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The Yellow Wallpaper

21.03.2014 | Culture | BY:

British theatre director Katie Mitchell presents her adaption of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s famous short story, The Yellow Wallpaper. A controversial sociologist and writer, Gilman ruled the domestic, maternal role obsolete and claimed that Darwin’s theory of evolution was purely male-centric.

Originally published in 1892 and seen as a monumental piece of feminist literature, the play tells the story of a mother suffering from postnatal depression and traces her increasing psychological decline. Ultimately however, it also paints the portrait of a woman daring to defy the expectations of society.

The Yellow Wallpaper is next playing at Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Kurfürstendamm 153, Berlin on May 19th. 

schaubuehne.de

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The world through the lens of Lucy Luscombe

16.08.2013 | Blog , Film | BY:

Lately we’ve been glued to our screens thanks to the work of film writer/director/producer Lucy Luscombe, who has recently garnered accolades such as the BFI Future Film Award and Outstanding Female Talent Award at Underwire Festival for her work. From the trials and tribulations of a young gymnast in Candy Girl to late night occurrences in a Dalston kebab shop in Again Sometime, the CSM graduate’s films offers a captivatingly honest insight into the everyday challenges of human existence.

Twin spoke to the promising talent about her earnest beginnings, the inspirational factor of failure and the future of the British film industry…

What initially sparked your interest in film?
I’ve always been interested in ‘moments’; creating or recreating them. I remember finding a lot of fleeting situations/moments significant growing up and sounding pretty spacey when trying to explain why. In film you can take that moment, light it, slow it down, blow it up and say ‘that’s why’. Equally, if you’re told ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ a lot, film is a good place to sweat it.

What was the first piece of cinematic work you ever made?
I made a lot of questionable video art at St Martins: a lot of raw meat, wedding dresses and Bataille. Pretty earnest stuff. A highlight was ‘My womb/ the mosh pit (Beat down)’. Not sure how cinematic it was.

Sum up your style of directing in three words.
One. More. Take.

How has working as an actress informed your work?
I know how to talk to people and get the performance I need. I don’t force anything because I know what that feels like as a performer. I’m better at reading the person when they walk through the door and knowing what they can give me or what they can’t – that’s the foundation and the performance is the surprise.

From late nights in Dalston to coming-of-age flicks, there is a very personal sense to your work. How much of your films would you say is autobiographical and where do you get the inspiration for your work from?
I’d like to think my work is quite human and that comes from a personal place or from listening to people, properly. I suppose I’ve also always been fascinated by failure – it’s managed to seep through a lot of pieces and like anyone who’s serious about making art and making sacrifices for it, they’ll know that’s personal.

Since your early beginnings, how have you seen the London film industry develop?
The old gatekeepers have lost a bit of dough and there are new exciting funding bodies who want to make interesting work, whether it’s through brave brands or online magazines. Specifically in features, where once you needed a lot of money, there is now cheap equipment that allows you to tell the story you want without going through a funding application process that wants to know everything from your grandparents’ ethnicity to your sexual orientation. Theres a ‘get up and go’ mindset emerging, most notably from filmmakers such as Tom Schkolnik (The Comedian). Sure, there’s an issue with quality control but there are great curators out there . If you wanted to make ‘The Fast and the Furious UK edition’, however, I think the British film industry would be a bad place to start.

In the day and age of rom coms and reality television, how important do you think it is for film to tackle serious subject matter such as human existence, identity and disillusion?
There has always been banal entertainment and who am I to tell Joe Bloggs what he should watch when he gets home, I don’t know what kind of day he’s had, and if it’s been pretty shitty I wouldn’t judge him for watching TOWIE to switch off. Film/television/theatre/musicals can offer an interlude to be numbed or moved, enlightened or educated. My interest lies in questions of human existence, identity and disillusion, but that’s my privilege and laughing at Kim Kardashian’s swollen ankles is Joe Bloggs’s.

