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Vulture Magazine / Jan 2013

Issue 03: Silence

CONCEIVING THE IMPOSSIBLE W. Aoi Kotsuhiroi Area di Barbara Bologna Marina Abramovic Kenzo Takada Hiroshi Sugimoto InAisce Tilda Swinton


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Editor-in-Chief Nabil Aliffi Managing Editor Clifford Loh Managing Associate Vanessa Fong Art Director Russell Seah Designer Andraditya Dhanu Respati Contributing Editor Melanie Chua Lune Kuipers Press/ Editorial Assistant Muhammad Sadikin Fashion Assistant Kelly Yeunh Business & Marketing Assistant Zhang Qianwen VULTURE Digital Byan Teo Sharlene Lee Lionel Bobo Deng Interns Hadi Jalal Lesley Chee Contributors Bryan Hyunh, Sergio Meja, Susan Walsh, Paul Phung, Skye Tan, Shawn Chua, Mandy Rep, Brian Buchard, Tay Shiying, Natalia Duong, Nicola Samori, Takashi Osato, Ashish Ravinran, Xi Sinsong, Kelly Hu FRONT COVER by Sergio Meja featuring Paul Boche (Fushion) in Rochambeau & Rick Owens Styling by Susan Walsh, Grooming by Rebecca Robles

Editorial Enquiries For advertising and sales, please email us at contact@vulture-magazine.com VULTURE Magazine Pte Ltd 113 Somerset Road Singapore 238165 Published & Distributed by Allscript Pte Ltd MCI (P) 159/12/2012 With Special Thanks to Ryan Wong from Vue Photography Studios & Ave Management

Š 2012 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission from the publishers. The views expressed in VULTURE Magazine are those of the respective contributors, and are not necessarily shared by the magazine or staff. VULTURE welcomes unsolicited contributors, but cannot accept responsibility for any possible loss of damage of the submitted material.


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InAisce S/S 2013 6


EDITOR’S NOTE In this issue we question the idea of silence as an absence – a supposed hole in the fabric of audio, visual and other stimuli. We explore its nature, if it is all but a mere concept that is impossible to manifest in reality. In the same vein, a blank page is not entirely empty; it is a white sheet of paper. In John Cage’s 4’33”, a full orchestral piece in three movements full of silence, the roles are reversed when the audience find themselves orchestrating their own compositions in their very minds. Whether it is the shuffling of an uneasy audience, the voice of their thoughts making sense of this unusual event, or simply the ‘accidental sounds’ of their palpitating hearts, silence has opened up a dam of unreleased inhibitions. It distills, from the noise, what we never knew about ourselves – a catalyst for introspection and possibly a revealer of truth. But true silence, a state of sheer nothingness, is much harder to experience. For as long as we are breathing, the sound of our breaths will always preclude the prevalence of silence. This enigmatic to elusive space and our experience are mutually exclusive spheres that even the power of our imagination struggles to bridge. It is indeed a microcosmic black hole that we can only hope to discover at the very end when we cross the fence and are finally silent ourselves.

Nabil Aliffi


CONTENTS

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10

12

16

Editor’s Note

Replicating Memories

The Lost Room

Silent Notes

FEATURE

FEATURE

FEATURE

22

23

37

38

Hands On

Snowing in my Town

White Blank Page

Guarding a Legacy

FEATURE

FEATURE

FEATURE

FEATURE

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42

44

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Tilda Swinton

In Conversation: Kenzo Takada

Hermès x Sugimoto: Colours of Shadow

In a Few Broad Strokes

INTERVIEW

FEATURE

FEATURE

FEATURE

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Wild Animal

Sacred Area

The Aktionist

INTERVIEW

INTERVIEW

Battling Futility: InAisce

EDITORIAL

FEATURE

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84

92

98

Nightingale

Satellites

EDITORIAL

EDITORIAL

Soundless Chamber

Requiem for a Dream

EDITORIAL

EDITORIAL

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110

112

118

Marina Made Me Cry

Muting the Sirens

The Unseen

Pure Cinema

COLOUMN

FEATURE

ARTICLE

FEATURE

120

122

2013 Highlights

Stockists

FEATURE

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Replicating Memories Text – Qianwen Z.

MARGIELA’S REPLICA FRAGRANCE COLLECTION Released in August 2012, Margiela’s Replica fragrances set out to replicate olfactory memories of time that we wish to relive. Don’t be mistaken, this collection proposes not nostalgia, but rather, rediscovery. “I personally do not like the concept of nostalgia especially. Rather, I like the concept of the rediscovery of fragrances, which are actually part of us all,” says Jacques Cavallier, who created this collection with fellow perfumer Marie Salamagne.

gins, time, and description of the particular fragrance, reminiscent of the labels on his clothing. The apothecary-style bottles further enhance the idea of revisiting the past, and their simplicity neither distracts nor restricts the reader from interpreting the scent in her own way. The three fragrances in this collection are Flower Market (Paris, 2011), Beach Walk (Calvi, 1972), and Funfair Evening (Santa Monica, 1994). Each fragrance will retail in a 100 ml bottle for €71 (approximately SGD110) in select international stores.

Margiela has always tagged its clothes with their season instead of his name; this focus on time and functionality of the clothes is also reflected in these fragrances. Cotton labels specify the ori-

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AVAILABLE AT THOROCRAFT.COM 11


The Lost Room Photography – Skye T.  Styling – Kelly Y.

Brogues: V AVE SHOE REPAIR, A.P.C., *Pointer (*Rockstar by Soon Lee)

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Loafers: Pointer (Rockstar by Soon Lee)

Duffel Bag: V AVE SHOE REPAIR

Spectacles: Grafik:plastic (FrontRow)

iPad Case: V AVE SHOE REPAIR

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Coin Purse: V AVE SHOE REPAIR

Canvas Tote Bag: Beguin (Rockstar by Soon Lee)

Bangles: A.P.C.

Belts: A.P.C.

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Headphones: Marshall (Rockstar by Soon Lee)


Silent Notes SILENCE IS A PARADOX. IT IS AT ONCE QUIET AND GRAND LIKE AN OLD ABANDONED HOUSE. Photography – Brian Buchard  Art Direction – Mandy Rep Text – Qianwen Z.

There are screechy, loud, overpowering fragrances. Then there are subtle masterpieces that have a quiet elegance, coy yet effortless.

palace and the stateliness of the royal lifestyle. It conjures images of a light-flooded palace with marble, gold, wood, and the faint smell of leather: regal but not pretentious.

Silence, like the realm of scents, is ephemeral and hard to grasp. It can be characterised by its stillness, its absence, yet at times, it can also evoke much grandeur like an old abandoned house.

Diptyque Tam Dao: The Stillness of Silence.

Musing on its multi-faceted nature, we explored the many notes ascribed to silence by the world’s leading Noses. It appears that there is more musicality to the notions of silence than we had expected.

