what the FIAC ?!

October 18th, 2013

OK people, fashion time’s over. It’s Art time.

Appetite for contemporary art is always growing. The public, the collectors…everyone wants a piece of the cake.

So The Stimuleye is proud to present, for the second year in a row in association with SayWho, the official film of the 40th Paris Contemporary Art Fair a.k.a. FIAC 2013.

WhatTheFIAC, written & directed by Antoine Asseraf.

FIAC, Foire Internationale d'Art Contemporain, 2013 trailer, directed by Antoine Asseraf.

For its 40th edition, and in order to accommodate the ever-growing interest in the art scene, the FIAC is expanding and taking different forms throughout Paris.

Beyond the glass dome of the Grand Palais and the hundreds of galleries showing there, the FIAC is installing artwork accessible for free to the public in its “Hors-les-murs” (‘outside the walls’) program. Prestigious locations such as the Jardin des Tuileries, Place Vendôme, and Jardin des Plantes are joined this year by the brand new Berges de Seine left bank pedestrian embankments, running from Musée d’Orsay to Quai Branly.

YUM.

FIAC 2013. Photo by René Habermacher

FIAC 2013. Photo by René Habermacher.

FIAC 2013
October 24-27
Grand Palais
& Hors-les-Murs: Petit Palais / Berges de Seine / Jardin des Tuileries / Auditorium du Louvre / Place Vendôme / Jardin des Tuileries

WhatTheFIAC
produced by SayWho
creative direction The Stimuleye
directed by Antoine Asseraf
photography by René Habermacher
art direction by Mathilde Nivet
hands by Aurélie Nguyen
voice by Lynsey Peisinger


EYE CANDY | tags: , , , ,
No Comments »,

davide balliano

April 2nd, 2013

He works across many mediums, makes work and research constantly and needs to have a lot of order in his life.

New York-based Italian artist Davide Balliano had a conversation with me about his artistic trajectory, his work, rock climbing, his influences, his love of intervention and his first show in Paris at the Galerie Michel Rein. 

Davide Balliano
UNTITLED_Woman V
Ink on book page
21x26,8 Cm
2013

Courtesy: Michel Rein Gallery, Paris

Lynsey Peisinger: Tell me a bit about your life and your path as an artist.

Davide Balliano: I was born and grew up in Torino, in the northwest of Italy. I was there until I was 18 and then I started in high school studying advertising and graphic design. It was a very peculiar school, a very specific school, which had a lot of elements that are still useful for me now. Especially the graphic design elements, the study of the image, the history of the image, art history. All of that is still informing my work today.

After that, I moved to Milan where I studied photography at Bauer, which is a fabulous school of photography. It is probably the last public school of photography that is left in Italy. What I liked of the school was the approach that they had, that I think they still have now, where rather than teaching “photography as a job”, they tried to raise us as artists working in the medium of photography. They train you as an artist who used the tool of photography. Then what you do with that tool is your choice.

Two years after school, I went to Fabrica, which is a large artist residence in Treviso, in the north east of Italy, a half hour from Venice. It is a beautiful place. A huge building built by Tadao Ando and there are usually approximately 40 artists in residence. It was very commercial-based. There is not much interest in pure artistic research. It’s more applied art. It was a very good experience–they pay you be there, they give you studio, they pay for all of your materials, they give you an apartment. You don’t have to worry about anything.  But, even if it was great, it sort of crushed my relationship with photography. Fabrica had a very strong way of shaping the people that were there, so they were not making it a mystery that they couldn’t care less about the kind of photography that I was doing! I was very young, I was 21.

After Fabrica, I stayed one more year in Milano, then I got badly bored of staying in Italy. So I moved to NY in 2006. And it is in the early time in NY that I started to do other stuff. I felt that this move to NY was sort of giving me a clean cut from everything that I did until then. I sort of put photography a bit on the side and I started to draw and to intervene, but still on photographic images. I assume that because of my background in photography, I always have a difficult time starting anything from a blank background, you know from a white slate. For me, it has always been terrifying!

Davide Balliano
UNTITLED_Barbaro
Watercolor and acrylic on book page
18x25 Cm
2012

Courtesy: Galerie Rolando Anselmi, Berlin

LP: How did you start to move into the mediums you are working with now?

