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 ]
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 ]
...,staat for Cartier at De Bijenkorf in Amsterdam
With Joachim's decision to merge Atelier Joachim Baan with his frequently collaborator, creative design agency ...,staat, and myself taking a position at the newly formed Amsterdam-based cinema juggernaut New Amsterdam Film Company since the beginning of 2017, there very likely will be a significantly broader scope of projects we worked on that will be passing in review here. (Next to all the exciting exclusive Another Something projects that will take shape in the coming months, of course.) The first hugely exciting project (that Joachim worked on) comes from ...,staat, who just presented an extraordinary creation for French luxury house Société Cartier at their corner window at luxury department store De Bijenkorf. [ Continue reading ]
The new feature documentary by Yuri Ancarani
When we became familiar with the work of Italian visual artist and director Yuri Ancarani, it touched a special place of interests that brought together both our deeply rooted love for cinema and still aesthetics. His immaculate yet very poetic portraiture of whatever subject matter he chooses to focus on, marries content and form in a seldom seen way. Whether it are the marble quarries of Monte Bettogli, where Ancarani portrayed the conduction of the process, the iconic San Siro stadium in Milano or a robotic surgery department in function: as seen through his lens a new kind of beauty evolves out of the ordinary (or unordinary).
Last Thursday, we were lucky enough to have seen his latest feature length documentary named 'The Challenge' at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. The new project took Ancarani to the deserts of Qatar, where he both portrays the sport of falconry and the excessively rich who engage in it, without taking a stance, silently observing. Three years he explored this form of hunting in the field with his camera, which made it possible to capture the spirit of a tradition that today allows its practitioners to keep a close rapport with the desert, despite their predominantly urban lifestyle. The viewer's guide to how they cross that threshold is a falconer taking his birds to compete in a tournament. In the glaring light of an empty landscape, following flight lines and lures, the film recounts a strange kind of desert weekend, in which technological and anthropological microcosms hang in the air, like the falcon, drifting on the irreversible currents of images.
When in Amsterdam, don't miss this incredible work of art that will be shown at IDFA two more times: tonight and coming Saturday! [ Continue reading ]
In the words of Satisfy founder Brice Partouche; "running is like meditation," which might very well the best medicine to keep your mind in the right place at the moment. In that particular realm, the Nike x Undercover Gyakusou Holiday 2016 collection just dropped as part of the ongoing collaboration between Nike and Undercover's Jun Takahashi, that has entered its sixth year. Each Gyakusou collection builds upon the last, blending innovation with Takahashi’s creative punk spirit and athletic sensibilities. The new collection notably reflects Nike’s approach to transformative design, as select items are designed to reduce distraction by being easily packable. Since the very beginning, Takahashi made the Gyakusou color palette to blend well with both the urban and natural landscape using earthy colors and the traditional colors of Japan, this season also debuting some contrasting colors in the palette. Another first time is the fact that Takahashi features in the lookbook created for the new collection. Next to the photography, an impressive video was additionally produced, in which the Japanese visionary expresses his vision for what he has been aiming to create with Gyakusou in the last six years. Very impressive, if you would ask us. [ Continue reading ]
In the Summer of 2014 we discovered the inspirational work of Japanese designer Kouichi Okamoto and his Kyouei Design when he released his elegant 'Square Wind Bell'. This year Okamoto has returned with another remarkable project named 'Re-rain', which was presented to the world at the Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art. In his inspirational project the designer created a sound installation through which he aims to express non-visible elements such as gravity, magnetic force, and sound as physical elements. Created with the sound of rain recorded in Japan during the early days of 2016 as its soundtrack, 'Re-rain' is constructed out of a set of umbrellas placed on top of speakers. The vibrations of the sounds out of the speakers are transmitted through the umbrella to make a sound, but an umbrella cannot vibrate if the magnetic force of the speaker is too small or if the rain hitting the umbrella is either too high or too low in pitch. For this reason a device picking out a state in which the magnetic force of the speaker, weight of the umbrella, and pitch extent of sound are all in a perfectly balanced state forming this beautiful installation. [ Continue reading ]
Last week, on the 3th of February, one of our favorite brands period; Rapha, presented its elegant set of new (and returning) designs of its different collections of cycling wear for the upcoming Spring/Summer 2016 season, shot once again immaculately by regularly collaborating master Ben Ingham, who this time shared the work with another talented eye in the person of Emily Maye. Having expanded significantly since its foundation in 2004, today the whole offering consists of the Pro Team, Souplesse, Women’s, Core, Brevet, Classic and City collections, all defined by riding style and purpose. With this complete set, Rapha underlines its leading position in producing some of finest, aesthetically pleasing clothing available for every road rider - both men and woman - on any kind of journey. We love the beautiful new color palette, being bold without losing its classic appeal, combined with the signature tremendous lines and cuts perfected for the road, continuing the brand's position ahead of the pack. [ Continue reading ]
