HYERES ARE THE DESIGNERS

April 30th, 2011

Below our office window in the mythical Villa Noailles, people sprawl in the gardens, visit exhibits and discover new designers and photographers. Creative stimulation everywhere. The yearly invasion of Hyères, a sleepy town in the Côte d’Azur, is at its peak, with this micro-festival gaining even more attention by the international press.

On the secluded terrasse in front of us, Raf Simons, the President of this year’s jury, sits in the shade of an umbrella having conversations with numerous journalists, while simultaneously the crowds gather and mingle: headhunters, designers, buyers…
Christopher Kane is here, teamed up with Carla Sozzani of Vogue Italia, Jack and Lazaro of Proenza Schouler came in from NY to have a look at the 10 designers’ work.

Its Hyères-storic.

All Photographs by René Habermacher

ODA_PAUSMA_rene_habermacher

ODA PAUSMA
Netherlands

“It’s very much about contrast: My work is always focused around the vulnerability of women. I play with it, I try to hide it or extend, to show it or protect it. This collection is really about my most vulnerable moment because I ended love after nine years of relationship. I thought I should speak about this in my own language which is fashion. In the beginning it was all black. But later on in the process I was getting better and was seeing the good things about my situation:

Life goes on and there is so much in the world, so I said to myself don’t worry so much! The world is sad enough, so bring some light!

So I brought that into the collection by using white and Swarovski elements and my favorite materials silks and leathers, to work the contrast between fluidity and the protective. The silhouette is very tall from the waist on, so it looks a little surreal and dramatic.”

“The last thing that stimulated me was just my surroundings I guess. I am having a lot of fun lately and I am really enjoying this festival: it gives me energy and I want to move on and work and do something with this feeling of being selected and being a little proud to be so. It’s a good feeling, so why not do something with it.”

www.odapausma.com

Juliette_Alleaume_Marie_Vial_HYERES

JULIETTE ALLEAUME & MARIE VIAL
France

“We always help each other on our own collections, but this is our first official collaboration.

We met in high school while studying for our baccalaureate in applied arts. After that we pursued fashion design in different schools–I was at Duperre and Juliette was at Chardon Savard. We lived one year apart and then moved in together in order work together. In fact, the collection that we are presenting in Hyères, is a collection that we made during the time that we shared an apartment.

As for the collection…our starting point was a scarecrow. Using the image of the scarecrow we started to explore the feminine silhouette. Eventually we turned this silhouette upside-down and reworked all of the different facets of it. We were also inspired by cubism so, in the collection, there is the idea of a double body–like one body superimposed on another. For example the shoulders have large proportions and are backwards, the skirts are divided in two and are skewed –so all of the body parts are somehow decontextualized. And we see the real body underneath or in the back, usually highlighted with bright colors. All of this creates disproportional, unhinged silhouettes. Plus, the wooden shoes for the collection create a strange walk”.

“The last thing that stimulated us — Well…the festival! And getting the chance to show our first collaboration. Since we were at different schools, we never had the chance to realize a project together and it is the energy of our duo that motivated us”.

www.artifactcollection.tumblr.com

MADS_DINESEN_HYERES_habermacher

MADS DINESEN
Denmark

“I try to make a spirit army with no nations and no faces. My collection is a lot about shame and pride and the feeling of guilt.

It’s also about how to use the past in the present and the future and learn from it. This is my graduation collection. At the university in Berlin we do one each semester but this is the biggest one and the first with so many pieces. Though it’s a men’s collection, I showed it on women as well in the past.”

“The last thing that stimulated me was the film HOLY MOUNTAIN. That’s one of my favorite films. But right now I am looking a lot at Easter bunnies because I saw DONNIE DARKO. I use a lot of film and music in my work and literature.

