FEAR AND LOATHING ISSUE
ANTI MEAN HER
RO BY STRANSKI
It’s no wonder where all this flesh is coming from – puppets walking down the streets, wasting their time with empty talk done by empty minds. These are the people filling their cups, filling their fridges, their beds, the streets and the state’s empty coffers. People not living in cardboard boxes but who also have no backyard putting green in Bali. In their thoughts these are the “Middle people” from “Middle earth”. Their phobias and paranoia, constantly changing reality around them, up to a point of total absurdity. People like Jason Jedlika, who proved that can be a ripped man-barbie if you can afford it. In this world in which those that look better, are doing much better than those who know well, makes sense to exist people who want Brad Pitt’s face.
of people trying to be someone else. On the other hand it is sad when you realize surgeons cannot change people’s minds. No real change is happening in the end.
In school, Jason, never liked his nose and ever since he is putting good effort in getting surgically photoshopped. These interventions seem to be epidemic, multiplying themselves all over people’s bodies. After Jason got a million dollar nose, he decided that his person needs more tweaking. He had to become big, pumped-up fitness machine. But there was a problem, he didn’t like going to the gym. His transformation was completed by having implants for his muscles and face. Then comes the best part, after the nose and the muscles came the identity disorder. As his ego was getting even smaller behind all those fake implants, only people’s attention could make Jason feel good again. Just like a potent new drug, the attention deficit brought him to spend more than100 thousand dollars on surgeries. The final result was another Jason, copy of Barbie’s husband Ken. As a matter of fact the new Ken is maybe just part of a big secret scientific experiment. In one hand he is just a drop in the ocean
MEAN HERO B
Meanstream heroism is that of spirit. Our mean-heroine this month is literally standing in front of a gun barrel because of her ideas. She wants her human rights. The right to live, to go outside, to have an education. If she does not act, there will be only obligations and prejudices in her life, but no rights. Gender prejudices are common in the Arab world but this girl’s story is something more. Pakistan is the country ranked as the 2nd worldwide in terms of girls dropping from school. Women are viewed as baby factories, scapegoats for a sociopathic and paranoid society.
a hospital in Birmingham, after the bullet was removed from her head. Here there is a crossroad in her story. Bullets can silence someone but will not stop the earth from spinning. Bullets won’t stop ideas to be voiced and they surely won’t stop Malala. As TV programs are filled with useless information, girls like Malala continue their struggle. What the Talibans are going to discover is that the most dangerous person is one who has nothing to loose.
The underaged Malala Yousafzai began her blog, when the Taliban were rulers of her home place in the valley of Swat, Northwestern Pakistan. In a place where men were required to grow beards and women were forbidden to go out of their houses, internet is the final frontier for little freedom. This is when Malala started writing for BBC. At this moment women’s rights in Pakistan fell on the shoulders of a 13 year old girl, who revealed to the west the underlying reality. She wanted to move out of the dark, but the darkness engulfed her when an unknown gunman stopped the school bus she was in. Then she got a bullet in her head. The Taliban admitted to this atrocity, it was just part in the big puzzle of violence and hopelessness that are being drawn like a red X on everybody who got in their way. This mark is the reason why another girl Hina Kahn is afraid to go outside. Days before the shooting of Malala, the red mark X, was drawn on the door of Hina’s home. She had publicly stood for women’s rights in Pakistan. She publicly protested against the Taliban fanaticism and the destruction of over 200 schools in 2007. Hina was next. The question is how do you raise your voice in place like this? Where do you get all this courage being only 15 years old? But Malala lives. She is now recovering in
SPIRITUAL FATHER B
BY SAINT EUGENIUS
b Please introduce yourself. My name is Vincent Castiglia, and I’m a surrealist painter. I was born and raised in New York City, where I live till this day.
believe. My heart is definitely lighter these days. Can you tell the craziest experience you have had in your work? My right lung collapsed in 2008 while painting for my solo exhibition at the H. R. Giger Museum Gallery. The surgery to correct this was quite invasive, extraordinarily painful, and the recovery was extremely slow. When I wasn’t coughing up blood, my breathing was very labored, and the pain in my lung and all over my whole chest cavity didn’t really begin to subside until about a year after the surgery. As soon as I could walk, and lift my arms to paint again I continued working on paintings for the show that was coming up at the time, again my first solo show at the H. R. Giger Museum Gallery. I only collect as much blood as necessary for a particular time period, as this is the safest way to work, I’ve found. In the past, there have been times that I’ve been so consumed with the work I wasn’t keeping track of how much I was collecting, and how often I was collecting it. Although I’m not certain this was directly related to the event, my right lung collapsed in 2008 during a very ambitious painting period, which called for a very invasive surgery to correct it, during which a portion of my lung had to be removed. So, I don’t test those waters anymore. It’s been four years, and I’m now at 100%, and feel great.