Brought to our attention last month by Nowness, we are smitten by the incredible photographic series and accompanying video named 'Blast' in which visionary photographer Jim Mangan has caught rally car driver Ken Block sublimely. In August 2013, Mangan asked his friend Block to demonstrate his skills at the wheel for a photo project. His idea was to photograph clouds of dust in mountainous southern Utah a rugged desert area he’d explored dozens of times while camping and mountain biking and the kind of arena where the photographer has proven to produce his most remarkable images. To achieve his vision of hybridizing landscape and machine, Mangan needed someone with the daring and a car with the power to wreak havoc on the remote landscape and send trailing puffs of dirt into the air. The two finally got together last year for several days of shooting in the valleys extending some 74 miles between Capitol Reef National Park and Goblin Valley, Utah. The results are incredible. [ Continue reading ]
We recently discovered the promising work of Dutch London College of Fashion graduate Sebastiaan Pieter. The designer, who set up his eponymous label after completing a BA in Bespoke Tailoring, has been creating collections for the last four seasons, being hailed as one of the exciting new names in menswear based in London. Combining sportswear elements with traditional high quality suiting, Pieter was picked up by the NEWGEN initiative, which granted him a sponsorship for his Spring/Summer 2016 collection and resulted in his biggest collection til date. Inspired by an Ellen von Unwerth editorial for The Face featuring several girls getting inked and pierced -from the time when Pieter first discovered the power of fashion(imagery) as a teenager- he subtly wove ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and contemporary tattoo and piercing culture into his (at times) gender-defying designs for the elegant fashion-forward man. We love this. [ Continue reading ]
We recently became familiar with Danzo Studio, being a new addition to the collection of Tico Oudhuis' KOHEZI platform. The company was founded in 2013 in Taipei, Taiwan by designers Wei-Lun Tseng, who graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven and I-Han Chen who finished her education in Sweden at HDK in Gothenburg. Starting up as an entrepreneurial design brand, the duo aspires to present superior design products to the world and with their five Landscape collection of aluminium alloy organizers they have created a set of designs marrying rugged beauty and pragmatism. The collection consists of diversified habitats specified for all tabletop gadgets and/or accessories. In the different designs function always follows form, with each box lid being outfitted with a particular terrain scene. The series contains five choices of terrains; each provides unique functions for various uses. [ Continue reading ]
Motivated by our visit to Unseen last weekend, we are ready to share a new truly extraordinary photography book (not seen at Unseen) which will be released officially at the end of next October. Inspired by the late-great cartoonist William Steig and his classic children's book; 'The Lonely Ones' - consisting of ligne claire drawings with smart captions by the author - photographer Gus Powell created his own 'The Lonely Ones' published by J&L Books: a series of remarkably beautiful color photographs of interiors and landscapes, inhabited by people, animals and inanimate characters. Every photograph is paired with a suggestive text by Powell - each of the 40 color photographs in the book hidden by a gate fold, on which is printed the single phrase. Every photograph is revealed individually behind its gate fold, resulting in one of the most elegant and living photography books which will be released in this year. [ Continue reading ]
We have been greatly appreciating the elegant work of Norwegian designer Lars Beller Fjetland in the last few years and on the 4th of September - during Maison Objet in Paris - the inspirational creator returns with the official presentation of his latest project, which is once again quite incredible. Named poetically the 'Moment', Beller Fjetland created his new work inspired by his childhood fascination with the flickering flame – being mesmerized by the rhythm of the burning light; the concept of time seemed to slowly dissolve. The 'Moment' candle extinguisher was created to revisit just this lost meditative watch with an added reminder of its impermanence. As the flame slowly makes its way towards the bottom of the candle, the suspense builds towards its split second finale. We love this new elegant and playful creation of Fjetland! [ Continue reading ]
We recently became familiar with a fascinating new brand named ODE TO A, which was started in London and currently is based in Amsterdam. The startup design label founded by designer Sabrina Kraus López and brand manager Noëlle Maxine Tierie, took form after the piloting project Made in Patacancha, where Sabrina travelled to Peru to learn from and work with the remote weaving community of Patacancha. With growing industrialisation, traditional crafts, particularly in rural communities, are at risk of disappearing, ODE TO A aims to collaborate with diverse artisan communities to create limited edition collections that will showcase practiced skills in sleek modern designs, creating a new aesthetic and value in traditional craft. We are particularly drawn to the incredible collection of six rugs which are released under the ODE TO A label. Commissioned by the the British Council in partnership with Anou, the collection is the result of over an one month period in which Sabrina Kraus López worked with six artisans from the Anou community to create the Common Thread, a highly appealing series of bespoke hand woven rugs. [ Continue reading ]