What are your future projects, goals and plans?
I’ve got some music videos and a fashion film coming out which I’m pretty excited about. There’s also a beautiful short story I’m adapting to keep me fresh while developing a feature.

lucyluscombe.com

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The Denim Is In The Details

07.08.2013 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Whether it was workwear overalls, slashed punk jeans or Daisy Duke cutoffs, denim has always been labelled as the most democratic of fabrics. However, since its founding in 2003, Superfine has managed to propel this everyday basic to stylish new heights, gaining a cult like status among premium denim fans. The brand’s SS 13 collection ‘War & Peace’ puts a light yet luxurious spin on utilitarian dressing with camouflage-printed leather trousers, chambray chino jumpsuits and cargo jodhpurs.

Twin spoke to its founder Lucy Pinter about political fashion, the label’s upcoming ten year anniversary and what puts the ‘super’ in Superfine…

 

What inspired you to start Superfine?

I was a stylist in London and wanted a skinny jean to work with (and wear). I also wanted something clean; at that time there were only distressed bootlegs available. The Ramones were my inspiration.

You mentioned the importance of the SS 13 collection reflecting our tumultuous times. Should fashion be political?

Good question. To be honest I usually avoid any politics in my work but last season it just seemed difficult to avoid, as the doom was everywhere. Usually for me it’s about something simple. Fashion is not conceptual or deep. I make what I want to wear. That’s it. But I totally understand and respect people that bring political statements to their work. It can be a good way to voice your opinion.

How would you sum up the collection in one sentence?

A strong, vibrant, rock ‘n’ roll collection with military feel.

What were the challenges of creating this season’s range?

The colours were completely new. I had agents screaming for them so I went for it, but it’s a challenge to see such strong colours in development. I’m more into neutrals in general. We also had some heavy laundry trips and getting the washes right was challenging.

Superfine started off as a very denim-focused brand. What has the process of broadening its design horizons been like?

It’s been a very natural progression to be honest. Again, it’s just about what I like to wear. Denim will always be my first love, but I do love covering all bases. It’s more challenging to design a full collection.

What makes the perfect pair of jeans and what do high-end brands offer that the high street cannot?

A perfect pair of jeans is the jean that makes you feel good, the one you throw on with anything for any event. It’s about the fit, wash and details. High end brands (mine anyway) offer a small manufacturing feel that huge production can’t — it’s in the details. Superfine has lasered print pocket linings in good fabrics (the print design changes every season), we have personalised zips in different colour zip tape for each collection, use the highest quality fabrics and don’t bulk buy cheap. I think it’s absolutely incomparable.

What projects do you have lined up for the future?

We have a 10 year anniversary coming up. Watch this space!

 

superfinelondon.com

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Draw Blood for Proof

26.07.2013 | Blog , Culture | BY:

Draw Blood for Proof is an intimate look into the work process of Mario Sorrenti.

A large collection of Polaroids, snapshots, ephemera, prints and contact sheets document over 15 years of Sorrenti’s work throughout the course of this tome’s 300-plus collage-style pages.

Flick through this hardback for insight into the mind of one of fashion’s most fascinating photographers.

steidlville.com

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Something Spezial

25.07.2013 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Iconic trainer label adidas and the brand’s consultant/avid collector Gary Aspden have created a sportswear heaven for all three stripe junkies in the form of the Spezial exhibition.

Comprised of 650 pairs, this show sees rarities like Yohji Yamamoto’s footwear designs sit alongside styles signed by the likes of Public Enemy, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Noel Gallagher and more. Don’t miss out on your chance to revisit the adidas archive (including the brand’s ongoing collaboration with BAPE) before the show closes this Saturday.

