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Cover artwork by Justina šuminaitė


Editor EVA PELÁEZ Creative Director ANA AFONSO Graphics & Web Design ANA AFONSO ANNA FERRY Photography Director JUSTINA ŠUMINAITĖ Art Department PAULA AFONSO TOM GOSLING

Photography and Video IVAN CORDOBA ALEXANDRA UHART   Editorial Assistant DAVID RAWLINS Fashion Editor TANIA FAROUKI

Writers SABRINA BRAMBLE JESC BUNYARD OCTAVE CAT SAMANTHA COOMBES HEIKE DEMPSTER LATOYAH GILL ADAN JERREAT-POOLE NERMINA KULOVIĆ PEGGY MCGREGOR YINKA OLUMOMI SCOTT PARTINGTON JEREMIAH TAYLER JOE TUCKER SUZANNE ZHANG Commercial Department ANDRÉS CARRENO ISSABEL FEHRNAND MOHAMED MAHAYNI

Thank you to all our amazing contributors and artists that have made ROOMS 12 so special. Big thanks to: Justina, Suzanne, Kika y Kiko, Tania, Samantha, Kevin, Mr Ballard, LaToyah, Patrilava, Michael Hoppen Contemporary Gallery, BEARSPACE Gallery, photographer Robbie Mike Jeffers, and Moha we’ll see you in Paris soon. To Isa, the bravest woman in the world. Published in London by RAU Studio London National and international distribution by Central Books General enquiries info@roomsmagazine.com Subscription enquiries subscriptions@roomsmagazine.com ISSN: 2046-5505 Issue 12 – 2013 www.roomsmagazine.com 12

©RAU Ltd. London All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the publisher. The information and images, contained in this magazine, are materials supplied to the publisher by the artists and contributors. Opinions and images expressed in this magazine’s contents are those of the author. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, Rooms Art Uncovered Ltd. does not under any circumstances accept responsibility for any errors or omissions.


Immersive sound realms by Haroon Mirza at Lisson Gallery visceral paintings by Barnaby Furnas at Victoria Miro Fractured flesh of Charlie Isoe’s portraits at Lazarides Emotionally charged age lines on Mark Powell’s antique letters at Ben Oakley Musical history passage of Tokio Aoyama’s paintings at Hoxton Gallery

Energising sense of discovery from Suzanne Zhang in her US trip feature On the Road with

Nostalgia awakened by The Pixies’ new album Humanly touching realism of the film Prevertere Sophisticated tomorrow, the Future is Here at The Design Museum BLUE SKIES of Albuquerque Sun and excitement of summer festivals, Primavera Sound and Field Day Neon colours and light clothes in Spring Breakers

Light of Laura Knight portraits at the National Portrait Gallery

Spirituality in Ibrahim el-Salahi’s paintings at TATE Modern Intoxicating sweat of !!! (Chk Chk Chk)’s Nic Offer at VISIONS Festival Solitude in Ed Ruscha’s architecture photography, Rocking

showing at The Getty Center

eNERGY at Meltdown Festival Mouth-watering retrospective of Ferran Adria, El Bulli at Somerset House

Shinro Ohtake’s obsessively rich, collage diaries and wordless dialogues of Pawel Althamer’s Venetians at the Venice Biennale

Lavish silhouettes of RetroSpective at

The Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology

Comforting silence of Gary Hume ‘s paintings at the Tate Modern Art excessiveness of the Edinburgh Fringe

Hypnotising lights of James Turrel’s trips through space at Guggenheim Museum

Here’s to the encounters that have enthused our senses with a spectrum of tantalising images and texturized sounds. With a trail of inspiration coiling under our skin we celebrate our new collection of artists. Welcome to ROOMS 12

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Words by Eva Peláez


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Garis & Hahn presents ANDREA MARY MARSHALL 60

Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects presents WANGECHI MUTU 72

CHRIS TURNER & CELESTE WONG 78

MUUSE presents HELLEN VAN REES 86

EIGEN + ART presents BOSCO SODI

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Handpicked

Fashion Spirit in Bloom: JESSICA NG, MAXXI JAE-HYUNG LEE, MIUNIKU, OCTOLOGY, VALENTINA LA PORTA, MICKEY MARLOWE, KATIE WITHAM

The Beginning Of A Beautiful Friendship

We Enter Sacred Ground

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Suzanne Moxhay 98

Kyle Henderson 102

Borja Bonafuente Gonzalo 106

Noe Sendas 108

Sandra Chevrier 112

Reuben Wu 116

Acaymo S Cuesta 118

Stuart McReath


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Topaz Leung & Martin Cheung Founders and Creative Directors at Studio TM 124

Julius & Tobi Co-founders and Designers at Nomadic People 126

James Ratsasane Art Director at First Love Records Label 128

Pierangelo D’Agostin Creative Director at TWEEN

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Ryan Stanier Founder and Director at The Other Art Fair

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EMMA TOOTH The Renaissance Revival 142

AUNIA KAHN Eye Connection 152

ALEX TURVEY In live Action 158

GUILLAUME LANDRY Hunting for Stories

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JANE PETRIE Undressing Film 172

ELLEN ROGERS A Darkroom Affair 178

RYOICHI KUROKAWA Introducing the Audio-Visual Phenomenon 184

IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE The Art of Revolution 188

Official Selection: BRIAN MCGUIRE, MICHAEL PEARCE, RAFAEL PAVÓN 196

Motel Rooms featuring Mike Ballard

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The Cover Artist Uncovered

Hello Lamp Post by PAN Studio

No Borders No Boundaries

Why Do You Do What You Do?

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JUSTINA ŠUMINAITĖ Pictures of Me


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We Ent er Sacred Ground


A graphic tribute to the designers of tomorrow

FASHION SPIRIT IN BLOOM

Photography by Justina Šuminaitė


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We Ent er Sacred Ground


JESSICA NG


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We Ent er Sacred Ground


MAXXI JAE-HYUNG LEE


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We Ent er Sacred Ground


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We Ent er Sacred Ground


MIUNIKU

miuniku.com


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We Ent er Sacred Ground


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We Ent er Sacred Ground


OCTOLOGY

octocheung.com


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We Ent er Sacred Ground


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We Ent er Sacred Ground


VALENTINA LA PORTA


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We Ent er Sacred Ground


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We Ent er Sacred Ground


MICKEY MARLOWE

mickeymarlowe.com


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We Ent er Sacred Ground


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We Ent er Sacred Ground


KATIE WITHAM


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Garis & Hahn Gallery presents:

ANDREA MARY

MARSHALL A Woman of Subst ance NY,US

Mary Garis and Sophie Hahn, Directors at Garis & Hahn Gallery, New York

garisandhahn.com

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Andrea Mary Marshall is an innovative and inspiring artist who is creating powerful works that speak to our contemporary culture, not only through the subject matter, but in the way she creates her art and utilizes her mediums. Andrea’s past bodies of work have been strong and colourful, both conceptually and aesthetically which have attracted us to her world. Despite the success in her earlier works, Andrea continues to grow and develop as an artist which is apparent in her latest series and is influenced by cultural icons; Elvis and the Japanese Geisha. There is a maturity in these new works that we were unfamiliar with. This latest series is so unique, seductive and current, that we truly believe she will be a great artist of our generation. 


Gia Condo Untitled No. 1 Self-portrait as Mona Gloria, Vanna, Pananana (Flava Flav) 2012. Oil on poplar panel


Words by Tania Farouki

Painter. Photographer. Drafts(wo)man. Collage artist. Add to that filmmaker, model and actress. Is there anything Andrea Mary Marshall can’t do? Just like Gloria Steinem acted as an advocate and catalyst for the Women’s Liberation movement back in the 60s and 70s, Ms. Marshall may well become the 21st century representation of female empowerment. For one, she is giving a whole new meaning to self-portraiture, giving birth to alter egos who can easily pass as contemporary Flaubert or Hitchcock heroines: Loretta Minx, Rosemary Myst, Diabolical Donna, Gia Condo. Who wouldn’t want to be these überglamourous characters? Yet underneath the immaculately beautified portrayals, you sense that each of them have been through intense emotional voyages. The same goes for the wittingly-well done portraits of Mona Lisa’s modern doppelgängers and Vague (aka Vogue) cover stars: even when posing as females who should be instantly degraded and tagged by the media as negative, Ms. Marshall somehow makes them look in total control. The character in question – whether a nun, a pregnant bride, an S&M aficionado or even a Pope – might be vulnerable, dramatic, passionate, distraught and seen as going through self-inflicted pains and pleasure, yet she completely and utterly acknowledges and upholds the emotions and consequences. But always looks good while doing it (stigmata bleedings and being covered in spaghetti won’t stop her). It is clear how complex and intriguing the female gender is and she explores the many facets by defying society stereotypes and reclaiming the status of women as a symbol of power. The New York City-based artist is in full bloom and she’s just getting started. Only one question remains: is the world ready for Andrea Mary Marshall? ROOMS had the pleasure of conversing with the charismatic creative engine.

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Tell us a bit about your background. So you were born in Massachusetts? Yes. I have a wonderful and crazy family and had a very creative and inspiring childhood. I was a rather awkward girl, very nerdy, shy and did not quite fit in. But I was always creating, always making and always inventing. And I had a lot of fun and adventure. When was your first encounter with the art world?

My grandmother, Gloria, was a painter and a ceramicist. She brought me to museums when I was very young and always encouraged my interest in art. But I never thought I would go into fine art. I wanted to be a fashion designer and graduated from Parsons with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design. It wasn’t until 2008 that I decided I wanted to pursue art seriously.

Your choice of art varies: paintings, photographs, drawings, videos, mixed media, etc. What role does each platform play for you? Do you prefer working with a particular one? In front of my camera is where I feel most at ease and powerful. Most of your work comprises of selfportraits. Why is that?

Exploration. I don’t know why exactly but it was always natural for me to do self-portraits. Instinctive.

Some have dubbed you ‘the next Cindy Sherman’. What is your view on that? I think it’s flattering. Sherman is a great artist and I admire her success and career. But I think my work is different than hers and I do not view myself as ‘the next’ anybody. I’m me.

ME


Reincarnation still as Gia Condo With Mustache 2012


Self-portrait as Venus de Milo Kink 2013

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Tell us about Gia Condo, your alter ego: who is she exactly? Should we be expecting more characters or is she the main one?

One of the elements I particularly love about your work is the appropriation you use, be it Vogue magazine covers or La Gioconda. You take these – shall we say iconic – visuals to an extreme end that I find empowers the female gender. Do you feel closely linked to popular female representations at all?

There are several alter egos. Gia Condo, Rosemary Myst, Loretta Minx, Flo, Maria Gonzalez, among others. Gia Condo was inspired by [Leonardo] Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and the idea that she may be Da Vinci’s selfportrait in drag. The name Gia Condo is an anagram for La Gioconda. She represents a more fearless, liberated and empowered version of myself compared to past alter egos like Rosemary Myst, who represented a damsel in distress. Gia Condo plays with feminism, sexual identity and gender identity. She will not come back though. I’m now trying to move away from my focus on alter egos and do self-portraits that are more true to myself.

I find I often can’t avoid the cliché. Female representation in history has always inspired me to analyse myself, the women in my life and in popular culture. I think regardless of how far our society has come in evolving past stereotypes and limitations, somehow we still seem inherent and exemplary of feminine idealism.

I love how Gia Condo exudes this confidence and sex appeal: the effects you use (such as make-up, clothes, accessories, etc.) truly make it performance art… Yes, Gia Condo was a lifestyle!

Are there any messages you aim to convey in your pieces? If yes, what are they? For instance, what are the main differences between [the exhibitions] Toxic Women and Gia Condo? Toxic Women felt masochistic in a way but very cathartic. Along with examining the side effects of the pop culture we often idealise, the work was symbolic of my own toxic behaviours and relationships. Gia Condo was about breaking free from the restraints of being a Toxic Woman – toxic to myself. Emerging liberated, free and wild – removing the limitations of society, gender, sexuality and also the limitations we place on ourselves.

Some of your work includes fashion and accessories – like the Confessional Bag with Sacrificial Object Inside. What is your relationship with fashion? Do you think fashion can be art? Most definitely. I studied fashion in college. Fashion is storytelling. Fashion is beauty. Fashion is history. And the way we dress or style ourselves can both conceal our identity while at the same time reveal our soul. A theme that I think is present in all of your pieces is pure ‘passion’. Do you agree?

PASSIONATELY

Yes, almost too much. I’m an art-aholic. I have to be making art all the time. I live for it and I love it passionately.


How does an idea for a piece come about? Tell us about your creative process. The ideas just come – usually while I am listening to music. I just see an image in my head and then recreate it. But the images I create are always autobiographical and a result of experiences and emotions in my life. What are the influences you tend to look upon when creating pieces? What inspires you the most: the people, the places, media, etc.? Real life experiences and emotions.

Do you have a favourite piece from your body of work until now? Yes. My favourite painting is my self-portrait Search For The Holy Grail and my favorite photo is Blow Drying My Wounds: Self Portrait as Flo. I also love a few of my demon paintings from Toxic Women, anything as Rosemary Myst, The Gia Condo film stills and some of my new photographs from my latest KINK series. Especially Self Portrait with Hoover.

Self-portrait with Mop Kink 2013

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KINK


Self-portrait with Hoover Kink 2013


What kind of satisfaction do you get when completing a piece? I feel thrilled. As long as I like the piece. If I don’t like the piece, that’s another story. Who are your favorite artists? Any particular movements you are fond of?

impressionism, abstract expressionism, and selfportraiture. But the list goes on forever.

FOREVER

Impossible question! Here’s the short list: Francis Bacon, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, George Condo, Diego Velázquez, Henri Matisse, Georgia O’Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Lucas Cranach The Elder, Hans Memling, Paul Gauguin, Henri Rousseau, Hector Hyppolite, Vincent van Gogh, Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Tracey Emin, Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, El Greco, Edouard Manet and John Singer Sargent. In terms of art movements, the ones I’m quite fond of are Haitian folk, Mexican folk,

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Reincarnation still as Gia Condo with Sauce and Milk 2012

T he Beginning Of A Beaut if ul Fr iendship


Self-portrait as Gia Condo as the Main Course 2012


Do you tend to look at your peers’ work? I like a lot of my peers’ work. I especially love the work of Dan Colen, Olympia Scarry and Angel Otero. Describe to us a typical day at the studio and/or when working on a piece. There is no such thing as a typical day. No routine besides copious amounts of caffeine and Santana’s Abraxas album on repeat. First thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Put on my high heels, of course!

Our latest theme question, which is on point with what you do: imagine a photo with you in it, what would it be? What’s the story? Well, this question is interesting because I already do this. I am always imagining photos and putting myself in them. But I guess today I would like to forget about the art and see myself in a photo laying on the beach in the Bahamas! Any future projects in the works? What’s next for Andrea Mary Marshall?

Yes, I am doing a two-person show at Garis & Hahn Gallery in New York City opening September 16th. I’m very excited for this!

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Confessional Bag - I Confess Whore 2011


Self-portrait as Gia Condo as the Trashbag Mona Lisa 2012


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Eat Cake 2012. Video projection, newsprint, used cardboard boxes, wood, felt, blankets, recycled plastic, recycled cardboard, 12min 51sec. Edition of 6. Courtesy of the Artist


Susanne Vielmetter

presents:

WANGECHI

MUTU

Repainting a New Africa

NY,US


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Eat Cake 2012. Video projection, newsprint, used cardboard boxes, wood, felt, blankets, recycled plastic, recycled cardboard, 12min 51sec. Edition of 6. Courtesy of the Artist

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Susanne Vielmetter, Gallery Director, Los Angeles

vielmetter.com I have followed Wangechi Mutu’s work since 2002 when I discovered her small-scale collages on paper. They immediately stood out because of the extraordinarily powerful way they portray the female figure.  Mutu’s work engages us in a sophisticated approach by equally fascinating and repulsing us, her characters are always powerful, even if unspeakable violence is inflicted upon them. They exude an unparalleled raw force that I find very effective in addressing contemporary issues surrounding the female body.  This is an artist who has developed a supremely unique visual language and who is not afraid to address tough contemporary issues.

I see the most important role of the gallery in supporting our artists and in creating a framework which enables them to grow, to challenge their practice, and to strive for the most ambitious work they can do.  Seeing their work grow and receiving the amazing response and support from the public, the critics and the art institutions is the best reward for us and for the artists together. The program of my gallery reflects an interest in work that is not afraid of content and engages in important contemporary issues, whether they are of a political or more personal nature.  We present a wide range of approaches, both in terms of concept and medium, with a focus on fostering a diverse canon of cultural voices. Wangechi Mutu’s work adds an interesting facet to our program as it confronts the perception of the female body from a Eurocentric point of view with a contemporary African voice.


Words by Heike Dempster Share some of your New York with us. A tremendous amount of work in my career has been accomplished here in New York City, in Brooklyn actually. It has played a big role in my goals and my understanding of this cross-cultural, multilingual, multicultural world . I live in a very Caribbean Diasporic immigrant area. These things that I was interested in always surround me anyway. I walk out of the door and I see people co-existing who are not necessarily from the same island, the same country, the same history or background. I live in a house that has passed from one group of immigrants to another, Jewish and Caribbean. My building was previously owned by Irish and Dutch people. When they first settled here it was farmland. I am very much aware of my immigrant city because of where I live. It has taught me to deal with my being trapped here, in a way. Not being able to travel has been slightly softened by my surroundings. How much do you draw on these personal experiences with such varied and rich cultural inspirations around you?

I draw from all my experiences. I walk around and I see a person wearing something interesting or something that awakens a memory and I draw that idea into my work as an image or a performance 64

idea. There is tons of music playing, lots of cars are on the street, people are talking in a variety of accents, a variety of American accents. All of that helps me create the way I do, and think the way I do. I am one of these people who uses the world, my everyday world, as a sort of encyclopaedia for research and to inspire me. I am not super conservative about doing my research in the library. I lean towards issues that relate to women and existence in this world. How do we walk? How do we feel? How do we survive? How do we masquerade ourselves? What is our predicament? What are our problems and challenges from different places and different times? There are a variety of challenges in Kenya that I don’t experience here, but then there is a whole set of other issues in the United States, and in Brooklyn and New York that are peculiar. I really use my female eye to understand our place in this time in history and in a way to illuminate the inequities that women still experience. Have you recently seen a piece of art or an exhibition that had a profound impact on you?

