nasty magazine no.04 - the void issue winter 2014
V O I D
W W W.OBSCUR.SE
OUT IN SPRING 2014 w w w.self-control.me
nasty magazine no.04 - the void issue, winter 2014.
founders and creative directors Marco Giuliano Jessica De Maio
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editor-in-chief Elettra Boccia fashion editor Anca Macavei illustration editor Irene Rinaldi guest writing curation Amanda Raczkowski Joseph Reed for Caketrain Press
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guest writers Iulia Burtea, Larisa Oancea, Ben Mirov, Ryan Call, Vera Claeys, Sarah Rose Etter, Izzat Haziq, Ari Ross. cover story photographer Nhu Xuan Hua, assistant photographer Esther Bellepoque, fashion stylist Francesca Pinna, assistant stylist Dionne Walker, hair Craig Marsden at Carol Hayes Management, make-up Marco Antonio using Mac Pro Cosmetics, model Codie Young at Viva models London, set designer Gareth Goodison, art work John Green, location Street Studios.
inside cover picture by Ulrike Biets. back cover pictures by Rebecca Cairns.
nasty is a quarterly magazine published by Jessica De Maio. P.I. 05081570656, email: email@example.com Registered at Tribunale Civile di Roma, auth n. 32/2013 (18/02/2013) disclaimer Any reproduction or usage of the editorial content of Nasty Magazine is strictly forbidden without the prior permission from the staff. The intellectual property and the views expressed in these pages are those of the respective contributors and not necessarily are shared by the staff of Nasty Magazine. No responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited materials sent to us.
TA B L E O F
I. showcase 14 area fashion 20 heights of art / abysses of fashion the reality issue 32 naomi filmer fashion 38 clothes who avoid confrontation focus 40 spacious monochromes, intimate void art 44 eye, ghost photography 56 a field guide to snow and ice art
II. fashion editorials
68 the shining alexandre tabaste
136 whiteout voyage
78 men under glass janneke van der hagen
146 last year at marienbad movie
92 sleepwalker nhu xuan hua
148 silent machines soundtrack
104 permanent magdalena kmiecik
150 variations on the theme sketches
114 miss empathy gloria marigo 124 the devil we share sevda albers
â€œIt is the stillest words that bring on the storm.
area a conversation with Barbara Bologna.
While drifting into the most profound depths of the void, an infinite variety of atoms at undefinite time and uncertain place suddenly change direction; they collide, unite in complex entities called clusters. And itâ€™s the same spontaneous power of movement that connects, by certain swerve, sculpture, theatre, body art, music and fashion in the multiplicity of her circumstances.
interview by Anca Macavei
What does AREA stand for? AREA is a space in which i exist, along with everything that i believe as being akin to my vision. A space that sometimes is awfully empty, some other times awfully crowded;in some moments even the space itself gets swallowed.
Is there a piece that you fancy most out of all your creations so far? Every time I am madly in love with the newest creation and I deeply hate the previous one. Furthermore, I donâ€™t see the collections as something separated, I see only one, unique, body instead.
How difficult do you find it to maintain independence and autonomy for your brand in the current fashion system? How much have you compromised so far? I always thought that difficulty is something that drives human beings to surpass limits - and this is applyable in my case as well. I do not believe in compromises, I believe in a natural evolution in my work instead, something that drags my choices in every collection.
opening pages: Photography by Gautier Pellegrin, Barbara Bologna. Styling by Barbara Bologna. Model is Esther Mathis.
Considering that you were born in Italy, how do you relate to the concept of heritage and tradition? There are things belonging to tradition embodied in my being while there are also others that I maybe do not consider rationally, gliding, but they are still part of myself. I would avoid talking about the Made in Italy... italian artisanality has a well known interesting value. For me, Italy, is a real opportunity to find everything i could wish for, in the way I could wish for; and together with the special people around me that make my visions possible - this is what constitutes heritage for me.
You have embodied various paths along the way, from sculpture, body art, theatre, to fashion and you always mention music as being an essential element. How did music left a mark on you? Music is fundamental, it has always been so in every stage of my life. Music makes me see, makes me live, it completes me. There is a precise sound belonging to each collection, something that i am listening to almost compulsively, every day, until the work is completed.
Is there any difference in this moment between your concept of Self-image (how you see you, how you are) and the one of Ideal self-image (how you would like to see yourself, how you would want to be)? I do not need to see me, I need to feel me. If this happens the outside identically matches the inside. How I would like to be? The way I am.
Style can be seen as an expression of oneâ€™s identity. Therefore if we, as individuals, are influenced by many variables that modify and change us continuously, our style cannot be seen as constant either. Which is the element that shapes and structures your life and aesthetic? We are always in mutation and our bodies as well. It would not be possible to stop all this and remain identical forever, it would not even be exciting. My shapes, structures, my aesthetic, are derived from a set of things that i observe around me. It would be rather simplistic to make a list, there are too many things that I see and that may seem uselles at a certain point in time, but then they re-emerge from an inner turmoil. My mind creates a clear image out of blurred ones, and it is that image that I am following until achievement. My life is a breathless race towards the impossible.
What is happiness for you? Living.
previous page and right: Photography by Barbara Bologna, Alice Moschin. Styling by Barbara Bologna.
the reality issue
a conversation with Aoi Kotsuhiroi.
the reality issue
We all know that foremost, fashion affects the attitude of most people towards both themselves and others. But going further in the analysis of what fashion stands for, sociologists like Roland Barthes or Georg Simmel, relate to it many other areas of interest: from clothing, to the body, consumption, identity or art; considering it a broad phenomenon that from late medieval periods onwards applies to most of the social arenas in which clothing is merely one instance among many. Therefore, trying to question and understand fashion means getting closer to a more exhaustive and holistic perspective of the contemporary society. How do you relate to fashion from both personal level and that as an artist? The “fashion” contexts and phenomenons are multiple. Attitudes, behaviors, rejections, acceptances, interrelationships, the mass operating system, all this is a huge machinery that continues to pour a constant flow of dependencies of which we are both forced but also subjects and objects of course. The relationship to self and indirectly to the other obviously implies this “skin” garment which is a “landscape” that we build, it is a kind of matrix where we develop our roots of existence which will find what they need both to stabilize us and allow us to pursue a kind of inner path. For me, this “garment” envelope has nothing to do with the superficial characteristics and of overdose consumption that fashion can be. I am attached to the “garment” as a memory, a structural and emotional way to capture fragments of life that are some kinds of existences written within the genetic code. The reflection that I put on the material doesn’t stop at the appearance or its technical condition of doing this or that. In my case I take into account a kind of whole and if I look at the different woods I work with, I integrate in my process this condition of the seed, of the beginning, the growth, the environment, of the rain and the seasons, the injuries that the tree has experienced, its blossoms, its death and decay. I want a kind of essence to breathe the instinct of the possible.
The separation of arts from crafts placed tailoring into the latter domain, yet it was with the introduction of Haute Couture around the 1860, that fashion started desiring to be recognized as art. Charles Frederick Worth initiated the emancipation from
craftsman to fashion designer, being the first one to use living models in his presentations and also a pioneer in terms of signing his creations with a label, as artists did. Today the opinions vary, some designers considers themselves artisans some artists, how do you position yourself in the designer/artist relationship? All these questions and labels are very far from me, the way I work has strictly nothing to do with a designer, their processes, their reasons, their relationships, the methods within which their environment is constructed are the extreme opposite of what I am. I look at the visible of what stands in front of me. It is about a physicality of things and a truth, an emotion that moves me and not about a gadget that has been calculated in its profitability and production costs to satisfy whatever. Louise Bourgeois said: “I am not what I am, I am what I do with my hands” . This profound relationship with the gesture, this dance between matter and feelings, a body that seeks a place to grow.
Fashion designers did not really manage to gain total recognition as artists, but they continue striving to do so to these days; to name just an example in this sense: the emergence of ‘conceptual clothing’ of the 80s. Roland Barthes compares those designers’ approaches of turning traditions inside-out to the trend in modern art of accentuating the materiality of the work (by marking the pencil strokes clearly in the paintings, for example). Moreover, he considered that the essential motive for fashion not having attained the same recognition as other forms of art is the lack of serious criticism in this
field, compared to the one existing in music, literature or cinema. The press is crucial for ‘creating the creators’, said Bourdieu; as it is in the duty of the journalist to make the reader believe in what they write about. Would you agree with that? Which are the reasons for which fashion did not receive the same recognition as other forms of art from your perspective? It is very difficult to generalize on the press, which, how, who, what ‘creator’, the conditions, environments, challenges, lies, appearances... A serious critique about fashion? what should we see, what should we hear and feel, the question of the emotion, the relationships, each case is a specific case. A painting by Cy Twombly has nothing to do with a fashion show, simply because it is not the same story, period. There are so many differences, so many things that divide them that it is impossible to have the same look or a critique that could raise a fashion show to Cy Twombly’s poetry. Fashion remains a story of appearance without content or meaning, it focuses on superficial reasons and remains on the surface, it uses words such as “conceptual” to seek for justifications and positions, but this remains marketing issues like a label for a new product to attract consumers. When the russian constructivists strive to develop their “garments”, they do so in a context both social and political, an attitude where the body acts with strong stakes. Things are thought in direct relation to their sculpturestructure, act and materials must react with similar connections, they are in a just and intimate relationship and the garment is a garment of “service” which must convey the idea and accompany the sculpture.
