The pair sat down to discuss Green’s growing label, his decision to pursue fashion design at Central Saint Martins and the pace of the industry today. Musing on his craft filled upbringing - ‘I’ve always just wanted to make things’ - and attention heaped on individual, ‘star’ designers by the industry - ‘I don’t wanna be famous for being me, I just want to do stuff that kind of exists and people look at and appreciate’ - Green opens up about his life in fashion. He concludes that ‘everything can crumble and anything can happen; it’s a dangerous, exciting route I think.’
Ryan Gander is the latest artist to join our series of In Your Face interviews. He speaks openly to Carrie Scott about the commercial aspects of Art Basel from EDITION Hotel Miami Beach, comparing its buying attendees to 'a feeding frenzy of vampires.' Gander is already on record critiquing the work of many of his contemporaries, 'art with stars, diamonds, palm trees, skulls, smileys, any emoticon. That’s what everyone seems to be interested in, daft cliches with no real meaning, depth, integrity or conceptual rigour.' In our interview he goes further, 'Half of the art world use basic signifiers and lack basic literacy.'
In contrast to the individuals he's referring to, Gander purposefully evades any kind of stylistic signature. It is very difficult to say 'that is a Gander' and often the work defies commodification altogether. Instead, he operates within a dialectic of story telling or folkloric traditions. Archaically, oral communication served as a means to make sense of the seemingly inexplicable forces of nature and offered a method of both counsel and remembrance. They gave communities a tool to help retain myths and legends, educate their members in certain skills and trades, and offer moral guidance. In contrast to a printed book, the spoken story has the capacity to be moulded around the concerns and interests of its audience. While fixed narratives were often maintained, storytellers might adopt a regional dialect, address a particular local issue or simply apply a new perspective to each tale according to the concerns of his or her listeners. The tools that are fundamental to oral recitation, such as gesture, speed, intonation, accent, and dramatisation, lend the tales that are told a malleable quality. Through accent inflection, break and breath, each story readily embraces and nurtures the mystical, the impossible and the anarchic, and presents a living and vibrant continuum for the passing along of knowledge. Integrating the attributes of oral traditions and spoken word into artistic practice is a means by which to push back against the frequently sterilising nature of the white cube and it seems that this is the realm in which Gander operates.
Watch his fascinating interview now, only on SHOWstudio.
A leading Japanese street wear brand founded by Toby Feltwell and graphic artist Sk8thing, C.E's apparel is recognisable for its bold, printed menswear. From sweatshirts to caps and T-shirts, now is your chance to snap up pieces by the designers behind a host of other legendary Japanese brands including BAPE, Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream.
'Tim directs, but not a lot. He's quite gentle,' says Cole of the photographer. 'There's a feeling of teamwork.' Explaining her involvement in some of Walker's most whimsical works (many involving exotic locations, oversized props and fantastical fashions), she recalls, 'I'd often wear these crazy outfits that were quite uncomfortable... I remember certain moments of appreciating how surreal my life was.'
Cole also discusses body language, travelling and how she feels about being part part of iconic imagery: 'I never thought of it in those terms. I just kind of did it as a job!'
We headed down to the launch of the new issue of The New British, LEGACY, at the Apple Store on 4 December to find out what they'd been up to since Nick Knight shot the cover of their debut issue back in 2012.
Founded by Kez Glozier and Neville Brody, The New British is a multi-platform documentary magazine celebrating modern British culture. Their latest issue LEGACY will be available to download as an app and presents 12 exclusive short films, with a motion-cover created by SHOWstudio favourite filmmaker Ruth Hogben showcasing the all-girl political punk band Skinny Girl Diet. The New British aims to appeal ‘to curious minds’, and features content from Kevin Cummins, Mark Lebon and Don Letts amongst others.
Find out more about The New British and while you wait for it to hit the App Store explore SHOWstudio’s projects with its contributors, such as Talking Punk - an interview with Don Letts and Jonh Ingham - and Picture/message: Mark Lebon, the photographer’s personal portraiture project. Don't forget to revisit Nick Knight's shoot for the debut issue too.
