ISSUE 23 / March 2012
PROGRESSIVE MEN'S MAGAZINE Progressives online-Magazin
72H IN BEIJING METROPOLIS IN A HAZE vangART
STAR DIRECTOR OLIVER HIRSCHBIEGEL & PAM ANN radar
PSYCHO-TRIP SELF-EXPLORATION WITH AYAHUASCA IN BRASIL
Impressum: Publisher and Management: VANGARDIST Ltd. & CO. KG Carlos Gómez & Julian Wiehl Editor-In-Chief: Julian Wiehl Copy Editor: Ejo Eckerle Fashion Director: Mirza Sprecakovic Music Editor: Juan Danilo Zamora Editorial Staff: Andrew Ütt, Juan Danilo Zamora, Ana Kaan, Bernhard Hable, Julian Wiehl, Thimoty Hubler Online Assistant: María José Villamil Rodríguez Photographers: Christoph Hochbauer, Philipp Jelenska, Ed Purnomo, Martin Siebenbrunner Correctors: Jay Bannmuller, Andrew Ütt Translators: Lisa Voigt Production and Styling: Mirza Sprecakovic Graphics and Layout: Magdalena Weyrer Video Editing: Cristóbal Hornito Video Operator: Anniela Verona Sincere thanks to all who, through their tireless efforts, have helped to produce this edition of the VANGARDIST. The articles are the reponsibilty of the author and and do not necessarily represent the views of the VANGARDIST.
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EDIT ORIAL Dear Vangardists! Welcome to our psychotrip issue! The path to self-knowledge and liberation from everything that restricts you is often curved and stony. That's how the VANGARDIST ended up in Brazil. In a small encampment, one of our editors experienced the effects of the psychedelic Ayahuasca-tea under the supervision of a shaman. The magic potion brought out thoughts and feelings in him that he wasn't aware he had and presented him with a completely new awareness of life. With the “My lonely Hero“ fashion shoot we wanted to depict the male quest for identity – or rather the exciting balancing act between finding your own identity and following male role models. In a very personal interview with famous filmmaker Oliver Hirschbiegel (“The Downfall“), he reveals his thoughts on what makes a mature man. In my opinion, someone's taste in art is also a good indicator of their level of mental maturity. That's why we travelled to Beijing, where we found a kind of art Disneyland with over 798 museums, galeries and art studios on an industrial compound built with the help of the former GDR. We promise that anyone will find art to suit their personal taste here. We hope you'll enjoy this month's issue. We guarantee it'll make you feel a little more mature – and also a little younger.
Julian Wiehl & the VANGARDIST - Team
72H IN BEIJING
MY LONELY HERO
RADAR – Shedding skin 10 A bunch of 30-somethings on a life-changing retreat in Brazil
FACADE – Shooting – My Lonely Hero 20 – Shooting – The Dandy 98 – Business Punks 58
A new dress code for white-collar professionals
– Editor’s Choice 68 Styletip
– Shooting – Strict Discipline 140 – Shooting – Top Man 46 – Interview – Pam Ann 134 – Shopzone 94 BALANCE – Beauty 116 Anti Aging – The Age of Glory
ON TOUR – 72h in Beijing 36 Metropolis in a Haze
– The places – SPAS 120 Bathing in lotus flowers, massage in the pavilion and yoga on the beach
VANGART – The Shape of a Voice – Jaume Plensa 82 – A Divine Brunch 108
Breackfast with Drag Icon Glenn Milstead alias DIVINE
– Listen to this! 146 Music recommendations for good listeners
– 15 Qs to: Oliver Hirschbiegel 72 CELEBRATION – Up-coming! 148 What´s on in...?
SPREAD THE WORD!
> > d n e i r f a tell
us on f
TEXT: MATTHIAS KRONFUSS
A bunch of 30-somethings on a life-changing retreat in Brazil At night we gather in the temple, one by one, quivering with terror and excitement, receive our cups filled with that vile tasting brew, say our intentions and drink reluctantly. Each one of us sits down on their mattress and tries to suppress the urge to throw it up again. The tea seems to come alive in my stomach, sending bursts of energy through my entrails. My mind begins to drift, and as soon as I lie down, I am washed away to foreign shores.
I had travelled for almost 24 hours from gloomy pre-Christmas Vienna to the sultry shores of Bahia, in the north of Brazil, to drink Ayahuasca, a plant medicine used by Amazonian shamans for centuries in their healing rituals. Throughout my life, I had come across this mysterious brew several times â€“ first in Peru, where today it is even used in drug rehab therapy, but later also in Europe where expat shamans hold ceremonies for curious gringos, despite its classification as an A-list drug. Having turned 30 this year, I finally felt ready for the challenge and went all the way to the beach town of ItacarĂŠ, mainly because Ayahuasca is legal in Brazil, as it is used as a sacrament by several Christian churches there. But more importantly, I had been recommended a retreat centre established in 2008 by Argentinean psychotherapist and shamanic initiate Silvia Polivoy, whose aim it was to use this ancient plant knowledge for self discovery and spiritual development in a transdenominational setting. The teaâ€™s secret lies in its ingredient DMT, which seems to be a key to the gates of our subconscious, bringing our emotions and fears to the sur-
face. Beyond intense visions, which can be both dazzling and disturbing, most people experience a strong divine, spiritual presence pinpointing their fears and flaws, but also providing them with solutions to overcome them.
Info-Box Ayahuasca, which translates as â€œvine of the spiritsâ€?, is a brew traditionally made from two plants, the ayahuasca vine and the leaves of the chacruna bush. While the psychoactive substance DMT (dimethyltryptamine) is actually contained in the leaf, it is a substance in the vine that prevents it from being broken down in the stomach, resulting in a trance which can last up to seven hours. Interestingly, DMT is also found in many animals as well as humans, where its presence remains a mystery, although some research suggests that it might be related to altered states of consciousness such as near death experiences.