I think of El Anatsui’s work at the Brooklyn Museum. His work is magnificent. It is just remarkable. It is very important and beautiful at the same time. Important in the sense that it is such a representation of an ability and skill set with the use of materials from other cultures and materials from other economies, and they do not necessarily match up. He is using junk and shiny bits of metal to create these magnificent, very, very epic backdrops. It is like he creates these heavens, in a way, they are like stars and glowing lights. They are so big and it is all out of that junk. The material, as much as it was thrown to the bottom of the trash of our value system it actually has a beauty to it, a place and an importance, and it belongs to us because it comes from the earth, as well. Something about his work is super eloquent and clear about the capability of human creativity but also of contemporary African language. I am listening to music. I love Afro-Punk, the Afro-Punk festival and concerts of black rock bands. That’s a very open term and open category in their world. These kids are doing incredible music and they are rebellious in their approach to what music can sound like, and their energy is electric. I always enjoy it. In the fall I saw Zimbabwean choreographer Nora Chipaumire. Nora is an immigrant like myself but a sort of self-exile type who left Zimbabwe because she had a yearning to learn about dance and learn about herself. She is one of the most remarkably interesting things to watch in movement. She has the ability to describe the predicament of contemporary Africa through her dance. We are not talking about the Africa that people like to idealize, the traditional, historical Africa that people have in their dreams and that is in the museums of Natural History. I am talking about the Africa that has blood and a pulse, and is alive, it has cities and noise and complicated

T he Beginning Of A Beaut if ul Fr iendship

social economic histories all blended into one hybrid amazing place. That is the kind of body she performs when she does a dance. She is really fierce and beautiful, and unpredictable. I have seen her work and one piece that I saw in particular called Heifer was very inspirational.

You’ve recently presented Fantastic Journey at Nasher Museum Of Art, North Carolina, US. Could you walk us through the show? It is basically a survey, and it is a journey of me and the time I have been in the US building my career. It also references a TV show that was around in 70s America. The premise of it is, these people leave their home and they go and travel very far away. And when they get to this place they sort of get trapped in a parallel universe and they can’t return. It is both a show about me embarking on an adventure to some unknown place and at the same time this adventure is also a metaphor for the work and the way I produce it, exploring different themes that have to do with transitory life and the existence outside of home: exile. It also relates to gender issues because as a woman I think it’s been a different kind of journey from that which a male artist might have had. Fantastic Journey embraces my work of the last 20 years. It is not as comprehensive as a retrospective, but it is a survey.

SURVEY


What has your migration experience been? I left my country on an airplane and landed somewhere else. I saw myself completely differently the moment I was thrown into an environment in which I became a foreigner or a non-native. I had never been a minority. It was an interesting and very extreme kind of change and shift. I have lived in the US for 20 years plus, and I think eventually you stop longing for home. It

Pretty Double-Headed 2010. Mixed media, ink, collage, pearls, contact paper on Mylar, 34 x 41 3/4 inches. Image courtesy of the Artist. Private collection, Los Angeles.

becomes less apparent and becomes something way more nuanced. I think initially you see yourself as a person from another place and slowly by slowly you get used to where you are and the place that you came from becomes something quite private. Your experience of somewhere else becomes something only you can really discuss with yourself or other people who are similar. How has your migration experience influenced your work?

I guess there are a ton of comparisons and examinations of where I am that I have been obsessed with and that I continue to be obsessed with. For me, being a non-native means having a sensitivity to your surroundings just because you have that opportunity to compare, because you are not from there. Not because you are special in any other way, really. That and the fact that I studied anthropology influences my work tremendously. It gives me a tool by which to create art.

Do you find that you tend to romanticize the idea of your original home?

Yes. I think that is only natural. I did not realize how much I was doing that until I compared it to stories that people tell me who live at home, who live in Kenya, who live in Africa more continuously. You absolutely do romanticize because you only have your memory to live on. You start to fill in the gaps. Your desires, you think they are real but really you are remembering a more utopian place than you left.


Do you travel to Kenya? Now I do. I did not initially. Not because I did not want to travel, but I had a very difficult immigration case. I have recently been able to travel home so that has been the next chapter of my life. I am able to go back and forth. Not just to Kenya, but also to other parts of the world. I can really experience that global aspect of my brain that had woken up when I first left home.

I had already travelled quite a bit when I was living in Europe. I have been to Turkey and, at the time, Yugoslavia and East and West Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and have taken a train through Bulgaria. I have been to Cyprus, the UK and Switzerland and then, there was no travel for many years. I was almost forcefully bound to the US. I did not want to leave and risk not being able to return. It was a very pragmatic decision. I could have said, ‘to hell with all of this, and just travel the world,’ but I think the way my life worked out, New York became my home away from home. Your work has been described as provocative. Do you agree with that term or what words do you use to describe your work? I cannot answer that. I was not the one who called my work provocative.

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Yo Mama 2003. Ink, mica flakes, pressure sensitive synthetic polymer sheeting, cut and pasted printed paper, painted paper, and synthetic polymer paint on paper, 59 1/8 x 85 inches. Image courtesy of the Artist. Collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection Gift, 2511.2005.a�b.


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People in Glass Towers Should Not Imagine Us 2003. Mixed media collage on paper, Diptych, overall: 140 x 102 inches. Image courtesy of the Artist. Collection of Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn and Nicolas Rohatyn, New York.


Provocative is this powerful word and an interesting term. It is a very important term when you are trying to awaken sleepy kind of ideas that we refuse to let go of, that are conservative and old-fashioned and traditional and unfair. It is sort of difficult for me to sit here and go, ‘oh yeah I am really provocative and incredibly controversial.’ I think that is for someone else to decide and to say. It is not as interesting to me to say that about myself and my work. I think that’s way more interesting for someone else to discuss because it would be more honest. I don’t have any distance from my work, so I can’t sit there and say, ‘oh this scares me’ or ‘this makes me want to go out there and protest this issue.’ Could you take me through your creative process from idea to the final piece?

My mixed media collages begin with small drawings and that is where I decide on the narrative of the piece. Once I decide on that, I find a body that suits that narrative and plays out the story. It could be about a hierarchy or a relationship between two characters, or sorcery, or a character wandering this landscape. Once I am done figuring that out and happy with it I project it using just my hand and my eye to a larger surface of paper and start to decide on what bits and pieces to insert into the body. I also start to create antagonism around it. That

is where I really start to flesh out what is happening. From there I begin to really play with colour and paints, at some point I have to let go of the original narrative and really work out the form, the colour, the tone, the texture. It is not an illustration but a didactic drawing of an actual situation, an imaginary composition. Then, I really have to let go and come up with new things, make mistakes, explore, use materials I have never used before and just really have a great time in my adventure, in my movement around the surface, so that I can actually produce something unique and make this character come alive. Which media would you still want to explore, or explore further?

There is animation that I just made. It has opened up this new space for me. I really enjoyed the process of making this animation, both, with the animator but also with Santigold who played the character. I love making performance work. I don’t do as much because it is more nerve wrecking. It is harder for me to perform because I am kind of shy but it is something that I love doing.

Do you think you are part of a rewriting or ‘repainting’ of history by adding your voice to the discourse on post-colonialism and contemporary Africa? I do think that there is something undeniable and important about my ability to discuss and talk about where it is I come from, and to sort of triumph against all of these social, economic and historical elements that attempted to squash our cultural voice as contemporary Africans. I am proud of the fact that I have been able to be a creative person in a time and a place where those are not necessarily the values we are focused on in a poor country like the one I come from. We are very much a culture that is rewriting our history, rewriting our languages. We may have lost some of our languages, but we have remnants and assets of our past culture that have entered our hybrid present cultures that are very African and Kenyan.

Those are the things that I try to make visible in my work. There are ways of doing things that are very much our own. They are not necessarily the tradition of my great grandmother or my grandmother. I consider those, small as they might be, triumphs over this battle to reclaim what we have been fighting for, that have been taken away and given back to us in pieces.

PIECES


The End of Eating Everything 2013. Animated video (colour, sound), 8 minute, 10 second loop. Courtesy of the Artist and Gladstone Gallery. Commissioned by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

It is an ongoing process and it is a process I can say that I would not be able to do on my own. I have people I very much admire, all over the continent doing similar work. Reclaiming, reinventing, reworking our languages, our history and addressing the issues of the loss of confidence that comes about when you are colonized, when you have been violated as a people. We are building, block by block, image by image, word by word, a type of confidence that is not going to match what was there in the past. Nothing is going to be like what it was and we don’t want that anyway. We want a present that is of our own making, and I think I am very much a part of that group of people that is tirelessly working on a daily basis to give a voice to our histories. How much does this factor into your depiction of beauty?

It influences every part of my life, so it definitely influences that particular part. My perception and what I describe as beautiful has a lot to do with what I was taught was beautiful versus what I saw in the mirror and what I saw around me. The disconnect between the status quo and what you see in the magazines and the mainstream media tells us is beautiful, and the majority of the women and the girls and people around me was so apparent at a certain point in my life. Not as a child necessarily but as you grow up you start to

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realize the things that are called beautiful, the things that are called interesting and ethereal and are the idealization of splendor, for some reason they don’t look like me. That’s a problem because I don’t think there is anything wrong with me, or my grandmothers, or my sisters or the men around us. Why are our images and why are our voices not considered central, beautiful? I have had to assess my own position.

There is an attempt to visually brainwash a lot of people in colonial spaces and I hope that the way I go about working makes people question what is beauty and how come you get to define what is beautiful, versus me? How did you get to insert yourself at the centre of what is considered beautiful? How can there be only one version of beauty, anyway? I went to Catholic school in Kenya for 12 years and the Virgin Mary’s image was inserted in every single room and every single space we walked around in. Every time you sat down to learn there was this lily-white, very young, very docile female and she was the ultimate woman. In a Catholic environment, in a convent, this is the woman that stands for all that is whole about a woman. This woman looked nothing like us, behaved nothing like us, nothing like my sisters, my people, my mother, yet this is the woman we were asked to emulate. You do not necessarily take it too seriously, but at some point, you keep flashing this image in front of young girls, you give them that sense that

there is something missing about them, that there is something incomplete about their faces and their bodies and their image. In some weird way my women, as unreal or as dream-like as they may be, they are ways of breaking the molds that we were given. How significant are the titles of your work and how do you choose them?

They are very significant. For me, they help to complete the piece. They give it a sense of itself once it is finished. Sometimes I start off with one title and I keep it the whole way until I finally finish the piece and sort of baptize it – I still use religious terminology. Once it is finished I sort of give it the name that it should eventually always be called. That title is either a way to understand the piece and it’s also, sometimes, a general theme of that body of work – somehow underlined in the titles. Sometimes I have a little poem as a title with some alliteration or a rhyme in it. It is important for people to open up their imagination or to show people up, sometimes, maybe, so they are not assuming they know everything they are looking at right there at that moment. Keep people on their toes, keep me on my toes.

the insides of the way we are right now. This is what is going on. Am I creating solutions, there and then, in those particular moments with my work? I do not know because I don’t know if people go home after looking at my work and choose to see things differently and behave differently. But I do know that they have seen something different and they have a choice. I think the artist’s role, my role, is to be honest and to be clear about my experience, so that people can identify with me or my story and then understand something else about the world. If it goes in the direction of helping people heal, be compassionate and humane and be more enlightened, I am so thrilled, I have done way more than I thought I was capable of. But I cannot guarantee that because I am not in people’s minds. People’s prejudices and their leanings are very much inside of them but I think my existence is important. Being a Kenyan female artist in this day and time, and being successful, insistent and consistent about my presence is important.

IMPORTANT

Do you want to push people to question or rethink their ideologies?

I am an artist so I am not really trying to make people rethink in that very direct way. I am not a preacher or a politician. I am definitely revealing things so I am opening up the bowels and

wangechimutu.com


Chris

TURNER CELESTE WONG

Diary of a Director and an Actress London, UK

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T he Beginning Of A Beaut if ul Fr iendship


Still from G(O)OD+(D)EVIL, featuring Celeste Wong

Words by Octave Cat

Film director Chris Turner is steadily making a name for himself creating passionate short films conjuring up equal measures of darkness and beauty. His recent short film G(O)OD +(D)EVIL, starring actress Celeste Wong, is captivating and compelling both visually, from the choreography to the costumes and set design, and sonically thanks to the music composed by electronic producer Scanner, underpinning the intense emotional journey of the bride and widow. An art/fashion film, shown at the London Short Film Festival and recently nominated for an award at the Berlin Fashion Film Festival, this project arose out of a deeply collaborative effort. I caught up with director Chris Turner and actress Celeste Wong to delve further into their creative process and to explore the unique relationship between director and actress in the making of a film.

film


For me, being in front of the lens is an uncomfortable experience. I find it hard to look directly into that unblinking black eye. So I’ve always favoured being the one who aims the weapon, not the target. If I could have an actor play my role in the photo, then the story would be me (played by Michael Shannon) gunning a ski-doo across Iceland’s wintery landscape.

I started out as a graphic designer, then through televisual branding work for groups like Channel 4 and MTV, got into shooting commercials. I’ve always been interested in films and photography so my own film projects grew from this crossover of experience.

– Chris Turner

I first started working on film as a duo with Samuel Christopher, but two years ago I started to work on my own. G(O)OD + (D)EVIL is the first film I’m really proud of in that it says something about the work I want to do in the future. I approached online fashion magazine TWENTY6 as one of my regular collaborators David Hawkins and his agent Vicky at Frank had suggested this might be a good platform for my work. The film was supported by my production company Hungry Man and we pitched an idea to fashion director Tilly Hardy. I’d met Celeste through some commercials we’d both worked on and thought she was the right actress for this film.

In general, I’m inspired by individual films rather than following specific directors. I love The Shining, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that I love all of Kubrick’s work. My favourite recent films have been Killing Them Softly by Andrew Dominick, Take Shelter by Jeff Nichols and Holy Motors by Leos Carax – which is insane and brilliant in equal measure. I also admire British director Ben Wheatley’s work, especially his film Kill List.

So it was a coming together of a lot of different elements, starting with a few ideas including a ‘black hole cross’ and a ‘lightbox cross’… The initial concept started with these visuals in mind and then added to by Celeste’s ideas as well as the choreographer Lucie Pankhurst. It was a very collaborative process. I knew what the camera could do and Celeste worked closely with Lucie on the choreography. We also worked closely on the visuals with costume designer David Hawkins as well as other members of the team including make-up artist Lucy Flower, hair stylist/director of photography Jason Berman and our producer Saskia Moore. Everyone involved brought something unique to the film. It was like jigsaw parts fitting together. G(O)OD + (D)EVIL was made Vimeo Staff Pick, and since then it’s had nearly 100,000 views. It has been embraced as a fashion film, but we didn’t specifically set out with this label in mind. I don’t believe in the ‘auteur theory’. I think film should be collaborative on every level and that’s what I like about it. I guess I like to filter other people’s opinions and ideas. By the time we shot the film, Celeste had worked through all her hopes and dreams about the project and knew what she was doing. For me it is a continuous process of change and the film you are making develops a life of its own. Also editing can really transform the final product so you don’t know exactly where the process will lead until it’s finished.

74

Celeste is open to collaboration and has lots of ideas to offer to the film development process. We have this trust where you can say something that may seem stupid but that’s OK. It’s important to be brave about your creativity and actively seek to challenge yourself. She sometimes gets a little stressed about the process, the practical side of preproduction and organising a film shoot which she doesn’t need to be worried about! I’ve come to realise that part of any actor’s process of preparing for a role might involve

T he Beginning Of A Beaut if ul Fr iendship

getting out some stress and worries and I need to let this process happen. Also the lines of responsibility in film making can get a bit blurred so these things may need to be discussed, so the time and effort of everyone involved is used best.

I’ve just done another film for TWENTY6 Magazine involving members of the English National Ballet; it’s a dance piece called Hallowed. I’m also in the early stages of my first feature film. What I’m most proud about G(O)OD + (D) EVIL as well as Hallowed, is that they are a sum of the parts of all the people involved and without each person’s involvement in these films, they may not have been made or be as they are. It’s exciting when a meeting of people and ideas actually becomes something real.

REAL

favouritecolourblack.co.uk


Still from Lachrimae, live visuals for Scanner


My picture would be me lying on the teal-coloured ocean floor, on my stomach with warm sunlight streaming onto the pages of a book I am reading. The story? I guess it would be love, loss, passion & discovery. – Celeste Wong

I wasn’t a child actor but started acting later in life. I love acting and the process, because it allows me to express and explore different thoughts, feelings and ideas, which is very fulfilling and satisfying. It forces me to be vulnerable and brave and hopefully more truthful, which is often more difficult in real life. For me, all the stuff that comes before the acting is just as important as the acting itself – especially if I get to really discuss the concept and get involved in the creative process, I really enjoy it! I was in a feature film in New Zealand called My Wedding and Other Secrets by Roseanne Liang which was the highest grossing local film the year of its release and has won many awards since. I chose to be involved in this project because I really believed in her story. It’s a very common story based on a documentary about her life and a subject not often talked about. It was the first time that the Chinese/New Zealand culture had been represented in film and this had a lot of meaning for me.

When I choose a project I like to be involved in the process. It’s hard to be able to trust a director – and you must absolutely. Sometimes the connection is immediate and sometimes, like any relationship, you need to get to know each other, how you both work etc. But when this trust develops it can manifest into something so magnificent, creative and satisfying. So I guess it’s about the director as much as the project.

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T he Beginning Of A Beaut if ul Fr iendship

Chris approached me and asked if I wanted to ‘make an art film’. When he asked me, I was in a place where I was willing to ‘go deeper’ and really give myself creatively to the project. I was in an emotional space where I could offer my performance in quite a personal way.

Chris and I met over a period of four to six months to develop the ideas so it felt like quite an organic process. I shared my experiences with him, and he cleverly developed them in a way that could be communicated visually in a succinct manner. I remember rambling on about an idea, and leaving thinking, ‘gosh, Chris was quiet – maybe he didn’t get what I was saying?’ An hour later, he’d articulated my muddled thoughts into an even better representation in the form of a proper scene. He really listened. It was like an epiphany!

In the film, I play the ‘bride’ and ‘widow’, which represents one’s inner self – light/dark, good/evil, right/ wrong. The image of the ‘bride’ represents happiness and goodness, but inside she is scared and weak. The widow on the outside appears as sad, grieving and weak but in reality her experiences have made her a strong and independent force. For me these contradictions question one’s perception of reality – if ‘good’ is really good and if ‘bad’ is really bad? Primarily exploring the idea that negative and traumatic experiences can actually be a source of strength and empowerment. Well, that’s my take on it anyway – it has a feminist undertone for me but there are SO many other interpretations of this piece.

I find that Chris lets me say what I want to say and he considers this part of the process. He knows when to guide and how to bring out something more challenging, like when I’m asked to do something I’m less familiar or comfortable with. He is patient, fair and very generous with his time and how dedicated he is to his work. Sometimes I don’t know if he has listened, as he needs time to process things and I can’t tell what he’s thinking! This collaboration has taught me to trust myself and my instinct more. No ideas are stupid, and from any idea (silly or not) something interesting or even fabulous can be developed.


Still from G(O)OD+(D)EVIL, featuring Celeste Wong


MUUSE

presents:

HELLEN

VAN REES muuse.com

78

Gitte Jonsdatter, Director of Strategy and Co-founder at MUUSE

T he Beginning Of A Beaut if ul Fr iendship

In Spring 2012 I was invited to a private press showing of the CSM MA graduate students. From the moment I saw Hellen’s pieces - voluptuous textile in controlled, geometric form, it was clear we were in the presence of a unique talent. The concept was fully realized - in a way that was brought to a logical, if extreme conclusion. Working with the idea and history of Chanel’s textures, Hellen wove seamless, sculptural versions, bringing the rectilinear forms into 3D by sculpting them into boxes that extrude from the dress’s form. Listening to her talk about her work, it became clear that this was not a passing fancy - but that Hellen was embarking on a design journey that was both thoughtful and thoughtprovoking, and creating a beautiful aesthetic that deserved the support to flourish. Shortly after this first encounter, MUUSE began to collaborate with Hellen on a capsule collection and the printed Hellen van Rees dress is already a MUUSE classic. Since then we’ve watched her develop and build on these core ideas, developing a language all her own. Hellen has successfully translated her own unique creations and techniques into ready-to-wear MUUSE Editions, which still represent her strong design vision.”

