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issue 17


TÄNK STORT. TÄNK MINI. Vi älskar dig som vågar tänka stort – som vågar gå din egen väg och utmana det skrivna. En MINI kan vara betydligt större än vad man tror. Förutom att vår plug-in hybrid rymmer fem vuxna levererar den en härlig körupplevelse, en förmånlig bränsleekonomi och har 224 hk, ALL4 fyrhjulsdrift, automat och navigation som standard. Och med mer plats kan du släppa på begränsningarna för att ge dig ut och upptäcka livet med MINI.


Generate Issue 17 Winter is coming to an end, saluting the return of nature as it recedes from view. The brighter days and first rays of the spring sun are immediately bringing a boost of energy, feeding the growing sense of opportunity and hope in the air. Embrace this energy to achieve your desires that seemed so far away during the darker months. Ask yourself, “Am I working towards the goals I set myself, towards becoming the person I want to be?” Spring is a time of opportunity, a time to put ideas into practice, it’s a time for action. Whether that means creating beautiful art or music, sharing important ideas or influencing people around you, it’s time to become the person you wanted to be. The world needs more action-takers, people who won’t shy away from challenges, who don’t hesitate to take the leap. That person can be you. As the Greek philosopher Plato said, ”Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.” To celebrate this season of opportunity and our five-year anniversary, we wanted to inspire you by sharing the stories of individuals who have gone their own way in life and who are generating real change in the world around them. Let’s take inspiration and generate a better future for all of us, too. COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: chuck reyes. Styling and art direction: mari david. Hair: sayaka otama. make-up: mayu yamaji. model: maisie dunlop at oui. Shirt by Rouge Margaux, mask goggles
by Smith

Marketing Assistant Editor-in-Chief Pejman Biroun Vand (Stockholm) Frida Björk (Stockholm)

Art Editor Ted Hammerin (Tallinn)

Creative Direction See Studio (London)

Beauty Editor Céline Exbrayat (Paris)

Tech Editor Ashkan Fardost (Stockholm)

Fashion Co-ordinator Karolina Brock (New York)

Paris Editor Mari David

Content Co-ordinator Ulrika Becker (Stockholm)

Berlin Editors Veronika Dorosheva Ole Siebrecht

Contributing Photographers Julia Grossi (Berlin) Danny Lim (New York) Sarai Mari (New York) Alexander Neumann (New York) Johan Nilsson (Stockholm) Chuck Reyes (Paris) John Scarisbrick (Stockholm) Felix Swensson (Stockholm) Wanderlust (Paris) Tobias Zarius (Paris)

Web developer Iris Löthén (Stockholm) Marketing Co-ordinator Petter Bladlund (Stockholm)

New York Editor Angel Macias Music Editor Jonatan Södergren (Stockholm)

Contributing Fashion Editors Mari David (Paris) Veronika Dorosheva (Berlin) Gorjan Lauseger (Stockholm) Samantha McCurdy (Los Angeles) Natalie Olenheim (Stockholm) Allyson Shiffman (Stockholm) Haruka Suzuki (Paris) Contributing Editors Petter Bladlund (Stockholm) Jonas Hallén (Göteborg) Tor Bergman (Stockholm) Jonas Kleerup (Stockholm) Austin Maloney (Stockholm)

Printing MittMedia Advertising © 2019. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without permission from the publisher. The views expressed in the magazine are those of the contributors and not necessarily shared by the magazine

The Forumist AB Sveavägen 98 113 50 Stockholm SWEDEN


Silver Linings

Enliven your beauty look with precious metallics and pigments that pop — it’s time to face the world head-on Photography by Tobias Zarius Make-up by Céline Exbrayat using Kryolan this page: HD Micro Foundation Smoothing Fluid in 300, Satin Powder in Silver, Cream Blusher in Coral and Lip Emphasizer by Kryolan. Earring by @mydaughterisbetterthanyours opposite page: Colouring Vision Palette in White and Silver, HD Skinliner by Kryolan. Hoodie by Le Studio Pierre


this page, TOP: HD Micro Foundation Smoothing Fluid in 300, Pure Pigments Metallic in Pure Silver and High Gloss by Kryolan. Headpiece by Sachiko above left: Colouring Vision Palette in White, Gold, Green and Pink by Kryolan. Headpiece by Sachiko above right: HD Micro Foundation Smoothing Fluid in 300, Pure Pigments Metallic in Pure Blue and Pure Magenta, Eye Shadow Variety in White and Lip Emphasizer by Kryolan. Earring by @mydaughterisbetterthanyours opposite page: Eye Shadow Variety in Yellow, Blusher in Mandarin and Colouring Vision Palette in White, Green and Red by Kryolan Hair: Sachi Yamashita Model: Darina Toropova at MP


Can’t Stop the Music Jocke Åhlund’s multiple bands and projects and Blenda’s genre-defying tracks and burgeoning label are only some indication of their creative output. The Forumist caught up with them to talk about their ambition, artistry and drive

Words by Austin Maloney Photography by Felix Swensson Styling by Natalie Olenheim Special thanks to Fred Perry Over the past few decades we have witnessed a stream of fascinating subcultures, whose styles and cultural significance have come to influence the music we listen to, the food we eat and the clothes we wear. Often based around a sharp eye for fashion and style, well-dressed groups such as mods and Britpop aficionados have created their own lifestyles and ways of dressing, building a sense of belonging and affinity among them. Through their now-iconic looks, these groups have made stylish polo shirts, well-fitting jeans and impeccable boots staples in many wardrobes around the world. And one brand has been the uniting force for them all: Fred Perry. Having appeared on daring artists and celebrated groups such as Oasis, Paul Weller and Amy Winehouse, Fred Perry and its instantly recognisable laurel wreath logo is, to this day, an emblem of unity. The connection to music has always been strong, and artists from all over the world have embraced the originality and stylishness that Fred Perry has come to symbolise. And to celebrate the fantastic originality and creativity of the Swedish music landscape today, The Forumist met with two artists who don’t shy away from expressing themselves, and who, through their abundant and varied creativity, have generated their own identity, inspiring others around them to generate their own style and way of life, regardless of who they are and where they come from.

Jocke Åhlund Even if the name Jocke Åhlund doesn’t ring any bells for you immediately, you’re bound to be familiar with his work. The musician, producer and music-video director makes music at almost factory-output levels of consistency, all stamped with his unique sound. And his more than 20 years in the rock game have produced some memorable songs, from the manic rock funk of Teddybears’ Cobrastyle (a song later covered by Robyn) to the motorcycle growl of Caesars’ Jerk It Out. Last year, most of Åhlund’s attention was taken up by another of his bands, Les Big Byrd, who released 08

Iran Iraq IKEA, their first studio album in four years. Les Big Byrd’s soaring krautrock is another reminder of Åhlund’s ability to span genres – between all his bands, his creative energy leads him to explore a vast range of sounds. Iran Iraq IKEA had a difficult gestation, but the response to the record proved to Åhlund it was all worthwhile. “I feel like it was definitely worth the hard labour – if I’d left the album unfinished, it would have been a big failure, but I’m really happy with how it all came out, and that is the most important thing to me,” he says. “And then, of course, it doesn’t hurt that we got great reviews in both the Swedish and international press, and got nominated for Swedish Grammis both for the rock album of the year and me for producer of the year.” Åhlund’s way of working, with multiple projects always in play, means you can never take your eye off him and assume he’s limited himself to one project at any one time. Not long after Iran Iraq IKEA was announced, he dropped the bomb that Caesars were also on the way back to the live scene, with a slot at Stockholm’s Popaganda festival followed by more dates around Sweden. “That was more of a coincidence,” says Åhlund. “Frans, the bass player from Les Big Byrd, booked Caesars for a private Christmas gig at the bar where he works, so we got everyone back together and did that. That was meant to be just a one-off thing, but someone saw it and offered us a spot to headline the main stage at Popaganda in Stockholm last August. We all felt like that was super-fun to do, so when we were offered a couple of other really good gigs, we accepted those as well. But as far as recording plans go, there are none at the moment. But I guess you never can tell for sure.” Even though his relentless creativity in music would be more than enough to occupy most artists, Åhlund also directs his energies into the non-musical aspects of his bands, with the striking cover art chosen for Iran Iraq IKEA, taken from an image by the artist Gunnar Thorén, being a powerful introduction to the album. “The visual side of things is super-important, of course,” he says. “I’m trying to create more than just music as an artist. I think that everything you do is part of a world that you are trying to build around the project, and the visual aspect as well as what you say in interviews, and what you wear, is a part of how you project yourself as a band or an artist. I don’t feel you can ignore any of those elements or let other people do them for you. I grew up with the DIY ideals of punk rock, so it’s always been pretty natural to me. Plus, of course, if you can’t afford to let other people do stuff for you, you’re kind of forced to do them yourself. But that doesn’t mean that I do everything

myself – I collaborate with a lot of very talented people, such as Gunnar Thorén.” The Jocke Åhlund factory is already running at full speed as we move further into 2019. “I’ve got so much stuff I want to do. I’m in the midst of starting my own label, Chimp Limbs, and through that I’ll start putting out even more stuff this year. Plus, more stuff with me and [the Swedish artist] Jockum Nordström – we have three albums out now and we’ve already come quite far in making the fourth. Plus, more stuff with Les Big Byrd, of course. We’re not done touring yet, but on days off, we have started making material for the next album. I’ve been touring a little bit with mine and Jockum’s band, too, plus Teddybears, so it’s kind of hectic actually. But I like to stay busy, I guess – it gives you less time to think about death and Armageddon.” @jockeahlund