TIME FOR EMOTIONAL GROWTH The seven-day retreat, which included three optional Ayahuasca ceremonies as well as meditation workshops, is not for the faint-hearted, and certainly not a recreational drug spree. Our group of ten, which had flocked to the jungle from all corners of the planet – an Argentinean craniosacral therapist, an American card reader, an Australian composer – was as diverse as the reasons each of us had for going. But we all had reached a point in our lives where we wanted to discover more about ourselves and drop off some baggage. Personally, I felt the urge to finally leave behind the emotional adolescence gay men easily get stuck in, exempt from the social pressure to found a family and provide for their offspring. While planning the trip, I had agreed
to write an article for this issue of Vangardist, but it was a mere coincidence that six of us were 30+ year old gay men. And frankly, apart from the odd joke to our straight group members that they had unknowingly been tricked into a gay conversion camp, the issues we dealt with went far beyond gender and sexual preference. None of us newbies had really anticipated the intensity of the experience, but we were committed to go through with it. A strict diet some time before and throughout the retreat – no sex, alcohol, drugs, salt, sugar and red meat – was to make us more receptive for the ceremonies and insights, and we indeed felt very delicate and open for new ideas. FACE TO FACE WITH THE SUBCONSCIOUS The morning after the first ceremony we awoke under the mighty beams of the temple roof to thundering rain and a cacophony of birds and frogs populating the lush jungle around us. We looked at each other with bewilderment and awe, unwilling to believe what had happened in the
seven hours the tea had burrowed its way through our bodies and minds. Exhausted from the lack of sleep, our heads throbbing with thoughts and insights, we shared our stories after lunch. To an outsider, we must have seemed like a bunch of madmen. "I was a beggar in India, but then Mother Theresa came along and saved me", Australian composer Nick said drily and forked a juicy mango on his plate. American war veteran Lucas and Brazilian jewellery designer Lisa had experienced healing surgery by higher beings, while Spanish choreographer Rafael had spent most of the night in absolute bliss. „It told me that I needed to learn to accept love and happiness, and it’s true. I’m too hard on myself.“ All of us had felt that external presence, a wise being that had spoken to us like a loving, and sometimes scolding mother. ANGELS AND DEMONS As the week progressed and we trooped from ceremony to ceremony, the stories shared around the imposing dining table did not become less
extravagant â€“ people saw angels and demons, floated through timeless dimensions or roamed Avataresque jungles as sapient hunters. But as bizarre as those visions might seem, and seemed to us, they always carried a message, at times quite verbal, at others conveyed in feeling â€“ to change bad habits, show compassion or dispel long-buried grief. After the three ceremonies, we all left profoundly touched by the experience, with resolutions to make changes to our lives or, alas, simply enjoy it more. Ayahuasca is not a magic potion that dissolves all our fears and problems, but rather amplifies them and offers alternative routes to our well-trodden behavioural paths that had turned out to be roundabouts. It is a unique opportunity for a fresh start â€“ but the change has to come from within us and will mean a lot of hard work.
BACK TO REALITY One month later, I still feel the reverberations of the tea. It’s grey and ghastly here in Vienna, but still I’m in a very tranquil, happy place. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have moments of sadness and anger, but something fundamental deep inside of me has changed, as if a parasite which had been gnawing at my soul had been extracted in Brazil. Where I used to see miserable people in the
streets, I now see disappointed, tormented souls. Where I was seduced by vanity and contempt, I am now warned by an inner voice to know better, to do better. As George Gurdjieff rightly pointed out, it is like you’ve been lifted from the basement of a building to the roof, where you could look out over the whole city. And now, back in the basement, you know where to go, but taking one step at a time by yourself.
USEFUL LINKS www.ayahuasca-info.com A great source of information on Ayahuasca alistairappleton.com An interesting blog by group member and seasoned Ayahuasca drinker Alistair Appleton www.spirit-vine.net Website of Silvia Polivoy’s retreat centre DOCUMENTARIES The man who drank the universe (abrufbar auf vimeo.com/32460413) Stepping into the fire (steppingintothefire.com) Shamans of the Amazon (www.shamansoftheamazon.com) DMT: The Spirit Molecule (thespiritmolecule.com) BOOKS DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor’s Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences, by Rick Strassman Ayahuasca in My Blood: 25 Years of Medicine Dreaming, by Peter Gorman The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge, by Jeremy Narby
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Photography: Aniela Verona Editing: Cristóbal Homito Musik /Track: Re-Drum – "The City"
ÂŠ Photos von Sebastian Freiler
t s n u D im t d a t aze s H t l a e n i s W i l o Metrop
In Chinaâ€™s capital city the posh boutiques and clubs are booming, and a general hipster vibe can be felt everywhere. But for those who care to look, there's plenty of tradition to be found in its labyrinth of narrow alleyways.
The decisive moment is when you're descending over the city. With a bit of luck you’ll be greeted by a bright blue sky. A bit less luck and you’ll be glad when it gets dark and you can't see the smog any more. In the end, whichever of the two options, this is a place that will fascinate you. Most flights arrive in Beijing in the early morning. Depending on taste and budget, smart travellers will have prebooked a hotel, either at the swanky (and expensive) Opposite House, the bargain-price YoYo Hotel, located in a side street just opposite the Opposite
House, or at the in-between option: the stylish Hotel G. All three places are right in the centre of Sanlitun, a Western-style neighbourhood in the east of the city, home to the biggest Adidas Store and one of the busiest Apple Stores in the world, great restaurants and a happening, vibrant nightlife that represents the new “consumerist” China. Plenty of Western, as well as Chinese, lifestyle hedonists, Vogue editors and advertising folk live in and around Sanlitun and its stylish boutiques are where the Chinese middle and upper classes come to squander their new-found
wealth on top international brands.
ÂŠ Photos von Sebastian Freiler
Before the Olympic Games were held in Beijing, this area looked completely different: grubby bars where girls of easy virtue offered their services and Western soldiers of fortune got plastered on adulterated booze. Leftovers from this wild era can still be found in some corners of Sanlitun â€“ on the legendary Bar Street, for example. But when you go looking for them, watch your wallet, because even though China is generally a very safe place, this seems to be a hot-spot for pickpockets to go about their business.
