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Coco Capitán: ‘Middle Point Between My House and China’

28.04.2017 | Blog , Culture | BY:

Gucci collaborator and renowned photographer, Coco Capitán: is an artist who needs little introduction. The Spanish creator’s idiosyncratic eye and quirky slogans have commanded a legion of fans, with 75.6k Instagram followers and counting.

Having graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2016, the photographer has already racked up an impressive string of accolades: she has been a guest speaker for Cambridge University Photographic Society (2016), a member of the Jury for Hyères Fashion & Photography Festival (2016), and was awarded the Pho- tographers Gallery FF+WE Prize (2015).

And then there’s the fact that she’s working with one of fashion’s hottest luxury brands… Capitán’s collaboration for Gucci in February this year saw slogans such as ‘What are we going to do with all this future?’ and ‘Common sense is not so common’ etched across the brand’s sell-out logo tees. But for her latest project, a new book ‘Middle Point Between My House and China’, disenchantment takes a back seat in favour of the imagination.

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The book’s tittle is drawn from memories of the photographer’s childhood, in which she thought that if she dug deep into the ground she could tunnel to China. Fast-forward a couple of decades, and Capitan found herself in the country itself – though via the more conventional route of air travel.

The book is therefore both an homage to her journey and the people she encountered on her travels, and to the experience of childhood. ‘China’ and ‘House’ can be understood in both the literal and figurative sense. As is noted in the press release, “‘China’ represented the desire to run away, the attainment of her goals; while ‘House’ was her present reality.” Coco adds, “I wanted to take images that would denote how I perceived China, my personal experience in the country and how I saw the people who were there”.

To mark this hotly anticipated release, Claire de Rouen will be hosting a signing at their London store. Head over on 9th May to snap up a copy of this must-have book.

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‘Middle Point Between My House and China’ by Coco Capitán is published by Maximilian William, and released in May 2017. 

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FOREVER

“If you want to be in the club, you’re already part of the club.”

17.04.2017 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Forever aka June Moon is a Canadian artist living, recording and performing her ethereal, dreamy and all encompassing music in Montreal. She also has a wonderfully addictive radio show, drenched in nostalgia and named Flip Phone Forever. Emmett Rose is a director, artist and all round powerful woman who started the political art movements VOTES4NUDES and Tramps Against Trump, which aptly supplied anyone who voted in the Canadian and American elections with a tasteful nude. 

The duo are one half of Girls Club, an inclusive creative community for anyone and everyone who identifies as females and have recently come together in creating a video for Forever’s latest track, “Heaven’s Mouth”. The video (akin to a blissful short) sees a girl meandering through her day, exploring her innate hungers and desires with clips that see her as she plunges her nails into a plump juicy orange, squeezes her fist around peach halves and tears into a cream cake spliced with clips of her wandering through grave yards and late night subway stations. We got together with June and Em to explore their work from a creative, fashion and feminist perspective.

Twin: Firstly can you tell Twin readers a little about who you both are, how you met and what sparked your creative relationship? 

Em: June who are you?

June: I’m a poet, popstar and provocateur. 

Em: That’s good trademark that. I’m a tease, a queer performance artist, painter and total babe. Now Juney, tell me why you love me. 

June: We met through Michael (Mind Bath) we really established a connection in the summer of 2015, and Girl’s Club happened right away and the rest is in the making… 

Em: Us meeting feels like forever ago (ForeverTM) I remember feeling shy riding a train up to Harlem with you and desperately wanting to get close to your energy. I feel like Girl’s Club spawned from that longing for connection, a closeness between women that you often feel like you just can’t reach for whatever reason. But what we’re doing now feels so much further along than that, now I don’t ever question my wanting of being close to other women. 

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You worked together on the video for ‘Heaven’s Mouth’, how did you work collaboratively on this? What are some of the themes in the song that were important to translate visually? 

Em: How did it all start with this project in particular Juney? 

June: After I released the EP “Forever” I started fantasizing about the visual aspect of the record but I was looking at a blank wall for a couple months. One morning I got a text from you saying — we’re making a music video 

Em: I like that I texted you without giving you any choice in the matter ha 

June: Ya I came over and you had received the vision. And I trusted you 100% 

Em: I remember it coming to me like a wave, sometimes I get clear visions that just need to come out and I knew June would let me see that feeling through. I saw peaches and flowers both rotting and blooming mixed in with skin and hands, one object cutting into another creating this abstract mesh that was more about feeling than it was about recording any one image. I wanted to work with the idea of a Vanitas painting, a dark still life that speaks of time and fertility and death but in a way that also speaks of rebirth. The orange peels we see show what has come to pass before the orange was eaten, the way trauma leaves marks on our skin I wanted to show the passing of time in the skin of a woman. 