Lucy Moore’s Tumblr takeover is complete!
We’ve been very lucky to have the Director of Claire de Rouen Books guest curating the SHOWstudio Tumblr for the past week, 1-7 December. Beginning with an exploration of the language of the advert and moving on to powerful captions, polaroids, and exhibition catalogues, Lucy Moore rounded off her week with pictures of Claire de Rouen on tour, featuring stalls and pop-ups at Copeland Book Market and Room&Book Art Book Fair, as well as some of her best dressed visitors. Find a polaroid of Mick Jagger by Andy Warhol, model and co-owner Lily Cole’s new book Gabriel Orozco: Impossible Utopias and plenty of Christmas gift ideas in the mix.
Review Lucy Moore’s take-over now and with beautifully raw snaps of favourite pages, purchases and the odd bottle of prosecco to celebrate a new project, immerse yourself in the world of her Soho store.
Performance artist Marina Abramovic is the latest creative to join us for an interview from EDITION Hotels Miami Beach. The series released this week has been revelatory in a number of ways. The careful composition of each shot frames each sitter in a crop that presents their portrait as a landscape. The severe black and white grade means that each subject's thought can be traced across the plane of their face. In our interview with Abramovic, her sense of control over her own image is more apparent than in our previous interviewees. Unsurprisingly I suppose, she is deadly still and with an unfaltering gaze to camera.
Abramovic addresses the big questions. She speaks of her Baltic obsession with death, recounting the way in which her grandmother selected the clothes she would wear when she passed away and when she was buried. It was present in every day life, in the act of living. Having attended Susan Sontag's funeral, which she described as 'lousy', Abramovic went directly to her lawyer to ensure hers did not suffer the same fate. In the interview, she reveals the terms she specified in the contract, including the places (there will be 3 Marinas buried), the dress code and even the music that will be played. Anthony and the Johnsons are on the bill- they don't know it yet but she's quite sure they wouldn't say no. More seriously, she defines the three things she would like to avoid in death, 'I do not want to die angry, I do not want to die in fear, and I want to die consciously.' She switches deftly between playful humour to absolute profundity repeatedly.
Abramovic's purpose is clear, 'I have been very lucky to have a strong sense of mission throughout my life. I want to lift human spirit and change consciousness- it's an incredible motivation.' This is an intelligent and unmissable interview, don't miss it.
Continuing the notion that art should be useful, advocated by Hans Ulrich Obrist in an In Your Face interview earlier this week, we have just released a conversation with artist Pedro Reyes in which he talks about the social and political capabilities of his practice. Reyes has just opened a new iteration of his piece Sanatorium at Art Basel Miami Beach. Originating in the Guggenheim and then re-staged at documenta 13 and at the Whitechapel gallery in London last year, the piece combines theories of psychology with theatre, performance and fine art to offer a re -thought blend of therapy to visitors. Reyes explains that it is 'a performance piece where members of the public are invited to come to the gallery and speak to perfect strangers as though they are therapists. In pieces like Sanatorium, it is the participants who bring the narrative.'
Reyes work continually seems to allow either his participants or his objects to undergo redemptive transformations. Whether it is turning automatic guns into musical instruments, creating a Peoples United Nations to address world problems through role play or presenting a cricket burger (the Grass Whopper) as an alternative to mass meat production, his artworks are imbued with his radical optimism, and indeed not just a little humour.
In our interview, Reyes' is realistic about this optimism. He reveals the reservations he sometimes feels about the actual capabilities of art to instigate positive social change whilst simultaneously resolving these by saying 'Everything changes the world, whether it's action or in-action'. And he is gaining traction in applying his ideas to government policy. Currently he is attempting to pass a nationwide disarmament campaign to turn weapons into instruments across Mexico. If that isn't an example of art having direct and political impact, I'm not sure what is.
