Tunica #01: Metropolis
Director José C. Garcia Art Director Bráulio Amado
In the past, metropolis was the term used to
Senior Editor Hoon Ju Ko
civilizations have been world metropolises of their
Copy Editor Jorge Clar Translators Jeremy Rodríguez Kyle Bienvenu Printing Printing Resolutions, New York
designate a city. Many cities founded by ancient times, mainly because of their large population and importance. Some ancient metropolises have made their way into the present and rank among
the world’s continuously-inhabited spaces. This publication is like a travel journal from street
Tunica 677 Metropolitan Avenue #4C Brooklyn. NY 11211 www.tunicapublication.com
corners around the world, a collection of stories
Tunica is currently published three times a year.
may have felt like dying in a city or wanted to leave.
For advertising enquiries: email@example.com Subscriptions can be fulfilled online at www.tunicapublication.com
A metropolis may be a source of ecstasy or anxiety,
Thanks to: DongHwan Lee, Johnny Noh, KG, Iñaki Aizpitarte, Laurent Cabut, Hoon Ju Ko, Arnaud Nabos, Bráulio Amado, Kyle Bienvenu, Nicolas Zarza, Pedro Pan, Charles Louis-Aristide, Ray Simone, Susana Campayo, Joseph Montague, Angel Lizandro, Virginia Arrigucci. Thanks to all the contributors, friends and family who made this possible.
related to art and its relationship to the metropolis. You may have lived in a city or traveled to one. You #1
and it affects artistic output. Even if you feel part of a metropolis, your imagination may fly to cities in other worlds. The enthusiasm can be literal or poetic.
Metropolises can be catalysts, sources of energy... With perserverance and adaptation, we learn new ways of expressing ourselves.
This premier issue of Tunica explores the myriad relationships artists have with their cities. Their voice is in constant dialog with the metropolis.
From this dynamic, our journey begins... To quote the words of the great Ezra Pound, “All great art is born of the metropolis.” We think you will agree.
I Copyright © 2012 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without permission of the editor. The views expressed in Tunica are those of the perspective contributors and are not necessarily shared by Tunica and its staff. The publication welcomes new contributors but can assume no resposability for unsolicited submissions.
Eric Shaw ,B rooklyn, USA #01
Rabala Carly is A , Be aumont, US
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Hiro Kurat a,
Nicky Carv ell , London, UK
Zack Carls on, Austin, USA
Eleni Bag aki , London, UK
en Pacau Juli d,
Le Mans, France #01
Dourad o, al Opo rto, Portug
Laband a, ain Barce lona, Sp
Things I do
Once an ambition to build a bridge And then the practicality to leave The beams exposedâ€”a touch of contemporary A view close to heart A place where parents did the same
All the timeâ€Ś feeling Entering Crackle of people Wanting to do Like Jerusalem
Towers, small houses Wooden tiles Elements for higher contrast Forms, now screens
Black and white To start, to count Diversion until stopping
Imagination Glass-like vision Flags recollections
A corner on 23rd St coins a phrase
Building Remembering every surface Frame Essential even, the leaves
Hoon Ju Ko ,S eoul, Korea
Page 34 Page 35
A tempo prevails
Loving the sidewalk
(The pleasure of neon)
Wrapping bodies in cloth
A tall figure, golden, with bird’s-eye view
Oh, Emily Dickinson Where?
One night so dark In a cave, far, far away
A mountain disappearing
Paint splatter Polychrome
A dream rising Incited
Magical pad of words
The body absorbing A bench, a bridge Ziggurats in the background
What thoughts live within a violin, echoing
I feel you through the distance Plug…
To throw a ball at each other
With headphones Singing Don’t You Want Me And Pure Energy
Starting, stopping, elastic… hollow noise
Robot voices Sound instruments
Instant meditation chamber
6023 and metal Make me giddy Looking, blinking
A monolith Ponders
Myriad decoration Massive increments
Empire: Aspiration and space Core and arms
Empty station Reaching for the ground Electricity
A train A living room
Spire… A wall either side Gaze-trails Higher Stacks Mirrors
Plumes Aluminum tanks Cars
Friends from their vantage Comfort all day Above trees
X marks the spot From subway windows: You sit, you move
Death of a Palm Tree
J.A. Ratzinger and Anon The King of Hearts
Tanja Siren “It’s all quite symbolic, really. Egyptian golden beetles eat Egyptian palm trees. Egyptian birds are brought in to eat the beetles. On the corner, a cat bites its tail. Don’t ask me why… Egyptian beetles eat Egyptian palm trees. Egyptian birds eat Egyptian beetles. All hope the birds catch the beetles. And, on that corner, a cat bites its tail.” Transcribed in Berlin, 18 October 2012.
