Yesterday evening marked the private view of the latest show in our in-house gallery space, Practice to Deceive: Smoke & Mirrors in Fashion, Fine Art and Film - which is open to the public as from today.
The work exhibited approaches that title from two angles: the literal interpretation of both smoke and mirrors; and the idea of 'smoke and mirrors' as a phrase - the deceit and artifice implicit. The former is amply evident - exemplified in Nick Knight's and Ruth Hogben's moving-image portrait of Jo Calderone mid-nicotine fix, styled by Lady Gaga's right hand Nicola Formichetti and exclusively shown - the only screening either online or off - at SHOWstudio in the very room where it was originally shot for Vogue Hommes Japan.
Elsewhere, the multifaceted surfaces of Henry Krokatsis' collaged mirrors, the future-fantastic shimmering steel of Francois and Bernard Baschet's metallic dress (as featured in the seminal film Qui êtes vous, Polly Maggoo?), and the 'sailor chic' of William Klein's smoking models (striking today, an affront to fashion in the late fifties) are immediately tied to the exhibition's title. As for the deception? Nothing perhaps summarises it better than scent artist Sissel Tolaas' work, in this case a wearable perfume created from coal extracted from the deepest mine in the North Pole. Evocative of a strange sense of deceit, the bottled Essence Absolue of fired carbon opposes our expectation of a floral fragrance, drawing allusions to the olfactory alchemy of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, antihero of Patrick Suskind's Perfume.
Alongside this show, SHOWstudio.com will undertake a programme of events in the LiveStudio at Bruton Place, echoing the theme of the exhibition and including live performances and residencies from a range of art and fashion creatives during the exhibition's twelve-week run.