If you prefer a bit more of a traditional vibe, though, youâ€™ll have booked a hotel away from the shopping and party mile, preferably in or around Gulou Dong Da Jie, the area surrounding the Drum & Bell Tower. The very central Dongcheng quarter, for example, is still home to numerous Hutongs (residential districts) criss-crossed by a maze of narrow alleyways,where the old, authentic Beijing can still be felt and the hectic mega-city atmosphere seems to somehow recede. Here you can watch the locals play Mahjong and stroll through the labyrinthian streets. Western visitors tend to find
the Hutongs authentic and idyllic, but residents often complain about the lack of comfort and modern amenities. Most flats come with an outside toilet and have no electricity or hot water.
the area is dominated by the Chinese indie-hipster look, consisting of blackrimmed glasses, hats, skinny jeans and converse trainers. And if you want to know what else Chinese fashion victims like to wear, go to www.stylites.net.
Increasingly, large-scale housing projects are threatening the historical building structures, which are sometimes renovated and taken over by a chic boutique or café, as has happened in the famous Nanluoguxiang Road, now attracting tourists from all around the world. More commonly, though, the Hutongs are pulled down and replaced by hideous shopping malls, where many of Beijing’s aspiring rock stars pursue a second career as boutique owners. This explains why
Let’s turn to the culinary attractions Beijing has to offer. Naturally, a visit to the city wouldn’t be complete without trying the famous Peking Roast Duck (or alternatively, its tongue). I recommend you pre-order one at the DaDong restaurant, which has various branches around Beijing. Another culinary experience not to be missed are the specialities from the Chinese province of Yunnan. One of the best restaurants offering this kind of cui-
sine is Middle 8, right next to the YoYo Hotel. With a full and happy belly you can now set out for some sightseeing. Before visiting the Forbidden City, try and re-watch the film The Last Emperor, which is set right here. It’s best to enter the city through the northern gate and exit through the southern, so that after your visit you can have your picture taken in front of the Mao portrait and move straight on to the nearby Mausoleum. Just around the corner from there, you’ll find the recently opened National Museum of China with its many exhibitions, like the prestigious “The Art of the En-
lightenment” or the sponsored “Louis Vuitton Voyages” – to name just two of the most disparate – demonstrating how in China, art and commercialism often go hand-in-hand. If you've still got time after all this culture, try to visit the impressive Summer Palace or the Lama Temple and the WuDaoYing Hutong just opposite.
Show me what art you’re into, and I’ll tell you how mature you are If you’re into contemporary art, your next destination is clear: 798, the world's largest gallery quarter, situated inside a former factory complex and
© Photos by Sebastian Freiler
designed by architects from the former GDR. Many artists set up their studios here around the turn of the century because rents were very cheap. However, since then it has mutated into some sort of gigantic art Disneyland, where you can still find gems like the UCCA Museum or Faurschou Gallery, but you'll also come across plenty of art that's, shall we say, of questionable quality. A calmer and more authentic version of 798 can now be found further north. It’s called Caochangdi, and was founded by the country’s most famous contemporary artist and dissident Ai Wei Wei in 2000. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like it's going to stay that calm for much longer. After all that cultural input, it's time
to follow your new-found pengyous (friends) into the city’s amazing nightlife. If you’re not really into commercial music and RnB, steer clear of the crowded clubs round the Gongti Workers' Stadium, where Beijing’s most famous gay club, Destination, is also located. Beware, though, it isn't nicknamed “Desperation” for nothing. Names don't always say it all, though: the SoBear Club, a smaller and more alternative option for the queer clientele, attracts more than just bears. Gays generally don't need to hide in China. The biggest problem homosexuals face in this country is their family. Due to the government’s one-
child policy, parents often put a lot of pressure on their offspring to keep the family name alive. Pepe, an aficionado of the gay scene in China, explains: “If the family gets over the coming-out, it's generally fine, because the authorities tend to look the other way.” And of course, just like in the West, big cities like Shanghai and Beijing are more tolerant towards gays than rural towns. But even in the metropolis, you can’t just go and organise a gay beauty competition. The Chinese Mr. Gay contest was banned by the authorities because in the end, it's still the Communist Party that decides who gets to represent China to
the outside world. A few comments on Beijing’s club scene: there are only two electronic underground clubs worthy of a capital city, the Lantern and the Haze, located a bit further south. Both places attract a mixed hipster crowd who like their techno and house. And of course, we have to mention The Migas, which is really a Spanish restaurant. In summer, however, an attractive crowd parties the night away on its roof terrace, with amazing views and magnificent ginger Mojitos. With a bit of luck you’ll be there for
one of their legendary Funk Fever or Dance Dangereux parties. The latter are organised by the FakeMusic Media music collective, which mainly specialises in disco and live electro. Founders Helen Feng (also known as “The Queen of Beijing Rock”) and Metro Tokyo with Nova Heart are among the city’s few international underground bands (singing about, among other things, Roman transvestites).
author of this article and many other visitors – end up turning a weekend trip into a year-long stay, rest assured you will always carry a piece of Beijing with you, wherever you go. And who knows? Maybe I’ll see you back in Europe in June for the upcoming Nova Heart tour. Philipp Grefer is a freelance journalist, music manager and one of the founders of FakeMusic Media. He's been living in Beijing for three years – when he's not touring around
© Fotos von Sebastian Freiler
If you really manage to leave Beijing with his band or deejaying somewhere in the after just 72 hours, and don’t – like the world.
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Revolution on the inside
A new dress code for white-collar professionals – from the colourful world of the Business Punks
TEXT: ANA KAAN
True beauty comes from within. Two young Austrian men have set out to prove the veracity of this saying in – of all places – the grey world of business fashion. In fact, their daring venture has been very successful, and they’re now conquering the male fashion industry with their colourful top-quality lining fabrics.
tailors with exclusive, artist-designed linings. Because what better way is there to express individuality, than with art that touches you personally?