Holy Mountain was part of the inspiration for this collection but mostly the colonial history of my home country Denmark. Because when I moved to Germany I found out I didn’t know anything about it, so the research for the collection started in Iceland. I went for a residency to Reykjavik and collected pieces of each culture that was under Denmark. It’s more like a typology of cultural pieces that I tried to put together.”

www.madsdinesen.com

LEA_PECKRE_HYERES_habermacher

LEA PECKRE
France

“The collection that I am presenting is the collection that I presented for my graduation at Lacambre last year. It’s called CEMETERIES ARE FIELDS OF FLOWERS. I am using a lot elements from cemeteries that interest me like wood, tombstones, mausoleums, bouquets of flowers, the contrast between wrought iron structures and the landscape. These elements, reworked in the materials used for the collection, provided me with really organic shapes–somewhat like trees that climb stones in the cemetery for example. There is a lot of embroidery in the collection as well.

Here in Hyères the defilés are much more structured then at Lacambre. But actually, my show at Lacambre was one of the more simple, subdued shows, so the Hyères show fits really well for me. I like when it is rather simple.”

“The last thing that stimulated me last: I want to finish my collection for Hyères! I am developing new pieces reworking some of the existing pieces and I think it will add a lot to the collection and that it will be better.”

www.leapeckre.tumblr.com
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I COULD BE YOURS ! jean-paul lespagnard

April 29th, 2011

In a joint interview with Caroline Daily, we talk with Yelle collaborator and 2008 Hyères winner Jean-Paul Lespagnard about his first Paris Fashion Week presentation…

I Could Be Yours - Fall/Winter 2011/12 presentation, filmed by Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher.

Antoine Asseraf: Did your presentation go well this week?

Jean-Paul Lespagnard: It went really well. The feedback is really good.  It was very difficult to organize, obviously, but as I always say “we learn from our mistakes”. ha ha. In the beginning I wanted to do something simple and small and in the end, I found myself doing 7 shows in one day! My assistants tell me all the time that when I tell them something, I think that it is really simple, when in fact it isn’t. So when I tell them that we are going to do something difficult, but that we will succeed, they know that it is going to be a mountain of work! But really really happy with how everything went. The people from the press are really enthusiastic. The people that came by the showroom are very enthusiastic too. I had some buyers–one from a boutique in NY, one from a boutique in Hong Kong, among others.

Was it complicated to plan?

It was a personal choice to put myself in the “off” on presentations by appointment. And i think that I will continue to do that. Because, this idea of doing 6 shows in one day was difficult and I launched myself into a crazy adventure, but I really want to do it again. I think its great because people can come whenever they want to. There is something that I like about not having chairs, it was standing only. I think that the next time, what I could do is have little portable stools for people that want to sit down. I just really like the idea of something spontaneous like what we did. So something that I am going to work on and try to perfect for next time. This defilé was meant as a way for me to come back after the festival and to present my work to buyers. When the buyers came to my showroom, they said “its great, its fresh, we have never seen this before, but we are not sure where to place your work for the moment” This is good actually because now, they have 6 months to digest what they say and to think about ideas for where to place my collection and about where my stuff fits in with other designers. I really very very happy with my fashion week in Paris!
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coming this week-end : hyères alive

April 28th, 2011

Semi-live from the Hyères International Fashion & Photography Festival, it’s Hyères Alive !

hyères alive

The Stimuleye Webcast schedule:
Saturday 30/04 at 9:00 CET – Fashion Shows
Sunday 01/05 at 9:30 CET – Award Ceremony

See you !!


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MATT PYKE AND FRIENDS: that idea of foreverness

April 26th, 2011

The future is back.

That’s the impression you get from Matt Pyke’s new show at Gaîté Lyrique, Paris’ brand new digital creation center. Mutating monsters, illuminated silences, evolving creatures, disintegrating dancers, glowing trees… Pyke and his friends from the studio Universal Everything use every corner of new-old parisian theater to make your head swirl. Literally.