The 20’s flat-chested and straight look of women could almost be compared with the Cubist approach in art. As fashion tending towards simpler forms while leaving behind unnecessary details and ornaments, could be seen as an essentially modernist characteristic. Chanel’s move of basing her creations for women on men’s clothing was a radical one for the time, while today it’s a commonly used technique. Which do you think it’s going to be the leading trait to characterize the designers of tomorrow? Is it something that might have its roots in some visionary practices started today and that not many are aware of it yet, as it somehow happened in Chanel’s case? The case and context of Coco Chanel is a European situation from after the First World War. Woman, for economic and human reasons, had to take the place of man because he has been greatly reduced due to the disaster of the war. And therefore by the addition of other factors and a favorable ground, the shift of a man-woman garment has been possible . But in an another way, for a very long time, in Japan the kimono already had this status both man-woman and its shape in a great simplification and rigor allowed a writing both multiple and complex of patterns, colors and other structures. Today, with a culture both plural and common, things took a completely different outlook and behavior. New factors have to be taken into account, other social and human conditions are developing, our lifestyles have changed and led different functions of being. These questions of expectations are delicate but nevertheless I think that the sensible and emotional vector is extremely important, today’s task remains for me the truth and the need to seize a kind of sanctuary where the body takes shape to exist in its own mythology.
the reality issue
â€œCom fort produces not hing, it is t he boredom t hat covers feelings.
the reality issue
“We seek islands of certaint y to put our sick eyes and f ind a place to hea l our t ired emot ions.
Cindy Sherman was commissioned to do photography for Comme des Garçons, Nan Goldin for Helmut Lang. Julian Schnabel created interior designs for Alaïa’s boutiques, Herzog and de Meuron did Prada. Hugo Boss has established an art prize that is awarded in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum. Schiaparelli collaborated with surrealist artists, Yves Saint-Laurent made a collection inspired by Mondrian and the list could go on and on. Is there a collaboration that you consider as being the most successful from this point of view? If you would be in the situation to choose a living artist to collaborate with who would that be? I don’t think that we can name it “collaboration” but rather “order”. All this puts a financial value with a result and the search for a strong image to indicate in an even more visible way the existence of the brand. This is an advertising medium to get people talking about you. Usually if the Helmut Lang company uses renowned photographers for its campaigns, it is not Nan Goldin and her personal path, it remains a notch below and above all a very different way of looking at things. An artist does not collaborate, he develops his own path, uses an environment, builds relationships that allow him to structure or refuse certain things. He resists and share in the silence details and dizzinesses as destinies marked in the middle of a puddle. Successful “collaborations” are those made with ourselves, Vincent Gallo by Vincent Gallo, Charles Bukowski by Charles Bukowski.
In the book “Art as Therapy”, Alain de Botton and John Armstrong put up an interesting idea, that the type of art touching each of us is the one that our unconscious recognizes as containing a doze of our missing virtues, and that by coming into contact with that particular work of art we hope to correct and balance ourselves. Which are the artworks that you are looking at with admiration and which are the bits of you that are missing and you try to find in those particular pieces? Is art compensating for some of your fears? In the puzzle of ourselves there is always holes, gaps, pieces that are not in their place. I’m not trying to fill in holes or gaps or to correct imbalances. I like the absence, it allows me to travel in dreams, the holes reflect the void as an absolute, they are a circulation of connections, like a haggard memory that can not find its place and questions itself about the impermanence. I keep this absence near to me, it is a character of feeding, a kind of sacred reflection of things. I do not seek to compensate fears by filling them with superficial values to satisfy appearances of well-being. My fears are scars of melancholy, depths that go away, storm lights, white margins, and I need them.
Fashion usually tends to get inspired from artistic models that are rather safe, you seem to have a very different approach from this point of view. How do you relate to the concept of “uncomfortability” and that of extreme art practices? First it would be necessary to situate these « extreme » artistic practices you’re talking about. Body Art and some performances do not really have anything new in the human culture. For a very long time many ethnicities around the world practice on their body a number of things that are unconventional for a Western gaze. Some rites of passage from adolescence to adulthood involves things which go very far, the “extreme” body is not a provocation, in accordance to cultures it is a writing, a recognition, a distinction, a hierarchy, a sign of existence, a concept of beauty and construction. I flee from lies and surfaces that no longer reflect anything. I need this reality of the depths as a preciosity of the body, this danger and this threat, this animal attachment that reveals the instinct and the truth. Comfort produces nothing, it is the boredom that covers feelings.
It’s being said that art is our new religion and museums are our new cathedrals. As religion is on decline it is culture to fill in the gaps? What is your opinion on that? I don’t perceive any spirituality in Jeff Koons’ pieces, and if religion was on the decline there would be no wars, no conflicts between Catholics and Muslims or Jews and Palestinians, attacks would never have occurred, and the world might walk in museums and talk about beauty and admire sculptures as images and reflections where the Divine would have placed mysteries for us so that we can drink a source of freshness. But I have not seen it yet, and museums are witnesses with dirty hands reflecting the situations of a torn world. We seek islands of certainty to put our sick eyes and find a place to heal our tired emotions.
The Reality Issue by Anca Macavei Nothing is adviced. No overenthusiastic shouts. No believes are claimed except for the act of listening. Inner tension, endless passion and harsh truths. Word after word. Wake up from deep sleep, set the tempo of our speeches. Loose us and face yourself.
All pictures courtesy of Aoi Kotsuhiroi.
naomi f ilmer an interview by Anca Macavei.
-How emotionally distanced are you from your surroundings? -Do
-Are you interested in vulnerability, by any chance? -Do
Frequent glimpses into the subconscious had free herself from predictable ways of behaving and reasoning. Voluntary placements in constraining cirumstances determined genuine discoveries and a reconsideration of her conception on limits. Body acting as a sensual site of contact, as an intersection between
the finite extension that owns the power to create psycological shifts in the realm of our infinite perception.
Chocolate Mask by Naomi Filmer, 2001
“draw ing is seeing; cutting is thinking; casting is remembering.
visual reference and last but not least traditional hand crafted techniques in conjunction with new technologies. How did fashion enter your life and more specifically why jewelry and why this particular approach of challenging boundaries of what could be defined as contemporary jewellery.
The future of jewellery lies in individual definitions of identity... as was always the case, but with the above focus I believe there will be more people involved in making and adapting their own embellishments.
My path towards jewellery has nothing in common with traditions of decoration. 3D work on the body equates to contemporary jewellery if it isn’t a piece like a hat or a bag. The body has always been the catalyst of my works. Not necessarily jewellery or fashion, but by default I have worked within these industries. It was never a conscious focus to make subversive work in order to challenge conventions of jewellery, I was simply following my ideas regarding materials, object, body. When I began 20 years ago, fashion was in some way more open to my play then the jewellery world.
What does it take to be a contemporary jewelry designer?
Which is the current status quo for contemporary jewelry and what do you predict for its future?
Can one make a good living out of it these days? It takes a lot of commitment, focus and an empathy with materials and process. Can anyone make a living out of contemporary creativity these days? How long is a piece of string? The answer is of course both yes and no. ‘Making a living’ is not a reason to follow your creative passions, in my opinion. Were you influenced in any way by Performance, or Body Art in particular? Performance and contemporary dance have been very much an influence for me, Yes.