Lined by the hands of an artist Business Punksâ€™ founder Daniel Feuerstein had his moment of clarity on the tube, en route to a business meeting. As someone who doesnâ€™t really follow dress codes himself, he was suddenly struck by the question of why the business fashion world has so many strict specifications and such little creativity. He followed up his initial mind-game with some serious contemplation and thinking. It turned out he had come up with a complete concept for his own fashion label: nothing less than a challenge to traditional dress codes, with a combination of high-quality suits from their own collection and custom-made suits from bespoke
Still, it was a long journey from the initial idea to its final realisation; especially since Daniel and his partner Yurdi brought no relevant experience to the table when starting their label. The only one on Danielâ€™s team with a fashion background is his sister. Now, Daniel understands the importance of good textile know-how.
â€?Without that, we wouldnâ€™t be where we are today,â€? he says. Since the Business Punks place great stock in excellent quality and local production, their suit linings are fabricated in Austria and the suits from their own collection in Germany.
Business Punks take over traditional stores The label started out by selling its linings through a number of bespoke tailors, which earned them an industry reputation in no time. It also piqued the interest of the traditional fabric company Scabal, who offered collaboration. The Punks accepted, ensuring two crucial things: that their highquality demands would always be met, and that they would be able to significantly expand their distribution network. In addition, their new partner had longstanding experience in the fashion market. Since their collaboration began, Business Punk linings have been available at all bespoke tailors
who work with Scabal, and complete suits are produced exclusively by Scabal Germany. Despite their success, the Punks don’t want to become entirely part of the fashion establishment: they see their linings as timeless works of art. And even though they’re constantly expanding their collection, they mainly bank on limited editions and exclusive single pieces. Their customers can choose from different lining designs, ranging from tattoo-style to street artinfluenced fabrics and collages.
Completely free designs For her artistic contribution, artist Saskia Porkay paid homage to Andy Warhol and the punk movement by using photos from the ‘70s film Blank Generation. Her design was also inspired by street art graffiti and oldschool Hip-Hop, and was created by the graffiti art duo “Buntlack”. The Business Punks choose their artists very carefully, and are always on the lookout for new talents. Artists are given plenty of scope, and many of them design exclusively for the label. According to Daniel, the freedom aspect is especially important as the designs are meant to come purely from the artists and reflect their emotions. That’s why the Business Punks only become involved at the practical implementation stage, advising their artists, for example, how a certain design will look once it adorns the inside of a suit, and any
possible technical limitations. On their homepage the Business Punks ask their customers to get in touch with them, which they also see as a way to provide a platform for young and unknown talents. Daniel explains this approach, saying, “We give artists the opportunity to present their work to a wider audience – something an artist is not usually able to do unless they’re already quite wellknown.” Aside from their top-quality products, the Punks also provide top-notch service. Whether you buy your product from one of the bespoke tailors who collaborate with them or in their online shop, you’ll always be able to choose from a wide variety of fabrics, colours and combinations exceeding anything you’ve ever seen before. In the near future they’re going to expand their distribution network even further by offering their products on
Amazon. They’re also planning a Business Punks accessory line. Thanks to their concept of creating exclusive products, their partnership with a big name like Scabal and their elegant yet extravagant style, Business Punks’ products may never achieve mass appeal. But that’s okay, because by fusing highquality handmade fashion with contemporary art, they have succeeded in establishing nothing less than a new dress code.
How did you get into what you’re currently doing? Being creative, working hard and loving it Biggest obstacle on the way (name only one!) Time Aims and goals (where are you headed? We want men’s fashion, suits and sports jackets to be fun again, so we’ve turned buying and wearing them into a whole new experience. Role model (designer, artist, musician, …) Nick Vujicic The last book you read? “Thinning the Herd: Tales of the Weirdly Departed” (a sarcastic, extremely funny and refreshing book) Favourite song? “Respect” by Aretha Franklin Favourite webpage and why? Wikipedia – always available, well-organised knowledge. Your favourite piece from your current collection and why? “The Way of Luck” – I’m interested in the philosophy behind it, the piece is beautifully made and looks breathtaking! Your life motto? Whatever you keep pushing away at, will push you (to power) in the end. Advice/tips for newcomers Never back down! If you give up you’ve already lost, but good things take time and patience is a virtue. Be authentic, believe in what you do and love it. And no matter what you do, do it consciously!
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r e v l i e l g e O chbi Hirs
INTERVIEW: CHIEF EDITOR, JULIAN WIEHL PHOTOS: EOS FILM PHOTO (LEFT): JOSEF FISCHNALLER
Be curious! Film director Oliver Hirschbiegel on making films, the joys of manhood and model railways. The Oscar-nominated maker of films like The Experiment and Downfall is married with two daughters, and has two Bambi Awards on his mantelpiece at home. In an interview with THE VANGARDIST he told chief editor Julian Wiehl about his favourite toys and his idea of what makes a truly strong man.
VANGARDIST: All your films deal with fairly existential matters. Is that a coincidence? Oliver Hirschbiegel: Apparently I have this urge to make films about existential topics. I suppose I’m just not interested in making a film purely to tell a story, which explains why I always end up with these kinds of projects. But there is no specific topic that I want to make my own/adopt. People always assume that I’m obsessed with the dark side of the human soul. And it’s true, I am fascinated by it. But it’s not an obsession. And I think most people feel this fascination to some degree, otherwise my films wouldn’t be so successful. I mean, most of them do attract quite a few viewers.
r e v l i e l g e O chbi Hirs
V: How do you choose a topic? OH: I’m not so much interested in one specific topic as in the characters connected to it. A good story is made up of characters and the conflicts they face. If that aspect is well thought-out and three-dimensional, I’ll sink my teeth into it. Generally in that case I’ll also work on the book to bring out the topic more clearly and concisely. But in the end it’s always the characters that I’m most interested in: what defines and drives them. V: Your next film is going to be about Lady Di. Which part of her life are you going to concentrate on?