June: I like that. That insight is why I trust you 100% – we’re on the same tip

Em: without really needing to explain everything by words ha I don’t even think we communicated all of this before we started shooting. But that June is what you’re always talking about with intuition. 

June: Which is the most sacred quality of feminine energy.

Why is it important to you to support each other and in doing so other women? 

June: Well that’s an obvious question 

Em: Well it feels obvious now but it didn’t always, I think Girl’s Club has changed our instincts. Being supported by you has changed my life. It’s changed what I do with my life, not only am I an artist who deals with the duality of living femme but now my life with Girl’s Club is dedicated to fostering an environment where other women, femmes, n queers can connect in way that really heals and builds. 

June: We have to learn how to do this, together. We’re taking up space in a new way, reclaiming space is a lot of fighting and a lot of resisting and for me if I can feel this with my community then we can make herstory together. Girl’s Club was about recognizing that we didn’t want to fit into the boys club, it’s just not gonna serve me or speak to me. 

What challenges do you feel women face in the creative industries? 

Em: What challenges don’t we face in every industry!

June: In every aspect of life to be honest 

Em: I don’t think it’s about what challenges we face but what incredible insight we bring to our practices because of our experiences. I couldn’t make work with the sensitivity or drive that I do if it weren’t for my trauma living as a woman (she sings). 

June: Which brings us to why we absolutely needed an all femme production team.

Em: We needed a crew with intuition and sensitivity; we couldn’t have done it without that femme expertise. 

You co-founded feminist collective ‘Girls Club’, I’ve just been on the site and I love how inclusive it feels and the fluidity with which you look at femininity and what constitutes a woman. What birthed the collective? 

June: Girl’s Club was the simultaneous desire for community that brought Emmett and I together as friends, and artists. We started with t-shirts, and our lives have totally and completely been changed. We like to say ‘all you need is two’ ~ because women are taught to remain isolated, to keep them out of power, but we re-claimed our power, our feminine power by coming together. 

As Girl’s Club, what is your mission statement? What do you hope to achieve?

Girl’s Club: One individual and their own right to create safer spaces and communities around them. Girl’s Club is in opposition of a club of only girls who must all think the same. A girl is anyone who harnesses the power of femininity. To us, femininity is a force that can be wielded by any sex, gender or orientation. A girl is anyone who occupies unsafe territory and, against all odds, rises. Girl’s Club is driven by the need for a community, it’s not for everyone but it can be for anyone who identifies with us. Girl’s Club represents visual solidarity – more space is being claimed for us, by us. If you want to be in the club, you’re already part of the club. 

Emmett, you’ve been very vocal around both the Canadian and American elections (which is super important, so thank you!) especially around Harper and Trumps opinions on women and who owns their bodies. How do you both feel art interacts with politics? Should all art have a political agenda? 

Em: My life is political but not by my own choice, being born a woman is political. And being born a chatty-ass gotta-say-somethin’ woman is my blessing and my curse, I couldn’t lay dormant if I tried. I don’t have a background in government politics but my body has always been a political battle ground whether I like it or not. I’ve lost family and friend just for embracing my body, being both a naked sexual woman and a smart evocative woman, we all live in that battle. 

How now post-election can we keep each other safe and empowered as women? How can the arts play into this? 

June: Art is always political because it has the capacity to influence the individual and society as a whole 

Em: I think we keep each other safe each time we create something, we add another object into our cultural realm that speaks to us and for us, representation is everything, each time we make a work we tilt the scales in our favor. 

What message do you want to leave us about being a woman in the world at such a tumultuous time as this? 

JuneGet into your sexuality and own it. 

Em: That may be the most powerful and terrifying thing you can do. Sexuality continues to scare people because it’s such a power force that people (men) have tried to keep under wraps for too long. The world has always been tumultuous… 

June: Duality is constant. 

Em: As the world seems to get more chaotic we also gain more power, it’s this constant push back that drives us forward. I think it’s easy to feel scared at times like this, but if our oppressors are pushing back against us, it means we’ve scared them. And that is a good thing. 