Pope drives through his streets today Living in the knowledge that character is destiny A smirk at the corner of Oranienburger Straße — An anonymous submission from a hooker
Stark In Its Verticality Kara Crabb
AERIAL CITY When I fly, I like to look at the chemical lakes below because they’re a really crazy-looking turquoise and from up above, it all looks really beautiful. These lakes are protected by massive stretches of sand dunes and trees, with metallic-white silo sprinkles. I fly from one cluster of skyscrapers to another. I perceive the city in between. Everything that surrounds high concentrations of traffic is subservient to traffic. It is never the mountains, oceans or forests that excite me, but the oilrigs, salt mines and mechanized farms…they make me feel sublime. Machinery is exquisite. The geometry of the world is delicious. Google Maps is pornography. I can trance out and start to see circles then, the curvature of Earth so apparent. Can I turn a calendar back into a circle? I want the new city to be built with electricity. The purest, rawest, energy that comes from the sky. Richard Branson, you devil.
anyway. I go hard, and hard and hard and hard, until I can’t feel anything anymore. For one very sudden ephemeral moment, I go completely blind. Colorlessness. Then I let go of the hair. My neck is released. Color floods back to my vision as I watch a few strands of hair floating down onto the keyboard. I can see my face again now, live onscreen, breathing deep, appearing to be pleasantly silenced. I put my hands up to my mouth to touch the tickling sensation at the opening of my lips. Water almost escapes me, but I stop myself. I let out a heavy exhale instead. Friday! SKYLINE VIEW Something drives me to the rooftop night after night and I sit there for hours after the sun sets, watching the night traffic clear the air with happy smoke. The lights are all flashing, in all different colors, bright and neon. The city always looks like it’s on fire. The windows of all the buildings are burning up. From the top of our high-rise building you can see everything, it is truly magical. Nobody comes here though. Anyone interested? Well—you have to take the elevator all the way up, go through the always-unlocked door, climb up the fire escape and hop over the ledge without dying. (Although dying may be appealing to some, as the drop is really, really far…like 40 floors… that’s about an entire minute of free fall…the view is so beautiful…I don’t know how you could argue that it’s not worth it.)
NIGHTLIFE In front of my webcam. Making faces like I’m dying. Mouth open, eyes open, staring at nothing, tongue falling out. I wrap my hair around my index fingers, keeping my arms crossed, and then I pull tightly, so as to form hair-ropes around my neck. I pull harder to choke myself. Then harder, harder, until my face starts to look ugly and the skin faintly changes its color. It’s hurting me, it’s hurting me—so tight—I don’t know if I can take it anymore. I keep pulling
The ballerinas at school say they won’t have the secrets I need until they’re en pointe, and I know just enough about ballet to know that could mean years. So I stick to a strict routine of basic stretches, checking my progress in the bathroom mirror mornings and nights while brushing my teeth on my highest tippy toes. Are you trying to pull a muscle? Mom asks. If I do it’ll be all your fault. Fair is fair, she says. Your sister couldn’t walk around the neighborhood alone until she could see her whole head in the mirror. I can’t very well change the rules now. Around the time I can see my nostrils, I beg my sister for help. What do you want me to do, she taunts. Move the mirror? I tell my brother that when I can walk around the neighborhood by myself, I’ll take him anywhere he wants. Until then, I say, let’s make a better city in the backyard. Pretty soon neighbors are hopping fences to help us build. Older kids, even some of my sister’s friends, want to play in our city. I let anyone join as long as they bring materials, and the sprawl from the backyard into other parts of the house begins to rival aerial views of Los Angeles County. Still, I can’t help feeling there’s more to explore outside, and I begin to nag Mom. I nag her so much that, out of guilt or annoyance, she teaches me to fish out the window. During the week I collect my best drawings and clay figures in a bucket marked with rainbow bubble letters spelling G-O F-I-S-H. On weekends Mom ties the handle to a rope, fastens it to the bottom of a broom, and lowers the bucket out the window while I hold the broomstick steady. Passersby leave dollar bills in the bucket in exchange for artwork, and some leave even more, yelling up special requests for designs they can pick up next weekend. I’m left each week with a bucket full of money I have no use for aside from bribing my sister to take me places. In the end, it’s worth more to me as green paper than that. We’re in and out of the bathtub delivering items for a business banquet downtown when my brother points toward the mirror. Even hunched over our model skyscrapers I know what he sees, but instead of calling to show Mom and then running outside as I’d always anticipated, I help finish the delivery. When the afternoon mail train has departed the civic center area of the living room, I go out to the backyard. With my
Liza St. James In Search of Weissnichtwo
The best part of having the highest balcony is that no one sees me luxuriating up here above the rush of traffic, breeze on my bare skin, losing all sense of time. Dawn and dusk twist by like kites and float across the treeless boulevard to be eaten, along with the rest of the days, by the automatic doors of the shopping complex. Characters below the balcony become fixtures. The smoker in pajamas at the lamppost continues smoking. The curbside Tarot reader repeats, A secret known to the one who can decipher it. I can’t have been here more than a week, but only one detail still holds my attention. I’ve become entranced with the one building in the shopping complex older than the rest, a turreted palace whose ancient arch reads “Neue Welt.” No one enters or exits the New World, so I begin looking for clues. Anything of its era, really. Cobblestone barely visible in the center divide, faint horse hoof imprints in the concrete below. According to the Sculptor there’s a forge nearby with blacksmiths still working hammer to anvil. The thought of cool metal turns me on and I melt a little into the balcony. I wish I could step outside myself to watch the melting. A dog barks somewhere. The air smells of bergamot and charcoal. I spend evenings inside at the piano recording episodes of a talk show for the Sculptor. She’s left me this studio during her residency and I want to leave her something new to return to. I title the show “Prank Calls to the Loneliest Person in the World,” and in each episode I pretend to receive a prank call from across the boulevard. I pretend to own a telephone and I pretend to be the loneliest person in the non-New World. As soon as I take a break, I wonder whether I’m pretending at all. I email all seven people I know in the city. Subject: just moved! Body: my address and a hyperlink to the disco video of Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell,” the only version available online in this country. I return to the balcony. Watching the city from above like this reminds me of something.