How did you become an artist? I’ve been making art from very young. It came naturally, and was the only way I could effectively disconnect from my environment. “Home” life was a horror show. I grew up with my mother, who was very ill with psychological problems. I continued drawing into early adulthood, where my creative tendencies became a professional pursuit. What was your very first influence? Circumstance. Who are your favorite artists? H.R. Giger, Salvador Dali, Francis Bacon, and many more. Today, what is your strongest inspiration? My inspiration has always come very much from where I am at that particular point in time. Today, inspiration comes in the form of a very new set of circumstances for me. Both of my parents died within the last year. There’s been a lot to process and try to understand in a very short amount of time. It was a difficult time while my father was sick with cancer, and lasted two and half years. I found it almost impossible not to suffer with him. I wouldn’t wish that kind of death on anyone, it was brutal. His passing was sad, but I was so relieved that his suffering was over. Then my mother died of a heart attack less than 7 months after. Through all of this, I’ve gained many insights and have made peace with areas of my life that were before unsettled. It’s with a new level of understanding and commitment that I’m engaging with my work, a more balanced one I
What is the feeling that you wish to communicate in your work? The endurance of hope and beauty in a temporal, decaying world. We’re all human, and will eventually weaken and die one day. So we’re limited by time in this way to make the most of our experiences in this life, to value them and our world.
b What is your artist’s leitmotiv? The symbiosis of birth and death, the human condition and the urgency of the moment.
alchemy. What is your dream project? I believe I’m already living it.
Where do you find your ideas for the pictures? I’m asked what inspires the work often, and the answer was always the same…my experiences in life, most of them prior to a certain point, painful. I can say that this inspiration has shifted in degrees over time. But pain is much interwoven with the work and the imagery itself and the place from which I was painting from. Then actually rendering the imagery, there is kind of pain of tedium involved. It’s more of a pain I’d like to give birth. There’s pain and then something issues forth and then something beautiful is created and it will exist independently of me, have its own existence in this world. So in a sense, they’re more like my children then they are my paintings. At the moment, I’m honestly more enthused to be alive than ever, so the darker areas of life are somewhat in the background, and inspiration has been coming from a more vital, less tortured place. However, there are essential elements of my visual language which most likely won’t change much, as they’re integral to the philosophy of the work, and my perceptions in life, human figures, flesh disintegrating, etc. Many of the figures in my paintings represent archetypes. They’re depictions of various stations of human experience that I believe are common to us all; love, loss, sex, death, triumph, betrayal, and hope to name some. Some of them are me and you, some are our prototypical predecessors, others are demons exorcized, and the rest are exemplars venerated... all are consecrated through the very literal shedding of blood and the transference of energy and substance into other forms... paintings. It’s
What is your worst vice? Caffeine. I’ve done away with all the others! Are you religious and who is your God? I’m not religious at all, but I’m not a stranger to mystical experience. I don’t identify myself as subscribing to any particular belief system. Mine is just a kind of all-encompassing one. What do you think about the end of the world this year? I couldn’t say. I don’t really have an opinion on this. If it were to happen, I guess I’d prefer to see some of it happen before I was annihilated, that would be pretty amazing I think, to be a witness to the end of the world. How do you think photography will have changed by 2050? I can’t imagine, probably to the effect that digital photography will be capable of things comparable to today’s microscopes. It’s predicted that by 2040 we’ll be able to upload and download information to and from our brains via the blood using nanotechnology, or blood cell-sized microchips which are capable of accomplishing this. Could you recommend some new artists? Kris Kuksi and David Stoupakis. Some old artists? DaVinci, Odd Nerdrum (he’s still alive, but not quite young) A website about art? www.vincentcastiglia.com
b A movie about art? “H.R Giger Revealed”. A book about art? “The War of Art”. A picture everyone should see? H.R Giger’s “The Spell”. Something for breakfast? Protein powder and oatmeal. An artist, that you’d like to see interviewed here after you? David Stoupakis. His paintings are incredible, and he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. I’m honored to call him a friend. Last words? Thank you.
Slovakia, Slovenia, back to Macedonia, then Albania… then until the end of the year we hope Serbia and Greece.