Heaven’s Mouth is out now on Olympia records

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Hellen van Meene, Untitled (79), 2000

Terrains of the body

21.01.2017 | Art , Blog | BY:

The Whitechapel Gallery plays host to a seminal new exhibition about the female form, bringing together exhibits from the National Museum of Women in the Arts of seventeen artists. The exhibition depicts women in constructed and natural environments through a range of photography and film. Through this examination of the female body, audiences are invited to join in scrutinising and empathising with new narratives around women; seeing the flux and mysteries of  gender in new light.

The exhibition continues a conversation started by the late Franca Sozzani last year, that of subverting the idea of the gaze, and inviting a radical approach to the female perspective, both creator and subject. With work from artists including Marina Abramović, Rineke Dijkstra, Anna Gaskell, Nan Goldin, Charlotte Gyllenhammar, Justine Kurland, Nikki S. Lee and Hellen van Meene, audiences can again expect to be challenged and engaged – a must see exhibition in London this winter.

Marina Abramovic, The Hero, 2001

Marina Abramovic, The Hero, 2001.

Daniela Rossell, Medusa, 1999.

Daniela Rossell, Medusa, 1999.

Nikki S. Lee, The Hip Hop Project, 2001

Nikki S. Lee, The Hip Hop Project, 2001

Nan Goldin, Self-Portrait in Kimono with Brian, NYC, 1983.

Nan Goldin, Self-Portrait in Kimono with Brian, NYC, 1983.

Terrains of the Body:Photography from the National Museum of Women in the Arts runs 18 January – 16 April 2017 at the Whitechapel Gallery. 

 

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The reek rebellion

24.12.2016 | Beauty , Blog | BY:

REEK is a new feminist perfume brand from created in collaboration with perfumer Sarah McCartney. Designed to make a stand through everyday rebellion, REEK is about empowering women through the commemoration of fierce feminists that have come before. Using the unifying and transcendent power of scent, this is a fresh and exciting take on engendering a conversation around women’s rights and identity. Twin caught up with Bethany Grace to talk badass bitches and what makes REEK smell so good.

How did Reek come about?

In our culture, we don’t memorialise our amazing women, and that means female role models are lost. In the UK only 15% of statues are raised to women, and most of those are to Queen Victoria. So we started thinking of ways we could change that.  Scent is so evocative, it’s also a great means of rebellion.  No one needs to know you’re wearing a scent that stands for something, unless you tell them.

Who are the women that you were inspired by when creating the perfume?

DAMN REBEL BITCHES was named after 18th century Jacobite women, as badass political activists and dissidents they were the right inspiration for our first scent.  The Duke of Cumberland called them Damn Rebel Bitches because they wouldn’t give up on their cause. They were fearless. Jacobean Lady Nithsdale broke her husband out of the Tower of London in 1716 by dressing him in drag. There is no statue of her.

Scent is so individual, what ingredients did you feel embodied a universal sense of heroism, and why?

We work collaboratively with perfumer Sarah McCartney. The scents we picked all pay homage to the women of the 18th century. Blood orange peel was used as a deodorant, clary sage as a herb in women’s medicine and pink peppercorn was the most expensive thing you might have in your kitchen at the time, if you were lucky.  Though perhaps not a universal representation of heroism, these are scents that speak to the real lives of powerful women – women stood up for what they believed in.

 

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What kind of things did you look at to develop the scent – were there any fragrances of the past that inspired you?

It’s not necessarily scents from the past that inspire us but the female pioneers in perfume from history.  The first prominent female perfumer was Germaine Cellier who broke into the industry through sheer determination in the mid-20th century. There was no question that we wanted to work with a female perfumer to combat the sexism in the industry even now.

How do you know when a perfume is finished, what are you looking for?

I suppose we just close our eyes, sniff and rely on our noses. For REEK it is more than just creating the right scent, it’s creating a present-day memorial. We’re currently developing a new fragrance for next year to commemorate a different set of women. Researching and coming to understand who that woman is takes a lot of work.

 

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How do you see scent as a medium for commenting on the role of women today?

As an everyday rebellion. We still have so much to fight for, and we can’t go forward without looking back. So our first scent is about the strong women we admire, whose stories aren’t widely known, and who shouldn’t be forgotten. At REEK we believe that we need role models in order to be role models. Our campaign features women of a variety of ages and sizes, all un-retouched beautiful bitches.  No retouching isn’t a revolutionary concept within the industry but we wanted to reiterate how important it is to combine no retouching with diversity – of race, of size, of age. We could have just taken photos of the perfume and it’s ingredients, avoiding any direct representation of women, but having this medium available to us we took a stand, as we emblazon on our website and t-shirts ‘BITCHES UNITE’.