Diptyque’s Tam Dao is woody. But unlike Creed’s Royal Oud, it is restrained and serene. Influenced by freshness of the mountains of Tam Dao in Vietnam, it references the mystical Goa sandalwood and the tranquil quality of a misty forest in the early dawn. It is an oriental, spicy, and emanates nobility.

Creed Royal Oud: The Grandeur of Silence.

Tam Dao opens dry and woody with the cedar top note, but fades into creamy sandalwood with a resinous edge. It evokes the interior of a rough, hand crafted wooden box – an intricate piece of precious wood with a distinctively human touch and effortful time. The Zen-like quality of it captures the stillness of silence.

Creed’s Royal Oud differs from all the other oud-based scents flooding the mainstream market in that the oud note stays prominent without overpowering the other notes. Offering an ode to oud, the resin of agarwood, it brings to mind the royal

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Creed: Royal Oud 17


(Above) The Different Company: Oriental Lounge (Left) Diptyque: Tam Dao

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Le Labo: Bergamote 22 & Ambrette 9 19


“There are screechy, loud, overpowering fragrances. Then there are subtle masterpieces that have a quiet elegance, coy yet effortless.” The Different Company Oriental Lounge: The Ambiguity of Silence. As the name suggests, Oriental Lounge takes references from the traditional heavy oriental fragrances, but with a twist. Creator Celine Ellena has almost inverted the typical Oriental structure in this fragrance, placing the theme in the overture as opposed to the third act. Ellena described it as “a piece of clothing that suggests, but doesn’t reveal anything…[an] amber for women and men searching for… gentleness, sensuality, and a lot of character”. Oriental Lounge has flesh and texture, like jacquard and silk. It is modern, but not minimalist nor excessive. Caloupilé gives it a slight green and metallic vibe that clearly separates it from most traditional orientals. Imagine a Shanghai Tang burlesque lounge circa 1930s with hazy lights and exquisite costumes, complete with a slight suspense hovering in the air. The sensuality of skin mixes with the sharpness of spices. Time and space seem to blend together into a viscous texture, leaving the amber somewhat diffident, halfway between fluid and form. This dark, uncertain, brooding character gives this scent a film noir persona that is quiet but burning with latent eroticism.

(Below) Le Labo: Ambrette 9

Le Labo Bergamote 22 & Ambrette 9: The Simplicity of Silence. Le Labo’s philosophy is based on the Japanese idea of wabi-sabi, the art of imperfection. Each of their unisex fragrances is titled with a single note and a number, representing the centrepiece note and the number of notes in it respectively. Bergamote 22 is decidedly dry, but also sweet. It has an unapologetic linear presence, like a simple cup of Earl Grey in the crisp morning air. Floral, bitter, sweet, and virile, it is a blend that manages to be strong and simple in a sea of shrilly fruity-florals. Ambrette 9 has fewer notes, but is special nonetheless; it is a fragrance designed for babies. Centred on the ambrette seed, it is not overpowering like typical oriental amber fragrances, but rather very tender. The musky accord is tender like a mother’s love for her child. There is no need to announce this kind of delicate and warm affection from the rooftops; instead, we seek comfort in its ever-lasting presence.

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Hands On WHAT BETTER WAY TO TAKE ON THE NEW YEAR THAN WITH A PAIR OF FRESHLY REJUVENATED HANDS. Text – Qianwen Z.

AESOP HAND CARE Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash contains a fine grade of milled pumice to scrub away dead skin and boost circulation. It also has bergamot rind that helps cleanse and doubles up as an antiseptic. Lastly, slather onto your freshly exfoliated skin the Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm. It contains lactic acid (a gentle alpha hydroxy acid) and seven emollient ingredients, a concoction to lock in moisture while slowing the buildup of dead skin. The scent is woody and rustic, thanks to a blend of vetiver root, petitgrain bigarade, and bergamot rind.

Aesop’s hand care collection is one of the most comprehensive we’ve seen, with a regular hand wash, a handy anti-bacterial gel, and a set of exfoliating wash and balm. In alchemistic ambertinted packaging, they look undeniably chic. The Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash contains mandarin rind, rosemary leaf, and cedarwood atlas. It gently cleanses without stripping moisture. For those who can’t get to a sink, the Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash is like a diet version offering small doses of the same amazing scent. If your hands feel dry, the Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm works as a super hydrator without being greasy.

(Above) Left to right: Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash, Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm, Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash.

For hands in dire need of some TLC, the Reverence Collection exfoliates and hydrates hands to baby-smooth perfection. The

Available at Aesop stores and counters.

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“It could all be incredibly nostalgic and assuming, but Osato returns the lens to the viewer. His shots are snaps of the ever-searching mind and heart.” Photography – Takashi Osato Text – Melanie C.

Mood is an inhabited space in Japanese photographer Takashi Osato’s world. This sets him apart from those who build human narratives. His shots are stoic demarcations of scenes and moods, setting scenes embedding a wide range of emotions from yearning to ennui. Osato takes people aside from Neptunian projections, allowing them instead a clarity regardless of the accumulated imaginings. Mind you, both ours and theirs. Osato allows colours to take the forefront in creating a world. He eschews dramatic duels with light that his contemporaries might favour, utilising their traditional notions in familiar colour palettes. The effect is straightforward, even in enigma, and offers a self-awareness that never veers into indulgence. Ironically, these make up an anti-moodiness that is rich in connotations—a refreshing turn from blanched abandon found in fashion photography that does still influence like a bad hangover from the noughties. In a 2011 fashion shoot for Bambi magazine, plush autumn colours sit sensuously in the forest theme. Rich floral prints and a black fur stole lie next to earthy geological accessories, as soft lace conjures a romantic dream. Ava Smith reclines as the woodland beauty in a quasi-fantastical land. It’s not altogether heart-pounding, but it offers a plausible wandering pretty much for as one might like; Osato veers away from overwhelming. His first personal project “Snowing in My Town” (2011) shows that off to great effect. Each shot is an encapsulated snow

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land taut with longing. Osato explains, “When it is snowing in Paris, we feel as if one had been transported through time to another age. That is such a romantic and beautiful feeling, and we simply cannot feel this in Tokyo.” Blizzard lashed lone figures feature in these spied snapshots of winterland. The quirk is both people and objects are equal centres of contemplation: softly angled bones of an animated face and cold lines of a theme park mascot, shuttered windows and turned backs of distant military statues. It could all be incredibly nostalgic and assuming, but Osato returns the lens to the viewer. His shots are snaps of the ever-searching mind and heart. He said, “That is why, I wanted to be this town would be my town, so I packed the moment and views into the small films.” Osato also plays with perceptions: “I tried to make sure people cannot recognise where these shots had been taken. Though, of course, if you live in Paris, you can recognise all these scenes easily.” It is this cutting ‘reality’ from expectation that marks out him as a careful artist. The deliberate scratchiness hints at incomplete memory and projected hopefulness. Distance remains even in close-ups only as a tacit reminder of how things are. Still, the romanticism remains. Osato said, going back to the prerogative of the self, “This town is nowhere. I wanted to have this town to be just mine.”


