Fashion East x Galeria Melissa

23.05.2018 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

In keeping with Galeria Melissa’s reputation for hosting maverick collaborations and guests, the space’s next takeover brings Fashion East’s merry band of designers to the Covent Garden space.

The Fashion East womenswear designers, which includes Supriya Lele, Charlotte Knowles and Asai interpreted Galeria Melissa’s  OPEN VIBES AW18 collection. The video that will preview this evening is the first to be created between Galeria Melissa and Fashion East. Shot with a home video aesthetic, the video offers a low-fi feel that blends the fantasy of fashion with the reality of its process.

This latest collaboration with Fashion East follows Juno Calypso’s unnerving takeover earlier in the year. Expect weird, wacky and wonderful things.

Imagery by Dexter Lander

Imagery by Dexter Lander

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How to build an independent fashion brand

23.05.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

This weekend sees The Bridge Co. host ‘How to build an independent fashion brand?’ A series of events designed to enable young creatives in fashion to work savvily and negotiate the intimidating business of fashion.

With speakers from Harvey Nichols, i-D, SHOWstudio as well portfolio reviews and speed mentoring, this is a dream opportunity to get free, helpful advice from industry experts.

The Bridge Co. is well versed at launching new designers onto the international stage, with clients that include Roberta Einer, Teatum Jones, HAVVA, Oshadi, CMMN SWDN, Ergon Mykonos, and Katrine Hanna, to name a few.

For any London-based emerging designers, this is an essential Saturday activity. Find out more here.

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Photo London’s name to know

17.05.2018 | Art , Blog | BY:

‘I like the idea of turning the tables, subverting the male gaze. Sue is now looking at us.’ says Charlotte Colbert, the London-based artist behind one of the must-visit exhibits at Photo London this year.

Her work ‘Benefit Supervisor Sleeping’, 2017, offers a life-size image portrait of Sue Tilley, Lucian Freud’s iconic model. While creating an overall survey, the work alerts viewers to specific details such as Tilley’s foot or the paint spattered studio floors that Tilley was first painted in.

Photo London is at Somerset House 17th – 20th May 2018. See the full programme here.

Feature image credit: Charlotte Colbert, ‘Benefit Supervisor Sleeping’, 2017

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Prada Pre-Fall 2018 explores Industreality

13.05.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For their Pre-Fall 2018 campaign, Prada enlisted photographer Willy Vanderperre to capture models inside of the fictitious Prada Warehouse.

The fantasy environment is full of contrasts which embody the modern Prada woman. Models pose against textured, industrial backgrounds that are emblazoned with Prada logos and signs. The colour palette is high-octane, marrying bold, bright hues with futuristic and feminine clothing design. These combinations create an immersive Prada world: rich and unexpected, as the brand is apt to do. Anok Yai, Kris Grikaite and Fran Summers are the perfect models to anchor fantasy of the Prada Warehouse to reality.

Motifs such as the flaming shoes, Prada triangle and dinosaur evoke Prada’s traditional visual language while simultaneously offering a new one. It’s the sense of transition embodied within these logos that plays a part in the continued energy of brand. References speak a both to Prada’s long and innovative history, while also offering a modern twist that looks to the future.

Clothes do the same, with nylon and digitised florals ensuring traditional feminine design is re-imagined for the modern woman. While the Prada Warehouse might remain in another dimension, there’s no doubt Prada Pre-Fall will bring ‘Industreality’ to the every day.

 

 

 

 

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Repeal the 8th Amendment: now is the time for change in Ireland

10.05.2018 | Culture , Thoughts | BY:

Ireland. The country famed as the Land of Angela’s Ashes, of Beckett, of Tayto crisps and of one of the oldest documented skeletons. It is also home to one of the most outdated legislations in the Europe.

Twin contributor Isabella Davey explores the realities of the existing abortion laws in Ireland and what the referendum on May 25th could mean for the country’s future. 

Abortion in Ireland is illegal. The only exceptions are if there is a threat to the life of the mother, either medically or through suicide. In any other case there are prosecuting consequences for women who choose to have an abortion through uncontrolled and potentially unsafe methods. Often women have no choice but to put themselves at risk.

On the 25th May, a review of this archaic situation will come into play. The national response to the Referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment will hopefully reflect a modern Ireland of contemporary and democratic values. Repealing the 8th Amendment would see Article 40.3.3 removed from the Irish constitution.

This would then pave the way for legislation that would allow for free, safe and legal abortion procedures for women in the country, and return the right of bodily integrity and self-determination.

Speaking to Hannah Little from London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign on the importance of the referendum:

“No one under the age of 52 has voted on access to abortion in Ireland so this referendum is an overdue opportunity for Irish citizens to have their say. With our #HometoVote campaign, were calling on vote-eligible Irish abroad go home to vote to remove the 8th Amendment. Irish citizens overseas may retain full voting rights for a period of 18 months before the referendum so we’re asking the Irish diaspora to visit our website www.hometovote.com for further information.”

The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution Act was introduced in 1983 after a referendum that asked Irish people to vote on the State’s abortion laws (which held abortion as illegal) and resulted in a 53.67% majority in favour of the right of the unborn child.