This page:Two-coloured knitted button-neck top. opposite page, from top: Taped tracksuit jacket, twill checked shirt, embroidered tracksuit trousers and tassel loafers. Twin-tipped top (M3600) and embroidered tracksuit trousers. Two-coloured texture knit top and embroidered tracksuit trousers All by fred perry

Blenda Though she’s only been officially active for a couple of years, since the release of her debut single Chill in 2017 Blenda has already marked herself out as one of the Swedish music scene’s rapidly rising stars. Across five singles, she’s showcased her effortless ability to flit between genres and styles, from soft neo-soul on Exe’s Vibe, to thumping electro-pop on Chill and funkflavoured dancehall on Payday. But, supremely self-driven, Blenda isn’t one to get caught up in the industry’s stardom flow. Despite her relatively short stint in the “biz”, she’s already found herself running into walls and struggling with some of its worst drawbacks. Last year’s release, Payday, was followed by a long pause as she tried to figure out what she really wanted from her career. Her return this year, the tender, dreamy ballad Funeral, proved that she’d lost none of her spark in the time she’d been away. Blenda’s interest in music started in her childhood. Raised in the Stockholm suburb of Vällingby by her Congolese parents, her father played guitar in the local church and was a major inspiration for the young artist-to-be. “My father was my first introduction to music,” she says. “He introduced me to James Brown, Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5 and Aretha Franklin, among many other legends. My father himself was a songwriter and produced many songs just for himself, and he played the guitar and bass. It’s too sad that he hasn’t done anything with those songs that he wrote, but I guess that’s where I come into the picture.” Blenda’s musical inspiration comes from the very depths of her soul, from the three factors that make up who she is: her faith in God, her feminist ideals and her Congolese roots. “Those three facts are my facts, which means that it’s my truth and I need to stay true to myself. That’s the only thing I owe myself and the people around me.” Success came fast to Blenda once she had released Chill, but her determination to be in full control meant that she soon decided it was time to put the brakes on and consider the artist she wanted to be. “I had a period where I didn’t feel genuine to myself and to my work,” she says. “I hated everything that I was

This page, top: Twin-tipped top (M12) and embroidered tracksuit trousers by fred perry. above and far right: Embroidered 1950s tracksuit jacket by Fred Perry x Amy Winehouse Foundation, Twin-tipped top (M12) and embroidered tracksuit trousers by fred perry. right: Bold striped piqué top and embroidered tracksuit trousers by fred perry Opposite page: Bold checked shirt and vinyl-collar piqué dress by fred perry hair and make-up: Elva Ahlbin


doing and the woman I was becoming. I didn’t listen to myself – all I was doing was trying to be wanted and accepted in the music industry. In that, I think I lost my voice and my authority. So I decided to take a break from the music, to ask myself what I wanted and who I wanted to become.” That period of reflection resulted in her re-emergence as a solo artist, releasing on her own label, SION, in full control of her creative and commercial ship: “SION gives me the ability to create with no boundaries, and to me, that’s freedom and power.” After creating SION, she returned with Funeral, a beautifully sad song that’s the sound of Blenda opening up and showing her vulnerable side. That it’s already been a popular release doesn’t surprise her, as she sees it as a song with universal appeal. “Who hasn’t been taken for granted? Who hasn’t been heartbroken? Who hasn’t asked themselves, ‘Why am I here?’ Or, ‘If I wasn’t here what would you do?’ Or the most interesting question that I think every human has asked themselves at least once, ‘What would you say at my funeral?’ That’s what Funeral is about, being taken for granted.” Now in full control of her own destiny as an artist, Blenda’s got a big year ahead. Norway’s famous showcase festival by:Larm was already booked when we spoke, and she’s also heading out on tour with celebrated Swedish rapper Erik Lundin. “I have so many surprises for you guys, you don’t even know,” she says. “I’m going on tour now for eight weeks, so that’s going to be really fun.” Her strength and self-confidence is evident in her position, in control of the whirlwind that is her career. It can be hard to take so much on, and to have that much duty and responsibility, especially when it’s to yourself. But the vulnerability that she showed on Funeral is also part of her creative identity, and her total honesty means she would never hide it. “Yes, of course it’s hard sometimes. But I’ve chosen to be an artist, so I think I have a responsibility to try to do my best to tell my truth and to open up.” @blendaofficial


The New


Look closer: delicate fabrics and softer silhouettes are perfect for hiding subversive elements you’ll fall in love with. Or could it all just be a dream? Photography by Wanderlust Styling by Haruka Suzuki this page: top, dress and trousers by Savoar Fer, earrings by Justine Clenquet OPPOSITE PAGE: Sarah wears jacket and top by 9-1ppm, earring by Justine Clenquet, bloomers and socks by Baserange; Pia
wears dress by Nicolas Lecourt Mansion, bra top by Baserange, earrings by Justine Clenquet,
stockings by Calzedonia



this page, TOP, from left: Top and dress by At-One-Ment by Wanbing Huang, earring by Justine Clenquet. Top and skirt by 9-1ppm, cycling shorts by Drag and Drop, earring by Justine Clenquet, socks by Baserange ABOVE, from left: Dress by 9-1ppm, bra top by Drag and Drop, earring by Justine Clenquet, stockings by Calzedonia. Pia wears top by 9-1ppm, turtleneck stylist’s own, trousers by Baserange; Sarah wears top and dress by At-One-Ment by Wanbing Huang opposite page: Top by 9-1ppm,
turtleneck stylist’s own, earring by Justine Clenquet Hair: Kyoko Kishita Make-up: YOYO Models: Pia at IMG and Sarah at Supreme Casting: Victoria Machmudov Special thanks to: Martine RV



New World Order For Sharon Van Etten, the times might be a-changin’, but she seems to have figured out just what she’s looking for. The former folk singer-songwriter has been reborn and found herself straddling the worlds of music, acting and parenting Words by Jonatan Södergren Photography by Danny Lim Styling by Angel Macias With a little help from her friend the demon producer John Congleton, Sharon Van Etten’s new album, Remind Me Tomorrow, takes a leftish turn to atmospheric, new-wave-infused soundscapes, and the result is just as exhilarating as it sounds. Much has happened in the five years that have passed since the release of her widely acclaimed record Are We There. She tells us that every year since she took time off from the road has been different from the one before. “When I decided to take a break in 2016, I applied to go back to school. Two weeks later I got asked to audition for a TV show and, taking my chances going to the audition, I ended up getting the job. It’s for the first season of The OA on Netflix.” Having decided to defer her enrolment until the following autumn, she took the role. By then she had also been approached about writing the score for Katherine Dieckmann’s film Strange Weather. “So that year, I ended up acting, doing the score and going back to school. But in there somewhere, I got pregnant and went to school pregnant. When I finished the semester, I had three months before I had my son. And I just worked on music until I had him. I got to be a full-time mum in 2017, which was a nice luxury, to enjoy being home and connect with my partner. When my son was six months old, whenever he took naps I would put on my headphones and listen back to demos.” One day she realised that she had more than 40 demos from the time she left the road in 2016 to the autumn of 2017. “That’s when I decided to make the record. I made it at the beginning of last year and then I’ve been in school. I went to school straight from finishing the album. So it’s pretty nonstop and every year has been very different.” The sound on this record is more ambient. “One of the things I noticed when I started going through the demos that I wrote from 2015 to 2017 was that the songs I was most drawn to were the ones driven by drones, synthesisers and keys more than guitar. It was a lot of drones and beats, you know? I always have complex melodies and stuff, because that’s usually my favourite part of the writing process. “When I met with John Congleton, he asked me what my influences were for the record. I told him Suicide, Portishead and Nick Cave’s Skeleton Tree, and he just got really excited. We had talked years before about doing something together, but I wasn’t ready to relinquish control of my songs. I like being hands-on in the studio. But I think that I found a point in my life where I knew that I wasn’t going to do anything differently than I did before with my knowledge in the studio. And I wanted to make something different. I knew it was time to work with him. He understood all my influences. He took the songs to another level, for sure, but he also kept a lot of dark tones and enhanced them. “The first day he brought three musicians to the studio. It was Joey Waronker, Jamie Stewart from Xiu Xiu, and Zachary Dawes. We did two tracks in one day – Jupiter 4 and Memorial Day – some of the more psychedelic songs on the record. I mean, they’re all pretty out-there. That being the entrance to working with John, I felt really understood. I felt my demo unfold in a way I had always envisaged but I couldn’t express. I saw studio musicians experimenting with my song and tube things out that I’d never heard before.” She pauses, then: “John’s method is really fun to watch. Because he’ll give everybody a really different reference without them knowing what he told the others separately. Then everyone will come out and start playing, kind of start looking at each other, ‘What are you doing?’ It was a really fun thing to


