Material Turn

In a collaboration between Jordi Carles at …,staat, Pol Pérez’ and Josep Román’s Barcelona-based design studio Affaire and Baumeister Jung: the beautiful book ‘Material Turn’ came to life. In it, the photographer Paul Jung and fashion designer Melitta Baumeister —who work on shared multidisciplinary creative projects as Baumeister Jung— hybridize their creative visions to become one, solidifying a moment in time — as beautiful volume-garments are casted out of an otherwise fixed material ànd by capturing the act of wearing it. Through exploration of these areas, the book portrays the relationships that exist between the two bodies, and the way touch and sight may alter the reader’s perception of an object’s qualities.

For ‘Material Turn’ a number of garments were specifically designed by Baumeister, who generally works with industrial techniques and materials, this time made solely out of three materials: deep black velvet bonded to foam; padded black vinyl; and finally padded white tyvek. In the words of Pérez; the use of these materials helps instill certain preconceptions in the reader’s mind: “black, especially light-absorbing materials, look naturally heavier. At first, the acting that is asked of the model helps reinforce these assumptions: in the first pages, we see her more relaxed and upright when wearing tyvek, whereas velvet dresses are shown as she sits, slouched on a chair, seemingly defeated by its weight.”

This behavior slowly fades as the book progresses, dispelling the initial preconceptions — resulting in a captivating proces to be observed throughout the pages of the elegantly designed book, bringing together the talents of Baumeister, Jung, Carles and Pérez & Román into this highly appealing new publication.

In the design motivations to create the perfect context for the images, Pérez states to have aimed for a similar dynamic as the images do: altering perception, just as the photographs and garments do. Therefore the book was designed as if it was a hardcover photo book, but in reality is very soft and has very thin (80 g/m, 135 g/m and then again 80 g/m) pages. In effect, the papers help break narrative preconceptions, as the opening and closing parts, printed in alternating double spreads are transparent enough to show non-correlative images together.

All of the info on the front and back covers is embossed, making of the object a shiny white rectangle (like a sheet of thick industrial plastic) which turns out to be made of paper. The whole photographic edit is made in such a way that the story comes full circle: the story begins and ends in the same way.

While researching for the book, Pérez came across a quote from The Picture of Dorian Gray that, in his eyes, sums up the project:

It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.

Fashion design: Melitta Baumeister
Photography: Paul Jung
Graphic design: Jordi Carles at …,staat / Pol Pérez & Josep Román at Affaire.

When in Europe order ‘Material Turn’ here

When in the USA order the book here