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Issue 55 October/November Aesthetica Out Now

Issue 55 of Aesthetica is in shops now. This issue concentrates on redefinitions as a way of constructing new meaning. The artists featured expand across decades of contemporary practice, and the works included test the resilience of the artist. Inside we start with a look at Elmgreen & Dragset’s latest installation Tomorrow, which takes over the former Textile Galleries at the V&A, London. The artists have created an apartment belonging to a fictional, elderly and disillusioned architect to comment on the loneliness and alienation ever-present in today’s society.

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Interview with Rufio Summers

The Shoreditch Fashion Show returns again this autumn. Running on 12 October, the second show for 2013 follows the success of the first in April. Hosted by OffBeat, the event includes a dynamic guest programme showcasing the best in emerging UK fashion design, art and music. The audience will get an exclusive preview of designs from young designers from the world’s top fashion colleges, notably the London College of Fashion and Central St.Martins. Aesthetica speaks to one of the music acts, Rufio Summers, about his participation in the event and his dream collaborations.

Bora Aksu Spring/Summer 2014 Catwalk (The Opening Show of London Fashion Week), Somerset House, LONDON,

Born and raised in the Aegean town of İzmir, Turkey, to a family of doctors, Bora Aksu trained at the Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design and this year celebrated his 10th year participation in the London Fashion Week with a dazzling opening show sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey. While sitting and waiting for the show to commence, there was a noticeable level of enthusiasm and excitement amongst fashion-lovers. What is so fascinating is Aksu’s skill in putting together an incredible spectacle with his choice of music and fabrics, designs and emotions, cultural differences and a synthesis of Turkish culture and western tastes. Chiffon, silk tulles, hand woven textiles which he purchased from village women in Şirince and Nazarköy in Turkey adorns the light, tom-boyish outfits with splashes of hidden femininity and naivety.

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Body/Head, MCA Chicago

The co-founder and bassist of Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon, returns to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) to perform as Body/Head, a project with free-noise guitarist Bill Nace. The duo began after Sonic Youth broke up in 2011 as an instrumental side project and now features scripted improvisation and songs with vocals by Gordon. Using a slow-motion film projection as their backdrop, the pair creates a dream-like narrative of guitar instrumentations, feedback, and vocals. The MCA Stage concert marks the Chicago debut of Body/Head and is part of a national tour to support the release of the band’s double album, Coming Apart, which came out 10 September. 

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Formento+Formento: Circumstance

This September Formento+Formento celebrates the launch of a new artbook, Circumstance. The book will be released by YellowKorner internationally and will arrive in the UK on 12 September and in France on 18 September. The photographic duo, made up of BJ and Rochelle Formento, will attend a special evening event on Wednesday 18 September at the YellowKorner gallery in the Pompidou centre. Featured on two covers of Aesthetica, Formento+Formento’s striking frames uncover cinematic beauty and theatrical stories.

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Interview with Luciano Benetton, on their new collection – Imago Mundi

As a great traveller and a lover of art, iconic Benetton clothing brand founder Luciano Benetton has extended his passion for entrepreneurial and memorably inclusive fashion into an arena that his family’s foundation is newly colonising: Living Art History. The Fondazione Benetton’s Imago Mundi project is a collection of over two thousand artworks with a 10 x 12 cm format, commissioned by the Benettons of established and emerging international artists, with the goal of uniting the diversities of our contemporary cultures in the widest possible mapping of 21st Century world art, for future centuries to glorify and decode.

Review of Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast, City Art Centre, Edinburgh

Coming into Fashion – a unique glimpse into the most sparkling and striking of images from the international Condé Nast archives- is both a history lesson in glamour and an ode to scintillating, beautiful photography. Spanning the decades and the stream of cover girls from across Condé Nast’s infamously stylish publications, including Vogue, Glamour and Vanity Fair, curator, Nathalie Herschdorfer, creates of the exhibition a linear stroll along emerging and ever-changing elegance and allure, both in photography and ideals of femininity.