observe. People sounded very natural, everybody had a really good chemistry, even if they hadn’t worked together before. John handpicked some really special people for this record.” Although she wrote the score for Strange Weather, starred in a Netflix show and appeared in an episode of the revival of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, she points out that the album wasn’t a reaction to those other creative fields she was involved in at the time. “I feel like acting is a chapter just as much as music is a different chapter, just as much as my family is a different chapter. At some point they all intertwine, but I wouldn’t say that being an actor influenced my writing that much, other than it’s a side effect of my time off or when, for example, I was writing the score and hitting a dead end in my music. “When I was working on the score, Katherine [Dieckmann] asked me to play guitar in the style of Ry Cooder’s soundtrack for Paris, Texas. Whenever I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere in the writing process, when I was hitting a wall creatively, I would just put the guitar down. I would play any other instrument to clear my head and ‘cleanse my palette’, so that I could get it out of my system. So I could return to the score work with a fresh set of ears, you know? So it’s not like one would inform the other, because I would clear the stage in order to do something else. I’m the kind of person who can’t do more than one thing at a time.” Combining parenting, studying and rock’n’roll has made her more decisive. “What’s important becomes quite clear when you don’t have a lot of time. I go to school Tuesday and Thursday. My partner and I swap mornings off when we take our son to daycare. Then, during the week I try to study, I try to read and do a lot of domestic things in between, such as preparing meals, cleaning the apartment, providing the things at home that my partner can’t because he works full-time. “I feel like I’m constantly learning how to represent different people, emotions and perspectives. I just feel more deeply about emotions, about love and about relationships that aren’t just between lovers, you know? Being a parent, being a daughter, and being a sister. They’re all very complicated relationships. I feel like I need to discuss that more as well.” While the title Remind Me Tomorrow could be interpreted as a political comment, she points out that it’s intended to be more personal. “It’s definitely a general state of where I’m at in my life. It started as a joke when I was trying to catch up on emails and one of those updates popped up on my computer. I realised that I hadn’t updated my computers for two years. So I just kind of laughed. But then, a lot comes from being a mother, just working too much, and I would say it’s less political and more personal, about what’s going on in my life – how I feel about all I’m trying to achieve.” Now that she’s picked up acting and written film scores, there’s one more thing that she wants to explore. “I actually tried stand-up for the first time this year. I’m not so great on the actual stand-up part, but it made me realise that I’m interested in the writing process of that world. I will probably be experimenting with that in the next couple of years. I love to laugh. I like to make people laugh. I like to watch people laugh, whether it’s something I said or something they watched. But what I’m interested in pursuing personally in the writing side of things is the comedy in day-to-day things. Not in a sitcom kind of way, more like a real-life awkward-situations kind of way. I’m still holding in what it is I want to do, but I have funny ideas all the time.” Remind Me Tomorrow is out now on Jagjaguwar

this page: Shirt by Ellery opposite page, clockwise from top: Top by Priscavera, earrings by Pamela Love. Shirt by Ellery. Shirt and trousers by Arthur Arbesser Hair: Yuhi Kim Make-up: Mariko Arai


Let’s Get

Things Moving

Explore the urban landscape in fun shapes, strong looks and unshakeable confidence Photography by Sarai Mari Styling by Karolina Brock
 top: Mayu
wears coat by Moon Choi, vests by LRS, tights stylist’s own; Austin
wears blazer by Sagittaire A, T-shirt by Diesel, trousers by Acne Studios above left: Dress by Eckhaus Latta. above centre: From top, Austin
wears blazer and boots by Sagittaire A, T-shirt by Diesel,
trousers by Acne Studios;
wears coat by Moon Choi, vests by LRS, tights stylist’s own, shoes by Calvin Luo; Amelia
wears coat by Sagittaire A, vest by Gauntlett Cheng,
 stockings stylist’s own, boots by Hardeman,
bag by Building Block; Jessica
wears body by Faith Connexion,
jeans by Mavi,
belt by Calvin Klein Jeans,
shoes by Laurence & Chico above right: Mayu
wears jacket by Diesel, dress by Gauntlett Cheng, tights stylist’s own, shoes by Calvin Luo; Austin
wears hoodie by Helmut Lang,
 T-shirt and boots by Diesel, trousers by Acne Studios, belt by Calvin Klein Jeans


From top: Austin
wears T-shirt by Sagittaire A, jeans by Helmut Lang, belt by Calvin Klein Jeans, boots by Maison the Faux x Adult Antwerp; Jessica
wears T-shirt by PH5, tights stylist’s own,
shoes by Laurence & Chico; Amelia
wears dress by LRS, stockings stylist’s own, shoes by Calvin Luo

01 17

wears body, tights and platform shoes by Laurence & Chico; Jessica
wears body by Faith Connexion, tights and shoes stylist’s own

32 01

THIS PAGE, top, from left: Mayu
wears jacket by Faith Connexion; Jessica
wears body by Faith Connexion, tights stylist’s own, boots by Diesel. T-shirt by Sagittaire A,
jeans by Helmut Lang,
belt by Calvin Klein Jeans,
boots by Maison the Faux x Adult Antwerp. Jacket by Faith Connexion,
bodysuit, tights and shoes by Laurence & Chico middle: body by Vex Clothing, socks stylist’s own, shoes by Laurence & Chico above, From left: Austin
wears sweater and trousers by Acne Studios, T-shirt and boots by Diesel,
belt by Calvin Klein Jeans; Mayu
wears vests by LRS, tights stylist’s own; Amelia
wears coat by Joseph, top by MISBHV. body by Faith Connexion, stockings stylist’s own Hair: Peter Matteliano at Bryan Bantry Agency Make-up: Caoilfhionn Gifford Model: Amelia Rami at Heroes Dancers: Austin James Diaz at BOX Artist Management, Jessica Pinkett
and Mayu Oguri Photographer’s assistant: Danny Lim
 Stylist’s assistants: Sandrine François, Madison Headlee and Jackiline Arredondo 21

Plug into the Future

This page: Pontus wears Backpack by Hugo Boss; Malaika wears top by Linda Dehkla/ Textilhögskolan i Borås, Skirt by Diesel, Ski goggles by Chimi x J Lindeberg, Bag by Eastpak x Raf Simons opposite page: jacket by Stutterheim, Swimsuit by Calvin Klein, Sunglasses by Prada, Shoes by Gestuz

There’s a revolution going on in the transport world, and it’s electrifying. The Forumist celebrates the ingenuity of two innovators pushing the boundaries in their spheres and sees what happens when their visionary outlooks are brought together Words by Petter Bladlund Photography by John Scarisbrick Styling by Gorjan Lauseger Special thanks to MINI and BIKEID Neon signs, wearable technology, drones, AI and electric transportation. Sound familiar? Thought so. Welcome to the reality of the 21st-century cityscape. With its growing size, pace and technological evolution, the modern metropolis and its many ingenious novelties have become the new standard, playing a permanent role in the daily lives of billions of people around globe. But it wasn’t always like that. For previous generations, the vision of the future, of the present reality we live in today, was shared in cult movies such as Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, and Steven Lisberger’s Tron. This vision, which was conceived by many as a sci-fi utopia, based on naive hope rather than realistic expectation, must have seemed exciting, even far-fetched at the time. What dazzled moviegoers just a few decades ago has, in many cases, become part of our own reality, shaping not only the times we live in, but the exciting future that lies ahead – and this is just the beginning. One area that has seen a rapid development is electric transportation and mobility, ranging from on-screen tech invention to affordable and environmentally friendly transport alternatives – an exciting and hope-inducing development that is likely to pick up pace even more in the coming years. A pioneer currently in the driving seat of this electrified revolution, always exploring and pushing the limits to shape the future, is the iconic car manufacturer MINI. Ever since its early days, MINI has sought to create smart solutions for the issues and urban challenges of the times, seeking to engender a