New and curious material compounds, interesting surfaces, striking a balance between precious, natural and the banal in both physical material and
As a Research Fellow and lecturer in art schools throughout Europe, what is your impression about the up and coming young talents? The students I teach are international. That in itself brings a rich variety of cultural input that strengthens a cross-community of creators. Mostly Iâ€™m impressed by the confidence and maturity that students show - how natural and quick they are to communicate their work in a digital mode. They now have the ability to cross reference medium and contexts all the time, which makes for exciting work. They are aware that much of the world is accessible through digital communication and they know how to facilitate. However, there is also a strong wave of students who want to develop more intimacy in their work. Less of the mass and more of a close and personal experience. Besides the teaching aspect, you are also a freelance designer. Can you give us a more personal insight on who is Naomi Filmer and your ongoing projects? Currently I am teaching at London College of Fashion, Central Saint Martins and Head in Geneva. I teach on both BA and MA courses, and confess that they take up a huge percentage of my time. I enjoy it immensely, and consider it a priviledge to work with talented young designers in the making. It has been some time since I freelanced as a designer, but I have recently lost some passion for designing for industry or large audiences. The last works I made were for exhibition: objects blown in glass and suspended by leather harnesses formed around areas of the glass. Theyâ€™re sensual and tender in fleshy hues. This is the first experience I have had working with leather and that is a material I want to work with more. Lately I have the desire to go back to school to learn new skills. For years now I have collaborated with other craftsmen and model makers to make my objects, in part or in completion. Now I believe it is time for me to return to the hands on direction. Can you reveal a bit about your creative process, methodology, etc. What triggers in the first place the creation of an object in your mind? I have a method, almost a mantra, that leads me into a new idea/project: drawing is seeing; cutting is thinking; casting is remembering (not necessarily in that order). This is how I work through a different beginning.
Mouthbar by Naomi Filmer for Hussein Chalayan, 1994
You have worked with ice, chocolate, glass, metals, rubber and synthetics to name a few. It’s such a varried range of materials, which is the quality that connects all of them? Which is the core meaning that are you trying to highlight through them? Human flesh... the wearer and our values as living beings. You are sometimes using film loops and lenticulars (development of holography) when exhibiting your work. How do craftsmanship and new media work together? Great! Moving image has so much to offer in assisting the communication of objects. I find it exciting as an alternative to static exhibitions or the theatre of catwalk presentation. Film offers another version of visual poetry alongside information. Can you please tell us the story behind your collaboration with Hussein Chalayan: how did it all came about, what pieces did you create for him, how did you work together, etc. A mutual friend introduced us and after seeing my work, Hussein
invited me to collaborate with him for the catwalk. It all started very innocently in fact. I worked with him for the first few years of his career only. He was both open and specific in his briefing. A joy to interact with, as he is so focused and human in his nature. My favourite piece is probably the most simple: Light in the mouth. Other pieces I made were at times metal embellishments / accents on the clothing or more of a styling addition. In retrospect I see my designs for Hussein as quiet and simple. He has always been a purist in his contemporary thinking. That framework allowed me to respond in a simple way. What about the one with Alexander McQueen? McQueen was very specific in his invitation of working together. He sighted some of my designs as a mode of approaching the body with object in his catwalk shows. This was McQueen’s talent: of understanding exactly who could make what happen. That said, he gave me a lot of creative freedom which was enjoyable as I could work within my own dialogue.
What do you consider as constant, permanent in life? The knowledge that nothing stays the same.
You work does not imply the adornment quality of jewelry in the traditional sense, instead it they draws a fine line confining freedom from restraint. How do you relate to the concepts of manipulation, freedom and control and how are they transposed from your intimate, personal realm to the artistic, professional one? I would say I manipulate materials, enjoy the freedom of thought and take very seriously the control in process, fabrication and skill. So these issues are intertwined in the whole creative process. In the mind-flesh-object relationship, what does interest you more: the bodily experience - the flesh as generator of emotions, able to mould and shape ones experiences - or rather the psychological aspect - one’s behaviour and new way of acting and thinking determined in these circumstances, when an object is constraining the body? Definitely the flesh/bodily experience as instigation of emotion.
clothes who avoid confrontation
words by Iulia Burtea, dreamsize.ro and translation by Adelina Amza.
Wrapped-up in white uniforms from head to peep-toe, nurses bend over the sufferance of the terminally-ill and look after their final thoughts. But, on their deathbed, people find it handy to trade thoughts for regrets. After years of treating all types of â€œwhat could have beensâ€?, a nurse divulged that one of the all-time most consuming regrets people endure on their deathbed is that of not having had the spirit to freely express their feelings throughout their lives. I lay down on my bed, as white noise of revenant thoughts passes by and returns in silence. On their youthbed, people find it handy to trade thoughts for dreams. If I were to open my eyes, I could see a sky tag hanging over the shut windows. If I opened the closet, I would surely stumble upon shiny or matte, rounded or elongated tags hanging over my unworn pieces of clothing. It must have been ten years since I had last bought a dress out of sheer need. I would always go shopping arm in arm with a list of dreams instead of needs. For ten years, dozens of dresses I had been dreaming about made it into my wardrobe, yet some, no matter how alluring, never did make it to the party. I`m not even considering sassy costumes, since it`s a matter of defying the perfect party theme, whether you get to wear them or not, and, unless based in Kiev or Copacabana, we all know party organizers have been lacking inspiration for the past thirty years. Have you ever thought of the clothes you never had the spirit to wear as of feelings remained unexpressed, as of stories that never happened? I wonder what empty space in my life were these pieces of clothing meant to fill, other than some hangers in the closet. Wrapped in pencil skirts I never got to wear, I was supposed to sign contract after contract and take over the world shortly after taking on a despotic and self-confident attitude. I didn`t get to be a sparkly fluffy doll either, so long as I didn`t tear the tags off the ruffled bubble dresses with giant bows. I now particularly lay my eyes on a Tashia white silk dress, so light and airy, resembling the texture of mousse to the point where I could easily float with it for the rest of my days. We exchange a short embrace in front of the mirror and I recognize the serene, yet reserved, uniform for the willing-to-be-bride. Not only the unworn pieces of clothing, but my entire wardrobe suddenly looks to me like a life waiting to be lived. And it`s my life I`ll be taking care of, so that when the time comes, the nurse bending over my last breath would look after my memories rather than my regrets.
spacious monochromes, intimate void an essay by Larisa Oancea.
“Nothing is more real than nothing.” -Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies.
Compared with the empty space of pure consciousness in the Oriental visual tradition, and the constant need of the Occidental artists to embellish every inch of the space or canvas, the antinomy between the syncopated visual rhythm of Chinese landscape in the Great Age (from the Five Dynasties to the Northern Song period) and the European florid medieval illuminated manuscripts becomes relevant. The survival of these visual cultural patterns was pointed out by the poet and critic Yoshiaki Tono in a memorable article translated also in Piero Manzoni’s Azimuth magazine: “Give a box to a European or to contemporary Japanese. He will cram all his personal affects into it and then be satisfied. If you put the same small receptacle before an ancient Zen master, he will empty it, toss it into the air, and go on his way. Is this not a more modern attitude than the other?” It was 1959, the decade of the Void in art par excellence, with all the facets that the concept could assume - the infinite, the cosmos, the invisible – and the nonfigurative artists that chose to plunge into it – Yves Klein, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, John Cage, Yoko Ono, Saburo Murakami and so on.
Utriusque Cosmi I by Robert Fludd, Oppenheim, 1617
In the Eastern tradition, there is a form of kundalini meditation in which, using particular breathing techniques, one can open thin energy centers within the body in order to reach the total dissolution with the Great Void. The Buddhists call it sunyatae and it is rather an experience of an ineffable pureness, a complete spiritual freedom, and also an illuminating state of emptiness. Regarding- this -challenging spaciousness, the Occident developed instead a more nihilistic approach and isolated the concept in a pure theoretical capsule; from the ancient horror vacui and Pascal’s horrifying silence of infinite spaces to Sartre’s Being and Nothingness and all forms of spatial anxieties, the Nothingness became the vanishing point of a self-reflexive folly. Void and Nothingness taste differently; one is experience and the other one pure theory; but in art, both of them become the spaces of all probabilities and possible movements.
left: Ambiente Spaziale (detail) by Lucio Fontana, IX Triennale di Milano, 1951.
But the very presence of the Absence in the 20th century art should not be isolated from some specific previous examples in the Western history of art, which tangentially involved the concept of the Void. The twin theme of macrocosm and microcosm itself, developed by ancient Greek philosophers and central for the humanistic Renaissance, is interrogating the Void, linking infinitesimal to immense. Robert Fludd’s whole visual and visionary approach to cosmology, in Utriusque Cosmi maioris salicet et minoris metaphysica… (1617-1619), dissolves and absolves a particular scientific and hermetical conception of immensity as an intimate dimension. Appropriating some biblical allusions, this kind of poetics of space is revisited in a narrative key by William Blake in his influential The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-1793): “Down the winding cavern we groped our tedious way, till a void boundless as the nether sky appeared beneath us, and we held by the roots of trees and hung over this immensity; but I said: if you please we will commit ourselves to this void and see whether providence is here also.” The perception of the Void as a creational emptiness could also take the form of a bitter state of contemplation, the Sublime: a pleasure mixed with horror, as in Caspar David Friedrich’s landscapes (The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog). After the highly romanticized 19th century, the dilution of the painterly means (lines, spaces, figures, colors) - which could be seen as a consequence of a symptomatic word and image inflation - gave birth to a lucid perception of the Void. There was Kasimir Malevich to take the first step of pure creation; his radical non-representational Black Square (oil on canvas, 1915) and White on White (oil on canvas, 1918) opened the path to the sensitive and led the spectator to co-create on the verge of Void. In his four-handed manifesto, written in collaboration with Vladimir Mayakovsky, Malevich legitimates the supremacy of colour as a unique tool to release the pure feeling: “The black square on the white field was the first form in which nonobjective feeling came to be expressed.
