ART/THE COLLECTOR/MARTIN PARR
Osama Bin Laden toilet paper, Abba soap, Margaret Thatcher plates and Saddam Hussein wristwatches are set alongside the luxury lifestyles of the rich and wannabe famous in a new exhibition by Martin Parr. Not a moralistic tour, the collecting habits of the Magnum photographer is the link that bridges the gap. (cover)
PORTFOLIO/A CITY ON STEROIDS/TEUN VOETEN
The biggest, the most expensive, the complete over-the-topness of Dubai can make this location seem an artificial seven-star dream where Rod Stewart rules supreme. But aside from the luxury, is there such a thing as a Dubai underbelly? (1)
DESIGN/HANDS & MINDS/JUDITH VAN DEN BOOM
Dutch designer Judith van den Boom took a journey outside her comfort zone for her working trips in China. Wanting to experience the country’s ceramics first hand, she immersed herself in the culture that fuels the industry. Committed to social engagement and with a passion for the local, the results are neither design tourism nor cultural copy-paste. (2)
ARCHITECTURE/A FOREIGN BODY/DIDIER FAUSTINO
The artistic-architectural language of Didier Faustino is being spoken at several exhibitions throughout the summer. With a politically engaged approach, this is a Frenchman who occupies an indistinct space and finds a certain freedom in being consigned to the expanses of the experimental box. (3)
ART/SPIRITED EPISODES/PHYLLIS GALEMBO
The rituals and costumes of Africa have provided photographer Phyllis Galembo with a rich source material for over 20 years. Powerful and consuming images, the mesmerising quality recognises the significance of such cultural material in understanding the human experience. (4)
DESIGN/GOOD COMPANY/ AAMU SONG & JOHAN OLIN
Under the name Company, the work of Song & Olin takes in everything from fashion, furniture, graphic and environmental design. At first smile-teasers, their designs can also express emotions that are sad, bad and sometimes tinged with a wry romanticism. (6)
PHOTOGRAPHY/ BACK TO ARLES/CHRISTIAN LACROIX
Despite being the first fashion designer to curate the Recontres d’Arles, don’t expect a glossy surf about hype. The photography festival in Lacroix’s hometown of Arles is a real celebration of the art form, and Lacroix’s selection is based on the work of photographers who have moved him. (5)
DESIGN/TORTONA TAKEAWAY/CHAUHAN STUDIO
Tej and Sach Chauhan munched their way through pizzas as they showed their homegrown wares in takeaway fashion at Milan’s Zona Tortona. Just because you can afford it, doesn’t mean it has to look shit, is one of their refreshing design philosophies.
ART/COURTLY GESTURES/YANNICK POULIOT
Having taken a two-year hiatus to learn carpentry skills, Quebec artist Yannick Pouliot’s recent show in Montreal was like the trippy imaginings of Marion Antoinette. But these illusions of luxury were fragile constructions and ones that were as disturbing as they were delicious. (7)
PORTFOLIO/REAL-LIFE DRAMA/NICOLAS DESCOTTES
French photographer and video maker Nicolas Descottes subtly mingles reality and fiction in his works. From burnout vehicles and craft in ‘catastrophe centres’ to sea-facing men in Odessa, his images suggest that to understand reality, recourse to fiction is a necessary option. (12)
EATING DESIGN/CHIC SHIT/MARIE VOGELZANG
Not a stylist of food design, Marie Vogelzang describes the work she does with her company Proef as eating design. And although it is based on an interest in the social and cultural implications of food, reheated dogma is certainly not on the menu but woollen sausages are. (9)
DESIGN/PUPPET POWER/ADI MAROM
Want to liven up the US presidential race? Ever wondered what McCain, Clinton and Obama would look like in a three-way sumo fight? Live out your private (and public) political fantasies with FoldUScandidate, a high/low-tech project that enables you to create your own finger-puppet versions of potential leaders. (8)
GLOBAL ISSUES/LITTLE RED ROOSTER/COCKFIGHTING
Regardless of its legal status, cockfighting is the kind of activity that most people would run away from. But in the Philippines the practice is legal and for some of the residents of Manila’s Tondo district provides a feathered catharsis to the poverty that bounces off the walls of their everyday lives.
DESIGN/THE OTHER STORIES/YVES BÉHAR
With a new model for the One Laptop Per Child project, Yves Béhar once again is fusing technology and design with a firm eye fixed on relevance. But this isn’t the only project that embodies his idea that the creative discipline of design is not a luxurious surface exercise: condom dispensers and cycle helmets also feature in the master plan. (10)
ARCHITECTURE/THE OUTSIDERS/DILLER SCOFIDIO + RENFRO
With several new and ongoing schemes, the work of Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio and Charles Renfro uses art and performance as one of the ways in which they jointly explore architecture culture. What is the ‘oxygen of ideas’ that informs projects that you can eat or drink? (11)
PORTFOLIO/TO DIE FOR/JOSÉ L FERNANDES
The jazz funeral scene of Live and Let Die was one of Roger Moore’s finest Bond moments, aside from the eyebrow twitching. But like many things in New Orleans the tradition originates in Africa and is a powerful procession of mourning, remembering and celebration. (13)
DESIGN/A WORLD AGLOW/HIGH VISIBILITY
Janice Turner and Tom Mower have been developing new ideas around the methodology and design of fluorescent workwear. In a world where perceptions of fear and safety have become divorced from reality, will high visibility lose its power to stand out in a crowd?
ART/WISH YOU WERE HERE/MISS ROCKAWAY ARMADA
Summers spent drifting down the Mississippi River on a flotilla of rafts crafted from salvaged materials set the scene for the collective output of the members of the Miss Rockaway Armada. United and individual, its latest project at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is a land-locked but not dry experience. (14)
The Moleskine notebook is a trusty creative tool that is wrapped up in such modern artistic romantics that just holding it can give you literary pretensions. In the Moleskine’s Detour exhibition contemporary artists/designers/architects/writers have been given the opportunity to customise its creative potential.
With a name that could be a supporting act for Spinal Tap, the combined work of Shay Alkalay and Yael Mael is a dialogue between raw materials and attitude. With a new design for Established & Sons and an upcoming exhibition in Paris, their design language leaves plenty of room for humour. (15)
DESIGN/SEEING & BELIEVING/PAUL COCKSEDGE
British designer Paul Cocksedge revelled in reactions to his creation for this year’s Swarovksi Crystal Palace in Milan – not basking in self-glory mind, he genuinely is inspired by the responses he provokes. Thoughtful, spontaneous and inviting, his projects are full of secrets that require more than a second or third glance. (16)
Lord have mercy, this year’s Salone del Mobile and related events has provided DAMn° with enough products/projects/people to keep us going for a few issues. Was it a vintage year? Who knows or cares? Ideas are always there to be found.