A/W'13 SQUARE3 ANGLE: The Transformation. All images courtesy of Hellen van Rees

Hengelo, The Netherlands


Words by Tania Farouki Born in Gouda in The Netherlands, Hellen van Rees attended the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem prior to graduating with an MA in fashion womenswear from the prestigious Central Saint Martins in London in 2012. After interning at cuttingedge labels Giles and fellow Dutch prodigy Iris van Herpen, van Rees founded her label in 2009 and has since then been critically acclaimed for creating innovative silhouettes using 3D shapes and structures. Citing abstract art as an inspiration among others, van Rees is driven by searching for new forms of fabric and strives to construct never-beforeseen shapes. Now based in Hengelo in her home country, the designer recently won the Humanity in Fashion Award by Hessnatur, Germany’s largest ecological clothing brand for her eponymous sustainable collection titled SQUARE3 ANGLE shown at Berlin Fashion Week. Blissfully unaware of creating walking

ART

works of contemporary art, unconventionality is

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T he Beginning Of A Beaut if ul Fr iendship


undoubtedly van Rees’

What is your fabric of

mantra. ROOMS sat down

choice to work with?

with the designer to discuss texture, shapes and why she won’t leave her studio when

I prefer to work with very

creating a collection.

basic but enjoyable qualities

Who is the Hellen Van

cotton, wool or silk. Natural

of fabric like organic

Rees woman?

materials. With those I can do

She’s confident, independent,

contrasts, because I tend to

the best manipulations and

in the garments, so it could in time also be a different way of creating contrasts. I guess what I’m trying to convey is that

there is no standard way a garment should look. It’s up to the designer to reinterpret certain assumptions about clothing and surprise the audience. Otherwise what is the point of

creating new clothes each season anyway? We can just stick

to the options we have and we’ll also be dressed. But that’s not what we want, is it?

Tell us about your creative process: how do you start

either completely create my

a collection?

existing fabric.

It’s always difficult to describe a creative process since it’s

When was your first

Your clothes tend to take

encounter with fashion?

on a 3D aspect. Why is that?

start to continue with what I liked most from the previous

I remember my mother’s

Is there a message you are

when I was little.

clothes? Or rather, what do

What prompted you to

doesn’t?

has a very personal style and identity and is often into art and design.

own textile or manipulate an

trying to convey with your

shoulder-padded blouses

3D elements bring that ‘2D’

become a fashion designer?

For as long as I can remember,

I was interested in making things, discovering materials and

drawing.

This

later

developed into an interest in

textiles and drawing fashion. This combined made me want to do fashion design.

Who are the design legends you most admire and why?

I like to explore the

possibilities in shape and

texture with my garments.

To me, texture comes more

alive and gets to a higher level when it’s also involved with

shapes. I’ve been exploring a

lot of cubic styles in contrast to very traditional garment

ones. I’m not saying I will do

this forever. But there needs to be a certain juxtaposition

I admire everybody who can

make a way for themselves in the fashion industry.

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T he Beginning Of A Beaut if ul Fr iendship

never a clear straight line towards an end result. But I usually collection, using a different colour or material or sometimes

both. From there I start experimenting, exploring new ideas, taking in certain influences and then start creating toiles.

These also bring new ideas. When I finish a good portion of the collection – a third or even half of it – I begin photographing

everything and start compiling looks with the photographs.

PROCESS

I figure out with the collages what is missing. You could call these my sketches, even if they’re very late in the process.


But they are quite close to

the end result, since they’re made of photos. They give a good visual overview of

the collection. Then, I can finish it and also think of

the visual story around it with accessories, photos

and videos that form the

presentation of the collection. What inspires you the most when creating a collection?

Just working on it gives me the most ideas. That’s also

one of the main reasons why I

make everything in my studio and don’t outsource the making to a factory.

Do you see the garment as a blank canvas that needs to be painted? How important is colour to you?

If I’m following your

metaphor, I’m not just

painting the canvas; I’m making the canvas and

painting at the same time.

Colour – or gray, black and

white – is very important to

me. That’s the way it’s built. I don’t like flat colours or any colour without any nuances in it. I think clothes are

more beautiful and lively if

they’re made out of different

shades. For example if I want to weave a yellow fabric, the colours of the yarns going

into it would be dégradés of


yellow such as mustard and lime, combined with white, gray, gold and silver.

What are the main factors that go into creating a collection? Do you focus more on the art form rather than practicality?

One does not necessarily exclude the other.

Do you think fashion is art? What is your view on that? And do you think art can be fashion?

There’s endless discussion about what is art to begin with. Then you have

fashion, but that cannot

be identified as one thing

since each designer is on a

different level, has different

ambitions and different ways of working. Some areas of

fashion can definitely be seen as art and others definitely not. But it’s a gray area. It

elements depends on many

different elements.

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T he Beginning Of A Beaut if ul Fr iendship


What is your relationship with art?

Art is a big influence to

me, especially modern and contemporary art. Mostly

abstract work that’s about space and texture.

Can you tell us about your latest collection?

My latest autumn-winter

2013 collection is entitled

spring-summer 2014, which is very exciting. It’s going

to be about very clear and

clean shapes with 3D effect standout prints. I’m really looking forward to seeing

the end result and what the

response is going to be like.

I’m also currently designing

my own spring-summer 2014 collection at the moment.

I’m not disclosing anything

yet, but it’ll be finished and

SQUARE3 ANGLE: THE

shown around early or mid-

TRANSFORMATION. It’s a

designing a capsule collection

continuation of my previous work inspired by the tweed

fabrics used in Chanel and 3D artworks by Anish Kapoor and Rachel Whiteread. It’s

completely handmade and

September. After that I’ll be

for Hessnatur, an eco-fashion brand based in Germany, due to be released in autumnwinter 2014.

Picture yourself in your

recycled yarns are directly

ideal backdrop.

shape of the garment. Not

It’s a photo of me at the Anish

the garment with included

standing next to one of the

woven one by one into the

wasting anything and making cubes totally seamless. The

collection itself is really about textures & geometric shapes, mostly diagonals that return in the weaving, coatings

and in the shape of the 3D elements that transform from cube-shape to

Kapoor exhibition in Berlin

reflecting mirror sculptures.

I was there a few weeks back, but wasn’t allowed to take

pictures, which I thought was a real pity since the work

really invites the viewer to take pictures!

diamond-shape.

What’s next for Hellen van Rees?

A lot! I’ve got a capsule

collection on the way in

collaboration with Muuse, for

hellenvanrees.com


EIGEN + ART

presents:

BOSCo

Sodi Bosco’s works are especially fascinating for their materiality. Pigments, wooden particles, sand, glue and other materials build together organic and vivid structures which make his work that special.

Gerd Harry Lybke, Gallery Owner at Galerie EIGEN + ART, Berlin and Leipzig eigen-art.com

NY, Barcelona, Berlin and Mexico City

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T h e B eg inning O f A B eaut if ul F r i e nd ship


Verde 2013. Mix media, 200cm x 280cm


Words by Heike Dempster

What was it like growing

Are there any cities or places you would like to explore

up in Mexico City?

for your work?

I come from a big family, so

I would love to work in Rome. It’s an ancient city with

a simple life and at that

my work.

there were a lot of people

around all the time. It was

time Mexico was completely different; it was a very safe

a very special vibe – in a certain way it is a little bit

decadent. I am interested in how this would influence You are currently represented by a few galleries

place and we used to play

around the world. Do you feel you need to approach

used to go to museums,

No, on the contrary, my work is easy to read and the

You now work between

Graphein is your latest show at PACE London launching

football in the streets. My

your work differently depending on where you

concerts, galleries, and

reading comes from deep inside the viewer, that part of us

parents loved art so we

are exhibiting?

other cultural events.

which is the same in all humans.

Mexico City, New York,

in September ‘13. What are you presenting?

Barcelona and Berlin.

I am going to show a series of large format paintings done

What inspires you about those cities? All of them are very

different which is what I

like: each has a completely

different vibe. Also, related to my work, the weather

and the materials are totally different from place to place

with pure graphite. It was the first time that I worked with

graphite. It is a completely different pigment I was not used to working with, so there was a lot of experimentation

and learning in these paintings. As always in my process,

accidents played a very important role. I want my work to remind the viewer of the impermanence of life!

You also have a forthcoming show at EIGEN + ART in Berlin this Autumn. How do your shows

so the outcome of the works

otherwise differ?

How does life in those

carefully, and to create a specific ambiance - the show at

is always different.

When I do a show, I always try to do it in a single colour, in

cities influence

PACE is all graphite.

your work? I think that everything

that happens in your life,

everything that you do, you see, at the end influences the work but not in a

conscious way. Everything just finds its way in; it is

inevitable and it is best if it is not conscious, but it just happens.

888 T he Beginning Of A Beaut if ul Fr iendship

order to oblige the viewer to enter and read each painting

GRAphite


Bosco Sodi


EIGEN + ART’s show is going to be all in green, using very

to let the accident happen,

have been discussing with Judy Lybke (the owner of EIGEN

whatever happens in an

rare yellow and green pigments.

Working with this specific pigment has been an idea that I + ART) for a very long time and I am excited to show the results in October.

What sparked the colour and story of this show? When I lived in Berlin I was amazed by how much green there is in the city, and how beautiful it becomes after

the long, strong winters. For this show I wanted to make

to lose control of the work, and to understand that

organic way in the painting makes it more unique. That way the work gives the

feeling of impermanence. What materials do you use?

a group of paintings that reflected my experience and

I use pure pigments,

You do not use a brush. Was that a choice based on

really like to work with

memories of the city.

experimentation or an idea or concept? First of all it is practical. My work is very sculptural, I grab the matter and add and throw it with my hands. I believe

in the exchange of energy when you grab something with

your hands instead of doing it with a brush or gloves. I don’t like to work with a preconceived idea. Normally I come to the studio, look at the pigments and the stretchers and at

that moment, I decide what I will do. My work is a lot about the process, looking for as little control as possible in the

painting and looking for ways to allow accidents to happen. How would you describe the connection between you and your art? It is cosmic!

You emphasize the importance of a rather organic process. Where do you place yourself in the creative course? It is a kind of alchemy. My intervention in the painting is short, the rest is made by nature, that way each painting

is completely unique, the accident, the uncontrollable, the weather and the materials make it unique.

sawdust, organic fibres, latex and white glue. I

organic materials because they are less predictable. For example the sawdust

changes from place to place and from time to time; it could be from different wood, it has different colours; it can have

different absorptions, etc. It is completely unpredictable and that ensures the

uniqueness of each painting. Which materials would

you still want to explore? Now I am doing some researches on gold

pigments, something that I have wanted to do for a long time.

How does your immediate environment influence

How do you explore that connection anew every time

your work?

you create art?

In a big way. When the

I am very interested in the Wabi Sabi philosophy, an

important Japanese aesthetic that encourages the artist

painting is dry and cracks,

it changes a lot from place

PLACE

to place, depending on

humidity and other external conditions. Also the wood for the sawdust changes a

90

T he Beginning Of A Beaut if ul Fr iendship

lot from place to place.


Rosa. Mix media, 250cm x 350cm

Which artists do you admire?

Can you share a personal

determines the rate at

Tapies for me is one of the most influential artists, the way

story about one of these

crack, once I have made

they manage and yet also transcend colour.

Michael Joo, a great artist

The humidity completely

also the way in which they

of simple things! Also, Rothko and de Kooning for the way

Last Spring I was with

Do you collect art?

beach in Mexico where I

which the paintings dry and the initial decisions and

gestures in the laying down and consistency of the material.

he explored the use of texture and looked for the energy

I do exchanges with artist friends.

art exchanges?

and a great friend, on the have my studio, and we

found a whale jaw bone.Â

It was very heavy but we

carried it to my home. So


now Michael is thinking of maybe doing something

with it. If he decides to do something I would love to have that piece!

Your works are all untitled. Do you engage with your viewers in conversations about your work? I never title them and I sign them at the back because I

don’t want to influence the viewer in their perception at all. For me, words or

trying to describe my work,

are the work’s worst enemy, I prefer not to do that. The viewer should make their

own conclusions; it’s like a sunset, you don’t need an

explanation, you just feel it. Your process demands your full physical and emotional participation. How long does it take you to finish a painting? From the beginning to the end it takes around two

months, but my intervention is very fast, just a few days, the rest is done by nature. When you work, are you Untitled 2011. Mixed media on wood board, 123cm x 82cm

completely absorbed by it or do you listen to music or have visitors while working? I prefer to work alone, and sometimes listen to music but at the end it’s a kind

of trance; after working I

never remember what kind of music I was listening to. 92

T he Beginning Of A Beaut if ul Fr iendship


How much do past

What do you enjoy the

experiences factor into

most in your free time?

your work?

Listening to music, reading

In a conscious way not so much, I try to avoid that,

but in an unconscious way I

and being with my family. What’s next for you?

am sure that they do in the

I am in residence in Puerto

the work influences it.

designed by the Japanese

same way that the city in

which I am living or making

Escondido, in the South

Pacific of Mexico that is architect, Mr. Tadao

Ando. It’s going to be a

Untitled 2012. Mixed media on canvas, 186cm x 186cm

sanctuary for artists from

Imagine a photo with you

hope to have it ready by the

It would be with my three

all kinds of disciplines, a

in it, what would it be?

end of next year.

kids at the beach in Mexico

place to recharge energy. I

What’s the story?

contemplating the

OCEAN

Pacific Ocean.

boscosodi.com


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No Borders No Boundar ies


suzanne

Moxhay

suzannemoxhay.com UK


96

Handpicked


98

Handpicked


Kyle

Henderson kylehenderson.co.uk UK


100 Handpicked


102 Handpicked


BORJA

BONAFUENTE GONZALo

mrletterman.es SPAIN


104 Handpicked


106 Handpicked


NOE

SENDAS

noesendas.com BELGIUM


sandra

Chevrier

sandrachevrier.com CANADA


112 Handpicked


reuben

WU

reubenwu.com UK


114 Handpicked


116 Handpicked


Acaymo S

. Cuesta

flickr.com/people/acaymo.s.cuesta SPAIN


stuart

Mcreath stuartmcreath.com UK


Interview by Jecs Bunyard

hello lamp post by

PAN STUDIO Why do you do what you do? Pan is a critical design studio with a focus on experience design and what experience means for everyday life. We work in the space between the digital and physical, whether that’s a Twitter powered swing-o-meter for the Design Museum in London, or a pulsing heart in the back room of a Parisian gallery for Hide&Seek.

‘’

exploring a new or exciting territory, that’s a real thrill and something we look forward to

panstudio.co.uk UK

120 W hy Do You Do W hat You Do?

We’re a design practice first and foremost, and Pan gives us a space to explore the things we care about. We’re only a small studio, so it moves from running workshops and giving talks to building and designing physical or code based things and increasingly both. We spend a lot of time talking and writing about the issues we think are really important for our practice and modern living. The best thing about it is working in the new spaces that we find ourselves as designers. It’s exciting that the public, city councils, brands and art organisations are increasingly looking to designers to explore and enhance services, experience and fundamental things about how we live our lives. Getting to take our thinking to new territories and audiences is always exciting. Whenever a project grows to feel like it’s exploring a new or exciting territory, that’s a real thrill and something we look forward to. We hope that Hello Lamp Post makes people aware of the character and fabric of their city, that it’s encouraging them to look around and be more aware of their fellow citizen.People are effectively leaving messages for each other, so person to person


interaction is at the core of what we’ve made. The project for us is about asking people to think differently about their environment and where the boundaries between citizens and services are. One inspiration was Austerlitz, Sebald’s excellent novel where the titular protagonist unravels his forgotten past through travel, searching for his identity by crossing the globe as if it was his brain. It paints an image of our environment, the city, as a Wiki about how we got to be the way we are, where we can walk the streets and be reminded of the ingredients. The mechanic works by texting ‘hello’, followed by the name of an object, then a hash tag and its unique number. After that the conversation should just flow. Different objects behave in different ways, a lamp post doesn’t have the same agenda as a post box. Time of day, familiarity and type of object affect the way a conversation flows. Conversations are normally, though not always, exchanges of three messages eachthough you can always return and see if an object remembers you, if it has something new to say. Something you realise as you grow is that no one is going to walk up and give you the perfect job. You have to spend everyday making that job. It’s quite empowering once you realise that believing in something and working hard is just about all you need. That said we were very lucky as we grew, we had a good balance of web and graphic skills that enabled us to do client work whilst also growing our own practice. Take it seriously and treat every project as something that exists in the real world. That doesn’t mean it has to be complex, it just needs to be aware of its context and build on existing work. Ben Barker, Co-founder at PAN Studio Hello Lamp Post is a project by PAN Studio, winner of the Watershed Playable City Award 2013


Interview by Jesc Bunyard

topaz leung & martin cheung co-founders and creative directors at

STUDIO TM

Why Do You Do What You Do? We started up Studio TM very naturally. We have known each other for about ten years, and we have worked together for five years now. At that time we were both freelancing, and the projects came to a point that we thought of working it out in a more systematic way, and that’s why we formed Studio TM in 2010. Topaz Leung: Martin and I are both founders and creative directors at Studio TM. I usually handle the commercial cases with certain production inputs – providing clients, art and creative direction, theme and mood board or proposals, pitching and such kind of things. Then I execute the photographic part and communicate with designers for postproduction of catalogues. Martin 122 W hy Do You Do W hat You Do?

takes the role of art education within Studio TM; this includes teaching in art institutes and corporate companies. He explores a lot within the possibilities of photography’s materiality, with many experimental forms of camera making, prototypes and workshops about technical photographic knowledge and histories of pinhole.


Martin Cheung: Creativity is the best part of the job.

Topaz Leung: For me the best part of the job is to give me a flexibility of life. We work at home basically; things work out in a small scale but very quickly and directly. I don’t like offices; right now I have a true balance to work, to meet people, to own all twenty-four hours how I wish, in a very productive and fulfilling way.

Martin Cheung: Reputation drives us forward. It is uncountable but very important to sustain our work. We are responsible for every single photograph we take and every project we do. So to me, the commissioned projects are not just to fulfil the clients, but also to establish our reputation. I drive myself forward by not ruining any opportunities and try our best to do them well.

We try not to limit ourselves to categorizing commercial or non commercial. We mix our aesthetic and knowledge into both, and we are open for any challenging projects including something we have never tried. For example, video shooting, installation, mixed medium art projects, etc. We usually use the simplest approach to execute an idea, and usually the inspirations from daily lives influence us on both projects, such as books and articles, movies, exhibitions...