This saw the following amendment entering the country’s law:

The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.

In 20th Century Ireland, this wasn’t the only backward decision shaped by Catholic opinion. There is an alarmingly long list:

Divorce: only made legal in 1996. Contraception, inclusive of condoms: illegal up until 1979, where it was only made legal under doctor’s prescriptions who must be satisfied that the contraceptive is sought for family planning purposes. Condoms: only made legal to purchase in chemists in 1986. Marital rape: legal until 1990 when the Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act abolished the clause that stated a husband could not be found guilty of raping his wife. Homosexuality: decriminalised consensual homosexual acts in 1993. These above examples illustrate the extreme delay in civilian rights in Ireland.

The fact that Ireland still serves abortion as a criminal offence only furthers the exasperation: why is Ireland stuck in such a backward law?

 

Ireland lies in a state of polarisation. On the one hand are the old laws, influenced by Catholic State rulings and on the other, a new Ireland that has embraced medical and technological advancements alongside its strengths in the arts. 

The reasons for the necessity of the 8th Amendment to be repealed are globally clear:

The main argument for the necessity is in the fact that the illegality of abortion removes the right of the woman’s own body and the right of choice from the woman. Her body is under the decision of the state, of which has had its laws deeply shaped by allegiance to the Catholic Church.

The secondary argument is that abortion has swiftly moved on from being a clerical abomination to its denial being a severe health risk, mentally, physically and emotionally.

In 2012 Savita Halappanavar died after being denied an emergency termination whilst miscarrying. As a result the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 was brought through. This stated that:

It shall be lawful to carry out a medical procedure in respect of a pregnant woman in accordance with this section in the course of which, or as a result of which, an unborn human life is ended where— (a) a medical practitioner, having examined the pregnant woman, believes in good faith that there is an immediate risk of loss of the woman’s life from a physical illness, (b) the medical procedure is, in his or her reasonable opinion (being an opinion formed in good faith which has regard to the need to preserve unborn human life as far as practicable) immediately necessary in order to save the life of the woman, and (c) the medical procedure is carried out by the medical practitioner.

This ruling extended to include the risk of suicide on the pregnant woman’s behalf, but also enforced a prison sentence of up to 14 years of ‘unlawful abortions’ that don’t adhere to the above exceptions.

Destruction of unborn human life 22. (1) It shall be an offence to intentionally destroy unborn human life. (2) A person who is guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on indictment to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years, or both.

Considering that the SAVI (Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland) Report of 2002 ratified the distressingly high figures for women below, the survey weighed up the low indictments against female abuse, and the high percentage of Irish females exposed to it:

Women: More than four in ten (42 per cent) of women reported some form of sexual abuse or assault in their lifetime. The most serious form of abuse, penetrative abuse, was experienced by 10 per cent of women. Attempted penetration or contact abuse was experienced by 21 per cent, with a further 10 per cent experiencing non-contact abuse.

If 10% of women in Ireland, based off the study’s figures, are experiencing penetrative sexual assault, this would allow victims of rape who fall pregnant to fall through the cracks of the law, leaving them vulnerable to the state and forced to carry a crisis pregnancy as a result of rape to term of an attacker.

In the X case of 1992, which saw a 14 year old rape victim having her case taken to the Supreme Court, the High Court initially instigated an injunction against her plans to secure an abortion abroad having had suicidal desires.

The X Case brought about the removal of limitation of one’s freedom to travel to secure an abortion, however the case brought through the proposal to remove suicidal desires as legal grounds for an abortion, known as the Twelfth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 1992, which was rejected in a referendum.

In 2002 the Twenty-fifth Amendment of the Constitution (Protection of Human Life in Pregnancy) Bill, 2002 which further looked to remove threat of suicide as a ground for abortion and increase the penalties for helping a woman have an abortion, held a voting result difference of 0.84% of the population against the amendment passing. That is a controversially low figure for a constitutional amendment imploring further punishment and further removal of medical reasoning.

The question the Referendum raises is about trusting women: trusting them with their bodies and the decisions that they choose to make.

 

In 2010 an Irish woman with terminally ill cancer sued the Irish state for violation of human rights after she had to cease her cancer treatment due to an unplanned pregnancy interfering with her treatment. Her obstetrician in Ireland was left unable to perform an abortion, leaving her arms tied due to the laws in place. The patient had to fly to the UK to secure one, despite her severely ill condition.

Today it is estimated that up to 12 women travel to the UK every day to access abortion clinics.

“Our best chance at winning this referendum is if people are willing to have those ‘tricky conversations’ with family and friends about why this issue is so important and why their vote matters.” Adds Hannah Little. “Abortion is still a very divisive subject, even in countries with less restrictive laws than Ireland. This referendum serves as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take healthcare out of the constitution and legislate for compassionate care for pregnant people in Ireland.”

The right to choose an abortion is one that is a deeply personal decision to many, and one that is not aiming to secure one answer, but give the control of that decision back into the hands of the women who currently have their decisions dictated by the State.