The square = feeling, the white field = the void beyond this feeling.” This kind of emancipated nothing disengages the art from all its social and aesthetic premises and set it sensitive, ready for les enfants terribles of the 20th century who pushed the limits of the Void. But as Mark Levy points out in his Void – in Art, we should draw a parallel between the artists who use empty spaces for purely aesthetic reason (like Mondrian or Robert Ryman) and those for whom emptiness is a form to embrace the Void (Yves Klein or Barnett Newman). The appropriation of the Void in this context usually regarded the manner in which the artist related with the surface (canvas, paper, the gallery space itself) and manipulated it (ripping, puncturing, tearing). In the ‘50s, the emptiness becomes the artists’ enclave, their capsule de temps; they found different ways to colonize the Void: diving into, being suspended over, contemplating, levitating or embracing it. For all them the emptiness was a spiritual front. The spaciousness becomes extremely explored in the Yves Klein’s artistic discourse which touched every dimension of the absence as a presence, from his fire paintings, planetary reliefs and blue monochromes to his Cosmogonies, Anthropometries and immaterial works (La spécialisation de la sensibilité à l’état matière première en sensibilité picturale stabilisée or Le Saut dans le Vide). In the early ‘50s, the need to interfere and pass through the Void became imperative; cutting, ripping, burning were the main tools to emerge into it, just as in the first happenings of the Japanese Gutai Group (Murakami Saburo, Passing Through, 1956), the monolithic holes and slashes of Lucio Fontana (Concetto spaziale), or Piero Manzoni’s Achromes. And in the context in which the silence of the spaciousness was finally not more terrifying, John Cage’s famously silent composition 4’33’’ could perfectly function as the soundtrack par excellence of this decade; the Void seen as an introspective dialogue with the intimate depth, which underlines the identity and makes us more conscious – as Jules Supervielle says - that we are sensitive inhabitants of the forests of ourselves.
eye, ghost Photography by Rebecca Cairns and words by Ben Mirov.
Eye wake up in a construct. Eye lay on my bed and sweat. Eye replay final moments. Eye try to picture her face. Eye program a future version of myself to remember it, slick with seawater, ringed with wet hair. Eye go to a little shop where they sell machines that keep you up. Eye lay the crumpled body next to a convenience store. Eye place the organs in separate aluminum trays. Eye stand on the street like every car belongs to her. Eye Know. It doesn’t matter what Eye say to the recording device. Nothing can save the face
blowing across the face. Eye drink too much before the game. Eye can’t walk to the end of the block. Eye turn around and hear a voice. Eye smash my face into a neck. Eye try to sleep there for a night. Eye never open the envelope marked C. Eye wonder what he’s like in bed. Eye erase her from the poem about the dark. Eye stretch my arm through brainwork’s shadowy circuits. Eye bum around on couches for a month. Eye tell them nothing about my life. Eye hear the words outside at night. Eye plan to be another
shadow in the body of a deer. Eye come out of BART with headphones and no memory. Eye wake up in a grocery store. Eye wander to a map. Eye wander through the rain. In my dreams, Eye have the same problems. Eye live in an empty carcass. Eye work in a cloud. Eye canâ€™t slow down the shadow process. Eye canâ€™t go to sleep. Eye go down on the breeze. The breeze is wet. Eye taste sea urchin and spit. Eye can never touch the same breast twice. Eye can never revisit our forest. Eye touch a night machine
in the shape of a woman. She can only stay for a moment. Eye put her face inside a bed. She sucks my nipple while Eye sleep. Eye see the dead part in everything, shining and dull. Its hands are raised like it’s begging for food. It gives me my third drink for free. Eye erase her from the poem about the park. Eye can’t cope with waves that help me sleep. Eye have cruel dreams. Eye buy noodles at midnight. Eye arrive at a bar like one who can mimic. Eye pause in the mirror. Eye make things up
to disappear. She spends too long talking and Eye get lonely. My brains are dripping on a wood bench. Eye say green bunnies to protect us from the silence we make. There are glass windows all around love. Eye tell her nothing about my life. Eye feel like sex with an android on television. Eye beat the shit out of the steering wheel. Eye think of others washing their hands in a cold dark beam. Eye can’t decipher the code. It was written on a napkin. Eye touch my hard-on. Eye step back outside. Eye hear the voice that shifts
through the barriers. Eye feel wrecked by a bunch of faces. Eye can’t deal with ambiguous nocturnes. Eye speak to a skull inside the breeze. Eye don’t see the current that carries me there. Eye walk through love with a mannequin’s arm. Eye look for a plan to cipher my life. Eye promise myself to never return. Eye drink Old English in the kitchen with some crackers. Eye see a floating head. Eye take huge leaps to a garage full of weapons. Eye can’t sit still or eat my lamb. Eye contain computers and a desk. Eye intend to become
myself. Eye hover in front of a chain-link fence for hours reading signs. Eye finish my paperwork and crash. Eye have dead bird. Eye learn to restrain and think about years. Eye empty ideas into a tube. Eye forget ideas in the shower. Eye can’t find the green bunny poem. Eye start to freak out. Eye live in a dump with lots of light. Eye nod my head in silence. Eye imagine our grandkids wearing nondescript masks. Eye lock the door as fast as Eye can. Eye see her walking through darkness and she says nothing. Eye approach her with
my daydream shatterer. Eye try to make a connection. Eye receive a message from a blank stare. Eye can tell when a relationship bends. It’s the last thing to touch the night. Eye kiss and kiss with one earphone. Eye press send and feel sick. Eye can’t remember her name. Eye walk through a forest of empties. Eye fall asleep on the floor. Eye pour myself into a phone call. Eye avoid a night alone. Eye no longer run from dream worms. Eye don’t expect to see her for years. Eye put on a clean t-shirt. Eye need artificial clouds
to live. Eye can’t take off my face. Eye see like three shows a week. Eye fall in love with nothingness. Eye lose all of my echoes to friends. Eye fall in love with patches of skin. Eye don’t expect a reply. Eye spend the day on the couch. Eye have dead feelings. They float through the air. They touch the nodes outside at night. Eye can’t believe my life was like this a year ago. Eye would lie there thinking of things Eye had to do. Eye woke up in a construct. Eye was buying coffee. Eye remember being
in the ocean with her. Eye probably won’t see her for years. Eye watch the rain through a window. Eye construct little machines to pass the time. They keep me awake at night. They float on the currents that move to the edge. That’s what they’re for. Eye send them away. Eye never said what Eye meant to say. Eye can never revisit a moment. Eye can’t shut down the recording device. Eye touch a face made of glass. The nothing that builds itself while Eye sleep. Eye smash the construct to remember its ghost. Eye never reach the edge
excerpt from ‘Ghost Machine’ (Caketrain Press) by Ben Mirov
a f ield guide to snow and ice
photography by Paula McCartney, words ‘Consider the Buzzurd’ by Ryan Call.
as children, we learned to gauge the temper of the local weather by observing the various ornithological activities in the trees and air above our heads. A wedge of sky devoid of crows demanded caution of us as we traipsed around the neighborhood, a rosary of starlings perched along the power lines or the soft twitter of tumbling swifts in our chimney freed us from the confines of our home, sent us rushing to the abandoned factories to play among the tangles of razor-wire, and in the din of shrieking, crying birds southbound for caves outside the city, we knew to lock the shutters and huddle quietly in our rooms.
