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ARTS & CULTURE ZINE Currated By Kanye


No Kanye, you can’t run faster, they said. This is the limit that was made. The walls that Michael Jackson broke down for you, and Jay Z and Russell Simmons broke down for you, this is the end of it.’ I’m in the process of breaking down walls that people will understand 10 years from now, 20 years from now.

— KANYE WEST

Fine Art

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Looking into one of Kanye Wests inspirtaions and how fine art shapes the futures view

Photo

ALL CONTENT IS CURATED BY KANYE WEST himself for your reading pleasure. All imagery is sourced from the artists personal pages and may have been manipulated for the purposes of this magazine.

2014 DONDA PRODUCTIONS

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Looking back on the life of Alexander McQueen and his contributions to fashion design

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TRAILBLAZERS

ISSUE 01

Fashion

Looking into one of Kanye Wests inspirtaions and how photography is adapting today

Music

9

25

An interview with John Maus about his Unique music style and writing process

Design

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Film

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20

Architecture

Looking into one of Kanye Wests inspirtaions and how design is changing today

Looking into one of Kanye Wests inspirtaions and how Film is the future of art

Looking into one of Kanye Wests inspirtaions and how architecture can give people a spiritual response and its impact on future generations view of todays society.


FASHION


Give me ”time and I’ll give you a revolution.” Alexander McQueen 1969-2010

From his super low-slung trousers to skull scarves, extreme shoes to sharp tailoring, British designer Alexander McQueen was revered in the fashion world. What difference did he make?


T HE AT R IC A L C AT WA L K S McQueen liked to shock and surprise people at his catwalk shows, andhe wasn’t a designer who liked toconform to fashion industry norms. In 1998 he caused controversy when double amputee Aimee Mullins, a former Paralympian, modelled on the catwalk wearing a pair of hand-carved wooden prosthetic legs. “You always expected the unexpected with Alexander McQueen,” says Helen Boyle a fashion stylist and presenter. “Everyone was waiting to see who was on the catwalk, and what they were wearing. “By putting disabled people on he was taking people out of their comfort zones, making people think, making people sit up in their chairs.” Aimee Mullins at the Paralympics in 1996, left, and at a McQueen event in 2008 He took Aimee Mullins from the Paralympics to the catwalk Michael Oliveira-Salac says McQueen “turned fashion upside down”, by being different. “Supermodels were never treated like royalty. He was one of the designers

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MOL D -BR E A K ING MODL E S Birdcages, butterflies, feathered wings, towering heels and even a catwalk filled with water - McQueen is credited with bringing theatrical drama to the catwalk. “His shows were often very theatrical… I seem to remember one show where there were antlers,” says the designer Sir Paul Smith. McQueen used new technology and innovation to add a twist to proceedings. In 2006 he projected a holographic 3D image of model Kate Moss on to the runway. He also experimented with streaming his catwalk shows live on the internet. Earlier shows featured a volcanic catwalk that erupted in flames, and a giant Plexiglass snowstorm. “His shows were always ahead of their time, it was like a full-on production,” says Sawyer. “He made people think it’s not just the hair and make-up. He was making something for people to

witness.” And his extravagant and colourful shows were always a hot ticket in the fashion world. “I’ve seen people fighting in the queues at his shows to get in,” she says. He also experimented with streaming his catwalk shows live on the internet. Earlier shows featured a volcanic catwalk that erupted in flames, and a giant Plexiglass snowstorm. “His shows were always ahead of their time, it was like a full-on production,” says Sawyer. “He made people think it’s not just the hair and make-up. He was making something for people to witness.” And his extravagant and colourful shows were always a hot ticket in the fashion world. “I’ve seen people fighting in the queues at his shows to get in,” she says. McQueen used new technology and innovation to add a twist to proceedings. Birdcages, butterflies, feathered wings.

who didn’t care about that social standing,” he says. “When he worked with top models he loved to get them out of their comfort zone.” Mr Oliveira-Salac also cites the fact McQueen was one of the first designers to use Indian models in LondonMcQueen liked to shock and surprise people at his catwalk shows, andhe wasn’t a designer who liked toconform to fashion industry norms. In 1998 he caused controversy when double amputee Aimee Mullins, a former Paralympian, modelled on the catwalk wearing a pair of handcarved wooden prosthetic legs.“You always expected the unexpected with Alexander McQueen,” says Helen Boyle a fashion stylist and presenter. McQueen was one of the first designers to use Indian models in LondonMcQueen liked to shock and surprise people at his catwalk shows, andhe wasn’t a designer who liked toconform to fashion industry norms.