What do you hope to achieve with the brand going forward?

More perfumes. More amazing women to memorialise. More feminist campaigns. More rebellion.

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Lena C. Emery’s ‘Rie 理絵’ Investigates Feminine Truth

16.12.2016 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Twin contributor Lena C. Emery’s new monograph Rie 理絵 (pr. Rhea) is a product of an continuing exploration of how women are intimately depicted. Rie, both the title and main subject of the book, literally means ‘truth’, a theme that permeates each image. The book depicts Emery’s poetic renderings of women who repeatedly pose, rest and move while in various states of dress – and undress. Playing with ideas of the female gaze, the women in the photographers are both aware and vulnerable; tangible and mysterious. Of the new launch, Emery explained:

“Within Rie 理絵 I wanted to embark on an inherently female dialogue on the subject of revealing. I was interested in understanding at what point when we reveal our bodies as women to a potential other, does the apparent vulnerability cross over into the  appreciation of the powerful notion of being naked and being oneself without an inner or outer surveyor present, without being on display. Watching Rie and the other nine women that I photographed, all of which were strangers to me and each other at the time and who had never been photographed in this way before, come to life as they slowly shed each layer of artifice, felt incredibly reassuring.”

Published by Kominek, Rie 理絵 is available from 16th December and can be bought here. 

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Austra - Photo Credit Renata Raksha - General 002 - 300dpi

Austra’s Utopia

05.12.2016 | Blog , Music | BY:

The third album from Canadian electronic band Austra, Future Politics, is a record for now. Using rich visuals throughout which lend an aesthetic sensibility to the album, Austra (led by by Katie Stelmanis) explores the themes of future: dystopia vs utopia, creativity through individualism and injustice in a closed world. Written, produced, and engineered by Stelmanis, her mellifluous vocals ride over a catchy synth beats to create a songs that are designed to inspire listeners to get involved and take control of their future. Twin caught up with Katie Stelmanis to talk musical influences, the challenges of a third album and Trump.

Why was it important for you to create this album?

I saw Massive Attack play a show a few years ago in Belgium and having not really listened to them previously, I was totally blown away by the show. I loved how they fused politics and music together in such a way that that felt emotional, rather than being lectured. I think when you receive political commentary through music it allows you to more easily welcome what you are hearing as it seems more genuine and compassionate. I wanted to try to do something similar with my new album; rather than speak about the sadness surrounding a personal breakup, I wanted to communicate the collective sadness felt by our generation and myself concerning the terrifying state of our world atm.

How has the social and political climate shaped the final product?

I actually completed this record months before Trump won the presidency, and started it years before he was even a candidate. So in a way the album wasn’t even intended to be a commentary on what we are currently going through though the themes fit pretty well. I was more obsessed with this idea of the future as being something mutable and controllable and something that we need to tackle with radical ideas, and I think this message is more important than ever.

How did living in Mexico City and Montreal influence and inspire the album?

I lived in Montreal during the winter when it was cold and dark and I hibernated for a few months. The songs that came out of that time are definitely the darker ones, I was feeling quite hopeless personally and also with the state of our world. When I move to Mexico I was immediately inspired and re-awaked, it is visually the complete opposite of Mexico with colour and light everywhere, and the energy of that city if reflected in the songs on the record.

Austra - Photo Credit Renata Raksha - General 005 - 300dpi

This is your third album, how did you feel your sound developed on the record?

I actually feel like I reverted to old techniques in making this record being that I made the whole thing on my laptop, just like Feel It Break. I wanted to do that so I could maintain control of the whole process again. I did however learn a lot about production while making it, which is part of the reason I wanted to do it myself, to gain that knowledge and experience.

Does it get easier to put out an album with experience, or do you feel that you’re still learning?

I think it gets harder in a way. The more you know, the more critical you are. There is something so wonderful about naivety and what can come out of that, I often miss being in that place, although I feel that from where I am now I just have to keep learning in order to be able to make music that sounds like what I hear in my head.

Where there any challenges of creating a soundtrack that reflected and embodied your beliefs?

It is challenging to try to make your ideas come across as concise and sensical. When I was writing these songs there was like a million things I wanted to talk about and I had to work really hard to narrow it all down to a few key points. That was very hard!

Musically speaking, who are you influenced by?

This record was influenced by Massive Attack, Miles Davis, Alice Coltrane, Chancha Via Circuito, Grimes.

What are your goals with the album? And how will you be spending the rest of 2016?