Meet Matt Pyke. Photo by René Habermacher

ANTOINE ASSERAF: I noticed everything is looping, there is no beginning and no end. What as your intention with that?

MATT PYKE: One of the reasons for the looping is we’re really interested in the idea of infinity and how it creates video artworks which don’t really have a narrative story to them.

We’re creating almost a video sculpture, a state of mind or a trance-like situation: for example where dancers that are continually struggling up the wall to get to the sound or the giant walking monster in TRANSFIGURATION which is walking forever and nobody knows where he is going.

It’s that idea of foreverness and how you can use video to do that as an artwork that never stops: everything is almost like a machine that is going and going…

Matt Pyke & Friends : Super-Computer-Romantics

Sometimes you have some very un-digital elements like drawing.

I studied drawing and painting at art school and still find it very important to have a pencil as well as a computer. All of the artworks were based on drawings originally. The archive of the Gaîté Lyrique has a collection with all the working drawings from all the artpieces.

In the exhibition, the one called SEVENTY SIX SEEDS was entirely created through drawing but influenced by the more recent years where i’ve been working with people who use codes. The drawings are very much influenced by digital processes and the shapes that code make.

We’ve made an iPhone application that gave me kind of genetic instructions of what type of seed what type of plant to draw every morning- so it’s a way of using technology to control me, control my pencil.

MATT_PYKE_SEEDS
Works in Progress: left Matt Pykes drawings for SEVENTY SIX SEEDS inspired after an iPhone application.
Images Courtesy of Matt Pyke

Do you code and program yourself or are you trying to bring that kind of “old school” thinking into that?

I intentionally do not code and program myself. I tried to learn and found it did not suit me, so I focus on the conceptual side of things and the visual side of things in terms of art direction and creative direction and come up with the initial seed idea and then work with programmers who are genuinely experts or super talent in their field.

I think one important thing is, by me not understanding code, that my ideas are not restricted to what is possible.

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next: MATT PYKE

April 26th, 2011

It’s a strange one but I’ve been learning tennis for two years because I needed to learn a sport.
I won my first tennis match last week —it’s a completely different way of using your arm then clicking a mouse.
So that’s what stimulated me, just a completely different perspective!


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25 Hyères + POP

April 24th, 2011

Less than one week before the launch of the 26th edition of the Hyères International Fashion & Photography Festival, The Stimuleye brings you “25 Hyères” covering the 2010 edition – including interviews of Dries Van Noten, Walter Pfeiffer, Olivier Lalanne, Théo Mercier and many others.

“25 Hyères” premiered on POP, where you can also read an exclusive interview.

THE STIMULEYE presents
25 Hyères
2010 Hyères International Fashion + Photography Festival

Video and interview on THE POP.COM

A film by Antoine Asseraf

Music by
Lori Schonberg

Voice-over by
Géraldine Frainais
James Deeny

Filmed by
Antoine Asseraf
Jason Last
Yoann Lemoine

Edited by
Antoine Asseraf
NEUE / Axelle Zecevic
Yoann Lemoine

Interviews by
Antoine Asseraf
Jason Last
Diane Pernet


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PANDELIS CHANDRIS: “Man is an island”

April 20th, 2011

Insightful, rigorous and critical but warm interlocutor,
Pantelis Chandris, the awarded artist by the Association of Art Critics Hellas, talks about his “Island”, the dead ends and the pleasures of life with the tastes for cooking, to fellow artist Efi Spyrou, in Athens.

PANDELIS_CHANDRIS_MAN_IS_AN_ISLAND

Pantelis Chandris "180⁰", 2010. Pencil on paper. 15x20cm each

EFI SPYROU: Artist “based in Athens.” What does this means to you?
PANTELIS CHANDRIS: “Based in Athens”, means nothing. You are considered out of the larger map, out of the game.
Those who live and work in Athens live and work in a purely regional locality. Artists who live and work in London, New York, Berlin have a more extended target audience and these are cities where things happen.