DB: So I started to print out images, mainly from the internet at that time. I still collect a lot images just for my inspiration. And I started to draw freehand on them, mainly abstract geometrical mess! Abstract scribbles, nothing with a precise meaning. Pretty soon, it sort of got clear that the issues that I had with photography were still there–even if I am intervening on top, I still had to take care very much of the meaning of the background image.

There are some images that you can just use for their mood, but there are other images that have a precise meaning that carries responsibilities. I think that this is something that you can use but you need to be conscious about it.

I always hate any kind of work in any kind of medium that just takes strong images and slams them there without standing by it. I always find that it’s a very cheap shortcut.  It is something that I always hate.

So, then I started to draw on art history images because I felt that they left me more freedom somehow because there is already a big gap. You are more free to relate with the feeling of the image rather than with historical facts. The facts are there and I agree that I should deal with that, but there is a distance so there is a larger filter. So if I make a drawing on top of a portrait of a king, I should probably do research about who it is etc, but I don’t. And most people wouldn’t say “why did you make a drawing on this king and not on another one?”.

If you do the same kind of thing in photography, it is difficult because photography is such a young medium that almost any photographic image is in a historical context.  So from there, the intervention grew more and more precise and became more and more essential. So if you take a drawing of four or five years ago, which was abstract and geometrical, but still messy and not so calculated, they sort of condensed somehow and at some point, it felt a need to take this intervention that I was doing on paper and put it on other mediums.

I burned that town just to see your eyes shine
Wood and glass
137x48x48 Cm
2012

Courtesy: Galerie Rolando Anselmi, Berlin
Photo: Nikki Brendson

LP: Tell me a bit about the medium of performance.

DB: Performance, which I do although rarely, is a different thing although I feel that it is strongly connected to….photography. It is interesting, I feel that performance is strongly connected to photography because I still feel it as the production of an image. An image that is locked by a location and by a time. I am very fascinated by the potential of making a legend with performance, not necessarily mine. Sometimes you see performances that are unrepeatable–the original work is born in one place at a specific time and if you were there, there is nothing that can repeat that moment. And it gives you something that is so unique, it sort of makes you part of the history of the work, much more than in other mediums.

Most of the time in other mediums, the work is done by an artist and then is shown. And the artwork has a life and it will be the same life for the next many many years. But a performance is in a place and in a moment and if you were there, you had the privilege of being part of it and then nothing will take that away. I find it fascinating. And I relate to it as the creation of an image, practically speaking.

LP: It sounds like performance gives you an opportunity to experience being an artist in a different way.

DB: Exactly. And also seeing what it means for other artists. It has been great because I am completely incapable of doing it in any other medium. I am sort of a control freak for anything else that I do. I know that in performance, I very much enjoy opening up to collaboration and seeing what it brings.

LP: At which point in your life did you realize that you wanted to be making art? Was it from childhood? Did you go to that graphic design school because you knew that already about yourself?

DB: Well, I will say that it depends. I always, since when I was a kid, felt an extreme need for creative expression. So I always had no doubt that I would be doing something creative in life. But, the decision to make exclusively art research sort of developed over the years. It felt like everything else just dropped and it stayed there. For all of my school time, I had the idea that it was impossible to only do that.

I always thought “I need to do something else on the side”. For example, I thought I could do graphic design while doing other work. Also with photography, but photography was even closer to making pure artwork. But it was an idealistic idea that I could be an artist but also make commercial stuff. I needed to take a decision between the two things. And I think that especially when you are young, people want one or the other.

Another thing that I understood–I sound like an old grandfather saying “when I was young…etc”! — When I was in high school I was doing a lot of rock climbing and at a certain point I had a trainer and was training five days a week. I loved it, but I liked to go out and go to concerts too. I had my social life which was very important to me. Everyone else there was like a monk about it. Just training, training, training. They ate only certain food, they were constantly on a diet. Complete dedication. I understood that I couldn’t at all put in that type of dedication and I couldn’t compete with people that were that dedicated to it. And later, I felt the same way with photography.

If you are trying to do something good, you should consider that most likely there is somebody else that is trying to do it and he is going to be very good at it and he is going to put all his energy into it, he is going to make tons of sacrifices and he is going to go through hell to achieve it. So if you are not up for that, you are in for a competition that will never bring you anywhere. So photography for me was sort of like that. 