The results of the Referendum on May 25th will hopefully reflect the values of an Ireland ready to shed its past. Should we face a rejection of repealing the 8th Amendment, we will not be just facing a prohibition on our rights, we will be faced with the realisation that Ireland is failing to accept positive progression.

For further information visit Together for Yes and London Irish Arc

Feature image credit: Robbie Lawrence ‘The Road to Tyninghame’ for Twin magazine.

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L.A. Dreams at CFHILL

09.05.2018 | Culture | BY:

Bright colours radiate from the CFHILL art space in Stockholm were the exhibition L.A. Dreams is currently showing.

Colourful is the first word that comes to mind when describing the works of art that are on display. A women nonchalantly resting in the bluest water, a Goofy-esk headless body trapped in eternal bridge pose, large paintings of distorted roses and a sculpture of an insanely red apple – all share the space.

The exhibition, curated by Chines Californian curator Melanie Lum, shows the works of six contemporary L.A. based artists : Math Bass, Laren Davis Fischer, AAron Garber-Maikovska, Parker Ito, Becky Kolsrud and Joshua Nathanson. The pieces are different but tied together by an almost naively positive way of tackling the  the dualism of the a fragmented city tormented by pollution, drought and crime city in an almost. Smudging the lines between fantasy and reality with colour.

Images courtesy of CFHILL Art Space

“When we opened the show in April it was still that kind of grey early spring in Stockholm”, says Michael Elmenbeck creative director at CFHILL Art Space. “To fill 800 square meters with all those energetic colours was amazing. Walking into the space was like getting a light therapy shock.”

What’s so special about L.A.?

– Every now and then you get these creative movements from specific cities, take Leipzig for instance. First people discovered Neo Rauch, and then they became interested in what was happening in Leipzig and then ten other artists appeared from that specific city. That’s what’s happening in L.A. right now, except not just in art, but in other creative fields too. It’s an incredibly dynamic city when it comes to tech, music, food, fitness and, since Hedi Slimane brought Saint Laurent to L.A., even fashion. The music and hip hop scene is the most influential and progressive in the U.S. – it’s the same with art.

Images courtesy of CFHILL Art Space

Why do you think that is?

– One reason is that New York has gotten too expensive, it’s impossible for artists to find a studio. And then you have Donald Trump, he’s a New Yorker in every way, many want to get away from that too. So they move to L.A. where there are both studios and a place where different creative expressions co-exist. Most artist work with a broad variety of mediums and expressions, just look at Kanye West or Murakami. And then there’s the L.A. light that you just don’t get anywhere else.

Images courtesy of CFHILL Art Space

For L.A.Dreams you worked together with curator Melanie Lum, how did that collaboration begin?

– We were introduced by a mutual friend who works with Art Basel and we quickly realised that we had the same taste in art. And when I heard that she worked with many of my favorite contemporary artists I just asked her, then and there, if she wanted to do something for CFHILL in Stockholm. We quickly got positive responses from many of the artist, but they are all internationally renowned so it took about a year to put this expansive and well curated exhibition together.

Images courtesy of CFHILL Art Space

What would you say is most special feature in the exhibition?

– Math Bass is an artist that I’ve admired for a long time so it was incredible for me to show her work, but what made it extra special was the fact that we were able to, for the first time ever, show her work together with her partner Lauren’s. But really I think that the mix between these six L.A. artists it the most interesting thing.

L.A.Dreams is showing until May 19th and you can also see Carsten Höller’s work at CFHILL.

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Fantasy florals: summer scents to capture your imagination

07.05.2018 | Beauty , Fashion | BY:

Spritz and escape: these floral-laced scents are your passport to summer. Who cares about the weather when you’re carrying orange blossom and lavender notes wherever you go. These spring and summer season scents are all about embracing the fantasy, helping you to shake off the winter blues and reach for the sky.

19-69 Capri

19-69 Capri Eau de Parfum at Goodhood Store

Comme 3 Eau de Toilette

Comme 3 Eau de Toilette at Dover Street Market

Ex Nihilo Viper Green

Ex Nihilo Viper Green at Harvey Nichols

Le Labo Neroli 36

Le Labo Neroli 36 Eau de Parfum at LN-CC

Prada Pink Flamingos

Prada Pink Flamingos at Selfridges

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Jennifer Lee is awarded LOEWE Craft Prize 2018

03.05.2018 | Art , Culture | BY:

Jennifer Lee has been awarded the LOEWE Craft Prize 2018 for her work Pale, Shadowed Speckled Traces, Fading Elipse, Bronze Specks, Tilted Shelf (2017).

The prize was announced today at a ceremony at London’s Design Museum. A panel of judges including architect Patricia Urquiola and Jonathan Anderson awarded the prize to Lee from 30 finalists.

“Jennifer Lee for me is a landmark in form” commented Jonathan Anderson, who launched the LOEWE Craft Prize last year.

Classic and tranquil, Jennifer Lee’s work embodies a sense of timelessness and transcendence. The ceramic design was created using the ancient technique of pinching and coiling yet the final result speaks to modern minimalism.

Takuro Kuwata also received honourable mention for his porcelain work Tea Bowl (2017), as did Simone Pheulpin for her textile sculpture Croissance XL (XL Growth) (2017). See work from all 30 of the LOEWE Craft Prize finalists here.

