i o

“ E l e c t r o n i c

p u b l i s h e d

c h a n g i n g

g l a s s ,

t i m e .

a s

a n d

e x p e r i m e n t a l

s t u d i o

b r o k e

e x p e r i m e n t s

R a d i o

H i s

t h a t

h i s

1 9 4 0 s

o f

P a r i s

“ K l a v i e r s t u c k

f o r m e d

w i t h

i n

s t u d i o .

s o u n d

w r i t t e n

l a t e

s o u n d s

( W D R )

1 9 5 3 - 5 4 ,

b e g a n

S t o c k h a u s e n

t o g e t h e r a n d

p e o p l e

A l t h o u g h

r e g i s t e r e d

i n

i n i n d e -

n o t a t i o n ,

t h e

b r e a k t h r o u g h

e n c e s

a n d

h a u s e n p l e t e l y I n

j o i n

w r o t e

t h e

t h e

a l o n e

“ Y l e m ”

w a s

t h a t

w i t h o u t h e

p e r s o n

p e r f o r m e r s

c o n c e p t u a l

a n d

( 1 9 7 2 )

a n y

i n

i n s t r u c t s

1 9

D a y s ”

t o

w i t h

h a p p e n i n g .

“ H e l i k o p t e r - S t r e i c h q u a r t e t t ”

t e n

f o r

t r o n i c a n d

4

m u s i c i a n s

v i d e o

a n d

r e c o r d e d

c o p t e r s t o o k

t l e d

2 5

“ L i c h t ”

n i n g

o v e r

p r e s e n t i n g

b y

y e a r s

o p e r a s ,

o n e

a

c o c k , a l b u m

Yo k o a n d

t h e

S e r g e a n t

c o m p l e t e .

o u t p u t

P e p p e r ’ s o f

I t

i s

f o r

S t o c k h a u s e n o f

w a s

h i s

t h e

L o n e l y

t h e

n u m e r o u s

f a n s

2 6 - m i n u t e

h e l i c o p t e r s

d a y

o f

c o u r s e

a n

D a v i s ,

H e a r t s

t e l e p a t h i c

w a s

w a s

w r i t -

w i t h

e l e c -

p e r f o r m e d

Q u a r t e t

o n

h e l i -

c o n s i s t i n g

e a c h

a p p e a r e d

A u r o b i n d o .

m e g a - o p e r a

o c c i d e n t a l

M i l e s

c o m -

l a r g e s t

t h e

a s

S t o c k -

S t o c k h a u s e n ’ s

c r e a t e d

c i t e d

S r i

( 1 9 9 2 - 9 5 )

A r d i t t i

a u d i -

l i v i n g

t h i s

a n d

t h e

1 9 6 8

e s t a b l i s h

t e c h n o l o g y ,

1 9 7 7 - 2 0 0 3 ) . 

 I n

m i x

f l y i n g

b y

b y

p e r f o r m i n g

A r m y .

o p e r a

S t o c k h a u s e n

o n e

4

t i m e s

A u s t r i a n

K r a f t w e r k ,

B j ö r k .

r t n e y ,

s e v e r a l

c o n c e p t u a l

O n o ,

o n

i n t e r - c o m

2 4 - h o u r

y e a r s ,

t h o u g h t - p r o v o k i n g t l e s ,

t o

( L i g h t , 6 0

p e r f o r m i n g

s o u n d

1 9 9 6

p r o v i d e d

h i m

s e v e n

i n

w h i l e

o f

a f t e r

i n f l u e n c e d

m u s i c i a n s

o t h e r

o u t

m u s i c . 

 I n

S e v e n

b e i n g

c o m e

c o m m u n i c a t i o n H i s

e a c h

m a k i n g

“ F r o m

f o o d ,

c o u l d

o v e r a n

o f

h i s

3 0 0

i n f l u e n c e

t h e

C l u b

w e e k ,

B a n d

a c r o s s

b y

Z a p p a , c o v e r

t h e

i s

c a r e e r

o f

e n t i s p a n -

c o m p o s i t i o n s ,

o r i e n t a l

F r a n k

o n

t h e

w o r k

o f

w i t h

c u l t u r e s . t h e

T h e

H e r b i e T h e

H i s B e a -

H a n -

B e a t l e s ’

P a u l

M c C a -

u n i v e r s e . 32

HYBRID Between art and design, these are the strange hybrid creatures of Italian artist FRANCESCO SAMBO. An interesting and visually intense photo manipulation with bodies of men with heads of animals.