Of course, a number of species proved less than reliable to our skyward observations. Consider the buzzard: a narrow-minded, solitary bird flying high above the earth, eyes scanning the ground for carrion. Many times, we saw one suddenly twist in the air as if to correct for a disruptive gust of wind, only to disappear into a newborn thunderstorm, its evasive maneuvers come too late. I cannot help but picture the vanishing buzzard when I think of my own inevitable end. from the moment of my birth, a fierce and gusty event I’ve been told, my mother worked to shield me from the curse upon the males in our family. She forbade the midwife from per-forming the circumcision, and she purposefully barred the local seer from observing her labor, as if by hiding my gender and its writ of destiny from the outside world, she might save me from the desperate trajectory that had come to claim my father, his father, and every man since the beginnings of our troubled blood. My sisters welcomed me as one of their own, a partner in sorority, and I grew to appreciate the intricacies of lace and velvet, the cautious shrug of costume jewelry. While the other boys at school wielded invisible bayonets and other implements of war, I became fond of the flexibility of certain dolls, the satisfying bounce and click of a quick game of jacks, and the cheerful symmetry of pink umbrellas and matching galoshes, which my sisters and I wore on the most rain-battened days. The weather lumbered through the fuzzy background of our youth, occasionally leaping forward, taking our city hostage, pummeling us with volleys of snow, sleet, and the rare handful of toads or other small animals entombed in dirty blocks of ice. We often heard of stormrelated fatalities, but the authorities presented these as the unfortunate but inevitable consequence of our large homeless population and the city’s overtaxed shelters. Our mother urged us to remain vigilant out of doors, despite the government’s attempts to deny the severity of the situation. She taught us about the deception of lowlying fog, the creeping tendencies of mist, why open-air pavilions lacked enough protection from the weightier forces of nature. We heard in her voice an urgency that I later recognized to be the tired hum of the witness-bearer, upon whose heart rested the countless unspeakable events of her early life on the fringe, that northern boundary of our nation where the weather first rose up against us. And so we listened closely, my sisters and I, attuned to the import of her teachings.
A roof overhead and walls all around, she said to us, makes my daughters safe and sound, and it became a childhood rhyme of sorts, a phrase we often sang to ourselves as we walked to and from school, unaware of how dangerous our world would soon become. as for the genesis of my trajectory, my mother knew enough of the story to tell me about my father’s grandfather, the earliest of my ancestors still remembered for his fascination with the weather. According to my mother, the old man remained at his wife’s side long enough to conceive a son, my grandfather, before he set sail for the bottom of the world, flinging weather balloons and robotic sensors into the atmosphere as he went. On the ever-shifting continent of ice, he studied the last remaining penguins, took core samples of glaciated ridgelines, and reported via radio to a governmentappointed committee as to the nature of his findings, until one day he disappeared into an ice storm and never returned. my mother warned me especially to exercise caution out of the house, to which I often responded with loud tantrums, thrashing, illconceived attempts to hold my breath and pass out. I hated that she patronized me so. After all, my sisters appeared as fragile as I, so her focused attention on me seemed unwarranted, insulting, though now I understand that her actions came as yet another way to prevent the arrival of my fate. I remember in particular a day when one of my resentful outbursts led to the shattering of a window with a well-tossed ballerina figurine. The thunderclap of the toy crashing through the double-paned glass quickly drew my mother and sisters into the room and away from whatever play-craft they had begun without me. When she saw the broken window and the bright, clear sky beyond, my mother stepped over me, unlatched the inner frame, and lifted it and the remaining shards of glass away from the rest of the apparatus. She installed a new pane, which my sisters had helpfully retrieved from the hall closet, and locked down the brass handles at its sides, forcing the rubber gasket around the edges of the window to seal with a quiet gasp of air. As I lay there on my stomach, I felt vaguely disappointed by my mother’s quick work. We had long since sealed shut all the windows in the house, and I welcomed the jets of fresh air that had curled briefly through my room and ruffled the fabric of my dress. My disappointment soon turned to fear, however, when I saw how dark the sky had suddenly become, how rapidly the fog had rolled down the street toward our house, and I cried until she drew the blinds over the new window and carried me away to watch television beneath the high ceilings of our family room. It is from this incident that I inherited my mother’s awe of structures, their shape and form, the sturdiness of their foundations, the strengths of their materials, and the safety of the sheltered spaces within.
my grandfather’s life was ended at a military outpost across the ocean where the abrasive sandstorms of a distant country worked away at unsheltered men, first at their clothing, then at their skin, and later still at their organs, before finally casting them to memory in bonewhite remnants. Dental records confirmed my grandfather’s death, and his teeth eventually found their way into a jewelry box on my father’s dresser, where they rested mysteriously until our house collapsed. On the wall above the yellowed teeth, a pocked and rusted medal hung in a wooden shadow box, commemorating an act of heroism long since forgotten. When my grandfather told his wife that the government had drafted him into the war, really a military intervention back then, she congratulated him for the chance to escape the stricken weather of their homeland. Perhaps then, she had reasoned, he would break away from the legacy of the father, the meteorologist turned iceman, and lead the family into a new preoccupation, one less inclined to the rotten skies. She had good reason to hope for a change, though she never told her husband why. He died in the blur of the monstrous sand-storms before she could announce her surprise: she had given birth to a son, my father. the weather soon escalated in force, increased its presence in the vicinity of our house, as it typically did with the coming and going of the seasons: rain fell harder, winds blew stronger, and fog grew thicker, though we silently gave thanks for the lack of lightning strikes. A scarcity of living targets retarded all cloud-to-ground activity; the citizens of our city had learned to remain indoors. As time passed, we realized that the ferocity of this season seemed greater than that of last season and the season before: the weather had snuck quietly but consumptively upon us. Our playful forays throughout the neighborhood ended. Our walks to and from classes became a series of tedious drives, and then they ceased altogether when the school system disintegrated. We monitored the weather reports on the radio for momentary clearings in the sky so that we might visit the grocery store to replenish our food reserves. We could take as much as we wanted: the grocer had disappeared, along with most of the neighbor-hood, and we found ourselves in a state of isolation. Freed from the concerns of community, we took to close observation of the animals, and soon noticed a profound anxiety on the part of the birds in the city. They still fled to the caves in the south when they could, but more often than not, cloudbanks swiftly cut off their escape route, trapping the birds on the ground, in tree limbs, and against the sides of buildings, where they suffered, flattened one
on top of another beneath the impressive force of thunderstorms, windstorms, tornadoes and hail. Soon they could no longer safely lift themselves into the air and fly away, and with this my sisters and I began to lose hope. The storms, though fierce, had not yet taken to raging continuously, and on the occasion of a brief respite, we drew the curtains, scanned the streets for the hopeful sight of emboldened birds on wing to fairer skies. As the rains lulled, the blurry silhouettes soon came into sharp focus: birds clinging to the lawn, flapping in the street, too numerous to count. Why don’t they fly away? I asked my mother. She lifted me from the window, pressed a button to close the external shutters, and hurried me into the inner rooms of the house to join my sisters. They haven’t any strength, she said to me. The caves are far away, and they have nowhere to go. We all stared at the television, which had long since stopped displaying any sort of regular program, news, entertainment or otherwise. Sometimes we could get cryptic messages from the emergency broadcast system, but at this moment the screen showed a kind of visual noise, an electronic snowstorm, the roar of which filled the room, eventually lulling us into dreamless sleep. I never had a chance to know my father. I have only secondhand fragments with which to imagine his life and what it meant, and in his absence, these shards of fact take on the shape of a myth to me, the tale of a hero who lived just long enough to create a wonderful family of daughters. He wanted only to have a son, my mother once told me. A shame he didn’t, I said. And I have all of you now, she said, gathering us around her. My mother usually refused to talk about my father. She considered him a reckless man for tempting fate, and I believe she resented him for the way he had angled further away from her after each new baby girl came into the world. The intrusion of certain visions, odors, and sounds would sometimes break her silence: a kite swooping above the tree line, the bitter smell of a struck match, the warning beep of a garbage truck in reverse. Her migraines came on horribly after such remembrances. I often heard her describe him with words I could not understand, words like airworthy, tempestuous, cold-fronted. Sometimes the tone in her voice provoked the pleasure in me of having discovering some new snippet of him, and other times I came to worry over his soul, to hate his body for making me into the confused per-son I had become. When the doctors sexed me in the womb and told my father that he had created a boy, he rejoiced. He was not one to believe in fate. My mother, however, wept for fear of the curse and what suffering it would cause the entire family, and when my father witnessed the passionate nature of her fear, he began to doubt his own calm skepticism: what if his disbelief might cause the male-diction to come crashing down upon his son tenfold? He visited the local seer one night as my mother slept, and the old man told him that he must weather the anger of the ancestors if he wished for his son to survive.