fingers crossed tightly I walk around our lake, hoping it won’t dry up when I go for my first walk alone on the beach and somehow knowing it will. *
The ideal work environment, I say. Actually, I’ve been thinking that’s what it must be like inside the New World. The New World? Across the street. Oh, the Neue Welt concert hall? You’ve never been?
Light hits something on the roof across the boulevard and the New World is ablaze. Just as Mount Analogue is visible only when sunlight hits the Earth’s surface at the perfect angle, I half expect some kind of portal to open up and reveal an interior entirely unlike anything sharing the name with Vespucci’s Mundus Novus. I imagine a mini city disinterested in expansion but bent on self-preservation, a mini city where residents work because there’s nothing they’d rather do with their time, a mini city operating free of excess and— The bell rings. I throw on a ratty t-shirt and pace the length of the studio thinking of reasons to ignore it, but it’s too late. I’ve buzzed someone in and that someone is Bridget Tichenor. I named her after the artist because, ever since I first met her, Autorretrato eyes have taken over my dreams. Bridget Tichenor carries a small jar of pickles and a greased-through wax paper bag. Before we even sit down she pulls a wad of napkins from her pocket, opens the bag, and hands me a gözleme. She takes the other and we sit at a table whose centerpiece is a small clay box filled with the Sculptor’s baby teeth. After a few bites Bridget Tichenor says, Today I applied to be an animal cremator. Take naps in a coffin, sleep in a body bag, I say, recalling a rap song from my youth. And then, Sorry, I don’t know why I said that. It’s just that when Atlas died, she says, I never believed the ashes they gave me were any more burnt bunny than burnt tree stump. And I think I could change that. I feel their voices, you know? She reaches for a pickle, and continues, Anyway, the cremation assistant is a total babe. She handed out juice to the candidates in this low-cut tank top revealing a tattoo just above her boob that says, in elegant script, Cogito ergo sum. It was all kind of perfect. I take a pickle and stand with the now pickleless jar. Dill floats in the murky brine, long and spindly, and when I move to dump it she says, Looks like something out of a Marilyn Manson video. So she must hear the animals think, too, right? I’m just saying the whole vibe in there was strange. One of those places where you find yourself getting chills, whispering for no reason.
With each breath my shadow further envelops the lithe neck of the dead pelican. I hear only waves and feel unusually calm crouched like this, burying the bird in my shadow. With my pinkie I trace a map in the sand of where the bird has been, where I will go. It ends up looking something like Kentucky. The States unit at school hasn’t begun yet but I’ve gotten a head start and determined that maps are pretty but that I don’t want to know anything about them beyond that. Especially not how to use them, as my teacher keeps threatening to explain. The sky shifts and my shadow escapes. I look up, squinting into the sun, to find a man dragging his walking stick through the sand in a large circle around me. I stand, noticing through the squint that my shadow has converted the pelican into an odd-looking llama. It greets us all, the man says, his voice fragile but sharp, like a splinter. I give him a half-smile through closed lips and think of llamas, greeting us all. Pollution leaves them weak from starvation, he continues. So when, at last, there are fish to catch, their necks snap and that graceful way they dive becomes the graceful way they die. I make a mumbled noise of affirmation and wonder how the stage managers of some twisted production or other always seem to find me. I look around for my brother, who I let explore on his own after promising never to tell Mom, and find him on a nearby dune. On the way home we dip into my old window fishing stash and buy a bag of cherry Charm pops at 7-Eleven. It’s my brother’s idea. In a dream he beat the Mayor in a swimming competition at the lake, and when he awoke he couldn’t remember what he’d won, only that forever afterwards, throughout the city, business people and cops sucked pink lollipops. It felt good to watch them suck, he says. They made funny noises and never bit like you’d expect them to. We make a pact to give one to every suit we pass until the bag runs out, and return home to where his bucket sits by the window, ready to be lowered.