What do you do against this reality?
While I am working on my art projects, I make my living as a professor in the Athens School of Fine Arts.

Are you teaching what you are working on?
No. It would be tragic to teach what I am working on.  To work, means trying to find a way to create something. Exploring a personal issue. Besides, the allurement of teaching has to do with the process of dealing with the impasses of others. Read the rest of this entry »


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NEW EYE : PANDELIS CHANDRIS

April 19th, 2011

Why_are_you_staring_at_me/Pantelis_Chandris

“Why are you staring at me?”
by Pandelis Chandris


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Guatemala City

April 18th, 2011

When Swiss Turkish photographer Ferit Kuyas learned that his work won the Award for Best Project at the International Photo Festival in Guatemala City he decided to pick-up his prize in person. This was going to be his first visit to Latin America.

Ferit Kuyas was intrigued by the name of the airport he landed – La Aurora. Aurora, the name of the goddess of dawn, a sign for a new beginning, a name full of optimism. Most of the 3.5 million people populating Greater Guatemala City need that optimism to cope with everyday life. The immense hospitality and friendliness in a city stricken with one of the highest violent crime rates in Latin America left a lasting impression. Kuyas decided to explore and document this fascinating habitat.

Guatemala City was designed by the Spanish after a series of earthquakes destroyed the ancient capital now known as Antigua Guatemala. The City is subdivided into 22 zones. These zones are laid out in a spiral pattern with Zone 1 being the center. The Barrancos – ravines carving their way through the city make topography difficult and dangerous. There is a high crime rate in these places hidden from view.

In January 2011 Kuyas started photographing the city with a fresh and unspoiled eye for its wide range of diverse environments. Without the help of his local fixers this work in progress would not have been possible. Private security firms are guarding most every single place of interest. Kuyas had not imagined how difficult it would be to shoot the urban landscapes he intended. As a result of his persistent efforts we now enjoy a first series of surreal aerial landscapes that somehow evoke the pristine aura of an early holiday morning. Upon a second look however, detail will wreck the deceptive calm and reveal the lurking violence.

Ferit Kuyas spent three weeks in Guatemala City exposing 200 sheets of negative color 4×5 film. He is planning another trip in fall 2011.

Photos ttb – Aurora – Work in Progress from Guatemala City by Ferit Kuyas: Zone 14, February 4, 2011; Puente del Incienso, Zone 7, January 24, 2011; Zone 4, January 20, 2011; Puente de Naranjo, Zone 3, January 26, 2011


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next: PANDELIS CHANDRIS

April 18th, 2011

“The same thing stimulated me for the last 20 years and I do not know what it is…”


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Not all fun and games : Abdel Bounane

April 18th, 2011

Last month, the Gaïté Lyrique digital creation center opened its doors in Paris, after many years of construction.
A companion shop also opened next to the gorgeous building : the AMUSEMENT creative shop.
We sat down with Abdel Bounane, who is in charge of the store but also the founder and editor-in-chief of AMUSEMENT magazine.

abdel bounane
Abdel Bounane at AMUSEMENT gallery, by René Habermacher.

Antoine Asseraf : So where are we, there’s a store downstairs, but this is something else…

Abdel Bounane: This is the space where soon we will offer services and events linked to the store, and to the magazine.
The service part is probably the most interesting, because this is going to be the most original part.
For the store we try to have some original products, but for services, starting in May, you’ll be able to order a tailor-made video game.

You make an appointment, meet with one of our consultants, and give your craziest ideas regarding what you want from a video game, and we’ll be able to materialize it. It can take a few days, a few weeks, or sometimes a few months, it can cost a few hundred or a few thousand euros.

It’s a world first.
It answers the question “if you want to make a space linked to the digital world, how do you offer something original and human ?”

Something that doesn’t lag behind the virtual world.

