Page 1

The

Forumist

issue 13

Devotion


TRIBUTE COLLECTION


Devotion Issue 13 The act of devotion is inspired by a strong love, a burning passion for what you do. Different kinds of devotion exist all over the world. It’s something that transcends language barriers, cultures and geography. It is a steadfast commitment, an unfaltering dedication, a spiritual calling to go forward each day to achieve your goal. Our own devotion can be found in the production of the pages of this magazine. Now in its 13th edition, it is evidence of how we are connected to the concepts that founded it more deeply than ever before: diversity, inclusivity and breaking with traditional ways of thinking. We are committed to creating something that finds beauty in unexpected ways, celebrates the details and differences, and does away with limitations set by gender, origin or appearance. Each season, we are driven by our devotion to documenting and sharing the stories of creative individuals from around the world, people who are intensely dedicated to their own form of artistry and craft. With their boundless imaginations and modes of expression, they are transforming our world into the beautiful, unique and diverse place that we find ourselves in. So with this issue we are expressing our appreciation to all these devotees: The Forumist is — and will always be — a sign of our devotion to you. Enjoy. COVER: PHOTOGRAPHY by Edgar Berg. Styling: Julia Quante. Hair and make-up: Rimi Ura at Walter Schupfer. Model: Hanna Halvorsen at Mademoiselle Paris. Coat: Dorothee Schumacher. glasses: Ace & Tate

Editor-in-Chief Pejman Biroun Vand

Beauty Editor Céline Exbrayat (Paris)

Creative Direction See Studio

Paris Editor Sophie Faucillion

Fashion Co-ordinator Emma Thorstrand

Berlin Editors Veronika Dorosheva Ole Siebrecht

Marketing Manager Johanna De Vera Online & Production Manager Eimi Tagore-Erwin Web Development Manager Gustav Bagge

Music Editor Filip Lindström (Sthlm) Art Editor Ashik Zaman (Sthlm)

Contributing Fashion Editors Gemma Bedini (Paris) Nuria Gregori (Berlin) Angel Macias (NYC) Koji Oyamada (Tokyo) Julia Quante (Paris) Hilda Sandström (Sthlm) Claire Sibille (Paris) Contributing Editors Amanda Båmstedt (Gtbg) Johanna Bergström (Sthlm) Eimi Tagore-Erwin (Sthlm) Rosa Wevers (Amst)

Contributing Photographers Edgar Berg (Paris) Daren Ellis (London) Jennifer Endom (Berlin) Peter Funch (NYC) Motohiko Hasui (Tokyo) Laurent Humbert (Paris) Alexander Neumann (NYC) John Scarisbrick (Sthlm) Mehdi Sef (Paris) Dan Sjölund (Sthlm) Elsa Soläng (Sthlm) Gavin Watson (London)

Printing MittMedia Advertising ad@theforumist.com © 2017. 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 info@theforumist.com theforumist.com facebook.com/theforumist instagram.com/theforumist

03


touch

& go Have a brief glimpse into Les Olympiades, a Parisian district where all your needs are met. With its tall towers and modern charm, a sense of timelessness fills the air. But the clock keeps ticking and it’s all too easy to get swept up in the bustle of the Esplanade as you take a moment to breathe in your unique surroundings Photography by Edgar Berg Styling by Julia Quante this page: Coat by Dorothee Schumacher, polo neck by ANNAKIKI, tights by Kunert, shoes by Sandro opposite page: Coat by ANNAKIKI, dress and scarf by Odeeh

04


05


06


this page, TOP: Coat by ANNAKIKI, dress by Odeeh Above left: Coat by Dorothee Schumacher, hoodie by Wunderkind, ring by Lilian von Trapp opposite page: Suit by By Malene Birger, shirt by Maison Père, shoes by Roseanna Hair and make-up: Rimi Ura at Walter Schupfer Model: Hanna Halvorsen at Mademoiselle Paris
 Photographer’s assistant: Clemens Klenk

07


Listen

closely

For thousands of years, the power of sound has been used in cultures all over the world to access different stages of consciousness. The Forumist headed to London to discover how it’s being harnessed to help with selfexploration and fulfilment Words by Johanna Bergström Photography by daren ellis The multidimensional healer Susan Rozo has developed her own approach to sound and light alchemy, which she describes as an art form that can heal and transform through self-exploration and creativity. In her studio in central London, we experience a two-step process that leads us deep within ourselves. During the first phase, we sit upright while Rozo gently talks to us, asking abstract questions that take us to different places in our mind to help start the introspective process. For phase two – a “sound bath” – we lie down, comfortable and relaxed, as Rozo uses different sounds to alter our

For thousands of years, the power of sound has been used in cultures all over the world to access different stages of consciousness. The Forumist headed to London to discover how it’s being harnessed to help with selfexploration and fulfilment

her childhood. However, she still had a dream of one day moving to an even larger and more foreign city. One of the teachers Rozo felt close to told her about London and its many diverse faces, leading her to make the decision to head to the British capital when she was 21 and learn English. It was a huge personal step for her in many ways, but upon her arrival she soon realised she would be staying there for a long time: London was where she belonged. It was also in London that Rozo really began to explore the universe of sound. She was amazed to see how the people around her would immerse themselves in music on a Thursday night, for instance. In her home country, she had experienced music being used in a very different way, most commonly as a part of ritual practices. Through a friend, she found out about The British Academy of Sound Therapy, based in southeast England, where she studied for two and a half years to become a sound therapist. Her studies there helped Rozo to understand the research that backs up sound-therapy methods, but she also felt there was more to be explored in the area and went on to develop her own system. It was an experiential journey that unfolded as she learnt more about different traditional methods from places such as Japan, India and the African continent. She also later had the chance to reconnect with her Andean roots and Amazonian healing methods by becoming involved in projects that support indigenous people in South America. This was a period of deep exploration, where she felt herself taken one step closer to the elements, receiving intrinsic wisdom that contributed to shaping her into who she is now. Rozo talks of always having been led by her heart and spirit in life, which is why she strives to channel her energies towards a greater good. As a sound alchemist, a lot of her work centres on the emotions, and if any of her clients’ issues have an emotional connotation, getting to the root of the issue is key if it is going to be healed. “I go one layer deeper, to connect with the spiritual world. And sound is one way of doing that,” Rozo says, explaining that her sessions are a way of harmonising through rhythm. While there is science behind what she is doing, there is also a complexity to it that cannot really be put into words. It has to be experienced. “It takes strong dedication and commitment to explore sound and tune in with our deepest core and truth,” she says. To her, dedication is crucial and her journey is one of fulfilment: “We can only experience a sense of devotion if the heart is fully in it.” susanrozo.com

level of consciousness until we fall into a meditative state. When the session ends, it feels as though we are waking from a deep sleep. We are rested and energised but also slightly confused: where have we been? And what has happened in the meantime? Rozo explains that alchemy is all about change. Her clients often talk of being dissatisfied with their lives, but unable to pinpoint why they’re feeling like that or find a solution. Which is where sound comes in, says Rozo – as an alternative way to understand and perceive reality. Using different sounds, she takes her clients on an inner journey to explore their flow and equilibrium, until they find a way to move on to a different state of mind. During these journeys, diverse internal patterns or issues are revealed by the client, patterns that have different levels of complexity and, in some cases, may have existed for generations. Some people come to Rozo to open their minds and further their personal development. Others have a more specific issue, such as anxiety, loneliness, a recent loss or other lifestyle-related types of stress. “Sound is an abstract language that is led by a higher intelligence. You can’t really put your finger on what it is – you can only feel it,” Rozo explains. For her, sound is a gateway to opening up yourself to understand a reality that is a lot richer than what most of us experience in our daily lives. Through its own volatility, sound connects us to other abstract parts of the world. Rozo also sees it as a way of breaking down and perceiving music, which as well as being a form of entertainment, is an intangible space that allows us to reconnect with ourselves. Born in Columbia, Rozo grew up in a Catholic family and spent her first 13 years living in the countryside, a lush and diverse tropical environment. The noises of nature were always important to her and she was constantly surrounded by the organic and traditional music of the region. It was a period of balance and harmony that laid the foundations of what is her practice today. Later, while at university in Bogota, Rozo initially struggled to adapt to urban life, which turned out to be so different from what she had experienced during