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A Journey Through London’s Subculture: 1980s to Now, ICA Off-Site

A Journey Through London’s Subculture: 1980s to Now at the Old Selfridges Hotel in London is part of the ICA’s Off-Site summer series, which started with Glastonbury Festival. The exhibition illustrates a perceived thread of creativity between the post-punk era and the present day – a legacy that underpins London’s incredible creative potential in the present. Taking over the first floor of the hotel, the project will bring together up to 60 influential figures from London’s creative scene from the 1980s to the present, spanning art, design, architecture, fashion, club culture and food. Participants include Tom Dixon, Zaha Hadid, Nicola Tyson, Bodymap, Sarah Lucas, Giles Deacon, Julie Verhoeven, Matthew Darbyshire, Louise Gray, SIBLING, David Waddington and Pablo Flack (Bistroteque), Bethan Laura Wood and Lucky PDF.

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Miles Aldridge: SHORT BREATHS at Brancolini Grimaldi, London

SHORT BREATHS is Brancolini Grimaldi’s first exhibition of work by Miles Aldridge to coincide with his major retrospective at Somerset House, I Only Want You to Love Me, (10 July until 29 September). Presented as large scale prints, SHORT BREATHS brings together a body of work which explores sensuality and malaise in modern life through a language of vivid colour and unexplained narratives. Aldridge’s images of beautiful women placed in a hermetically sealed parallel universe of luxury are both thrilling and unsettling. Executed with the precision of a Hollywood movie, their power derives from the tension created between exterior perfection and internal turmoil.

Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast at City Art Centre, Edinburgh

The great American photographer Edward Steichen took what were probably the first fashion photographs in 1911. Since then it has become a unique platform for experimentation, balanced between commerce and creativity, recording the Zeitgeist and capturing individual dreams and desires. Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast is part of the Edinburgh Art Festival currently running across the city, the selection of outstanding photographs appear at the City Art Centre until 8 September.

Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s, V&A

The information available for the V&A’s latest exhibition, Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s instantly inspires thoughts of the 2003 film Party Monster. Those who have seen it will remember that this riddling film is the true story of Michael Alig, a deluded Club Kid party organiser who moved to New York and entered a dark yet glamorous world. The 1980s was an incredibly creative decade in which the fashion of the club was slowly but surely carried onto the catwalk in the major capitals of the world. The many sub-cultures that formed and which still exist today, in some form or another, were founded on the basis of the nightlife in clubs. Curated by Claire Wilcox, V&A’s Head of Fashion, the exhibition covers the sub-cultures and their distinctive fashions, as well as the interpretations of now renowned fashion designers on the fashions of the club scene.

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Edinburgh Art Festival

The Edinburgh Art Festival returns to Scotland from 1 August, immersing the city in cultural explorations of art. Running until 1 September, the festival features no less than 50 exhibitions across 30 venues. Celebrating the location of Edinburgh and the many gallery spaces across the city, the event is the UK’s largest annual festival dedicated to visual art. Alongside the many exhibitions and events there is an ambitious commissioning programme that takes art out onto the streets. Looking at the theme Parley, the commissioned works explore communication either with the city or with audiences.

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Review of PUNK: Chaos to Couture at the Costume Institute at the MetropolitanMuseum of Art, New York

Punk was an attitude and an aesthetic, a movement which provoked anti-establishment with exhibitionist flair. According to John Lydon (Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols), “Punk was like nothing anybody had seen before, like nothing. Punk was fearless. Utterly fearless.” With this fearlessness came its unabashed fashions, its intended chaos of cut-offs and chains which has been captured and appropriated by high-end designers into relics of couture. PUNK: Chaos to Couture, at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, nods to the birthplaces of punk before progressing through a series of four Do-it-yourself themes of punk fashion.  

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Interview with Artist & Creator of Playlust, Play Hunter

Born and bred in Zurich, Play Hunter is an artist, author and creative entrepreneur. Studying Fine Arts at Saint Martins College of Art, London, Hunter set up her website Playlust back in 2007. Six years later, what began as just a space for portraits of artist friends, transformed into a hub of artistic discussion across the world. Aesthetica speaks to Hunter about her inspiration, her exhibitions and her first photo book Now & Wow – A Style Hunter’s Book of Photographs.