The LOEWE Craft Prize exhibition is open at the Design Museum until 13th June 2018. The museum will also host a series of craft talks and workshops. You can find out more information about the events here

 

Prada Cinéma: now you can watch it too

01.05.2018 | Blog | BY:

Fondazione Prada’s eclectic programme of cinema screenings begins in Milan from May 3rd, and it’s packed with gems.

The new venture comes after the brand embarked on a meditation of the role of cinema in an institution such as Fondazione Prada. The result is a cinephile’s dream. Two months (to start with) of acclaimed international films screened in their original languages.

Belle de Jour | courtesy of Fondazione Prada

Themes have been chosen for specific days of the week: on Thursdays it will be films selected by curators or artists involved with Fondazione Prada; on Friday, favourite films chosen by creative icons; on Saturday a selection of first releases; on Sundays, restored films from the historic cultural canon.

With a cinematic history as rich as Italy’s, coupled with the dynamic curatorial vision that Fondazione Prada has constantly upheld, this promises to be a movie experience like no other. You can check out the full list of film screenings here.

The new screenings come after the final wing of Fondazione Prada was debuted as the location for Prada’s AW18 collection at Milan Fashion Week. The collection, which featured vibrant neons, flame-heeled stilettos and digital floral prints was met with rave reviews.

Jason and the Argonauts| courtesy Fondazione Prada

And for additional Prada kudos, make sure to wear a pair of sunglasses from their Cinéma collection on your visit.

Fondazione Prada’s cinema opens May 3rd 2018 in Milan.

Crushing on Kravitz, Saint Laurent Fall 2018

27.04.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Zoe Kravitz is Saint Laurent’s latest campaign star, and we can’t get enough. Following on from the last video which spotlighted on the delightful Betty Catroux, the latest Saint Laurent video is a celebration of Kravitz’s dynamic, mesmeric presence.

The campaign video features a cropped-haired Kravitz dancing to the Velvet Underground’s iconic song ‘Venus in Fur’. Fifteen seconds is more than enough to convey the sultry, confident atmosphere evoked by a monochrome film of the compelling star. Dancing to the laconic melody, Zoe wears a military-inspired jacket with brocade detail, high-rise leather shorts adorned with stars and platform leopard print boots. If you needed another reason to crush on Kravitz, this outfit would be it.

Watch the Saint Laurent Fall 18 video featuring Zoe Kratiz below.

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THEATRE OF THE NATURAL WORLD: An interview with Mark Dion and Iwona Blazwick, Director at Whitechapel Gallery

26.04.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

The nature-culture dualism is central to the work of American artist, Mark Dion. Best known for his immersive sculptures and installations, his work examines how knowledge is gathered, interpreted, classified and presented. For his solo exhibition at London’s Whitechapel Gallery, Dion examines our complicated – and conflicted relationship – with the natural world raising questions concerning the culture of nature and the environment. Twin spoke to Mark and The Whitechapel Gallery’s director, Iwona Blazwick to talk about the major exhibition, its curation and the ethical duties of artists and curators.

Thomas Rackowe-Cork (to director IWONA BLAZWICK): What initially drew you to Mark’s work?

IWONA BLAZWICK: I first encountered the work of Mark Dion in a gallery in New York in 1990. Marching across the white cube space was a line of wheelbarrows filled with exotic pot plants and cuddly animal toys. It was called ‘The Wheelbarrows of Progress’. It struck me that here was the legacy of minimalism but infused with narrative, politics and humour.

TRC to curator IWONA BLAZWICK: Can you tell me about the curation for this exhibition? Is there a particular circulation you had in mind for the viewer to experience the exhibition?

IWONA: Mark Dion is a scenographer and explorer.  So, our curatorial approach was to take the viewer on a journey through a series of visual adventures.  The voyage starts with life – 22 zebra finches in their beautiful Library for the Birds – proceeds through an expertly camouflaged yet hostile series of structures made for observation and hunting, through a studio for the contemplation of nature, an uncanny museum display and an archaeological dig; it ends with death in a room of ghosts glowing in the dark.

TRC to artist MARK DION: What drew you to the world of natural history and science as a mode of investigation?

MARK DION: I think one of the things that drew me to the world of natural history is that it is a field where we are asking exciting questions; who are we? Where do we fit into the world? What is the world? How did we get here? Conversely, I find the art museum asks questions of value and aesthetics – areas that were not especially inspiring to me. So, on the other hand, these institutions, such as museums of natural history and ethnography museums, tend to both ask questions and give answers. They turn the viewer into a passive viewer. Whereas the art museum has a very critical view – they don’t expect that you necessarily agree with the work of art. It is almost encouraged that you do not. So, I wanted to bring those two worlds together. But my principle motivation is a kind of love for nature and experiences and it is something that was always a big part of my life growing up and I can’t imagine it ever not being a part of my life. And with growing up in the city, you search for surrogates – you may not be able to get to the mountains every weekend or to the coast. But you can get to the natural history museum or the park.