08

top centre: susan rozo in her london studio. centre: rozo holding a sound bath at ace hotel, london. inset: some of the tools used for rozo’s sound alechemy, all from colombia


Art, Music & Tailoring 01


Day DREAMING What may seem subtle at first, strikes again with a lasting impression. Like a figure in a dream, she embodies a fresh idea of beauty that whisks your breath away. She’s delicate and feminine, but when her gaze of total authority fixes on you, it’s clear she’s not your average daydream. She’s unstoppable Photography by Laurent Humbert Make-up by Céline Exbrayat using Chanel Styling by Claire Sibille

10

this page: Sublimage le Teint Foundation in Beige Doré, Crayon Sourcils Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil in Brun Cendré,
Lumières de Kyoto Blush Harmony, Rouge Coco Baume Hydrating Conditioning Lip Balm. All by Chanel Top by Véronique Leroy, earring by Acne Studios opposite page: Sublimage le Teint Foundation in Beige Doré, Le Crayon Lèvres Precision Lip Definer (on eyes) in Capucine, Inimitable Intense Mascara in Noir, Jardin de Chanel Blush Camélia Rosé, Rouge Coco Gloss in Douceur. All by Chanel



11


12


this page: Sublimage le Teint Foundation in Beige Doré, Crayon Sourcils Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil in Brun Naturel, Lumières de Kyoto Blush Harmony. All by Chanel Top by Acne Studios, earring by Charlotte Chesnais opposite page: Sublimage le Teint Foundation in Beige Doré, Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Stick in Blush 23, Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour in Coco. All by Chanel Dress by Drome, earring by Acne Studios Hair: Sayaka Otama Model: Nova at IMG Photographer’s assistant: Yves Mourtada Casting: Sarah Malka

07


Lose yourself Whether you’re a whirling dervish or a sweaty raver, when the beat gets going, nothing else can get in. That’s how deep devotion to music and dance can go Words by Veronika Dorosheva “What does Devotion mean to you?” The question went through my head. I closed my eyes for a few seconds… DE-VO-TION… The word echoed around my head, bouncing back and forth, and I could see each letter being highlighted, one by one, as though in a PowerPoint presentation, until they dissolved and transformed into two different visual stories. I saw dervishes in their long robes, turning round and round in an ecstatic dance, and I also saw ravers losing themselves to the booming beat of the music inside a dark club, their eyes closed, their hands up in the air. Dervishes and ravers are two completely different crowds and yet, in my mind, they were two sides of one coin, both completely devoted to music and dance. For dervishes, music and dance play a crucial role in their physically active meditation practice. As members of Sufi orders, they implement physical exertions in order to attain an ecstatic trance-like state and reach God (the source of all perfection). Their religious rituals, known as Sema (which translates as “listening”),

include singing, playing instruments and dancing. They seek to abandon their egos and personal desires by listening to the music, focusing on God and spinning their body in repetitive circles, which have been seen as a symbolic imitation of planets in the solar system orbiting the sun. How about ravers? What gods do they worship? What sources of all perfection do they see in their vivid visions? (A big yellow smiley goes in here.) What altered states of mind do they achieve? Those of us who have ever been to a rave can surely answer this in their own words. But how and where was the good old rave born? The movement first appeared during the UK acid house movement of the late 1980s, in London and Manchester to begin with, before spreading to other places and countries. House, acid house and techno music were played at rave parties, which were usually held in warehouses and underground venues. It was something new, a sort of liberation movement, as ravers didn’t actually care what they were wearing. There wasn’t a dress code, as there had been with previous subcultural movements such as hippies in the 1960s and later, punks and skinheads. While scouring the internet for information on ravers, I found the photography book Raving ’89 by Gavin and Neville Watson. Published in 2009, it documented the rave movement in the UK. Its images of kids sweating, rocking their bodies and wearing shades, caught my attention, as well as those of dark, hazy spaces and blurry lights, happy faces and big eyes.

14

But there is more to the movement than that. The early raves were an explosion, a revolution and liberation from everything that came before it. Berlin also has a big rave tradition and is best known for techno parties of any kind. Many legendary clubs have opened and closed their doors several times. Many of them still exist and thrive. While looking for rave images from the early 1990s I found this gem – Zeitmaschine.org (“time machine” in German) – which showcases analogue images shot by Tilman Brembs, who “captured almost every rave party from 1990 to 1997 on 35mm film” while working for the techno magazine Frontpage. Three decades have passed since the first rave parties, and guess what? They are still around and for one good reason: the music has a tremendous power over our bodies and minds. It can heal wounds, it can take us elsewhere and it can make us smile… Berlin is one of the major cities where music has played – and still plays – a crucial role in city life. We who live here are all music devotees – maybe some of us are even music slaves, but we all go raving, dancing, vogueing or jazzing. Music is our devotion.


This page and opposite: all black and white photographs by gavin watson, from his book, Raving ’89 opposite page: centre, whirling dervishes, turkey Š Travel Inn Turkey. inset images, The rave scene as captured by Tilman Bremb (Zeitmaschine.org)

15


Reality

in motion Find your own flow as the world moves around you. Make your way through high-fashion New York City, setting yourself apart by embracing the unexpected Photography by Alexander Neumann Styling by Angel Macias 
 Art direction by Julio Fericelli & Leidy Junco opposite page: Top, trousers and boots by Givenchy

16


17


32


this page, clockwise from top left: Top by Alexandra McEachin; Top and trousers by Rui Zhou, Rong Xiao and Irina Wang; Shirt and skirt by Issey Miyake; Dress by Jil Sander opposite page: Dress, trousers and shoes by CĂŠline

19


20


this page: Dress by Proenza Schouler opposite page: Top by Alexandra McEachin, trousers by Edun Hair: Jeorge Napoleon Make-up: Laura Stiassni
 Model: Afrodita Dorado at The Lions

21


Going the distance While life is in constant progress, dedication is what keeps you grounded and drives you forward. Pale Honey and side effects are two Swedish acts who have moved from one creative point to another, hopelessly devoted to their cause

Words by Amanda Båmstedt & Filip Lindström Photography by Dan Sjölund
 Styling by Hilda Sandström
 Special thanks to Whyred

