Myrza de Muynck, Central Saint Martins MA, 2011
Myrza de Muynck is a Dutch designer who graduated from the MA Fashion programme at Central Saint Martins London. Myrza de Muynck is based in London and was chosen as Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s One’s to Watch AW12-13. This enabled Muynck to have both a catwalk show and an exhibition space at the organisation’s prestigious Covent Garden venue of Freemasons’ Hall and also to be part of their Paris showroom. Her work has been featured in many magazine’s and blogs such as Vouge, Elle, Wallpaper, ID-online and POP magazine.
”Elsewhere, it was the very clever overhaul of a classic shell suit that caught our eye” – Says Myrza De Muynck. The womenswear designer added floral beading just beneath its knees and on to its blouson jackets – which came in pink, azure, lemon and plaid – to transform the humble sportswear attire like we’ve never seen. You could imagine wearing these and what’s more you could imagine wanting to – “striking the balance as they did between elegant, cool and casual’.’
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Valerio Spada, From the Book, Gomorrah Girl, 2011
Valerio Spada’s self-published photo book Gomorrah Girl, the grand prize winner of 4th annual Blurb Photography Book Now Competition. The book explores the murder of Naples resident Annalisa Durante, a young woman caught in the crossfire of violence in “the land of Camorrah,” (the name for the Mafia in Naples). It is an artfully made documentary about adolescence in one of the most dangerous places in Italy to grow up.
“Gomorrah Girl shows the problems of becoming a woman in a dangerous, crime-ridden area,” says Spada, who studied in Milan and has worked as a fashion photographer. “At age 9 they make themselves up as TV personalities and dream of becoming one of them. At age 13 or 14 they often become mothers, skipping the adolescence which is lived fully everywhere else in Italy.”
The story comes together in the books innovative design—Spada’s own documentary photographs, along with a smaller book of photographs detailing the police investigation, are bound together. Captions offer details into the personal tragedies suffered by the subjects alongside stone-cold factual information provided by police evidence.
“As each page unfolds, the viewer is challenged by layers of meaning,” Says Larissa Leclair, a photography curator/writer and a judge in this year’s contest.
Spada wanted to take pictures of the original murder evidence, but the Italian police denied him permission. Handing over photographs of the crime scenes, “the police told me, ‘If you want, you can take pictures of the pictures.’ I remember I was depressed, thinking, ‘I cannot get what I want,’” says Spada, “But I shot every single page. And while I was shooting, all was clear once again. This had to be a book within a book.”
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Thomas Tait Spring Summer 2016
Thomas Tait’s show this afternoon was one of those odd outings that don’t seem at first to be up to much, but then accrue in force as the looks accumulate. The impact of Tait’s latest collection generated from the ways the clothes forced your engagement, whether via the play of light on assertive, multicolor crystal embellishment, or the sound made by the jewelry that dangled off of certain pieces, jangling like cat bells. The most intriguing of Tait’s stratagems to command your attention were the porthole-like openings that decorated all manner of his garments—they were like little windows for Peeping Toms to peer through, and the more Tait reiterated the motif, the more you keyed into the collection’s compelling voyeuristic tone. Tait intended that reaction: As he explained backstage after the show, he wanted these clothes to create a sense of “awkward intimacy.” Job done.
Others of Tait’s engaging effects were more subtle. He was playing quite a lot with texture here, notably in his ribbed knits and his terrific jeans, with their patches of super-shiny black patent leather; other looks pulled you in with their wabi-sabi appeal, like the frayed quilted jacket and coat, or a leather A-line skirt made from antique calfskin. Tait also used the skin in his strangest look, a heavy jumpsuit featuring a monumental pattern and exaggerated perforation down the sides. The piece was interesting on its own, but something of an outlier in the context of the rest of the show, which emphasized rather accessible silhouettes. Tait’s stovepipe skinny knit flares, for instance, ought to excite widespread demand. Ditto his ribbed knits, and the cuffed jeans and denim jacket. If Tait’s goal was to create intimacy, he nailed it in those most straightforward looks: The best way to be intimate with clothes, after all, is by wearing them.