better, more liveable future. And that’s surely needed. Because even though the sparkling, tech-savvy and exciting advances portrayed in those films are cloaked with a feeling of excitement and possibility, our own reality today is far from perfect. Therefore, these current challenges are being turned into opportunities to change the world for the better. One part of this vision is the the Countryman Plug-In Hybrid, MINI’s contribution to the burgeoning stream of hybrid cars – and MINI will also launch its first fully electric car later this year. With its sleek design, modern aesthetic and electrifying performance, the Countryman Hybrid offers a driving experience and environmental efficiency that previous generations could only have dreamed of. With its unmissable yellow charging port that represents sustainability of the electric initiatives, the Countryman Hybrid is a bridge between the past, present and future, connecting MINI’s timeless design to the needs of our own times and those of the exciting, uncharted decades to come. Another revolutionary that’s generating the future of electric transportation in its own way is the Swedish bike manufacturer BIKEID. Building on the booming e-bike evolution in recent years, which, according to BIKEID’s CEO Jakob Hultman, has been more focused on functionality rather than design, BIKEID has engineered its own electrified contribution, which is the perfect balance between the two. Mirroring the sleek, modern design and performance of MINI’s Countryman Plug-In Hybrid, the BIKEID Diamond e-bike lets you pedal your way into the electric future, giving you a fun and special experience in the process. “There are many reasons to choose electric alternatives, but the most common is that you commute a longer distance and don’t want to arrive all sweaty,” says Hultman. “But we also want it to be a fun and enjoyable feeling.” Its design pays homage to the future and the past, and the performance offers an exciting and sustainable alternative for the urban dweller, regardless of whether you’re commuting to work or heading out on a Sunday-morning cycling adventure with your friends. And with its efficient, streamlined design and weighing under 15kg, you will virtually fly along the roads. It’s a bike for the present and a taste of the great potential that electric transportation will continue to bring in the future, one that Hultman looks to with excitement. “We have a very positive view of the future and we believe that the e-bike will become an important part of biking, especially for the daily commute.” With the emergence of electric transportation and other impressive inventions, who knows what our own future will hold? It’s impossible to know for sure, but one thing is certain: MINI and BIKEID will continue to shape our reality and the way we live and transport ourselves. To celebrate this exciting and hopeful future, The Forumist brought these pioneers together and challenged BIKEID to interpret MINI’s design and innovative spirit. The result? A never-seen-before limited edition of the Diamond e-bike – a marriage of design and philosophy from two brands that, through their inspiring initiatives, will continue to generate a thrilling future, making the world a more sustainable and stylish place in the process. This is just a glimpse of what’s to come.



This page, above: coat BY Concepts d’Odeur, jacket BY Nike, trousers by hugo boss, Sunglasses BY Ace & Tate, Shoes BY Acne Studios left, from top: gilet BY Rave Review, hoodie BY Acne Studios, Sunglasses BY Tom Ford. bra top BY Björn Borg, shirt BY Ida Klamborn, Skirt BY Rave Review. Opposite page: coat BY Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, gilet BY Mackage, trousers BY Ellesse, trainers BY Samsøe & Samsøe


This page, top: Kimono BY By Malene Birger, shorts BY Weekday, Sunglasses BY Tom Ford, Boots BY Ganni. above: Jacket BY Ebba Andresson/Textilhögskolan i Borås, Top BY Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, shorts BY Weekday, Sunglasses BY Prada. opposite page: top BY Dick International/Textilhögskolan i Borås, shorts BY Monki, Sunglasses BY Prada, Bra BY H&M, boots BY Calvin Klein 205W39NYC


Hair: Beata Magnusson Make-up: Martin Sundqvist Models: Pontus at Nisch and 
Malaika at MIKAs Stylist’s Assistant: Vanessa Werkelin


‘The true path to creativity

is to burn out’


After experiencing raging success across the US, the travelling exhibition covering a key year in the life of the iconic artist Jean-Michel Basquiat is finally having its European premiere. The Forumist takes a closer look Words by Ted Hammerin


This spring, the cultural centre Schunck, in Herleen, in the south of the Netherlands, is presenting Basquiat – The Artist and His New York Scene, an affecting show that provides a window into the life and work of the legendary artist during 1979-1980, the year before he became famous. Before becoming an art icon, Basquiat was just like any other kid trying to get by in New York City. This exhibition showcases his output during these crucial 12 months of his life, when he shared an apartment with his girlfriend Alexis Adler on East 12th Street. The selection of work captures the most intimate and complete image of the artist possible. Thanks to the 100 photographs taken by Adler throughout this period, as well as paintings, sculpture and other works by Basquiat, the public are being given the opportunity to follow his path during what might have been the most significant year of development. The New York art scene at the time was booming. The late 1970s and beginning of the 1980s were a time of evolution: the place of art in society was moving from the realm of the upper classes to the

young and hip. Starting out as a street artist in the 1970s, Basquiat first became known for his SAMO graffiti tag, which became the talk of the town as the enigmatic epigrams and short mysterious phrases associated with it started appearing on the streets of Manhattan. One could say that 1979 was the year of real creative exploration for the artist, before painting took precedence, as he pursued music, performance art, drawing and writing with equal, burning passion. The exhibition that saw Basquiat’s breakthrough on the art scene was the massive and legendary Times Square Show of the summer of 1980. This was his first show both as the graffitist SAMO and as a painter. Together with other likeminded artists, such as Keith Haring, Nan Goldin and Jenny Holzer, Basquiat presented a new, groundbreaking way of looking at art. It has been said that show changed the New York art scene forever and the Schunk exhibition includes 50 original works from it. Influenced by Andy Warhol, Basquiat went on to become one of the most-celebrated artists of the era and a key member of the neo-expressionist movement in the 1980s. Although Warhol initially distanced himself from the young artist’s approaches, the 1980s cool kid and the king of pop art later came to form a lasting friendship. In just a few years, Basquiat created most of his career’s important pieces at a tremendous pace. At the same time, he became the first black artist to gain respect from an art world that was changing. By the middle of the decade, he was a fully recognised, wealthy and famous artist, but in August 1988, at the age of only 27, he died from a heroin overdose. Though he was gone, he was never forgotten. He “joined” what has become known as the 27 Club, whose “members” consist of famous

artists and musicians and actors who have died at this age, often as the result of alcohol or drug abuse; Basquiat’s death thus fuelled the hype around his work and talent. And as so often happens, after his passing, his work was universally feted by the art world. In May 2017, a 1982 skull painting of his sold for $110.5m at Sotheby’s New York, making it the most expensive work by an American artist ever sold at auction. Today, the myths and stories about Basquiat and his work continue to engage new generations of art lovers. His premature death, less than 10 years after the exhibition that made him famous, makes the focus of the Schunck exhibition even more fascinating. It allows us a glimpse at the young artist’s progress and helps us understand how he achieved cult status. In a way, what we see is Basquiat in the final days of his innocence. Just as the original exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver in 2017 made waves around the US art scene, the correlating showcase of the exhibition in Herleen is already doing the same in Europe. Not only a broad selection of Basquiat’s early brightly coloured canvases and drawings, it shares precious memories of his daily life spent in New York’s East Village. Basquiat – The Artist and His New York Scene, until June 2; Schunck, Bongerd 18, Heerlen, the Netherlands ( Includes guided tours, film screenings and graffiti workshops

this page, far left: Times Square Show, new york city, 1980; photograph by Francine Keery. top, from left: jean-michel Basquiat performing in the apartment, c1979–1980, Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver; Photographs by Alexis Adler. left: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kings of Egypt III (1982), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; photograph by Studio Tromp, Rotterdam. above: Painted television in the apartment, c1979–1980, Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver; Photograph by Alexis Adler opposite page: Basquiat at work in 1982 in the basement below the gallery of Annina Nosei; photograph by Marion Busch


Fast forward

Original shapes and DIY styling keep things fresh. Why play by the rules anyway? Photography by Chuck Reyes
 Styling and art direction by Mari David this page: Jacket by Dos Gardenias, trousers by Essentiel Antwerp, gloves by Aristide, bag and belt by Andrea Crews OPPOSITE PAGE: Coat by Each x Other, shirt by Pascal Humbert, hat and scarf by Sportmax




this page, top, from left: Coat by Koché, blazer and trousers by DA/DA Diane Ducasse, hair clips stylist’s own. Shirt by Rouge Margaux, trousers by Sportmax, cap by Andrea Crews, mask goggles
(worn around neck) by Smith above, from left: Coat by Litkovskaya, jumpsuit by Each x Other, earring by Victoria/Tomas, bag strap (worn as belt) by Victoria/Tomas x Nico Gianni, trainers by Karl Lagerfeld. shirt, trousers and bag by Pascal Humbert, hat and belt by Litkovskaya,
mask googles by Smith, socks by Falke,
sandals by Sportmax opposite page: Poncho by Golden Goose Deluxe Brand, top by Shiatzy Chen, bag (worn as hat) and gloves stylist’s own, belts by Litkovskaya, trainers by Karl Lagerfeld


this page: sunglasses by Marc Jacobs, body by Litkovskaya opposite page: Coat by Dawei, white shirt with feathers by Sportmax, pink shirt and earrings by Forte Forte,
 turtleneck by Petit Bateau, shorts by Victoria/Tomas, cap by Arthur Avellano,
key ring by Pascal Humbert,
 trainers by Pierre Hardy Hair: Sayaka Otama
 Make-up: Mayu Yamaji
 Model: Maisie Dunlop at Oui Fashion assistant: Daisy Oldfield
 Special thanks to: Alan and Andrea at Studio Kogan, Paris