Spezial is on display at Hoxton Gallery, 9 Kingsland Road, E2 8AA, London until July 27.

hoxtongallery.com

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Architectural Aesthetics

24.07.2013 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Despite AW13 being her only third namesake collection, Rejina Pyo already has a number of accolades to her name. The Korean womenswear designer was hired as the first assistant designer for Roksanda Ilincic immediately after her graduation from CSM, had her MA collection reproduced by Weekday, won the Han Nefkens Fashion Award in 2012, and fused fashion and sculpture for her ‘Structural Mode’ installation at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. When this London-based creative isn’t busy working on her own label, she acts as a womenswear designer and consultant for Christopher Raeburn and a womenswear lecturer.

As far as her designs go, Pyo’s SS13 collection took on a more wearable approach to her trademark architectural aesthetic, showing a range of lightweight denim, linen and sheer organza fabrics cut into clean-lined and graphic shapes. For AW13 she delved even more into fabric experimentation: faux mink fur, twill patterned wool, silk jacquard and laminated cotton in colours of navy and burgundy offered up a luxuriously modern look. Judging by her elegant yet approachable creations, the future can only hold bright things for this young designer.

rejinapyo.com

 

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An American Lowlife

23.07.2013 | Art , Blog | BY:

Originally published as a limited edition tome in 2011, Scot Sothern’s An American Lowlife has now been resurrected in digital form.

The photographer spent five years documenting the lives of street prostitutes in southern California between 1986 and 1990.

Accompanied by Sothern’s confessional texts, the result is a gritty and bleak but at the same time artistic portrait of society’s underbelly.

scotsothern.com

powerhousebooks.com

All images from An American Lowlife by Scot Sothern, published by powerHouse Books.

http://amzn.to/154noyt

 

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SOLIDS

22.07.2013 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Berlin has always been a hotspot for art enthusiasts, however the city’s fashion scene is proving to be a perfect breeding ground for intriguing fashion talent as well. Case in point: the debut collection of ESMOD Berlin graduate Carmina Blank.

Entitled SOLIDS, Blank’s range of womenswear designs was inspired by the likes of Simona Pries and based on the process of shape manipulation and material reinvention.

This translates into clean-lined yet striking looks incorporating unconventional fabrics such as laser-cut and heat-shaped acrylic glass, beechwood veneer strip appliques and silver insulating material. We’re digging this young designer’s eye-catching spin on minimalism and look forward to seeing collection number two.

 

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Prouvost’s Projects

18.07.2013 | Art , Blog | BY:

The work of Laure Prouvost has caught Twin‘s eye in recent months, perhaps in small part due to the fact that the French artist

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is nominated for the 2013 Turner Prize and won the Max Mara Art Prize for Women award.

A CSM and Goldsmiths College graduate, Prouvost’s work has been praised for its atmospheric tones, emphasis on narrative and unique unpredictability, utlising anything from a Kafka novella translation to billboards. Her projects have been exhibited at the likes of Frieze, Tate Britain and Whitechapel Gallery.

Looking for the next big (art) thing? We say look no further.

laureprouvost.com

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Mary Katrantzou x Repetto

17.07.2013 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Every woman needs a pair of ballet pumps and brogues (or ten). Leave it to Mary Katrantzou to give said shoe classics a graphic spin for the summer.

The Greek womenswear designer has teamed up with French footwear label Repetto for a capsule range of shoes decorated with her trademark prints.

Get your piece of this limited edition collaboration exclusively at Parisian concept store Colette.

colette.fr

 

Patti Smith
Brooklyn Bridge Park
August 6, 2012
� Julienne Schaer

Books Beneath The Bridge

16.07.2013 | Blog , Culture | BY:

All Brooklynites trying to beat the summer heat should take a waterside seat for the Books Beneath The Bridge sessions happening throughout this and next month.

Now in its sophomore year, the annual literature series takes place on the Granite Prospect steps near Brooklyn Bridge and features 6 evenings curated by independent, local bookstores.