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Pilvi Takala, Welcome to Deloitte, Letter and Key Card, The Trainee, 2008
Takala typically trespasses in smaller microcosms, using herself or hired actors and a hidden camera to document a single, subtle act of transgression of established social conduct. In doing so, she unsettles the unspoken rules of these ambiguous societies. Takala, with her unassuming but stubborn demeanour, has just the right tenor of awkward tension and implicit danger. When watching her videos, it’s easy to forget that she is not breaking any specific rules. Like artists such as Sophie Calle, Adrian Piper or Andrea Fraser before her, she tests the boundaries of how threatening or non-threatening a young female artist violating social codes can be.
For Bag Lady (2006), Takala spent several days browsing in a Berlin shopping mall while carrying a clear plastic bag filled with wads of euro notes. While this obvious display of wealth should have made her the ‘perfect customer’, instead she only aroused suspicion from security guards and disdain from shopkeepers. Others urged her to accept a more discreet bag for her money.
Takala also brushed up against the unwritten laws of capitalism in The Trainee (2008), for which she procured a job as a trainee in the marketing department at Deloitte in Helsinki. In her documentation of this month-long performance, Takala sits motionless, like a modern-day Bartleby, at an empty desk. When co-workers attempt to make polite conversation, she replies that she’s ‘doing a bit of brain-work’ or ‘working on my thesis’. But a string of increasingly urgent inter-office emails she obtained shows what they really thought of the new trainee with ‘very short hair’: ‘Obviously she has some sort of mental problem.’ We see how disarmed her colleagues are by her refusal to conform to the rules of the corporate workplace. But we also see how difficult it is for them to break out of their own habits to openly confront her. One video documents an entire day Takala spent going up and down in the office lift. ‘You’re thinking again?’, asks a bemused businessman after his second encounter with the artist. ‘It helps me to see things from a different perspective,’ she explains.
In all these interventions, Takala’s attempt to ‘see things from a different perspective’ emerges as a metaphor for art making, and the suspicion and trepidation with which it’s often regarded in the culture at large. The loneliness that Takala herself likely experiences as an itinerant artist is captured most poignantly inWallflower (2006), which she filmed in a traditional Finnish dancing club. Though the clubs are mostly popular with elderly couples, Takala arrived, unaccompanied, in a rippling floor-length ballroom gown. She sits alone all night until, finally, an old man asks her to dance, and leads her gracefully across the otherwise empty dance floor. Takala’s performance demonstrates how even the most modest or minor infraction can begin to make small, visible cracks in the ice of the social order.
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Wade Guyton, Untitled, 2007
It’s amazing that you can become one of the leading artists of your generation by messing with the limits of a home-office printer. That’s what 37-year-old artist Wade Guyton has managed to do ink-wise in the past decade.
Going from paper to linen, running, or rather, pulling, gigantic swathes of fabric through the ink-jet printer while it reads from a computer file, Guyton lets the printer cause the aberrations and pattern glitches that run across his muddy canvas.
Over the past decade, New York–based artist Wade Guyton (b. 1972) has pioneered a groundbreaking body of work that explores our changing relationships to images and artworks through the use of common digital technologies, such as the desktop computer, scanner, and inkjet printer. Guyton’s purposeful misuse of these tools to make paintings and drawings results in beautiful accidents that relate to daily lives now punctuated by misprinted photos and blurred images on our phone and computer screens. Comprising more than eighty works dating from 1999 to the present, Guyton’s first midcareer survey features a dramatic, non-chronological design in which staggered rows of parallel walls confront the viewer like the layered pages of a book or stacked windows on a monitor. The exhibition includes paintings, drawings, photography, and sculpture, and concludes with two spectacular new canvases, stretching up to fifty feet in length, which Guyton created specifically for the Whitney’s Marcel Breuer–designed building. The title, Wade Guyton OS employs the common acronym for a computer’s “operating system,” linking Guyton’s art to the technologies of our time.
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