OB: Diana was an icon, possibly the female icon of the 20th century. And of course she also had a dark side and very human flaws, weaknesses and insecurities, which was one of the reasons she became such an icon to women around the world. On the other hand, she really wanted to feel loved and safe. But real life doesn’t work like the trashy novels, where love always wins and there’s always a happy ending. Life is more like a Greek tragedy by Sophocles, where two people find great, perfect love and seem to be made for each other, but in the end they both realise that their love is impossible. That’s the kind of stuff that fascinates me. V: Are you referring to Di’s relationship with Hasnat Kahn? OH: Yes. It was the only relationship that she really tried to keep a secret. It was a well-known fact that she and Hasnat Khan were friends, but it only came out much later that they had also been lovers. V: Sounds like the stuff controversies are made of, but that seems to be your thing. OB: Well, there’s nothing wrong with a bit
of controversy, because it means that people are thinking about a topic and collecting arguments, which is probably how you’d describe any type of learning process. To just accept everything as proven and predetermined would be boring. V: Do you want to trigger political or social change with your films? OH: I don’t believe films can cause a revolution. But intelligent films can of course raise questions for the audience to discuss. But the idea that a socalled political film can actually change something is naïve, I think. If you asked me what my concern is in making films, though, I’d always have to say: humanity. I have a great interest, fascination and love for this bizarre human species. In spite of all the horrible acts that we’ve been responsible for, there are so many wonderful things about our species and we’re capable of truly extraordinary things. I just find human beings extremely exciting, a lot more exciting than any animal. I’ve never been able to understand this infatuation with animals. To me it just seems like some type of avoidance strategy that we use, so that we don’t have to examine and deal with our own con-
flicts and human biographies. V: Let’s talk about men. What’s your image of men: macho, or the kind of person who pees sitting down? OH: Oh, that’s a tough one. Ever since I was little I’ve had a very clear image of men, and it always went way beyond the simple distinction between male and female. Regarding the question about whether a man should pee standing up or sitting down, I suppose it’s a question of organisation and hygiene. A woman can technically also pee standing up, as we all know. My African friends taught me that it’s more relaxing to pee sit-
r e v l i e l g e O chbi Hirs
V: Especially among right-wing parties, there’s a lot of talk about “strong men”. How would you define male strength? OH: Well, I suppose one male strength is that we can tackle problems and instigate change without having to talk about it too much, which is probably why most big companies still have a male CEO or boss. Women, on the other hand, have a wider scope, are better at multi-tasking but find it more difficult to make decisions quickly and efficiently. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. V: Well, my grandma still tells my grandpa what to wear. She always has everything under control and is very consistent. OH: I can only say, in my opinion a real man knows how to dress and doesn’t let
ting down, which is why that’s how I do it now. For me it’s not a question of etiquette, but one of comfort.
anyone patronize him. Just like most women wouldn’t listen to a man telling them what to wear. Apart from that, a self-determined life includes the luxury to find your own style, which you then maintain and continue to think about. It’s always important to think about things. V: So men define themselves through their style? OH: Well, style is just a form of attitude. For men it’s all about attitude and showing that you have class. I suppose these are codes that are internationally recognised. Real men recognise each other, and that goes beyond concepts like heteroor homosexuality. Real men stand for something, they’re upright and loyal and don’t play stupid games. They’re straight-shooters and absolutely reliable and trustworthy. They don’t shilly-shally, and they’re brave and consistent, also when it comes to admitting their mistakes.
r e v l i e l g e O chbi Hirs
V: What do men enjoy? What do you enjoy? OH: I’m a film fanatic, I love reading, and I’m obsessed with bicycles. I often go on long cycle tours. I’m really into sports. And in theory I’m also into model railways, even though I’ve never been able to actively practice it as a hobby, for time and space reasons. I’m like a little kid when it comes to model railways. I’m not so interested in the construction side, though. I would probably pay someone to construct it for me, according to my instructions. Then I’d send them home and play with it on my own. V: What do men take pleasure in? OH: In being a man. That represents a certain kind of energy, which in part has to do with testosterone, but also with adrenaline. And deep in our souls we’re still hunters, so we still enjoy hunting and flirting; choosing someone and winning them over. And games, of course! Men like a good game. At the end of the day women are a lot more serious. These days half of my friends are women. Of the male friends I have, more than fifty percent are gay. So I suppose I find female and gay company more entertaining. The few hetero friends I have are all long-term friends. My more recently formed friendships are all with gays, even though I don’t pick my
friends for their sexual preferences (he laughs). V: Why do you think we distinguish between hetero- and homosexual? OH: I’ve never been able to understand that myself. I think what matters is where love can grow and is possible, whether it’s between two men, two women, or a man and a woman is completely irrelevant. I think it’s naïve to make distinctions like that. V: Does it matter whether someone is homo- or heterosexual when you cast them for a part in your films? OH: Well, if I need a real man then I’ll cast a real
man and I don’t give a fuck whether he’s hetero or gay, because that alone doesn’t define a person. There are just as many pansies among hetero men as there are among gays. I don’t make this distinction. I think these categories are for men who shy away from something. The idea that love also exists between men scares them or makes them paranoid. I don’t have any other explanation. What’s the fucking problem? V: Where does this fear come from? OH: Human beings are basically flight animals. Everything that’s new or constitutes a change initially scares us. And
the further you stray from the bigger cities and the healthy conflict created by all those different ideas and concepts, the more “provincial” people’s mindsets and ideas become, and you’ll find a lot more hostility towards homosexuals and a lot more anti-Semitism and racism than in the cities. The less you’ve seen and experienced in your life, the less your mind will be able to imagine new things. If you live in a city and are constantly confronted with new concepts, it will stimulate your fantasy and curiosity. And curiosity is the secret to everything. If you’re not curious you’ll stay stupid, in a way. Curious people never start wars. Wars happen in places where fear and insecurity prevail. V: How would you define a progressive man? OH: A progressive man is curious, but not opposed to tradition either. You can only be progressive if you know where you come from and what you stand for, and then you can define yourself through that. It’s naïve to only think about the future and promote change as the only possible way. Change can only work if we know our past and understand to what degree we’re bound to it. V: Do you see yourself as a progressive man?
r e v l i e l g e O chbi Hirs
V: Do you have any tips for our readers? OH: Be curious and open to anything. That’s what makes a real man. A real man is always curious, whether he’s able to show it or not. He perceives and observes things, asks questions and always wants to know more. That’s what makes a real man.