The fact that we don’t set boundaries to commercial or noncommercial works is a main part of how we set ourselves apart from the industry. Sometimes we even use very experimental materials to shoot a campaign, such as a toy camera/pinhole camera, or using a plastic bottle as a lens filter! Of course, we are not risking our client’s campaign, we have mostly tested and refined what we use. We respond to the content or subject in a spontaneous way. We project a direct feeling towards the model and intend to use a minimal and analogue approach to execute it.

‘’

We respond to content or subject in a spontaneous way

studiotm.hk Hong Kong


Interview by Scott Partington

julius & tobi co-founders and designers at

NOMADIC PEOPLE Why Do You Do What You Do? We are both craftsmen at Nomadic People and design everything together, Julius is the Strategic Director and Tobi is the Creative Director. The brand has been around for two years – we sell handmade individual pieces ranging from heavy duty rucksacks and tote bags to small accessories like cardholders and wristbands for today’s urban gentleman. The best thing about our job is the satisfaction you get every time you complete an order, knowing the amount of love and effort that has been put into creating something that the customer will really love and appreciate. People who know us always say our bags are a big representation of our personalities. We get on very well working together because we have very similar styles and interests. We also complement each other with different ideas. Outside of our brand we also have very good relationships with our leather suppliers and customers. On a day to day basis we conduct a lot of research for inspiration. The design phase consists of different stages, sketching different ideas and making different samples to see what works best such as different strap shapes or selecting the most suitable leathers for the project. Seeing something from the design phase to a finished product is magical, especially because it is made with our own hands. 124 W hy Do You Do W hat You Do?


‘’

SEEING SOMETHING FROM THE DESIGN PHASE TO A FINISHED PRODUCT IS MAGICAL

Julius & Tobi

We always try to create a product that we will use ourselves and that reflects our own styles. We are both level headed people and try not to complicate things too much which is also evident in our products: practicality and simplicity is the key. We both cycle a lot and found it particularly difficult to find anything that was both aesthetically pleasing and practical. Most bags are either poor quality and too expensive or they are completely impractical for our everyday use, so we wanted to make bags for people like ourselves who want good quality, but do not want to pay a ridiculously hiked up price. What makes us different is some of our unique designs and quality feel of the leather. The brand has a story, it’s not just something that has come from thin air. It has really been thought about, the care and attention that goes into every single product we make. The customer knows that the product was made just for them and no one else, all our products have unique serial codes and are tracked for everyone.

We see the company trading on a bigger platform. We believe in life you get out what you put in, so it’s pretty much like the 10,000 rule, when you put in 10,000 hours you will be a master at anything. There is always room for improvement but seeing the final product every time an item is complete and knowing that it is going to be appreciated by the customer is what keeps us going – we love what we do. nomadic-people.com UK


Interview by Nermina Kulović

james ratsasane

art director at

FIRST LOVE RECORD LABEL Why do you do what you do? Your ‘First Love’ be it music, art, performance, romance, film, writing; anything is a passion and the whole ethos of First Love is about engaging with your passion, finding something you love, and doing it whole heartedly with the best of intentions to add something of value to the world. That's our mission statement in a nutshell. The idea for First Love came about four years ago; I was really inspired by the whole notion of an artist collective, people banding together to empower and maintain control of their art. With technology the way that it is, we’re seeing more and more avenues for expression and distribution becoming available for people to self-publish, upload videos and music and in general promote their work. Having the mindset of ‘DIY’ is empowering, and the next level from that is groups of creative people with that ‘DIY’ mindset, a collective of artists if you will – and that is precisely what First Love is.

The best thing about my job is really the people. I get to learn so much working and developing ideas with the artist on our label. I’ll often try to stimulate and provide creative ways to help them find their audience; direction for the artwork and presentation of the release and ideas to give the shows more of an experience. I’m responsible for 126 W hy Do You Do W hat You Do?

‘’

Having the mindset of “DIY” is empowering

Young Hysteria


label managing, A&R, PR. With a background in art and design I often find myself involved with creating the artwork for our releases, art direction for music videos, marketing material, in general giving a visual and conceptual framework to help spread the vibe of our releases and events. Getting to this point was and still is a slow and steady progression. I remember a teacher saying to me once that you can’t just decide to turn all your hobbies into a profession or a business, I thought ‘huh?’ Something in my gut knew that that was BS, and small minded. I’d always loved music and art, doing anything else would be counter intuitive. And sure it’s a hard road, but so is doing something you don’t love. I love it. I love the stimulation, the learning curve and the interactions with people; the joy of thinking up and creating new things, and also the sense of community.

I see running a label as another vehicle for expression. By directing our releases as if they were art pieces we can continuously develop and evolve our ideas so it has lasting meaning for our audience. When we conceived First Love, it was with the intention of creating an artist collective rather than the traditional model of a label that tries to make money from the exploitation of recordings. My colleague, Geno Carrapetta was also already working on many art happenings and events in London, and I was already creating a lot of artwork for various record releases, extending our scope to running a label and events was the next natural progression.

Our label is different from other labels because we exist from the point of view of expression, we believe in the act of sincere involvement, not only with artists we work with, but how we interact with the world at large. We interact with the artist with the aim of helping them nurture, define and realize their artistic and musical vision. We hope we can learn something human and valuable from each other. In other words, we don’t do it for money. We do it for vibe and love.

Jimmy Hawk & The Endless Party - Liberty Sunset Blue album cover art by James Ratsasane

I always try and use my immediate environment as a source of inspiration when responding to the vibe of the music. My process is quite systematic at times, but can also be completely organic. The goal is to always present a total experience for the audience, from picking up a copy of the record, to watching the video clips and of course listening to the music. I like to call it an ‘otherworldliness’. There’s always more than one path and every road is different. Certainly you could always envisage having different circumstances in the beginning, but the reality is in anything you do there will be many mistakes and hopefully good luck along the way, we always knew that going in and embraced the learning curve rather than its results and for that reason, we’re having a huge amount of fun, bringing out great music and spreading good energy into the world.

firstloverecordlabel.com UK/AUstralia

Brave Face album cover art by James Ratsasane


Pirangelo d’agostin creative director at

TWEEN

Interview by Scott Partington

Why do you do what you do? TWEEN is an Istanbul based brand established in 1994 in Turkey and means an abbreviation of between, which immediately reminds one of Istanbul being between Asia and Europe and between East and West. Istanbul is also a city of the fascinating contrast of the traditional and the modern, the Asian and the European and the wild and the developed metropolis. These contrasting elements can also be seen in TWEEN’s new identity. I arrived at the pivotal point of TWEEN’s rebranding. The brand is fulfilling its immense potential and raising the bar along the way, it is a continuous ‘work-in-progress’ brand. The work of creative director is not just about designing a collection, but creating value of the brand, identify an appropriate concept for the brand, developing a functional product from profound research and communicating these ideas to the public precisely and coherently through product design, visual images and messages.

I get inspired from details of everyday life travelling around the world. Inspirations from the most traditional cultural heritage to the ultimate modern development; art, music, films, architecture, books, poetry, photography, philosophy and also the various essence of nature. I travel around the world on a monthly basis for many projects and when I visit Istanbul, I take advantage of my travel experience and try to bring that experience to the brand; I like exploring my inspirations and ideas and adapting them. I try to make them visible in the form of product design, materials, concepts, visual images, etc...

128 W hy Do You Do W hat You Do?

I have witnessed the brand undergo major progressive changes and growth throughout the three seasons I’ve been Creative Director at TWEEN. With an international design team we created a new logo, a new brand concept, new brand images and new identity that would represent the contemporary brand. The whole collection has also been revised and a series of new products and innovative materials have been developed for the new collection, I introduced a lot of innovative technical fabrics from Japan where I’ve been working consistently over 20 years, this was experimental for TWEEN and one of the most creative ideas that have been brought to the brand as well as to Turkey.

Following the rebranding of TWEEN, I have also introduced new proportions, new volumes and the idea of giving more attention to functional details. The collection has been evolving ever since. The understanding at TWEEN as mentioned earlier is treating the collections and the brand all as ‘work-in-progress’. TWEEN products show a contrast of tradition and innovation, the natural and manmade high-technology. The combination of the contrasting ideas makes it unique and interesting and we try to find a unique personal identity by mixing and playing with these ideas, we strive to make a personal wardrobe with innovative functional clothing items for every man’s daily needs. There is always room for innovation and improvement and this is what the brand strives for. At this rate, with its coherent image and continuous development of welldefined products and innovative materials the brand is destined for even greater successes.


‘’

between Asia and Europe and between East and West

tween.com.tr TURKEY


Interview by Suzanne Zhang

ryan stanier founder and director at

THE OTHER ART FAIR Why do you do what you do? I have worked in various fairs across the fashion, wine and motor industry, prior to running a gallery in Covent Garden for a year and a half. It was during that time that I noticed there was quite a huge interest and hunger from the general public to discover new artists. It’s difficult to find places to buy art here, and generally speaking, there aren’t many galleries that reflect London’s art scene. This is how I got my initial idea for The Other Art Fair. There has been a real interest from the beginning: about 4,500 people came to the first one, and we were on a very limited budget. Since then, it’s grown and we are now going into our fifth fair, this time in East London with the Moniker Art Fair. The Other Art Fair is really more of an experience than just any other fair where you go just to buy art. It’s a unique destination as I feel it’s much more personal, accessible and interesting. In addition to the artists’ stands, we also run lectures, workshops and talks. Last time we invited Mo Coppoletta, a tattoo artist who previously worked with Damien Hirst. We held a competition where you could win one of his four exclusive tattoos, or simply buy a print of it. This year we have taxidermy classes as well as a space for children to draw. The idea is really to make it into an affordable destination.

130 W hy Do You Do W hat You Do?

‘’

I’m very aware of London’s obsession with finding the next YBA

Ryan Stanier

I’m very pro-active in going around studios, meeting artists, and I attend as many graduate shows as I can. As the founder and director of the fair, I’m involved in the whole process, from the marketing to the promotion, to the operation side, to the more technical side of the project, like building the walls and installing the lights. I have a very closely-knit small team and I’m usually a very easy-going and professional person to work with. I also work on trying to get sponsors involved in the fair to support it, since we are trying to keep the costs as low as possible for everyone.

There are many good things about being the director of the fair, but the best is that you get to work with amazing people and meet brilliant artists. I have become friends with some of them, like Francesca Gavin from Dazed and Confused or Mila Askarova from the Gazelli Art House –we recently set up an exhibition for Alex Trimble together.


What is really good about running the fair with these artists is that I get to see the work before it is on display as I also buy a lot from our artists. We’re also really keen on helping the artists curate their stand. We get some curators involved, and from my perspective it’s really important that the show just looks good.

I focus on two very important aspects when I run the fair. My number one thing is to make sure it works for artists since they have to invest both time and money to participate. It’s important that I give back more than what they have invested. The second part is that I want to make sure we produce an affordable fair that connects artists and buyers. A lot of the featured artists already work with

galleries but are not exclusive, which is good for our audience. The audience we are trying to target are people interested in buying pieces and people in the art world, like gallery owners. I’m very aware of London’s obsession with finding the next YBA, and a handful of artists have caught my eye at the fair. Interestingly enough, not all of them were British. In the last fair, we had 100 artists and ten of them were from Paris, which sort of highlights the fact that there aren’t so many opportunities there. About 70% of the artists represented at The Other Art Fair are international. I get a sense of fulfilment when I look back and see that I have put the fair together and created relationships between the audience and the artist. My best memories are always when I get approached by ecstatic artists who just got offered work opportunities off the back of the fair. I also get very excited when someone just purchased a piece of work and cannot stop talking about it while they are getting it wrapped! I would be a ballet dancer. I know it’s very bizarre but I love to think that I could do that. theotherartfair.com UK


T Emma

ooth

The Renaissance Revival

Derbyshire, UK emmatooth.com 132 No Borders No Boundar ies

Qeen Bee 2011. Oil on canvas 102cm x 77cm

It is my husband Owen and I in our wedding clothes. A friend told me he felt the photograph showed how we have grown together and how much more space we have to grow above us.


W

Words by Jeremiah Tayler

hile away your days

Hello Emma, we’ve previously discussed your

in Derbyshire, and

agricultural heritage; penchant for petting

revisit the modern

chickens and more. Take us for a stroll around

day renaissance master… In our fast sprawling world, there are so many forms of communication; our visual language has extended from

the yard. I work from my home in the Derbyshire countryside, my

studio overlooks rolling hills, ancient trees and many different

animals. I live in a very secluded little world with just my birds and my dear husband Owen, I rarely venture outside of it.

My paintings really are the only way I communicate with the outside world. And in my spare time I like to read or sew and cuddle chickens.

All much esteemed past times, requiring a degree

time immemorial,

of dexterity. If your dress is much to go by, it would

and yet even today,

appear you’re a talented seamstress. Would you

many signifiers

see it as being too familiar an element to be art,

of the past are as

or just a very different one to the ‘art’ that you

relevant now as

otherwise create?

then. Regardless of lifestyle, the figure of Christ is a tough one to forget. How then do we extend our message across the rural plains of the

Artists often speak about ‘expressing themselves’, and my

clothes I think are the most natural, the most literal way that I do this. It’s not a deliberate act, it just happens. As you say, I’m probably too close to the subject to be able to step back

and think of the clothes I make in those terms. When I dress

it’s a selfish act, a solitary act – I create them just for me, and to speak only to me really, whereas the paintings I create to

countryside, amidst

send out into the world and speak to everyone, it’s a different

the clucking of hens,

As with these talents, you’re a self-confessed self-

language and a very different purpose.

to the city streets,

taught painter. I don’t imagine there’s much time

transcending

for that in the busy world of pig farming…

individual histories? Through art, of course.

Haha, well, it is actually my ancestors who were the ‘Pig

Farmers and Showgirls’ to whom the title of my book alludes. I’ve not actually indulged in any pig farming myself though to what extent I can deny having indulged in any showgirl activities is debatable… It was when I was about 17 my

wonderful A-Level tutor handed me a box of gnarled old oil

paint tubes and a filthy jam-jar of turps, and with the words

Emma Tooth

‘have a play!’ my career had begun.

134 No Borders No Boundar ies


You haven’t yet stopped playing with people’s perceptions of your work. The gilt frames, as I understand it, are more than just a fashion statement; much as the references to certain works in your composition aren’t accidental. Much of my work refers heavily to the Renaissance and European

almost everyone will pick up on), I’m fortunate because

many people can enjoy and relate to my work on many levels.

I think there’s a lot

art history in general, and the framing underlines that fact.

of ‘human-ness’

being an old painting because of the framing, lighting and pose,

project, where you

they realise the figure in the painting is anything but traditional

of purely pencil

a lot. A couple of years ago Derby Museum and Art Gallery mixed

the alliteration),

Joseph Wright of Derby paintings. The framing was essential to

problem, picking

People sometimes come to a piece with a preconception of it

in your Heredity

and thus dull and irrelevant to them, but on closer inspection

display a selection

and is actually someone they can relate to. I play with that idea

portraits (excuse

my Concilium Plebis work up with their famous collection of

does it pose a

that momentary illusion/confusion I was creating.

between pencils

‘In myYour spare time I like to read or sew and cuddle chickens’ work focuses a lot on the people and less on the and paints? with a particular aestheticism, can you convince me that you’re not lying? Though it’s true I do get through an awful lot of black paint, I don’t think I have ever claimed that. Recently when I saw my

Evolution show in Liverpool, it really struck me just how dark

it all was! But also how luminescent the skin tones seemed by

contrast, rising out of the shadows. And actually it confirmed to me why I have done it such a lot – I love the effect! I like how it

focuses the viewer’s attention where I want it, it’s the features of that person that I’m interested in; everything else is just

a distraction. I love Zurbaran’s haunting paintings of monks

emerging from blackness with little or no apparent background. They’re spine-tingling. I’m into tenebrism rather than just chiaroscuro. That’s just the kind of girl I am!

How do you attempt to make your work relevant and pique the interests of the society you represent, when commercial art typically caters to an inducted audience?

I think as a portrait painter I have a head start, because my audience will on some level relate to the images of fellow

humans in the paintings. People can see themselves in the

work. Additionally, there’s a lot there for the ‘inducted audience’ to unpick too; references to specific Renaissance paintings

for example, references to Caravaggio or Bernini or to Tudor portraiture (rather than the general ‘Old Masterliness’ that 136 No Borders No Boundar ies

There are many paintings

in Heredity too, but beneath every painting there is a

good solid drawing, though not worked up in so much

detail as those you mention.

It is expedient to have a good

drawing under there because it would be awful to get to a

later point in the painting and find the head is actually a bit

too small or an arm too long! I do prefer painting in that I have more control to depict

light and shade, but also many shades and depths of colour

and transparency. I feel there is more to explore and more to master there. It isn’t a

challenge to move between

them, but it surprises me that

Breaking Art 5 (study) 2013. Oil on panel 20cm x 25cm

background. While the claims are that you’re keeping


I can spend almost as many hours on a pencil drawing as on a

painting! I seem to be attracted to the most painstaking things.

If life has taught me anything, it is that

Have you ever had to reject a model for your

so are we all… But

Concilium Plebis project on the grounds that they

that’s just

aren’t ordinary enough?

my opinion!

Many of the models for Concilium Plebis were people I plucked

Final question,

circumstances at the time. I’ve never had to reject someone for

frames of your own

who emailed me because they just weren’t normal... A mature

scene and story:

from the city streets of Derby where I was living in sorry

you’re within the

not looking ordinary enough, but I have rejected some people

picture, set the

female nude model contacted me not long ago; she seemed nice

It is my husband Owen and I

the naked, unadorned human form is boring at best, and more

have been together 17 years

enough and told me she had ‘a lovely smile’. But actually I think usually just ghastly.

Ah, perhaps you could have been my muse, Jez, but alas I’m afraid I have finished work on Concilium Plebis for now. In favour of breakdancing, correct?

The new work is indeed the breakdance-inspired project

Breaking Art which is coming along slowly. I wanted to see if I could capture some of that movement and attitude that I saw in the dancers I met. It’s the first time I have tried to paint

in our wedding clothes. We

now, and when we originally got married at Hedingham

Castle in 2004 we didn’t have any ‘formal’ photos taken, so recently we had some taken

at a ruin not far away. It was a tough time when we had

movement, usually my paintings are very still and peaceful

almost, but I think in some ways these frozen moments I have captured are even more eerily still and peaceful, because of their impossibility.

Your work’s utilisation of classicism is somewhat subversive when the world of contemporary art has become very, if not overtly, conceptual. How does it feel to find success as a rebel?

I think that perhaps conceptual art needs reclassifying. Rather than being discussed and displayed alongside other art forms, philosophy. If the end result is so unimportant, beauty is

worthless and your art is of no intrinsic value outside the

hallowed space of an art gallery, and it is only the explanatory piece of writing on the wall that bestows any value upon the

pile of bricks or whatever you are displaying. To paraphrase Ad Reinhardt, I feel conceptual art is something you step in when you back up to look at a painting – but I am biased.

‘It’s the features of that person that I’m interested in; everything else is just a distraction’

138 No Borders No Boundar ies

Breaking Art 8 (Icarus) 2013. Oil on panel 76cm x 101cm

it should be thought of as a rather untidy branch of beginner’s


these done, and I love this

one because we look strong as a couple, holding each

other up like the archway

has survived for centuries. A friend told me he felt the

photograph showed how we have grown together and how much more space we have to grow above us.

