Make It Hard

28.07.2011 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

Legendary Austrian fashion designer turned artist Helmut Lang has destroyed his fashion archive and in return created a series of sartorial sculptures featuring pulped and twisted fabrics and fibers, scorched plastics and metals. Having given away much of his catalogue to design collections around the world, the master of Nineties minimalism decided to shred some 6,000 pieces for the exhibition at The Fireplace Project Gallery in East Hampton, New York. Inspired after a fire in the building of his New York studio almost destroyed his life’s achievements, Lang decided to complete the task himself. Out of the carnage emerge eerily, slender columns that resemble elegant birch trees. They give shape and permanence to the transience of fashion and life itself.

MAKE IT HARD, a solo exhibition by Helmut Lang is at The FIREPLACE PROJECT until August 8, 2011.

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Black-Market Records

02.09.2010 | Art , Culture | BY:

‘Contraband’ is an extraordinary series of works by New York photographer Taryn Simon. Compiled over  five days, the book documents over 1,000 items that have been seized by customs at John F Kennedy International Airport. It’s amazing what people will try to get away with carrying or sending – the objects in question range from an African cane rat infested with maggots, to a South American pig head, counterfeit American Express traveller’s Cheques, gold dust and heroin. Often it’s the way that the banned objects have been concealed that is the most intriguing of all.

The book reveals the dark brass tracks of America and the contradictions of a system that we often try to forget. Each of Simon’s photographs is composed with forensic care. They are like a scientific record which leaves no room for ambiguity. Yet the personal nature and the geometry of the objects themselves means they are often cast in a seductive and haunting light. The result is perfectly lluminating – humanising even the most forbidden fruit.

‘Contraband’ by Taryn Simon is published by Steidl this month (, and an exhibition will also open at Lever House, New York on September 30 and run until December 31, 2010 (

Words by Zoe Limberis

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