Tunica #01: Metropolis
Villaescusa in pa ,S rka an Sebastian, S Go
Forgive me, cabbie, for I have sinned. My last cab ride was this morning, right after the overbaked croissant. My name is Oscar Winnebaker. I ride taxis for answers to life’s most grueling questions and expiation of all my sins. I should think it started when I got kicked out of confession on Christmas Day. I told the priest I believed in having premarital sex. He told me for lack of repentance I could not be absolved of my sins. “Come back on Tuesday or Thursday afternoon, during office hours. We’ll talk about your moral issues then. I’m afraid your beliefs are unacceptable in the eyes of God.” His eyes glassed over more and he let out a vapor of age and mothballs from his nose. I left the confessional box, and felt abandoned. Outside, Christ hung from the cross over bleeding candles. According to his religion, Christ was technically also belching in the confessional. In a tuxedo mumu. And a loin cloth. In other words, Jesus Christ was telling me to fuck off. I left the faithful penguins communing with unleavened lies. Outside, on the street, it was colder than I’d dressed for. My eyes stung with tears for the first time since I can’t even remember. They welled like candle wax and dripped hot over my face. I had a fleeting fantasy. If I didn’t wipe them away, I dreamt they’d harden on my skin. Jesus Christ, I needed a cab. An old lady with flowers and supermarket plastic bags filled with what would
soon become poopoo after she slaved away cooking it all stood on the opposite sidewalk. She too was waiting for a taxi. There is a rule, a golden rule for taxicab therapy junkies such as myself. If you spot a cab, don’t give it up. You picked it because it was your destiny. We all die. I will die sooner, my doctor and my liver say so. Life is short. A black and yellow one was cruising up the street, slowly driving along, like someone cruising for hookers in the movies. But not a first-time cruiser, this one was an old timer. New guys that cruise for hookers don’t actually cruise, they drive once around, real quick because they haven’t yet made up their minds and are still thinking of all the diseases they could die of. All the diseases except a swollen, veiny liver. The new guys, they drive past either too quick or don’t drive by at all. They park a few feet away and watch the other guys pick up that bony blonde that’s actually a bony brunette underneath all that peroxide sadness. New cab drivers don’t park, of course, unless they’re tired or lonesome. But then I’m getting off topic. This guy, this cab driver, he was my cab driver. The old lady saw me itching, and didn’t care. She raised her free hand weakly, the one that held the bodega flowers, and hid the three or four grocery bags behind her back. No one pities an old lady who can carry that many bulging plastic bags. Old ladies deserve their hemorrhoids and their husbands. They have no respect for anyone except the dead.
Tunica #01: Metropolis #01
The Other Side of Time
a rk s&Hannibal, C as nm ope nhagen, De Hv
Pablo Conejero López
I see an image moving towards me I feel an image standing beside me In the course of the day There is nothing much to feel If love and pain make it hard to see If love and pain are lost within my breath I free myself from images in my head I remember all the voices of the city And the noises of unattainable Heavens that never were Leaving traces to the past To the future far behind I see the sunset ending everything I see the universe smiling at me As the horizon dissipates I will die under the rain On the other side of time
a F. Bred illa rd,
e nc Paris, Fra
ny Berlin, Germa
Pablo Abad ,M adrid, Spain
go Capablanc Hu a,
The Gray Wall Juan Aizpitarte
Muros y fantasmas Text by Ibon Salaberria
â€œArmed masses are not necessary for the revolution; a thousand young people with markers and spray paint cans suffices.â€? Jean Baudrillard Koop Killer or the Insurrection of Signs
Consider for a moment how the first murals were inside of caves where nomadic hunters found shelter and drew their first signs…creating the first formal expressions. Some researchers speculate these paintings were made by shamans (or artists under the effects of narcotics) in front of an audience, serving as a tool for the transmission of knowledge.
slogans, insults and love declarations. In Salamanca and Sevilla, for instance, there are some inscriptions (vítores) on the walls of cathedrals. These vítores, or graffiti, recall a ceremony, a celebration or an event. From vítor comes the Spanish vivo (alive). Life was painted on the facades of cathedrals. The sum total of paintings and inscriptions plastered on walls became a collective palimpsest, with writing on top of writing, the trace of the new over the existing…a box of ghosts sealed with the weight of new signs. Art and politics have constantly interacted on the walls of history, and not only at the agora. Events in Libya or the Basque country are living examples of maps generated by graffiti, painting over and over messages on the murals of our cities. This uncertain movement towards a reality is part of Juan Aizpitarte’s work The Grey Wall. Juan travels through Beijing in the guise of archeologist or ghost hunter, whose aim is to go through the walls of the city and discover vestiges of past marks. His photographs, printed on canvas, blur appearance, absence and censorship. The grey becomes a strategy of supervision and censorship, without considering the act of covering comes through as a layer. There is a sense of distrust in cities that exhibiting intact walls, or cities turning to a gray “homogenizer.” Attempts to disrupt the lines constructed by signs and time only reinforce the message’s invisible fabric. This great ghost waits to take shape and expression in the shape of protest: art and politics. The profanation of walls revives cities.