Exactly. What is the use of being in the real world when you’re talking about the virtual ?
So for me, it is the meeting with people, the ability to explain face to face your ideas, a human and interactive touch, it’s fundamentally linked to a physical place. It wouldn’t be the same thing by Skype.

That’s one part of the services we will offer.
We will also offer a gallery side.
People have been trying to sell digital art for decades now, and they haven’t really been able to, except for installations which hard to sustain. But now tablets are here, and I feel that tablets are a good media for that art, like a canvas.

gaité lyrique
The ressource center of the Gaïté Lyrique. By René Habermacher.

That makes me think of that bloom application for iPhone, by Brian Eno…

Well, Brian Eno’s been here !
What we’re developing is the sell of pieces on tablets, offline, and also an online store of limited edition digital content, with a certificate of authenticity on our servers.

How do you co-exist with the Gaïté Lyrique proper?

Well with the digital art we’re going to be working a lot with artists from the Gaïté, such as Matt Pyke/Universal Everything,
They do a lot of cool particle effects, very pop, very colorful, and they’re don’t want something that is all over the internet, just something that is visible physically at the Gaïté, because it’s a site-specific installation, and potentially sold digitally.

That’s where the logic of the Gaïté comes in, it’s not a museum, it’s a creation center.
So it’s perfect for us, we become the distributors of content that cannot be found elsewhere, and digital limited edition fits the Gaïté perfectly.

We’re not only the commercial arm of the Gaïté, we’re here to play with new ways of crossing art and digital, video games and one-to-one distribution, or take a mass media like video games and make it personalized, how do me make something pop more haute ?
How to legitimize a physical location, with launches, workshops, etc.

gaité lyrique
Gaïté Lyrique communication.

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Rico Scagliola & Michael Meier

April 16th, 2011

For the past two years photographers Rico Scagliola and Michael Meier have been working on a series of portrait studies in today’s teenage world, accumulating a vast archive which reflects the bipolar digital lifestyles of this generation. Image conscious, visually sophisticated and highly skilled in self-presentation their subjects allow a glimpse into parallel worlds that gradually intertwine blurring the boundaries of reality. For their book release Rico and Michael will take a break from cross country skiing and cleaning studio apartments to indulge in the pleasures of their own pop culture.

“Superficially, this publication might be seen as a catalog of current youth subcultures, a genre that has enjoyed great popularity since the eighties, when young people began splitting up into myriad tribes. But that would be missing the mark. These youth subcultures undoubtedly bear as little comparison with those of the past decades than Lady Gaga does with Diamanda Galás. Distinctive choices in clothing and appearance have no intention of making political, social or cultural statements of the kind that characterized earlier youth subcultures. They do not flaunt a credo, but they do reflect certain moods as cover identities that often change in rapid succession. The reason for this is not just a decline in ideology but even more a shift in the way these young people relate to images. A picture suggests and defines, without being conclusive; such qualities feed into the personality structure of young people driven by yearnings and insecurity. On the Internet, the picture acts as a social interface that not only projects the self, but also invites others to project themselves onto it. This new relationship of self and picture is essentially what the work of Rico Scagliola & Michael Meier is about. The artist duo exploit the sophistication and virtuosity with which young people display themselves, and integrate the imagery and fantasies that they project into their own visual universe. The distinction between document and staging no longer applies; viewers can never be sure whether they are faced with reality or fantasy.” by Martin Jaeggi

Rico Scagliola & Michael Meier “Neue Menschen” published by Edition Patrick Frey, 501 color images, 22 x 31 cm, EUR 58, CHF 78. Book Launch Wednesday, May 4, 8pm, at Exil Zürich.


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The Stimuleye project : Armani Trilogy by Justin Anderson

April 14th, 2011

For the last few months, I’ve had the pleasure of working with director Justin Anderson of Ponyboy on a series of films commissioned by Armani: the Chase Trilogy.