Ready for Action

Athleisure just got turned up a few notches. Don’t get left behind Photography by Alexander NEumann Styling by Allyson Shiffman and Samantha McCurdy Special thanks to adidas in collaboration with caliroots this page, from left: Coach jacket and Adicolor hat. dustin wears Cozy T-shirt, 3 stripes long-sleeved top, 3 stripes shorts and Samba OG trainers; margarita wears cropped long-sleeved top, basketball shorts, flared tracksuit trousers and Adilette slides OPPOSITE PAGE: Styling Complements cropped tank, Essentials T-shirt, tracksuit trousers and Adilette slides. All by adidas Originals



this page, clockwise from top: baseball top and long-sleeved top by adidas Originals. Trefoil dress, Tracksuit top and tech 3 stripes cap by adidas originals. Trefoil sweatshirt by adidas Originals, trousers by Alexander Wang, sunglasses by Yeezy. Essentials T-shirt, Outline 7/8 trousers and Samba OG trainers by adidas Originals opposite page: dustin wears baseball top, long-sleeved top and Samba OG trainers by adidas Originals, shorts by Yeezy; margarita wears Coach jacket, 3 stripes bra top, 3 stripes shorts, Adicolor hat and Adilette slides by adidas Originals


this page, clockwise from top: Styling Complements cropped tank and Essentials T-shirt by adidas Originals. margarita wears Cozy half-zip top and cycling shorts by adidas Originals; dustin wears Cozy T-shirt, Firebird tracksuit top and Cozy tracksuit trousers by adidas Originals. Reversible tracksuit jacket by adidas x HAGT opposite page: Reversible tracksuit jacket and tracksuit trousers by adidas x HAGT, Essentials T-shirt by adidas Originals, necklace by Mikia hair and make-up: silvia cincotta models: dustin shirley at forD and margarita gambles at freedom

Caliroots, Lästmakargatan 5, Stockholm; 40

Musical innovation often comes from opening your mind to the unfamiliar. We spoke to two artists pushing their respective genres forward with the help of unexpected and diverse influences Words by Jonas Hallén Photography by Johan Nilsson Styling by Pejman Biroun Vand Special thanks to Whyred

Linn Koch-Emmery With the buzz building about forthcoming releases, the Swedish artist Linn Koch-Emmery is certainly turning people’s heads. Over the past two years, she has been increasing her repertoire of melodic indie rock, with her artistry landing her supporting gigs and tours for acts such as Johnossi and Pussy Riot. Her raspy and intimate vocals soar over effectdriven and guitar-focused tracks. It’s the perfect combination of accessible pop elements and powerful concert material. This dynamic became even more apparent with her EP Waves, released last year, which followed the well-received Boys of 2017. On Waves, she was even more explosive and energetic, while preserving her melody-heavy sound that has made her stand out as a songwriter. Having been finding her voice as a songwriter since her early teens, Koch-Emmery has always chosen to sing in English rather than her mother tongue – “Maybe because I naively had my mind set at world domination when I started out. English is not my first language, but songwriting is not rocket science either.” And so, when asked about what rock music needs, she says “good lyrics”. And, apparently, better drummers. She wants to have her mind blown and feel something she didn’t expect to at other artists’ concerts: “Tears are good, at least if they’re in the eyes of the audience.” She’s currently excited about the New York-based indie-rock outfit The Dig, a band whose haziness and most distortion-driven moments resemble her own music. “Their album Midnight Flowers has been my soundtrack to pretty much everything during the past couple of months.” However, she has a much broader palette of inspiration than rock. She also mentions Lil Peep, who died in 2017, and whose merging of emotional rock and hip-hop quickly made him famous as part of the rising genre of emo rap. “He had the ability to make young people feel stuff, me included,” she says. “That itself is more rock’n’roll than anything else.” Koch-Emmery has been known to incorporate her guitar pedals into her live shows in a chaotic manner, where the performance sometimes shifts away from the microphone to the floor. “Sometimes it just makes more sense to turn knobs and push buttons. I never had the patience to learn to play solos.” Perhaps her previous ambitions of world domination weren’t so naive after all, at least in the world of indie music. Koch-Emmery already has a growing international following, in Scandinavia and Europe, as well as across the pond. Up next is a tour that will encompass parts of Northern Europe and England. After that, we can start to get excited about her debut album, which she’s recording later this year. @linnkochemmery

Unlike Jaakko Eino Kalevi, whose fifth album was recently released, Linn Koch-Emmery is yet to release her first. However, everyone already seems to want a piece of her and we can only imagine where she will be musically once she has the same number of albums to her name. The vitality of her catchy indie rock is set to mesmerise a large span of audiences while still staying true to the sonic traditions of her genre. As a lover and creator of synth-based music, Kalevi generates fresh, new sounds, mainly through his exploration of technological tools. Still, he maintains a scaled-back soundscape that is accessible and meaningful, in both musical and lyrical composition. It is intriguingly futuristic in its own way. Even though their musical styles differ, these artists are brought together by their ability to create melodies that heavily characterise them as creators. And one thing is clear: diverse and unexpected influences are fuelling both their distinct sounds.

A Same Kind of Different 42

This page, top: Karolina dress. Above, from far left: Jenna Allover Pear sweater. Karolina dress. Paro Fuity T-shirt Opposite page: Pauline Stripe shirt and Carnot trousers all by WHYRED



Jaakko Eino Kalevi Last October, Jaakko Eino Kalevi released his fifth album, Out of Touch, with this latest addition to his considerable discography showing that his dreamy electronics, rhythmic repetitions and registerroaming voice have come to act as constants. Nevertheless, he is always tweaking and experimenting with new sounds, pushing the envelope without relying on a particular genre. The results are often intriguing journeys through songwriting and astonishing production. With Out of Touch, Kalevi has steadily navigated stripped-down lo-fi and synth-heavy pop, a direction that largely stems from his background in dub. The way his vocals sometimes seem to take the backseat has some similarities to Bibio, while there’s something about his evocative 1980s groove that is reminiscent of Alex Cameron. However, inspiration is inevitably something that shifts over time. “Lately, I have been listening to music kind of passively, without necessarily knowing the artist,” he says. He also mentions an array of artists who inspired him when making the album, who range from the legendary jazz pianist Steve Kuhn and star-spangled funk god Bootsy Collins to Brazilian psych-rock pioneers Os Mutantes and comedian Tim Heidecker and his humorous songs. This somewhat-surprising collection of influences is, at least genre-wise, a good representation of how he is able to repeatedly surprise fans with his unpredictable sonic nuggets. In his songwriting, his dub background clearly manifests itself in his fondness for creating tracks that have melodic synths dancing around a steady beat. “My songs are usually built around a beat,” he

This page, clockwise from top left: Rudy Seersucker Silk-blend blazer and Mills Leaf shirt. Murray Allover Print sweater and Ian Linen trousers. Mills Uniform Leaf shirt and Ian Linen trousers. Mills Pear shirt Opposite page: Vincent jacket all by WHYRED hair and make-up: Sara Eriksson

says. “First I do the drums and then the bass and then build on that.” But the reverse process can be just as useful. “Sometimes ideas come in a different form, though. It could be also a piece of melody. That’s actually great because it is easier for me to come up with rhythmical stuff. Athens was especially an inspiration for many of the songs on this record,” Kalevi says, who alternated between spending time there, in surroundings more unfamiliar to him, and at home while putting the album together. He also mentions other influences on the lyrical themes of his latest release, which are small stories in themselves. “Some thoughts from my youth. A memory of an old song my friend used to play,” he says. “A fortune cookie. Shampoo commercials. Cooking at night. Dream girls and romances that never happened. Unconditional friendship and stupid fears.” Simultaneously ambiguous and specific, they are all elaborated on in this album. Despite being able to make his living through his music – the dream of many aspiring musicians – Kalevi says that even though he appreciates he is in that position, it wasn’t something he was actively aiming towards initially. “I would like to have some other job though. Just as a balancing thing,” he says. “Sometimes I feel I’m thinking too much about myself. Maybe I could be a waiter. Or a bellboy.” Let’s hope he sticks to music. Regarding his future evolution as an artist, he admits he’s playing it by ear. “I’m always after new synths, and that is inspiring and brings new ways of doing things,” he says. “Maybe there is a new direction that hasn’t been present in my music yet. Who knows?!” 45

Making drinks come alive

Bitterness, sweetness and everything in between… What is it that makes a drink blossom? And how can you ensure you get a great drink rather than just a drink? Douglas Anasagasti, an expert in the field of flavours, has the answers Words by Alfredo L Jones Photography by FORUMIST PRODUCTION Illustrations by and special thanks to SCHWEPPES