My goal with this album is to get people really invigorated by the idea that the future is in their control – that we can start spreading ideas we want to become reality in the underworld and that those ideas will eventually make it through to the mainstream.

Future Politics is released Jan 20th 2017, you can pre-order it here.

Photo credit: Renata Raksha General

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Suken City, Kate Englemen

No Strings Attached

01.12.2016 | Art , Blog | BY:

A casual, transient and less committed mindset typically pervades the actions of the millennial generation. And it’s a theme that has formed the basis of the latest issue of STEREOSCOPE, a St Andrews based photography magazine. Under the title No Strings Attached the magazine explores how this flippant and laissez faire attitude within youth culture has translated into the relationship with the camera. Throughout the issue, the tensions of trying to develop a serious dialogue with photography as a medium in an age where everybody has access to a camera are explored, and subjects range from hot new Brooklyn band ‘The Britanys’ to off-kilter self portraits and stylised tableaus.

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Jake, Lallie

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Greece, Lauren Santucci

Entering its sixth year as a publication, STEREOSCOPE was founded as a means to celebrate the history of photography in St. Andrews by aligning the famous Special Collections of Photography and current St. Andrews photographer’s work. In a post-depression era where creative drive has become stunted by mounting student loans, the magazine has provided a platform for students in St. Andrews to showcase their work and discuss the current nature of photography.

MELEAHMOORE_MELEAHMOORE_Days and nights in Kolkata1 — Meleah Moore_files2

Days and nights in Kolkata, Meleah Moore

STEREOSCOPE are guest curating the London Photography Diary’s new exhibition, No Strings Attached on December 15th. 

First photograph: Sunken City, Kate Englemen

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Tameka Jenean Norris, Wash N Dry, 2015, courtesy the artist and Ronchini Gallery

Tameka Jenean Norris: Cut From the Same Cloth

25.11.2016 | Art , Blog | BY:

At a time of gross political uncertainty, American artist Tameka Jenean Norris’s new exhibition at the Ronchini Gallery is timely. Opening today, the exhibition sees Norris employ an expansive range of mediums, from video installations to painting and photography, to explore vital themes of black, female identity and self-image in today’s society.

Having grown up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Norris later moved to L.A., a transition that influences her new exhibition, in which the artist uses portraits to reconnect with distant relatives. The new collection of work illustrates the pivotal role of history in informing a sense of self, exploring the tension between discovering and owning one’s image and how identity is inherently linked to the past. Throughout, the work forms an engaging critique of contemporary social issues surrounding the appropriation of black culture and female-identity.

Tameka Jenean Norris, Marilyn No Matter What He Do, work in progress, 2016, fabric, canvas, acrylic paint, thread, 55 x 50 in, courtesy the artist and Ronchini Gallery

Tameka Jenean Norris, Marilyn No Matter What He Do, work in progress, 2016, courtesy the artist and Ronchini Gallery.

Speaking to Twin about the influences behind the exhibition and her work, Tameka told us:

The exhibition is a continuation of my first show at Ronchini Gallery ‘Almost Acquaintances’, and the works were mostly created at the MacDowell Colony in summer ’16, Peterborough, New Hampshire, and during this fall at The Grant Wood Fellowship, University of Iowa, where I am a Visiting Assistant Professor. Both the residency and the fellowship offered an opportunity for me to concentrate on a new body of work and have some space from the larger, more complicated world. During these periods of isolation, I spent some time contemplating about success in general, ‘black striving’ and missing my ‘family’ on the Gulf Coast and the surrounding areas.

Tameka Jenean Norris, Joel Want a Hamburger, work in progress, 2016, fabric, canvas, acrylic paint, thread, oil pastel, 50 x 50in, courtesy the artist and Ronchini Gallery

Tameka Jenean Norris, Joel Want a Hamburger, work in progress, 2016, courtesy the artist and Ronchini Gallery

Although I have been making progress as an artist and academically, I feel that I have become disconnected from my family/community/tribe/village in the southern US, and this show is an attempt at reconciliation and reaching out to them. The reference photos I have worked from are mainly taken from Facebook, and some of the family members are deceased, incarcerated and others I have only ever been able to reach via social media. 

The exhibition also displays abstract fabric works created by Tameka, as well as an installation of a large woven braid – both serve as metaphors for the memory. “My goal with this exhibition is to create a family tree of sorts and attempt to untangle the line of systematic oppression that has burdened my family and black American culture at large.”