To say that the pool of reference that Obrist draws from is vast, is a broad understatement. Yet where some might claim sole authorship of their projects, he repeatedly identifies and names those who have inspired, challenged or changed his thinking. He references his early alignment with artists that, like him, have gone on to establish meaningful and long careers such as Christian Boltanski, Hans-Peter Feldmann, and perhaps most importantly Fischli and Weiss. In our newly released interview with the curator, he said 'I was born twice, once in Zug in '68, and then I was born again in '85 at Fischli & Weiss' studio.' This encounter is widely documented. The pair were creating their now seminal piece The Way Things Go and their advice seems to have helped Obrist define his purpose, 'To be useful to art.' It also marked the moment that saw him begin to take night trains across Europe to museums, galleries and artist studios that would feed his relentless curiosity and begin his chosen path.
His projects take many forms, from the Nano Museum that was a portable frame to be filled with art that was eventually lost by Douglas Gordon in a pub in Glasgow, to the endless recordings of multiple conversations - including the centenary project where Rosemarie Trockel encouraged him to speak with artists approaching or exceeding 100 years of age or the instructive exhibitions Do It that are have been staged in more than 120 countries. And that's not to say he hasn't curated solo and group shows too, it just usually means that they find new ways to create a monograph or meanings, new formats that enable the artist and activate the artwork.
The projects themselves are fascinating, but it's the trains of thought, the encounters and the journeys that lead to their realisation that is the real illumination. Obrist reveals these in a fast paced, encyclopaedic rendition of his life in this interview. Watch it now on SHOWstudio.
Artist Marc Quinn is the latest interviewee to be a added to our In Your Face series. We're shooting in EDITION Hotel at Miami Beach through Art Basel with some of the most influential figures in the art world.
In the interview, Quinn speaks at length about negotiating 'the narrow spectrum of what is considered to be beautiful and what can be beautiful.' This is explicitly relevant to his work with Alison Lapper (8 Months), the monumental marble that featured on the Fourth Plinth in London and was later re-envisioned as an inflatable sculpture for the London Paralympic Opening ceremony and later shown at the Venice Biennale Foundazione 2013. It belongs to a body of work that was inspired by the fragment room in the British Museum. Quinn talks about feeling troubled by the contradiction that these broken and fractured sculptures presented. As revered artworks, they are considered sublimely beautiful while literal bodies that take these forms receive a different reaction. It provoked him to create the series of immaculately finished marble sculptures of these very physicalities, those that are not ordinarily in the realms of visibility, let alone immortalised in stone. Interestingly, he also speaks about his sculptures depicting Kate Moss in yogic poses as an anathema to these works. Instead, we have supermodel as deity, celebrity as our gods and goddesses; 'They are the rocks on which people wreck their lives in striving for perfection.'
Quinn's self assurance in the interview is resolute. He's said it before and he says it again, Self, the cast of his head in his own blood, is according to him 'Rembrandt re-done by Beckett' and later he reveals 'Inspiration can come from anywhere, my mind latches on to certain things, works around my subconscious and emerges as a pearl.' It is rare and fascinating to hear how the artist views his work both in the present, fleeting moment, and also how it might exist in the longer scheme of things- to those not yet born, to those who won't encounter him.
It's not to be missed, and it's up now. More in depth interviews will be released throughout the week as part of our In Your Face series from EDITION Hotel at Miami Beach.
The designer talked about the path he's taken. He joined architecture school later than most, and confesses to being being too impatient to finish the course so instead left early to pursue what he really wanted to do. And he's done it well. Pawson's brand of minimalism is a study in light. Streamlined shapes, formulaic decoration and clarity are his defining features, saying 'I create rigorous simplified spaces to appreciate where space and light come from'. It seems his rigour is panoptic, and he doesn't go easy on his clients, 'The architecture demands that people modify the way they live. It is calming but also stimulating.'
A nice aside was a revelation on letting his guard down and using photography as a therapy 'I travel, and life passes so quickly. If I take a photograph, it feels as though I have captured that moment. But of course, that's rubbish.'
Watch the interview in full now on SHOWstudio. Later today we're releasing conversations with Marc Quinn and Hans Ulrich Obrist.