Pale Honey

Awakening listeners from their dull, everyday life with its raw and uncompromising sound, Pale Honey’s music starts out mild, but escalates quickly to a roar that’s impossible to ignore. The duo behind it, Tuva Lodmark and Nelly Daltrey, tell us their fascination with music began when they got to know each other at school and started to play together. “A brand-new world opened up for us,” says Lodmark. “One that took us from mindlessly hammering an instrument or playing a bit carefully, to getting to know a new person and instantly creating songs together. That time is full of special memories – sneaking out of class to try out a distortion pedal together, or getting tangled up in guitar leads from jumping around with happiness at getting a great idea.” Lodmark and Daltrey have been the critically acclaimed darlings of music journalists since the release of their eponymous debut album in 2015. It’s not hard to understand why, since their tunes change from smooth and slow to fascinating thunderstorms in the blink of an eye. Any artist’s second album is often described as the “difficult” one, and Lodmark and Daltrey explain that they have taken their time with theirs, which they’ve called Devotion, and dared to trust their gut feelings. “We made a decision not to get stressed about the making of it, which has felt good,” says Daltrey. “Many of the songs on the debut album are ones we made as teenagers and made it to the album as we didn’t dare mess around with the material. We have done it the other way around this time and been careful. That has meant spending more time testing ideas and, at the same time, giving each other space to do other things.” There’s a recurring theme in many of the tracks on Devotion, which is out on October 13. In many ways, it’s a personal album – it’s about love and being close to someone, the kind of love that makes the heart burst, as well as the opposite. The pair say the process has involved angst and self-doubt mixed with moments of feeling incredibly good. “We have always done music for our own sake,” says Lodmark. “We are the ones who put the biggest pressure on ourselves and, in the end, we are the ones who want it to be something great that reflects what we stand for. This album has taken its time to grow into its final 10-track collection, and we are incredibly proud of ourselves. We have our favourites on it and we’re not concerned if it doesn’t appeal to listeners – we have spent our time and devotion doing something that we love.”

Pale Honey nail it when it comes to synchronising their style with their sound. Often seen in all black in photographs, as well as on stage, they describe it as “a work uniform that reeks of rock’n’roll”. The duo don’t have any specific style icons but say that they would go for a more Alex Turner kind of vibe than Lady Gaga. When it comes to favourite clothes, Daltrey mentions a wonderful oversized yellow Whyred T-shirt that she likes to thrown on: “It’s been a real favourite for a while.” Their guidelines when it comes to clothing seem to be the same as when it comes to their music – they trust their gut feeling. “We have a very minimalistic and comfortable style,” Daltrey continues, “and it’s important that it feels right and personal. Basic clothing is key, but the fit is what separates the gold grains from boring, plain clothes. We do also like dresses a lot, but they’re a bit hard to wear when you’re sitting in front of a drum kit.” AB

22


this page: Nelly wears Art Heavy Mouth jacket, Rita skirt; Jacket and shirt, catwalk pieces Opposite page, clockwise from top: Tuva wears Mondie T-shirt; coat and trousers, catwalk pieces. Nelly wears Jannine jacket, Vanya T-shirt; Coat, trousers and shoes, catwalk pieces. Tuva wears jacket, artwork piece; Trousers, catwalk piece. Nelly wears Vonya Horror T-shirt; Jacket and trousers, catwalk pieces All by Whyred

23


side effects

The psychedelic Stockholm quartet side effects started their rise to fame at a very young age, recording and releasing their first record, A Walk in the Space Between Us (2013), during their late teens. The band is made up of guitarist and vocalist Billy Cervin, drummer and vocalist Hugo Mårtensson, organist and vocalist Elias Jungqvist and bass player Joacim “Jorba” Nilsson. They started out together with a heavily retro-orientated look and musical style, as heard on that debut album. Without losing their personal sound, side effects have since taken a walk in the period between records, landing in a more synthesiser-friendly and arena-compatible realm with terrific singles such as Wanna Lose You and I’m Falling. The new EP, Feels Like Walking on Sunshine, will be released on October 20, and perhaps the changes will speak for themselves. “Back then, only ’60s-inspired psychedelia really mattered,” says Cervin about the period the album was released. “The biggest difference between then and now is that we’re not afraid to experiment. There are few things more boring than artists and bands getting comfortable.” Clearly, psych music plays a less significant role in what the band does today. “Our energy and the way we play is difficult to ‘wash away’, even though we’ve found new synthesisers and sounds,” says Mårtensson. Needless to say, side effects are devoted to keeping the genuine feeling of their music, which a band of talented musicians that has played together since they were young shouldn’t have much trouble doing – and for this group in particular it seems easy to keep the spark alive. For now, they’re hoping for a more hectic future for the band, in which it won’t take long to create new albums.

24

All four members play in other groups, too. For example, they play in The Indigo Children with The Soundtrack of Our Lives frontman, Ebbot Lundberg, of whom they have always been great fans. Right now, side effects are starring as the house band on Lundberg’s TV show, Ebbot’s Ark, where they sail the seas and play cover songs with Sweden’s brightest stars in every harbour. Looking like the cast from The Life Aquatic… in red hats and blue shirts, the band is a pleasant addition to the show’s set of a picturesque sailing boat. Another project featuring some of side effects is The Hanged Man, who once performed a gig in a Whyred store. Jungqvist tells the tale: “Jorba and I played in the store, so we have seen it from a bird’s eye perspective. The payment was clothes, and when you’re wearing them you feel really cool.” Jorba agrees: “Sweden is so good at design, and Whyred in particular have always had great clothes. Tasteful, if you know what I mean.” Having moved on from a rear-view-mirror approach, side effects dress a bit more contemporarily today. The question is, then, what really is contemporary fashion, and is there even anything contemporary outside what reflects the past? Cervin tells us about the style the group used to have. “There was something of an unwritten rule that we should all wear blue paisley shirts for gigs and photos. That ended quite quickly when we got signed and the label thought it was a good image – the teenage defiance kicked in and I don’t think anyone has worn a blue paisley shirt since.” Nilsson agrees that the band’s style of clothing is not as defined now as it once was: “But it’s easier to look back and frame a vibe that existed then. I don’t know, maybe we’ll be labelled in retrospect.” With their dedication to not getting too comfortable in either their sound or their style, the future of side effects should be interesting to witness, no matter if they are looking backwards or straight ahead into the future. FL


this page: Hugo wears Art Yelloe T-Shirt, Syd Black jeans; Jacket, Artwork piece Opposite page, clockwise from top: Elias wears Bast Rag top, Syd Black Jeans; Jacket, catwalk piece. Elias wears Murry Space T-shirt; coat, trousers and shoes, catwalk pieces. Billy wears Vionet sweater, Stone Washed-Poplin shirt; trousers, catwalk piece. Hugo wears Art Heavy Mouth T-shirt; coat, Trousers and shoes, catwalk pieces All by whyred Grooming: Lillis Hemmingsson
 Shot at: Peas & Understanding Studio