I was in Milano therefore everything was about fashion photography. I mean, fashion photography was fun! I would go to a set, with models and people and music. It’s all fun. But if you are trying to do it, you are in competition with 500 kids obsessed with their freaking portfolios who are putting their money into making fashion photography. I’m like “hell no”! I have to be paid to make fashion photography, not the other way around. People would tell me that I had to put together a fashion photography portfolio and then when people look at you because of that, you bring in your art research. But for me, I knew I would not have the energy to do that because I was already putting all my energy into my research. And I sort of became clear that it wouldn’t work. I had to push on thing or the other.

So I decided only to concentrate on art. I assisted for many years. I wanted to learn from an artist. I wanted to learn about art-making and also the practical side of it.

Davide Balliano
UNTITLED_Grid27
Acrylic on linen
120x180 Cm
2012

LP: When you came to NY, you assisted Marina Abramovic for four years. How did that experience influence your work and how did it prepare you for your own path as an artist? 

DB: For me, Marina was like my own private university. She taught me everything that I know about surviving as an artist.

Independently of the love that I have of her work–I approached her because I always had an extreme fascination with her work– the privilege that I had when working with her was that I was in contact with the private side of her. And what I gained from the private relationship is to see how she is completely dedicated to her work. Marina is all work. And there is an insane amount of energy and dedication that she puts into it. Her work is her life, there is no separation, there is no in between.

The personal investment that she makes in her work, I assume gives her this concentration that comes out so clearly in the work. And, other than that, she is such a big artists that if you work with her for four years, afterwards you can truly do anything. I came out of that experience being practically scared of nothing.

Marina works at such a level of intensity that there is really nothing that you can’t do after that. It is like boot camp. You are so used to working under pressure –good pressure, but pressure–daily. Everyday was the same amount of concentration and speed and pressure. The responsibilities are always big. There is never a day that you go and pick up flowers! Every day is something big, something important, something that you can’t mess up. When you do that every day for four years, you come out and truly its like those American movies about Marines. You can really do anything!

LP: You seem to have an approach to your work that is extremely organized and structured. It seems to me that are an artist who approaches your work like one might approach any business in terms of how you structure and use your time and also how you interact with and deal with people. I wonder if working with Marina influenced that or if you were always someone who could self-motivate and give order to your life. 

DB: Definitely working with Marina, and my other assistant jobs, gave me that structure. Marina is naturally 80 percent of it, but everything contributed. Assisting fashion photographers meant being efficient and fast. There are a lot of responsibilities and you have to work under pressure, so you get used to needing to maintain focus. Keeping your concentration on the work itself under all the pressure seems to me to be the secret that all of these big guys shared.

There are tons of different kinds of artists and I know fabulous artists that work in complete chaos and it’s fine for them. Their art can come out of that. They can do nothing for weeks and then disappear and work day and night for a month and then come out like drained zombies, but the resulting work is marvelous.

But that’s not for me. The less I do, the more in pain I feel.

Davide Balliano
PICATRIX, installation view

Courtesy: Michel Rein Gallery, Paris

LP: Tell me about that show in Paris.

DB: The show in Paris started with an invitation from Eugenio Viola, a wonderful curator that I worked with last January. He invited me to have this little show and he set the theme of the show. He asked me to work with the concepts of alchemy and symbolism and sort of esoteric feelings, which is something that is present in my work even if I don’t always relate to those things in my life.

There are four works on paper, two paintings on board and one sculpture. We see a combination of different mediums and the dialogue that they have with each other, which is very important for me. I never make a show that deals with only one medium because it feels like a small part of what I do. I feel like I can’t say what I want to say with one medium, I have to put them together.

In the past Alchemy was called “the great work” and I love it. I like the utopic idea that through my work, and the elements given to me, I can control these elements and have a higher understanding of who I am and a higher consciousness.

Eugenio asked me to consider these things and to put together a little show that gives my view on these topics, so I did.

LP: What is the last thing that stimulated you?

DB: The film The Turin Horse by Bela Tarr. It is really stuck in my mind and I keep on thinking about it. It was very very strong for me. And not because I am from Turin! Its strict and minimal and powerful and its a complete tragedy. There is no space for hope, no space for light, like a classic tragedy. Everything is rotting and closing in on you. Sometimes I feel that tragedy might be more inspiring than happy thoughts. Happy thoughts are private while tragedy can be shared and if you recognize the suffering in someone else, it can make you feel less alone in your own troubles. That is probably why all of the work that I strongly admire has a heavy portion of tragedy and weight.