OH: I’ve never asked myself that question. But I’d definitely say I’m curious. If I asked my daughter’s friends whether they think I’m progressive they would probably say that I’m a very progressive father (he laughs).
e e p c i a o h v s a e f th o
A walk through Chicagoâ€™s Millennium Park provides exceptional eye candy, with a myriad of beautiful gardens, buildings and sculptures. There is often a crowd of tourists aiming their lenses towards Anish Kapoorâ€™s reflective kidney bean, while a massive group of children are thoroughly drenched in a nearby installation consisting of a sporadic flow of water. This 15 metre-tall (50 feet) installation is known as Crown Fountain and was created in 2004 by Jaume Plensa. It features 1,000 faces of Chicagonians randomly displayed on two back-to-back screens, and has a hole in the mouth area where, after about five minutes of face time, the lips purse and a stream of wa-
ter shoots from the flat panel onto the heads of the children below. This is one of the most famous works by Plensa, just one of many that have been installed all over the world. Other works include Talking Continents (2003), a group of six seated figures on tall poles in Jacksonville, Florida, representing the inhabited continents; Dream (2009), a bright white head placed within the coal mining community of St. Helens, England; and World Voices (2010), an installation of 196 cymbals representing all the countries in the world in the entrance to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
a way with words Jaume Plensa is a Catalan artist, born in Barcelona, Spain in 1955. He has long created sculptures that make ref-
The Crown Fountain, 2004
erence to our relationship with words and the corporeal form, always maintaining this connection between what we say and who we are. In an interview with Tokyo Art Beat, Plensa cohesively describes this concept as our use of “words as an extension of our bodies, to expand our thoughts and ideas into the external world.” The result of linking these two concepts of words and body is subtle. Plensa’s sculptures are often naked male figures (the majority of which are formed from his own body) and are constructed from various materials including (amongst others) steel, fibreglass, marble, granite, concrete, resin and bronze. All these materials are quite solid and often weigh many tonnes (his Dream sculpture weighs approximately 500 tonnes). They are extremely well crafted and sometimes take many years to design and build.
reading beneath the skin It is the details, though, that make the large object so immensely sensual. In his work The Heart of Trees (2007) at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England, figures in bronze sit wrapped around a group of trees, hugging them and melding with them. Each figure is encrusted with words, layered as if they were another skin. With time, the trees will grow and envelope the figures, becoming one. In the same park, another of Plensa’s sculptures sits atop a stone, similar in shape to the figures in The Heart of Trees. However, this sculpture, Kneeling Shadow (2009) is comprised solely of letters, moulded in the form of the body, but left empty within.
jaume plensa with kneeling shadow, 2009 photo by lorne-campbell-guzelian Heart of Trees, 2007
These textual details comprise a significant part of his sculptures, whether on a human scale or fantastically gigantic. In response to the sculpture Echo (2011) in New York’s Madison Square Park, Plensa commented to the New York Times, “Many times we talk and talk, but we are not sure if we are talking with our own words or repeating just messages that are in the air. My intention is to offer something so beautiful that people have an immediate reaction, so that they think, ‘What’s happening?’ And then maybe they can listen a little bit to themselves.” Frequently, as with his sculpture Breathing in London, words are so important that they become the entire sculpture. In this case, a large illuminated glass cone hovers above the BBC building, a poem written by Plensa engraved onto its surface. The words speak of silence, and reference the role of the news agency in giving a voice to those without. The sculpture speaks of the body without physically presenting it.
building ideas, building dreams One would think that the process of creating massive sculptures would be technically and emotionally exhaustive. Well, it is. But Plensa often describes the construction of his works in simple terms, in the case of Echo stating, “We’ll figure it out later,” so as to stay focused on the larger idea. It is important to understand that thinking and “dreaming” are more important than the production for Plensa. Sometimes, concerning ourselves with the proc-
ess can lead to bigger problems: the opposite of his vision of thoughtful communication. Last year, he created an installation piece with a group of seven statues, each 10 feet tall, at Harmony Walk in Houston. The installation makes reference to the relationships that exist between people and how, in order to live together in harmony, we must be tolerant of each other. Aptly, the installation was titled Tolerance, and the kneeling figures are similar in construction to those of Kneeling Shadow in Yorkshire. In an interview with The Ismaili about this project, Plensa spoke of his process: “The idea of mistake, the idea of accident, the idea of something unexpected, you should be very open to it. It was a very beautiful expression that
Brancusi had said, ‘The importance is not to do, but the importance is to feel that you have the energy to do it.’ And, when you feel like that, you should create as the god, order as the king, and work as the slave.”
inspiration from magnificence Above all, Plensa is clearly not slowing down. This year he’ll be creating six new public sculptures in the United States, South Korea, Sweden, Brazil and Canada, along with three individual exhibitions in France, Sweden and Finland, group exhibitions in New York and Belgium, as well as teaching a course at Chicago’s School of the Art Institute this spring semester. With his poetic tendencies, philosophical identity and strong sense of being, Jaume Plensa has created
Conversation Ă Nice, 2007 photo by Alessio Bragadini
jaume plensa-the three graces, i ii iv, 2005 photo by josĂŠ luis gutierrez
a magnificent body of work that speaks to us all. His sculptures make us pause and connect our speech with our body. This basic necessity is what drives us to become better and significantly happier in our daily lives. As the children who play in the water grow up, theyâ€™ll begin to control their own mouths, and with inspiration from Plensaâ€™s sculptures, will grow more confident in choosing the words that flow onto those around them. The Crown Fountain, 2004
s: k r o w g n i m o c p u installations Mirror Rice University, Houston, USA February 2012 Close Up Seoul, Korea Dröm Gothenburg, Sweden January 26, 2012 Oir Rio, Other Ideas for Rio Rio de Janeiro, Brasil Spring-Summer 2012 Sacramento International Airport Sacramento, California, USA Spring 2012 Wishing Well The Bow, Calgary, Canada
exhibitions Silhouettes Galérie Lelong, Paris, France 22 March – 5 May, 2012 Galleri Andersson, Umeä, Sweden 9 June – 12 August, 2012 Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Helsinki, Finland 13 November 2012 – February 2013 Glasstress Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA 14 February – 10 June, 2012 Beaufort 04 Triennial Contemporary Art by the Sea, Belgium 31 March – 30 September 2012
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e n i v I h D c A run B
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PHOTOS: NEW LINE CI
Delicious moments with the wonderful Glenn Milstead aka Divine. Memories of the American composer and pianist Timothy Hubler at a meeting with John Waters cult star.