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white blank page A CLEAN START FOR THE NEW YEAR. Photography – Lesley C.  Styling – Hadi J. Text – Kelly H.

The best thing about the New Year is quite obviously, the new beginnings. Nevermind if you messed up that page in your notebook with the less-than-satisfactory drawing of a pigeon you thought was cute. It’s fine if you have coffee stains on the off-white cover. It doesn’t matter just as much that you’ve dropped your pencil too many times that the lead has cracked into a million fractions that it’s impossible to sharpen. Or maybe, your notebook is empty, your erasers untouched and your pencils are as pointy as when you first got them in January last year. Regardless, I stand firmly that buying new stationery is a mandatory feel good ritual for a new start – an annual refreshing of the page for your next chapter – if you will. Well, at least, unlike anti-carb diets and that new gym membership, a stack of fresh blank pages and adorable wooden pencils will do little harm in backfiring. Indeed. THE ITEMS Top row: • Faber-Castell ruler, vintage matchboxes, vintage tin box, Papier postcard. (from BooksActually) Bottom row: • Vintage tin pencil box, vintage The Black Girl In Search of God and Some Lesser Tales by Bernard Shaw, The Sea Vol.1, Author pencils, vintage tin box, The Billion Shop by Stephanie Ye, handmade journal, Lile Aux Ashby wooden brooches. (from BooksActually) • Swallow-printed pencil case, metal pen cil sharpener, blue saddlestitch notebook (from Cat Socrates) • Vintage watches (stylist’s own)

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Maison Martin Margiela S/S 2013


Maison Martin Margiela Spring/Summer 2013

Guarding a Legacy CAREFULLY SELECTING HEIRS TO EMPIRES. Text – Kelly Y.

There is often a great weight on a creative team at a renowned fashion house after its founder leaves. Carrying on the aesthetic legacy while remaining relevant and innovative is a mean feat never to be underestimated. It is especially so for a house like Maison Martin Margiela, which has established itself as a venerable creative force that rides almost purely on its own aesthetic, independent from transient trends.

and Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. As often said, change becomes more palatable when it employs elements from the past. Putting emphasis on technical precision and an effortless air, the collection is rendered in a strict neutral palette. The silhouettes are austere, with accents of eveningwear. Nothing is what it seems, as T-shirts and sweaters are appropriated to become ball gowns in oversized shapes that move away from the body.

It appears that for Spring/Summer 2013, the team at Maison Martin Margiela have found that elusive balance of taking tentative steps towards a new Maison while staying true to its founding principles. This mantra has after all guided many of the successful creative transitions in fashion’s history, namely with Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli at Valentino,

In typical Margiela fashion, whispers of mind-bending surprises behold in the tangible future. But for now, the institution, 25 years in-the-making, can seek solace in the fact that the legacy lives on.

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Essentials: Tilda Swinton “a quiet demeanour hides a vocal mind”. Illustration – Skye T.  Text – Kelly Y.

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04. BURBERRY PRORSUM studded leather gloves

She needs no introduction. Tilda is an actor whose off-screen style is as dynamic as her filmography. Her distinctively regal and genderless sartorial choices made her a muse to many designers, both well established and emerging. It was partly thanks to her patronage that previously obscure French designer Haider Ackermann only grows in recognition and accessibility.

05. KOTUR Pearce metal & Perspex octagonal clutch 06. MAIYET elongated sculpt ring 18-kt gold-plated necklace 07. MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA two-tone leather knee boots

Her style is an impeccable balance of high-end intellectual design and sincerity, and a wholehearted belief in individualism. Anything unique in the current homogeneous fashion environment is hard to come by, and Tilda is a gem.

08. THE ROW round-frame metal sunglasses 09. TIM WALKER: STORY TELLER hardcover book

01. LANVIN pewter crystal clip earrings 02. CHLOÉ two-tone leather sandals 03. PIPPA SMALL 18-karat gold tourmaline ring

All available at www.net-a-porter.com

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In Conversation:

KENZO TAKADA FOUNDER OF NAMESAKE LABEL KENZO SHARES HOW FASHION HAS GONE THROUGH THE RITES OF PASSAGE IN RECENT DECADES. Text – Lionel D.

How did your journey begin? When I was young, I loved painting. Choosing which university to attend in Japan then, it was very important to go to a prestigious university and get a good job. I chose art school. My sister, however, went to a small fashion school and when I saw her drawings, suddenly found myself in love with fashion illustrations! So I decided to look for a fashion school in Japan, but they were non-existent! This was in 1956 or ’57. So I went to Art College instead. But after a month, I saw in a magazine a fashion school in Tokyo that just started accepting male students, which was at that time an unprecedented thing in the school system! So I stopped university, waited for a year and then enrolled in the fashion school in Tokyo—Bunka Fashion College.

there was nothing in Tokyo and going to Paris was the imperative. But if I were to live in Tokyo today, who knows! What do you think of Singapore today? It’s Singapore! It’s a huge city and has changed so much. I actually visited for the first time in 1965, and, my god, the changes have been so drastic. Now, it’s a beautiful city in the jungle, and I think it’s very lovely. Do you think it’s becoming more similar to other global cities? Oh yes, of course, but that’s the lamentable effect of globalisation today, no? I preferred Singapore in the past when I could see distinct local cultures, unique things and get a completely different feel. Now, everything feels so familiar everywhere. If they didn’t tell me this was Singapore, I would never know. It’s a little scary.

At this point, I began my foray into fashion. I studied in Bunka for three years and began to work in Tokyo. At that time, in Tokyo there was no pret-a-porter, nothing! But I found my job in a department store’s design room and really liked it! For me, when I began in fashion, I loved going to parties and seeing how it all came together. In Tokyo in 1964, with the Olympics, everyone had to renew his or her lease and because mine was cut short, I got quite a bit of money back from the landlord. I saved up for a year and then decided to visit Paris, just for a while. I told myself I’d stay for something like six months. I never thought I could work in fashion in Paris. I was in there in 1965, and after five months, I concluded that I had to stay.

Do you think it’s crucial to still have a local perspective in design? I love it and I think it’s crucial. I want to feel that I’m outside my comfort zone, beyond the familiar, seeing something new. Do you think it’s important for a designer to still attend fashion school? Each individual has his unique way. But I believe that fashion school helps and is important in building one’s career. Now in the industry, not only do you need great technical mastery but also business management is more crucial than ever. You have to be intensely creative and pragmatic at the same time. This is where fashion schools help.

At first, I was simply doing fashion sketches. I was lucky enough to have them shown to Louis Feraud, a couturier at that time, and he bought five of them on the spot! That changed my life.

Do you think it’s very hard to be creative in fashion today? Maybe. When I began in the 1970s, there weren’t many creators. Now the competition is global. It may be more competitive but I think the stress pushes designers to discovery new techniques. And that is always good news for the industry.