PICATRIX at Galerie Michel Rein, curated by Eugenio Viola
http://michelrein.com/
http://www.davideballiano.com/


EYE 2 EYE | tags: , , , , ,
No Comments »,

jean paul lespagnard: from b to a

October 31st, 2012

B is Belgium.

A is Africa.

Leave it to Jean Paul Lespagnard to connect the 2 in a fresh way for his SS2013 collection.

You can also see one of the key outfits from the collection in action, as worn by Lynsey Peisinger, in the FIAC Paris 2012 teaser…

FIAC 2012 official teaser by The Stimuleye. Pants/overalls by Jean-Paul Lespagnard.

EYE CANDY, GOOGLY EYE | tags: , , ,
No Comments »,

Do You Wanna FIAC with us

October 12th, 2012

The Stimuleye is very proud to announce the first ever teaser for one of the biggest art fairs in the world, the Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC), in collaboration with Saywho, choreographer Lynsey Peisinger and designer Jean-Paul Lespagnard…

DO YOU WANNA FIAC ?

TEASER ANGLAIS FIAC 2012 from Saywho.fr on Vimeo.

Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain
October 18-21, 2012
Grand Palais + various sites in Paris

VOULEZ-VOUS FIACker ?

TEASER FRANCAIS FIAC 2012 from Saywho.fr on Vimeo.


EYE CANDY | tags: , , , , , , ,
1 Comment »,

The perfect muse: François Sagat

June 1st, 2012

In Carlo Collodi’s 1883 children’s novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio” it is the wooden puppet that possesses sentience prior to its transformation; it is the puppet and not its creator, the woodcarver who triggers the miracle of the doll coming alive.

With François one never knows who pulls the strings. It is him who invokes the sentiment for a story to become alive. Yet he hands himself over unconditionally to his collaborators, like an “instrument to be played”, as he likes to call it.

Film director Christopher Honoré once expressed that François Sagat “redefines the notion of masculinity”.  François, the humble boy from Cognac has moulded himself to unattainable iconic status. Gilded with his blue inked crane, he is to conquer his righteous spot in the pantheon of pop culture…

FRANCOIS_SAGAT_RENE_HABERMACHER_THE_STIMULEYE_APPLE
"François Sagat with Apple" Exhibition SPECTRE, Hyères 2010. Photography by René Habermacher

René Habermacher : you recently played alongside Chiara Mastroianni in HOMME AU BAIN by Christophe Honoré, and as well the lead in Bruce LaBruce L.A. ZOMBIE – how were your experiences?

François Sagat: L.A ZOMBIE was an experience which had very little to do with HOMME AU BAIN… The shoot for LA ZOMBIE was like a real porno shoot, scene by scene, it was mostly fucking, except that of course the porno version was censored for festivals…Beyond the sex scenes, LA ZOMBIE was a chaotic shoot, without a script, hasardous… but I’m still to this day satisfied with this participation and collaboration with Bruce LaBruce, from whom I still have much to learn, and who possesses a huge cinema and litterary culture… Despite what his critics say, I think Bruce has a real style.

During the shoot I really tested my capacity to resist “obstacles”, it was at times very difficult, I didn’t know where I was going, no direction, it was like being thrown in the lion’s den.
There was no script, the storytelling was weak and the whole plan was turned on its head by last minute changes and many cancelations, but that can be said about a lot of “cinema” projects.

L'HOMME AU BAIN by Christophe Honoré, starring Chiara Mastroianni and François Sagat.

Regarding  HOMME AU BAIN, the shooting was a lot more structured, but energetic nevertheless. It’s on this project that I realized that my abilities as an actor were limited, weak even, and felt like I was a big challenge for Christophe Honoré because of my “heavy” image, of the luggage I was carrying.
There were moments when I thought I terrified him, being everything except malleable. The project was constantly evolving due to the fact that we had planned it as a short, and that a lot of questions arose towards the end of shooting. It was finally released as a full feature film, and I have the feeling it wasn’t the right place for the film.