Simply beautiful!

The Man With Fish In His Eyes, drawing

140 No Borders No Boundar ies


Breaking Art 7 2013. Oil on panel 102cm x 76cm

Breaking Art 6 2013. Oil on panel 122cm x 76cm


K Aunia

ahn

Illinois, US auniakahn.com 142 No Borders No Boundar ies

Extraordinary Atmosphere

Eye Connection

Most of my works from art to photography have myself as the subject. If I was to do another work today, the woman would be dressed in lots of lace, cream colour garbs with lots of textures. She would be wearing a hat, and have long hair pinned up with long pieces hanging down. She would be outside looking over a garden from a balcony into the past, as a storm rolled in to wash away the memories and bring in new dreams. Her story is that of letting go, and seeing a rainbow through the sunshine and rain that pelts the trees and flowers below her.


144 No Borders No Boundar ies


A

Words by Adan Jerreat-Poole

unia Kahn was born in Detroit, Michigan. She is a

Can you describe

self-taught artist who works with an impressive

your work process

range of mediums: the breadth of her work spans

to us?

the spectrum from drawing and painting to

That is not easy as I am finding

photography and experimental collage. She

as I keep growing it changes all

also engages 3-dimensional art through

the time. I know some people

jewellery-making:

have set patterns as to how

The making of the pieces are all individual and typically one of

they do things. I shoot from the

a kind. I use recycled and new materials to make the work. Each

hip a lot. I go with what feels

artwork lends itself to just the right styles of metals, beads, etc.

right at the time. There is no

It’s simply like making a miniature display for each piece

formula, except I need good

of artwork.

music and my fur kids to be

Aunia’s work traces the evolution of art, using the

with me.

physical hand on paper and the metaphorical hand

Aunia’s most recent

of technology to make unique, arresting images.

work has been for

Kahn’s relationship with art began as a method of

a solo show at Pop

healing, and she often engages in self-portraiture.

Gallery on May 3rd,

She envisions art as a language of self-expression

entitled Silence

and self-recovery.

of Broken Ground.

In 2005 I was coaxed by a friend to share my artwork publically.

These works, which

I originally thought he was crazy, as my work was very personal

marry drawings

and I never thought it was meant for public consumption, yet

with photographs,

when I saw the impact my art had at my first art show I knew I

show the viewer

had to keep going, not only for myself but for others.

pieces of women’s

And how did you get to where you are now?

faces, focusing on

Lots of hard work, dedication, rejection, self-reflection, goal

the eyes. These

setting, and a love for what I do. Really I just want to make art

sensual, often

and touch people with it. I make goals as to where I want to

tragic images

show, and what artwork I want to do, what projects I want to

have an electric

accomplish, what people I want to bring together in projects, but

undercurrent of

as to where I want to go, it is all about the journey and not the destination. It will take me where it is supposed to as long as

‘We are all sexual beings whether we want to oppress that or not’ I work. Aunia has had exhibitions that circle the globe and her work has won numerous awards. She also acts as a curator, and lectures at educational institutions across America. She now lives in Shiloh, Illinois with four dogs and a cat, and uses both her visual and her spoken voice to educate the public on the power of art to overcome abuse. My relationship to my work is nothing more than me trying to take what I see and feel and communicate it visually. It’s like a

Frozen Era

cane to a blind person; it aids me in navigating life.


power and strength

books, and research into

A smear of lipstick or a flash of eye shadow; the coy

that draw us into

subjects that I adore. I am

raising of a shoulder; long, curvaceous eyelashes:

the very psyche

inspired by the emotions of the

these pieces reverberate with a subtle, underlying

of their subjects.

human experience.

sexuality. When asked about this aspect of her

When the eye or

Are there any

part of an eye stares

artists who have

Being really honest, sexuality was something that was taken

right at the viewer,

influenced you?

from me as a child. I won’t get into the specifics but I learned that

work, Aunia said:

its gaze pushes

Most times I am influenced by

human sexuality was bad, and could be used dangerously. As an

past the frame and

writing and music. Overall,

adult I have learned to embrace sexuality in a non-explicit way.

through the paper –

there are artists that I admire

We are all sexual beings whether we want to oppress that or not.

the painted woman

and some of those are: Ray

I am not too sure why it comes up in my work other than me being

becomes a real

Caesar, Frida Kahlo, Kris

secure with my own sexuality and wanting to own it and not

human being. When

Lewis, Marie-Denise Villers,

be ashamed.

the eye is averted

Kris Kuksi, and so many more.

Kahn also engages the gothic in her art, and

and we cannot, no

I was really

the breathtaking beauty of the sublime. This

matter how hard we

captivated by the

lovely terror is experienced through the gentle

try, catch her gaze,

eyes in your work.

suggestion of a skeleton sketched underneath soft,

the frustration of

Could you comment

pale skin, in the dramatic use of dark and light and

this failure enacts a

on this motif?

the occasional teardrop punctuating a face. Thick,

universal feeling

Eyes are connection. I have

heavy eyebrows, arched furiously, make these

of disconnect

always loved eyes and hands.

women a part of the ambiguous landscape rather

and loneliness.

I think they are a very telling

than helpless victims.

I am inspired by the world

part of the human form. I am a

For me darkness has always been something I have gravitated

around me and what is going

compassionate person and I see

to. Again, coming from a dark and unfriendly upbringing maybe

on as well as my inner peace

stories in those features.

it was a way for me to own that darkness and make it less

and turmoil as a human being.

frightening since I had control. I like pretty, delicate things too –

It’s all about the experience

but don’t tell anyone!

and the way I experience my

What is the most challenging part of being

experiences. Everything. I

an artist?

know that sounds cliché, but

The work and dedication. This is not a field for the faint of heart,

its truth. I love music, writing,

or those that are not willing to put in very long hours. I like to work, and I am dedicated. As an artist I started to look at my friends who had 9-5 jobs, who got to go home and get ready for the weekend and be envious of them at times. They could leave work at work. They could go home. Now, I am not complaining of being able to get up at noon if I wish and stay in crappy PJ’s all day, but if you get into a rut it can essentially be bad for your health. So not only is work and dedication challenging at times, but trying to keep to a schedule, not overwork, neglect your family, hygiene, etc. And the most rewarding part? Giving the world something that they never had before. Being a

146 No Borders No Boundar ies

Viral Tropism

creator of any kind is a gift, even if it’s just a gift to yourself.


What makes you happy? Happiness is within me. If I love, I am happy. Simple. In 2014 Aunia will be curating three exhibits: Tarot Under Oath at Last Rites Gallery, NY, Oultrepreu Mourning at 423 West, CA, and Il Innamorato at Potters Wife Gallery, IN. She will also continue her own work in a variety of mediums. Her deeply personal artwork has the ability to transform the viewer, to heal, and to free. So when you see those wide eyes staring into you from the painting, don’t look away – stare right back. Make sure you give back. There is so much in this world… If we can give ourselves to others, and help them along the way we are actually giving to ourselves.

148 No Borders No Boundar ies

Unmaking of Forever


La Sociedad Secreta


Edge of Hope 150 No Borders No Boundar ies


Through Which It Passes


152 No Borders No Boundar ies


T Alex There is a fifth

dimension beyond that which is

known to man.

It is a dimension as vast as space

and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground

between light and shadow, between science and

superstition, and

it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit

of his knowledge. This is the

dimension of

imagination, this

urvey London, UK alexturvey.com

is where I stand. It is an area

which we call the Twilight Zone.

In Live Action


elements of your work? Beauty, Horror, Romance,

Nature, Nostalgia and Sex.

How do you blend beauty and

ailed as one of the fifteen ‘creatives who will define the future of British Arts’ by the Independent, Alex Turvey is a film director

and visual artist based in London. Having worked for

the macabre? I couldn’t tell you exactly

how it happens, but it seems

to come worryingly naturally to me.

A lot of your films

feature disturbing,

the likes of the BBC, Dazed

obscure and

& Confused, Nike, H&M and

majestic universes.

even Grizzly Bear, his work

Do you see yourself

is incontestably fresh and

living in one

innovative. What about him, then? He tells me that above all, he would like to be remembered for staying true to his vision and to his heart. The worlds he creates and inhabits are

of them? I guess that spending 90

percent of my life creating

these worlds, they become my reality.

Does your art and reality ever blend

dark, surreal, and highly stylised, embracing both beauty and horror. Even though on a very busy

into one? Frequently.

What is your background, and

schedule, Turvey took

who are your

the time to step out of his dreamlike and fantastic world to talk to Rooms about his work and where his heart really lies – in live action.

influences?

quickly began animating and

gave me a huge amount of

and magical environments in

constant nurturing if you

filming my designs, mostly

devising absurd narratives which to contain my ideas. I have been obsessed with

video cameras from a very early age, so I would film

anything and everything

How did you

manage to achieve such a distinct style in film?

I got hold of my first iMac

somehow come together to

hands on a camera. It was

really when I hit 16 or 17, and with iMovie, that I started to create and edit films

properly. My first attempts

at film-making were rather ludicrous horror comedies, usually involving the local

beach, fake blood and faded Speedos. Luckily for me,

they are now all lost or very

I have developed my own

rules and techniques that create my own aesthetic.

My style has developed very organically and is ever changing.

What is it like mixing commercial and noncommercial work for you?

securely hidden away!

It’s a necessity. I would say

I’m only content when I’m

develop and produce your

What drives you as an artist?

creating, so I constantly have to keep creating.

Your mother

was a costume/ textile designer

sketchbooks being filled with

do you think your

grotesque aliens, complete

as a creative? Do

my Graphic Design Degree

naturally or can it

ever since I was a child. I

was an illustrator.

intergalactic battle scenes

upbringing had

with comic book sound

you believe that

that I realised I actually

be nurtured?

remember my very first

How big of a role

where blue biro lasers fire at

on your career

effects. It wasn’t until I began

creativity comes

found it pretty difficult to

My upbringing had a huge

static image. As such, I very

nurtured my creativity and

154 No Borders No Boundar ies

want to stay fresh.

I guess that being self-taught,

and your father

to say through one single

I do believe creativity needs

whenever I could get my

I have thought in motion

communicate what I wanted

freedom to create. And yes,

impact on my creative process; my parents

that commercial work gives

you the financial freedom to personal work, and in turn

your personal work gathers momentum and brings

commercial opportunities to the table. It’s an important relationship to maintain.

From top to bottom: Zulu Winter, Silver Tounge. Topman, Distil. Blanck Mass, Icke's Struggle

H

Words by Suzanne Zhang

What are the main


156 No Borders No Boundar ies


What is your

Working with

What is your dream

approach to film

storyboards, is your

collaboration?

and fashion? Do you

end result usually

visualize everything

a deviation of it or

beforehand then

do you stick to the

shape the edges for

rules you’ve set up

the company or are you given a specific brief? I have been lucky enough to work with excellent clients who have allowed me total creative freedom. As such,

and with all my film works,

I create everything from the concept to the set design.

As a visual artist, I

imagine you have a very clear image of

I have always wanted to work with Kanye West. Taking into

how does that make

source of your

you feel?

capture more than expected,

to CGI and visual

delivering exactly what I

creative worlds,

and more often than not

manipulation?

board, but you will always

how open are you

that’s the most exciting part

I appreciate CG as a tool

safe and thus free

is in live action. I wouldn’t

of a shoot. If you can achieve

your boards you know you’re to experiment.

The music video you shot for Ash,

where necessary. It can be a

beautiful thing but my heart choose to let it dominate my work if I could achieve the same effect in camera.

Do you believe

favourite of yours! Could you tell us

innovation left in

when you couldn’t

more about how you

the fashion and

achieve that specific

came up with the

design industry?

image? If so, how

idea and went about

If so, how do you

do you deal with

directing it?

think your work

compromising or exploring new techniques to achieve the unknown, but I take

pride in making my ideas as true to the original spark

as humanly possible, so you often have to fight for your

vision, especially if budgets are tight.

The concept was a direct

response to the music, Carnal

there’s any

incorporates that belief?

Desire. The production was

Of course there is, it’s all

set and most costume pieces

process, and I believe as

very intimate and pretty

insane. I design every prop,

in my work but worked with a close team to produce the physical results.

down to the individual. I stay true to my personal creative long as I stay honest to my creative beliefs my work

will stay honest. Innovation is a product of honesty and instinctive creativity

I heard you were working on your own debut film…

I’m afraid I can’t say a great deal about the film yet as it

is in development, but what Hollow Earth

prizes and awards

and psychedelic

for yourself?

there been times

The process may involve

With so many

I do have a knack of

in your head. Have

You always find a way.

months of my life.

gathered already,

Carnal Love, is my

a creative?

to consume the next few

account the surreal

what you want to do

frustration as

California and it’s going

I can say is that it’s called

Hollow Earth. It’s set in 1990s

I think it’s great to receive

recognition for your blood, sweat and tears, so as long as you take it with a pinch

of salt and don’t let it affect your process or ego!


Paul Smith 158 No Borders No Boundar ies


Hunting for Stories

L

An urban landscape, a place a bit dirty in the suburb of a city during the sunset with real people around me, maybe at a corner of a street, I’m smoking a cigarette and having a conversation with a Deli man or someone from the neighbourhood, that’s actually what I do here. The story would be one of a traveller who is passing time meeting others, and the colours would be ones of Gregory Crewdson’s pictures.

Guillaume

andry Paris, France guillaumelandry.com


F

Words by Peggy McGregor

rench photographer Guillaume Landry has grown his career out of

unlikely beginnings.

What makes a great photographer?

That’s hard to say. You have to be confident in your skills of course, but beyond that you have to be sincere with the people that you photograph. Be open-minded, a bit sophisticated, and observant; there is something happening in everything, even if it’s not obvious. Be yourself. Create, win, lose, and learn. Say ‘hello’, ‘thank you’ and ‘goodbye’. These are simple things, but it is what it is. I don’t do big sentences or be overly philosophic, but I have noticed that photography can change you – either for better or for worse.

While working

Art, Paris and a dream: it’s a story that ends all too

(of all things),

Landry does not work nights (unless he gets carried

for an HTML

integration company Guillaume started

playing around with an amateur camera in his spare time. Two years later,

Guillaume honed

his self-taught skills at a Parisian Visual Arts School for

just nine months before making the leap to full

time professional photography.

I started photography

pretty late, when I was 26. I was always attracted by images, but I had no idea that one day it would be my job. I love cinema and I think movies have influenced me from the first time I played with a camera. When I look at my first images, I say to myself that I was crazy to think I could make a living from this art; but today it’s a reality, and I love this work more and more each day. 160 No Borders No Boundar ies

often in a soul-sucking night job and a ‘charmingly bohemian’ flat riddled with damp. Yet Guillaume

away with a shoot), and his residence is perfectly intact. In fact, Guillaume is now a freelance

photographer working for the likes of Men’s Health magazine and he’s even shot the odd portrait of Paul Smith. Do you think formal education is

necessary to become a successful photographer?

I spent just nine months in photography school

actually. I wouldn’t say that it’s useless, but if you really love photography then you’ll learn by yourself, as I did. Formal education does give you the advantage of exploring a range of techniques, cameras, and approaches, and this can help you decide what you want to make. However, photography school is not really necessary to become a famous photographer; just work hard in silence and let success make the noise for you! You’ve worked in some great cities – New York, London, and your home, Paris. Where is your favourite place in the world?

For now I would say Paris, because I’m most familiar with it. But of course I have a big crush on New York; I love the energy and the architecture, and not only in Manhattan but the suburbs as well. There is something really special about New Yorkers and Londoners. You know Parisians are thought to be the worst people in the world! It is good to travel in order to change your bad habits, to learn to be nice, tolerant, and to stop talking for no reason. Obviously there are douchebags everywhere and you can’t do anything about it; but travelling is still the best way to sharpen your eye as a photographer.


Dogg

Is fashion photography as glamorous as it sounds?

photographers can only do one or the other; it is

That’s a funny question! The people I work with stay

a completely different

open-minded and realistic – they don’t live in a dream.

way of thinking about

Then again, sometimes people give more of an attitude

the picture. At the

than a personality, and you have to know how to play

beginning, I was very shy

with this.

about taking pictures of

Guillaume doesn’t let famous faces overshadow

strangers. Nowadays, I'm

scenarios, capturing them in full swing to create

by their stories. The

his style though. From pop stars in bumper cars to

not only feeling confident,

images bursting with vigour and tongue-in-cheek.

stories help to create the

inked-up toddlers, Guillaume plays with ludicrous

but also interested

The old saying goes that a picture says a thousand

photograph.

words; in Guillaume’s case, they shout a million.

Despite all the

street photography on the other.

no rush for fame.

Your work seems to have two sides – glamorous

staged portraits on the one hand, and raw, intimate

You’re right that these are two different sides of

my ‘work’. I mean, street photography is not work; it is a pleasure and sometimes it helps me to think about future scenes I want to do. In essence, a staged scene is thought-out, whereas street photography is taken immediately. I can understand why some

glamour and noise, Guillaume is in

He doesn’t do big philosophies or big sentences,

he assures; and

he cringes at my

request for a self-


Chelsea

description. I would find it difficult

person, serious about my work, friendly and caring, but sometimes wandering off into my own thoughts.

to reconcile this

Here, among shots of tatty houses and strangers,

portfolio, if it was

It all centres on the words that a picture says –

quiet man with his flamboyant

not for his street

photography. How would people you work with

describe you?

I don’t like much this question [laughs], because I’m not an egocentric person; I try to stay humble, but at the same

we can glimpse the connection between this quiet

observer and his extravagant staged photography. words that make up a story. In all of Guillaume’s work, staged or street, he observes, captures

and builds stories. While his street photography

presents raw narratives, his staged work amplifies them for theatrical effect. In essence then,

Guillaume is a storyteller. He may swing from true accounts to tall tales, but one thing is always for

sure: a terrific ending. Can you give me an example of a stranger’s story that helped inspire one of your photographs?

time I don’t depreciate

Often it’s just the moment when you meet someone

myself. I think people

and introduce yourself; that is the story. You get the

could describe me as an

picture because of this moment; or sometimes, you

optimistic and creative

take the picture and introduce yourself afterwards. You have to be observant, because some people don’t like you taking a picture without saying anything, and others just don’t care and that is easier. To me, it is just

162 No Borders No Boundar ies


Everyone, every human on this earth was born in adversity. Coming out of that sweet, comforting and warm mother’s belly does represent a tear when one lands into a world that is destroying us more than it fills, isn’t it? At work, with family, in one’s relationship with others, issues can be found anywhere… Every single day is a new adventure created to overcome victories and failures in one’s daily routine. In the manner of American football players who are endlessly struggling in order to bring success to their team, it seemed natural to me to compare this technique and strength sport, yet really strategic as well to illustrate our lifestyle in 2013, where everything happens so quickly, where relationships are made and unmade at the pace of tweets that are barely read, where the crisis gives way to the only ones who are strong enough to keep fighting… to the daily fighters, who can put a knee on the ground from times to times but are still able to get up and move forward. Contractors, parents, preachers, faithful friends, artists, dreamers accomplishing their destiny… they are the people who run the world, to their level, with their personal involvement.