Walls originate as defense. The first vertical constructions appear when sedentary civilizations begin to produce a surplus and need to protect their goods. We could say the wall is a primitive machine of belligerent strategy. This would place us within a less fascinating perspective on the origin of cities. Cities would no longer be an expression of democratic humanity. The word muro (wall) comes from the latin murus (exterior wall). The Latin origin has an Indo-European root mei (to construct, to fix) which in turn yields words like meta, muladar (rubbish dump) and munición (ammunition). The vast majority of early walls are now embalmed in “museumization.” Museum displays strip walls of their context. The actual image of ruins is related to the physicality of construction. We imagine past buildings as brutal in their conception. The colorist tendencies that permeated the edifices of ancient civilizations is well known. No matter how much emphasis is placed on the evocative power of ancient temples, the naked ruin in its texture and perfect interlocking symmetry, we must also imagine the walls of ancient cities full of inscriptions and political
Iñaki Aizpitarte Interview by Alex Vicente
As owner and chef of Le Chateaubriand, the celebrated Paris restaurant, Iñaki Aizpitarte is doing his best to remain faithful to the spirit of his cooking despite the pressures of over half a decade of success. From his kitchen in the trendy Parisian neighborhood of lower Belleville, the French-Basque chef has spearheaded a new school of sophisticated and laid-back cuisine that consistently garners accolades from the food cognoscenti. Iñaki met us in his restaurant to explain how the urban
To what extent does the city you live in change the way you cook? For any given chef, the milieu where he lives has a huge influence on what he cooks. Not just the city, also the neighborhood. I live by the Canal Saint-Martin and every morning, on my way to the restaurant, I pass by places that inspire me—little shops around the corner, Chinese and Indian restaurants, people I just walk by. I like to think I have a pretty personal style, but obviously all these things inform my sensibility as a cook. I’m very open to the multicultural vibe of big cities and it’s not hard to see that it shows in my menu. Not only because of the choice of ingredients, but also techniques and combinations.
Has cuisine become more standardized in the past few years? Do we find more or less the same culinary propositions in this city as in the other side of the world? We do if we stick to the touristy circuit, formed by restaurants for the wealthy that show no creativity in what they have to offer. In that case, the menu is always the same, or extremely similar—nowadays one can eat ridiculous things like a foie gras burger everywhere. One has to be a bit curious and get out of that path to find amazing things, especially in places like Latin America or Asia, where the so-called street cuisine—which doesn’t exist anymore here in Europe—is still vibrant and totally amazing. That’s where one can eat better. I’ve just been to Bangkok and I have to say that gastronomic restaurants were not as good as small restaurants on a side street!
How do you cook in Paris and Tel Aviv, to mention two of the cities you have lived in? Actually I think both cities share sort of the same spirit—Israel is a pretty new country and Tel Aviv presents a huge mix of origins. Over there, like its been happening here in Paris during the last few years, one can find a certain openness regarding mixing different things. The only difference might be the products I would use in one place versus the other, since I don’t like to work with ingredients that come from afar. I have always worked with local suppliers, although I also take on dry products that may be a little more exotic.
environment leaves its mark on his trademark dishes.
You opened Le Chateaubriand in the lower Belleville area. Does the area have an effect on the vibe of the restaurant? Would it be the same in a privileged, wealthy area as it is now, in this mixed, hectic and trendy neighborhood? When I came here seven years ago, there were no restaurants around. I just respected the place and did no major works to this beautiful space from the early 20th century. Of course, I wouldn’t have same clientele if I had opened Le Chateaubriand in a wealthier area. The restaurant would have a completely different vibe. It has already changed quite a bit, since we’ve had some success lately, but I’m mostly happy about it. There are Parisians who still come, and also more and more foreigners. Everyone can come and find their place here. But I do try to preserve the original spirit by reserving a few tables for locals; I don’t want it to become a restaurant for tourists. I try to control that, although it’s not easy. But we’ve found a pretty simple solution…when people call to make a reservation and we see an international code on the dial, we know they’re not locals [laughing]. I want to make it possible for people from the neighborhood to come over and find a table.
Iñaki Aizpitarte during a recent visit to New York
How has the area changed in the last seven years? It’s been amazing, since there was literally nothing around when we opened. I was familiar with the area because I always hung around this bar called Le Zorba, which was pretty well known by conoisseurs a few years ago. So I somewhat saw it coming. Now the Canal Saint-Martin is very trendy, as is Belleville. We’re set in the Avenue Parmentier, which is halfway between the two areas, so I think the restaurant has no links to the stereotypes about them—it is set in a sort of no man’s land. The district will probably become somewhat obnoxious in a few years, like some sort of new Marais. All the area surrounding the Place de la République is being completely renovated, so I’m sure the gentrification will keep going on. We tend to think that Paris doesn’t change that much. It clearly changes slower than cities like New York, but it does evolve.