It was an intimate project which to me, with hindsight, would have had a strong impact as a short. But I am neither director nor the creator of my own character.  Rather than control the situation, I felt the blowback. But surely the imperfection of the final result  makes it a real film, that can be remarked and criticized. I chose to shoot it and live the collaboration for the moment rather than think of the finished product.

FRANCOIS_SAGAT_RENE_HABERMACHER_THE_STIMULEYE_ROSE
François Sagat for QVEST magazine. Photography by René Habermacher.

What is the difference to you between acting in a porn movie or a feature film?

The difference ? Of course there are differences.

When you’re a porno actor, you’re in constant control of your carnal envelope and your physical aspect, whether you learn it or you have it from the start.

I didn’t know it as first but I am someone who has that ability. Porn is often an activity for people who are shy orally.

As a performer, you never really have to carry the more or less artistic responsabilities of a porn film, because there is no artistic issue to start with. You just have to be a good soldier fitting what the consumer desires to watch and what the production has decided, and that’s it.

I think also that I am someone who’s very sexual and exhibitiionist, but that’s not really giving you a scoop. Porn is like military service, it’s “my way or the highway”, and in my case, I’ve been and continue to be a good soldier.

The main difference is that you need a capacity to adapt and to lose who you really are, physically as well as morally. I created for myself a character in porn as in life, it’s difficult to let it go.

FRANCOIS_SAGAT_RENE_HABERMACHER_THE_STIMULEYE_PILLORY_VILLA_NOAILLES
Video still from PILORI installation by Lynsey Peisinger & The Stimuleye. Villa Noailles, Hyères 2012.

Read the rest of this entry »


EYE 2 EYE, EYEcon | tags: , , , , , ,
2 Comments »,

pilori, beyond the wall & simone fehlinger

May 6th, 2012

If you didn’t make it for the 3 days of the Hyères Fashion & Photography Festival, you still have until May 26, 2012 to see the exhibitions of the festival at the Villa Noailles in town, including Yohji Yamamoto, Jason Evans, Anouk Kruithof, Ina Jang, Cunningston & Sanderson, Chronique Curiosité, Inez & Vinoodh and… Lynsey Peisinger + The Stimuleye’s performance/installation/video hybrid, PILORI.

Until the end of May you can see at the villa the PILORI installation featuring footage of the performance (with the cooperation of Yohji Yamamoto Inc.) and video contributions by Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher, starring François Sagat, by Jason Last & Jaime Rubiano, Clément Roncier, Sebastien Meunier + Romain Dja Douadji + Tomek Jarolim, and the winner of our internet contest, Simone Fehlinger, who met up with Filep Motwary.

PILORI (“PILLORY”) is a unique collaboration between choreographer Lynsey Peisinger and The Stimuleye for the Hyères Festival. Drawing on a pool of both local and Paris-based performers, Lynsey Peisinger conceived 2-hour performances inside a specially built space in the Villa Noailles’ Sautoir space: a wall with 4 pairs of legs poking out, moving, at rest, ignoring or harassing each other…

For its exhibition phase, the performance footage is augmented and interrupted by the footage of BEYOND THE WALL, different video artists’ renderings of what lies beyond the wall which cuts the performers in half.

clones by Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher starring François Sagat for The Stimuleye

 CLONES starring François Sagat, by Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher.

the stimuleye PILORI installation at Hyères

Sebastien Meunier, Romain Dja Douadji & Tomek Jarolim for BEYOND THE WALL.

The Stimuleye's BEYOND THE WALL/PILORI for Hyères

Clément Roncier for BEYOND THE WALL/PILORI.

The Stimuleye's BEYOND THE WALL/PILORI for Hyères

Jason Last & Jaime Rubiano for BEYOND THE WALL/PILORI.

Simone Fehlinger for BEYOND THE WALL / PILORI.

Filep Motwary: What is your video about?
Simone Fehlinger: my videos visualize the stories of walls. Parts of these walls are broken : colors, wallpapers peel off and uncover it’s past… The videos invite to a personal imagination of what this wall’s history is about… Now, these walls have moved to Hyères 2012 and will be part of a new story…

Filep Motwary: Why have you chosen white as your “backwards” canvas?
Surfaces are extremely exciting ! But the interesting part is not the perfectly clean, virgin, new, white layer.
It’s the layer underneath…

What is your opinion about Hyeres.
It’s legendary ! I’m really happy and honoured to be a part of…

What would be your next projects about?
My new big project is my own graphic and video design studio in Paris.