What is it, then, that angers them so? my father asked. They fear they’ve been forgotten, the old man said. My father returned home shaken, kissed my sleeping mother and her belly, and left us to go on his quest. I don’t know what he hoped to do, but I imagined some fantastic journey of remembrance and sacrifice before the altars of the sky. At my mother’s behest, a private investigator was commissioned to track my father’s movements—this proved successful until my father reached the coast where, the report concludes, he hired a hot air balloon for himself and drifted higher and higher out over the ocean. Several days later, my father’s last words came in the form of a postcard, addressed to my mother, blank but for a single sentence: Take care of the boy.
of birds and bring them into the house for safe-keeping, no amount of work could prevent the empty spaces of lawn from filling again and again with different flocks of exhausted birds. They now seemed to migrate purposefully to our house, as if they knew they stood a chance at survival if only they could endure the beating storm until our hands plucked them from the ground. when we could no longer exit the house without fearing for our safety, we remained indoors and took care of the birds, now grown into the oddest flock we had ever seen, all manner of species covering the floors of our house like an immense feathered carpet. Flightless from trauma or some corruption of instinct, they crept around the house, heads bobbing stupidly above use-less wings, hopping and stopping, turning a wide eye longingly up at our high ceilings. They called to each other with weakened voices and drank from a bowl of water we had placed in the middle of the family room. Then our mother moved the water bowl to the top of a high bookcase. If they want to drink, they’ll have to fly, she said. And so my sisters and I, fearful that the birds might die of thirst, set about training them, teaching them, restoring in them their finest skill. My sisters and I worked with the smallest specimens. We held sparrows, bluebirds, wrens above our heads and dropped them onto the soft surface of our couch. They often fluttered their wings lamely and then crashlanded into the shit-stained cushions. Occasionally some gained traction with their wings and flopped a distance to the hardwood floor, where they skidded along the newspaper. A few of these died on impact, and we gave them to the storms, weeping for the poor creatures that had become like family to us. Others began to learn, and soon the smaller birds ably flitted here and there about the room, taunting the larger ones, the crows, the hawks, an old owl we had saved from the bowels of a rotted tree, all of which angrily shrieked and clawed at the walls. Our mother worked with the larger birds for fear of our suffering beneath the sharpness of their talons. After the especially tiring training sessions, she served us dinner from our grand stock of canned goods, bloody scratches covering her arms and face. Getting along? we asked her. They’ll learn, she said, or they’ll die. She quickly downed her soup and then disappeared into the living room to take up her work again. Her work with the birds had given her a new duty, a fresh purpose. I did not realize then how hopeless our situation truly seemed to her, and this must have silenced that doubt, however temporarily. The intensity of the storms often shook our house, rattled the windows in their frames, sent the birds into fits of shrieking.
i resolved to bring aid to the grounded birds during the next break in the storm, and when the calm arrived, I enlisted the help of my sisters. A migraine had bedridden our mother, so she failed to detect our leaving the house, though we made sure to stay close as precaution against a sudden squall line. We worked our way outward from the house in concentric circles which slowly grew to encompass the yard, the street, the playground beyond. Each time we had collected as many birds as we could carry, we quickly ran into the family room and released them. We covered the entire carpet in a swath of old newspapers, and on this the birds settled, some tucking their beaks back under their wings, others listlessly gazing around the room. In this way we managed to save many of the birds in our neighborhood, though the scattered dead and dying ones in our wake told the tale of much damage already done. The storms soon blew back into the area, and we secured the house and sat together on the floor with the feathered survivors. our mother did not care for the birds at first; she kicked through them on her way to the couch, scolded us for leaving the house without her permission that first day of rescue. She complained about the constant rustle of feathers shifting in fitful sleep, the primitive stench of the dollops of shit that soon spread across the torn newspaper, the cushions of our furniture, the backs of our necks. But when we showed her how a robin had made a haphazard nest in the magazine basket, using torn strips of newspaper, locks of knotted hair, a few sheets of tissue, she softened. The sight of the speckled eggs at rest in their makeshift nursery, of new life in this battered house, restored in her a long-lost sense of hope, and soon she began to accompany us on our rescues. As the storms grew stronger, the windows of calm weather became shorter. Though we still managed to collect handfuls
Those that could fly whirled around our family room, flapping their wings with such fury that the feathers, the newspapers, the dried dung all rose into a heavy, cyclonic pungency. We could not calm them, could only retreat to our rooms and cover our faces with damp dish rags to avoid breathing in the impurities of the air until the war of the storm and the birds again subsided. no one ever confirmed my father’s death, and I sometimes imagined perhaps that alone kept me safe from my familial curse, dreamed of my father still circling this world, shivering, starving, wasted and shriveled up there in the basket of his hot air balloon, the winds of the jet stream pushing him onward. I began to devote evenings to wandering brazenly through the labyrinth of caves south of the city, braving the storms in a desperate search for a way out into another world. As I staggered along rock floors shot through with stalagmites, I improvised a prayer in remembrance of my ancestors, released it to the air in mantric whispers in hopes that it would save my father, free my family from the torment of these years. Take me, but spare my sisters, spare my mother, I prayed, my thoughts turning to their huddled bodies on the family room floor, surrounded by birds, waiting for me to return. I prayed to my father, for what could I lose? If he were alive, perhaps the others would hear the words of a worried son and cease their fits of vengeance. If he had died, then I had already begun to ensure that his life was not spent in vain, to carry out the duty of a son: to celebrate his father in memory, to take his father’s place. the weather finally took its toll upon the edifice of our house. The winds ripped the shingles from the roof. The rain beat down and infiltrated the seams and cracks, leaked into our rooms. Round pellets of hail crashed through our windows, rolled along the floor, made us lose again and again our already shaky footing. The birds by this time had gone into their standard routine of worry: they shrieked at each other, pecked at the ground and walls, and shat over everything to lessen the heavy loads upon their bodies. As their weight decreased, the birds rose into the air above our heads. They filled the room with the beating of their wings. They blocked out the light of our candles, snuffed them one by one. They created a massive, moving ceiling of feathers and wings and beaks, then descended in helical fleets, forming a sort of living chamber around our shivering huddle. Soon we heard the crash of wood as portions of the house broke off and swirled away into the storm. Bricks loosened and shook in their cavities, windows imploded, the roof peeled away, clots of insulation rose up into the sky. The protective cage of birds remained strong throughout the collapse, even as the framing split and splintered, leaving us standing there upon the concrete foundation, wings beating about our heads. The force of their feathers seemed to enact a kind of pressure upon us, seemed to push us closer together, and we realized that they were sheltering us. Just as our hands had once lifted them from danger, the birds, in their churning, swirling mass, now guided us away from the bare foundation, out into the street, and southward to the caves beyond the city. I parted the birds as if they were a curtain, and a flash of lightning revealed to me that we would travel safely. Peering out into the storm, I answered our father, gave him thanks, for I had not yet realized my descent.
excerpt from ‘The Weather Stations’ (Caketrain Press) by Ryan Call.
All pictures courtesy of the artist and Klompching Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.
â€œNothing can come of nothing.
the shining author Alexandre Tabaste, fashion SalomĂ¨ Bernatas
silk and sequins shirt Acne Studios sneakers Adidas
waxed coat Marni left:: cotton jacket Hugo Boss knitted sweater Damir Doma
a sliver of smut I came home to your blood covered chest. You were limp. The noose you created was controlling you and you weren’t mine any longer. There were wounds on your soft cold belly facing up. Walking home, I did not feel the same. My body knows both sides well, you animal you. We are connected. You and I, myself and you. The first time our lashes touched I caught a whiff of your milky skin and all I could think of was how I would plan my death and wishing I were near you once I finalized the details. I could taste your scent for hours, it remained on the fattest part of my tongue. The creases of my lips were swollen. My mouth was tingling. It was sweet and warm. I needed more and at the moment all I wanted was you. That doesn’t sound brave or independent, the attributes I strive to acquire. I wasn’t sure if I should clean you up orå finish you off. I licked your chest clean and as my tongue lingered on your body, I knew. I knew you and your friend were feeling abandoned. We were all feeling abandoned. I was away attempting to be social, to feel familiar. You thought we were all laughing at you. I was away trying to make myself smile and get caught up with the conversation, to diffuse my silly thoughts of the future I wanted to avoid. You thought I was against you like maybe we were becoming more distant. I was hoping you’d come along and since you didn’t I was hoping you’d forget I existed. I was out trying to stay warm wearing the necklace you bought me for our first anniversary. You were home carving your chest, making a noose from red Japanese bondage rope.
words by Vera Claeys.
jeans BLK Denim
cotton shirt and toweling skirt Veronique Leroy left: neoprene bicker jacket Alexandre Vauthier, cotton bra Barbara Bui, cotton brief Petit Bateau.
photographer alexandre tabaste, fashion stylist salomĂŠ bernatas, make-up artist min kim at airport, hair stylist josefin gligic, model kate bogucharskaia at next models paris.