25


Born and raised in South Korea, Hyon Gyon earned her master’s degree and doctorate at the Kyoto City University of Arts in Japan, and then relocated to New York City to pursue her journey in the international art world. “I wanted more experience in new places and had nothing to lose, so it didn’t take a second to decide,” she says about her move to the US. “One of my biggest strengths, and also weaknesses, is that I don’t get intimidated by new environments or new things. I am not used to analysing or comparing them.” She quickly fell in love with New York’s melting pot of art, culture, food and fashion co-existing in one place. “It helped not being reluctant or prejudiced against anything. It also affected my work, making me think, ‘Why not? Nothing is impossible.’ It’s made me more flexible about how I select my materials or motifs, and how I choose the size or match colours.” Hyon Gyon reflects upon her artwork as an act of devotion in itself. “It’s an attitude towards something so valuable – beyond the boundaries of age, nationality or sex,” she says. “That value makes me think I could throw all the rest away.” She uses a wide range of unconventional materials and techniques, creating mixed-media paintings that tower over her as she works in the studio. For each one, she shapes ideas and selects motifs before entering a cycle of adding and removing visual content. “The more time I spend on my art, the more I feel attached to it. But it also requires a lot of time and patience,” she says. “The artworks that require fabric and layering, or the ones using mixed media such as fabrics and foams – they take time and energy, so there are health risks. Some of my works are finished in one day, some take longer than a year.” Inspired by Korean shamanism, Hyon Gyon believes that art has the power to evoke emotion from within people and transform it into other forms of energy. When her grandmother died, Hyon Gyon’s family called for a shaman to release her soul to a good place where she could reconcile with other family members and live a peaceful life after death – it was an experience that had a cathartic effect on the artist. “It felt like my imaginings had been made real,” she said about the ceremony. She explains that shamanism still exists in the 21st century, despite persecution and contempt from other cultures, because it has a place in all phases of people’s life – from birth to death. And the release she felt during this ceremony plays a significant role in the way she approaches her practice. “For me, art should be helpful and useful – I believe that is the fundamental power of art.” She aims to touch people’s emotions

as they deconstruct the layers of her tumultuous paintings with their eyes, giving them an opportunity to come to terms with their emotions and release that energy into the world. The bright colours she uses are juxtaposed by shadowy imagery, and her use of strong, gestural strokes gives each piece a clear texture – a very material presence. As she creates new pieces, her own body becomes part of the work, a physical connection that she considers an essential part of her creative process. “I believe that people can see strong vibrations arising from the physical contact between my body and my artwork,” she says. “Those works I’ve created through intense use of my hands and feet and other parts of my body do not lie.” In this way, the honesty of her artwork is important to Hyon Gyon. In the dark figural abstractions that are characteristic of her work, viewers can see a reflection of the artist herself – her thoughts, struggles and life force emanating as a curious, even uncanny, energy from the work. “I prefer large paintings because they make me feel that 26

This page: top, hyon gyon, photograph by sarah malmude; above, the artist at work, photograph courtesy hyon gyon and shin gallery, NYC; right, hyon gyon, photograph by sergei kananovich opposite page: main photograph, smile (2011) by hyon gyon; bottom, preparing for exhibition. all courtesy hyon gyon and shin gallery, NYC

I have achieved something beyond the usual limits. I feel alive over and over again during the process.” Hyon Gyon has never been satisfied following the basics or technical rules imposed by art school. “I don’t do well when I’m taught by someone else,” she says about her university experience. Her methods can be described as untraditional, even unorthodox, but such categorisations have never fazed her or deterred her creative passion. “I have to choose my own rules and my own way because that’s the only way that works for me.” Her studio is filled with objects and materials that she collects for her art making. While she works, she has to have everything out and feel totally surrounded by her materials. “Naturally, it gets messy when I work, but sometimes that disorder and chaos relate to my ideas. When I am surrounded by materials while I make plans in my head, new ideas about my next work come up and they lead to other ideas.” The vivid colours and extraordinary combinations that she uses often compete for attention on the canvas. She attributes this to her time spent working in a traditional-clothing shop while in South Korea, choosing the designs of textile materials and matching colours. “I think this gave me a good eye for colour,” she says. “Traditional Korean clothes have extraordinary combinations and people are not afraid of using complementary colours at the same time. I am not reluctant to use various combinations of textures or colours – I enjoy it. Life is too short to use boring colours.” Although the appearance of her busy studio suggests otherwise, Hyon Gyon is actually a minimalist. She has even let go of her name for the sake of her artwork. Born Hyun Kyoung Park, she adopted the sleek artist name of Hyon Gyon during her time in Japan. “Most people, including those who know me, have no idea how to pronounce my [given] name, but someday I hope everybody will be able to say and remember it,” she says. A minimalist in lifestyle choices, too, Hyon Gyon refrains from consuming alcohol and tobacco, and keeps her belongings to a minimum as she follows her instincts, moving across the globe for her different art projects.


She recently spent two months in Kyoto working 12 hours a day to create her largest piece yet for the Culture City of East Asia 2017 exhibition. “It’s a 20.4-metre-long mixed-media artwork made with fabric foam and oil paint that I worked on like crazy for a month and two weeks. I am quite proud of what I have devoted to this project and the time I spent on it.” A solo exhibition at Ben Brown Fine Arts in Hong Kong also opened this September, but her next move is to relocate to Europe, where she will be making new work in Poland. “This project will be a big lifetime chance for me, as an artist and a person,” she says. Hyon Gyon is feeling empowered about her decisions to pursue art internationally, viewing the constant change of surroundings and environments in her life as part of the flow of life that she has chosen for herself. “Everything I do is something that I have decided,” she says. “I have never considered the risks, nor have I regretted my attempts. That’s how I have lived and that’s how I will continue to live my life, always following my instincts.”

The Energy from within

For Hyon Gyon, making art is personal. Colourful, spirited and devotional both in her process and concepts, this multitalented mixed-media artist is making waves internationally with her enigmatic paintings. The Forumist delved deeper into her influences and body of work Words by Eimi tagore-erwin

27


out-of-the-box performances are about showing resistance to the patriarchal system and she does it totally in her own way. “But I don’t wanna be preachy,” she says. “And I don’t wanna be angry. So I work in a way that brings people in – an inclusive way that celebrates.” Peaches is devoted to creating concerts that are experiences for her audience. “You have to be devoted,” she says, firmly. “A lot of people ask me, ‘What advice do you have for young performers or musicians?’ It’s like, ‘Well, you better like what you’re doing, because you’re going to be doing it for a long time.’” Peaches sees her presence as an artist as about more than making music, though. “Music is the core of making incredible art videos, making incredible performance art on stage, exhibition work beyond that. Music, for me, is definitely the core and the most important part, but it’s not the end… It’s just the beginning. It’s the jumping-off point!” Her dedication to her performance is key to her success as a multitalented artist. “It’s over the top and it’s ridiculous, and it’s also political and it’s also a good time.” While some people have asked her to do less on stage – to take it a little slower, to calm down – she remains firm in her stance. “I can’t! This is how it is. I find it more exhausting if I don’t give it my all. Because [if I don’t], at the end, I have this empty, dissatisfied feeling.” During her career, Peaches has been involved in lots of projects, including singing the title role in a production of Monteverdi’s opera L’Orfeo and touring with her one-woman performance-art show Peaches Christ Superstar. She chooses projects and collaborations that she feels are important – and if the defiant music she makes goes with them. “You know who I am! You know why you wanna use [my music]! You use it for a reason. I love that I established myself this way. You can’t use Dick in

Take a bite The Canadian musician and performance artist Peaches pull us into the whirlwind that has been raging around her electric persona and eclectic career since the 1990s. Enjoy the ride Words by Ole Siebrecht Photography by Jennifer Endom Styling by Nuria Gregori