It was 1983. I was 28, and in Provincetown with my friend RB. RB was part of the scene in NYC in the late ’60s and the ’70s. Studio 54, Andy Warhol, Liza, Halston, The Kinks, Joe Dellasandro, Diane von Furstenburg, Edie Sedgwick and Holly Woodlawn. It was a time when living was performance art, and dying was too. If you don’t know anything about that stuff from way back then, you go to Google. Betty Ford didn’t come up with those rehab ideas all on her own. Search suggestion: John Waters: PINK FLAMINGOS, Andy Warhol: TRASH. RB and I were speeding along the Cape to Province Town and he spoke of the day he met Holly Woodlawn. Apparently, she was roller skating across Broadway one afternoon in NYC in DRAG and a policeman on horseback covered his horse’s eyes and said `oh dear, you musn’t see this´ at which point RB introduced himself to Holly and invited her over to
meet his neighbor Gloria Swanson. Search: SUNSET BOULEVARD, the film. While drinking Cape Cod Cocktails on a P-town porch, RB told me that Divine and Holly Woodlawn were sharing a Summer cottage (for you Brits, NO not that kind of cottage). I remember they were both doing one woman shows, either in repertroire at the same bar or at different bars. No matter, they were roommates! A totally, ridiculously fabulous situation. Just the idea made me laugh out loud. I attended Holly Woodlawn’s show with RB. I found her extremely entertaining, funny, sassy and very sweet. If I had been into drag queens, I would have fallen madly in love. I did like her though, in a big way. After the show we bantered and discussed the possibility of me producing a recording of
her in Nashville. Another idea that was bursting with irony and great fun. It never happened because the movie she was in with Robert De Niro called “Cruising” was kind of a flop, which was NOT Holly Woodlawn’s fault by the way. Make a sad face. : (
Yes darling, SHE’LL be there.” I knew this would be a story I would tell someday, and here I am.
Holly was dying to get out of her girl costume, so we agreed to meet for breakfast the following morning. She suggested we come to her place for brunch. Bingo bingo bingo, ding ding ding! I loved the idea, a dream come true! Will DIVINE be there? I asked casually, breathlessly waiting for the answer. “That fat bitch won’t get outta bed until she smells my cooking.
The next day I knocked on the little door and we entered the tiny cottage. Holly stood at the stove in fuzzy slippers in a Cheniel bathrobe. Yes Cheniel, not Chanel. I think she went to bed before removing the tons of make up she had worn for her shows because she looked a lot like Tammy Faye after a crying jag. (Search Suggestion: Tammy Faye Baker.) As Holly whipped up some pancakes I heard the most amazing sound coming from a room off the kitchen. Imagine a horse lying on it’s back ( I wanted to use a pig as an expample, but one should speak kindly of the dead ).... snoring. It was the strangest sound I’d ever heard. What is that? I thought. Is that...? “DIVINE!!!!!!!” Holly screamed, “get your fat ass outta bed, RB is here
W O H
I V I D
! E N
with that guy I told you about who wants to produce me in Nashville!” Very slowly, through a beaded curtain, HE appeared. A man. A huge man. A really large man with a shaved head and piercing blue bloodshot eyes, in HIS pajamas. Divine has a brother, I thought, as he moved to the table to receive a cup of coffee and a glass of champagne. Out of drag and in his PJs he looked pretty normal. He was Glenn. A little nerdy, awkward and shy for a man who had done those films with John Waters. Soft spoken and genuine. I liked him and after he told me I was one of the most beautiful people he’d ever seen (that part is not true) I liked him a lot. Holly provided the eats and in the late morning sun on a far Eastern cape named after a fish, I chatted and smoked a joint with
Holly and Divine and RB. I so wanted to take some photos but one doesn’t do that at brunch, and if one wants to get invited back, one doesn’t do that at all. We talked show biz, dropped names which was RB’s favorite sport, and let the afternoon embrace us. I never saw Divine again but I did keep in touch with Holly for awhile. Glenn Milstead aka DIVINE, died in his sleep of heart disease, in HOLLYWOOD shortly before the premiere of HAIRSPRAY in 1988. I was, and still am a big fan of his. Holly Woodlawn is still at it, and if you’re out there dear, I thank you for the pancakes and the gentle laughs. It was truly DIVINE.
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PAM ANN ready for take of
There are always things you‘d like to know about the airline business. Since we all fly away rather TEXT: TIMON B. SCHAFFER randomly, we get in touch with the so called air MIKE RUIZ hostesses quite oen.FOTOS: And there is one you all should know. It‘s Pam Ann, world‘s most glamourous air hostess. She is the one we always wanted to ask the certain questions which might not be important for catching your flight or packing your luggage, but maybe you were also thinking about that ...
VANGARDIST: What are your tricks to avoid paying for the excess luggage? PAM ANN: Donâ€™t pack so much shit. VA: Is it true that it is so easy to smuggle all sorts of drugs and liquor as an air hostess? PA: Yes. V: What are your favourite places for hiding this stuff? PA: In my pussy. VA: What is there you can do to get an upgrade for the first class? PA: Die. V: What do you think about the myth of "straight" stewards? PA: "Straight crew"? Never!
V: Do you think that pilots are real-ly that sexy? How come? PA: I only hire sexy pilots, none of them have flying licenses but at least they look great. V: Are you a member of the mile high club? And how was it? PA: I founded it in 1975 with Bob Marley. He penned a song about it "No Woman No Cry". V: Have you ever been asked for condoms by a passenger? PA: They are available in the restrooms on board ... VA: Did you ever encounter passengers having a sexual intercourse in the air? What do you think about it?