Photo: José C. García
Are restaurants the first thing you check out when you arrive in a new city? Totally. The first thing I do is have a look at the way cooks work, what their propositions are, the way the service presents itself. I don’t think that’s some sort of déformation professionnelle, like we say in French (obsession with work and work-related matters). I think that cafés and restaurants are always the main gate to a city for any kind of visitor. What do you do upon arrival in a new city? You get to a hotel, leave your luggage and head out to have a cup of coffee. That’s where the first impression is formed. I will admit that my case is probably more severe, because I do have a certain obsession. Restaurants are my museums! Well, that’s not completely true, since I don’t do just restaurants. I also do bars [laughing].
Have you seen many copycats around? I don’t know what to say. I guess so, since some journalists have said that. I tend to think everyone is inspired by something or by someone, like I did myself when I was starting. What cities in the world are the most interesting to you, cuisine-wise? I will pick three. First of all, Mexico City. I just love Mexican cuisine, that classic mixture of freshness and acidity, the taco places everywhere, the old guys selling stuff at the street markets. There is a lively quality in the way they cook and eat that I’ve rarely found elsewhere. My second choice would be San Sebastián, not only for the major chefs that are known worldwide today, but also for the small joints in the Parte Vieja [Old Town]. What I like about Basque cuisine is the way it respects the seasons. Over there, you don’t eat mushrooms or guindillas all year. My last choice would be Hong Kong, which is not the best-known place for cooking. Still, it concentrates all that is best about Chinese cuisine, with its extreme vastness, regional variations and particularities…infinite textures, products and techniques…. You just can’t get enough of it.
Can too much success be a bad thing? I’ve been scared about that in the past, but we’re working on it. I know some people hate us, but I don’t have plans to be liked by everyone. Mine is a pretty particular culinary proposition, so I guess it’s actually good there is no consensus on it. I like the fact my cuisine creates a debate.
Harry Nilsson, “Everybody’s Talkin”
The xx, “Intro”
Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind”
Air, “Alone In Tokyo”
The Streets, “Blinded By the Lights”
Model 500, “Night Drive”
Frank Ocean, “Lost”
Chromatics, “In the City”
by John Talabot
Interview by Jaume Rodríguez
Hailing from Barcelona, John Talabot borrowed his name from a prep school alma mater. As DJ, producer and musician, his talents landed him an opening gig for electronic pop outfit The xx.
Would the music of John Talabot be the same if it started in an industrial city far from the sea or a small provincial capital? I don’t know if it would be the same. I’ve always said my music is a mashup of my musical tastes and influences all melted together in a strange and very personal way. I’m not sure how being bored here would compare to being bored in other cities. Barcelona is not a big city, but it is well connected with music, art, festivals and cinema, so I think it is a good city to develop an artistic personality, not as much as Berlin, New York, London or others, but interesting enough and with a Catalan cultural background, which is quite important. Had I grown up in a different place, I would’ve been a different person. In the end, everything has an impact on you. Barcelona, as well as my friends, surroundings, family and education have had an impact on my personality. What city inspires or distorts your creative process? Do you find it easier to work when you’re far away from the city? I’ve said before that my city is not a direct inspiration on my music, but of course it is a part of my creative process. Routine, neighbors, weather, food, etc., in the end all interact with your process and your work. I always thought Barcelona is not an easy city for working. Sometimes you just want to enjoy the city and hang around instead of being
While on tour, John takes a time out to question the influence of cities on musical genres. Is the city catalyst, accomplice or mere witness?
I understand the creativity of an artist has a lot to do with personal experiences…the way you grew up, the music you listened to as well as your circle of friends. Beyond the obvious, how much of Barcelona comes out in your music? Are there themes linking your productions and the city you live in? How much does Barcelona inspire you when it’s time to create? I’m really not sure what percentage of Barcelona there is in my music. It’s not something I’m aware of. Obviously Barcelona is my place. I was born and raised there, and I live there at the moment. Still, I don’t feel that has a special impact in my music or at least it’s not something I’m trying to develop. Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in the world. But when I sit down to do music I try to go to other places to recreate landscapes that are far from my routine and my city.
genre because of your visit? For me, an obvious example would be the relationship of Lou Reed and his work about New York. I think the relationship between music and cities can be sometimes tricky. I’m not sure if records change your perception of a city. California and The Beach Boys…was that the real California? Surf, girls, cars, having fun. That’s what I imagined from listening to the records, but not I’m not so sure if ththe city is like that. Maybe that was The Beach Boys’ experience there…perhaps there were plenty more things going on that no one wrote about. Lyrics can always be tricky. They can influence your idea of how a place or people can be. I think electronic acts can offer a more abstract definition of their landscapes and cities through sounds and production skills. Burial, for example, is a perfect recreation of a big, cold, dark and wet city. His music speaks without lyrics that define anything. You just feel that oppression and density in the production, you sense it.