men under glass author Janneke Van Der Hagen, fashion Jordy Huinder
top Sage and Ivy previous page: coat Sage and Ivy socks American Apparel
i got the men from the bar. That’s how they ended up under glass. A push-up bra, a black shirt, perfume. Look coy, wrap lips around straws, keep eyes up, lashes, lashes, lashes every time. Tim, Brad, Tom, Sean, Mike. I had my pick. I waited for a certain bone structure, the right set of eyes, a brown stubble where a beard could grow. I preferred beards, wanted to keep beards, created beards in a way. Extending soft hands, “My name is Jessica.” My name is Cassie. the unraveling of the men went something like this, each time with slight variations: “Nice to meet you. My name is Tim Brad Tom Sean Mike.” “And what do you do?” “I’m a professor butcher lawyer guitar player construction worker.” “Would you care to buy me a drink?” That’s all it took, eye contact for that long and drinks. How many drinks does it take? By the fourth I can lean over like a lady, put a hand on a thigh, whisper, “Come home with me,” enunciate it like there is a period behind each word making each word matter very much. Next up: grins, thousand-watters, billboard faces, cheekbone fireworks. in my house, things move the way I want them to. First no coats. Then on a couch, a move, a hand somewhere new. Then the sprawling backs on upholstery, bodies pressing, pressure, pressed. The kisses are a heated promise, a good future, mushed mouths clutching at each other. The hands rove with desperation, grabbing, nerves thrilled. “Come downstairs,” I say at the exact moment fingers are on my belt, flesh on silver, a pulsing, pushing crave. “What’s down there?” “Something special,” I say and put my own hands on a belt buckle, a promise, a wicked thing. it is bullet-proof glass, thick like ice, dustier than frozen water, murkier. It splits the basement in two, clears a room. The carpet deep burgundy, a cream couch before the glass, a place to view. Behind the glass are couches, chairs, books to read. “Let’s try it back here,” I say, luring still-grasping hands through the clear doorway. “I love it back here.” Tim Brad Tom Sean Mike think I am playful, kinky. Walking through the clear, I always think of entering an ice cube, feel chilled. Inside I assert, maneuver, straddle, suck, kiss gently, quickly, rougher. When the eyelids of Tim Brad Tom Sean Mike get lustheavy, I take the heat of my body away. “Where’re you going?” Tim Brad Tom Sean Mike ask anxiously. “Freshen up.” Once through the dull crystalline, it becomes simple,
easy: shut door, smile, flip the lock.
after five nights like this, it is Tim Brad Tom Sean Mike in the clear room. First they protest, bang on the glass, look for ways to escape. I ignore them, sit on the cream sofa, stare into their eyes, watch their movements fall, stay in love with all five of them. I watch and love the very small things: motions, flicking hair from their eyes, stretching, pressing fingers to the glass, looking in vain for weak spots, their Adam’s apples pulsing, the stubble on their cheeks growing into full beards, the shapes in which they sleep.
Tim Brad Tom Sean Mike turn to each other, speak in gestures through glass to screen. Seeing them breathe, move, and interact makes my heart feel like an ever-expanding city, higher, newer,
at work i write their names in the margins of my day planner:
Tim Brad Tom Sean Mike. During meetings I think of their gestures, the way they read the books I painstakingly picked. Affection seeps from my heart to my limbs, making me moist between the legs. “Cassie,” the work people ask, “do you have the monthly reports?” “I do,” I say, holding forth a sheet of last month’s numbers transposed into this month’s template.
my favorite part is feeding them dinner. I sit on the cream sofa every time. Each night I cook Tim Brad Tom Sean Mike exquisite meals, slip steaks, asparagus, and smashed potatoes through a three-inch slit the construction workers made. Tim Brad Tom Sean Mike move, not in unison, but separately, forks sliding into meat and vegetables, jaws
“We’re holding steady,” the work people say.
working against the flavors I have combined with my
“Very steady,” I say.
I sit at my desk and dream of the way the men drink gulps of
My heart nods in my chest, agreeing with the scene.
water, how the bottoms of each of their five necks are formed
Tim Brad Tom Sean Mike chew, lick lips, savor, enjoy,
so gracefully, how their five sets of shoulders are made from
do not look for escape, do not stare longingly elsewhere.
bone and skin, how very beautiful that is.
The way Tim Brad Tom Sean Mike eat is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, five mouths in motion.
it has been enough time now, weeks.
This is the apex of adoration: five red fibers of love
They have stopped pawing at the glass, relaxed into the
space and themselves.
The greatest part of my love is reserved for their
Do they dream of leaving, talk about escaping together?
silence. I do not have to hear teeth gnashing, saliva
I don’t know, can’t hear them, the glass is that thick.
against inner cheek walls, swallowing sounds, slapping,
Sometimes I pull the television to the glass for them and then
slurping, gurgling digestion—those noises of gasped
watch them watching.
adoration before the crush of molars, before everything falls to ruin. As they eat silently, I love Tim Brad Tom Sean Mike fully with all of my heart until it swells, goes swollen, and I feel it will never stop expanding until it grows out of my chest and rises up above and beyond the glass, and who would not love me then?
words: ‘Men Under Glass’ by Sarah Rose Etter from ‘Tongue Party’ (Caketrain Press).
catsuits Maison Portier
tops Claes Iversen
catsuit Maison Portier left: coats Filippa K and Avelon
photography janneke van der hagen, styling jordy huinder at eric elenbaas agency make-up and hair lydia le loux for mac at house of orange, models linde en veroniek at paparazzi models, assistants photographer eva martinez and b誰mala naysmith, assistant styling patricia hut.
sleepwalker author Nhu Xuan Hua, fashion Francesca Pinna
D O E S M Y R E A L I T Y M ATC H T H E R E A L I T Y ? I S T H E R E A N U LT I M AT E T R U T H ?
top This is the uniform previous pages: lace slip I.D. Sarrieri
leather jacket Tomoko Onimaru slip Beyond Retro
Where are all our eyes glancing when The whole flows. The eye is impermanent. Time and space are a fragment of your imagination. Entities have no fixed essence and no determined self in the eternal-stream-of-the-changing-into and
the world’s o
How many levels of me are there inside? If my mind ceases to exist will I cease to exist also? in
How do the charcteristics of one human
Which is the true nature of voids? the
Is it my tongue speaking or is that the
Am I the creator of my own reality? Does Is
being relate to the human being-ness in itself?
words by Anca Macavei.
catsuit This is the uniform
dress Rokit shirt Rejina Pyo stockings stylistâ€™s own
left: merino top Faustine Steinmetz gloves Beyond Retro
photographer nhu xuan hua, fashion stylist francesca pinna, assistant photographer esther bellepoque, assistant stylist dionne walker,
hair craig marsden at carol hayes management, make-up marco antonio using mac pro cosmetics, model codie young at viva models london, set designer gareth goodison, art work john green, location street studios.
coat Sonia by Sonia Rykiel high neck top Tomoko Onimaru belt Una Burke
author Magdalena Kmiecik, fashion Zu Sb.
I. I can’t look you in the eyes, I’ll never learn to do this. And therefore I’m hiding behind layers of fabrics, skin, vessels and blood. You don’t realize it. Confusing my fear for a pout, half-closed lips for a whim, crossed legs for a provocation. Then you focus your gaze somewhere else and for a brief moment my eyes can reach you - I’m looking through you. I see all the shades acting between the black and the white and I only wish to become invisible; to let this flux continue and stare at your reflection behind my retinas; to look back on those details that I keep on forgetting. The position of your beauty marks, which curve takes your nose before joining the upper lip, if your ears are totally connected to the neck.
II. Then you look at me once again and I fold on myself. And you run up an idea with my disappointment. I wait for something that diverts your attention to mesmerize those shapes again and again.
words by Elettra Boccia.
jumpsuit Parkchoonmoo dress Alex Koutny neck piece Eleen Halvorsen
vest Koonhor skirt Alex Koutny
jumpsuit Parkchoonmoo dress Alex Koutny neck piece Eleen Halvorsen top: dress Eleen Halvorsen necklace Cornelia Webb coat Alex Koutny
white dress Eleen Halvorsen dress as a cape Not by Jenny Lai right: jacket Parkchoonmoo skirt Eleen Halvorsen
blouse Not by Jenny Lai leggins Agnieszka Maciejak shoes Parkchoonmoo next page: leggins Agnieszka Maciejak bra Eleen Halvorsen blouse Not by Jenny Lai
jacket Koonhor hoodie Eleen Halvorsen mesh jumpsuit Kaimin
photographer magdalena kmiecik, stylist zu sb (zuza sowinska-bania), make up patrycja korzeniak at anyway mgmt using make up for ever, hair takayoshi tsukisawa, model qi wen at wilhelmina models ny. thanks to the mica studios, brooklyn, ny.
miss empathy author Gloria Marigo, fashion Layuhl Jang
â€œIâ€™l l say not hing and interna lize why
t he hel l his ox was blue.
blue plaid My fellow ,there was a time when plaid didn’t phase me. Now, I only think of Paul Bunyan and not understanding why his ox was blue. Was this a joke? If I find out it was, I will tell everyone I was in on it. If not, then I’ll say nothing and internalize why the hell his ox was blue. I find it bothersome, so much, I haven’t been able to eat for three days. I have done this before. The time when I wanted to purchase the black dancing shoes from pee wee’s playhouse and couldn’t find any in my size. I was devastated, feeling empty and absent. When I fast, I pretend I’m Ghandi. Then I become ill from guilt because I could never be as brave or as noble. So I pretend I’m noble. So it begins, internalizing my thoughts.. the blue ox and plaid. I start dressing the blue ox in plaid,dreaming of how the ox went to the supermarket to find blue concealer. What life, to be an ox sir.