34

There’s sex and There’s death THE

WORLD

DIRECTOR

FAMOUS

PETER

BRITISH

GREENAWAY

FILM SHARES

WITH US HIS PACT WITH DEATH AND THE 26 PROJECTS HE’S BURSTING TO CRACK ON WITH WHILE HE’S STILL GOT THE TIME. 45

Greenaway is an incurable self-promoter, he’s currently involved in 26 projects over the world and is forever ready with a barrage of stats about how many people he VJ’d in front of in Gdansk, or have seen The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover. There will always be, he says, “people who travel thousands of miles to see a Greenaway film. And I’m still painting – I’ve got a big exhibit coming up in Milan soon. And that’s even more private.” Yet it is on show to the public? “Yes. Well, do you think a person who keeps a diary keeps it for himself? Anybody who writes a diary insists it must be read by someone else. So if I’m making very private films I want people to see them; of course I do.”

47

There’s a soreness beneath the swagger. In England, at least, Greenaway must be his own cheerleader. He’s come under attack from his peers; even some of his defenders qualify their praise. He’s also had a rough write-up in a lot of interviews. He suggests various explanations: because he’s a

jack of all trades, not a specialist. Because he’s not Oxbridge. Because the English are “textually minded … and so those who practise the image are regarded as not kosher.” He cites an ally in undervaluation: RB Kitaj, another artist of ideas. “He had a big exhibit in Tate 10 years ago and he was absolutely excoriated by people like you because he did your job so much better than you can. He understood it so much more than you did.” He’s happy in Holland. He likes the lack of snobbery, the openness, the freedom. “For a long time now they’ve been able to talk about homosexuality, abortion and euthanasia at the breakfast table. Elsewhere people turn away in embarrassment or run for the hills.” He is, he says, planning to take advantage of the freedom afforded and kill himself when he’s 80. “My youngest daughter will be 21 so I can see her to full adulthood. Why would it be sad? I’ve got 14 years left. They say the most valuable thing about death is that you

never know when it’s going to happen. But I think this a curse. I think if we knew we’d make much better use of life.” To some extent, this suicide plan is another example of his eagerness to be at the cutting edge – “I think very soon we’re all going to have to seriously discuss compulsory euthanasia.” But it’s also nobler. He’s an ideas man to the end, who’s keen to put them into practice – and not just in film. He has a genuine sense of responsibility. “I’ve had a fantastic life and I’m still enjoying it and am an extremely happy man, but there has to be a trade-off somewhere. I’m a Darwinian. All I can think is that we’re here to fuck, to procreate. And we’re incredibly focused towards it. All our literature and television is pushing us towards it. But I passed on my genes a long time ago, so I have to justify my place in the human race some other way.” You may have to cook up a purpose in life for yourself “since we’ve thrown away God and Satan and Freud”, but he’s evangelical about the necessity of doing so. “I’m not

here to play tiddlywinks and I don’t think you are either.” He’s off soon after, striding across the square in his thick pinstripes, booming into his mobile, bursting to crack on with those 26 projects while he’s still got the time.

48

I

I

ssey miyake

Creed takes an upfront look at the groundbreaking designs for the new spring / summer collection by t h e G o d f a t h e r o f Ja p a n e s e f a s h i o n .

50

evo

olve

Fashion has always toed a fine line between its dual identitiest’, it is pulled towards the two poles of ready-to-wear street clothes and haute couture. For many designers, the answer comes through the creation of two lines. Designers will show their hand-made high fashion on the runways of Paris and Milan, and spread their names with special, factory-produced collections for lower-end merchandisers. Yohji Yamamoto partnered with Addidas, John Varvatos with Converse, Isaac Mizrahi with Target. These partnerships allow a designer to meet the demands of a more consumer-minded business as well as maintain the freedom of high fashion expression. The answer for Miyake and Fujiwara, however, came not from the production of two lines, but from use of a new means of production. Merging computer technology with the creativity of the consumer,the design duo founded A-POC, A revolutionary design technique, A-POC transforms a single thread into clothing sans coudre.

“I do not believe that any discussion of art is possible without bringing technology onboard”

53

For some designers, their fashion shows seem an opportunity to shock and stun. Twice a year, the runway creates an opportunity to smile smugly and say, “Oh yes, I dared.” We love them for it. We love John Galiano for filling Parisian Vogue with models garbed as pirates. We love Marc Jacobs for throwing Grunge-wear in the face of New York’s most fashionable elite. Their dedication to the fabulous is captivating. It frees us from the daily convention of what one wears. But what’s interesting about ISSEY MIYAKE is that despite the utter originality of his work, Fujiwara is far from smug. He intends neither to shock, nor stun. Instead, he is eerily nonchalant about his originality. Whether by recreating the natural through the mechanical or by creating an entire evening gown from a single thread, Fujiwara will defy every fashion convention in existence all while suggesting that the convention never existed. He makes his innovation seem apparent—obvious creations the circumstance. His models add to this effect. Awash in perfectly engineered color-hues and surrounded by yards of free-flowing, crafted cloth, they seem entitled to the ingenuities enabled by modern engineering.


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