inside an office or an apartment, so you just have to be constant with your work and try to avoid thinking you’re missing a great sunny day outside. How has the transformation of Barcelona and its people affected you? For example, Barcelona and its music scene before the Olympics (rumba and rock) versus what remained popular after the Olympics…a modernized and above all cosmopolitan city? I don’t know too much about pre-Olympic Barcelona. I was a child and can’t say what the scene was like. I think Barcelona has been an open-minded city, at least in relation to other cities in Spain. Having a port, being well connected with Europe via the north and having a lot of exiled artists return after the dictatorship all helped turn the city into an interesting artistic destination. The Olympics took place in ‘92, a bit more than a decade after Franco’s dictatorship finished, which is not a lot of time for a country to regenerate and modify its tastes. I always felt that Barcelona’s artists have to have more trust in their sense of creativity. Sometimes we look too much at what’s going on outside. We need to foment a good artistic scene here, with our own influences and tastes. Do you think perception and understanding vary depending on the city you’re in? Have you ever had that impression? Does John Talabot get the same response in Barcelona as in New York, for example? Well, there are cities and countries that are more open to accepting new sounds or giving opportunities to risky musical acts. Speaking in terms of business, for example, Spain is a limited for indie bands and acts because they will never be able to break into the mainstream. I’m always surprised when I go to the London Underground and see posters for LCD Soundsystem or MIA. That’s totally impossible in Barcelona. LCD or MIA cannot be a part of our commercial radio; you’ll never see a poster of Kanye West or even Jay-Z.
Have you ever wanted to visit a city based on songs you’ve heard about it? Any examples? I’ve visited some cities that are part of musical history, like Seattle, Chicago and Manchester. Later you realize it’s not how you imagine. I mean, cities are nice, they have their place in history, but that creative moment has passed…it’s hard to realize what happened there and see it from today’s perspective. They were bright moments with brilliant people in big cities, doing small things that became a whole musical movement.
Which musicians do you think best represent their cities? In other words, which artist or musical genre has helped you better understand a city? Have you ever visited a city and had a better understanding of an artist or musical
Photo: Adria Cañameras
If you’ve been to Detroit, is it easy to connect the harshness and industrialism of the city to its techno scene? Or acid pop with Manchester? Or Seattle with grunge? Are there other parallels that come to mind? Sometimes it’s true that a city is really important in generating a particular sound. Perhaps more influential is the economic or social situation in the city. Sometimes it simply boils down to a group of artists from a city developing a sound based on a previous sound or influence. You spoke about Detroit techno, or Seattle grunge. I’m not sure what part of the sound of those genres is city-specific. What would have happened if Juan Atkins, or Kevin Saunderson, had lived in Atlanta?
Bubi Canal Interview by Verónica Santi
Bubi Canal (Santander, Spain, 1980) is an artist living in New York City. Bubi transports us to impossible worlds laden with emotions and mysteriously
Bright as day. Line and color telling stories, darkness and light enciting. Fresh. Dense. Simple. Images created by New York-based Spanish artist Bubi Canal are a visual feast. Documenting the complex and personal, the work embodies an euphoric world populated by a weird species that fuses animal, man and robot. Bubi creates a fabled, realistic and memorably dreamlike sci-fi world. The joy of sparkling color, keenly orchestrated to captivate the viewer, infuses a sense of magic and hope into his work. Like the smile of a clown, his aesthetic can simultaneously amuse and disturb.
How did you feel the need to express your creativity? It seems like you “live” in color and transmit that in your work… Exactly, my work is a reflection of what is happening inside and around me. It’s my vision of the world. Everything comes out of me in a very natural way. I’m someone who likes to dream. The simple fact I can do my work is a dream come true. To create is what I like doing the most. You are a photographer, videographer and sculptor, and sometimes a performer in your fantastic world. How much of yourself do you put in your artwork? I’ve included myself as subject since my first project Joyboy. I compulsively become a part of my work…it is very easy to work with myself. Most of my favorite
intriguing characters. His work combines photography, video and sculpture, and deals with wishes, dreams, magic and love.
So New York City has given you a lot. Have you thought about giving something back to it? Is there a special place you would love to feature your work? Totally, I am giving all to this city because I love it and the people who live here. It sounds typical, but it’s how I feel and I have so much love to give. There are amazing locations here I am using for my photographs and videos. I think a lot about the spaces in the streets and it’s the first time I feel compelled to do something in the streets of a city.
pieces of other artists’ work are self-portraits. Sometimes I think of how much I love Michael Jackson’s work. I can’t imagine his music without him on the cover of his albums, in his fantastic music videos or dancing in concert. Michael Jackson is very important and special to me. The contemporary context seems to be very influential in your work. From Santander to Madrid via Bilbao, how has your way of making art changed? When I lived in Bilbao I had a lot of help, I used cameras and studios for free from my university. But when I moved to Madrid I didn’t have any of these things, and I had to adapt. Then my pieces changed. It was then I decided I want to be able to do my work in any city and under any circumstances.