In your opinion, for designers and illustrators today, do they still have to visit Paris to establish themselves? I think so, but it’s slightly different now. With the internet and globalisation, it’s so easy to communicate, share and produce globally. In 1965,

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Hiroshi Sugimoto x Hermès

colours of shadow AN HERMÈS EXHIBITION Text – Lionel D.

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“The light’s constantly moving, because the sun is always coming up. I’m shooting a moving color.”

Die Farben sind Taten des Lichts, Taten und Leiden (“Colours are acts of light, acts and sufferings”). With these words in his Theory of Colours (1810), German poet and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe projected a subtlety unto Newton’s century old seven-color spectrum, that he found obscure and wanting on artistic grounds.

Out of 200 colour studies, 20 were rendered into 140 x 140cm silk scarves in signed, limited editions of seven. To capture the subtleties of the prismatic colors on silk, Hermès specially developed a new inkjet technology. It took three weeks of non-stop printing to transmute the humble Polaroids into dense visions of colour, impenetrable like Rothko’s Multiforms, but with gradients that hint at the dynamism in the artist’s project. “The light’s constantly moving, because the sun is always coming up. I’m shooting a moving colour.”

Two centuries after Goethe, Hiroshi Sugimoto feels the investigation into light and color is as intriguingly open to interpretation as ever. Keen to re-transcribe both Newton and Goethe’s findings, the artist has spent the last decade capturing the brilliant colours of the nascent dawn refracted through a crystal prism, in quick succession with his Polaroid camera. In 2010, Pierre-Alexis Dumas, artistic director of Hermès, was struck by Sugimoto’s Couleurs de L’ombre and impelled the artist to translate his chromatic epiphanies unto the house’s famed silk scarves.

Couleurs de L’ombre was unveiled at the opening of the Museum der Kulturen in Basel, Switzerland on the 12 June, and will be presented at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute on 23 January 2013 by Sugimoto himself.

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in a few broad strokes FRENCH ARTIST FABIENNE VERDIER SHOWCASES HER TRADITIONAL INK PAINTING PROWESS IN A SOLO EXHIBITION. Text – Shiying T.

Born in Paris in 1962, Fabienne Verdier is arguably the only French artist who has ever mastered traditional ink painting. She spent almost a decade in China learning from master calligraphers in the 1980s. Her art yokes Asian philosophy with Western minimal abstraction, and is driven by the quest for oneness with the universe. Verdier’s large-scale paintings place herself at the centre of the canvas, as her work reflects the synthesis between the body and the flux that surrounds it. Expressive and graceful, her brush strokes in incandescent colours are mediations between the spiritual and the material, conveying the spirit of life with all its intensities in a precise instant.

With great control, her art captures the ephemeral, catching the temporality and spontaneity of life. The canvas stands as a landscape, a physical map, locating the spirit in the “hidden framework of the world”. Verdier’s inaugural solo exhibition in Southeast Asia will be held in Singapore’s Art Plural Gallery from 25 January to 9 March 2013. It will feature her latest drawings and large-scale paintings inspired by her journey along the coastline of Norway. The artist will also be sharing her work and philosophy at a talk organised by the gallery.

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(Above) L'un | (Left) Colour Flows


Aoi Kotsuhiroi

WILD ANIMAL “The mind can be very complex and cluttered... I think we need to trust our body.” Text – Kelly Y.

It would be inadequate to introduce Aoi Kotsuhiroi merely as a designer. The Japanese artist, based in France, prefers to engage with her materials on an intuitive level rather than linear intellectualised means. Her deeply evocative designs are the very by-products of her daily meditations as she strips bare to rediscover man’s primary state of primeval. Putting herself at the centre of her work, Aoi, works with various media from art photography to accessory design. She also writes poetry. All of which come together to paint an enigmatic world that she has crafted in her journey of self-discovery. Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up? I forgot. I am not attached to these periods or moments, there were obligations, things I had to do, things I should not do, a lot of waiting. All this remains something distant that does not really matter. All that happens now is important. What do you think your role is as a designer? I’m a wild animal

Which other artists or designers do you identify with? I’m not looking for an identification to this or that person, there’s just people I appreciate for their independence, for their commitment and their truth, these are people like Vincent Gallo, Pina Bausch, Twombly, Yoko Ogawa, Haruki Murakami, and Chelsea Wolfe. Which part of your Japanese heritage has had the biggest impact on your work? Heritage is always very complicated… I avoid family stories naturally. I distance myself from many things. I try to look at them from afar to try and understand the meaning, the depth and to flee from just appearances and lies... their brand continuity. You can’t be a young designer forever! How are your pieces made? Run us through the process from concept to construction. My pieces are not produced through concept or construction. They are kind of relational objects, made of additions of stories, subtractions of boredom,

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of positions of balances, truths, a daydream of desire, nocturnal noises when the song of the dead makes fun of us. The “materials” are a language I write with; they are stories. From previous interviews, you have described your work to be “organic”. What do you mean by this? The organic is about something living, the sensible… Always connected to a kind of fast or slow evolution. My objects are an extension of ourselves, a kind of grafting of sensory receptor that will increase our intimate sense of perceptions. They act as forms of emotional hybridisations; they touch and caress body modification, which can thereby generate another way of seeing. They search through ourselves for buried, forgotten things. They begin to awaken instincts in us that we didn’t know we had. One would think that your aesthetic fits best in Europe. Why do you choose to be based in New York? I don’t think my work suits Europe better. I’m not trying to satisfy a Western or Asian public,


Orchidacea Hermaphroditus

because things, for hundreds of years, continue to pass each other. As for New York Fashion Week: I do not participate in Fashion Weeks. I’m a little allergic. Who do you design for? For anyone. You use plenty of unconventional materials, like human hair and “phantom crystals”. Tell us more. Materials are not there for their appearance but for their meaning. They are a language; it is both a physical and poetic writing. They are not really related to our daily habits, they are instead a path to spirituality. Each material is an evocation of memory, and I rather like to activate this to change the context of things. They are rather a true reality. They are not a lie. How would you like your customer to feel when they wear your pieces? Weird. Strange. To acknowledge that their relationship with the body is different. This is a person who looks for a path, a dance that allows him/her to be balanced on the boundary always. Your work is rather ritualistic. Do you feel that is what we need today, spirituality? Absolutely. We are drifting apart without spirituality. And so, our soul and body become ill…

What does ‘Body Objects’ mean? The Body is not merely decorative; it is an attitude, a commitment, a character for ourselves and to others. It’s to determine a position inside the “pack” a “body object” is an object that corresponds to those characteristics.

If you could collaborate with any artist from any period, who would it be? Artists are solitary beings, who often are very strong and very complicated characters. Collaborations are a series of compromises. I do not believe that collaborations are really possible.

What is the source of the eroticisms found in your work? Nothing specific, we are sexual beings who have to exist in our rites of lives like every other living thing. The desire is part of our structure.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be? A wild animal.