Beating Everyday - Krondon

Beating Everyday - Alex


finding the moment and

The project I’ve been working on in L.A is about

conditions that bring to

portraits of people who are the fighters of their

light what I want to say.

everyday life; I call it Beating Everyday – I’ve created

What are your life and work

philosophies?

a blog to introduce the project, beatingeveryday. tumblr.com. I got really into it all these weeks, it took me a long time to meet the right people and organise

Stay focused and positive.

everything as I wanted, but I have gathered some really

Try to be a better man

interesting people from very diverse backgrounds.

tomorrow. I told you I don’t do big sentences! Tell me a bit about your recent solo exhibition, NYC.

It was a big surprise to me, because I didn’t take the pictures with that goal in mind. The exhibition just came to me from a friend of mine, who has contacts in Geneva’s contemporary art scene. I’m really excited because this exhibition has enabled me to reach a category of people I don’t usually reach; an older generation that isn’t usually into street art. We’ll be moving the exhibition to Aix en Provence in the South of France this summer. We know you’ve

been busy working

on a new series this summer, anything you can disclose?

164 No Borders No Boundar ies

How do you see your work developing in the future?

I’m in no rush to become a famous or very talented

photographer. My goal is just to avoid limitation and do what I want – whether that is portrait, fashion, advertising, or simply taking pictures in the street.


Stalley


Jane Petrie photographed by Justina Ĺ uminaitÄ—

Undressing Film

166 No Borders No Boundar ies


Jane

P

etrie

In the 80s there was a busy thoroughfare of young people travelling up and down between London and Scotland, looking for opportunities. Jobs, squats, record shops, Kensington Market, Hyper-Hyper, Dingwalls, basically anything less depressing than the northern towns with high unemployment, shut shops and youth crime that everyone was hanging around in. This photo was taken in a Photo-Me booth in Dundee bus station at ten o’clock at night – the picture is for my Young Person’s Pass which gives me discount on the 10.30pm overnight bus to London and I can get there for £8. My best friend Judith is outside the curtain trying to make me laugh which is why I am biting the edge of my lip. We were coming and going from London a lot in the mid-80s; eventually I stayed down and found my way into Wimbledon School of Art to study Costume. But this picture is definitely me, right at the end of my time in Dundee, on the cusp of moving to London; a bright young thing, looking good, very confident and full of optimism despite having struggled so far to find my creative direction in life.   London wasn’t easy for the first two years, the time before I started college, and I like the fact that this photo is me before all that. These were the happiest days of the young period of my life and I didn’t know they were about to be over. I’d had photos taken in that photo booth with friends throughout my youth, often as many as eight of us crammed in, squealing with delight. So there’s a connection weaving back and through to all my friends, directly from this photo. The picture captures the end of one stage and the beginning of the next.

London, UK janepetrie.com


J

Words by Sabrina Bramble

ane Petrie – 47, born in Newport-on-Tay near Dundee – is sitting comfortably on the floor, eating a spot of lunch. We are conducting the interview at her workspace just off trendy Broadway market, East London. As a member of Bafta, a lecturer and a co-owner of successful bespoke store Shelf, we realise that Petrie has many strings to her bow. However, there is no doubt her passion for costume design resonates highly above anything else. It’s here where she explains with great vigour and understanding, what it’s like to be a costume designer; where there is a demand for pace, for quick decisions, for the right decisions and ultimately for something real. Petrie paints an effortless picture in her choice of styling and use of costume. She has the innate ability to hide the blood, sweat and tears of what it means to make a character come to life, to tell a story, and to tell it 168 No Borders No Boundar ies

well. To be honest I’m not really sure how she does it,

How does it work with

but what I do know is that raw instinct can’t be taught,

the script?

and this is what makes Jane Petrie remarkably good at what she does. Hello Jane, Hello... I’ve bought you some tea and biscuits.

Arr thank you!

[I say making myself comfortable. Switch the recorder on. Take a sip of tea. Begin.] So tell me, why clothes? Why clothes? Well, I think historical clothes were my first interest... I went to the V&A [London]

when I was 10 and saw a collection there, and after that all my school projects given the choice, were

always about the history of fashion. But I grew up in Scotland in the 80s, I never thought in the terms of

‘I want to be a costume designer and work on films.’

I get the script before my

interview; I

wouldn’t really do

an interview that I

haven’t read a script for. Ultimately you want to go for a

piece of work that

you want to do, that you believe in and

that you’re going to commit to.

How much research do you do?

It wasn’t in anybody’s thinking, not in my family’s

Loads, but mostly

up I was into clothes and fashion, but didn’t know I

because that’ll

– nobody would’ve even thought that was a job

that even existed, so it was an interest. As I grew wanted to work in fashion.

I moved down to North London for six months,

because I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, and

shared a house with some fine artists from Dundee. I had a stall in Camden and was selling and making hats... And anyway, there was a programme called

The Clothes Show who did a piece on the Wimbledon School of Art and their costume course, and there it was, it was perfect, so I applied and went that year. So it wasn’t clothes, because if it had been

clothes I might’ve gone straight to do fashion if I

hadn’t known about costume, it was something else. Storytelling.

How important is it to story-tell through costume? Vital.

How do you start? It varies from project to project, you might find

a key photograph that says it all for you, or there

might be a colour that just works. I’ve had things

where I don’t know, a handkerchief says something about a character and that’s my starting point. But it’s... it’s all in the script, if you really penetrate it and analyse it as deeply as you can, the answers kind of come to you, I think.

I’ll do research

for the interview

allow the director and I to know if our aesthetic is

similar, and if we

understand where

each other is coming from. I’ll take some visual reference to the interview

and if that goes in

the right direction, and I get the job, I keep digging and

digging, and if it’s contemporary I’ll

go and visit the kind of community that I’m designing for. For Fish Tank for

example we went out to Romford which is on the

edges of London

and has got its own look; you think, ‘oh it’s just working


Saoirse Ronan in How I Live Now

‘You might find a key photograph that says it all for you’ class London, but

and I’m asked to make a decision in a hurry, I’ll be

Bethnal Green

know what it needs, because I would’ve done that

it doesn’t look

like working class where I live, it’s

different.’ But yeah, I do an enormous

amount of research.

making the right decision on instinct and I won’t

need to think too hard about it, I’ll just know it, I’ll thinking beforehand.

We all love the movies, but I guess when it’s done well you don’t even think about the costume; when it’s done well it’s just supposed to be there.

I have the mood

That’s right; it’s a sort of invisible art in a way. But

refer back to them

of the screen.

boards up around me, and always

because you can

drift off quite easily.

if it’s wrong your audience will read that, or if the

film’s a bit boring you’ll start looking at other parts

You’ve been involved with films such as Fish Tank, Harry Brown, Notting Hill, Star Wars, The Phantom

Is there a blurry line

Menace, Moon, 28 Days Later to name but a few. What’s

between what you would

been your favourite project to work on, and why?

like an actor to wear and what they should wear? I find I do a lot of

that in prep. When

I’ve done my break downs and I know

the script inside out,

The job that I’ve just done, 71, was one of the best. I mean, the crew knew it would be a gruelling

schedule, it was up north, it was cold, it was winter, there were going to be rain machines, stunts and action sequences; we knew it was going to be

hard work. But we all respected the director Yann Demange and we really admired him, it was the


third job the crew

had done together, so we knew each

other quite well. It

just worked, which is not always the

case if you’re not in sync with your team – it’s not

very satisfying.

I also really enjoy

being an assistant

designer. I love that job, because you’re doing all the fun

stuff without the sleepless nights!

Michael Caine in Is Anybody There? Photo by Nick Wall

Who are your inspirations?

Phoebe De Gaye,

work, she’s also a production designer – yeah she’s quite amazing.

she goes at it like

Ok, Jane I have to ask, what’s this fascination with

touch and a sense

Yes, it’s like an obsession of yours...

an artist, she’s

got a lightness of

of fun but it doesn’t feel like she has to

wrench the designs from her soul – you

know, she just loves it, she’s happy, she’s a joy to be around and her work is excellent! That

sort of effortless

delivery of really

work-men’s clothes?

Have you been on my blog? [She laughs]

I think it’s because I really like Indigo, French work wear, and Japanese work wear is amazing! I can’t

say exactly when it started, but I like the fact that it’s designed for a reason and a purpose. We don’t

realise that some of the stuff we wear has a history and a utilitarian need, like elbow patches – that kind of thing where things wear out, shoulder

patches on hunting jackets. I went to Japan on a recent research trip, and there’s nothing there

‘It’s a sort of invisible art in a way’

good designs is a

complete inspiration to me. I also

admire Patricia

Norris who did The Assassination of

Jesse James, Killing Them Softly and

Scarface; she has an

incredible amount of 170 No Borders No Boundar ies

Katie Jarvis in Fishtank Photo by Nick Wall


without a reason,

director didn’t like

that fascinating.

that was cobbled

there’s a symbol for

the bikini they

everything. I find

had originally, so

Do you enjoy lecturing?

together in a break

I do, because you

– BANG there it is!

don’t get to talk

If you over think it

about what you do

you’ll blow it, all you

very often, that’s

can do is provide

why I like blogging

what’s right for the

because there’s an

scene. You can only

awful lot of stuff

do the most honest

that’s flying around

storytelling that

in your head which

you can, and if you

you don’t vocalise.

connect to people,

A lot of the job is

they’ll connect with

based on instincts.

your story.

Finally, what

A costume designer

makes you wake

doesn’t sit and do

a load of drawings,

up in the morning?

it is unpicking the

There’s a lot of ways

and have lots of prep

I love it, I really do,

script, and charging

to have a terrible

time. An awful lot of

and I’m dead lucky.

ahead at a crazy

time at work that

pace to a very tight

aren’t just about

schedule. I might

being tired, that’s

have a conversation

the worst thing. And

with make-up, or

if you like people

production design,

and you're curious

but it’s fleeting;

about people, then

you’re in a hurry,

it’s a great job.

Thank you so much Jane,

so it’s often a quick

it’s been great talking

show and tell, or

to you!

questions about

what background

Thank you.

or what colours will work.

This sounds like a shallow question, but do you ever think of trying to make an ‘Iconic’ design? The Bridget Bardot

bikini was designed during the lunch

break because the

Sam Rockwell in Moon


Home. All photos courtesy of Ellen Rogers

A Darkroom Affair 172 No Borders No Boundar ies


Ellen

R Is it wrong to have trained yourself out of seeing yourself in images? I don’t know, but I can’t visualize myself in the way I can visualize someone else. I don’t know how I move, how I react. The ones I want to photograph, I have studied them. I know they replace me in some way.

London, UK ellenrogers.co.uk

ogers


E

Words by Heike Dempster

llen Rogers’ photographs

to show us. Rogers uses

says, He still moans about

are secretive, mystical,

light and often a layering

the way I shoot now, I don’t

whimsical and delicate,

of different images to

wash my prints properly

with a dangerous, erotic

create an ethereal quality

apparently! After studying

and gothic edge. The

while simultaneously

at Goldsmith College

London-based analogue

showcasing a multi-

and finishing a Master’s

photographer seems to

faceted woman with

degree in photography

transplant you into a

various moods, thoughts

in 2007 Rogers has

hidden world immersed in

and characteristics.

been busy shooting

subdued colours and all-

Nowadays Rogers shoots

her personal work and

encompassing emotion.

predominantly with

fashion stories. She has

Looking at Rogers’ oeuvre

women she knows,

also been lecturing at

one sees years of work

focusing on showing her

various institutions

depicting women as

relationships with and

like the London College

central figures, fashion

feelings about

of Fashion and the

models, or as components

these women.

Manchester Metropolitan University; she has

of abstract works of art. The female body, face and

Ellen Rogers learned a lot

contributed a monthly

soul are on display in an

about photography during

article to Lomography.

intimate way, baring their

childhood from her father,

com called Sepulchral,

being, and occasionally

who was a photographer

a personal and very

their skin. The women

in the army. Thinking

forward account

never seem exposed

about her father she

of her life as an

beyond what they want

analogue photographer. To create her works of art Rogers uses the traditional darkroom process and her secret techniques. What they are, we shall never find out. About her choice of analogue photography, Rogers says, It suits me, I know it well, I relate to it, I think in it. It’s become a second language to me. She has no interest in digital photography but rather immerses herself in the process of shooting, developing and the post production of her images in the traditional way. Her images are the outcome of skills honed over many years, and a number of the

174 No Borders No Boundar ies


works are aesthetically quite similar to paintings due to their timeless narrative and thoughtful composition. Every detail has meaning and is created with careful consideration. The one of a kind images Rogers creates encapsulate a woman’s being with sensuality, thoughtfulness and strength. The fashion world took notice of her work and she has had many successful shoots. Rogers has shot lookbooks, advertisements and fashion spreads for the likes of shoe and handbag maven Charlotte Olympia as well as Piers Atkinson, Sorcha O’Raghallaigh and Maria Francesca Pepe. For each of these designers Rogers merged two opposing visions, one artistic and one commercial, into imagery that highlights the product, inspiration and style of the designer yet always retains the qualities of an Ellen Rogers photo. Fashion photography is deeply entrenched in Ellen Roger’s being and although she has forged a unique style of her own, the artist has come to a point in life where she wants change. I want desperately to evolve so I

have of late decided to stop shooting fashion for a year. I am

How does a model’s

sure there will be some relapses. Instead she is currently

personality influence

working on a new multidisciplinary project with her

the image?

partner Prizme and a small team, and she will continue to explore filmmaking. What fascinates you about photography? I suppose it doesn’t really fascinate me at all. I am

endlessly fascinated by things I don’t understand,

but photography isn’t one of those things. Music or surgery however seems like magic.

What kind of music or which musicians do you listen to? Do you listen to music while you shoot?

I spend most days listening to various video game soundtracks. I am very fond of the soundtrack for Final Fantasy 7.

Hana, (a muse of mine from the

beginning) is quite confident and

has a great deal

of humility. The

way she stood and posed always had

great strength and

elegance. Maxine is very shy and quite sensual; I think it shows in the images too.


How important are scenery and location to you? It depends what

you are trying to

say. Sometimes a

location can have

a personality of its own. These days I prefer to shoot at home. It’s a

place I love and it has nearly all the various styles of location I might

want to convey in any narrative.

176 No Borders No Boundar ies

Have you studied other media? Yeah, I studied print making. I was a keen etcher in my formative years; I used to make fanzines that

were etched. I’ll say it first… ‘Wanna come up to my place and see my etchings?’

Can you tell us more about your work as a filmmaker? I am not actually very confident with filmmaking. I’m still finding my feet to be honest but I have

been practicing a lot more recently, I hope I am

improving at least. I suppose you may find out soon.

You released the book Aberrant Necropolis. Please tell us more about the book.

The images and order were selected at random by a puzzle we, Prizme and I, made that is incorporated in the book and leads to a hidden door on my website…

Why did you choose that title?

Aberrant, as in ‘chromatic aberration’ caused by

a lens in a camera and the Necropolis is my world

after my mother

died. My particular Necropolis is a city of dead people.

How is the experience of working with your partner?

It is difficult to say the least. We have

no filters with each other, so we would have no qualms

about shouting at each other freely, hehe! We have a

new member of our working team. A

girl called Rose. She helps diffuse the


situation a lot. She really is brilliant

and knows how to calm us down.

You have worked with

many designers. What is the difference between your fashion photography and your photography that is purely artistic? The main difference is usually that

fashion photography is really designed to sell clothes or a life style. My personal

work isn’t so much a commercial

endeavour and I can be free to

shoot without the

practical restraint of having to show the clothes clearly.

Have you seen an image, painting or exhibit that changed how you look at art or life in a profound way? I suppose House of

Leaves [by Mark Z.

What aspect of your art do

photographs remain slightly obscured, ambiguous, and

you enjoy the most?

ultimately, mysterious.

Danielewski] means

Working with

Rogers may not wash her prints properly but she

Banks] too. They are

by them. Few things

makes her images unmistakably hers. As she captures

a lot to me, The Wasp Factory [by Iain books, though.

people I love and

has definitely developed a distinctive style and has

make me happier.

fleeting moments with her camera she allows us into

being surrounded

experimented to create a top secret technique that

What do you do in your

Ellen Rogers’ work

her world. Viewing her images feels personal, as if we

free time?

is fascinating for its

are stealing an intimate glimpse.

I genuinely do

beauty but also for the

Sometimes I’ll read

technique and we also

work all the time;

secretiveness. There is

or watch a film.

search for the hidden in

I love it so it’s OK.

the secret surrounding

every image. She never shows us everything and the women in her


Ryoichi Kurokawa

oscillating continuum

178 No Borders No Boundar ies


purely on simultaneously awakening the human perceptions of hearing and sight to the most natural occurrence in the world, ‘reproduction of nature’. Ladies and gentlemen, allow yourself to be exposed to the audio-visual phenomenon and a ‘synesthetic experience’. The Japanese artist, born in 1978 and currently living and working in Berlin, Germany, has been developing his work over 15 years to become an internationally

acclaimed and awarded multimedia artist. Kurokawa has adopted a variety of arrangements to inform the audiovisual phenomenon through concert pieces, screening

works, recordings and installations. His work has been

featured across the world including the Tate Modern and

Shanghai eARTS, and most recently the Southbank Centre in London for his performance of Syn_ in September ’13, as part of the Alpha-ville and BFI Sonic Cinema Series.

His success is due to his works pushing the boundaries of

modern art forms by using video images, audio recordings, graphics and animations to portray his main concern; the reproduction of nature. Kurokawa’s journey began with

simply the fascination to explore the opportunities created by digital art: When I had the chance to use a PC I had

little knowledge of digital creation, plus there wasn’t a

lot of information about. So I learned by experimentation and became hooked. I never had the intention of creating an art piece but I was fascinated with expanding the possibility of using digital creation as a tool. I soon got into this quest, beginning to create works in 1999. His first early set of works, Copynature set the meaning he would still strive to portray in his most current projects

today. It was a simple audio-visual piece, but at the time I didn’t regard it as a ‘project’ but rather just fun. It’s a series of short single channel videos with stereo sound

work. The title means to approach another dimension of nature by the ‘reproduction of nature’, which is still my main concern today. This perception of nature has meant that Kurokawa

hones in on developing original visual lines, where digital

technology and environmental influence combine to create a form which pleases our senses of sight and hearing. The

result is an architectural reconstruction of the audiovisual Berlin, Germany ryoichikurokawa.com

Introducing the Audio-Visual Phenomenon

R

Words by Samantha Coombes yoichi Kurokawa is a revolutionary. His works rely


phenomenon: Nature and

dependent on the works,

physical phenomenon

but I always try to provide

constantly fascinate

pleasure and surprise

me in the process of

through the fundamental

constructing the idea for

ideas behind my creation

new works. Science and

which are ‘synesthetic

architecture are another

experience’ and

source. However, it varies

‘reproduction of nature’.

according to the presented

Music also plays a vital

direction or format of the piece. With the world of digital

technology expanding every day, this only opens up new

role in his works by

a number of the human senses: Sound has the

ability to make up for

the domain that vision

opportunities and meanings

cannot cover in other

for the sophisticated

ways. For instance

technologies make it

capture the light within a

composer: Various new

visual senses can only

possible to stimulate

particular range of view,

our perceptions and find

whereas auditory senses

out new expressions of

can perceive sound from

creation. Meanings are

every direction. So audio-

180 No Borders No Boundar ies

oscillating continuum

simultaneously captivating

‘I learned by experimentation and became hooked’


visual integration and simultaneous stimulation to both receptors are the fundamental elements for my pieces. With a firm vision enthused

by nature, it’s not surprising

So how does Kurokawa go

about starting a new piece with so much technology

at his disposal and the task of combining video and

music? After conceiving

an idea and developing a format and audio-visual

that one of his main

behaviour in my head, I

who focus on the use of

don’t care if it’s feasible

composition: I like a lot of

right I begin a practical

influences is the work of

make a 3D model to the

sounds produced by raw

for freewheel thinking,

Musique Concrète artists

exact size. At this point I

material to create a musical

but when the time is

Musique Concrète artists.

process of audio-visual

Their compositions and

composition for that

methods have influenced

piece. The software I use

my work in audio and

varies depending on the

video creation. I also

piece, from commercial

take inspiration from

software such as Nuendo

expressive method of

or Max to an open source

Japanese animation as

like Cinder or Blender. I

well as the sound designs

never cling onto one tool

and effects used in

though, especially with

general film.

technological instruments.