Selector Lazy Face is one of the well known reggae characters on the Bulgarian scene, and using persistent party raids, as well as his online radio Jamaica Air Force, managed to catalyze Jamaican’s music voice in Bulgaria. Meanstream caught him on the verge of his own tour with Jahmmi Youth, and in the process of engineering the first-to-be Bulgarian reggae compilation “Reggae is good vor you vol.1”
According to your experience, how your type of music perceived in Bulgaria? Well this kind of culture in those countries that I have visited is much more developed, so the music is well accepted. For example in Bratislava we are going to perform with 6 local sound systems. In Bulgaria there are hardly two. Over there, the culture has been consistently developing since 15-20 years and counting.
Hey, how is Jamaica Air Force going at the moment? It’s happening (smiles)… Things are happening for now, the broadcast is already on air since more than a year. At the moment we are looking to options for a live broadcast aired from studio. It is kind of complicated due to the location of the radio right now, podcasting from Plovidv. The idea is to move to a proper radio… Once we go on-air, it would be even cooler for us to go around. At the moment though these are just wet dreams so we are just running the podcast, full speed.
Which is the most absurd thing you’ve heard when you perform? You just got me here!… I was offered money to play certain music in Plovdiv. One dude jus came, started to wave a 10 leva bill and wanted me to play Metallica. It is a common thing I guess. Despite the heavy financial incentive I had to refuse (smiles). So if someone has an idea for a reggae versions to Metallica and Depeche Mode, please feel free to contact me, since apparently demand is prerry high.
You had gigs abroad, do you feel like a Bulgarian reggae ambassador? No. I see myself as someone who is trying to develop the local scene. Through the radio broadcast and through the organization of concerts. This year alone, six or seven decent level international performers came through Jamaica Air Force.
Who is your personal reggae hero? Mine personal reggae hero? Me of course! (laughing). I have many favorite musicians, but heroes no… I got hooked to this music with Skatalites, that is all I can say (laughing again)…
Tell us about your tour with Jahmmi Youth. The idea came after we did some performances in the country side – Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas. It turned out great, then in May we got invited in Skopie, Macedonia. This is how we said to ourselves: obviously, just as the Beastie Boys, „we got the skills to pay the bills“. “Paying the bills” though, is the hard part at the moment, so we have decided to try abroad. For now we have confirmed 7 dates in different countries – Romania,
Where can we find you performing right now? On the 10th of November at Jahmmi’s new video promo at Mixtape 5. On 17th at Sofia Live Club with Roost Rocket. Then on 23rd and 28th at Mixtape 5. Otherwise in bars like Four Rooms and The Construction. We have some performances in the country, because I think it is important to develop the stage not only in Sofia.
N’S HI FI
Did anyone know anything about Jamaican culture in your country when you started? Yes they did, and for many years. There was considerable black community in Zagreb in 1980s, in time before the war, and there were even some parties done and concerts in the 80s, eg. Benjamin Zephaniah in SKC Zagreb. However, whole thing snowballed in late 90s, when most of today’s selectors/musicians came and literary created the scene.
You`ve collaborated with Lee Perry. Was he what you`ve expected him to be? We didn’t collaborate, we shared the stage with him in Zagreb. Lee Perry is one of immortal artists from JA, and definitely a person to look up to. He is what you expect him to be in most cases. What`s your opinion on the legalization? Legalize it! What do you consider to take back home from India? Nice experience and a bag full of spices :)
How did the first Balkan reggae compilation Balkanfarraj become a fact? Well, we collected the music from our friends musicians from ex yu region and then Balkanfarraj was made. We understood the impact that using domestic language in reggae music have in this region, and this was the general idea, to make a compilation which people who never heard reggae could understand. We hope we managed to fulfill that mission.
Your words to the Bulgarian Hi Fi maniacs? Support your local scene! Problem is when people don’t support local events with local DJs and crews, then promoters don’t feel safe gambling money when they want to book bigger artists. Support your local scene as much as you can, regardless of sub genre dividing on dancehall, dub or roots scenes. This divide is utter rubbish in our opinion. If we all cooperate, regardless of a genre, we will have stronger and healthier scene. Eg. UK scene nowdays where you have jungle, dub, dancehall and dubstep in the same room and gathered under pretty much same name, bass music. While some people see this term ‘bass music’ as something wrong, we see it as final stage in unification of all these sub genres of Reggae music. It’s good, it’s healthy and it’s how it should really be.
