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Sunday 29 August 2021 – The Monocle Minute

The Cotton Tote Crisis

Slow

Rushemy Botter

There is a significant need for new personal stories in today's hype-driven, free-for-all fashion world. And despite a rather boring tradition in that realm, some of the names we find interesting and have the potential to do just that c0me from The Netherlands. Following the likes of Paul Helbers and Sebastiaan Pieter, who both are talented Dutch designers with young labels (based outside of The Netherlands), last month's Royal Academy of Antwerp graduate Rushemy Botter seems to be next in line to step up. His graduation collection (Autumn/Winter 2018) named 'Fish or Fight' formed Botter's debut during last week's Amsterdam Fashion Week, but we already seized the opportunity to briefly meet the rising star one day after his graduation show in Antwerp at the beginning of June. [ Continue reading ]

In the Land of Drought

Julian Rosefeldt at the Berlin-based KÖNIG GALERIE

After having seen it ourselves this afternoon, for those in and around Berlin, make sure to drop by the incredible KÖNIG GALERIE to witness German artist Julian Rosefeldt’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. On view in the nave of former Catholic church St. Agnes is his large video installation titled 'In the Land of Drought' that was filmed in Morocco and the Ruhr area.

A condensed version of Rosefeldt’s filmic interpretation of Joseph Haydn’s 'The Creation', 'In the Land of Drought'  confronts the relationship between man and his impact on the world. Set to atmospheric sounds and a pulsating hum, the 43-minute piece looks back from an imagined future upon the post-Anthropocene: the aftermath of significant human influence on Earth. An army of scientists appear to investigate the archaeological remnants of civilization after humanity has made itself extinct. Shot entirely using a drone, Rosefeldt’s images hover meditatively over the desolate landscape and ruins. Connoting surveillance, the drone’s bird’s eye view removes human perspective with us onlookers kept at a distance throughout. Increasingly, more figures dressed in white lab suits emerge to inspect the ruins of civilization – which are in fact abandoned film sets close to the Moroccan Atlas Mountains.

Halfway through, the audience is transported to the comparably bleak Ruhr area of Germany, which is littered with the remains of industrialization. The same ‘scientists’ prowl the abandoned mining region, wandering among the headframes and coal pits before finally descending upon an amphitheatre. As seen from the audience’s heavenly outlook, the amphitheatre resembles an eye, and its all-seeing ability is reflective of the panoptic aerial viewpoint. A dialogue unfolds between the two perspectives of control: the eye on the ground and the drone’s eye overhead. As the steady hum livens to a climatic rhythm, the figures draw close only to disperse again. Reminiscent of cell division, the unifying aesthetics hint at a prospective optimism amidst a dislocated world man has created. The result is both mesmerizing and though-provoking, make sure to witness it first hand before it closes on the 23th of July! [ Continue reading ]

Incoming

At a moment when the world is facing the world’s largest refugee and migration crisis since the Second World War, the latest deeply inspirational publication by Irish photographic artist Richard Mosse named 'Incoming', deals with this contemporary major humanitarian and political plight, the displacement of millions due to war, persecution and climate change. With illuminating texts by Mosse and the philosopher Giorgio Agamben, the 576-page book, published by the ever-inspirational MACK Books, combines film stills from the artist’s latest video work made in collaboration with electronic composer Ben Frost and cinematographer Trevor Tweeten – a haunting and searing multi-channel film installation, accompanied by a visceral soundtrack. Journeys made by refugees and migrants across the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe are captured with a new weapons-grade surveillance technology that can detect the human body from 30.3km. Blind to skin color, this camera technology registers only the contours of relative heat difference within a given scene, foregrounding the fragile human body’s struggle for survival in hostile environments, resulting in imagery that leaves an everlasting impression on us.