Left to right: oscillating continuum 2013 Audiovisual sculpture / 2ch square display, 2ch sound Duration: 08:00 loop Dimensions: 924 x 800 x 422 ( mm ) Concept, direction, composition, programming, design: Ryoichi Kurokawa Production: Cimatics Coproduction: Scopitone


I prefer to take on different

successive equilibrium

ways more flexibly in

through keeping bias

accordance to the piece,

and inclination. I wanted

rather than fixating on the

to symbolically create

best tool.

equilibrium beautifully and simply. So like usual I

Kurokawa has produced

needed to translate it into

screening, installations

integrate it all within one

the form of a sculpture;

of displays and speakers

side with a crisp central

the balance being kept

on top of the sculpture. This

have led him to be featured

his works in a wide range

an audio-visual language

and sculptures. Oscillating

object. So I created a dual

two minimalistic diagonal

which wouldn’t be able to

line running seamlessly

between the two.

work brings Kurokawa’s

in a huge number of

of formats including

to express this, but also

Continuum which takes

white structure consisting

rectangles placed side by

stand up straight without

through the screens located

Kurokawa’s unique works

emphasis on detail to the

exhibitions internationally

fore, crafting intricate

graphical shapes combined with the visualisation

of the digital waveform to create explosions of

colour juxtaposing the calm hum of the sharp

lines that begin. This time

including the National

Film Theatre in 2005 and Sonar Festival 2005 in

the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, and

in 2010 was awarded the

nature is in the form of the universe, illustrated as a

wavering force controlled by the successful care of the equilibrium, which

as Kurokawa explains, is

personified by his design. Intrinsically, every

force and matter in our universe is oscillating

continually. We maintain

182 No Borders No Boundar ies

‘I always try to provide pleasure and surprise through the fundamental ideas behind my creation’


Golden Nica at Prix Ars

with an aim to open the

Sound Art category. Syn_

personal exploration of the

Electronica in the Digital Music and Sound and

is Kurokawa’s most recent live performance as part of the Alpha-ville and

BFI Sonic Cinema Series.

Combining glitchy images

and graphical lines flashing

mind, eyes and ears of his spectators through his

audio-visual phenomenon. His language method

uses masterfully the most advanced techniques in video and audio of the 21st Century to reflect

across a diptych of two

his fascination with the

and musical patterns

core of Kurokawa’s creative

screens and 2.1ch sound, Syn_ explores abstract

together with manipulated everyday imagery to

construct an irresistible

enigmatic ‘reproduction of

nature’ and thus become the mission. Although there

are various theories, we cognise more than 90%

sensory experience. I’m

of the world’s information

very pleased to present

through our audio-visual

my work in London since

senses. So you can imagine

I’ve only played there a

how big simultaneous

few times. Syn_ is a newer

audio-visual stimulation

version of ‘cm:av_c’: a

could impact us. I just hope

concert piece I did eight

that audio-visual art has

years ago. I took the main

the possibility of creating

direction and concept from

beautiful surprise.

it rather than find new inspiration, so to provide a synesthetic experience in a very simple way. ‘Syn’ as a prefix means ‘together’, ‘with’ or ‘integrate’ in Greek to make words such as ‘synthesis’ [differing perspectives], ‘synchronisation’ [occur simultaneously] and ‘syneathesia’ [sense in one modality]. So this work was directly aimed at stimulating the eyes and ears simultaneously. Kurokawa has created

around 16 different main

works in contrasted forms,

Left to right: syn_ 2011 Audiovisual concert. Diptych  |  2.1ch sound
Duration: 30'00" - 45'00" Concept, direction, composition, programming: Ryoichi Kurokawa Production: Cimatics Coproduction: Scopitone Support: Canon Europe/Images shot with Canon 7D


Immortal Technique

NY, US

“How could this be,

The land of the free, Home of the brave, Indigenous holocaust, And the home of the slaves”

The Art of Revolution 184 No Borders No Boundar ies


B

Words by Joe Tucker

orn in a military hospital in

complete creative control without having to water down

to the United States in the

The album Revolutionary Vol. 2 followed in 2004, seeing

South America, Immortal Technique was brought

early 80s while a civil war was breaking out in his

native country. Exchanging the struggle and turmoil of

a life in Peru for the streets of New York, Immortal

Technique’s family migrated to Harlem. After serving

time for some offences he hit the NYC battle scene

with a vengeance, carving out a name for himself in

the underground Hip Hop movement. With money

set aside from his battle

wins and other menial jobs

Technique released his first album Revolutionary Vol. 1 in 2001.

From here on in, things only developed for him with more and more

people hearing about his

fresh and often combative style. Without a signing

he pushed his own music

upon artists signed to major labels in the Hip Hop industry. him earning success in the charts with songs such as

Industrial Revolution and further cementing his reputation as a political and globally relevant artist.

Throughout, he has remained committed to a revolutionary style of Hip Hop, one which inspires thought and creativity well outside the realms of material obsessions and status

within a certain scene or environment. Resisting the trend

of ever-increasing commercialization and commodification in the corporate-dominated, misogynistic haze of bling

and guns, he is an artist who has helped to restore some of the intentions of early Hip Hop which have been lost to the masses, that is the spreading of knowledge. He

remains a vigorous activist, recently helping to set up an

orphanage in Afghanistan, supporting numerous projects in South America as well as educational programmes for those incarcerated within the U.S prison system. Having

recently been at his performance at the Royal Festival Hall

for Meltdown Festival, I can testify to his strength as a live performer and, despite the slightly unorthodox setting for a Hip Hop concert, his ability to carry the audience with

him. His new work, The Middle Passage is due for release. How did you first get into Hip Hop? Were you writing before you started rapping or did that come after?

I always tell people that I could rhyme when I was about 9 years old, but when it comes to

as an independent artist,

stories I was told that since I was a child I was

this he was able to maintain

or to show them things about themselves that

becoming part of the label

‘A change that I would like to see goes to the root of confronting human kind’s vanity and exaggerated history’

his content and conform to many of the constraints put

Viper Records. As a result of

always telling and retelling them. I used to write short stories as a kid, just to make people laugh they could not see for themselves. I didn’t really take the talents I had for music and the spoken word seriously in terms of actually putting out a project until I got out of prison. Before that I was just collecting ideas and bars in my mind and storing them non-stop. Your work contains a lot of information and thoughts on situations all over the world from the Spanish Conquest of the Americas to U.S government programmes and


wars of aggression, and

since I was in the womb I have been requesting

thinking about history and

representing it on an international scale, I think

I was wondering, do you

this type of reading material, therefore, it is

politics on the national and

that developed organically as the music that

know what got you started

hard to say when I took an interest. As far as

international stage?

I made spread on its own. So maybe it wasn’t

those enslaved… For you is

there an available means at

the moment to enact change from outside the system? It depends on

what people think

My mother said

even a conscious decision, it was something that

change is. That is a

that when she was

developed as my interest did.

matter of opinion.

pregnant with me, that for some reason she started reading books

Knowing you had to express things, and growing up in

The system being

Absolutely not. I had no idea that this would

revolution, that is

Harlem, was it always obvious to you that the form would be Hip Hop?

corrupt and needing reform or

actually be what I would do for a living or even

the question here.

global politics,

to express the thoughts that I have politically.

A change that I

not necessarily

I think over the course of the past few years it

would like to see

from one style of

became more and more apparent to me that I

goes to the root of

thinking, or from

have a voice that has the ability to transcend

confronting human

the same author

this art form. I think though that I want to

kind’s vanity

but a diverse

go even further than just expressing myself

and exaggerated

content. It is not

through music, and I have thought of releasing

history. The

that my mother

these books I have been working on.

mythology of every

had no interest

From Revolutionary Vol. 1 it’s clear you’re in a different

nation comes rife

Hip Hop has come from people talking purely about their

classism that is not

and Food for Thought as an example of this. Obviously it’s a

begins to taint the

of things on a global scale I’m wondering where that came

empires to think

about history and

in these things, she just preferred other reading for enjoyment and area of study. So

‘The world isn’t for sale. Environmental Capital is not expendable’

space to many of the rappers and M.C.s out there in terms

with stereotypes,

local urban environment, storytelling but not elevating to

put into its proper

combination of the instrumental, flow and lyrical content

ability of these

from? What drives you to put that kind of material

critically about

of your commitment to explore global issues. A lot of great

racism and

see out of that environment – I’m thinking Lord Finesse

perspective, it

making a great song, but you talk about such a wide range

nations or former

out there?

their history and

For some people their only canvas is the paper. I used to write graffiti, therefore, my canvas is the world. My inspiration is drawn from global struggles, from Kurds to Sikhs, from Palestinians to Ethiopians, so how could their suffering not be legitimized if we expect ours from an urban ghetto in the 1st world where the buildings still have running water and plumbing, to be received around the world.

The Poverty of Philosophy from your first album is such a

strong socio-political and historical critique, it could easily

be a distributed document. You say about not wanting to be the lone escapee from the plantation but rather to free all 186 No Borders No Boundar ies

present role in the world. What are you looking

towards for the future in terms of your music and writing?

I’m going to finish The Middle Passage, and then work on a few other projects.

In terms of your production process do you set time


aside to write things down and make music or is it just something that happens naturally? Do you have a few

people sending beats and demos to you to listen to and rap on?

I always have ideas circling, but I would

to speak to children of the

neo-liberal age and educate on certain things?

The world

isn’t for sale.

definitely tailor the words to any beat I receive.

Environmental

Production you would think would be an easy

Capital is

thing to get, but while I receive a boat load of

not expendable.

amateur submissions, it’s sometimes harder to connect with these other major label producers who always tell me that they love my work, but just have different schedules or just because their management is often opposed to doing ANYTHING political. I wish I could make this stuff up, but this is where we are in terms of music. GreenLantern, Southpaw, Scram Jones, Ali Shaheed and DJ Premier don’t give a shit about stuff like that. That’s why I always rocked with them. It’s just tough to lock everyone down. How does the idea of spreading knowledge fit into the way

you consider and deliver your music? Is it important for you

do you personally maintain momentum when working against such a strong

current wanting to keep

your views on the margin? Giving your

time is often

more valuable

I see people around me who

than giving your

systems of control, and as

changes you make

ager with, as Akala says,

you are just like

Have you got any advice

the gym after one

feel overwhelmed by the

money. And you

a result settle down and

immediately, but

a stake in the matrix they

those people who

or thoughts for people out

session and

complexity of power and

may not see the

become a cynical middle

if you expected to,

once claimed to hate.

come back from

there wanting to enact

expect results.

some sort of change to the

society around them? How


188 No Borders No Boundar ies


Official Selection

A new generation of bold film directors in the making LA, US

Brian McGuire London, UK

Terry Wayne in Prevertere by Brian McGuire

Michael Pearce London, UK

Rafael Pav�n


Brian McGuire A celebration of American indie cinema What inspired you to make the film Prevertere? It’s something I went through when I was younger. This movie is all about human relationships and connections. With the other three films I have made [The Black Belle 2012, Carlos Spills the Beans 2012, On Holiday 2010], it felt like I was watching behind glass doors, so I tried to make something that had more of an emotional impact. What is your definition of true love? Brian McGuire If I see your worst shit and you see mine… and we Words by Suzanne Zhang still hold hands and walk through the world together, ‘The answer to the game of love is...’ that there then that’s true love. I came are no answers, says Chicago born Brian to this definition through a McGuire, the director of Prevertere, which girl I was with for six years. premiered at the recent Raindance Festival We broke up a month before 2013 in London. The now Los Angeles based we got the money for the writer, director, actor and musician creates film. Now I’m stuck with a films that seek to speak and touch his audience film about true love and she through honest renderings of the world we live is gone. in. McGuire revives with passion the celebrated Prevertere is sort of a and unforgettable spirit of independent films ghost from my past. of the 90s and pays his personal tribute to All three women were the directors he loves, Jim Jarmusch, Richard representations of people Linklater, Todd Solondz, with emotion and wit. in my life. I am looking for Funny, ridiculously tall and sheepishly answers through them; romantic, McGuire sat down with ROOMS to I see the story through talk about his past, filming sex scenes and Templeton’s eyes. discovering the meaning of true love. We don’t Has this film been have our definition of it yet, but we love his and a kind of catharsis we are certain you will approve. Here is our talk for you? with the father of emotional perversion, true All my films are. I think love and intimacy. the key with movies is 190 No Borders No Boundar ies

to completely embarrass yourself, tell your own story, and hope that someone will relate to it. Were you trying to convey a specific message when you wrote Prevertere? I was the voice-over for the opening line ‘The answer to the game of love is…’ And really, there is no answer to this question that Templeton is attempting to solve. At some point you have to grow up and let it go. It would be nice to feel safe in love, but that’s up to you… Prevertere is not so much a physical perversion as a mental and emotional one. This film won Best Narrative Feature at the Downtown Film Festival in LA this year. How do you feel about this and all the positive critiques of Prevertere? I was actually shocked to win. I didn’t expect it. There is a huge low-budget quality and factor that goes on in the film, which was intentional since I wanted it to feel like a 90s indie film. As for the positive reviews, it just makes me incredibly happy and excited.


Bret Roberts, Terry Wayne and Pollyanna McIntosh in Prevertere

What was the hardest challenge you faced when filming Prevertere? The scene with Bobby D (the lounge singer) was quite stressful as we filmed in a show house we were not supposed to be in. We had a realtor with us and a couple of topless dudes running around pretending to be on cocaine when we learnt that the cops were on the way to the house! Another challenging scene was the opening one, with all the lights in Vegas. We couldn’t time the lights right. You start and end the film with the same setting, with Templeton and Jo-Anne in the car, only this time the atmosphere has drastically changed. It used to be a linear story with the Italian first, Irene second, and lastly Jo-Anne in Vegas. In this original cut, I feel like you follow Templeton more, whereas in this one it is more about the women. You get to meet Jo-Anne and then you get to go back to her, which allows for a new dimension and other stories in between. As to the car, I always wanted Templeton to be driving back and forth from each place and woman, expressing physical mobility. What do you think happens with Templeton afterwards? Does he stay faithful to Jo-Anne or is he still looking for true love? What do you think? I want him to stay with Jo-Anne, although I don’t think she is his true love. I would love to see him

with Irene, but that would defeat the purpose of their nature… That’s the trick of it. I don’t think he stays with her, though. They’re probably not right for each other – I give them another six months or a year! I don’t know, I am a cynical prick. It’s hard for me to say. Are there any scenes from the film that inspire you? Antonella Ponziani inspires the hell out of me! She is incredible in that role, and I love all her scenes. The pain on her face when Templeton leaves is so surreal, it is actually painful to watch – that’s how good she is! I also like the sex scene, with the painting, the fish tank, and the mirror. It was exactly how I had envisioned the scene in my mind. Most of the sex scenes are explicit without being vulgar. Was there a resolute decision to not make it graphic? The way I saw it first was insanely graphic, but I didn’t know how to get people to do that. If you are going to make it graphic, it needs to make sense and serve the story. A friend of mine remarked that in Prevertere, there was nudity when they are not having sex; when shit is wrong. I like that element. Also, we all know what sex is and looks like – let’s move on to more interesting things.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? Desperation. A reason why I make a lot of films is that I’m trying to get out of the ghetto. I don’t feel insanely human when I’m not creating. The gift that I have is just being the creative idiot that I am and I just hope that I can make someone cry or laugh somewhere. And maybe I would get to heal them…

As for films, I am always trying to steal from Jim Jarmusch, Todd Solondz and John Cassavetes. I like the oddity of Jim Jarmusch, the slow pace, and his frames. I admire the darkness of Todd Solondz’s humour, as well as the ugliness in his characters. And Cassavetes is the master of realism and naturalism. Do you have any up coming projects? I just finished my new film, Window Licker. It’s about a guy [gestures at himself and mouths ‘me’] who is insane! He has a crazy addiction to video games, reality shows, and a webcam girl website. It is the most tedious and technical project so far. There are worlds within worlds in this film. It is super twisted and very colourful. If you could bring back any extinct object to life, what would that be? I don’t live in the past that much! Dinosaurs… The old Coca-Cola before they made the new one!

brianmacguire.info


Michael Pearce Haunting narrative on human relationships An exceptional piece of film making lingers in your consciousness long after the film has finished. This was definitely the case when I watched Gallop, a beautiful yet bittersweet short film by the BAFTA nominated director Michael Pearce. Gallop is just one of many short films by Michael along with Rite, Stranger and Madrugada that showcase his undeniable skill to create a unique combination of evocative images and thought-provoking narrative on human relationships. The UK’s Jersey native’s talent first garnered attention after he graduated with a degree in Film Directing from Bournemouth University which lead to a scholarship to attend the National Film and Television School. His graduation film Madrugada then won a prize at the 2009 Jersey International Festival.