Still from Justin Anderson's Chase film, by René Habermacher.

Garden for Emporio Armani, starring Theoharis Iannidis & Dafne

Chase for Armani/EA7

Bike for Armani Jeans

The last thing which stimulated Justin:

On Friday night- I watched a film by Jean Pierre Melville- Army of Shadows.
It had a big effect on me. It is brutal but very paired down without any melodrama. None of the actors either particularly young or good looking, the direction is tight and the subject really tough. It is about the French resistance to German occupation- it is about death, betrayal and torture.

The film was gripping was absolutely masterful.

What I love is that I discovered this film because I loved the way Alain Delon looked in LE FLIC in his raincoat – which then led me to such a film. I feel very lucky to live in a time in which it is so easy to discover these kinds of gems and I love the fluid way you can to move from one to the other.

Armani Chase Trilogy
Directed by Justin Anderson
Creative Direction by Antoine Asseraf / The Stimuleye
Production: Ponyboy / Queen of Spades

Starring: Theoharris Ioannidis, Dafne, Aline, Nastasia and Bo.

Styling/Fashion director: Isabelle Kountoure
Assisted by Tui Lin

Hair: Panos
Make-up: Yannis Siskos

Producer: Jason Scanlon
DoP: Ross McLennan
Local producers: Angela Tsepas/Andreas Mitsopoulos


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NJA MAHDAOUI: strokes of liberation

April 11th, 2011

Nja Mahdaoui is one of the most celebrated living contemporary artists in the arab world. His bold and highly rhythmic work, derived from the arabic letter, is internationally renowned and can be found in ther permanent collections of the Institut du Monde Arabe, The British Museum and The Smithsonian Institution just to name a few.

It’s an exuberance of arabesque forms, a visual melody played out of his hand, that remind us of the great gestural and physical richness of action painting. Famous for his meticulous inks on parchment, this “liberated calligraphy” is worked across a variety of extremely different surfaces — from canvas, brass, wood, melamine and papyrus to skin. Though It seems like writing, it is not. It is rather an interlacing of a dialectic relationship, also found within Western abstraction.

naomi_campbell_mahdaoui_rene_habermacher
Naomi Campbell in Azzedine Alaïa for Numéro Magazine. A collaboration between Nja Mahdaoui and René Habermacher

I came across the work of Nja Mahdaoui the first time, while researching calligraphic styles on a project for the French magazine Numéro on a piece about Azzedine Alaïa to which Babeth Djian incited me. The visual impact of Nja’s work struck me at first sight.

Slightly intimidated by the references of the rich body of his work, I first hesitated but then thought to give it a shot, and contacted him. To my surprise he answered me instantly by email, and called me shortly after. Our collaboration was set — and we created a story of imaginary movements around Naomi Campbell as a dark gazelle, in sheer and revealing Alaïa.

But I only met Nja Mahdaoui in person two summers ago in Tunis. It was an all-embracing, hot and sultry August day that lay heavy on the city, matching the emotional state of its people.

NJA_MAHDAOUI_rene_habermacher
Nja Mahdaoui wit the first prototype of his most recent sculpture. Photography by René Habermacher

A couple of months after the “Jasmine revolution” took place, Nja arrives in full swing to our meeting at a café in sunny, springtime Paris.

He’d come with his daughter Molka Mahdaoui to work on another of his new projects, yet is consumed with excitement by the events. He reacts immediately and impulsively to the question I usually ask last on conversations for The Stimuleye: What is the last thing that stimulated you?

“Stimulated? You’re asking a Tunisian? (laughs). I don’t know if ‘stimulated’ is the word, but it’s the explosion of a generation, I’m completely into it — for us it’s the event of the century!”


Nja Mahdaoui: "Graphemes on Arches 2", 2009, Ink on arches paper; 135cm x 135cm.