You write poems. What do you write about? My poems are a language attached to logic and emotion. They do not correspond to rules; they are moods, the words that we hide, words that we forget, phrases that repeat themselves. They are the breath of our soul. How important is it for your designs to be intellectual? What is important to me is not to know if things are intellectual or anti-intellectual. It is important to know if the sense of the body is in its entirety, without any division. Should we trust our minds? The mind can be very complex and cluttered… I think we need to trust our body.

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Do you believe in silence I pray in silence regularly. It is a source of absolute reflection. It is infinite, it carries so much in itself, and it conveys so much memory that it has to remain quiet. Three words to describe ‘Silence’. Beauty. Breathing. Enigma.


Suspended Moment


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Area di Barbara Bologna

SACRED AREA “AREA IS MY SPACE, MY EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL PLACE IN WHICH I FIND ART, FASHION, MUSIC AND THEATRE... THE PLACE OF THOSE WHO ARE ABLE TO FEEL THE REST THROUGH DRESS.” Text – Lionel D.

Back in 2000, Barbara Bologna graduated from Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan, specialising in sculpture with a thesis on body art. This, combined with her experience as a body art performer prior to her formal education, drove her to found her clothing and accessories label Area di Barbara Bologna in 2001. Heavily driven and inspired by a variety of artistic mediums, Bologna uses design as an avenue for personal expression. Having first started by designing accessories, she progressed onto constructing garments and made her signature by blurring the lines between the former and the latter. Bologna’s aesthetic is a pleasant balance of opposites: masculine and feminine, light and darkness, melancholia and wit. The fabrication choices and silhouettes are characteristically experimental and often break the constraints of classicism. But what is really interesting is the homage to Italian manufacturing through her fervent use of premium Italian textiles. Area di Barbara Bologna is ultimately a window to Bologna’s unwavering passion to create products that stand for

something greater than mere commercial success. That seems to be reason enough to win over a strong pool of loyal supporters around the globe and keep the label in good stead. How did the label first begin? Everything began with a desire, a compulsion to express what I saw, to show a part of my world. I started mixing arts with what I still do in my presentation of collections in Paris. The theatre and art was my house before fashion. I simply thought to give a dress to a body that was nude and moved during my performance in the theatre. In a sentence, share with us your design philosophy. Materialise visions that appear in my mind, to emote through my collections, leaving a sign. In a separate interview, you mentioned that the collections are often based on strong ‘emotional concepts’. Tell us more about this process. The images that I build with my collections are born from an emotional feeling, personal but also common to many other people in the world. I analyse it; I use it to create a sort of blueprint for the collection, to look for

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materials, to define guidelines within this emotional feeling that conditions everything for each different collection… like an artist when he paints a picture. How do you think young labels can add value to the saturated market? By thinking and having the desire to change something. We aren’t only making clothes. Fashion has been a strong conditioning motor for modifications in the world together with art, music and theatre. And so, we have this responsibility, or at least, try to have something important to say. What is the label’s signature detail? All the collections carry a sign. I like to think that it is not a label or specific method of sewing which makes a dress special. The sign is everything put together, including sewing technique, materials, ideas or visions and choices which make each collection unique; and above all, different or new different from the one before. Your collections are mostly monochromatic. Why do you tend to veer away from colour? I have always been fascinated by black. The absence of light which hides in itself, hiding all that we can’t see.


Area di Barbara Bologna S/S 2013

Colours are not far away from me, each collection does ask for colors, the choice is that what I feel is ideal for what I wish to communicate. That meaning is above colour. Do you design the accessories separately from the collection? No, accessories are in fact the ornament of the collection, the symbol. The accessory is really the detail that makes the collection all more understandable. Talk about your fabrication. Are the materials you use unique to Area di Barbara Bologna? The materials I use are unique and often made just for Area di Barbara Bologna. My research is always for the quality of products that are made in Italy. Each piece of clothing, accessory and fabric is completely produced and manufactured in Italy. It is very important to me to have direct contact with who works for me. I love looking for new collaborations with artisans that can make my dreams a

reality, but have been wanting and able to put together something different.

is bought or sold. On the inside must be something more, there must be soul.

Who do you look up to for creative inspiration? The world in general as I see it, what is happening and how I perceive it.

Clothes as protective gear is a growing trend. Do you see that in your designs? I often think of clothes as a material extension of our bodies, a cage of iron, a pane of glass which contains and protects the body, sometimes they adorn without making it a slave.

If you had to dress the characters in a book, which book would it be? Psychosis 4.48 by Sarah Kane. It would be really exciting for me to create a dress for the heroine of this story, described in the book through just emotions. Having an idea following the emotional journey of an individual without knowing the physical aspect or his what kind of person he is, has always been a stimulating direction for me. Why do you think it is important that fashion stands for something other than just selling clothes? Because fashion is a combination of the arts, it is a means of expression which cannot and should not be reduced to an object which

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Three words to describe ‘Silence’. Sensual, cold, and constant.


"The images that I build with my collections are born from an emotional feeling, personal but also common to many other people in the world."

Area di Barbara Bologna S/S 2013


InAisce S/S 2013


Battling Futility:

InAisce THE MORE ONE KNOWS ABOUT THE WORLD, THE BETTER. Text – Kelly Y.

INAISCE (in-as-kä) InAisce, Gaelic for “in vain”, is a staunchly anti-conformist label founded in 2010 by New York-based designer only known as Jona. He is based in Brooklyn where he both designs and manufactures his products himself, ensuring quality and exclusivity at a level that could only be described as artisanal.

with hardier sportswear silhouettes that feel almost athletic. The elements of tension and freedom in the clothes that would usually clash, work effortlessly in the collection. The pieces in fact manage to look harmonious in sumptuous fabrications in shades of grey and jet black, with a whisper of iridescence.

Aesthetically, InAisce is quiet, fluid and nostalgic but maintains a modern feel that is almost post-apocalyptic. Jona’s design process takes cues from the sensibilities of the ancient and the antique in menswear and appropriating it for the modern consumer.

InAisce draws heavily from the wild, pristine forms found in nature and is made with the belief that clothes can possess a symbolic, evocative power outside its physical functionality. In other words, the clothes aren’t truly brought to life until they are worn and a relationship is established between the individual wearer and the products. With this in mind, it goes without saying that the brand concentrates on continuing to reinforce this philosophy rather than trying to tend to the whims of the trendy and ephemeral.