28

Peaches is not just a singer. She is so much more than that: a musician, a producer, a filmmaker and a performance artist. She is the kind of artist who can simply enter a room and wow everyone inside. She instantly gets her audience’s attention and makes them think by using a simple tool – fun. “I think my music is fun. I think my ridiculous costumes are fun,” she explains. “I want people to enjoy the songs, dance to them, enjoy the spectacle. But when the lights are gone and the silence is there, then you actually start thinking about what you just saw and what you just sang along with.” And Peaches’ lyrics are always to the point. “I chose this way to do it because I used to sing along with so many songs that were completely sexist,” she says. “[I was] like, ‘Why am I singing along with this? This has nothing to do with me!’ So I have been presenting my world and my way and hopefully that’s helpful to people.” If you have ever experienced Peaches in her element on stage, you’ll know what she is talking about: dancers in bizarre, fetishistic costumes, vagina hats – even a huge inflatable dick. Peaches’

the Air for canned beans. It’s gonna make a statement if you use my music.” Peaches makes statements with everything she does – every move she makes. She’s political and is more than happy to take on the patriarchal system. “People are full of fear and that’s what annoys me most. Fear of other people. Fear of something that’s not like them.” She aims to counteract this fear with the mayhem of her sound, lyrics and performances. “I want people to feel comfortable in their own bodies. That means everybody! I’m not just talking about queer people. Everybody needs to feel comfortable in their own body and that’s also the main reason why people have fear, or turn to power and greed,” she says. “It’s just something within them that’s not right, that they’re not dealing with. We’re all fucking insecure. All of us are!” But it’s important for Peaches to make clear that she isn’t fighting for sexual freedom – she’s celebrating it. If music is just the jumping-off point for Peaches, we are excited to see where she ends up next. peachesrocks.com


this page: Cape by NOBI TALAI, earrings by XENIA BOUS opposite page, from top: Cape by NOBI TALAI, trousers by LENA VOUTTA, earrings by XENIA BOUS, belt by URBAN OUTFITTERS. Jumpsuit by SAMSØE & SAMSØE, gloves stylist’s own. Jacket by ACNE STUDIOS at COMME des COSTUMES Hair and make-up: Tony Lundström at Blossom Photographer’s assistant: Felix Conrad Postproduction: Marius Wolfram

29


true

affection Commit yourself to you — all your random thoughts, special quirks and characteristics. You’re going to be at your best whenever you do Photography by Mehdi Sef
 Styling by Gemma Bedini
 OPPOSITE PAGE: Coat by Nanushka, top and trousers by Sadak, bag by Building Block, shoes by Tibi

30


17


32


top left: Jacket and trousers by Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood, sweater by Victoria/Tomas, bags by Building Block, shoes by Drome above left: Coat by ProĂŞmes de Paris, top by Vinti Andrews, earrings by Moutton Collet, belt by Wendy Jim, bag by Oberkampf above right: Coat and trousers by Sirloin, shirt by Vinti Andrews, earrings by Lutz Huelle opposite page: Sweater by Christian Wijnants, necklace by Moutton Collet, braces (part of trousers) by Andrea Crews

33


34


this page: Dress, top, trousers and shoes by Tibi, earrings by Lutz Huelle, bag by Oberkampf opposite page: Jacket, trousers and belt by Véronique Leroy, sweater by Christian Wijnants Hair: Yumiko Hikage
 Make-up: Céline Exbrayat at Call My Agent for Chanel Model: Camilla Corradi at Ford

35


Ask Me

anything Trust your animal instincts when you go out into the world. In Tokyo’s urban sprawl, daring to let contemporary cuts meet retro prints is just one way to find your voice Photography by Motohiko Hasui Styling by Koji Oyamada OPPOSITE PAGE: Dress by LOEWE, boots by JOHN LAWRENCE SULLIVAN

36


38


This page: Sweater, skirt and hat by LOEWE, pantashoes by FUMIKA UCHIDA opposite page: jacket and trousers by LOEWE


This page: Dress by LOEWE, pantashoes by FUMIKA UCHIDA opposite page: Dress and necklace by LOEWE


41


42


This page: Shirt and scarf by LOEWE, skirt by MATRIOCHKA, boots by MSGM opposite page: Dress by LOEWE, earrings by TOGA Hair: Kazuya Matsumoto Make-up: Ken Nakano Model: Nana Komatsu

43


Complete devotion means having a passion for something that translates into everything you do – the way you think, what you create and every step forward you take. Devotees comes in all shapes and sizes, but the one thing that ties them together is an unfaltering dedication to continue doing what inspires them. For their first design collaboration in their 30-year history, the high-tech outerwear specialists Peak Performance turned to the renowned British designer Nigel Cabourn, who has made it his lifelong pursuit to collect and become an expert in vintage global army apparel. This skilful fusing of talent has reinvented the classic functionality and aura of historic pieces, resulting in a stunning FW17 collection. Each of the 20 unisex pieces has been carefully designed with special attention to quality and utility, breathing new life into garments with a long history. And this collection was never about following trends. Everyone involved with it has a deep understanding of what it means to be committed to your craft – behind every visionary is a story. The Forumist spoke with eight creative devotees who have turned their dreams into reality. But these stories are just snapshots of their journeys – whether in music on interior design – as they relentlessly pursue their passion. For them, it’s not just about achieving one goal, job or a hobby. This is real devotion.

◀ Mwuana

Robin Nyström, aka Mwuana, has been devoted to his music from a young age, developing his melodic sing-rap style over the years. With a total – “not scheduled” – dedication to creation, Nyström has developed into a visionary and entrepreneur, becoming what he calls “a multi-creative” in many different areas. “This passion is often just a romantic glint from this problem you are trying to solve,” he explains. “It’s like a mystery that constantly haunts you, and you just want to crack the code.” During the years he has spent developing his sound, he has learnt to prioritise his creativity so he can focus on projects that he is passionate about seeing through to the end. “It’s as if devotion comes to you and makes your life more meaningful and interesting, but there are also long periods when you feel lost, not sure of what you’re actually doing. But I believe that as soon as a person finds their calling, devotion automatically kicks in.” Continuing his story, he tells us: “It started with one goal, actually more like one mission. And the further the mission went, the bigger the vision got.” This is an artist who has come a long way from where he began. Growing up in a suburb outside Stockholm, Nyström relied on street smarts to get to where he is now. “I always seem to take on more projects than it’s possible to manage, but I’m driven by the feeling of learning new things and, most of all, finishing and completing the things that are meant to grow.”

Helin Honung ▶

It’s the real thing 44

On the eve of the launch of Peak Performance’s collaboration with the cult British designer Nigel Cabourn, The Forumist talks to eight creatives whose dedication to achieving their dreams reflects these fashion forces’ devotion to their craft Words by Eimi Tagore-Erwin Photography by John Scarisbrick Styling by Emma Thorstrand Special thanks to Peak Performance

For the casting director Helin Honung, devotion used to be about time – the hours you spend working and obsessing about one thing. But it was only when she got into casting, she truly understood what it meant. “As time went by, I understood that, for me, it’s in the challenges, the development and the learning,” she says. Growing up deeply rooted to the idea that she would become a fashion designer, Honung’s life took a 360-degree turn when she decided to make a change. “Out of the blue, a producer asked me to cast one of her productions,” she explains. “I felt I had nothing to lose if I did it.” From that moment on, Honung found her true devotion within the fashion world. As a casting director, she has a creative calling that challenges her every day and teaches her something new. She may not have had a background of working for an agency or in production, but it is her total dedication to personal development that helps her overcome daily obstacles. “I’ve always been afraid of failing and I still am, but something that I never thought I’d apply to myself is the beauty of asking people for help,” she says. “We all have our own struggles in life. I guess I’m seeking the perfect balance, and that’s what keeps me going.”


