1. by Niamh White .

    Artist Pedro Reyes talks to us about the political agency of art

    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. 

    The interviews will continue to be released today and tomorrow. Look out for Ryan Gander, Martin Creed and Marina Abramovic, all coming up.


  2. by Niamh White .

    Hans Ulrich Obrist for In Your Face

    Hans Ulrich Obrist is a curator who has dedicated his life to the service of art, and he speaks vividly with Carrie Scott in our latest In Your Face interview from EDITION Hotel at Miami Beach.

    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.

  3. by Niamh White .

    Our interview with artist Marc Quinn for In Your Face is up

    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.

  4. by Niamh White .

    Architect John Pawson discusses his brand of minimalism from EDITION Hotels

    In our latest In Your Face interview, John Pawson spoke to us about his architectural practice and working on his latest project with EDITION Hotels alongside Ian Schrager 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.

  5. by SHOWstudio .

    Unpick Sans Couture with Alexander Fury and Amanda Harlech

    Our Sans Couture project comes to a close with a mesmerising fashion film by Nick Knight presented alongside an absorbing new series of analysis videos featuring Alexander Fury and Amanda Harlech.

    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.'

    Explore the series now.

  6. by Niamh White .

    Aaron Young is our latest interviewee for In Your Face

    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…

  7. by Niamh White .

    SHOWstudio's interview series 'In Your Face' kicks off at EDITION Hotel

    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.

  8. by SHOWstudio .

    Vaults' Vultures music video exclusive

    We’re proud to launch Vultures, Vaults’ new music video directed by rising talent Rei Nadal, exclusive to SHOWstudio until 15:00 GMT on Friday 5 December 2014!

    On working with the London-based trio to create the exquisitely eerie music video, Nadal explains ‘I was very lucky with Vaults as they offered me the project giving me total creative freedom, which is rare.’ Taking inspiration from the song itself, ‘a dark lullaby’, the film sees a group of women dancing together, but singled out in turn: ‘woman chanting to each other and to themselves, not to sleep but to comfort each other, telling their story and what hurts them but also sharing their love and joy...I just want to remind myself how lucky I am to be a woman,’ Nadal concludes. The resulting video, complete with styling by Ellie Grace Cumming and compelling choreography by Aaron Sillis embodies the artist's signature use of romantic and unsettling imagery in constant juxtaposition.

    Watch the phantasmagoric video now and be sure to revisit Nadal’s earlier explorations into music film for Reptile Youth and Primal Scream.

  9. by SHOWstudio .

    It’s day 3 of Lucy Moore’s Tumblr takeover

    It’s day 3 of Lucy Moore’s Tumblr takeover! Following on from her exploration of the language of the advert and the power of the caption, today the director of Claire de Rouen will be sharing the best five signed books on the shelves of her Soho bookshop. Moore says, Diffracted through the autograph’s prism, the repeated becomes singular.’

    Follow the SHOWstudio Tumblr now to discover more, and keep checking back for new content every day this week!

  10. by SHOWstudio .

    Subjective: Alek Wek on Victoria's Secret

    Sudanese supermodel Alek Wek is the latest interviewee in our rolling Subjective series, speaking to Nick Knight about her mother’s wisdom, her relationship with her family and walking the runway for lingerie brand Victoria's Secret.

    Growing up in south Sudan as one of nine children, Wek reveals the challenges of leaving her close-knit family for frequent international modelling assignments and speaks frankly about the destabilising influence of money. However, despite its difficulties she also acknowledges the positivites of her profession: ‘It’s a meaningful career I got to realise for myself, it’s not something that I have to do just because it’s going to pay my bills. It’s way beyond that... I think I showed them that Dinka Dinka women can be beautiful as well,’ she explains.

    Wek also discusses working with with American lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret, asserting that ‘I think it’s very important to let women be comfortable in how they feel, to let women own their own sexuality instead of telling them how to be.’

    Watch the exclusive interview now and explore the rest of the Subjective series, including more stories from Wek on creating iconic images with Herb Ritts, David LaChapelle and our very own Nick Knight

  11. by SHOWstudio .

    It's day 2 of Lucy Moore's Tumblr takeover!

    Lucy Moore’s Tumblr takeover is underway! The second day of the Claire de Rouen director's curation sees her explore the power of the caption. Moore questions how captions can be made to perform for an image: ’Adding detail, nuance, a subjective voice or making a stand by their absence, captions are glorious and today I pay homage to them!’
    Head to the SHOWstudio Tumblr now to discover her thought-provoking posts, and keep checking back for more posts on exceptional publications over the next five days! 
  12. by SHOWstudio .

    The Pin-ups shoot is over.

    After five days shooting, twelve 'Angels', a bath of milk, copious glitter and a lot of 3D scanning our epic Pin-ups shoot has finally come to an end. Keep an eye on the project for footage from this eventful shoot, and be sure to snap up the upcoming spring issue of 10 magazine for the finished editorial!

  13. by SHOWstudio .

    SHOWstudio x Miami Beach EDITION: In Your Face interviews

    SHOWstudio is proud to announce a new series of In Your Face interviews hosted on location at the Miami EDITION Hotel to coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach!

    Twisting the notion of the coaxing, cajoling and coercive interview that has become the mainstay of art and fashion journalism, the series seeks to gracefully provoke and capture leading figures in contemporary culture. SHOWstudio's own Carrie Scott will be speaking to some of the most exciting people in fine art including Marc Quinn and Marina Abramovic, with each interview acting as a living portrait carefully framed by Nick Knight. Knight explains, 'The camera is focused in so close that the face fills the screen, revealing every passing thought, every change of emotion and every blink of the eye. It will be a beautiful, but intense living portrait of people who hold strong opinions and challenging thoughts.'

    The first interview premiers on SHOWstudio 4 December 2014. In the meantime, revisit past In Your Face interviews and our sister series' In Conversation and In Fashion.

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