‘The Library for the Birds of London’ on show in Mark Dion: Theatre of the Natural World | © Jeff Spicer/PA Wire

TRC: The cabinet of curiosities is a theme that you repeatedly revisit in your practice – could you tell me a little bit more about why that is?

MARK DION: My interest was really in wildlife conservation and biodiversity. That brought me to the museum and then as I became closer to the museum, I became closer to its history for the collections. It was here that I discovered the tradition of the Wunderkabinet, which later peaked my interest in the 16th and 17th century collections. I found these collections really interesting because they contrasted so significantly from the imperial or colonial collections as they were not something of national prominence or filled with ideology. Rather, they are highly individual cosmologies. Though they are undoubtedly related to colonial processes, they are not the colonial museum in the same way. They are as much proto-scientific as they are spaces of magic, religion and superstition. So, that kind of mixture and hybridity, not only of the objects, but of their meaning as well, is important in thinking about how we move forward in terms of museum design – looking to the past and looking to the unexpected way things are put together.

TRC: The nature of a cabinets of curiosity seems to be concerned with collecting and classifying. Do you have a theme in mind when you collecting or making these material objects?

MARK DION: Very often, I go back to their original methodology where you would use an allegorical structure. I think that in trying to reconstruct those you have to also try to put yourself in the head of a maker from that time. So, you are intentionally putting things together that we may not put together today. So, let’s say, if you are using the elements of the seasons and you are putting them together based on the idea of fire, I try to ask myself; what does that necessarily mean? So, I find that really exciting.

TRC: So, you do not approach the curation of these cabinets thematically – could say then the curation is more intuitive?

MARK DION: Well I’m thinking about the themes that would exist in a historical setting and trying to mirror or refresh those. So, I am constantly thinking about their allegories. Very often, I look back at young Bruegel paintings, for instance, or something like that as a way of imagining what does the allegorical air look like?

Mark Dion ‘World in a Box’, 2015 | image courtesy of Whitechapel Gallery

TRC to IWONA BLAZWICK: The cabinets of curiosities are already curated in a way – how do you go about curating the cabinets themselves?

IWONA: The artist makes his own cabinets of curiosity – our role is to immerse our visitors in them, encouraging them to act as detectives searching for the myriad clues embedded in Dion’s assemblages, drawings and wallpapers.

TRC to MARK DION: From the sort of themes that you are looking at; what are some of the most fascinating objects you’ve found over the years?

MARK DION: There are always found objects that you pull out of rivers and one of the most interesting things about creating pieces for this exhibition was that I was working with people that were not trained as archaeologists or artists. It was interesting to see how some of which had a very accentuated search image. Whilst others had a really difficult time just seeing. As for me, one of the most exciting things we found were those traditional objects that you embellish with cultural artefacts. For example, you may have a whale’s tooth and surround it with silver and engrave on it. The opposite of that might be a cultural object that is traced with worm tracings or oyster shells or slipper shells and things like that. Things that articulate that opposite. In many cases, I found it interesting that many of the young people working on these projects were entirely unable to tell the difference between a rock of flint and a cultural object. To them, it seemed unfathomable that a piece flint, for example, was not human made because the natural world just does not make something that strange. So, these things that articulate the natural affecting the artificial I see as bookending the cabinet of curiosities and accentuating the natural with the artificial.

TRC: Following on from that, do you think our relationship to a found object changes when placed behind glass?

MARK DION: Oh, absolutely. It changes over a period of time. For example, an artist like Robert Rauschenberg might find a glue into a collage a newspaper cutting from his day in 1953. Suddenly, today that is a very exotic newspaper, with a different time sensibility, and different make up. So, not only do they change by this process of becoming “museum-ified” but they also change dramatically just by getting a little bit older. Even with things here in the Thames Cabinet from the dig in 1999 here in the exhibition, someone was looking at them yesterday saying “Oh! SunnyDelight – does that still exist?”

TRC: Do you think that these found object lose some agency when they are placed in this context?

MARK DION: I do not think they loose agency. In fact, I think that they gain some agency, or the viewer gains some agency because they begin to see themselves in this context. What is important for me about the Tate Thames Dig (1999) is that people find themselves in it. It is not this notion that history happens to someone else, sometime ago. Rather, it is a continuity that is inclusive. We find ourselves in that, which also implies that this history goes beyond us. One of the most difficult things we face as a society, is this ability to imagine things going on beyond us. I feel that is why many seem not to care about leaving behind a mess.

Mark Dion exhibition | courtesy Kunstraum Dornbirn

TRC: Yes, it is incredibly hard to fathom the sort of everlasting element of material objects… the idea that things can live beyond us…

MARK DION: Absolutely. We are just a point in the continuum. And so that is sort of my real agenda with these pieces to emphasise this notion of a continuum. For that to happen, the viewer has to find something that they have touched, something that they know or are familiar with.

TRC: I sort of felt a sense of nostalgia whilst walking around the exhibition – would you say that this feeling or emotion plays a somewhat central role in your work?