This page: helin wears SWEDISH MOUNTAIN PARKA, ARMY UNDERSHIRT, WOOL CAP, army belt opposite page: Mwuana WEARS SWEDISH MOUNTAIN PARKA, WOOL CAP all by peak performance

29


This page: SANDRA WEARS WOOL ZIP, SWEDISH MOUNTAIN TROUSERS, wool cap OPPOSITE PAGE: LUDVIG WEARS SNOW SMOCK, SWEDISH MOUNTAIN TROUSERS, WOOL CAP, ARMY BELT; AXEL WEARS SWEDISH SHEEPSKIN all by PEAK PERFORMANCE

46


◀ Ludvig Blom

Though he’s an introvert at heart, Ludvig Blom is a strategic advisor and digital producer who works with tons of people and clients, attending meetings every day. His is a fast-paced career that requires technological and creative innovation, so we were curious about what devotion means to him. “Never fail to sweat the details and always be prepared to run the extra mile,” he replies. “In the end, it’s all about delivering valuable, feasible and usable solutions for my clients.” Blom’s schedule is packed: he’s always working and meeting deadlines, but this goes hand in hand with being totally committed to digital production. He finds his inspiration in the fast pace of big cities and does his best to embrace each challenge he faces. “The more challenges and obstacles you run into, the more you develop as a person.” Blom holds skill in high esteem and makes it a priority to collaborate with a team of people with a diverse range of expertise. “I prefer to be among cross-functional teams of specialists. You learn so much, and I also like it if people are a bit different and fun.” His devotion is far from reaching an end point. “I consider it more as a journey,” Blom says.

◀ Sandra Mosh

Although she has gone through phases in other music genres, Sandra Mosh has always felt an “uncontrollable draw” pulling her towards electronic music. “People often talk about those moments of flow, when you are so deep into the creative process that you fall into this trance-like state of mind,” she tells us. “I first found this flow through techno.” Now she’s a DJ, producer and founder of her own label, MOSH Musik, so it’s safe to say she has found her musical home in techno. “For me, there’s nothing more personal than sharing your tracks with the world,” Mosh tells us. As she became more skilled as a DJ and got more involved in the scene, producing music felt natural. Feeling such a strong impulse to create is what led to her founding her own label as a platform to release what she liked, whenever she wanted. Mosh debuted at the Berlin nightclub Berghain last year, an experience that she has been devoted to accomplishing for a long time. “I can honestly say I walked out there and thought, ‘I can die happy now,’” she reminisces. When she’s making music, Mosh visualises it in her own head, but she explains that playing for an audience is also a moment of creation. “When something real is actually being created in that moment, that’s the best feeling in the world. That’s zen to me.”

Axel Wannberg ▶

At his core, Axel Wannberg is a woodworker whose passion for his craft has become his career. His endless devotion to perfecting lines, curves and spaces keeps him busy as a freelance cabinet-maker and furniture designer for high-profile clients in Stockholm and around the world. He realised working with wood was his calling after he bought an old mahogany boat when he was 18 and started renovating it. After a five-year education in boatbuilding and cabinet making, he started his own workshop. “I get really inspired by minimalistic sculptors from the ’60s and ’70s,” he says. Constantly expanding on his own technical knowledge, he also finds inspiration by visiting niche companies, “like acrylic plastic specialists or companies that specialise in metal surface treatments”. At first, he designed and built his own projects, but now his work mainly revolves around commissions. He often works alone, but enjoys collaborating with a team that can add to what he does. “Since I have more of a technical-orientated background, I find working with people of a more artistic background the most interesting and complementary.” Every day Wannberg is in his studio or office, poring over and perfecting sketches and blueprints before starting to build. “I eat, sleep and dream my work,” he says. “And I don’t feel like it’s my job – it’s my biggest passion and I’m lucky to get paid to do it. And it’s been like that for the past 10 years.”

39


Joanna Nordin ▶

A contemporary artist and curator with a special passion for spatial relationships and collaboration, Joanna Nordin has worked in both fashion and art in New York, and achieved her master’s in fine art at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. “I love not knowing what’s around the next corner,” she tells us. “Unexpected conversations, events and collaborations give me tons of energy and inspiration.” In her artwork, Nordin spends hours making large-scale installations and conceptual found-object sculptures. Recently, she became a curator of contemporary art for Sörmlands museum in Nyköping, which will open next year. This new job has expanded her devotion within the art world. “I’m excited to be a part of making it and seeing it develop.” The most important thing to Nordin is her integrity. “I believe it’s the key to devotion,” she explains. “As long as you keep things close to your heart and do what you really want, being devoted to it will follow naturally.” Her transition as an artist into curating has made perfect sense. During art school, Nordin “was never able to make just one work”, and instead spent time thinking about how things related to each other, making entire shows. “I think exhibition-making was always at the back of my mind,” she says. “I’m really grateful that I get to do what I love and do it full-time.” She sees her job as another step in her journey. “Devotion isn’t an end goal, it’s an outcome of your interests and your curiosity.”

◀ Julia Thelin

For Julia Thelin, filmmaking is about surrendering herself to the artistic process and coming to terms with not being in control. “It sounds pretentious, but for me it has something to do with what is outside of myself, with being connected to something bigger,” she says. For her, it is that passion and lack of control that drives her forward and helps her make decisions: “My devotion pushes me to dare to do more things.” Filmmaking is a way for her to disconnect from reality while also creating it. “To create is to dig deeper into yourself and not be aware of it because you’re so absorbed in the process,” Thelin explains. She questions gender structures and roles in her work, inspired by the complexity of human behaviour and social systems. “Although, ‘inspired’ is a weird word for something that makes you angry,” she adds. “I look at it more as fascination.” Thelin’s ambition is to expand the way people experience film and the way film looks. “I think I need to take a hell of a journey for that,” she says. “To be devoted means making choices that always have to do with my creative work, indirectly or directly.”