Richard Mosse's 'Incoming' marks a highly inspirational new chapter in the body of work of the photographic artist in which he tackles another extremely relevant thematic in a haunting artistic form that is among the most interesting being produced in this day and age. [ Continue reading ]

The Constructed Landscape

Shibata Toshio at the Japan Museum SieboldHuis in Leiden

Three weeks ago, the Japan Museum SieboldHuis in Leiden, in the west of the Netherlands, opened the exhibition 'The Constructed Landscape', for the first time ever presenting this body of beautiful work by the highly talented Japanese photographer Shibata Toshio in The Netherlands. Known for his captivating landscape photography, Shibata captures signature images of large-scale highways and civil engineering constructions in uninhabited regions in deeply captivating photographic works. Civil engineering structures such as dams, lakes and bridges play a central role in his work. His perspective takes the viewer beyond the functionality of these structures and shows them the aesthetics of the infrastructure. His compositions illustrate how nature — weather, corrosion, erosion, water currents and landslides — reclaims damage done by human intervention. Shibata’s photos, taken with a large-format camera exude an atmosphere of fantasy void of references to time, place and scale. His works have been praised for their timeless, abstract and picturesque qualities — making his body of work among the most interesting in its genre. Specifically featured in this edition of the exhibition is a series of bridges in the Benelux as seen from various different perspectives.

For those in and around The Netherlands: don't miss this extraordinary exhibition before it closes on the 3th of September! [ Continue reading ]

Patcharavipa Spring/Summer 2017

in collaboration with Lena C. Emery and creative studio OK-RM

We recently encountered the beautiful work of Bangkok- and London-based fine jewelry designer Patcharavipa Bodiratnangkura through her Spring/Summer 2017 campaign in a remarkable collaboration with Lena C. Emery and Oliver Knight's and Rory McGrath's creative studio OK-RM. Patcharavipa officially launched her eponymous label in 2014, after graduating from the prestigious Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London, but with the most recent photographic series she really took it to the next level. Next to her role as a designer that holds her heritage in high esteem, the Thai-born Patcharavipa is also a certified gemologist, which make up the two core elements one finds in her sensual creations — beautifully juxtaposed with sculpted forms and the shapes of nature in the imagery of the campaign, creating a super exciting dialogue with Patcharavipa's pieces, resulting in a remarkable visual synthesis that continues to fascinate. [ Continue reading ]

Axel Arigato Gallery Stockholm

Last month, minimalistic Swedish fashion brand Axel Arigato opened their first gallery store in the heart of Stockholm, which in our eyes is among the most inspirational retail spaces out there. For the design of the space, the brand collaborated once more with acclaimed architect Christian Halleröd, who also designed the brand’s London SoHo flagship, that opened its doors last year. In the concept for the Axel Arigato Gallery the signature feel of Christian Halleröd industrial clean-cut designs is combined with the understated aesthetics of the brand through the creative direction of Max Svärdh. The space is left intentionally clean with few elements completely blown out of proportion, like for instance the 100-kg abstract oval display in plexiglass in the centre of the store, the yellow fur seats and the yellow illusion windows — resulting in the perfect platform for the products. The store carries the full range of men’s and women’s shoes, accessories and clothing as well as a selection of rare Japanese books, magazines and objects. In the future the store will also serve as a curated space with carefully selected brands, items and events.

Through the combination of the industrial framework of the building, the implementation of materials like plexiglass and the striking use of the color yellow, a beautiful contemporary hybrid space has risen that, without a doubt, will serve as Axel Arigato's perfect segway into greater things in the near future. [ Continue reading ]

MTO Ex­o­tique Col­lec­tion

Bonsoir Paris for Dior Homme

This week, we discovered another very inspirational set of creations that came to life in Paris, when it was presented by the brains behind it; renown creative studio Bonsoir Paris, who shared the extraordinary mod­u­lar trav­eling re­tail cases they have designed for the Dior Homme Made To Order Ex­o­tique Col­lec­tion 2016 two weeks ago on their website. Handcrafted exclusively from different types of exotic leather, the exquisite Dior Homme collection — a brainchild of creative director Kris van Assche — consists of jack­ets and ac­ces­sories, and needed a set of traveling cases that would preserve and protect the luxurious collection, while at the same time touch the same level of luxurious excellence and elegantly tease viewers with glimpses of the exclusive creations within. To create something that is safe, refined and has a teasing quality in its design, may sound like worlds apart — by moving into the futuristic aesthetic realm that reminds us of space travel, combined with playfully implementing storage and presentation elements, and maximally using the cosmetic elements of the sturdy materials in the most creative ways, Bonsoir Paris' work for Dior Homme is among some of the most inspirational we have seen in years.  [ Continue reading ]