As the sun set over Northern Tasmania’s Tamar Valley in March of this year, the latest chapter of the Rapha Prestige rides, with the one of the yearly locations; Launceston, Australia, began. The group of riders gathered on the deck of the Barrel Room Restaurant at Velo Wines, where just a week prior the summit had unseasonably received its first snow of the year. The brutality of the Tasmanian landscape and climate would be a defining feature of the riding weekend, making it one of the more demanding rides of the series. This particular yearly Prestige ride was hosted by the earlier mentioned Velo Wines, a winery owned and managed by Michael and Mary Wilson. For those unfamiliar, Michael rode alongside former champions such as Lemond, Hinault and Fignon, and more than held his own, winning stages of the Giro and Vuelta. Not content with merely hosting and crafting the route for the Prestige, Michael had also reignited his training and formed a team to participate. The result of it all is another incredible ride caught beautifully in photographs and video, forming a tremendous new Prestige chapter [ Continue reading ]
We've been following the inspirational United Kingdom-based travel platform Sidetracked Magazine for quite a while now - being a consistent source of incredible photography-driven, heart-felt travel stories from beautiful offbeat locales since it was founded in 2011 by John Summerton. One of the Sidetracked travel stories we are particularly drawn to was released in October of last year, taking us to the mountains of Central-Asian country Kyrgyzstan, named 'Tyndýk' - referring to the name of the opening in the roof of a traditional yurt where the smoke from the fire escapes, which is a highly regarded Kyrgyz symbol for nomandism. In the inspirational, slow-paced, highly aesthetic film - against the current trends in online video productions, German filmmaker Franz Walter follows mountaineer Ines Papert, who after a failed attempt in 2010 returns to Mount Kyzyl Asker for another attempt to ascent the southeast face one year later, joined by her 11-year-old son Emanuel, who went as far as base-camp. The result is a stunning film of a tremendous journey. [ Continue reading ]
A little under two weeks ago, the impressive next-generation smartwatch brand Vector Watch officially launched for the public in what other city then Basel - where at that moment Baselworld took place. With an aim to provide a more personalized and intuitive experience on a smartwatch device, the Vector brand is supported by a strong team of developers as well as the ex CEO of Timex Joe Santana, ex Nike Designer Steve Jarvis and Vector CTO Andrei Pitis. The launch event took place in the beautiful surroundings of the Gare du Nord venue - the old train station for Basel - a fitting location for a product that looks to meld traditional watch design with intuitive technology. With the vast amount of information and notifications we receive on our connected devices now a days, the London-based brand has developed the smartwatch device to simplify day-to-day activities and routines to give users the power to choose what they wish to focus on. Introduced as a stylish and desirable piece of jewelry rather than a gadget, the Vector smartwatch looks to fill the gap in the market left by fashion-focused smartwatches lacking technological innovation, and technology-orientated wearables. [ Continue reading ]
During his travels as a young man, the Spanish master architect Ricardo Bofill first encountered the major cement factory outside of Barcelona. An industrial complex from the turn of the century consisting of over 30 silos, subterranean galleries and huge machine rooms. After it got disused, Bofill bought the whole premises in 1973 and decided to transform it into the head office of his firm Taller de Arquitectura. Remodelling work lasted two years. The factory, abandoned and partially in ruins, was a compendium of surrealist elements: stairs that climbed up to nowhere, mighty reinforced concrete structures that sustained nothing, pieces of iron hanging in the air, huge empty spaces filled nonetheless with magic. Last Summer the Spanish filmmaker Albert Moya caught the magical place for Nowness on film in a perfect manner, making us want to visit Bofill's visionary work of architecture and interior design over and over again. [ Continue reading ]
Recently we became familiar with the inspirational new publication named The Collective Quarterly, a travel and design magazine resolving around the concept of discovery. Each issue will spotlight a single geographic location, focusing on the artisans, music, food, and natural wonders that make it special. The debut issue kicked in the door focussing on the famous Texan town of Marfa, illustrating a discourse around it through tales of Texas-style justice, a couple who makes boots by hand, a lost Mexican pueblo and other fascinating subjects bound to the location. Their latest beautiful issue Absaroka, which was released at the beginning of this year, is named after a region of Montana that once considered becoming its own state, and features a bevy of local characters and makers, including a company that supplies bags to US special forces, Blackfeet Indians who make their living on the backs of bucking horses, and for instance a man who has spent the past few decades following the movements of grizzly bears, amongst more inspirational stories, which make the magazines a perfect elegant vehicle for armchair travel. Keep an eye out on this fascinating project. [ Continue reading ]