Tameka Jenean Norris, Meka Jean Too Good For You, 2014, video still, courtesy the artist and Ronchini Gallery

Tameka Jenean Norris, Meka Jean Too Good For You, 2014, video still, courtesy the artist and Ronchini Gallery

 Tameka Jenean Norris: Cut From the Same Cloth, Ronchini Gallery, London, 25 November 2016 – 21 January 2017, ronchinigallery.com. 

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Sarka Babicka

Meet The Female Ottolenghi: Bethany Kehdy

03.11.2016 | Culture | BY:

Described by Ottolenghi as the next champion of Middle Eastern food, Lebanese chef Bethany Kehdy made waves when she took up a residency at Carousel in Marylebone earlier in 2016.  Now she’s back, and ready to serve up fresh flavours in a takeover of one of East London’s trendiest restaurants, Jago.

Born in Houston to a Texan mother and Lebanese father, Kehdy spent much of her childhood in Lebanon where she experienced the atrocities of the civil war. When her father moved her family to safety in the mountains, Kehdy was exposed to nature in its rawest form, and she spent much of her time watering orchards and working on the harvest. It was here that she first developed her culinary abilities, learning to make traditional dishes from her grandmother and aunties.

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She has since developed an international following, and has released an award-winning cookbook ‘The Jewelled Kitchen’. In her latest London pop-up, Kehdy will bring a fresh syntax of flavours and spices to guests over five courses. With a menu that includes sour cherry kebab nests, whipped hummus with duck awarma and tamarind & fenugreek mackerel khoresh, this is the must-have ticket for foodies: get them while they’re hot.

Tables available from 6pm until 9.30pm, from November 7th through 11th, book here.

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Guerrilla Girls

Guerrilla Girls Finally Get Their Own Show

11.08.2016 | Art | BY:

Founded in New York in 1985, the anonymous art collective – the Guerrilla Girls – are finally getting their own, dedicated show. Set to commence this October at London’s Whitechapel Gallery, it is a long-awaited spotlight on over three decades of important work they have done in highlighting the staggering inequalities that take place both historically – and currently – in the art world.

Though the group has seen members come and go over the years, one thing unifies: all participants take the names of dead women – Frida Khalo, Georgia O’Keeffe – and conceal their identities with gorilla masks when appearing in public.

Guerrilla Girls

‘Do Women Have To Be Naked To Get Into The Met. Museum?’, 2012, Courtesy of the Whitechapel Gallery

Speaking to The Guardian earlier this week, Iwona Blazwick, director of the Whitechapel Gallery reiterated the real need for such an exhibition to take place, and further demonstrated why the Guerrilla Girls are so vital. “I was just at the Kunstmuseum in Basel where they have just rehung the entire collection from 1900 to the present and I think there are five women.” She said. “Sadly it is still an issue.”

Guerrilla Girls

‘It’s Even Worse In Europe’, 1986, Courtesy of the Whitechapel Gallery

Entitled ‘Is It Even Worse In Europe?’, the new show will feature famous works such as the 1986 inspiration behind the aforementioned title, as well as ‘Do women have to be naked to get into the Met museum?’ and ‘Pop Quiz’. However, the large crux of the exhibition will be based on the results of 400 questionnaires that the Whitechapel Gallery have commissioned the group to send out to European museum directors, including their own.

Guerrilla Girls

‘Pop Quiz’, 2016, Courtesy of the Whitechapel Gallery

In a public statement, the Guerrilla Girls said: “With this project, we wanted to pose the question, ‘Are museums today presenting a diverse history of contemporary art or the history of money and power?’ Our research into this will be presented at Whitechapel Gallery this fall.”

Let’s see, shall we?

‘Guerrilla Girls: Is it even worse in Europe?’ will be co-curated by Nayia Yiakoumaki, and runs from 1 October 2016 – 5 March 2017; entry is free.

Whitechapelgallery.org

Main image: by Andrew Hindraker

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red

Bleed Like Me

08.03.2016 | Thoughts | BY:

International Women’s Day is a tricky thing to illustrate. Is there an image that sums up a gender? Something pink? Something ‘girly’? Would an inspirational quote that fits into a little square, or a depressing statistic about female-specific abuses and injustices be the right thing to go with? How, exactly, do you put a marker on approximately half of the global population?

Reflective of the vastly complex aspects of what being a woman is to most, poetry seemed like a good thing to go with. Poetry built with anger, but also humour, intelligence, common sense and hope for a more enlightened future. Poetry that aims to unify all in one, very basic, experience.

If you don’t know The Period Poem by Dominique Christina, it’s time you learnt it off by heart. If you do know it, watch it again.