MARK DION: I am always trying to guard against nostalgia. But at the same time, I think that I certainly have an affinity to materials that are well-made – that are crafted in leather and wood rather than in plastic. At the same time, I try to police myself against this golden ageing. It is the curse of nostalgia to imagine the past is somehow a purer, a better or a more superior time, which it clearly was not at least it was not for many of us. It would always feel artificial, for example, to place a laptop into a study of surrealism. I mean, that is not a good example, because the piece Bureau of the Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacy (2005) in this exhibition is a period piece that is meant to be a 1923 office.

TRC: Is there a hope to achieve anything by bringing these things back to the surface?

MARK DION: I want to cultivate the viewer who is more cautious and sophisticated. But at the same I want to be critical and to that you have to be affirmative. That is to say, to affirm people’s world views so you don’t feel entirely isolated – that you’re not the only one on the right road.

TRC: How do you think artists and have ethical duty or responsibility to bring certain issues to the surface?

MARK DION: I would not want to be prescriptive, but for me it is important. I mean, otherwise I wouldn’t really understand what the point of making are would be. I could understand why someone would want to make work as a self-expressive gesture, but I just do not understand why they would think an audience would only need to see that. I am interested in artists who are not afraid to have a didactic aspect to their work. Who are not afraid to say something and to have a position. That is the kind of art I like. So, I am not afraid to make that kind of art myself. At the same time, we have to face a lot of this stuff in society anyway, which is not particularly successful in terms of messaging. So, I wonder how to do that with complexity. I think for me, humour is part of the way to do that and also just trying to do things really well that builds a confidence in the viewer that is worth engaging with. 

TRC: How do you think curators have ethical duty or responsibility to bring certain issues to the surface? Here for instance, the conservation of the environment.

IWONA BLAZWICK: The curatorial mission changes according to its institutional and social context. For us at the Whitechapel Gallery we are dedicated to offering a platform for contemporary artists – and they don’t have a duty to comment on issues.  While World War II raged about him Morandi just continued to paint bottles. He is nonetheless a great artist. However, an artist like Mark Dion is exciting because he is able to respond to the environmental crisis in a way which combines ethics with aesthetics.  He has spoken of his despair at our indifference to the fate of our planet – but I see this exhibition as being full of hope, making us reflect on our relations with other species while rekindling our sense of awe at the natural world.

 

Mark Dion ‘Theatre of the Natural World’ is on at the Whitechapel Gallery in London until 13th May 2018. 

Featured image credit: Mark Dion in the rainforest of Guyana | Photo by Bob Braine, courtesy of Whitechapel Gallery

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Three Cities, an exhibition of new photographs by Niall O’Brien

24.04.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

The Sid Motion Gallery in London celebrates the work of Irish photographer Niall O’Brien in a new exhibition that opens this week.

O’Brien spent six months documenting the area around Silicon Valley, observing the contradictions and contrasts within the landscape and social structure.

“This was one of the most expensive places to live in the US, and it was kind of bland.” Says O’Brien. “It was full of the most cutting edge technology, yet the aesthetic had been forgotten. Cars and highways were all you could hear. There was nothing beautiful about the place – except the mountains that surrounded it, and the nature that persevered to appear in the least expected places.”

Niall O’Brien photograph from ‘Three Cities’ exhibition at Sid Motion Gallery

The photographer documented area around the seven-mile long Bascom Avenue every day, at the same time. The result is a atmospheric collection. The inequalities of wealth underscore the absurdity of the area, where these disparities exist side by side. Meanwhile the natural world offers another contrast. Niall O’Brien’s photographs ensure that perspective is given and that the hyper-intense tech world is rendered against the wider, ephemeral environment.

Niall O’Brien photograph from ‘Three Cities’ exhibition at Sid Motion Gallery

During his time in Bascom Avenue O’Brien bonded with two individuals, Blake and Dana. The exhibition portrays their daily lives, capturing their routines and rituals. The images are candid and intimate, conveying the friendship and trust between O’Brien and his subjects.

Niall O’Brien photograph from ‘Three Cities’ exhibition at Sid Motion Gallery

Together the portraits of people and the natural environment that they live vividly conjure the microcosms of this world. Don’t miss.

Niall O’Brien photograph from ‘Three Cities’ exhibition at Sid Motion Gallery

‘Three Cities’ An exhibition of new photographs by Niall O’Brien at Sid Motion Gallery in London April 26th – May 26th, 2018. 

Niall O’Brien photograph from ‘Three Cities’ exhibition at Sid Motion Gallery

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New African Photography III

22.04.2018 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Following the success of previous collaborations between Nataal and Red Hook Labs, Nataal curates an exhibition of some of most exciting image-makers documenting modern Africa in a new exhibition. New African Photography III opens at the Brooklyn space in May.

The new exhibition will showcase the work of six female artists: Fatoumata Diabaté (Mali), Rahima Gambo (Nigeria), Keyezua (Angola), Alice Mann (South Africa), Ronan McKenzie (UK) and Ruth Ossai (UK/Nigeria).

Together these works celebrate female identity and diversity, offering an empowered and positive vision. A sense of energy is conveyed through the celebration of movement and the use of powerful juxtapositions – both in terms of colour and of form.

The event also coincides with the launch of Nataal’s first print issue. The website and magazine work as a platform to champion creativity and culture in Africa. You can find out more here.