The collection for Spring/Summer 2013 is a reinforcement of this philosophy, entitled Columna Cerului. Purposefully layered, the garments and accessories (most notably, the backpacks) seamlessly marry traditional tailoring techniques and fabrications

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InAisce S/S 2013

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InAisce S/S 2013 63


the aktionist

Photography – Sergio Mejia  Styling – Susan Walsh  Hair & Makeup – Rebecca Robles Photo Assistants – Jenny Regan & Su Mustecaplioglu  Fashion Assistant – Patricia Machado Model – Paul Boche | Fusion


Hat: Rochambeau  |  Jacket: Costume National Shirt: Ports 1961

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(Above) Coat, Boots: Alexandre Plokhov  |  Jumpsuit: ACNE  |  Top (underneath): Giorgio Armani  (Left) Top: Raf Simons


Coat: Raf Simons


(Above) Top, Shirt: Givenchy (Right) Top, Shorts: Raf Simons  |  Arm sleeves: Robert Geller  |  Head scarf: Stylist’s own


(Right) Top, Arm sleeves: Robert Geller (Below) Top, Shoes: Alexandre Plokhov  |  Skirt: Siki Im  |  Socks, Sock braces: Stylist’s own


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(Left) Top: 3.1 Phillip Lim  |  Blazer: Duckie Brown  |  Trousers: Z Zegna (Below) Neck piece: Rick Owens


nightingale Photography – Paul Phung  Styling – Lune Kuipers  Makeup – Thom Walker using Chanel Hair – Stelios Chondros at Vision using Bumble and Bumble  Styling Assistants – Isabel Alamo  Seema Kukadia Makeup Assistant – Anastasia Stokbro Hess  Model – Hye Seung | IMG


Top: Sabina Bryntesson  |  Earrings: Vintage via Rellik


Top: Sabina Bryntesson  |  Earrings: Vintage via Rellik 78


Top: Sabina Bryntesson  |  Pants: Paul & Joe  |  Earrings: Vintage via Rellik 79


Dress: Vintage via Rellik  |  Necklace: AESA  |  Earrings: Vintage via Rellik 81


Dress: Vintage via Rellik  |  Earrings: Vintage via Rellik 82


SATELLITES BURBERRY MENSWEAR SPRING/SUMMER 2013

Photography – Bryan Huynh  Styling – Nabil Aliffi Hair & Makeup – Thom Ticklemouse Model – Morris Pandlebury | Premier Model Management

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soundless chamber

Photography – Xi Sinsong  Makeup – Misha Shahzada using MAKE UP FOREVER Hair – Joseph Dimaggio  Model – Amra Cerkezovic | Women Management

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Marina Made Me Cry Photographer Marco Anelli captures the quiet moments in one of Marina Abramovic’s most crucial works. Photography – Marco Anelli  Text – Natalia D.

Silence is not the lack of sound but perhaps the space between words where the story can be transfigured into a version with a better ending. When a woman does not contact her lover, it is not because she does not have anything to say, not because she does not desire to, not because she does not still love him. Rather, the silence is just the space between the words, where the words are held back like a river by a dam from its natural flow, because memory threatens to flood the moment, leaving only destruction in its wake. As Marina sat solo in the atrium at MOMA, the chair that was left “empty” for visitors was in fact inundated in memory. Though the title of the exhibition, The Artist is Present, suggests her

isolation in the performance, it was the absence of Ulay—Marina’s long-time partner in love, life and art—that haunted the numerous companions that attempted to fill the space left by the emptied chair. The Artist is Present reimagined Marina and Ulay’s previous series, Nightsea Crossing, which featured the couple on either ends of a long table seated, silent, facing each other. The space between them filled with whatever each artist brought to the table that day. Their co-presence sustained one another. It was in this public silence that the partners could not hide whatever underlying narratives plagued their private lives. One particular iteration of Nightsea Crossing seemed to presciently signify the rupture of the artists’ relationship as Ulay stood up and left the table early, leaving

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Marina, who chose to finish the performance, in solitude. Alone again, Marina’s performance during The Artist is Present stood in stark contrast to the previous repertoire of Relation Works that the partners performed together commencing with Relation in Space and culminating in The Lovers: The Great Wall Walk. After their performed parting on the Great Wall of China in 1988, the couple severed their personal, romantic, and artistic involvement. The Artist is Present was as much about Marina’s presence as it was about Ulay’s absence. Her past solo works, notably Rhythm 0 and Lips of Thomas, challenged


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"Even when the chair was filled, a void seemed to persist in the space around them, in the height of the atrium, and the breadth of rope barriers."

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the role of the spectator as actor, as her life was threatened and audience members chose to intervene. Alternatively, this performance invited audience members to directly engage in the performance by sitting silently across from the artist. While Nightsea Crossing challenged the limits of true collaboration between two people who shared a long, intimate, and personal relationship, The Artist is Present asked audience members to enter into an equal level of intimacy with the artist. This request was made despite the heightened spectacle of the performance framed by lights, cameras, and media. Even when the chair was filled, a void seemed to persist in the space around them, in the height of the atrium, and the breadth of rope barriers.

Marco Anelli’s collection of photographs, Portraits in the Presence of Marina Abramovic, does not focus on the empty space between the artist and the sitter, or the void that engulfed them, but rather on the affective response created by that space. The portraits of the sitters are framed and cropped like passport identification photos offering little more than what the eye could see as a marker of identity. They are detailed, specific, and honest. The proximal view offered by the camera’s zoom lens offers an intimacy that perhaps only Marina, as The Artist, enjoyed. Anelli takes on the role of The Artist by offering a view of what Marina would have witnessed during her performance. His recent exhibition at Fondazione

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FORMA per la Fotografia, titled In your eyes — 716 hours, 3,090 eyes, Portraits in the presence of Marina Abramovic underscores this exact notion. What Anelli’s compilation does not allude to are the various other sets of eyes looking on, as the primary and secondary media coverage of the event outlived the duration of the exhibit itself. The exhibition drew a wide audience of both dedicated fans and novices alike. The performance invited anyone who had the discipline to wait long enough to sit in the empty chair to do so. It did not discriminate based on previous history or future inclinations. Instead, the performance invited audience members to bring themselves to the present as well. The online Flickr account, to which Anelli


uploaded his pictures every night, does not feature special captions to name the sitters. Rather, the caption merely states the day, the portrait number, and the amount of time each sitter occupied the space. Anelli does not go to extra lengths to identify those who would be considered “celebrities.” Instead, the mass of portraits both distinguishes each sitter as an infamous individual and equalises them all as a collective. Yet, it was Marina’s ability to hold the space for each individual to be seen as an individual that transformed this public display into many private moments. From the 1,545 portraits taken during the 75 days of the exhibit, 82 of them were collected to appear on a Tumblr site titled Marina Abramovic Made Me Cry. The site features a wide range of gender, age, and racial identities united by the fact that tears were shed in the presence of Marina Abramovic. The artist has written

extensively about the energy exchange that takes place between two people who share the same physical space drawing on both her study of ascetic Tibetan meditation practices as well as Aboriginal ritual. However, this Tumblr site curates a particular response that these 82 sitters shared. While some portraits feature furrowed brows, others exhibit wrinkles at the corners of the eyes, suggesting that the tears shed were not necessarily all invoked by sadness. Yet, there still seems to a melancholia that unites the portraits. There is something missing from the photographs that cannot effectively transmit the potent affect in the empty space between the sitter and the artist; what did each of Marina’s new companions bring to this table? In the end, the table was removed, and the rules of the performance were shifted slightly as the 1, 545 sitters occupied the empty chair, and again left it vacant. The

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performance was a test of endurance. It was a testament to Marina’s obdurate presence as contrasted with the sitters who came and went capriciously only filling the empty seat for a brief period of time. Day 1, Portrait 3, 5 min, documents Ulay’s presence for a few brief moments at the opening of the exhibition. While the ex-lovers had spent some time together earlier that day, the staged reunion of the couple drove Marina, herself, to tears. She reached across the table, into the void, breaking her own rules for the piece, and grasped Ulay’s hands as the crowd of spectators broke into applause. The moment was fleeting. She gently bowed her head, and cleansed her vision, awaiting the many sitters who would follow. Her story was now that of those who filled the space: of one, and the same.