#AllRedEverything

Happy International Women’s Day.

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louise 1

Calm Down Dear

28.09.2015 | Culture | BY:

The UK’s first and only festival of feminist theatre is returning for a third year, with a line up including porn industry refuseniks, a celebrated 15th century cross-dresser, a Bruce Springsteen loving male alter ego, a mother and baby performance duo and teenage activists.

The star showing will be the London premiere (until Saturday 3 October) of Louise Orwin’s latest work, A Girl and A Gun (pictured above). It aims to explore the use of images of girls with guns on film as a means of attracting interest, referencing Jean-Luc Goddard’s well-known assertion that “all you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun.”

Elsewhere, Hula House (Dates and times tbc) from Permanently Visible is inspired by true accounts and stories obtained from interviews with sex workers and women at The English Collective of Prostitutes. The show is an immersive, interactive performance featuring dark comedy, physical theatre and audience participation.

Themes of gender identity, drag and transgender will be particularly prevalent; Break Yourself (Thursday 1 October at 8pm), will see Ira Brand experimenting with what constructing a male alter ego allows her to say and do, while Joan (8-10 October at 7.30pm) will feature Drag Idol UK Champion 2014 Louis Cyfer in a one-woman show inspired by the story of Joan of Arc.

With a plethora of events until mid-October, the Calm Down Dear festival continues to create a space to discuss feminism in the dramatic sphere.

cptheatre.co.uk

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Frida, Flowers and Feminism

Frida, Flowers and Feminism

29.06.2015 | Art , Culture | BY:

To get in the summer mood, the NYC Young Feminist Giving Circle (NYFem) are hosting a festive evening celebrate their patron feminist, Frida Kahlo, at the New York Botanical Garden.

You’ll be able to stroll through Kahlo’s beloved Casa Azul reimagined in the Conservatory, see rare works in the Art Gallery and enjoy live music and performance art, all while enjoying a complimentary Modelo Especial draft beer or a Jose Cuervo Tradicional margarita.

After a self-guided tour, bask under the stars to learn more about NYC Young Feminist Giving Circle and the work they do to fund feminist-led human rights work.

Buy your ticket here.

Frida, Flowers and Feminism takes place on July 11th at The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, New York 10458.

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Twin talks feminism: Mad Max

21.05.2015 | Film | BY:

A post-apocalyptic action movie would not usually warrant a mention on Twin, but it specifically caught our eye for a post on feminism in Hollywood.

Men’s rights commentators from website Return of The King called on right-minded males to boycott the movie because of the feisty Furiosa, played by a smoking hot Charlize Theron. His main complaints were that Theron ‘spoke a lot’ during the trailers and ‘barked orders to Tom Hardy’s Mad Max…when nobody barks orders to Mad Max.’ Theron, in true kick-ass fashion, responded by calling on film-makers to “stop misrepresenting women.”

This has resulted in a social media storm, with both naysayers and supporters taking to various platforms to share their thoughts. The most recurrent opinion is that the film is excellent – so perhaps we’ll put aside our stilettos to make a trip to the cinema in the near future.

This is just the latest in a series of outcries against sexism in film, with Kristin Stewart also commenting on gender bias this week. Charlize Theron, in fact, recently made headlines by negotiating a deal to get the same £6.5m salary as her co-star Chris Hemsworth in the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel, firmly cementing her as a Twin grrl and feminist icon.

While these are certainly shocking revelations about La-La Land, it seems that our favourite starlets have the matter well in hand.

For more feminism, along with our usual fashion, beauty and culture, and to stay in the know with all the goings-on at Twin, sign up to our new newsletter here.

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Voyeur: a Judith Bernstein exhibition

08.05.2015 | Art | BY:

At aged 72, clad all in black and with messy hair, Judith Bernstein may not strike you as particularly political. But searching her name on Google rapidly proves otherwise: she is listed repeatedly as a feminist, psycho-sexual artist, with several references to her work being so erotic that it was censored. She was a founding member of A. I. R. Gallery, the first gallery devoted to showing female artists, and an early member of Guerrilla Girls, Art Workers’ Coalition and Fight Censorship. Bernstein’s oeuvres d’art sit at the intersection of pop, feminism and protest: it seems fitting that now, with the current resurgence of pro-female feeling, Mary Boone Gallery in New York is holding a major exhibition of her work.