The Stimuleye

Simone Fehlinger, winner of BEYOND THE WALL contest.

PILORI at Villa Noailles
Until May 26, 2012
Hyères, FRANCE.

Special thanks to Coralie Gaultier & the Yohji Yamamoto Inc team,
Simone Fehlinger for her contribution,
and all the performers who gave their time to participate in this project.


GOOGLY EYE | tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments »,

monsieur chypre – a short film with erotokritos

April 11th, 2012

Exclusively on Vogue Italia

The Stimuleye presents, a film by antoine asseraf & rené habermacher

MONSIEUR CHYPRE
A Short Film With Erotokritos
a THE STIMULEYE production
STARRING
CONSTANTINO KOUYIALIS as MONSIEUR CHYPRE
LOAN CHABANOL (ELITE) as MADEMOISELLE PARIS
PARIS UNIT
STYLING – MICHAELA DOSAMANTES
HAIR – ROMINA MANENTI
 @ AIRPORT
MAKE-UP – TIINA ROIVANEN @ AIRPORT
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT – LYNSEY PEISINGER
LOCATION – HIROMI OTSUKA
CATERING – EROKITCHEN
VOICE by LYNSEY PEISINGER
MUSIC by LORI SCHONBERG + SHANE ASPEGREN
POSTPRODUCTION by THE STIMULEYE
Read the rest of this entry »

EYE CANDY | tags: , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments »,

films of the season: monsieur chypre

April 9th, 2012

An erotic fashion epic, one year in the making, THE STIMULEYE is proud to present Monsieur Chypre – A Short Film With Erotokritos, coming April 11th on Vogue Italia.

Starring Constantino Kouyialis & Loan Chabanol, styled by Michaela Dosamantes, and directed by Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher.

Monsieur Chypre by Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher

“He knows women, and women know him.”

Erotokritos, it’s a strange name for a fashion brand.
It’s an even stranger name for a person.
And yet, he is truly called Erotokritos Antoniadis, named after the main protagonist of medieval epic poem, a hero “born from the labors of love”.  For 15 years, his label has been seducing women of all ages, drawn to collections that go back and forth between the sophistication of Paris and the dolce vita of Cyprus…

“They call him Monsieur Chypre.”

France and Cyprus, Paris and Nicosia, it’s a long-distance couple.
In Monsieur Chypre, by Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher, they come to life: Loan Chabanol, channeling the nostalgia of Marguerite Duras’ The Lover, plays the tormented Parisian woman, cracking at the surface, while Constantino Kouyialis, in his first first on-screen role, is a revelation as the seductive eponym hero, a modern day Alexis Zorbas.
“An erotic fashion epic” we call it.
“Erotic,” how could it not be with a name like Erotokritos ?
“Fashion,” of course: stylist Michaela Dosamantes, fresh from winning Best Fashion Award at La Jolla Fashion Film Festival for La Main Dans Le Sac, mixes the season’s classic looks to capture the heroine’s transformation from “bluesy” in Vuitton to “red-hot” in Valentino.
And “epic” ? What else do you call a fashion film 10 months in the making, taking place not only in Paris but in numerous locations in Nicosia, in the salt lake facing the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque in Larnaca, in the Almyra and Anassa deluxe hotels, in small taverns by the side of the road, or in the majestic monument carved directed in the stone, the tomb of the Kings in Paphos ? And we haven’t even mentioned the upcoming almost 10 minutes long directors’ cut….

“His voice is a song.”

All this, to the original soundtrack of Lori Schonberg and Shane Aspegren, members of transnational surrealist indie outfit The Berg Sans Nipple.
So, now the tough questions.
Is Cyprus really like this ? A little bit. Not at all. It depends how you look at it.
It is an island of freedom in the east mediterranean, where couples from Israel and Lebanon come to escape religion.  It is the birthplace of Aphrodite. You go, you decide.
So how can I meet this Mister Cyprus ? We hear that one a lot. From women (and men) of all ages. Maybe he’s real, maybe he’s a figment of our collective imagination, our repressed desires. One thing’s for sure — we can’t give you his number.