E X T R EME SIL HOUET T E S McQueen’s most memorable designs were outlandish, unconventional and plain bizarre.He didn’t just create fashion, he created spectacles,” says the fashion designer Scott Henshall. He had SophieDahl encased with butterflies, he had models sprayed with paint to enter his finale catwalk shows and he really elevated fashion to what it should be.” For McQueen the creative palette extended much further than just clothes, says Mr Oliveira-Salac. “It wasn’t just about the clothes - it was the whole look. The lipstick and the make-up was very prominent.” Some of his gothic inspired make-up creations had many fashion editors divided. The heavy eyes, and clownishly defined lips

were inspired by McQueen’s theatrical side. He even collaborated with the cosmetics company MAC to devise make-up ranges. “He was a creator. He wasn’t just a fashion designer,” says Helen Boyle. “He just upped the tempo in the way that he designed.” No mention of Alexander McQueen’s influence would be complete without reference to the towering high-heeled footwear he was responsible for. Pop star Lady Gaga managed to get through an entire music video wearing a pair of McQueen’s Armadillo Shoes, which are 12cm high and resemble a lobster claw. And he was never one to simply make a hat when he could turn it into part snood, part gimp-mask.

Alexander McQueen During an Interview with BBC


MUSIC MUSIC


Towards A New Language

John Maus Interviewed By Kanye West

As John Maus releases his brilliant new LP We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves, Kanye West engages him in a fascinating discussion on why we need a new language for punk rock, nostalgia, and agreeing with the sentiments of Ice T’s ‘Cop Killer


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Maus is a talker; he gets excited about ideas and then describes and re-describes them to communicate precise lines of thoughts, like the kind of lecturer who really wants to make sure he's understood and hopes he's challenged by his students. Transcribing this went well over 20 pages and gave me carpal tunnel, but that's cool. His main argument is that we need a new language to talk about how people relate to each other that goes beyond lofty references to theorists with tongue-twister surnames or the kind of blogging that is so subjective and neophiliac that it degenerates into slanging matches of who got where first best. So where this conversation goes is also where it falls apart, suspended between talk of singularities and theorists and all the filler of 'awesomes' and 'you know what I mean's and lots of other vocal tics that happen when your brain's racing faster than your mouth, when you're trying to talk about important and complicated things without coming off as an alienating, pompous asshole bling-flashing the cultural capital. Can music offer the tools to bridge that gulf? John Maus is giving it a go: it's worth thinking about, until language catches up.

John Maus is a man of many talents. He's a composer who met Ariel Pink at music school and was part of the original Haunted Graffiti lineup. His new album, We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves combines a Moroder/ Jarre/Vangelis synth palette and sinister, fog-veiled images straight out of the Ridley Scott playbook with a vocal style that sounds like it comes from a monk who's spent too long in some echoey dungeon, precisely copying illuminated manuscripts. For all the talk about hauntology, retromania, and all the hand-wringing about how the current moment is a

tail-eating cultural dead end, Maus' aesthetic is much more considered, and ambitious. Maus has spent years studying towards a PhD in political philosophy, and he explains how his songwriting choices are made in protest against neoliberal ideals. He's looking to write music that uses elements from the 80s soft-rock palette and action film scores, as well as medieval modes, to create something both of this moment and beyond. It's not about literal copying, but choosing the right sonic responses to articulate a universal response to right now.

heart to heart mind to mind we are the ones who seem to travel through time


Q: The last song on the record, “I Don’t Eat Human Beings”, has a new-age feel. Were you listening to that kind of music when you wrote that song?

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Yeah. I definitely am interested in soundtracks that one might associate with fantasy or sci-fi-- they tend to be rich with musical ideas. I don’t know who eats human beings, but you might imagine some kind of party of aristocrats-- real rich people-- sitting around a dinner table and eating a human being alive. I’m against eating a human being alive-- I don’t do it. Somebody might make cannibalism jokes and laugh it off like it’s nothing. I don’t agree with that. I wanted to proclaim a rejection of cannibalism.

JM: There's just something about a metal skeleton coming out of fire that's really poetic and just extraordinary. The idea that dominates the mainstream conversation, is that it's, 'oh, that film, we should just forget about it, because it was merely about effects and car chases and all this kind of thing', but it seems to me that there's a tremendous amount of imagination, and even a sublimity to some of these action set pieces, that they're very much expressive and spectacular and afford all kinds of possibilities in that regard that the so-called psychological just falls short of in many, many ways, you know? It's hard to be on point in conversation like this, it's hard to articulate on the spot, but yeah, because we no longer have recourse to these ideas of high and low, none of us - I just see in these films all kinds of possibilities.