Are there more similarities between the Balkans and Jamaica or there are more differences? Well, one can find similarities in anything, so to claim that there is more or less differences, it’s ungrateful and probably very wrong. However, there is mutual love between JA and Balkan artists, we have JA drummers who came to Serbia to play with gypsy brass players, we have likes of Jah Mason collaborating with Hornsman Coyote in Serbia or with Mate Bro in Slovenia, so there is definitely love between two regions. What do you like best in the Jamaican culture? Dee jay culture and culture of remixing and making it into something new. Which one of your sets you wish it never ended? All of them? :)
TAME IMPALA - LONERISM BY SAINT EUGENIUS
The second studio album of Australian bunch Tame Impala – “Lonerism” – again is to be likened to the classical pieces from the 60’s and 70’s of the last century. The project is much more though. Through its maximum use of available technology, the album embraces the spirit of experimental and psychedelic rock. The richness of sounds comes in contrast to the popular notion that humanity and technology are in a constant state of war. While listening to “Lonerism”, your ego gets smaller, in a good sense the album makes you realize the possibilities when man, machine and Mother Nature are in harmony. 28
DUM DUM GIRLS - END OF DAZE BY SAINT EUGENIUS
These are the Dum Dum Girls. Outside their influences, across boundaries and even more ontrack with every new recording. “End of Daze” is the best piece by the chicks, so far. A short story about talent, a short reminder of high explosives recorded on tape. Here we have a full spectrum of everything important to make a good album – driving ballads, melodic pop guitars mingled inside the furious rhythm – and just after 18 minutes you hit the clock as a true chess master, declaring – “It’s your time girls, all others are just trying to sound like this”. 29
MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA + H&M BY DIZZY
The anticipated collaboration at H&M will be with the conceptual and individualistic fashion house Maison Martin Margiela. The assortment is again taking us to the roots of the brand touched with the affordability of the Swedish company – duality, transformations and of course big proportions. In the semantics of the word “basic” are ingrained the ideas of natural con30
MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA + H&M BY DIZZY
ceptuality, “basic” as a way of thinking, an open end. A clear example of this being the leather dress, resembling a car seat, the giant chocolate cake-like clutch with a barcode on it, and many more. 31
YVES SAINT LAURENT - MANIFESTO BY DIZZY
After the disaster named Saint Laurent Paris, this “manifest” of female sensuality and tradition that is Yves is sending us again to our favorite redheads. They are not only ladies but epitomes of natural beauty. Known to us from the epic Belle D’Opium – Melanie Thierry the forbidden fruit of seduction, the unforgettable Sofie Dahl, and with my favorite jewel Jessica Chastain together triumph in a violet sea of warmth, presenting their “business card” – the art of daring flamboyancy. The teaser clip is directed by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, the full screen is directed by the semi-hated, semi-loved creator of “Drive” – Nicolas Winding Refn. Well maybe that is more of an event than news but hey above else – a future classic. 32
BARTON PERREIRA + GIOVANNI RIBISI BY DIZZY
Enlightened in the realm of absolute luxury and despite its short history, the label Barton Perreira inspires the clichĂŠ for the classical English aristocratic elegancy, taking it further on another level. The designer, Pathy Pereirra redefines the notion of elegancy, contributing with a pinch of characteristic street contra-culture â€“ a true hobo style taken through the chic look. With the help of the amazing Giovanni Ribisi, known to us not only through his film acting, but also as the husband of Anges Dean (yes!). Here is the proof. 33
CODE LBJ* BY DIZZY
Trendsetters like Alexa Chung to Beyonce, passing Romy Schneider and the juvenile Claudia Shiffer saw the 90’s podium, but the unforgettable tweed jacket of immortal Coco Chanel is going to remain, we hope, an sobering everlasting recourse in the confusing geometry of fashion. Gabriel herself says that fashion is coming and going, but style remains, and these same words are taking us to the very heart of Belgravia, where stands a modern monolith, named Saatchi. From 12th October to 4th November, the London gallery is going to host the exhibition Little Black Jacket, which of course was shot by the famous Carl Lagerfeld, and stylized by the phoenix of modern fashion industry Carin Reuthfeld. That otherwise touching, in its conceptual simplicity, exhibition recreates 113 images and visualizations of the idea for the tweed jacket as a constant. Being worn by man and women, in a spectrum from actors, models, singers, painters, designers, architects and many more artists – it remains one true notion, a constant in eternity. Art as an everlasting paradigm of short standing poor human tastes. This is one of the main messages of the exhibition – this jacket can be work by anybody, without being confined by temporal or any other restrictions. In Coco’s biographical book, Justine Picardie even gives the jacket as and example – in its rigid cut and masculinity, this garment stays true to the very true foundations of the brand – its feminine spirit. Naturally we can give praise to Mr. Lagerfeld for
his ability since 30 years to keep a woman’s image in its classical and refined look, yet still retaining its modern hue. Taking over the fashion house in 1982, just 11 years after Coco’s death, he saw the tweed cut through the 80’s and 90’s evolution, keeping the female focus in the spectrum of elegancy and class. Which is what exactly this jacket is.
MEANSTREAM NEXT ISSUE: 1 DECEMBER 2012