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Brief: Readings

published on 22 October 2007

During the filming of Readings, SHOWstudio asked its viewers to collaborate with musician Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons to create a custom soundtrack for this unique fashion film.

Here, both the film's director Nick Knight and Hussein Chalayan himself provide written proposals that give the creative rationale for the Readings soundtrack, and provide a brief for SHOWstudio viewers participating in this unique project.

During the filming of Readings, SHOWstudio asked its viewers to collaborate with musician Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons to create a custom soundtrack for this unique fashion film.

Hussein Chalayan proposal for Readings

Throughout history, all cultures have idolised and worshipped various forces, either as a means to define identity or simply as a way to feel more complete. In modern life, it can be said that this sense of idolisation is directed towards celebrity culture, the masses identifying with certain figureheads as a means to perhaps define themselves and their differences. In this light, I propose to draw parallels between Greek/Pagan and other ancient cultural perceptions of icons or gods and modern icons (people as opposed to natural forces or gods), which in today's media are evolving much more democratically, with people becoming icons far more easily than in the past. My aim is to find the means to symbolise how all icons are kept alive by the synergy between them and their audience.

Nick Knight's response and brief to SHOWstudio viewers

Over two days we will film and record Antony Hegarty creating a series of sounds/music, which will later be mixed together to form the soundtrack for the film of Hussein Chalayan's collection Readings. The spirit of this should be experimental and pragmatic: the sounds might be as simple as clapping, speaking, tapping filled glasses of water or singing; they might involve instruments such as tambourines, guitars or pianos. We invite you to suggest whatever Hussein Chalayan's written concept inspires in you.

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