With us at the table are the collaborators involved in the process of making his latest project, a sculpture, the main reason for his trip north. Nja loves collaborations – his eyes glow while he talks energetically about upcoming projects. An energy I felt the first time I saw his bold and highly rhythmic work: “a dance of calligraphy”, with Nja as the choreographer of imaginary letters, to which he refers as ‘graphemes’, devoid of actual textual meaning:

“To a non-Arabic speaker it appears as coherent text. In fact even Arabic speakers assume at first that it’s a text with meaning. But when they start reading it they realise it is not an actual word.” he says and recalls an experience:

“It is not easy to write letters in a disjointed way — that is disjointed to not mean anything — and focus only on the aesthetic. There was a study at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. They connected me to a machine in order to test the levels of stress my body was under when I was writing proper words and when I was writing words without meaning. The study showed that my body was 2.5 times more stressed when I was working on words without meaning. So it is a very conscious attempt to create art. I tell people I’m not a calligrapher, but an artist.”

To me his body of work is so vibrant and remarkably innovative that I first had assumed Nja to be in his early 30’s the most, yet he was born in La Marsa, Tunisia, in 1937. As Molka, a filmmaker herself, puts it during our conversation: “sometimes i have to remind myself: Molka, you are thinking older than your own father!”.


Nja Mahdaoui: Design for Gulf Air 50th Anniversary. Image Courtesy of Nja Mahdaoui

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everything you need to know about hyères in 2’6″

April 9th, 2011

One of our favorite events here at The Stimuleye is the Hyères Fashion & Photography Festival, held yearly at the Villa Noailles. Since 2007, each year the festival asks me to make a teaser to give a glimpse of the upcoming festivities.

There are always so many things happening simultaneously at the festival, that it’s hard to follow it all. This year shouldn’t be any different, with the addition of a new, long-in-the-making permanent exhibit about Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, the Villa’s inhabitants and art patrons.

So, because I thought it would be good to start at the beginning, go through the middle, and stop at the end, here’s everything you need to know about Hyères in 2 minutes 6 seconds to be ready for the 26th edition.

The Stimuleye crew will be going to Hyères…more to come soon. See you there ?

Hyères Fashion & Photography Festival,
April 29 – May 2, 2011
Villa Noailles, Hyères
Exhibits until May 29th.


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Out of the box: LEIGH BOWERY

April 6th, 2011

The other day i was going through boxes of photographs between sheltering sheets of cellophane. I came across a reminiscence from a time when I was obsessed with polaroids:  a series of shots that I had taken from artist Leigh Bowery, in what was probably one of his last performances in late May 1994.

Leigh Bowery by René Habermacher

Leigh Bowery performing at the RoXY Amsterdam on May 17 1994. Polaroid by René Habermacher.

It was a party at the legendary RoXY club Amsterdam, with Boy George and Robert Owens on the turntables and leading clubbers Sheila Tequila and Stella Stein appearing, to the bemusement of the crowd, nude with pubic wigs only.

That Night Leigh Bowery presented his classc “Birth Show” together with Nicola Bateman-Bowery, whom he had married just 3 days before.
As usual for Leigh, the performance, an homage to John Waters “Female Trouble”, would attack the spectators sensitivities- which even worked for the notorious Roxy audience: Leigh would appear to enter the stage in what seemed a rather conservative flower dress to sing with his band Minty, but toward the middle of the song birthed his partner Nicola, who was held under his costume upside down using a specially-designed harness. Nicola then appeared as a very large baby covered in placenta.

Leigh died later that year on New Year’s Eve from an AIDS-related illness. A death bed pronouncement by “Modern Art on legs”, as Boy George commented, was: “Tell them I’ve gone pig farming in Bolivia”.

Leigh Bowery by René HabermacherLeigh Bowery by René HabermacherLeigh Bowery by René HabermacherLeigh Bowery by René Habermacher

Leigh Bowery and his wife Nicola Bateman-Bowery, then freshly wed. Polaroids by René Habermacher.