After yesterday's feature we continue to stay in the fascinating Carrara area, with its marble quarries where men and machines dig the mountains, this time moving to Monte Bettogli. Last year in October, Nowness shared this excerpt of the highly inspirational documentary “Il Capo” (The Chief) by the italian visionary Yuri Ancarani. It continues to be one of the best things we've seen in a long time, portraying a maestro quarry manager at work. The extraordinary craftsmen coordinates or even conducts his quarrymen and heavy-duty machines, using a language consisting solely of gestures and signs. Conducting his dangerous and sublime orchestra against the backdrop of the almost surreal landscapes and peaks of the Apuane Alps, The Chief works in total noise, which create a paradoxical silence. The result is an utmost poetic video, finding extraordinary beauty in an extraordinary craft. [ Continue reading ]
We are very inspired by LTAF ORIGIN. A design and craft research project by Jorinde Meline Barke, creator of label J-M-B JEWELRY, and Frank Michels, co-initiator at the great Berlin-based industrial design studio GECKELER MICHELS. The outcome of the project is a set of four different jewelry pieces implemented in an ancient indian lost-wax casting technique called Dhokra. During preliminary research, anthropological literature led to Dr. Jaidev Baghels’ workshop in Kondagaon — in the city of Chhattisgarh, India — a renowned hotspot for Dhokra. The jewelry pieces were crafted on site under Frank Michels' assistance with both primitive and thoroughly fascinating means. Dr. Jaidev Baghels’ son Buphendra Baghel played a decisive role with leading the making and his team of skilled workers. The seemingly simple process turned out to be a complex and almost alchemistic affair, reminiscent of the Bronze Age’s enormous power of technical and social revolution. Into operation came materials such as sulfur yellow beeswax and black industrial paraffin way, river bed mudd, cow dung and earth from termite’s nests. Remains from used brass vessels were being recycled, and two hens were sacrificed in order to arouse a succesful casting operation. [ Continue reading ]
Recently we were introduced to an extraordinary new premium members-only webstore named Dymant. The initiative brings together beauty and utility, tradition and innovation, know-how and design, heritage and future. Each creation is made following the idea of 'temps juste': the time needed to achieve perfection. As a result, every object offered requires many hours of patient and precise work, which can't be rushed. Everything one finds in the elegant Dymant environment is the product of passion and the expertise of gesture mastered by talented craftsmen such as a cabinetmaker, a jeweler, engraver, lace-maker, glass blower. All limited-edition creations, combining traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design. On top of that, the fine products are reserved for Dymant’s private club members only, which are introduced by invitation only. When you become a member, you can welcome five persons to the club, making it potentially the perfect destination for incredible products, just for you and your personal circle. [ Continue reading ]
Due to busy schedules on both ends, the collaboration between Our Current Obsessions and the very talented Ramon Haindl was realized only two days before the opening on Friday the 5th of September. On that grey Wednesday we got in the car at the end the of morning in Utrecht and drove to Ramon’s hometown Frankfurt, with the GERTRUD & GEORGE Overnighter which just had arrived a day earlier in the trunk, filling in the only shared gap in our agendas to get together. Ramon had been working early and long hours in Stuttgart the days before, and arrived back in Frankfurt only a few moments before we got there, which didn’t temper his or our enthusiasm to make it happen, no matter what was needed. The piece created by Ramon exemplifies his unpolished collage/mixed media approach in his free work, which we particularly love and special features his young dog Vila. The key inspiration for the piece lays in Ramon’s observation of a sharp parallel between the dog’s fur and the grain of the Buffalo leather used by GERTRUD & GEORGE, which he caught beautifully in this collage of analogue and digital photography plus handwritten text. [ Continue reading ]
We love elegant design which is boiled down to its core and the Square Wind Bell by the very talented Kouichi Okamoto of Kyouei Design inhabits everything of those elements. The designer, who first gained attention in the world of music at the end of last century and since stretched his spectrum of output significantly, created the minimum wind chime from metal and glass, utilizing the properties inherent in each of the resources used to produce sound. The Square Wind Bell is created out of two iron lower-outs covered in trivalent chrome plating, which are united to every single other by a basic slit in each and every corner, forming a mixed geometry that teeters on the edge of a consuming glass. As one plate catches the wind, the other acts as a excess weight, striking the transparent volume repeatedly and resounding with the action of the wind. Highly sophisticated and elegant. [ Continue reading ]
We love this beautiful and insightful film by London-based director William Williamson for DAZED named 'The Silent Conversation'. The aesthetic and gripping short looks into the relation between the people of Lahore, Pakistan, and everyday fashion. As well as visualising the feel of garments and textiles and the importance of clothes-making in Pakistan, the film explores how clothing fits into Pakistan’s strong traditions; traditions that are also being broken. In a country where people are standing up more and more against harsh social mores that ask for countless restrictions, fashion becomes more than a means to dress up and look nice. As shown through the examples of female police women and transvestites in the film, fashion is used as a tool to express authority, individuality and boldness, which is tremendously captured by Williamson, who also created a tremendous soundtrack for the imagery. [ Continue reading ]