Each night will see a different reading, Q&A and book signing with selected authors, so be sure to check out the Brooklyn Bridge Park site for dates and details.

brooklynbridgepark.org

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Under My Skin

15.07.2013 | Art , Blog | BY:

The contemporary sensibility of the human body marks the subject of the Under My Skin – Nudes in Contemporary Photography exhibition. Curated by artist Mona Kuhn, the show examines the context and visual language of nudity within 21st century fine art.

Artworks include Glen Luchford’s portraits of Jenny Saville, Kim Joon’s body manipulations, Shen Wei’s self portraits and David Dawson’s photographs of Lucian Freud and his painting subjects in the artist’s atelier.

Stop by Flowers Gallery before next Saturday to experience the human body in all its artistic glory.

Under My Skin – Nudes in Contemporary Photography exhibits until July 27 at Flowers Gallery, 529 West 20th Street, New York, 10011.

flowersgallery.com

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Girls Like Us

12.07.2013 | Blog , Culture | BY:

In case you’re stumped for a bit of summertime reading material, pick up a copy of Girls Like Us magazine on your way to the park/fields/strand.

An independent journal focused on women in the arts, culture and activism community, the magazine describes its aim as “mapping new routes towards a feminist, post-gender future”.

Issue 4 (The Work Issue) features NY-based DJ Venus X on its cover, plus interviews with visual artist and model Casey Legler (famously the first woman to be signed to the men’s board at Ford Models), writer and philosophy professor Nina Power, Japanese stylist and designer Mari Ouchi and more.

glumagazine.com

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Beautifully Broken

11.07.2013 | Art , Blog | BY:

This week presents a double bill of exhibitions for Miles Aldridge fans. The London photographer’s intensely colour saturated and fantastically glamourous images are now on display as part of the I Only Want You to Love Me and Short Breaths shows, exhibiting at Somerset House and Brancolini Grimaldi respectively.

Twin caught up with the photographer at the opening of his retrospective to talk about childhood memories of the camera, why flaws make a woman beautiful and the age of postmodern photography…

 

When was the first time you realised that you loved photography?

I went in and out of photography throughout my childhood and teens. My dad gave me a camera when I was about ten. He was an art director and bought a Nikon in the sixties to photograph the Beatles. He gave me this camera I think to kind of get rid of me really; it was a summer holiday and one reason go off and do something. I remember hanging up one of my sister’s doll by the neck and taking a photograph of that, it was quite a cinematic image from the beginning.

But I didn’t pursue photography, because my father was an illustrator I pursued drawing. I went to art school, was determined to be an illustrator and became one. That went quite well but I found it boring. Photography kept coming back into my sphere of experiences. I thought photography would be a way to become a filmmaker, I didn’t intend to stay a photographer. I picked up this camera, that my father had given me, again in my early twenties and started taking pictures. That coincided with a grunge movement in London, which was a really simple route for me to follow.

At that point the idea that you were not a professional fashion photographer was a bonus — it meant that you were authentic. I hadn’t trained or assisted anyone to be a fashion photographer. The real fundamentals of being a fashion photographer are really more the credentials that I had, meaning that I was a guy who had a camera who had a girlfriend that he photographed a lot. In a way that was more authentic than somebody who’d done lots of tests with models.

What I’ve always liked about being a photographer is that it puts a frame around something that you see, whether it’s your girlfriend or a doll hanging by its neck. By putting a frame around it, it becomes a picture. By containing it, you’re able to judge whether its interesting. For example, I don’t think I’d be very good at theatre direction because I don’t like the way the eye is able to rove freely on the stage. Ultimately, I’m not sure if I have the talent for storytelling. I think more my talent lies in presenting frames around images.

How do you see women represented in your images? They are very beautifully stylised but then upon second look there is something cracked underneath that perfect exterior.

I think the women are very beautiful heroes of the picture and in a way, we kind of worship them. They’re to be adored and represent the world that they come from and we live in presently, because that world is not a happy place of contentment. I read the newspapers everyday and it’s unbelievable how bizarre, inhumane and amoral the human animal can be.