Pam Ann for Easyjet
Pam Ann for Texas
PA: Yes, I encourage it. VA: It seems like the cheaper the tickets the bitchier the passengers. What to do about this? PA: Where’s the al-Qaeda when you need them? VA: What bothers air hostesses the most about passengers? PA: Everything, especially when they ask for the whole can of coke. VA: Have you ever been hit by a passenger? For example Naomi Campbell? PA: Never, I usually hit them. VA: What are your thoughts about the international airline crisis? PA: What crisis? VA: How do you see the airline business in 10 years? PA: Run by low cost carriers if passengers continue to fly them. Qantas long haul will be extinct in 10 years.
Pam Ann is touching down in Vienna on 12th and 13th of April 2012 and takes part in the festival „FSK12“, a festival of „shameless“ culture. Put some shamelessness in your life and find out more on www.fsk12.org!
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Music for good listeners!
Seal SOUL 2
Ringo Starr RINGO 2012
More than 15 musicians join the exHeidi Klum’s ex-husband is back for Beatle on his 17th solo album. It feamore. This is the exotic singer’s second collection of classic soul covers, tures nine tracks, two of which are covers: “Think It Over” and “Rock Island performed in his inimitable voice. The Line”. Drawing influences from classic album was co-produced by David Foster and Trevor Horn. Deluxe edition in- blues, soul, country and rock n’ roll, this album is a reminder of how important cludes two bonus tracks in addition to Starr is to the music business. His cathe original track listing: “For the Love reer as a singer, songwriter and drumof You” and “Ain’t Nothing But mer will remain forever. a House Party.” go to amazon.com go to amazon.com
TEXT: VON JUAN D. ZAMORA
Paul McCartney KISSES ON THE BOTTOM
Sinéad O’Connor HOW ABOUT I BE ME (AND YOU BE YOU)?
For over 20 years this other ex-Beatle has been thinking of making an album 25 years after her debut album The to collect all those songs that inspired Lion and The Cobra, O’Connor is takhim, and now is the time to show the ing her music to a new level. This latworld the finished product. Featuring est album from the Irish singer is a special guests like Eric Clapton and statement: she’s earned the right to Stevie Wonder, this album is a journey do whatever she wants, and she is dothrough McCartney’s favourite songs: ing it. Produced by John Reynolds, this the inspiration behind his album is full of strong lyrics successful career. about love, anger, justice, and hope. go to amazon.com go to amazon.com
g n i m o c Up-
! ? . . . n i n o What's
8th M une J 3rd thaus Kuns
HEAD2HEAD We all know that politicians work really hard on their image. This exhibition looks at the creative and sometimes surreal forms of advertising used by people in power over the last 100 years. Place: Kunsthaus Vienna Untere WeiĂ&#x;gerberstraĂ&#x;e 13
14th a Aren
Festw ochen scham loser PAMA Ku
N ltur 2 KIGES N GESCH 012 W TANZ EN LU ISTERPFIS JONA TER CYMC THAN EV HELL YER E IL&DUSTY NNIO O
www .fsk12 .or
a Vientnh Apr.
WIEN FSK 12 – FESTIVAL SCHAMLOSER KULTUR The shameless festival "FSK" takes off for the first time ever. Pam Ann appears on 12th and 13th of April at Vienna's Museumsquartier. At the Viennese theatre "Stadtsaal" national and international artists will perform from the 18th of April on. Find your way into the world of shameless culture: fsk12.org Place: Museumsquartier Wien
THE CIRCUS – BLACKOUT For the third consecutive time, the Arena will turn into a hard ElectroHouse and will party with lots of entertainment. It is definitely an annual highlight. Place: Arena Baumgasse 80, 1030 Vienna
April 6th lub der c z t u l
Ma 31st tre Théâ u d Club
WIENUP! SPRING BREAK SPECIAL What better way to greet spring than with some hot beats and cool drinks?
GENTLE BOYZ Great music, handsome men, and all for a good cause: the perfect mix for an amazing night.
Place: lutz-club.at Mariahilfer Straße 3, 1060 Vienna
Place: Club du Théâtre Bern Hotelgasse 10, Bern
n BerAlipril 6th 's Rosi
Palm ngs Sprti h April 9
TERRABEATS Two dancefloors, two great DJs and lots of good vibes. If that still doesn’t get you dancing, then you’re beyond help! Place: Rosi’s Revalerstraße 29, 10245 Berlin
WHITE PARTY For four whole days Palm Springs turns into one massive dancefloor for the biggest gay dance musical festival!
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Wilhelm Jungmann und Neffe Albertinaplatz 1 A-1010 Vienna Diesel www.diesel.com Kohlmarkt 8-10 A-1010 Vienna Tel.: 01 8904191 Dsquared2 www.dsquared2.com Floris Van Bommel www.florisvanbommel. com
Business Punks FIRETRAP www.businesspunks.com www.firetrap.com
G-STAR RAW www.g-star.com Neubaugasse A-1070 Vienna Gsus Industries www.g-sus.com GUCCI www.gucci.com Kohlmarkt 5! A- 1010 Vienna HUMANIC www.shoemanic.com Mariahilfer Str 37-39 A-1070 Vienna Tel.: 01 5812193 Hugo Boss www.hugoboss.com Kärntnerstraße 34 1010 Vienna
Louis Vuitton www.louisvuitton.com Kohlmarkt 6 Vienna La Prairie www.laprairie.com Levi’s www.levis.com Mariahilfer Straße 81 1060 Vienna Tel.: 01 586 72 81 Marithe Francois Girbaud www.girbaud.at Brandstätte 7-9 A-1010 Vienna MESHIT www.meshit.at
Camille Boyer Lindengasse 25/2 A-1070 Vienna RADO www.rado.com Ralph Lauren www.ralphlauren.de SUPERRATED www.superrated.com Sa Shop Margaretenstraße 46/R2 A-1040 Vienna SHAKKEI www.shakkei.de Sophie Skach www.sophieskach.com
STRELLSON www.strellson.com Tiberius www.tiberius.at Lindengasse 2 A-1070 Vienna Thomas Sabo www.thomassabo.com Seilergasse 4 A- 1010 Vienna WRANGLER www.wrangler.com Zegna www.zegna.at Kohlmarkt 8-10 1010 Vienna Tel.: 01 5120979
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