Q: Do you think all love is traumatic?

I was referring to the abstract, theoretical explanations for romantic love in our culture. What it is, and what it means. Invariably, I start going down that road, and end up alienating people. I could go down that path, but it’ll get murky.

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John Maus: Ariel and I, we go way back, when I first went to school in LA in 1998, and I met Gary when he played in the first incarnations of Haunted Graffiti. And then JJ, it was kind of interesting, she just got kind of got in contact with me, I'd never met her face to face and said she wanted to do a video for the song that wasn't on any of the albums. We corresponded, and we have a very strong interest in Giallo film, and we both feel that this is a neglected, critically neglected form, that it offers possibilities and these kinds of things that the so called art films just don't afford. So we united around that mutual wager. She came out here a few months ago from LA and we did some videos.

Q : When you're talking about genre, especially horror or action, as being sort of a language that you don't see in art films, you've talked about this in other interviews, about music, about pop being able to say things that serious art music can't. What are your thoughts on what kinds of different vocabularies both in film, and in sound, can contribute, how you can use them to communicate different things.

NEXT WEEK HE A R FROM NICK Y MA NAGE

K A N Y E & MAUS GO ONE ON ONE

Q: It seems like you met with a whole group of people that share a certain sort of romanticism for old technology, certain sounds, certain visual and sonic textures that kind of evoke a sonic spirit of video nostalgia--you know, the whole thing of hanging around in the late 80s, early 90s and just watching crap VHS tapes and hearing these kind of distorted sounds come out, sort of filtered through having grown up listening to soft rock and that certain kind of synth sound from fantasy themes. How did you find all these other people, um, I'm thinking of people like JJ Stratford (director of the web series The Micronauts and several of Maus' videos), Ariel Pink, Gary War, Geneva Jacuzzi...who have a similar aesthetic?


FILM


Meshes of the Afternoon

Maya Deren & Alexander Hammid Film Review By Kanye West

Meshes of Afternoon, is one of the significant and independent experimental film in 1940’s. Influence by Sigmund Freud’s theory, Maya Deren expressed her subconscious mind through dream. Familiar household objects and repetitive tasks reveal her unconscious wishes regarding her relationship.


THE MOST SIGNIFIC A NT EX PERIMENTA L FILM MA DE IN THE 40’S

Maus is a talker; he gets excited about ideas and then describes and re-describes them to communicate precise lines of thoughts, like the kind of lecturer who really wants to make sure he's understood and hopes he's challenged by his students. Transcribing this went well over 20 pages and gave me carpal tunnel, but that's cool. His main argument is that we need a new language to talk about how people relate to each other that goes beyond lofty references to theorists with tongue-twister surnames or the kind of blogging that is so subjective and neophiliac that it degenerates into slanging matches of who got where first best. So where this conversation goes is also where it falls apart, suspended between talk of singularities and theorists and all the filler of 'awesomes' and 'you know what I mean's and lots of other vocal tics that happen when your brain's racing faster

Myth is the facts of the mind made manifest in a fiction of matter.

— Maya Deren

called Avant-garde artists.1 Maya Deren was one of the prominent Avant garde visual artist. Her films had both real and surreal qualities. At the time of making Meshes of the Afternoon, Bauhaus, Dada and Futurism art movement was at their peak. The art movement combined with radical ideas and aesthetic beliefs. They believed that design in all of its forms can bring social changes. Deren’s films were influenced by those art ideologies. Films by Deren are visually challenging and have rhythm, emphasis and . The film is edited by a famous cinematographer Alexander Hammid who was Deren’s life partner at that time. Meshes of the Afternoon do not contain any dialogue. The music in the film is by Teiji Ito which was added in 1959

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In Meshes of Afternoon, Deren didn’t make radical changes on technology, she experimented with visual language to express her vision. —In the mid Nineteenth century the society and the economy were changing rapidly. At one hand, the world was recovering First World War; on the other hand, Second World War was approaching. Increasing Industrial production and improvement of technology affected film and print media. In 1938 the studio monopoly ended in America. Many low budget and independent film makers approached with fresh and new idea to express their vision. Artists and the filmmakers who ruptured “the comfortable familiarity and cultural continuity and visually experimented art”, are

than your mouth, when you're trying to talk about important and complicated things without coming off as an alienating, pompous asshole bling-flashing the cultural capital. Can music offer the tools to bridge that gulf? John Maus is giving it a go: it's worth thinking about, until language catches up.