10 to See: Degree Shows

At Aesthetica we like to keep an eye on emerging artists, and one of the best ways to do that is to take note of the numerous degree shows open this summer. Picking our ten favourites, we count down the best art presentations this June. We also take a moment to interview a few successful graduates, to investigate the value of an art degree and the benefits of their chosen Universities. Running from Glasgow to Plymouth, we give you a snippet into each show. Keep an eye on the blog for interviews with graduates in the next few weeks.

Daniele Tamagni: Global Style Battles, London

Italian photographer,  Daniele Tamagni, comes to ArtEco to exhibit a collection of works from 2007 to date. Global Style Battles is a diverse selection of images, celebrating music and fashion in a colourful display of photographic skill. Running 24 May until 22 June, the showcase includes pieces like The Flying Cholitas, Playboys of Bacongo, Havana Glam and Afrometal. A street photographer,  Tamagni has traveled to places as exotic as Africa and Cuba. 

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Miles Aldridge’s Carousel, London

Film-maker turned fashion designer Miles Aldridge has delivered seductive sirens silk-screened in an electrifying palette to the forefront of the fashion world for 15 years. Although beginning his artistic career in the studios of Central St Martins, his photographs are heavy with references to 1950s America, reminding of Stepford wives and the blinding lights of Hollywood.

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Palace Art and Craft Fair, London

For the third year, the Palace Art and Craft Fair returns to London, 17 – 19 May. Organised by the team behind the highly successful and well established Brighton Art Fair, MADE LONDON and MADE BRIGHTON, this year the fair becomes an art, craft and design fair; a small scale more intimate event showcasing highest quality and original contemporary art and design across all media. Located in the beautiful grounds and main building of Fulham Palace, the historic Tudor/Georgian Palace, formerly the country home of the Bishops of London right by the river at Putney Bridge, is the perfect spot for perusing and purchasing art.

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Tate Liverpool is 25

Since 1988, Tate Liverpool has been the home of some of the world’s most important art works and attracted 15 million visitors. Opening its doors on 24 May, 1988, the gallery has become the most visited venue for modern and contemporary art outside of London. The gallery has already received several birthday wishes in the form of postcards, letters, emails and artworks, from Wayne Hemingway, Anthony McCall, Yoko Ono, Ed Ruscha, Bob and Roberta Smith, Zarina Bhimji and Colin Self. From 17 May until 2 June, Tate Liverpool will be celebrating in style with a specially curated exhibition entitled  Tate Liverpool is 25.

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PUNK: Chaos to Couture, New York

The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, open PUNK: Chaos to Couture this May. Running 9 May until 14 August, the exhibition collates one of the most significant and political forms of fashion as it explores punk’s influence on high fashion. Beginning at the birth of punk in the 1970s, PUNK: Chaos to Couture  spans the transformation of the movement, concluding with its resonating impact today.

Claire Aho: Studio Works, The Photographers’ Gallery, London

Claire Aho has produced a prolific output, covering editorial, advertising, fashion photography and reportage. From this substantial body of work the selection of photographs exhibited at The Photographers’ Gallery were taken between 1950 and the late 1960s. In the early 1950s, Aho opened a commercial studio in Helsinki. Here she undertook every aspect of the image making process: casting, styling, lighting and developing. This exhibition focuses on her studio work.

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Review of Bowie Is, London

When an important, popular figure dies, fans seem to need more than their legacy – more than their work – to remember them by, to cling to them through. Physical mementoes, objects – things which that specific person touched, used, loved – are obsessed over; particles of skin and saliva on a napkin George Harrison used take on strange importance. Voyeurism and celebrity obsession have grown to a point now where people are paying up to $15,000 for a pair of stained underpants worn by Elvis Presley, a rumoured million for a pair of John Lennon’s glasses, and, perhaps most bizarrely, $45,000 for a set of three X-rays of Marilyn Monroe’s chest. However, this strange obsession we seem to have with the physical remnants left in the wake of our popular icons can be traced back a surprisingly long way. Darwin’s beard, for example, Abraham Lincoln’s hair and even Galileo’s finger have survived decomposition and remain, today, preserved behind glass for us all to gawk at.