Working in a public space is a huge challenge for an artist…you would be under the eye of the public around the clock. Art is never neutral, but people have to deal with public art. Are you more focused in amalgamating your work within the context of New York or are you delivering a message for people to ponder... I’m always interested in giving a positive message to people and be an influence in their lives. Giving love and making people happier in the same way other artist have done for me. They have changed my life and I am grateful.
…and since you moved to New York? A lot changed since I moved here; everything has been very good to me. I am learning a lot and collaborating with amazing people. I see this city like a big battery where you can get energy when you need it. I think a lot of people are living very special moments here. There is a lot of love in the air…I can feel it.
Currently you are also working on your first New York solo show at the Munch Gallery.... Yes, I am very excited. It will be an amazing experience to share my work in New York. When Lillian Munch approached me to do this solo show in New York…that was a dream come true for me. Certainly one of the most special days in my career.
True. New York has great, beautiful energy coming from people. One day the city will take off and become a supernova.... Anyway, until then, I guess artists will continue to get its magical influence. The topic of this first issue of Tunica is Metropolis. I think about Fritz Lang and how he was impressed by this “city of skyscrapers.” Have you seen this movie? I love it. Lang’s vision of the city in the future is amazing and the images are unforgettable! I saw these images for the first time when I was a boy, in the video for “Radio Gaga” by Queen.
Let me give you two dark scenarios. One: the indifferent look of a businessman who is passing by your hypothetical public art installation. Two: the stare of an important figure of the New York art world who is looking with disappointment at a piece of yours in a gallery. Which one makes you more nervous? I have complete respect for everyone. All of the public is important to me, without exception. I try not to be nervous when faced with people’s reactions to my work, because my work is who I am. I don’t create with the intention of being accepted by the public, I create to feel free. Creating is a mandate of my heart.
Actually, the setting of your video Trust In Me is similar…a futuristic metropolis. Yes, my idea was to show an empty and unknown city. I shot the video in Madrid, but that part of the city is not very well known. It could be any city in no specific time in history. Even people who live in Madrid often ask me where the filming was done.
Lydia Dolemanâ€™s tiny home made entirely of recycled materials in Portland, Oregon
Veggie Burger Laurent Cabut & IĂąaki Aizpitarte
Blanch spinach and watercress in boiling salted water for 5 seconds. Cool greens in ice water immediately. Dress greens with a dash of olive oil and tabasco sauce to taste. Slice red onion into rings, blanch 10 seconds in boiling water. Cool rings in ice water. Dress rings with sherry vinegar. Cut all the vegetables and sautĂŠ to the consistency of a tomato sauce. Add seeds and cocoa nibs to taste. Add a dash of agar agar. Shape veggie mixture into patties. Let the patties set for 2 hours in the refrigerator. Cook patties in a pan about three minutes per side or until browned. Dress lettuce lightly with mayonnaise. Toast kaiser rolls and assemble burgers with patties, seasoned lettuce and sweet white onion split into rings.
Photo: Damien Lafargue
8 oz spinach 4 oz watercress olive oil tabasco sauce 1 red onion sherry vinegar 1 stalk fennel 1 yellow zucchini 1 stalk celery 1 red pepper 1 green pepper 4 oz dried tomatoes 2 tomatoes seeds: flax, coriander, green anise, sesame cocoa nibs agar agar 1 package romaine lettuce mayonnaise seeded kaiser rolls 1 sweet white onion
Arnau Sala Bubi Canal Carly Rabalais Damien Lafargue Eleni Bagaki Eric Shaw Gorka Villaescusa Hiro Kurata Hoon Ju Ko Hugo Capablanca Hvass&Hannibal I単aki Aizpitarte John Talabot Jordi Labanda Jorge Clar Juan Aizpitarte Julien Pacaud Kara Crabb Laurent Cabut Liza St. James Llobregrat Balaguer Lloyd Kahn Lorena Sequeyro Luis Dourado Manuel Donada Nanda F. Bredillard Nicky Carvell Nicolas Hosteing Pablo Abad Pablo Conejero Shu Kojima Sophie Van Der Perre Tanja Siren Victor Moreno Zack Carlson
pg.74 pg.62 pg.08 pg.12 pg.21 pg.04 pg.42 pg.16 pg.32 pg.48 pg.44 pg.54 pg.58 pg.28 pg.33 pg.50 pg.24 pg.76 pg.78 pg.40 pg.43 pg.76 pg.70 pg.26 pg.75 pg.46 pg.20 cover pg.49 pg.45 pg.84 pg.66 pg.36 pg.80 pg.21
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METROPOLIS In the past, metropolis was the term used to designate a city. Many cities founded by ancient civilizations have been world metr...