words by Vera Claeys.
photographer gloria marigo, stylist layuhl jang, models laura savicka and masha emelianenko at 2morrow models milan, make up and hair ilaria giani, outfits layhul.
the devil we share author Sevda Albers, fashion Stefanie Klopf.
forcing our demons to dwell into our hollow shell of our bone cavity we grieve at the second these demons escaped flrom their compartment worrying at the consequences if we let them roam out of our epidermis yet we unknowingly kept them as prisoners inside of us for such a long period
they have somewhat
evolved from being oppressed to becoming an oppressor they took over our heart & reign over them spewing lust gluttony wrath pride
greed sloth & envy on our
arteries letting them flow, living, breathing in our bodies soon enough consuming us alive the oppressed have become the oppressor he/them, smiling gleefully smirking at his/their spawn the patron saint of sins is born.
words by Izzat Haziq.
dress Plein Sud
pullover Henrik Vibskov trousers Stine Goya
dress Tibi shirt Schumacher
top and skirt Kilian Kerner
photographer sevda albers, stylist stefanie klopf, hair & make up linda sigg at nina klein, model nastya at izaio.
top and skirt Kilian Kerner
DIARY â€œI set out to discover the why of it, and to transform my pleasure into knowledge.
â€œThe most beaut iful possible t hing is to deprive a l l places of t heir meanings. The meanings donâ€™t belong to t he places, any way. The meanings are litt le more t han persona l associat ions w it h certain places.
Photography by Ulrike Biets and words by Ari Ross.
Let me give you an example. That mountain over there, about 2,000 kilometers northeast, Mount Baldy, one of so so many, is, from here, a constellation of beautiful properties, its sinuous and amorphic flow, its peak leveled far and wide by snow, its majestic geometry, all of it culminating in a sense of depth, purpose, and place, a warm continuity with all that’s within and beyond the reach of sight. And that’s a fucking meaning: infinite purpose and connection with all extant things. But then, take that mountain again. You’re still standing here right now. But eight years ago, you saw Mount Baldy, said ‘I love you Mount Baldy,’ and you climbed Mount Baldy. You got to the top of Mount Baldy, looked out over everything in the valley below Mount Baldy, and all the strident peaks and ridges rounding up the valley below, each of them competing with you for closest to God. You took it all in, you won, and you started down. You started towards Earth’s surface, a cosmic, lonely, returning hero, but it was okay that no one knew, the Universe would know. And as you took that first step, it felt so climactic, and when you took that second step, it all descended into rocks and darkness, rolling in a straight line down, stopped only by a tree, at which point you remember how for however-manyseconds before the rocks didn’t forgive you but instead took your skin like a kleptomaniac in an unattended surplus store. Everything went black and you woke not breathing, not hearing, then like a punch to the chest (or was it in fact a punch to the chest?) you breathe painfully, and slowly feel what you know has happened, where the gouges are, the missing chunks of definitely dead skin, and you lean back to not even think of it, just let the sound drown away from you. You heal and move on, everything is good as new, and life whizzes into a new millennium of possible experiences, away from all of what happened, until one day you’re going from Point A to Point C at 100 km/h and you pull it over when you get back to this spot and again see Mount Baldy, there closer than the horizon, a good 2,000 kilometers away, towering over the valley, asking for your attention in the cover of the light sun and smearing sky. Now tell me: what does Mount Baldy mean to you?
to Alain Robbe-Grillet.
Between these walls covered with woodwork, stucco, moldings, pictures, framed prints, among which I was walking - among which I was already waiting for you, very far away from this setting where I now stand, in front of you, still waiting for the man who will no longer come, who no longer threatens to come to separate us again, to tear you away from me. Are you coming? A hundred years later you won’t recognize those golden shapes, turned into a solid mass of entrails and gorges. Slowly, decadence hanged over my consciousness deforming your beloved landscape with twenty-four thousand moons witnessing tongueless to my defeat. The whole World is in a manner over and my land in ashes unto them. I’m moving one step after another for no apparent reason, with my feet designing a circular path through corridors and rooms, walls and memories. I can’t stand this anymore as any construction that is used too much tends to lose its charm. Six silent times and seven times on the Seventh is what they needed to disintegrate our fortress; then the desert has penetrated this garden, graying every living substance under a divine shadow. Once there were shimmering colours, the most vivid I’ve ever seen, and your skin shivered to any whisper - mine was frozen. It couldn’t last. Forms with two equal angles exist just for a brief moment and now I can only imagine your blue body floating in an Eastern river. “Some say it’s too quiet but they’ve never been to Marienbad.” So, what am I doing here? Stalking your angels to reach the secret direction or holding the unsafe place which makes me stray in the nighttime: wet with dew and dreamless, with no hands to grab me, I cry and lament that this domain is no longer controlled. I’m looking down to see you crawling. - Are you still coming?
picture courtesy of Rialto Pictures
a film by Alain Resnais articulated in a note by Marco Giuliano.
last year at marienbad
cio dâ€™or - uhr donato dozzy - vaporware 01 madteo - hiding hand principle rainforest spiritual enslavement - black magic originated in nature rottten - spazio tempo a1
miles - loran dreams andy stott - numb alan backdrop - glow marcos cabral - haitian priest barn owl - void (redux) adam michalak - shadowy horizon the haxan cloak - hounfour (temple) filippo scorcucchi - odissey
A soundtrack about emptiness by Adiel
how to listen:
T H R E E VA R I AT I O N S
ON THE THEME
artworks by: Kero Alessandra De Cristofaro Christopher Mileski
ALESSANDRA DE CRISTOFARO
labels &other Stories www.stories.com
Henrik Vibskov www.henrikvibskov.com
Acne Studios www.acnestudios.com
Hugo Boss www.hugoboss.com
I.D. Sarrieri www.sarrieri.com
Agnieszka Maciejak www.agnieszkamaciejak.com
Alex Koutny www.alexkoutny.com
Kilian Kerner www.kiliankerner.de
Alexandre Vauthier alexandrevauthier.com
American Apparel www.americanapparel.net
Area di Barbara Bologna www.lab-area.com
Maison Martin Margiela www.maisonmartinmargiela.com
Atsuko Kudo atsukokudo.com
Maison Portier facebook.com/MaisonPortier
Barbara Bui www.barbarabui.com
Beyond Retro www.beyondretro.com
Mattijs van Bergen www.mattijsvanbergen.com
BLK Denim blkdnmcloseup.com
Claes Iversen www.claesiversen.com
Monique van Heist www.moniquevanheist.com
Cornelia Webb www.corneliawebb.com
Not by Jenny Lai notaligne.com
Damir Doma www.damirdoma.com
Peet Dullaert www.peetdullaert.com
Eleen Halvorsen www.eleenhalvorsen.com
Petit Bateau www.petit-bateau.us
Faustine Steinmetz www.faustinesteinmetz.com
Pierre Cardin www.pierrecardin.com
Filippa K www.filippa-k.com
Plein Sud www.pleinsud.com
Rejina Pyo www.rejinapyo.com
Alexandre Tabaste www.alexandretabaste.com
Amanda Raczkowski and Joseph Reed www.caketrain.org
Sage and Ivy www.sageandivy.com
Aoi Kotsuhiroi www.aoikotsuhiroi.com
Sonia Rykiel www.soniarykiel.com Stine Goya www.stinegoya.com This is the uniform thisistheuniform.com Tibi www.tibi.com
Ben Mirov isaghost.blogspot.com Christopher Mileski cargocollective.com/tophermileski Gloria Marigo www.gloriamarigo.com Iulia Burtea dreamsize.ro Izzat Haziq
Tomoko Onimaru omokoonimaru.com Twins for Peace www.twinsforpeace.com
Janneke van Der Hagen cargocollective.com/jannekevanderhagen Kero www.kerousel.com
Una Burke www.unaburke.com
Vannina Vesperini www.vanninavesperini.com
Magdalena Kmiecik magdalenakmiecik.com
Veronique Leroy www.veroniqueleroy.com
Naomi Filmer www.naomifilmer.co.uk
Nhu Xuan Hua www.nhuxuanhua.com
Yohji Yamamoto www.yohjiyamamoto.co.jp
Paula McCartney www.paulamccartney.com
Yves Saint Lauren www.ysl.com
Rebecca Cairns www.rebeccacairns.com Ryan Call ryanpcall.blogspot.com
Sarah Rose Etter www.sarahroseetter.com
Sevda Albers sevdaalbers.com
Alessandra De Cristofaro cargocollective.com/alessandradecristofaro
Ulrike Biets www.ulrikebiets.com
V O I D