The Independent fashion editor and creative director discuss and interact with the garments used in Knight's shoot (including pieces by Chanel, Dior and Valentino), musing on the history of couture and the seamstresses who make it; 'The idea of couture in its entirety is about individuality... The individual hands that stitch the clothes have as much personality and shape it as much as the figure of the woman who's going to wear it.'
Fury and Harlech also ponder the dichotomy between the real and the ideal body - 'If you're buying these things that are made for you, there's this idea of addressing your personal perfections and imperfections' - couture's ability to transcend trends and why the craft remains relevant - 'Couture takes fabric and makes it into something amazing.'
More from Joseph Lally's series of Male Muses. The filmmaker and photographer's latest body of work stars model Sean Alcouq.
In our latest In Your Face interview, Aaron Young speaks with Carrie Scott about his artistic practice. Young is the epitome of the artist as celebrity. Google his name and it isn't art works you find but reems and reems of paparrazi shots of him on the red carpet. But he warned us not to have pre-conceived ideas, the work is his main concern. From rationalising his practice as being between the peripheries of painting and performance to considering what art should really be, Young engages with both the machismo and the malleability of his work.
He is arguably best well known for the Burnouts, a series of spectacular happenings where he asked a number of motorcyclists to ride around on aluminium with their wheels lined with paint, until their tyres literally burn out or until they can't see. As the smoke emits from the engines, they in turn erase the marks made by the tyres. It's a play on action painting that is presented in a number of guises. Young elaborates on the act of making as being a performance in itself, the resulting artwork, both in its entirety and later as divided pieces, and of course the documentary film and photography footage of the event.
He also has some strong opinions on his work Four Dots in the Painting, Close Your Eyes and Tilt Your Head Back saying, 'you can see a painting by closing your eyes and what you see - whether it's Jesus, John Lennon or Dash Snow - depends on your constitution. It is called an elliptical burn.' The action here is a contradiction in turn, you close your eyes in order to see, and what you think you see is determined by your frame of reference. In the interview, Young revels in recounting a Peruvian maid who encountered the work and had to be taken away by an ambulance because she thought she saw God, 'That's what art should do', he said. Part tongue in cheek, part bravado, it seems Young is at once playing a joke on us, and deadly serious.
Unsurprisingly, Young cites Rauschenberg's Erased De Kooning (1953) as pivotal in the development of his thinking and it is clear to read how the multiplicity of that piece is tied up with his work- the erasure as creation, a monochrome non image residue covering the picture plane, perhaps even the machismo oedipal act of overthrowing one's authority figures. The interview is live now, and definitely worth watching in the light of Young's new show with Kukje Gallery.
SHOWstudio are continuing to interview artists from EDITION Hotel Miami Beach throughout Art Basel. Up next is Hans Ulrich Obrist…
The latest in Joseph Lally's continuing study of his Male Muses, this series stars model Richie Black.
This week, SHOWstudio has taken up residence at EDITION's new hotel in Miami to continue our interview series In Your Face. With the art world descending on Miami Beach for Art Basel, we're putting creative visionaries under the spotlight in a series of challenging conversations that reveal the intricacies of their respective practices. Visually conceived by Nick Knight, each subject is captured in a beautifully composed but intensely cropped frame that focuses directly on the face. Every expression, blink, twitch, thought and recoil will be revealed in what Knight describes as a 'living portrait.'
The interviews began this morning with a candid talk with EDITIONS' own Ian Schrager. He spoke about his tumultuous career path from comparing his first venture Studio 54 as 'Frankenstein's monster', to describing his ethos for creating lived in space saying, 'Our agenda does not start with design, it starts with social science'. He also reveals the advice he would give to his younger self. The interview will go up on SHOWstudio tomorrow, Thursday 4 December and the series continues throughout the week with luminaries such as Marina Abramovic, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Martin Creed. In the meantime, you can watch our other In Your Face interviews with Vito Acconci, Dinos Chapman and Bernard Henri Levi.