Muting the Sirens THE SILENCE OF THE SIREN IS NOT THE TRANQUIL ABSENCE OF SOUND; IT IS THE TREMBLING THAT RESONATES THROUGH ALL MATTER. Text – Shawn C.

“Now the Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence. And though admittedly such a thing has never happened, still it is conceivable that someone might possibly have escaped from their singing; but from their silence certainly never.” - Franz Kafka, The Silence of the Sirens With beeswax in their ears, the song of the Sirens died unheard by Ulysses’s men, like sonic waves reflecting off a rock without resonance. But if their songs are waves, what is their silence? It is perhaps the very vibrations that move through the air as winds and travel through the seas as waves, and conducted through the rock. The Silence of the Sirens is not the tranquil absence of sound; it is the trembling that resonates through all matter, shivering with potentiality and always on the verge of erupting into sound. We may buffer the sonic waves of the Sirens’ song but against their vibrant silence, there is no rebuff. The chambers of our minds are the very conductors of this resounding silence. We cannot still this silence, just as we

cannot still the beating of our hearts, or the pulsing of blood. Even as we quiet the sounds around us, we continue to hear the echoes reverberating within - the spectral echoes from the world, the whispers of our thoughts, and the murmurs of our body. These sonic ghosts linger even when sounds that produced them have long disappeared. They dance in the silence, amplified and diminished in our interior of dim mirrors, but the chamber of our minds is never void and never still: “Silence is not the absence of sound but the beginning of listening.” In 1951, the composer John Cage visited the anechoic chamber at Harvard University. He entered this acoustic vacuum expecting to hear total silence, and yet he heard sound: “I heard two sounds, one high and one low. When I described them to the engineer in charge, he informed that the high one was my nervous system in operation, the low one my blood in circulation.” Cage realised that no amount of padding in any soundproof room can still the trembling cacophony that ripples through us: silence was a state which was physically impos-

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sible to achieve. This epiphany led him to compose 4’33”, infamously known as the ‘silent’ piece. During a performance on 29 August, 1952, David Tudor satdown at the piano and made no sound for four and a half minutes. However, ‘silent’ was a misnomer. Cage protested, “What they thought was silence, because they didn’t know how to listen, was full of accidental sounds. You could hear the wind stirring outside during the first movement. During the second, raindrops began pattering the roof, and during the third the people themselves made all kinds of interesting sounds as they talked or walked out.” The purported ‘silence’ of the piece was, in fact, a sonic fallowing that allowed for a sensitivity to a different kind of sound to grow and therefore, for the commencement of listening. The seductive appeal of the Sirens’ song lies not in their vocal timbre, described as shrill and high-pitched, but in their Cagean silence. The Sirens never performed their own repertoire - only the music of those who pass by. By keeping silent, they tease out an irresistible song composed of the listener’s own


Jason deCaires Taylor www.jasondecairestaylor.com

mellifluous desires. Therein lies the fatal trap of listening, for what beeswax can one use to resist yielding to the song issuing from one’s own interior? In the analysis of German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, this singing listener has been deceived, through this intimate hearing, by the illusion that his constitutive wish has been fulfilled: “As our reflections on the effects of the Siren’s recitation about Odysseus have shown, the irresistibility of song rests not on a sweetness particular to music, but rather the alliance of the sound with the subject’s most discreet listening expectations.” In other words, the ear comes with its own selectivity. This is why Cage laments that what the audience construed as ‘silence’ was not the absence of sound, but the failure to recognise sound. Such is the burden of the ear which listens only for the note that it anticipates, and thus falls prey to the silence of the Sirens.

If sound and vibration are always immanent in our auditory experience, how might we imagine a state of ‘pure’ silence? It is no coincident that we find this transcendental state alluded to in various religious traditions alluding to this transcendental state. One of the central tenets of Buddhism is Sunyata, the Sanskrit term that is broadly translated as emptiness and it can be characterised as the silence of ontological being. The commitment to monastic silence is also highly regarded in the tradition of Trappist monks. In religious contexts, silence is cultivated to transcend the rational processes of the mind, and thus the mind can access an exalted state of being that is open to communion with higher powers. In these circumstances, silence is not an absence but a substantive reality. The cultivation of silence, whether through meditation or wordless prayer, centrifugalises the noise from one’s interiority so that we may

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listen to the divine. The seventh century bishop and theologian Isaac of Nineveh writes, “Silence is the mystery of the world to come... In the beginning we have to force ourselves to be silent. But then from our very silence is born something that draws us into deeper silence. May God give you an experience of this ‘something’ that is born of silence.” Silence is never the sterile absence of sound; it is the fecund ground upon which new ways of listening emerge. It is always vibrating energetically in the sonorous plasma that envelops us all. We may never escape the silence of the Sirens but if we listen carefully enough, we might hear a deeper silence that delivers us from the shipwreck.


Nicola Samori

The Unseen

(Above) Mass 2012  |  Oil on wood 30 x 20 x 7,5 cm  |  Courtesy of Galleria Emilio Mazzoli, Modena (Right) Inconnu 2012  |  Oil on wood 30 x 20 cm  |  Courtesy of Galleria Emilio Mazzoli, Modena

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(Above) Primo Martire 2010  |  Oil on wood 40 x 30 cm  |  Courtesy of Galleria Emilio Mazzoli, Modena (Right) MuM 2012  |  Oil on wood 27 x 19 cm  |  Courtesy of LARMgalleri, Copenhagen


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(Above) Diario Omogeneo 2012  |  Oil on wood 66 x 54 cm (with frame)  |  Courtesy Galleria Emilio Mazzoli, Modena (Left) Povero di Sole 2012  |  Oil on copper 90 x 70 cm  |  Courtesy Galleria Emilio Mazzoli, Modena


PURE CINEMA SILENCE IN FILM FROM HITCHCOCK TO SKYFALL. Text – Ashish R.