Voyeur, curated by Piper Marshall, will feature pieces selected to highlight the way Bernstein confronts conservative gender politics with sexual aggression. The war-time phallus has been a recurring theme for the artist since 1964, but this exhibition in particular will focus on female genitalia, which Bernstein insists on calling the ‘angry cunt’: “I like to use that word. I like to rub it in…it takes the rawness away.” Works include Crying Cuntface, where the vagina is a head with horn-like cock eyes, and Quattro Cunt, a grid of four open faces shooting phallic-eyed glares at each other.

Voyeur at Mary Boone Gallery, from 7 May to 27 June.

maryboonegallery.com

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Pam Pam store launch

17.03.2015 | Fashion | BY:

Sneakers and running shoes have been an unexpected trend that has spread like wildfire in both the fashion circles and on the high street, and it seems that many consider them to be well and truly here to stay. Well, that’s what lifestyle retailer Pam Pam thinks, at any rate.

Last week, they launched the first women’s only sneaker store in the UK, 1,500 sq foot space located in Bethnal Green, featuring 10 footwear brands including adidas, Reebok and New Balance. Not limited to just footwear, the store will be home to accessories and clothing from a wide variety of expertly curated, well known and independent labels, including the Australian brand Vanishing Elephant, Bethnals and Penfield.

The store’s founders, Bethany Heggarty and Rio Holland, hope to enrich women’s lives; aside from their tightly edited selection of clothing and accessories, they will be providing different opportunities, such as yoga classes, workshops, music sessions and cultural events.

Trainers, clothing, yoga and female empowerment – a fashion and lifestyle concept that’s not just for kicks.

Pam Pam, 129 Bethnal Green, London E2 7DG

pampamlondon.com

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Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot – Art, Sex and Disobedience

17.11.2014 | Culture | BY:

Pussy Riot’s Nadya and Masha are in London tonight for their first UK event since imprisonment. The feminist punk rock band members will be talking to Luke Harding, discussing their time in prison, campaigns for women’s rights, political freedom and reform of the justice system, and also how they became a thorn in the side of one of the world’s most powerful men.

theguardian.com

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FCKH8’s FEMINISM CAMPAIGN

30.10.2014 | Culture , Thoughts | BY:

Did you know that 1 in 5 women experiences sexual assault in their lifetime? Or that, on average, a woman earns 22 per cent less than a man for doing the same job?

You might find these statistics shocking. But what shocks you more – these outrageous inequalities, or hearing five 6-year old girls dressed as princess tell you the hard facts, peppered with ‘fuck,’ ‘shit’ and any other expletive you can think of?

Pro-LGBT equality, anti-racism and anti-sexism T-shirt company FCKH8.com’s latest campaign demonstrates that society currently seems to find the exploitation of women easier to handle than seeing their darling little girls swear.

The real kicker comes when you realise, according to the stats, one of these girls will be raped. And just to really hammer it home, a 12-year old boy joins in at the end, also dressed as a princess – yet no one comments on how the video might affect him.

Potty-mouthed princesses, it seems, are the very best call to action.

FCKH8.com

 

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This Is What A Feminist Looks Like

22.10.2014 | Fashion | BY:

ELLE has teamed up with Whistles to create a capsule collection of pieces that are all emblazoned with ‘This Is What A Feminist Looks Like’. The slogan was created by the historic Fawcett Society, the UK’s biggest equality campaigning group, and has been worn by well-known feminists such as Tracey Emin, Kirsty Wark and Shami Chakrabarti.

The T-shirt from the range is available to buy now from the premium high-street brands website, and the rest (sweaters, phone cases and a clutch) will be released on the 30th of October, with all proceeds going straight to the Fawcett Society.

fawcettsociety.org.uk

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Chanel SS15

A SS15 riot at Chanel

02.10.2014 | Fashion | BY:

Karl Lagerfeld, fashion innovator – and psychic? In light of current events, the Chanel fashion show on Tuesday was even more on point than usual. The Boulevard Chanel, constructed down to the very last detail including puddles and panes of glass, was the elegant backdrop to a revolution. Of course, Lagerfeld actually conceived the idea for the latest show many months ago, taking France’s love for la revolution as inspiration.

Distinct parallels can be seen with the infamous manifestations of Mai 68. Back then, the smell of both personal and political freedom was in the air, which Lagerfeld translated into his clothing for his SS15 collection. The catwalk was a riot of colour and print, with 60s and 70s style separates dominating the silhouette. The collection was not tied down to a single colour, pattern nor shape, celebrating our precious liberty and independence to choose. No doubt the feminist movement of Mai 68 would approve.

chanel.com

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