01

Michel Dida ▶

Songwriter Michel Dida doesn’t mince words when it comes to his passion. “Devotion is being dumb enough to ignore everyone’s advice and spend your entire life pursuing some weird interest that you have,” he says. Dida lives his life with no end goal in mind and says he can do without the rewards. He got into hip-hop in 1995. “We started off by recording gibberish on cassette tapes over instrumental B-sides and that pretty much sealed the deal,” he says. Although he has featured on plenty of mixes, Dida describes himself as a lone wolf: “There are just not that many people I can trust with all these strange ideas floating around in here, you know.” But this artist has a formula for harnessing his creative process. He makes his music in total seclusion, away from all social interactions, so he can be alone with his own thoughts. “Just sitting in a dark room for, like, a week, that’s how I write my music. I isolate myself. I don’t answer my phone. I feed the birds on the balcony, but I don’t meet up for fikas. That’s when I’m at my total peak. That is my formula.” The FW17 Peak Performance x Nigel Cabourn collection launches on October 5


This page: MICHEL WEARS QUILTED NAVAL DUNGAREES, WINDSTOPPER SHIRT (ROUND WAIST), WOOL CAP opposite page: JOANNA WEARS SNOW SMOCK, SWEDISH MOUNTAIN TROUSERS, WOOL CAP; JULIA WEARS US CLIP JACKET, CREW-NECK SWEAT, WOOL CAP all by PEAK PERFORMANCE Grooming: Lillis Hemmingsson Shot at: Peas & Understanding Studio

01 49


We are the world Climate change is everybody’s business — yours included. Meet the man behind Project Pressure, the charity planning to make sure we don’t forget that fact with beautiful visual inspiration Words by Eimi Tagore-Erwin Climate change is one of the greatest issues of our time. Contrary to what many people think, it’s happening around us right now and has been going on for quite some time already. It is not a problem that may or may not appear in the distant future. To raise better awareness and inspire greater action and participation from us all, Klaus Thymann, an award-winning photographer, founded Project Pressure, a charity documenting the world’s vanishing glaciers. Rather than scaring people off with an endless stream of statistics – an approach that hasn’t had much of a visible impact yet – Project Pressure is aiming to get its message across by collaborating with selected international artists, scientists and funding partners to publish the information via an opensource digital platform, a touring photography exhibition, a hardback book and a free e-book. Both of Thymann’s parents are scientists, meaning that science has always been part of his practice as a photographer. This gave him the idea him to initiate a project that could best be described as a network activity, where art, science and public engagement are connected in a synergy of feedback loops, and where the individual parts inspire each other and encourage each other to grow. The idea was to look for new ways of story-telling and thereby use art for the greater good of society. The choice to utilise glaciers as a focal point has many advantages. Not only are they incredibly impressive and beautiful, but they are also key indicators of climate change, as their condition doesn’t fluctuate with regular variations in the weather. “When you stand in front of one of those ice giants, you feel humble but also become painfully aware of the human impact on nature,” says Thymann. Currently, Project Pressure is collaborating with a number of international artists who are contributing with their personal interpretations of climate change and the receding glaciers. They have been selected based on artistic criteria but also in accordance with their relevance to the core issue of the project. “Not all of them may be an obvious choice,” says Thymann. “But to turn it around, not all nature photographers, for instance, are appropriate for this project.”

project-pressure.org

from top: Qooroq Glacier, Greenland, Mariele Neudecker and Klaus Thymann; Glacier du Rhône, Noémie Goudal; Greenland, Mariele Neudecker and Klaus Thymann; Eqalorutsit Glacier, Greenland, Mariele Neudecker and Klaus Thymann. far left: Glacier du Rhône, Noémie Goudal. RIGHT: Mount Rainier, Peter Funch. opposite page: main photograph and inset, Mount Rainier, Peter Funch

50

The selection of artists spans from outdoor and documentary photographers to cross-discipline artists, sculptors and painters, who are using individual expeditions to the glacial areas to create and/or gather material for their artworks. One of them, Royal Academician Emma Stibbon, has collected glacial soil that will be used as the paint for her drawings. These expeditions are being funded thanks to the help of sponsors and partners that include the camera manufacturer Hasselblad and the Danish royal fund Dronning Margrethe og Prins Henriks Fond. As with the artists, these partners have been carefully chosen to match the personality of the initiative and all need to be approved by Project Pressure’s board of directors first. Many attempts to halt climate change in the past have failed and the responsibility for the issue is often, partly unfairly, referred to governmental level and multinational companies. Thymann explains that, while we cannot stop the modern way of life, there are choices we make and actions we carry out every day that can and should be directed in ways that support the environment. Our choice of energy provider, lower consumption of red meat and travelling to work by bike instead of car are just a few examples of this. Seen as individual acts, these activities may seem insignificant, but if we’re all doing it together, the scale and magnitude will have a significant impact. The vision and purpose of Project Pressure is to inspire people and communities all over the world to be increasingly conscious about their consumption choices and to stand together to create a demand for positive change from above, too. As Thymann says: “Nobody has to be a purist, but we all need to rethink and we all share a great responsibility – for our own actions and also for those of others.”


51


Marina’s 8 o’clock As her attendances at events including this year’s Venice Biennale and Cannes film festival show, the prominent gallerist and pioneering musician Marina Schiptjenko is an expert at the art of juggling different roles. In the midst of her relentless schedule, she sat down with The Forumist for an early-morning conversation and explained why nostalgia isn’t her cup of tea Words by Ashik Zaman Portrait by Elsa Soläng Let’s begin with Page, your music project with Eddie Bengtsson that dates back to the early ’80s. Later, synth-pop would grow into one of two identity-signifying subcultures of the decade alongside hard rock. You’re known to have been quite the pioneers in this genre in Sweden. “I was 15 when we formed the band, and synth-pop had not even begun to have its moment. I had been listening to Gary Newman and Sparks and you could say both Eddie Bengtsson and I came from a musical background in the new wave. When we first started doing gigs, we were often on the line-up with prog, punk and post-punk bands. Later came Depeche Mode and there was a big breakthrough. Around that time, however, you would run to get a record at the faintest sound of a keyboard, getting your hands on whatever could be had that wasn’t rock. This identity factor you mention indeed became widespread and synth was the furthest down in the hierarchy after hard rock. Identification with music and the subcultural scene has always been a big part of me.” You just released a new a record with Page this spring and have scheduled a couple of shows. What is Page’s sound like in 2017? “We were always very clear with labelling what we do as pop music. We orchestrated our music in a quintessential pop-music setup, using bass, guitars and drums, although we played them on synthesisers and drum machines. We try to be consistent with our sound – there’s no drive to reinvent ourselves or try to sound in line with current times. We’re well aware that we’re in our fifties, but what lies at the core is the love for a certain type of music. In a sense, we are very nerdy when it comes to sound and recording. When it comes down to music, time always remains a factor. It’s rewarding but also very time-consuming.” You’ve been in two musical projects with Alexander Bard, starting with Vacuum in the mid-’90s and, later, BWO (Bodies Without Organs). There was a lot of talk about being the Swedish music wonder and becoming “big in Japan”, but with Vacuum you hit it really big out in Eastern Europe instead. “I think that happened very organically for us, with Alexander having had a lot of recognition already out there with Army of Lovers in the ’90s. But what’s good to note is that Vacuum was founded on a clear idea and concept to make pretentious symphonic synth music. A lot of the ideas were eccentric. It was never intended to be lagom – balanced – and I think that bombast and strongly melodic quality worked very well in that market.” Around this time you were already known as a gallerist, working alongside Ciléne Andréhn on your eponymous gallery. Being on the highbrow gallery circuit and competing in something so public as Melodifestivalen with BWO surely places you in two disparate worlds. What was it like? “It was hard and I remember being quite divided and receiving some criticism about my choices. Times were different then, much less accepting than today. There was a reluctance on some people’s parts to accept my being both a gallerist and pop musician. I’ve always had the great support of my colleague Ciléne, who always had an easy-going approach to it. Had it not been for that, things might have been different. I was very stressed, though, and anxious about how it might impact on the perception of the gallery, but in the end, I learnt that, overall, people aren’t so bothered about what you do – it’s largely in your mind.” Apropos of art, it feels like the idea that contemporary art will have its big moment among the public in the wake of social media has been in contention for quite a few years. I often get the impression that what slows the revelation down is