“You can achieve an enormous amount in silence”. This seems an odd way for Sam Mendes to describe Skyfall (2012), his latest action-packed, blockbuster Bond film. Silence,which is what Harold Pinter elevated to unbearably tense heights in the theatre, has long been a staple of cinematic language. To be sure, cinema is not so much non-verbal but pre-verbal. Before talkies, cinema had already established the majority of its visual narrative techniques – close-up, reverse shot, point of view et cetera. During the silent era, lamented Alfred Hitchcock, the great directors “had reached something near perfection. The introduction of sound, in a way, jeopardised that perfection.” He was referring to a tendency of filmmakers who, taking advantage of new sound recording apparatuses in the 1930s, filmed stage plays and presented them as movies. Hitchcock regarded this dependence on extensive dialogue and verbal narration as fundamentally un-cinematic. Was Hitchcock’s fear just the growing

pains of an art form coming to terms with a technological innovation? In an era where character dramas are losing their budgets to multimillion dollar, visual spectacles that tend to hit an audience over the head with their films’ meanings, what value does silence have? In cinematic terms, silence is not just a question of audibility. It is represented by what remains, which, in the cinema, is literally the image on the screen. When Dustin Hoffman scuba dives in his swimming pool in The Graduate (1967), it is the soft release of bubbles from his mouthpiece that gives us access to the sound and, importantly, the feeling, of silence. Such a scene can evoke an atmosphere, create a tone and convey a myriad of emotions using basic visual and aural techniques in a few seconds. Imagine, on the other hand, Hoffman’s character providing a verbal description of the same scene. Firstly, it would take more time and space to find the language to re-

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flect the images presented. Secondly, these words might not even be sufficient. As Paul Schrader, screenwriter of Taxi Driver (1976), noted, an image can express a powerful idea without requiring language to mediate its meaning. To take the above example, the word ‘bubbles’ raises many possibilities: how big are they, how rapidly do they emerge from the mouthpiece, how quickly do they rise to the surface? But the actual image of these bubbles as seen in The Graduate dismisses such questions. Admittedly, this image arguably limits a viewer’s imagination, a criticism that can be leveled against many filmic adaptations of novels. By imposing specific images of what characters and scenes look like, such adaptations replace the individual versions of the stories that readers had concocted in their own heads. Rather than a criticism of either medium, this points more to a fundamental difference between literature and cinema. Moreover, in the cinema a verbal description might simply be less expressive or poetic than a


Alfred Hitchcock: The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

visual one. The precision and immediacy of images over the potential unwieldiness of words makes silence a powerful visual storytelling tool. Silence is the unanswered query that makes us ask the next question crucial to narrative momentum: what’s going to happen next? It is the close-up that lingers after the last line of dialogue, the rest in the soundtrack, the gap between utterances, the space after the full stop. A well-placed silence is so enthralling because it engages our imaginations. What is that golden light emanating from the briefcase in Pulp Fiction (1994)? Because we’re never told, every viewer can have a different version of it, or so believes Quentin Tarantino, the film’s director. Alternatively, when a silence is elongated it can be meditative or profound. A great exponent of this, Yasujiro Ozu, frequently used simple cut-away shots of seemingly mundane objects. Depending on where they were placed, these shots reinforced

the narrative or, at a more abstract level, the intellectual underpinnings of his films. A misplaced silence, either aural or narrative, can lose a viewer in a snap; but when used carefully, can make for a much richer experience that implicates the viewer in uncovering the variety of possible meanings within the film. Silence can also communicate on an instinctive level. It gives us access to a character’s subjectivity. As the late filmmaker Alexander MacKendrick pointed out, speech involves the rationalising of our feelings and impulses, whereas action and images communicate on a far more primitive level. Take Rust and Bone (2012), Jacques Audiard’s latest film. An extreme slow motion shot of a bloody tooth hitting the ground tells us a great deal about the sheer viscera of illegal street fighting. Silence can cut through the intellect and go straight to our gut. For a brief moment, a viewer gives in to the feeling generated by these mute images of men pummeling each other and stops thinking of how il-

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logical their actions may be. Beyond that, a viewer is encouraged to revel in the pure physicality of the action, to feel what the characters in the film feel rather than judge them from a distance. Mendes recounts that in Skyfall he wanted to expose the vulnerability of Bond, a character who has been treated like a given for decades. Interestingly, in such a large-scale film, Mendes believed the best way to do this was by showing Bond in silence. Such moments are a reminder that, in its infancy and at its core, a large part of the cinema’s appeal lies in its ability to capture humanity in motion and display it to a wider audience. Through various technological transformations, this appeal has remained a fundamental aspect of making movies; and silence serves as a productive space for viewers to imagine their sympathy for the characters on screen.


2013 Highlights LANDMARK EVENTS TO MARK ON YOUR CALENDER Text – Lesley C.

1 Ai Weiwei: According to What? Exhibition Hirshhorn Musuem and Sculpture Garden, Washington 7 October 2012 - February 24 2013 2 Artist’s Rooms on Tour: Damien Hirst Exhibition The New Art Gallery Walsall, UK 6 October 2012 - 27 October 2013

6 No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia Exhibition Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 22 February – 22 May 2013

3 Stefano Pilati heads Ermenigildo Zegna Fashion Design Effective as of 1 January 2013

7 Grimes ‘Live’ Performance Mosaic Music Festival, The Esplanade, Singapore 9 March 2013

4 Rei Kawakubo x Hermès Design Collaboration Collection in stores from February 2013

8 Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby Film Set for release in Singapore on 16 May 2013

5 Lichtenstein: A Retrospective Exhibition Tate Modern, London 21 February – 27 May 2013

9 David Bowie Is Exhibition Victoria and Albert Musuem, London 23 March – 28 July 2013 10 Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938 Exhibition Museum of Modern Art, New York 22 September 2013 - 12 January 2014 11 Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac Film Part 1 set for release in 2013

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Stockists 3.1 Phillip Lim www.31philliplim.com

Costume National www.costumenational.com

Raf Simons www.rafsimons.com

AESA www.aesajewelry.com

Duckie Brown www.duckiebrown.com

Rellik www.relliklondon.co.uk

ACNE www.acnestudios.com

Front Row www.frontrowsingapore.com

Rick Owens www.rickowens.eu

Alexandre Plokhov www.alexandre-plokhov.com

Giorgio Armani www.armani.com

Robert Geller www.robertgeller-ny.com

A.P.C. www.apc.fr/frfr/index.html www.frontrowsingapore.com

Givenchy www.givenchy.com

Rochambeau www.rochambeau.us.com

Maison Martin Margiela www.maisonmartinmargiela.com

Rockstar by Soonlee www.rockstar-soonlee.blogspot.sg

Paul & Joe www.paulandjoe.com

Sabina Bryntesson www.sabinabryntesson.com

Ports 1961 www.ports1961.com

Siki Im www.sikiim.com

BooksActually www.booksactually.com Burberry www.burberry.com Cat Socrates www.catsocrates.com

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V AVE SHOE REPAIR www.vave-shoerepair.com www.amnesty.com.sg/v-ave.html Valentino www.valentino.com Yulia Kondranina www.yuliakondranina.com Z Zegna www.zegna.com


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Vulture Magazine Issue 03: Silence  

In this issue we question the idea of silence as an absence – a supposed hole in the fabric of audio, visual and other stimuli. We explore i...

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