It was one of these Spectacles that made the RoXY’s infamous reputation. Not only a club, the RoXY was an Institution. A playground and battlefield for artists. While mingling among the glitterati and club kids of the time I recall seeing there first time the work of Inez Van Laamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin on a flyer- or a toilet exhibition of Erwin Olafs photographs, an explicit series that was was by far outreached by what was going on in these restrooms…

Founder Pieter Giele’s Motto AB IGNE IGNEM CAPERE (one fire ignites another) came true some years later. The Club that operated from 1987 in a splendid old theatre on Prinsengracht went up in flames the day of Pieter Giele’s Funeral in 1999 and burned down to the ground.

Leigh Bowery by René HabermacherLeigh Bowery by René HabermacherLeigh Bowery by René HabermacherLeigh Bowery by René Habermacher
Leigh Bowery on stage with the MINTY. Polaroids by René Habermacher.

An exhibition of photos by the club’s photographer Cleo Campert will be on show later this summer at the LUX Photo Gallery Amsterdam from 18 June – 18 July: The RoXY Years / De RoXY Jaren
Cleo Campert: “In this show I emphasize the open sexuality and the indecent exposure which reigned in the famous night club RoXY in Amsterdam in the early nineties.”


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NEW EYE : Marc Turlan

April 5th, 2011

The Stimuleye is proud to announce its new eye, created by artist Marc Turlan.

Preview of 25 HYÈRES film, directed by Antoine Asseraf.

I had the pleasure of meeting Marc Turlan in his atelier in 2007 when making the first teaser for the Hyères fashion and photography festival.
For what was to be his first solo exhibition, MANQUE (“lack”), Marc had prepared a series of sculptures based on magazines partially hidden under resin-masks. The result was very Friday the 13th.

Then in 2008, Marc made a limited series of sculpted magazines, TORN MAG.
He carved magazines, as objects, blindly, until their substance was exposed. Since then, his work has evolved to ink drawing, laser cutting, metal beading… on magazines.

TORN MAG by Marc Turlan

Full view of the TORN MAG piece. 2008, courtesy of Gallerie Anne de Villepoix.

Last year, Marc returned to Hyères with a new exhibit inside a custom-made wooden bunker, SUMMER HOUSE, which is featured in the upcoming film “25 Hyères”.

Marc is now planning a book for May with Rue 89, and his first solo show at Anne de Villepoix in September 2011…


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next: Marc Turlan

April 4th, 2011

TORN MAG by Marc Turlan

“a burnt picture by Douglas Gordon.”


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Yelle | 3 | Definition of Pop

April 2nd, 2011

What is Pop ? What is Youth ? What’s up with the French Touch ? How do you change and remain true to yourself ?
Last part of our YELLE interview…

Yelle by René Habermacher

YELLE by René Habermacher, in Marios Schwab FW 2011/12. Styled by Inès Fendri. Make-up by Akiko Sakamoto.

ANTOINE ASSERAF: YELLE is just the 3 of you, but sometimes it’ just refers to Julie, especially because there is “elle” in YELLE… How do you manage this YELLE = 3 or YELLE = 1 ? I guess it’s a bit like THE RITA MITSOUKO — they needed to explain that the singer was not RITA MITSOUKO so they added THE — you don’t feel the need to become THE YELLE ?

JEFF: Actually on the album cover,  (photo by Grégoire Alexandre, style Jean Paul Lespagnard) you have the 3 of us, but it wasn’t planned, it was just the best picture from the session. We thought “this photo is strong” and that’s it, not “oh it’d be good to show us as a band.” Naturally we also show ourselves as a trio because after all these years of touring, it becomes natural. But we’ve completely accepted the pop rule that the singer gets more exposure, she carries the group in a way, and it’s fine that way.

That way if the 2 of us don’t feel like doing an interview we don’t show up and let Julie do it alone (laughs).
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