I don’t feel comfortable presenting beautiful women as perfect beings. I think about them much more as broken, wounded and beautiful at the same time. Beauty goes hand in hand with being wounded. In movies a heroine who has it all and is successful is not very likable, but if she’s suffered and is a representative of this society that she lives in, then we have empathy with her. When people see the pictures of these goddesses that I make, they’ve all got cracks in them, they’re not immaculate. They represent, not complete unhappiness, but the questioning and troubling nature of our times, which is what I’m after.

That’s also interesting because you say you are inspired by Fellini and Hitchcock, who have very specific types of women in their imagery as well.

Yes, there’s often a mother figure, a girlfriend, a wife. There’s three kind of archetypes and that’s mostly the women I know. My mother is a very strong memory for me. The fact that she died when I was young and then short of vanished, I think for anyone creates a mystery about the mother figure. You’re left with the enigma of what she left behind: her makeup, her clothes in the wardrobe, who is this woman that is gone? To quote Robert Smith from The Cure, ‘Nobody ever knows or loves another’. I think that’s interesting and there’s some truth to that.

How do you see yourself in terms of your work? It would be too simplifying to say it’s just fashion photography, especially now that we are seeing fashion photography as more of an art form.

Luckily I’ve been of a generation where photographers have pushed through. People like Helmut Newton and Richard Avedon had exhibitions, but it’s interesting that Avedon’s exhibitions were about his so-called personal work. I’m coming from a postmodern point of view where I’m taking pictures for a fashion magazines that I know go on a gallery wall, whereas Newton was taking pictures for a fashion magazine only and then they went on a gallery wall.

I’m coming from a much more technical point of view. I know I have to make these pictures work so that they can be enlarged in scale. And again with Avedon, even though he was the greatest living fashion photographer, in order to be taken seriously as an artist he had to do pictures in asylums, things that document. Instead of photographing his beautiful models, he now had to go and photograph the white trash of America. All of that is brilliant work, but when people ask me if I have any personal work, I do have personal work but really this is my personal work.

I’ve probably taken Newton’s and Avedon’s lead in the sense that you document your world as well as the clothes. I’ve probably taken that to a degree beyond where even they had imagined. When I have meetings with Vogue Italia, we don’t talk about clothes at all. We talk about women, ideas about women and what these metaphors and symbols might mean. Fashion magazines have transformed over the last ten years because of the internet, they have less power to dictate to the photographer what they need from them. I think I’ve moved into that vacuum. I present an idea instead of just accepting commissions because of my very lucky relationship with Franca Sozzani. She will give me enough rope to hang myself in that she will let me do what I want to do.

How has your method of working changed since the earliest and most recent pictures in this exhibition?

The earliest picture is from around 2004, so it’s ten years of work more or less, yet it all hangs together as one body. That was the intention quite early on. I wanted the work to have a signature, whether it was in the colour, focus, clarity or in the kind of bittersweet imagery that was being made. I wanted it to be within the same universe yet be as broad as Shakespeare. It’s working on the human condition: those ideas of love, mothering, death, addictions, religion, the relationship between your child and you and vice versa. Everything begins with the human so it’s a small but at the same time huge universe.

 

I Only Want You to Love Me is on display until 29 September at Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA.

Short Breaths exhibits from 12 July – 28 September at Brancolini Grimaldi, 43-44 Albemarle Street, W1S 4JJ.

somersethouse.org.uk

brancolinigrimaldi.com

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Eyes on the Horizon

09.07.2013 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Just in time for summer, MCM has collaborated with artist duo Craig & Karl on a quirky range of leather accessories.

