Turner prize winning artist Anthea Hamilton has transformed Tate Britain with her latest instillation which, as well as 7,00 white floor tiles, includes seven costumes designed in collaboration with Loewe by Creative Director Jonathan Anderson. The show, called The Squash, is the latest annual Tate Britain Commission which asks contemporary British artists to create new work in response to the building’s grand space. Anthea Hamilton has transformed the heart of Tate Britain into an elaborate stage in which she has placed a solo performer in a squash-like costume at the heart of the Duveen. Every day for six months, a performer will select a costume from a rack of seven created by Loewe and explore the space. Each element of this bold and immersive installation is partially informed by Hamilton’s interest in found photographs, where the original source has been lost, but here, Hamilton re-purposes them, inviting the performer to explore their own interpretation of the image. Performers select their costume of choice, depending on the image and their chosen interpretation. Gallery director Alex Farquharson said: “Anthea Hamilton has made a unique contribution to British and international art with her visually playful works that both provoke and delight. This compelling commission demonstrates her ability to seamlessly weave together captivating images and narratives, creating rich new environments in which to encounter works of art.”
Anthea Hamilton – The Squash 22nd March – 7th October Millbank London SW1P 4RG
Fashion Image Maker Nick Knight Discusses the future of the fashion image, including discussions on the end of the catwalk show and the death of the printed fashion magazine as well as touching on the subject of sexual predators within the industry and the sexualisation of the fashion image. The discussion took place with Imran Amed, founder of Business of Fashion.
I have always been a big fan of Nick Knight. I have followed his work since coming across his images in the early 90’s, working with publications such as The Face, I-D and Arena. I was an early adopter of ShowStudio, which I followed almost from day one when it was just, what we would see now, a blog in 2000. In this discussion with Imran Amed, founder of Business of Fashion, Nick talks about the sweeping changes taking place within the fashion industry and particularly with how we view collections and the death of the fashion show & fashion magazines.
There is a lot in this podcast that I disagree with what Nick is saying. He questions whether the best way to show collections is through fashion film and not the catwalk or the fashion press. I agree fashion film can certainly add a dimension to a collection but I do believe that the designer feels the need to get across more than the structure of the clothing when putting forward a collection. That the image plays an integral part to putting forward an ethos of what the designer feels that season and how that can be portrayed to the audience.
Nick believes there is a resistance to change within the industry, brought about due to turmoil within the world, whether that be the Brexit vote or Trump being elected. But for me fashion has always been an outsider, and has always been at the forefront of expressing its anger at how the world can be. The fashion industry is not resisting change because it refuses to acknowledge fashion film is the only way it should be showing its collections. Yes, the way the world can now view collections has changed, especially though live streams and social media, but the narrative still remains the same – The designer has a story to tell that surrounds his collection, fashion film will only tell a part of that story. Editorial pieces, photography and catwalk shows will help tell the rest.
Nick also talks of the death of magazines. How he has spoken to editors at top fashion magazines who all believe the format is dead. Magazine sales have been dropping, and yet more and more very good titles are appearing on our magazine shelves. The mainstream fashion press may well be dying but there is a beautiful resurgence in publications producing fantastic photography and thoroughly thought out editorial pieces. A few of these publications even started as internet sites and moved into publication, BOF being a fine example. Nick mentions how magazines are not particularly nice objects, and asked why you would want to carry one around.
Another striking thing was the notion that in the 60’s & 70’s a photographer would be given 2 weeks by a magazine to produce 10 shots for an editorial piece, they would have the freedom to be more articulate in the images they chose to shoot, and now a photographer would only get 2-3 days and therefor not be able to produce something with as much merit. This really bothered me coming from somebody like Nick Knight, a photographer who in his early days produced some fantastic images for magazines that had no budgets, this didn’t, and doesn’t, stop people from being as creative as they could be. Also getting a shoot together in the 1960’s would have been so much harder than doing it today without emails, phones etc. The logistics are far easier now.
Although it may not appear to be the case, but I am still a huge fan of Nick knight and he is certainly somebody who is really pushing things forward in the industry and always has been, but something about this discussion bothered me a little – I think it was just the dismissive way he discusses print and the catwalk without really thinking about the bigger picture of what a designer wishes to come across each season.
Kris Van Assche, Creatieve Director of Dior Homme for the past 11 years, is leaving the post. The Belgian menswear designer, according to WWD, is set to remain within the LVMH conglomerate in a new role. Van Assche’s departure from Dior coincides with the appointment of Pietro Beccari, the former chief executive of Fendi, as CEO of Dior.
After moving to Paris in 1998, Kris almost immediately began his tenure with Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Homme as first assistant with Hedi Slimane. He then followed Hedi over to Dior Homme were Hedi took the brand to new levels and reimagining menswear for a whole new generation to come. Kris took over the position in 2007 and has continued to move the brand forward with his often minimalist colour palette and urban streetwear references. Van Assche recently worked along side photographer David Sims for the latest Dior Homme campaign which included artists such as The Pet Shop Boys, Boy George and Depeche Mode lead singer David Gahan.
It has been confirmed that Kris is set to be replaced by former mens style director at Louis Vuitton, Kim Jones.
Digital Artist Mike Lee is set to open his first solo exhibition today at the Arsham/Fieg gallery New York. After a successful international debut in a group show with the Amala Gallery in Tokyo last November, Mike Lee is set to bring his Digital Figures, which appear to levitate within a void, to the New York Gallery. An art series that revolves around an exploration of the female figure, Mike Lee’s “Besties” exhibit emphasises equality, social change and female empowerment. “In light of all women coming together to speak out, it’s about time their voices are being heard loud and clear,” reads a statement form Lee. “Besties” will be comprised of 5 new oil paintings that are continuing on the artist’s exploration of light and shadow through portrayal of his bubbly featureless characters, this time with accent on portraying female figures. These more complex works are an introduction of sorts to his newest body of work that he will be revealing later this month with Over The Influence gallery during Art Basel week in Hong Kong.
Mike Lee – “Besties” Arsham/Fieg Gallery, 337 Lafayette St, NY, 10012
Design Museum: Your phrase “less but better” was initially read as an endorsement for purity in design. But it has been adopted as an environmental message about reduction and sustainability. What does the global community need to do to address that secondary message?
Dieter Rams: We live today with a lot of chaos, and designers should concentrate on helping to lighten the chaos, including the noise. Nobody notices any more that we’re living with a lot of noise. We don’t register the chaos; sometimes, yes, when we are in the middle of traffic or running late, we discover that everything is chaotic around us. It’s London, it’s Frankfurt it’s Berlin—it’s what Corbusier used to say about New York in the ’30s: It’s a “wonderful catastrophe”. Now all our cities around the world are wonderful catastrophes. We have to think much more about what we really need: how often we need things and how many we need. If we want to stay on this planet 50 years from now then we have to take that more seriously.
Design Museum: For many people the chaos in the environment is mirrored in their own personal spaces, in the jumble of belongings. Is clutter ever a positive thing?
Dieter Rams: In your personal surroundings there should be places where you have some disorder, so that you find the other places that are in order. Order with disorder—the contrast—can be sometimes fascinating. You have to have the difference; otherwise, you forget the feeling for order, for the necessary things.
Read Dieter Rams Ten Principles for Good Design