How does one generate that unforgettable taste experience? In recent years we’ve been bombarded by TV chefs who have been happy to share their “secrets” with us, and this has spread to the world of drinks. The market is exploding with new brands and flavours in both the alcohol department and the sphere of soft drinks. So what is it that makes a drink truly come alive? As with everything in life, it’s all about balance. A good drink has tension – between the elements, such as sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness, temperature, texture and, of course, the alcohol. Douglas Anasagasti is a mixologist and an expert in the terrain of taste. He even helps companies position themselves according to their core values through flavours – often in co-operation with renowned master chefs. But mainly he works with Schweppes, where he is involved in the creation of enchanting new flavours, created to make drinks really bloom.

much bitterness. Just “slap” it a bit, as Anasagasti says – this will give you a hint of that accent you’re after. “For some years there has been a trend towards a more bitter taste in drinks around Europe,” he says. “Italian bitters and ginger beer, sourness and more herbal experiences – all due to the kind of food we’re eating these days. People are also more demanding – we tend to prefer one good glass of wine rather than three less-interesting ones. And when you have started to appreciate a good glass of wine, your taste actually changes. It’s about complexity from then on, and it’s hard to go back.” There is a drink for every occasion, some say, and you can, of course, make a drink any way you like it. After a few gin and tonics we’re not always so fuzzy. Still, there are some tricks that can turn a drink from being just a drink into a really great one – small but important things that make the flavours come alive.

“The word mixologist can sometimes put people off, but we work with flavours and how to adapt them. A bartender is someone who makes the recipe. Someone once said that mixologists care about the drink, while bartenders care about the customer,” he says with a smile. A mixologist like Anasagasti is obsessed with finding the perfect equilibrium. Often people put too much alcohol in an otherwise-pleasant drink. The importance of balance is essential in creating the perfect taste experience, but one should also remember Dorothy Parker’s words: “I like to have a martini, but two at the very most. After three I’m under the table, after four I’m under my host.” Temperature is also key – if a drink is allowed to get warm, it can affect the taste. “[For the perfect gin and tonic] it’s important to fill the glass to the top with big ice cubes, double-frozen if possible, so they don’t melt easily. You don’t want any more non-alcoholic liquid in your drink – you already have the tonic. Its high-quality carbonation is also important in bringing out the flavours. It makes drinks last longer.” The garnish is something that is often given too little attention, but it’s where you’re able to enhance the flavours of the product you’re using. Look on the label to find out what the spirit is made of. If the gin, for instance, has been made with basil, use some basil. Just think of Hendrick’s gin, which is distilled with cucumber – this is where cucumber becomes the perfect garnish. A gin such as Gin Mare, made with thyme and rosemary, gives you two interesting options. Both of them make the drink very different, using the same original product. Also, look at the tonic you’re using and see if there are any flavours you could pick up, such as those found in the Schweppes Premium Mixers series. Or try using a complementary taste, but this is of course a more demanding challenge. Instead of using large slices or chunks of fruit, try using the peel. Often, there is more taste in the peel than in the fruit itself – the taste is what you are after, nothing else. “Take orange peel, for instance,” says Anasagasti. “You get the sweetness but also the light bitterness. And the scent… Remember, 90% of our taste is in our nose. If you close your nostrils, you will not taste anything. Just think of kids holding their noses when eating something they don’t like.” When using a leaf of mint or basil, be careful not to squeeze it too much. If you do, the oil will produce too

Together with Schweppes Premium Mixers, Douglas Anasagasti (pictured top) has created four drinks. Cheers.


FLAVOUR: Schweppes Premium Mixer Tonic & Touch of Lime HONEYED COFFEE TONIC (virgin) Ingredients: 50ml cold-brew coffee, 15ml honey syrup, 2 dashes chocolate bitters, 150ml Schweppes Premium Mixer Tonic & Touch of Lime, ice cubes. Garnish: 8 coffee beans. Glass: long drink. Styling: coffee beans, wood, leather. LIMONCELLO TONICA Ingredients: 50ml limoncello, lime, 150ml Schweppes Premium Mixer Tonic & Touch of Lime, ice cubes. Garnish: basil leaves, 3 slices of lime. Glass: wine. Styling: dried lime or lemon, herbs, olives. FLAVOUR: Schweppes Premium Mixer Ginger Beer RUBY RUBY (virgin) Ingredients: 30ml grapefruit juice, 15ml rhubarb syrup, 150ml Schweppes Premium Mixer Ginger Beer, 8 mint leaves, ice cubes. Garnish: mint sprig. Glass: long drink. Styling: rhubarb, mint, porcelain plates. DARK & STORMY Ingredients: 50ml dark rum, 20ml lime juice, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, 150ml Schweppes Premium Mixer Ginger Beer, ice cubes. Garnish: 2 slices of lime. Glass: tumbler. Styling: limes, chilli, slices of ginger, wood. FLAVOUR: Schweppes Premium Mixer Hibiscus LOVE POTION (virgin) Ingredients: 40ml cranberry juice, 20ml lime juice, 15ml rose syrup, 150ml Schweppes Premium Mixer Hibiscus, ice cubes. Garnish: slice of lime, rose leaf. Glass: cocktail coupe or flute. Styling: flowers, roses, limes. VERMUTARIA Ingredients: 50ml white vermouth, 150ml Schweppes Premium Mixer Hibiscus, 1 slice of orange, 2 basil leaves, 2 slices of lime, ice cubes. Garnish: basil leaf, lime and slice of orange. Glass: copa. Styling: Spain, herbs, tapas, grapes.

Art, Music &Tailoring 55

Place of Origin Berlin doesn’t have to be your birthplace to become the inspiration and sounding board for what you want to do. The Forumist meets four artists who have made the city their home to find out how it fuels their creative fire Words and styling by Veronika Dorosheva Portraits by Julia Grossi

access to and in what ways. I’m thinking here of workers’ uniforms and business suits, but also certain brands and styles as signifiers of a person’s heritage, class, or even a movement or group they belong to.” Does living in Berlin influence your work? “I lived here from 2009 until 2012. Then I took off and lived in many places for a while. After being in San Francisco, it felt very natural to me to come back and live in Berlin again. It had changed a lot. It’s harder to survive as an artist than it used to be. “What I like about Berlin is that it’s big and has many different areas. You can take a tram and in 30 minutes find yourself in a completely different area that is not necessarily reflected in the art scene. The art that is shown across the galleries is quite homogenous and not as multicultural as Berlin actually is. A lot has to change in terms of gender equality – female artists are still underrepresented. “My work is always influenced by where I live, so Berlin has been quite influential lately. I have been feeling quite settled here, more than I used to before, so I guess my work radiates a certain level of comfort and confidence.” What is your take on social media? Do you use Instagram to promote your artwork? “It’s quite a complicated relationship. As an artist I think it’s great to use Instagram to promote one’s work, but I also think it’s important to disengage from it sometimes. I hear about artists who change their practice in order to make their artworks more Instagrammable. That is absolutely unimaginable. This summer I did a series of white paintings on white, and they didn’t photograph well, but I wouldn’t change my artwork for the sake of getting a perfect Instagram picture. In general, I’m trying to get a healthy balance between images of work and personal pictures.”

Aline Schwibbe Tell us about your artistic practice. “I studied painting, but my approach to it was always more conceptual. I usually start with a drawing and I like to use different surfaces to draw on. My artistic language is much influenced by multipleexposure photography. I do layering and I combine things that usually don’t go together, such as abstract and figurative elements. I like clashing of contradictory elements. “In my artistic practice I like to envision and make visible the experiences that aren’t easy to envision or articulate, such as memories and mental processes. I am also very interested in identity, fragmented states of identity and relationships within oneself.” You also work with photography, right? “Yes, I use a camera that is capable of making multiple exposed images. It’s a Minolta XD5. In 2014 I also made a series of double-exposed Polaroids. Unfortunately, the camera broke because it wasn’t supposed to do double exposure and I basically forced it [Laughs.]. I also scanned the negatives myself and I loved the process of it. I am not a professional photographer but I know as much about photography as I need to in order to produce my artworks.” Some of your work features different items of clothing. Why? “I am interested in clothes as tools of expression of one’s identity. It’s like a language. I’ve always been interested in clothing and dressed up a lot as a kid. This past summer, while I was doing a residency in New York, I worked with white women’s blazers. A blazer as a piece of clothing has a meaning, which can differ depending on the person. “Clothing in general can indicate a person’s social status, and thus show what spaces the person has