Alice Mann, Dr Van Der Ross Drummies, Delft, South Africa, 2017, from the series Drummies

Ruth Ossai X Mowalao

Fatoumata Diabaté, Kara et ses oreilles, 2012, from the series L_homme en Animal

Sailing Back to Africa as a Dutch Woman, 2017, from the series Fortia

Nataal: New African Photography III, 4th – 13th May, Red Hook Labs, 133 Imlay St, Brooklyn, New York. Opening times: 10am-6pm daily. 

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Lindsey Mendick, Perfectly Ripe 

18.04.2018 | Art | BY:

In her new exhibition artist Lindsey Mendick brings audiences a rich and atmospheric memory of a summer holiday that she took when she was 13 years old. Immersing audiences in a world that is at first exciting and new, though later threatening and dangerous, Mendick uses ceramics, sculpture, painting and audio recordings to conjure the rich experience of her holiday.

Even at the peak of her sunny and nostalgic narrative, a sense of unease and discomfort pervades the piece. This is emphasised by the dark background within the exhibition. Below, Lindsey Mendick shares an extract from the audio recording which plays throughout the exhibition.

Lindsey Mendick, Tease Me Until I Lose Control (detail), 2018. Ceramic. Installation view of Perfectly Ripe, Zabludowicz Collection London. Courtesy the artist and Zabludowicz Collection. Photo: Tim Bowditch

I’d only ever been to France before. But this wasn’t France. We flew on a plane. And the man behind me was smoking cigarettes the whole way there. He was very fat and had two seats all for himself. The ashtray was in the armrest. You flip down one side of the metal and the dank smell of old fags rushes out. The ashy residue of successful flights. Your throat burns and your clothes stink. But no one complained.

It’s a proper hotel. It has three pools, a buffet and it has a discotheque. It has a discotheque.

Francoise has gone missing.

It was hot. So hot. I fall asleep on my Lilo on the beach. I wake up with salty lips and one hot cheek, a pool of saliva slipping across the PVC. There is shouting.

Francoise has been found and Joce and Viv are really cross. She had been flirting with a group of Local men. Vivian said she once saw Jesus behind the dustbins, so you can’t always trust what Vivian says. But Francoise had been looking at boys. And Francoise had been stealing your fags.

Your dad and sister tease you when you pull yourself up out the pool. They sing ‘Nutbush City Limits’, because no one told you at 13 that there was such a thing as too much pubic hair. This was evidently too much. Shamefully, you steal your dad’s razor that evening and shave it all off. For the rest of the holiday you itch insatiably.

Lindsey Mendick, Touch Me In The Morning, And Last Thing At Night (detail), 2018. Ceramic. Installation view of Perfectly Ripe, Zabludowicz Collection London. Courtesy the artist and Zabludowicz Collection. Photo: Tim Bowditch.

Francoise comes down to dinner with Joce and Viv. She has no glasses on and her mum is telling her what all the foods at the buffet are because she can’t see. ‘Francoise did you lose your glasses’ ‘no she didn’t, we took them away so she couldn’t look at boys’ you watch Francoise tentatively slip foods into her mouth. Fish mixed with chicken mixed with an unknown dish that nobody at the table likes. It’s buffet roulette. You feel lucky your parents let you do what you want.

I’m allowed Malibu and diet cokes. They’re so delicious and I drink them with Fran and Nick as mozzies attack my legs. I never knew alcohol could taste this exotic. They smell like Hawaiian tropic and in the mornings I am never sure if I can smell the aftermath of the night before or the residue of sun cream on my skin.

I wear my Jane Norman boob tube dress because I now have big enough boobs to fill the tube. I had always hated my body. But here men like my body so I like my body. And my body gets me into the discotheque because no one realises I am 14 in two months. But I’m mature for my age. Everyone says it.

Zabludowicz Collection Invites: Lindsey Mendick, Perfectly Ripe, Zabludowicz Collection, London, 12 April – 3 June 2018

(Feature image credit:Lindsey Mendick, An Itch That Needs To Be Scratched, 2018. Ceramic and flowers. Installation view of Perfectly Ripe, Zabludowicz Collection London. Courtesy the artist and Zabludowicz Collection. Photo: Tim Bowditch). 

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Posturing

14.04.2018 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Following the wildly successful exhibition last year, Holly Hay and Shonagh Marshall are releasing Posturing as a book this month.

The beautiful tome brings together 21 iconic image makers in contemporary fashion. These photographers explore, respond to and propose new ways of using the body as a tool in the way clothing is depicted. Viewers are invited to look beyond the clothes though, at the entire art of composition and structure of each photograph. The careful curation of images allows viewers to examine fashion photography in new ways. The book portrays the spectrum of the fashion canon, from hyper-sexualised to the hyper-abstracted body. It is a celebration of the new era of strangeness in fashion, and the photographers central to leading the way.

Read our interview with Shonagh Marshall about co-curating the exhibition with Twin contributor Holly Hay here.