DENNIS

OZUS’ WORLD

SCHWA RTZ

MOVIE REVIEWS

MAYA DEREN FROM 1943 UNTIL HER DE ATH IN 1961 LED THE AVA NT-GA RDE MOV EMENT IN CINEMA.

tectable transition from one setting to another (401). In Meshes of the Afternoon it is used to distort the spatial dimensions of the house the character walks through. In one shot in point of view perspective two minutes and thirty-two seconds into the film, the camera’s mobile frame moves up two flights of stairs, and then an aboutface whip pan gives a view of the room at the base of the stairs, instead of the two flights of stairs that should have been behind the camera. The distortion of space serves to disorient the spectator, which is again the effect that conventional techniques are used to avoid. This makes it more possible to understand what is being shown without construing it as part of a continuing narrative. —Another conventional technique used to disorient in Meshes of the Afternoon is the match on action. In conventional film, the match on action is used to show one character’s movement in two separate shots juxtaposed so as to create continuity and again allow the spectator to see him- or her-self as viewing an action that is actually occurring (315). In Meshes of the Afternoon, the match on action is extremely puzzling, as it often matches actions that could not follow from one another. In one scene, the legs of the characters are shown from the side in a medium close-up as she walks from left to right. Several match on action shots in which she takes one step in each shot creates an uninterrupted twelve second scene involving the character walking a short distance that begins ten minutes and fifteen seconds into the movie. However, the character walks through five different environments in the five shots; first a beach, then a dirt field, then through grass, then a concrete sidewalk, and finally a rug indoors. This follows the conventional use of a match on action to create the effect of continuous movement, but in doing so shows a scene that defies the classic film’s narrative form. It cannot be understood in terms of a narrative why the character is walking through different environments as she goes as there is no explanation in the film’s plot, so the spectator must see the movie as separate events that are not related in a narrative sense. —Meshes of the Afternoon defies the stylistic rules of conventional film, sometimes by using conventional shots, in order to make the film difficult to follow as a narrative. By using conventional continuity techniques in ways that thwart a continuous narrative, motivation becomes extremely unclear, and the causality of events becomes difficult to follow. This results in many of the scenes in the movie being construed as unmotivated or uncaused. It becomes obvious that the movie cannot be watched as though it is a narrative film, with motivation and causality driving the plot and linking scenes

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Maya Deren and Alexander Hamid’s Meshes of the Afternoon is a unique and complex abstract film. The form of Meshes of the Afternoon consists of several themes and repetition of these themes within the movie, which is common in abstract film (Bordwell and Thompson 149). The movie is made up of numerous objects, actions, and scenes being shown several times throughout the film. While the form of the film is usual of an abstract film, some techniques of Meshes of the Afternoon are more often found in conventional films. —Like many experimental or abstract films, Meshes of the Afternoon defies conventional style. Conventional film is shot and edited in such a way that the style of the film makes the spectator feel that he or she is watching events being actually played out, and not a film being shown. This helps the spectator to follow the narrative form of conventional film. One of the main goals of abstract film’s style is to make the spectator aware of the fact that what is being watched is in fact a film, nothing more than scenes of objects and events following each other (149). This helps the spectator see the separate themes and their variations often found in abstract film. While Meshes of the Afternoon defies the stylistic rules of conventional film and also its goal of making the spectator feel that he or she is watching events taking place, it also uses several techniques common in conventional film. Meshes of the Afternoon uses techniques often used to make the narrative form easier to follow in conventional film, but uses these techniques to make the spectator see the film as non-narrative, which highlights the themes and variations that compose the film’s form. —Meshes of the Afternoon’s stylistic techniques often get in the way of understanding the movie as a film with a narrative form. Some of these techniques are used in conventional film, and lend to the narrative form. In several scenes in the film, the camera “looks around” from a position in which we have just seen a character. These shots seem to be point of view shots, but the camera then moves to angles and positions that would be impossible from a first-person perspective, or the character will walk into the shot. Point of view shots are used in conventional film to show the spectator what the character is looking at (264), but in Meshes of the Afternoon, this is not so. It instead disorients the viewer and makes what is being shown harder to understand as trying to convey a narrative. The point of view technique is used to show unconventional scenes that serve more to confuse than to clarify. —Meshes of the Afternoon also distorts the spatial dimensions in the movie. The technique of the whip pan is used in conventional film to create an almost unde-


Ye' Issue One  

Arts & Culture Magazine Curated By Kanye West

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