Jorinde Voigt Does living in Berlin influence your work? “As an artist you are always influenced by your surroundings, the people you meet, your daily routine, and on the greater scale by the society you are living in. In that sense, Berlin does influence my work. I strongly identify with the city. This identification creates a certain energy and opens up potential for creation. When you identify with the city you automatically have a positive starting point.” Please tell us about your artistic practice. “In my practice I am looking for ways of notation and artistic expression of the topics I am interested in at a particular moment in my life. My working process includes the identification of different topics of interest, decision-making regarding materials, and creating the actual piece, which means arranging the topics in a non-hierarchical structure in order to create stability. My work explores the ways of expression of different layers of perception and communication.” Can you take me through your creative process? “First of all I dye white paper with colour in order to create a a starting point. I spread the paper on the floor, walk over it, find the centre and mark my scope. I have to see how far I can reach. It’s important for me to get in the right mood, find the right sensitivity and to get in contact with the paper space from different angles. When it’s done I mark my positions. What follows is the reflective process. I cover the paper with foil. Based on previous marks and positions I cut out shapes and cover them with pigment powder. The next step is sketching, where I employ the typographic model of the torus, a known model of perception that is used across disciplines like cosmology but also topography. I also use the element of rotation and movement in my sketches, which refers to movement and change as an integral parameter of the world.” I really like your Immersion series. The pieces look very similar to one another without being identical. When I look at the series as a whole I think of frames of a film. “Immersion is a time-based series. Each piece has been created one after another and it represents a different moment in time. When you look at the series as a whole you can see the exact connection between those moments. In real life you focus on each moment at a time and you can’t stop and zoom out in order to see the bigger picture. “The Immersion series is a multilayered work. There is a layer of colours, where each one evokes a certain emotion or experience and creates a specific atmosphere. Another layer is created through application of gold. As a top layer it waves through the previous layers and creates nonstop new hierarchy. The series is structured in a musical way. It displays rhythmic actions and motifs that are interconnected.” What significance does colour have in your artwork? “I choose colours depending on whatever colour I worked with in my previous piece. If I used blue before I might feel like using yellow. This way my artworks are interconnected as parts of an ongoing colour-based dialogue. I also think of colour in terms of how it makes me feel and what the psychological and physical effects of each colour are. The blue colour is calming. The yellow has the opposite effect. It’s awakening. These are parameters that influence the choice of the colour palette.”

When and why did you start to work with gold? “In 2010. At the time I had been delving into the work of Arthur Schopenhauer – The Art of Being Happy. I wanted to find a material that could represent philosophical thoughts on the abstract level of visual art. I chose gold because it’s a hermetic yet reflective material. These parameters are also characteristic of Schopenhauer’s philosophy.” How do you choose what you wear? “I choose clothes that allow me to move freely when I work. I don’t follow fashion but I like to watch what people wear. For me, the work of a designer is similar to that of an artist – the designer starts with a drawing, then makes a pattern. They have to re-envision it in 3D as an actual piece of clothing. In my work every created piece is part of a visual vocabulary that can be reimagined, restructured and reused in a different way, bringing a shift in the context or delivering a comment on whatever is going on in society.” What’s coming up for you? “Three exhibitions – at McNamara Art Projects, Hong Kong, Klosterfelde Editionen in Berlin, and the Hive Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing – and a solo presentation at The Armory Show in New York by David Nolan. Each will have a different concept.”

this page, from top: Jorinde Voigt. jorinde voigt, Immersive Integral – Firm Radiance IV (2018/19). Jorinde Voigt, Synchronicity (2) (2015) opposite page, from top: Aline wears jumpsuit by belize. artwork by aline schwibbe; photograph by julia grossi


Constance Tenvik Fashion and costumes seem to play quite an important role in your work. Looking at your drawings and paintings, your characters often wear certain colours or brands, such as Fila or Chloé. Why is this important for you? “I often draw portraits of my friends, so whatever they are wearing becomes part of the artwork as much as little details, like Ritter Sport chocolate on the table. Such details are connected to certain places and memories, and they place the artwork in a specific context in terms of space and time. “This series of portraits is part of my practice that also includes other artistic forms, such as costumes, music, scenography and film. My other work revolves around certain shapes and colours. My drawings can become costumes and more… I’ve always been interested in tableaux vivant – the tradition of making paintings come alive through dressing up and posing. “I don’t come from a fashion background and I never studied pattern making, but I am becoming increasingly interested in these aspects of making costumes. I like the extension-of-the-body aspect of fashion. I save all the costumes that I have designed for my exhibitions so they are part of my personal archive. Whether I ever design a clothing line remains to be seen… But if I do, it will definitely be art for art’s sake and the clothes would have to relate to ideas and memories as much as the rest of my work does.” What topics are you exploring in your artistic practice? “I am a curious person and I’m interested in a range of disciplines and topics, such as history, literature and art. For past shows I decided to go into quite specific stories, such as the tale of Tristan und Isolde. My work [for the show] Soft Armour was based on a very specific historical event, a disastrous attempt to restage a medieval joust at a Scottish castle in 1839. “My current show is inspired by Xavier de Maistre’s A Journey Around My Room, which is about a guy who loses a duel and is put under house arrest and stuck in a room for three weeks or so. He decides to make a big grand journey but he can’t leave the room. The boundaries between his own imagination and a room he is locked in become very blurry. “I also looked at Joris-Karl Huysmans’ À rebours, which also tells of being trapped in a house and in your own thoughts. For years I’ve been making mind maps, which to me is like walking into someone’s head. Making mind maps, reading and thinking are part of my baseline activities and my artistic practice. I’m also interested in the complexities of humanity, such as how you say one thing and feel another, and looking at yourself and your shadow self… ” What’s coming up? “Until the beginning of May, I have an exhibition with five other artists at Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo [where she was born], called Sun and Spring in January. My installation is called Voyage Autour de Ma Chambre. I feel very happy and honoured to be part of this exhibition. I have a big space just for my work. And the organisers even hired a fantastic writer to follow me for a whole year in order to write the catalogue for the exhibition. They really want to give young artists the chance to make their artistic dreams come true. “For this exhibition I made a whole installation with a big woven piece and wallpaper. People can buy the wallpaper, which means they can take a part of the exhibition home. “I will also be having a solo show in London and releasing a publication in Paris.” What is your take on social media, especially Instagram? “I would say I use it as a visual diary. Sometimes it’s a bit of a burden. It can be a bit addictive and exhausting, but it can also be very inspiring. I also use it to show behind the scenes of my working process. For example, for the Soft Armour show I went to Scotland and tried to make a video, which kind of failed but then my followers could see me there and the castle where the tournament took place, which also then became part of the journey and thus part of the artwork.” Does living in Berlin influence your work? “Yes it does, as it’s my base now. I experience things here that I don’t experience in any other city. For example, I find that in Berlin you can meet a lot of people who are interested in spirituality or ways of coming together and collectivity.” 50

Ana Lessing Menjibar Tell us about your artistic practice. “It combines contemporary dance, performance and visual arts. I am working with photography, video, installation and live performance as means of expression. I studied flamenco from an early age, so I am using it as a source of inspiration and as a language in my art. The body serves as a starting point for confrontations with social and emotional topics in relation to space, time or society. “Another big part of my artistic practice is the music. I am creating sound with my own body – not only with my voice, but also with my feet or even based on my heartbeat… I am using digital technology and my body to create a multisensory experience that explores society’s relationship to virtual identity and self-presentation, alienation from nature, and the hyper-realities in which we live. Technology versus human experience is therefore one of the topics I am very interested in.” I was very lucky to witness one of your rehearsals at your studio. How important is sound for your artistic practice? “I was born in Berlin and grew up listening to good, deep electronic music that makes your body vibrate. I also know this sort of electricity that suddenly emerges in your body while you’re dancing. The music creates its own language inside your body by making it vibrate and shake. It’s very physical. I think about music in a physical way. I also like to work with extreme oppositions, like silence versus explosion of sound. I like to push the comfort zone.” You also work with spoken words. “I have always been interested in the Dada movement. I love the typography they developed and the way they worked with words. For a long time I was only interested in how they visualised the language, but recently I started to think about it more in terms of speaking like how spoken words stimulate your body in a certain way. I feel a strong connection to my native language, which is German. This is why I decided to work with German literature/poetry in my performances. When I speak English the words don’t affect me as much as they do when I speak German.” Video and photography are also part of your artistic practice… “My performances are always the base for my photography and video art. I film them and work with them further in postproduction. This production process works like palimpsest in analogy to an old document that shows different layers superimposed on top of one another that affect each other, thus creating a new reality. An actual performance is the first layer, or ‘the past’. The photography or the capturing of the performance on camera is the new layer, ‘the present’. The latter can be turned into a new narrative through postproduction. For my video art pieces I work both in nature and indoors but it’s always about creating body sculptures in space.” Do you use social media? “No, I I feel healthier when I don’t use them. The constant flow of information creates too much noise that affects my mind.” What’s coming up? “Currently I am participating in the performance art master’s programme Solo/Dance/Authorship at [Berlin University of the Arts] Inter-University Centre for Dance, so I am entirely focusing on my research at the moment. I will have my first public performance that I am developing within this program in July at Uferstudios. The final performance will be in December.”