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Mulberry Opens Their First Store in Berlin

British luxury brand Mulberry has opened its first store in Berlin on prestigious street, Kurfürstendamm. This new store continues the brand’s expansion into major European cities and reinforces the brand identity through a dedicated retail space. Mulberry is internationally known for luxury leather craftsmanship. Founded in 1971 in the English countryside, the brand is one of the last British luxury brands to still retain and invest in leather goods manufacturing in the UK, and has built a reputation for balancing creativity and modernity with the traditions of luxury leather craft.

Patternity: Pattern Power/Superstripe, London

In a cultural festival of pattern exploration, Patternity present Pattern Power/Superstripe at the London Newcastle Project Space from 6 April. The exhibition opens a series of events that explore the powerful presence of pattern and it’s impressive ability to positively inspire and connect humanity. Living in a world of patterns, the shapes and colours surrounding us can often be overlooked, this collection draws audiences to look at these familiar angles with a new perspective. 

POP! Design Culture Fashion, The Civic, Barnsley

Pop! Design Culture Fashion opens 4 April at The Civic, Barnsely, celebrating poodle skirts, rockers, Mods, kitsch glamour and 1970s retro. A reminder of when British popular culture first captivated the world, the exhibition uncovers a time when popular images, music, art and fashion blurred the boundaries of commerce, culture and style. Between the optimism of 1955 and the disillusion of Punk, the “Pop” generation created a lifestyle, which reached its apogee in 1966 in “Swinging London”, and values which constantly challenged those of wider society.

6 To See this Bank Holiday Weekend

With four days off and weather that doesn’t compliment outdoor activities or picnics, art exhibitions are an obvious solution for Bank Holiday boredom. However, wherever you are in the world, the weekend is always a great time to leisurely explore local art exhibitions. From Amsterdam to New York we uncover the best in contemporary art in both Public and Private galleries across a variety of practices. Whether it be fandom at David Bowie Is… or destruction in Sara Cwynar’s Everything In the Studio (Destroyed) these shows provoke a range of responses.

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Louis Vuitton unveiles Stéphane Couturier’s first solo exhibition: Mutation in Hong Kong

Louis Vuitton unveiled today Stéphane Couturier’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong: Mutation at Espace Louis Vuitton Hong Kong opening to the public tomorrow, Thursday 21 March. Curated by William Zhao, the exhibition will feature a survey of Couturier’s work with key photographs from the Melting Point, Landscaping and Urban Archeology series, alongside a new series of photographs and videos drawing out the architectural themes and details of the current construction of the Frank Gehry designed Louis Vuitton Foundation For Creation in Paris.

Interview with Fashion Designer, Peter Jensen

Fashion designer Peter Jensen has made the innovative decision to debut his Spring/Summer’13 collection for the first time in Britain at The Hepworth Wakefield. Under the same roof as many of Barbara Hepworth’s works, Jensen uses the artist as a starting point for his newest designs. With contemporary exhibitions from Linder Sterling, Alice Channer and Jessica Jackson Hutchins also celebrating Hepworth’s legacy at The Hepworth this spring, Jensen’s creations offer an alternate response to Hepworth’s body of work, representing her far-reaching influence. On 27 March, Jensen showcases a new angle of fashion and Barbara Hepworth’s vast archive. 

Arrrgh! Monsters in Fashion at Gaite Lyrique, Paris

Lady Gaga famously refers to her followers as “little monsters”, presumably hoping by this to encourage them to reclaim the darker elements of their psyches and feel more comfortable in themselves. She is by no means the first popstar to have urged fans to embrace their idiosyncrasies, but she probably is the only one to have lived so devoutly by her own creed: dressing, acting and music-making like the mother of all pintsize monstrosities.

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Interview with Fashion Designer, Osman

British Fashion Designer Osman will spend 2013 experimenting with the space at his new atelier by inviting a variety of London’s cutting-edge artists and designers. The programme is set to include exhibitions, performances and other collaborations. Back in February the first part of the series was launched with multidisciplinary artist Gary Card exhibiting a solo show of paintings at the Fashion Illustration Gallery. A graduate of Central St Martins and an accomplished designer, Card whose work encompasses most fields from set design to prop-making has worked with everyone from Lady Gaga to Nick Knight as well as fashion houses and department stores including Lanvin and Lane Crawford. For Osman’s new atelier, Card presented a series of 18 vivid images, entitled The Evolution of Lula. Aesthetica speaks to Osman about his design process and his interest in collaborating with artists. 