I had a chat with the London based filmmaker to find out about the films he loves and his career so far. Michael now calls North London home where he spends his time writing and creating stories, but 192 No Borders No Boundar ies

Michael Pearce

Words by Yinka Olumomi

how does this filmmaker relax when he has a moment to chill out? I like going to techno parties, listening to podcasts, having psychonautic adventures, running along the canal, sleeping on Italian beaches, sometimes a combination of these things. The fact that he finds the time to do anything that is not film related is astonishing considering the amount of dedication and attention needed to write and direct. Those who love film usually remember the point of genesis. Whether you grow up to be in the film industry or not, a film lover’s first memory of watching a film definitely impacts them in

some way. My first experience was in 1994, I was 7 years old, and it was The Santa Clause starring Tim Allen. The film itself wasn’t exciting per se, however the experience of sitting in front of a gigantic screen was what stuck in my mind. Michael on the other hand seemed to have a slightly more memorable first cinematic experience when he watched Moonwalker in 1987. At the height of his musical career Michael Jackson starred in this special effects filled extravaganza which may not be viewed by many as a masterpiece but it definitely made an impact on the seven year old. Michael reminisces about how his grandmother slept throughout, I just couldn’t fathom how you could sleep when you were faced with such wonder. It still confuses me to this day how she slept through it. A director’s appreciation for film goes far beyond the everyday aficionado who seldom looks beyond the surface missing slight nuances only caught by those who also create films. With Moonwalker being the catalyst for his love affair with film Michael’s tastes have of course matured and he now appreciates the style and vision of auteurs like Andrei Tarkovsky, Michelangelo Antonioni and Maurice Pialat. He cites Antonioni’s films as being incredibly elegant, poetic and melancholic. Watching


He also discussed the films that inspire him, like Adaptation which he wishes he could have written. When speaking about the Academy Award nominated writer Charlie Kaufman, Michael says, I don’t know how he pulls it off – it’s funny and tragic at the same moment, it’s selfreflective without being self-obsessed, it’s like Woody Allen meets Luis Buñuel, both profound and ridiculous. As for a film he wishes he could have directed he references Beau Travail by Claire Denis, It’s like a profane mythic fable, it’s visceral and physical, and at the same time quite lofty and poetic, it’s also got an amazing soundtrack, what more could you want. Along with awards from The Rushes Soho Film Festival and The Almeria Film Festival, 2012 saw the upcoming director’s film Rite nominated for a BAFTA for Best Short. Pearce describes creating the film as, a tough shoot but I think we managed to achieve quite a lot on the budget we had. It travelled to a lot of festivals, won a few prizes, generated a few tears. His impressive and diverse catalogue continues to grow with short film Henry, showing this last summer on Channel 4 as part of the Coming Up series and currently working on his debut feature film Beast

which is set in Jersey. Beast was selected for the prestigious Torino FilmLab Script & Pitch workshop. Recalling the true story of a serial sex attacker dubbed the ‘Beast of Jersey’, who terrorised the island for eleven years in the 60s, Pearce’s story revolves around Moll who comes to believe she may have fallen in love with the wrong man. Initially an uninspiring place for the director, Jersey had no connection to the film world whatsoever – not optimal for a boy who dreams of making films. After leaving the island as a teen, having kept quite a distance from it, Michael now appreciates the island’s landscape and its cinematic potential, rich and unique environment and what it has to offer as the setting for his next project. I couldn’t wait to get away and kind of turned my back on it. When I was a kid I was obsessed with the darker stories on the island, both actual crimes and the folklorish ones. With Beast I get to go back and explore the good and bad sides of the island and return to my childhood obsessions. Through his art, Michael is able to tackle subjects that interest and move him the most. This is the ability all directors strive for along with seeing an audience connect with something that is so personal to them. Audiences play a vital part in how well a film is

Still from Keeping Up With The Joneses, starring Maxine Peake, Geoff Bell and Adeel Akhtar

one is like spending a final rainy afternoon with a beautiful Italian woman that has just broken your heart but in a good way.

received and if it is financially lucrative. We all know that the best films do not always receive the recognition and financial success they deserve, a notion that has been an ongoing gripe for many directors. So many films are made and marketed towards a low common denominator, I don’t really see that changing though. I kind of wish that everyone had some level of film education at school, even if that was just introducing young people to different kinds of cinema, perhaps that way you would cultivate a more engaged and demanding audience. A valid point that would definitely see more opportunities for storytellers to create films with depth and less Michael Bay types spewing out yet another summer blockbuster, then subsequently reaping the benefits of mindless cinema that the masses seem to love. In anticipation of Beast we can expect something great not only based on Michael’s impressive portfolio but by how he describes his process of making films. I’m very collaborative. I bring a lot of doubts and questions to the table, and encourage the cast and my crew to be involved in building the film, not just to execute a rigid, pre-conceived idea. Temperamentally I’m quite calm on set, even when it gets very chaotic; I’m not sure why this is because I experience a healthy amount of anxiety and neuroticism in real life. Despite the ability to keep his cool on set, Michael reveals the subject matter of his picture when I asked him to describe a photo with him in it: Me swimming with great whites – it will never happen, I have a phobia. I even get scared in swimming pools but I’m obsessed with them.

michael-pearce.com


Rafael Pavón Where legend meets everyday reality Words by Yinka Olumomi

You were born and raised in the beautiful city of Madrid. Spain, and moved to London seven years ago to pursue your career as Film Director. What ‘s your earliest memory of your decision to become one? Last month my cousin in Spain found a VHS tape from 1989. Tim Burton’s Batman had just been released and my dad owned a really bulky video camera with sound. So along with my little brother we decided to make our own version of the film with our costumes, editing on camera – what Michel Gondry called ‘Swede’ decades later in his film Be Kind Rewind. Once we were finished with Batman, we decided to continue with a rendition of Rocky, using golf club protectors as boxing gloves, then Home Alone, Ninja Turtles and many more I can’t even remember. It’s hard to find the reasons why one is driven by a certain passion, especially when not everything is great about that journey, but that tape helped me remember that it was 194 No Borders No Boundar ies

Watergun collective has provided a platform for collaboration and trampoline to your film career, how did the idea begin? Watergun started out as a spontaneous trans-oceanic collaboration between me and director/friend Ricardo Uhagón. I was living in London, he was in New York and we decided it was a great context to start working together and explore the collaboration in the form of a creative collective. Eventually, Lucas de la Rúa and Eric Schockmel joined us and we started growing and learning together for about five years, until we decided it was time to explore our individual voices as Rafael Pav�n photographed by Alexandra Uhart directors and grow on our important for me to be part of a story, modify it, play with own, which is where we it, understand all the narrative elements in order to play are now. We still have some with them and make people feel different – even if that projects on the dashboard, difference is extremely subtle, after watching what you’ve mainly ideas for scripts, done… And yes, we’re digitising that tape and considering online series, etc, but we what to do with it. thought it was better to let So, what was your favourite film as a child? them breathe and approach I’d have to put on my Fedora hat and tell you that Indiana them when we’re ready. I’d Jones and The Last Crusade is possibly the film I watched be surprised if Watergun more times (including subtitles in Swahili) and never doesn’t come back with stopped enjoying. Most adventure films excel in one or two something big in the aspects, and that’s already a big achievement, but this one long term. pushed every department; the music, the script, comedy, How would you to a degree that, not only is great in itself but also helps the best describe story. I believe it’s, quite possibly, the Led Zeppelin yourself as a of 80s films. director?


I have serious trouble looking back and having a wide perspective of what I do. I suffer from a massive ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ syndrome, but I always try to have an honest, uplifting and vigorous approach that I hope ends up somewhere in the outcome. Your short film The Hummingbird has been your biggest project to date and was in the Official Selection of this year’s East End Film Festival, as well as the FIBABC in Spain, Cambridge in UK and Patmos in Greece Film Festivals; what does this mean to you as a Director? When you start working on a project like The Hummingbird, the process makes everything really unpredictable. There’s lots of room for unpredictability in a project which is part documentary and part fiction and you’re never sure if the outcome will maintain the level of interest and excitement you have in mind when you start it. EEFF was the first festival that replied after we sent the first draft and that helped me realise that, in the end, it was making sense. The Hummingbird explores ‘the lost cosmonauts’ urban legends, and the role of conspiracy theories in our society, how did the idea come about? The initial inspiration came from the team behind Riot Cinema, who made the feature film The Cosmonaut. Their drive made me realise there was nothing stopping me

from telling this story. The first vague outlines started in 2010 and transformed progressively into The Hummingbird during the course of three years. The only way I could write about a subject like going to outer space (as I unfortunately haven’t been up there… Hello Mr Branson!) was to relive some experiences that I find too overwhelming to share and that emotion pushed the story forward. How would you say you have grown in terms of directing from when you first began to now? The confidence in my creative voice has grown immensely. I’m not sure if that journey has an end at all but I’ve already come a long way in understanding the direction I want to take and the type of stories I want to tell. Also, writing has been a big milestone as The Hummingbird was the first script I directed and it was a challenge to write it in English from the beginning. How do you get all the different elements, such as crew, cast, location, to integrate, in order to create your vision? You don’t have a lot of options with a self-funded project like this, so a big part of the process is trying to find people who are as excited as you and infect them with your enthusiasm. I don’t know any other way this could work.

What’s the key element you need to get set? I would say it all starts with a hunch. A big one Your favourite piece of work you have created so far is? The next project is always my favourite. By far! Because I don’t know how it is going to look. So what do you have coming up next? I’m really excited about this new stage after Watergun and I’m on the lookout for new environments and challenges to keep on making more and better work. I’m very interested in the possibilities of new technologies and the impact of interaction in storytelling, so I’d love to explore that field further. Also, I’ve started the development of a new film project about the way music affects us in different stages of our life, which I’ve had in mind since I first arrived in London – I was obsessed with the way music shapes everything in this city, but it wasn’t until recently, when a couple of turning points and the reception of The Hummingbird put me in the right mind-set to start writing again. The scope of the new project is really ambitious and clearly bigger than a short film but it’s still too early to know the final outcome. I feel it might be the moment to bring it to life.

rafapavon.com


© Robbie Mike Jeffers

© Robbie Mike Jeffers © Robbie Mike Jeffers

Motel Rooms We love a good art adventure. This summer we launched our artist’s travel diary Motel Rooms and followed one intrepid artist on a mission to set up their new show abroad. London based artist Mike Ballard has been our first Motel Rooms booking in the sunny city of Los Angeles, California, for his first solo show in the US at Known Gallery, Mind in Transit. We equipped our artist with some brushes, paint, impeccable attire, the best of intentions, and sent him off on the road to success – or shall we say excess? The people and the buildings, the parties, finding inspiration, the joys and dramas of making an art show in a city that’s not yours; Mike Ballard himself walks us through the pictures and stories. 196 No Borders No Boundar ies

© Robbie Mike Jeffers


Mike Ballard © Robbie Mike Jeffers

© Robbie Mike Jeffers

20.07.13

© Robbie Mike Jeffers

© Robbie Mike Jeffers

Summer2013Los

Angeles

I first visited LA in 1997, when I was there to purely paint graffiti – I had forgotten what it was like and it has probably changed so we had a great laugh together, much in that time. A good old he's a funny guy and we hung friend of mine Roger Gastman, out a lot there. was programming and curating shows at Known Gallery.  Roger I wanted to showcase a has seen my work progress since good selection of my work, I first met him in 1997, when we from prints and collage to went painting graffiti together. pop style canvases and oil The weather was amazing and paintings. It’s the first time I've really lifted my mood, from dull shown a few different bodies grey London, shit weather and of work together, so that made workaholic mode I'm normally in. it more interesting trying to   22.07.13 figure out how to arrange all The first few days were spent the pieces. hanging with Roger and friends   and eating a lot, and drinking, In the project room of the and generally having a laugh gallery were legendary graffiti hanging out… the land of excess writers Remio and Duel – it for sure! The people really was a privilege to finally meet seemed so friendly and open, them both and to hang out like everyone is on holiday.  I with them!   like to walk and travel on public 29.07.13   transport… So I walked miles, Once the show was all set exploring the place and putting up and open, I headed up to up stickers, asking for walls San Francisco with my good to paint. friend Bobby ‘Broadband’, he's from SF and had come 24.07.13 One night we went to the Oscars down for the opening night Outdoors’ screening of the of the show.  Once we got to film Style Wars. It was pretty SF we hooked up with my old cool to see this iconic film mate Ben Eine.  He's such an on a massive screen outside! awesome guy, we have a lot of There was also a Q&A talky times painting together and bit with Henry Chalfont and one of the first writers I met I also got to meet one of the when I first came to London most influential graffiti writers in ‘95.  We chilled at his studio ever, the grand incredible and then got pissed in the local SKEME.  His pieces were a major bar and arranged to paint a influence on me, so it was a big wall the next day, together real privilege to chat to him and with SF based artist Rich get him to sign my black book. I Colman. It was great to see also managed to meet Patti Astor Ben living well in SF – he loves that night and got her new book, it there and has been painting The History of the Fun Gallery, a a lot of big walls there. Top true insight into the early days of bloke. Hip Hop culture.     I loved every minute of being 26.07.13 The first week I headed down in LA, it was one of my best Melrose Avenue and started trips I've done, not only for looking for spots to paint. I the success of the show! got permission off a bike shop The whole vibe of the city is owner to paint a wall on his positive and open to a lot of roof – it was fantastic to spend new art. I'm gonna try and get all day in the sun up on the back there real soon. I'd like roof, watching the world go by, to big up Roger Gastman, and painting away, chilling… The Casey Zoltan for making it such guys in the shop brought me up a a great show. hamburger for lunch and we sat there chatting, enjoying the day.   28.07.13 The show was really fun to set mikeballard.co.uk up. I met up with Thank You X, the other artist in the show and knowngallery.com


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justinasuminaite.com LONDON, UK

JUsTINA

SUMINAITE Pictures of Me

Words by Eva Peláez

Who is Justina? Justina – it's a scrapbook. I'm from Lithuania.

most boring and distressing I think it was a picture of subjects to study. Apart a killed jackfish in a sink, from that I know it's useful taken with a film camera. and necessary. Do you have What does a photo mean I remember that when I to you? It means a lot of saw it printed, I thought to a picture of you that you don’t show anyone? I don't, things, but overall it's the myself, ‘wow, that's art!’ I would have a paranoia released feeling from a How would you describe particular moment. When growing up in Lithuania? that someone might see it one day. Does swearing did you fall in love with Happiness, daydream. the camera? I was about Proximity to everyone and work for you? It's not that I 17 when one day I actually everything. Each season haslike swearing, but it works decided to try one of my a different colour, texture so well in the moment. In general, I'm not a hot father's old Russian ZENITand smell. I could come cameras. It just came to up with lots of contrasting tempered person, so I'm not swearing very often. me naturally. What coloursounds of Lithuania, but do you wear the most? what I love the most is the How much do you laugh a day? I laugh a lot, I just love Black. What’s the very first sound of tranquillity. Has picture you ever took? reading history been your a good sense of humour, How did it make you feel?thing, or would you rather irony and sarcasm. You don’t need any more of… make it? I would definitely Television. You can’t never make it instead of reading it.have enough of…. Films Personally, it was one of the and music.


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to create a sense for the image, and usually they main elements in your You’ve chosen to embrace photography? Humanity don't have to be afraid come naturally, as long about the results. Which the world behind the as you have a concept in is the most important photographers do you camera; do you miss element, everything else admire? Henri Cartier- your mind. But sometimes anything from the other branches out from there. everything starts from the Bresson, Diane Arbus, side? Not really, I think set instead. What gets you Why fashion? I would Richard Avedon, Irving that the lens helps me to in the mood? I usually put say it's more portrait in Penn, Martin Parr, Mario embrace the world even lots of thought into it prior general, than particularly Testino, Tim Walker, more accurately, to look at it fashion. But it might have to the shoot, but the results in a more concentrated way. a hint of fashion, as a way Mariano Vivanco. are rarely more surprising What do you consider I love being the beholder, I of expression. Film or than when you are doing your style to be? Artistic. always did. it more or less impromptu. digital? Mostly digital, just because post-production How do you create the How much is spontaneity Have you been obsessed is very important in my a factor? It depends on sets for your shoots? with someone’s face? I an individual concept, but process. I can use film, Feeling and mood are key. haven't, I would rather be for some experiments, or obsessed with someone's daily snapshots, when you The sets work as a tool worldview. What are the


you can't ever be hundred the story behind our per cent sure what you will get in the end. If the brand new cover? It's a circumstances allow me I human-chameleon in our always love to improvise insociety. What’s the role of order to surprise. Do you Symbolism in our society? search for the ‘perfect’ I think it's pretty important, it makes life more sensible. picture? It's more a moment thing. Sometimes I‘Vanity Fair’ (if I could call might see a stranger on theit a symbol) is a perfect street and just think how symbol and reflection of much I would love to take aone side of reality in our picture of that person rightsociety. Do you carry any symbols? I have a tattoo, now and right there, just the way they are looking in thatsymbolising eternity. Living in a city that exact moment. What do you look for in your models? breathes an intoxicating They would need to have blend of cultures and looks, together with a something interesting about them; it may be the looks, lush desire for success, lifestyle, personality. I'm which part is keeping you here? Precisely the blend not really interested in just ‘pretty faces’ if it’s not of different cultures, looks for commercial reasons. and worldviews. The same Who is your muse? My desire for success can affect environment inspires me anyone even in the smallest sombre cities. the most. Is self-indulgence part How do you feed your of the trade? I think it is, visual appetite? The best however you have to find a food is observation of daily life. What has given you way to ‘sell yourself’ as well. indigestion lately? I'm What inspires your photography overall? My environment, experiences, music, films, books, art in general. What do you want your photography to say? I just want my photography to be something more than a beautiful image, that it would provoke a viewer even into the smallest thoughts or emotions. Of course, any reaction is better than no reaction at all. How do you measure job satisfaction and decide when a photo is complete? After choosing the ‘right’ photo, retouching always comes as a second stage of the process – if there aren’t any doubts you could say it’s done. Satisfaction is something different, I can spend five hours retouching the best picture of the day, but tomorrow it might seem as the worst one ever. What’s

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ideas in my mind, they need to be completely finalized in order to start shooting, so thinking in advance takes more and more time! But sometimes I love to take a small one-shot plastic camera for some snap shots. Can you sleep without your camera? I can sleep like to explore further? without my camera, but not trying to not put too much stress into it. How do you treat Video art. In a world for too long. If you weren’t your other senses? I love electronic music and cooking for without limits you woulda photographer, what my friends, or cooking together with them. What are you create… I would make my would you be? I guess, I currently obsessed with? I’ve been always obsessed with friends’ and my dreams would be a lawyer. Where films, especially independent and foreign cinema; they come true. Last gig you would you like to go next? remain closer to reality and to me. I just love their mood in saw? Apparat, and I wish I The answer to this question general. Šarūnas Bartas, Kim Ki-duk, Emir Kusturica are were at Moderat's gig. Lastis still in progress… just some of my favourites Directors. I have watched all the film you watched and Iceland feels like a very films starring Vincent Cassel, he is a unique actor. Which loved? Adam Apples. All mymagnetic country though. artists make an impact on you? I've only discovered friends have been coerced Its landscape, Jake & Dinos Chapman recently, their sculptures and to watch it! culture and music, it’s surrealistic style overall fascinates me. I was always something I would love to inspired by Robert Rauschenberg, how he combines his experience someday. painting with collages and transfers it into objects and Who deserves a slap sculptures. David Shrigley , there is nothing to describe, right now? Who deserves you just have to see it! a flower? Those who deserved a slap, got it Anything you would like already. I would give a to say to the world. The flower to my twin brother. future is leaving, take Where do you think it’s ‘all’ happening? Probably What’s your relationship everything you can New York, it’s literally ‘all’ happening up there. Which with your camera these from today! designers inspire you the most? Young and emerging days? Before I used to take talent. Are there any other creative fields you would my camera everywhere and just take pictures – and it's a really heavy camera. These days, when I have any


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206 W hy Do You Do W hat You Do?


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ROOMS is an independent, quarterly print magazine and multimedia creative platform, made in Hackney. Based in colourful East London but sha...

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