Entitled ‘Eyes on the Horizon’, the collection is a nod to Craig Redman and Karl Maier’s transatlantic creative working methods and features their humourous designs such as sunglasses, water reflections and palm trees emblazoned onto the luxury brand’s backpacks, briefcases, wallets, shoppers and more. Consider it a chic yet fun-filled way to stash your everyday staples.

mcmworldwide.com

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Olfactory Reinvention

08.07.2013 | Blog | BY:

This summer marks a revival of the Yohji Yamamoto fragrance line. Six new scents have been created by nose Olivier Pescheux (also a perfumer for the likes of Dior, Comme Des Garçons and Diptyque) to mark the occasion.

Senses is a sweet neroli, lemon and ylang-ylang ode to the carefree spirit of long summer days, while Essential is a seductive fusion of clove, gardenia, rose and patchouli. Pour Femme is a feminine blend of blackcurrant, pear, lily of the valley, heliotrope and musk, whereas the brand’s premier 90s fragrance, Yohji, has been reformulated into a modern and crisp white bouquet of bergamot, jasmine, freesia and vanilla. On the male side of things (or unisex depending on your tastes), there’s the award-winning Homme, a spicy mix of cardamom, coffee, rum and leather, as well as Pour Homme, a combination of orris, violet leaf and cedar notes.

The range is now available exclusively at Selfridges, so whether you’re intrigued to see how the new versions of Pour Femme and Pour Homme compare to the original, or are simply on the lookout for a new summer scent, your best plan of action with these fragrances is to spray, sniff, enjoy.

yohjiyamamotoparfums.com

selfridges.com

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G.A.G.

04.07.2013 | Blog , Culture | BY:

Girls Against God is the new bi-annual feminist and tabloid-sized print publication founded by Bianca Casady of CocoRosie and artist Anne Sherwood Pundyk.

“GAG deploys the arts to illuminate the oppressive, obsolete nature of traditional, male-defined religions and other patriarchal institutions,” reads their manifesto. Inside the magazine you will find a diverse selection of thought-provoking and original material, from a photo essay of the Seneca Women’s Peace Encampment to the artwork of Vaginal Davis.

The debut issue will be available at select locations in Europe and the U.S. , which can be found on the Capricious Publishing website.

becapricious.com

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Illusions Of

03.07.2013 | Blog , Music | BY:

This week we’re loving the hypnotic new single by  one-woman-show Charli XCX and NY beatmaker J£ZUS MILLION. The track ‘Illusions Of ‘ marks the producer’s debut single and the duo’s third collaboration.

The single will be featured on Double Denim Vol. 1, the young record’s label first compilation disc which will also feature tracks by the likes of Outfit, Empress Of, Amateur Best, Brolin, Body Language and Celestial Shore.

doubledenimrecords.com

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Kenzo Resort 2014

02.07.2013 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

The easy, breezy state of California served as the inspiration for Carol Lim and Humberto Leon’s latest collection for Kenzo.

The laid-back tailoring, palm tree prints and pops of bubblegum colour make a fashion ode to the designers’ home state, with printed carrot trousers, cropped jackets and oversized cotton dresses offering a stylish way to beat the scorching summer sun whilst cotton poplins and spongey jersey make a nod to the casual style of surf culture.

Top it all off with neoprene wedge sandals and chunky plexiglass bracelets and you’ve got yourself the perfect summer wardrobe — even if you can’t make it all the way to the California coast.

kenzo.com

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Let’s Start A Pussy Riot

01.07.2013 | Blog , Culture | BY:

The political debate sparked by Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich continues in literary form with Let’s Start A Pussy Riot.

Not only made in collaboration with the feminist punk rock activists, but also featuring contributions by the likes of Yoko Ono, Kim Gordon and Antony Hegarty, the book delves into the topics of women’s rights, freedom of speech and art activism through a varied selection of artists, writers and poets.

Curated by Emely Neu, edited by Jade French and made in association with Beth Siveyer of Girls Get Busy and Verity Flecknell of Storm in a Teacup, this is definitely one to add to your bookshelf.

letsstartapussyriot.com

roughtraderecords.com

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