this page, clockwise from top left: Ana wears jacket by jil sander, top by balenciaga. Ana Lessing Menjibar, Tientos (2015). Ana Lessing Menjibar, Buleria (2015). Ana Lessing Menjibar, SOMATOWAAGE (2016) opposite page, clockwise from top: Constance wears top and trousers by Kenzo, sunglasses by Gentle Monster, earrings by Julia Seemann. installation views of Voyage Autour de Ma Chambre (2019), Sun and spring in january exhibition, Astrup Fearnley Museet, oslo; photographs by Christian Øen thanks to: Celia Solf AT, Phoebe at fakepr, berlin, Kenzo and Josephine at reference studios


The Puppet Master With his eerie animatronic figures, the artist Jordan Wolfson is able to hold the viewer transfixed. And his new video work at Moderna Museet is having the same spellbinding effect Words by Jonas Kleerup Portraits by John Scarisbrick In Velvet Buzzsaw, the recently released Netflix horror movie set in the art world, Jake Gyllenhaal plays an influential art critic who visits Art Basel Miami. In one scene, he dismisses a high-tech robotic sculpture on display: “Wolfson, Female Figure, four years ago… An iteration. No originality, no courage.” Having his name and work mentioned in a major film about the art world is clear evidence of the status the 38-year-old American artist Jordan Wolfson has achieved. Wolfson’s Female Figure of 2014 is an elaborate robotic sculpture in a dirty but seductive outfit that dances in front of a mirror it’s permanently attached to with a pole. Her face is covered with an evil-looking Venetian mask and, through it, her dark, piercing eyes glue themselves to the viewer in the room as she dances to pop songs and delivers monologues. The robot was created using animatronics (the technique first used by Disney in the early 1960s), combined with a facial-recognition programme that controls her gaze. Wolfson worked over a long period with Hollywood technicians to create the work, which instantly had a huge impact on the art world.

In 2016, while running around galleries in Chelsea, New York, I stumbled upon Wolfson’s Colored Sculpture at David Zwirner: it left me stunned. When you’ve seen numerous artworks in all types of media throughout your life, you rarely get that affected. But witnessing a giant puppet-on-a-string type of Howdy Doody doll being dragged around the gallery floor by heavy chains suspended from a mechanised gantry was something completely different. The puppet’s hypnotic blue eyes follow you throughout its tortuous performance and a strange kind of relationship develops between it and the viewer. The heavy physical presence in combination with the digital technology (the puppet’s eyes also have facial recognition) create a theatrical sensation that is hard to shake off. Suddenly, a Percy Sledge song comes over loudspeakers at high volume, almost bringing you back to reality. When asked about the music he often mixes in, Wolfson says, “The way I choose it is intuitive. I’ll hear hundreds of songs and try them for size in my head, but the ones that work are the most effortless intuitions and I just see it with the imagery and so I trust it.” What about popular culture in general? It is so present in all of Wolfson’s work that I wonder if he still can consume popular culture. “I don’t really try to see culture. I’m just looking out at it and when I purposely open myself to the space of a new project, things organically come in.” Moderna Museet in Stockholm is currently presenting Riverboat Song, a recent video work by Wolfson that the museum has purchased for its collection. Despite being video, this installation is also


very physical – the room is filled with lush purple carpet and the giant screen faces the back wall so you almost have to squeeze yourself in front of it. The animation features a typical Wolfson character getting chopped up by a witch, as well as smoking rats in an aeroplane. Such scenes are mixed with found videos from the internet, including of how to slice an apple and a rough beating. It’s over the top, weird and thought-provoking all at the same time, almost dreamlike. Working with so many technologies, what impact does Wolfson think they all have on our minds? Is our ability to differentiate between the real world, the online world and our minds and dreams altered by what we see? “I think they are all separated by physical activity and our bodies’ position. For example, I’m sitting on a desk chair typing to you with full attention, when I’m looking at VR I’m standing up, when I’m surfing the internet maybe I’m leaning more forward and my body is at ease. For me, consciousness is consciousness divided by physical body orientation.” Wolfson’s first solo gallery exhibition took place at Brändström & Stene in Stockholm in 2002, so his present show at Moderna Museet is not his first time in Sweden. While studying for a BFA in sculpture at Rhode Island School of Design, he also took part in an exchange year at Konstfack, so I wondered how strong his connection with the Swedish capital is. “I’m not nostalgic, so I don’t have an emotional response to being back, but it is very nice to see old friends,” he told me when we met briefly during the installation of Riverboat Song at Moderna. And as for what’s next… “I’m beginning a new VR work, an animatronic work, and a series of graphic works focused on JFK Jr.” Riverboat Song, until September 1; Moderna Museet, Stockholm (

top and below: Jordan Wolfson, Riverboat Song (2017), Stills from digital video, 7:28 minutes, © Jordan Wolfson. above: jordan wolfson in front of the installation of his work at moderna museet


Clean Energy Not all of us are going to stand by while the oceans drown in rubbish — there are superheroes coming to the rescue Words by Ashkan Fardost A gigantic island of plastic rubbish is floating around in the North Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, as it’s called, is the largest of all the garbage patches we know of. It consists of 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic – as in 1,800,000,000,000. Or 250 pieces per living person. We’re talking 80,000 metric tonnes of plastic debris. Which equals the mass of 500 jumbo jets. The area of this garbage patch is 1.6 million square metres. In other words, three times the size of France. Crazy numbers. To say the least. And not only does the plastic poison and damage the diverse life in the ocean, that poison might reach us humans, too, through the seafood that we eat. And the fact that it’s us greedy, stupid, shortsighted humans that are responsible for creating this garbage patch in the first place doesn’t make it better. Now, you might think I’m about to round this rant off with a metaphorical slap in your face with a bitter aftertaste of environmental shaming. You know, just to

from top: computer rendering of tow-out of the system. northwestern hawaiian islands. System 001 deployed in the Great Pacific ocean patch, october 2018. above: boyan slat, 2016. bite marks on a plastic bottle in the ocean. from far left: visual survey data logging by aerial expedition crew. ocean force one. below, from left: rv OCEAN STARr crew pulling debris from the pacific ocean, 2015. plastic samples collected during mega expedition, 2015


fear and anxiety. With a strategy like this, we can empower each other by referring to the superheroes instead of competing with each other on the ladder of virtue. With a strategy like this, we can spread heroism instead of anxiety. Which in turn will lead to the spawning of even more superheroes. Who in time will have a serious shot at actually solving this grand challenge. One of these superheroes is Boyan Slat. In 2013, at the age of 18, he started The Ocean Cleanup project. The mission was to find a solution that cleans up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Philanthropists, entrepreneurs and various organisations have since funded the project with more than $31m. And now it’s really gaining momentum. It’s estimated that the solution that has been designed by a crew of ingenious engineers will have cleaned up 50% of the garbage patch in only five years. Five years! And by 2040, it’s estimated that up to 90% of the entire garbage patch will have been cleaned away. Crazy numbers. To say the least. The solution consists of gigantic floating containment booms, with a net “skirt” underneath the water’s surface. The structure travels faster than the rubbish, but slower than the fishes, in order to avoid damaging them. The first version has been dubbed System 001 and was launched last September. Everything went according to plan. It seems like the thing works. Which is amazing. To say the least. Slat and his team are great examples of the superheroes among us. And there are of course many more. Let us be inspired and motivated by them a bit more often.

photographs: the ocean cleanup, Matthew Chauvin, Kyler Badten. rendering: erwin zwart

give you even more guilt than you probably already have. And then finish things off with a “spontaneous” selfie of me standing next to a recycling station. About to recycle takeout bags. From the new hip vegan joint around the corner. With the “seasonal” menu and all. But I won’t. I don’t believe in such strategies. I don’t think we can solve global challenges through instilling guilt in others. Because the result, with us being the talking monkeys running around on a rock in space that we are, is usually desperate attempts to expiate our guilt instead of finding actual solutions. Because that’s easier. And gives us instant, short-term gratification. And the very real and dangerous problem of global warming is no exception. I don’t think future historians will look back at this era and say, “Thanks to all the shaming in social media, global warming was finally tackled and we all lived happily ever after!” We can’t solve a challenge like this with an army of climate anxiety disorder patients (it exists, Google it). Anxiety makes us only see the problem and remain completely oblivious to the potential solutions. Also, we just strengthen the contempt of global-warming deniers. More anxiety and global-warming deniers is the last thing we need in this battle. I believe in a strategy where we highlight the people who have dedicated their lives and careers to exploring and deploying actual solutions that can help solve climate change. A strategy through which we inspire each other with positive examples of superheroes and their potential solutions. Instead of virtue-signalling acts that only serve to dampen our own anxiety. With a strategy like this, we can create an army of hopeful and motivated people instead of spreading


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