Johnny Dufort for AnOther Magazine, ‘Go Fish’ Autumn:Winter 2017

Charlie Engman for AnOther Magazine, ‘A Nod And A Glance A Gesture For One Word’ Autumn:Winter 2015

Lena C Emery for The Gentlewoman, ‘Practise’ Spring:Summer 2014

Pascal Gambarte for Marfa Journal, ‘Being Michael Rothstein’ March 2017

Reto Schmid for Under the Influence Magazine, ‘Relative Transparency’ Spring:Summer 2016

‘Posturing’ is available to buy via SPBH Editions from April 23rd 2018. 

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(More than) Just A T-Shirt!

12.04.2018 | Fashion | BY:

Browns fashion brings back the hyped Just A T-Shirt collection for a second season, and it’s even better than the first. Featuring prints from renowned photographers Mark Lebon, Ryan Gander, Brad Feuerhelm, Kieron Livingstone, Gareth Mcconnell, Jason Fulford and Joshua Gordon, the designs are a dream to wear and timelessly cool. For men and women, this is the kind of essential addition to your summer wardrobe this season – and for every summer in the years to come.

Available to buy now from Brownsfashion.com.

Seagulls and nautical stripes: JW Anderson x Uniqlo SS18

10.04.2018 | Fashion | BY:

For SS18, JW Anderson x Uniqlo looked to the Brighton seaside for a flavour of 1950s nostalgia. The results are classic British summer. Nautical t-shirts get a fashion twist courtesy of bias cut detail, linen summer dresses in chalky blues are easy holiday-wear and seagull-print jumpers are a nod to the classic seaside soundtrack. The latest collection brings a fresh, breezy update to the silhouettes and styles offered for JW Anderson x Uniqlo debut collection.  There’s also the addition of covetable denim bucket hats (an essential seaside-prop).

Available from April 20th in selected stores and online

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Saint Laurent Jamie Bag

06.04.2018 | Fashion | BY:

Inspired by the treasures within the Saint Laurent archives, the new Saint Laurent Jamie bag is a modern classic that has arrived perfectly on time for the new season. The Carré rive gauche quilting lends the classic silhouette a unique look while the metallic and leather chain references Saint Laurent signatures. Available in red and black, it’s the kind of treasure that will keep you smiling throughout the year.

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An interpretation of the real: Twin meets Alice Waese

05.04.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

New York-based designer Alice Waese offers textured, evocative design across jewellery, clothes and illustration. Her work is sensual and imaginative, imbuing those who wear or otherwise engage with her work with a sense of heightened or unexpected reality. Twin caught up with Alice to talk about her work and her creative process.

You work across a range of mediums. Where did you start?

I began with drawing as a kid, chalk, paint then pencil, then pen, then watercolour.

In terms of jewellery, what are the most challenging materials you’ve worked with?

Casting fine leaves, snake skin, leather with lots of undercuts, a round pinecone.

Which materials and / or stones do you find most interesting, why?

This season I am really interested in pearls because of how they form, The crustaceans coat an intrusion, something foreign, something parasitic enters the body and in an effort to protect themselves they coat it, creating something beautiful.

You often include small figures or body parts in your jewellery designs. Why did you decide to use these?

The figures and body parts relate to a series of drawings where I was really studying the body in relation to the non material world. the severed limbs related to a series of paintings where body parts were energetically connected to other parts with a thin red line of paint. I then sculpted them in wax and stung them on chain, it came naturally, tells a story and relates to the themes I was working with in my drawings at the time.

Why was it important to have a sense of texture and materiality in your work?

I think the textural component comes from a reflection of what I find visually interesting the world, it is less an importance or a decision, and more following an intuition and staying true to it. I think texture and imperfection translated into a precious metal that is usually smoothed to perfection creates an interesting juxtaposition.

How does your design approach differ between jewellery and clothes?

Its actually a very similar approach. Never a mood board or a singular inspiration, more an internal concept, a series of paintings, a texture, or a new process I am experimenting with, often the outcome of a mistake.

 

Did you find that it was easy to translate your aesthetic throughout the range of works?

I don’t find it difficult to speak through different mediums, being honest with my process and limitations and creativity makes it easy for the same voice to pass through.

Watercolours have quite a different quality to the materials you use for clothes and jewellery. Why did you decide to work with watercolours for your illustrations?

I like the fluidity of watercolours, it allows me to make up the rules as I go along. The process is similar to how I work in jewellery and clothing.

When starting a project, how does your creative process begin?

Its not a set regime, always different, but usually a clear need to make something.

What would you say are the most powerful informants of your work?

Whatever mistake I just corrected or embraced usually informs the next piece of work. 

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ANOK: The final face of Willy Vanderperre’s ‘/ 12 series’

03.04.2018 | Culture , Fashion | BY:

The last of Willy Vanderperre’s /12 series with IDEA books spotlights on 19 year-old Anok Yai. As the first black model to have opened a Prada show since Naomi Campbell in 1997, the profile of Yai is a powerful way to end the series. The model embodies the energy and determination of a young generation working to ensure a more equal future for those that follow.

Throughout his series Vanderperre’s emotional and sensual photography has juxtaposed the personality and prowess of the models photographed. The images offer readers timeless portraits of young talent, sure to become iconic faces in the next few years. Explore the whole series here.

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