52

this misconception that art is per se intellectually demanding, which then is alienating. “It’s a big misconception, this idea that you need to address what you are seeing in words, as opposed to the experience of art being allowed to be something intuitive. I think intuitive and wordless perception is unfairly written off. It’s difficult for many to grasp because we’re raised to analyse and question the things around us – ‘What is the meaning?’ Perhaps it doesn’t mean anything and is just a state of a mind or sentiment evoked by the view.” I think showmanship in art is something I’d love to see more of and which would make art more interesting sometimes. What would you like to particularly push for in art? “That’s a difficult question and, in many ways, I feel like I’m already pushing for art at large merely by being a gallerist, maintaining a space that welcomes the public to come and see art. There are moments when you feel you are doing all in your power and wish that people would channel their curiosity more towards art and channel themselves when art appears distant. All these clichés about art being subject to snobbery or about feeling unwelcome at galleries just make you go, ‘No, that’s not really true.’ When you found a gallery [it’s because] you want to be creating the scene, and the public is a big factor in that. You don’t want to exclude anyone.” I’m keenly taking note that you don’t come across as particularly nostalgic about the past as we’re having this conversation. “No, I strongly dislike nostalgia. I think it comes down to a conscious decision not to go down that route, realising that if I do then I’m easily struck by a certain sadness. The epiphany is that it doesn’t really serve a point. What’s gone is gone and will not be coming back. I find it more rewarding to look forward and anticipate what is to come.” On that note, you have a role in acclaimed director Ruben Östlund’s new film, The Square, which was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival this spring. Very exciting! Is this your first involvement with cinema? “Yes! The movie uses the art world as a point of departure and presents a heightened image of what it is like – the director’s vision of it, basically. It is fiction, which needs to be said, but there are elements of certain aspects of the art world that resonate. Ruben enjoys working with a mixture of trained actors and amateurs to maintain an authentic feel and that’s how I ended up being approached for a role. I play Elna, the chairwoman of the board at the museum where the lead character, played by Claes Bang, is the chief curator. Suffice to say, my character

isn’t that impressed by him and I am the catalyst for a chain of events in the movie. At its core, the film is about the personal moral dilemmas of the main character, which are similar to what everyone faces in contemporary, quotidian society. It was a great experience and Ruben was lovely to work with.” Lastly, what is a movement or shift you are seeing happening right now? “I would say what is going on is a turn away from the anonymous and mass-produced towards authentic and unique experiences that bear an intimate feel, which you see in art and consumption. Take the resurfacing of vinyl in music as a great example. As for art, there is sometimes a push for it to carry so many ideas on its shoulders, for it to be political and mirror the state of the world and offer effective change. An interesting thought, however, is that perhaps art over the long haul isn’t the best-suited domain for that. Perhaps the rationale for art is rather to offer something aesthetic and poetic as a contrast. Maybe that will become increasingly important. I don’t have an answer myself, but it’s food for thought.” andrehn-schiptjenko.com


this page: marina Schiptjenko opposite page, clockwise from top: Elsa Stenhammar vid pianot (1960) by Siri Derkert; Explosion (2015) by Per B Sundberg; Schiptjenko in the offices at her gallery; Josefs Sรถmn (2016) by Omid Delafrouz Styling: Pejman Biroun Vand All clothes: Marimekko

53


Facing the Future Smile — you’ve just given away all your personal information! The Forumist considers how biometric technology becoming part of everyday life might leave a bad taste in your mouth Words by Rosa Wevers

We’ve become a race devoted to capturing everything about our lives, an urge fuelled by digital technology that we once thought would only exist in sci-fi movies. And these days, the rise of this “capture culture” is allowing society to do more than just save memories: the technology becoming available is promising us access to the future. One of the newest advancements is the personal and commercial use of biometric technology, such as fingerprint scans and facial-recognition systems. This technology is designed to measure information about living human bodies and can use algorithms to turn the information into digital codes. The information that these devices collect can then be compared against a database, making it possible to verify the identity of the person in front of the apparatus. Although originally designed to improve border security and as a military tool, such technology is being increasingly used for personal phones, laptops, games and apps. When you use your fingerprint or face to access your phone, biometrics are being measured. Ever noticed the geometric lines that quickly appear on your face when you add a Snapchat filter to your photo? Those lines indicate Snapchat’s use of facial-recognition technology. More and more, devices are requiring us to present our biometric information, turning those sci-fi fantasies mentioned earlier into reality. Once it was revolutionary to capture a visual image on a photograph, now technology can even recognise if you are the true owner of a phone. Our ongoing devotion to capturing everything is designed to provide society with ease of use, convenience and feelings of security, but it doesn’t hurt to take a critical look at what this technology means, or where it comes from.

54

The rise of biometric technology has been going on for more than 15 years now. Biometrics are frequently referred to as the new holy grail in security technology, as they can recognise incredibly large numbers of people from databases. Drones often have built-in facial-recognition systems that aim to identify people the military consider a “target”. At European airports, people from the global South are asked in disproportionate numbers to give away their biometric information when they want to enter the Schengen area. This raises the question of who are biometric technologies actually making the world safer and more convenient for? This context might feel very different from the use of biometrics in a personal situation. Most people will know it as both an easy and safe way to store your data and access your devices. The concept behind it is convincing: someone can hack your password and steal your phone, but your face cannot be stolen. But does this military heritage of facial-recognition technology matter as it gradually becomes something that we can all access? At first glance, smiling at your phone doesn’t particularly make users think of the way in which facial recognition is used in drone warfare. However, the context in which this technology was originally designed should be remembered by consumers, especially with regards to privacy and information. Initially, such systems were designed to pick out suspicious people – people who had been categorised according to certain biases and opinions. Keeping these origins in mind, giving your personal information away freely could therefore be seen as controversial, especially if the technology were to fall into the wrong hands eventually. The real question is, then, is it actually worth giving up your privacy in exchange for a funny filter? While the designers of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the iPhone X have stated that the biometric

information of their users won’t be saved on a database, privacy concerns about the new feature shouldn’t necessarily be dismissed as paranoia. Besides, developing a strong devotion to biometric technology means assuming that your technology is able to know who you are – that is, understand your identity – simply based on your outward appearance. Indeed, companies using this technology state that phones “will learn who you are”. But this type of biometric identification is based on algorithms with binary codes and only attaches your identity to your physicality – something represented by just a small part of your body – your fingerprint or face. We must not forget that identity and personal information are tied to so much more than a machine’s view of your appearance. Identity is made up of so many amazing factors – what we do, what we say, where we go and even who we love. It is important to remember that identity depends both on how we perceive ourselves and also how other humans perceive us – and this cannot be accomplished by technology alone. from top: HD SECURITY CAMERA, © top10geeks.com; Eye and Fingerprint recognition, © Biometricupdate.com; Fingerprint authentication software, © Digitaltrends.com; Apple’s Phil Schiller introduces the iPhone x, California, © REUTERS/Stephen Lam. right, from top: testing the facialrecognition scanner at Siemens airport centre, Nuremberg, © REUTERS/Michaela Rehle; SUNFLOWER DRONE HOME SECURITY SYSTEM, © hiconsumption.com


45


Forumist Devotion nr 13  

The act of devotion is inspired by a strong love, a burning passion for what you do. Our own devotion can be found in the production of the...

Advertisement