Linder: Femme/Objet, Paris

Four decades worth of British punk feminist work are presented in Linder Sterling’s Paris retrospective. Photography, collage, music and video works have been assembled under the exhibition title Femme/Objet, a troubling conflation of woman and commodity that lies, subverted for positive ends, at the heart of Linder’s practice: “I have always treated myself as a found object”, she says.

Studio XO on Crane.tv

Studio XO, a revolutionary fashion label that is pushing the boundaries between science and couture. Having designed for the likes of Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas, Studio XO experiment with wearable tech, digital skins and computational fibres – where your outfit changes at the brush of a hand. With NYC fashion week in full swing and London, Milan and Paris coming up, we look at some of the digital pieces that will be gracing future catwalks. 

Paolo Coppolella Presents .ZERO S/S 2013 Collection Editorial In Collaboration With Artistic Duo Simone Giara & Marta Modena

To start the Spring – Summer 2013 season, the Italian fashion designer Paolo Coppolella presents an editorial in collaboration with artistic duo Simone Giara & Marta Modena. His .ZERO S/S 2013 Collection was presented at the 16th Edition of Ningbo International Fashion Fair in China and after this success, the collection .ZERO is now officially on sale.

5 Exhibitions to See this Weekend

The weekend is a great time to leisurely enjoy art. At Aesthetica we have compiled some of the best current exhibitions for you to enjoy this weekend. From Paris to New York, we take a moment to consider the contemporary art that is bound to inspire. Starting with Linder Sterling at The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, read all about the top five experiences of art across the world.

Interview with Photographer Marco Sanges

Photographer Marco Sanges shoots a cinematic world of dreams and drama. Exhibited worldwide, Sange’s clients include Agent Provocateur, Vogue, Sunday Telegraph, Photo, Katalog, Dolce&Gabbana and Eyemazing. He has published three books, Circumstances, Venus, Wild, and Erotic Photography, besides winning several awards for his art  films, The Best Experimental Art Film at the Open Cinema Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia 2009 and Best Art Film at the Portobello Film Festival London, UK, 2008 for the short Circumstances. Currently exhibiting at Eduard Planting Fine Art Photographs at the Rotterdam Art Warehouse, Aesthetica speaks to Sanges about his unique approach to photography.

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Aesthetica Issue 51 Out Now

Inside this issue, we start with Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites, a major exhibition opening at the Walker Art Center that features 35 individual sculptures and installations, along with his recent experiments in video, film and performance. We also look at the latest show to open at the Hayward Gallery, London, Light Show, which is a comprehensive survey of artists who use light as a material. David Bowie is opens at the V&A and is the first major retrospective of Bowie’s significant impact upon the world of visual art and design. Thomas Zanon-Larcher’s Falling: A Part blurs the lines between fashion and fine art photography, using cinema as its reference point. In photography, Garry Winogrand is widely recognised as one of America’s finest photographers, and his retrospective opens at SFMOMA, highlighting 25 years of the artist’s career. Cuba is the subject for the latest exhibition to open at Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, which showcases four decades of Michael Eastman’s work. We also introduce the works of Marquis Montes, a Montreal-based photographic duo, as well as Kevin Cooley, whose use of light creates intense drama.

Review of Tim Walker: Storyteller

In his unique and extravagantly innovative way, photographer Tim Walker has yet again captured style and narrative in his recent works, currently on display at Somerset House until 27 January. The photographer’s newest exhibition Storyteller, collates his images featured in Vogue, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, representing exactly how he can click fashion into life. With the use of large-scale props and installations the exhibition brings you inside the mind of a truly fascinating artist.

Interview with designers Katie Eary and Agi & Sam on Crane.tv

The arrival last year of the first devoted men’s fashion week in London emphasised the importance of the risk-taking British man to the fashion industry. In anticipation of London Collections: Men AW13, Crane.tv talks to some of London’s most celebrated young designers, Katie Eary and Agi & Sam. Capturing the spirit of their idealised modern man is pro BMX rider Kenzo de Witte, who rides around North London in this short film wearing pieces from their latest collections.