“Attempting to charm him is useless. He is the one who will find.”

MONSIEUR CHYPRE
a film by ANTOINE ASSERAF & RENE HABERMACHER
a THE STIMULEYE production
STARRING
CONSTANTINO KOUYIALIS as MONSIEUR CHYPRE
LOAN CHABANOL (ELITE) as MADEMOISELLE PARIS
PARIS UNIT
STYLING – MICHAELA DOSAMANTES
HAIR – ROMINA MANENTI
MAKE-UP – TIINA ROIVANEN
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT – LYNSEY PEISINGER
LOCATION – HIROMI OTSUKA
CATERING – EROKITCHEN
VOICE by LYNSEY PEISINGER
MUSIC by LORI SCHONBERG + SHANE ASPEGREN
POSTPRODUCTION by THE STIMULEYE
CYPRUS UNIT
ALSO STARRING
MYRTO KOUYIALIS
DIVA MODELS:
ALEXANDRA BUNETSKAYA
KLELIA YIASEMIDOU
ANNA DOROTHEOU
LOCATIONS:
ALMYRA & ANASSA
THANOS HOTELS
ALL CLOTHES CYPRUS: EROTOKRITOS ARCHIVES
PARIS CLOTHES featuring
LOUIS VUITTON, EROTOKRITOS, LOUIS VUITTON JEWELRY, APERLAI, MARC JACOBS, DIOR, FELIPE OLIVEIRA BAPTISTA, AURELIE BIDERMAN, OLATZ, KIKI DE MONTPARNASSE, BURBERRY AND VALENTINO
THANK YOU
Dimitris Dimitriou / Cyprus Tourist Organisation in Paris
Philippos Philippou / Cyprus Airways
Pavlos Metaxas / Diva models
Antonakis Bar
Eleni Chrysostomidou
Lida Philippidou
Mary Nicolaidou
Maroulla Antoniadou
Gallery Argo Nicosia
Kostas Mantzalos
The city of Nicosia
The city of Paphos
AND
Filep Motwary

Vogue Italia

Erotokritos


EYE CANDY | tags: , , , , , , , ,
No Comments »,

Everything You Need To Know About Hyères 2012 Fashion + Photo Festival

April 8th, 2012

Everything you need to know about the
Hyères International Fashion + Photography Festival 2012.

April 27-30 2012, Villa Noailles, Hyères, FRANCE.

Fashion + photo juries, fashion shows, exhibitions by Yohji Yamamoto, Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Jason Evans, Chronique Curiosités, Maison Rondini, Matthew Cunnington & John Sanderson, Fabrics Interseason, Lynsey Peisinger & The Stimuleye, Lea Peckre, Celine Meteil, Internationales Fashion + Textile Conferences, The Shoes/TEED/Citizens…

a film by The Stimuleye,
with Lynsey Peisinger and François Sagat.


EYE SCREAM | tags: , , , , , , , ,
No Comments »,

contest: beyond the wall

February 23rd, 2012

For the 27th edition of the Hyères Fashion + Photo Festival, The Stimuleye presents choreographer Lynsey Peisinger’s PILLORY, a performance/video/installation hybrid.

Submit your 30 seconds maximum video before April 1st for a chance to have it featured in the installation, which launches April 27th at the 2012 Hyères Fashion + Photo Festival,  next exhibits by  Yohji Yamamoto, Jasons Evans, and Inez van Laamswerde + Vinoodh Matadin.

The Stimuleye contest for Hyères 2012

Imagine what lies beyond the wall of the PILLORY installation.

All submitted videos must be
no more than 30 seconds long,
from one angle/point of view,
and submitted before April 1st, 2012.

Fore more info and video guidelines: contest@thestimuleye.com


EYE CANDY, MY STIMULEYE | tags: , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments »,

An artist should not make himself into an idol

February 5th, 2012

Marina Abramović is everywhere lately.

A marathon performance at MoMa, another retrospective in Moscow, on the cover of POP magazine, hosting a star studded event at Jeffrey Deitch’s MOCA in LA and an exhibition at The Serpentine Gallery slated for 2012, the HBO documentary “The Artist is Present” just screened at Sundance. An ever growing list of projects that is taking her across continents…

Exclusive long form of interview first published in POP magazine FW2012
04_MARINA_ABRAMOVIC_FREJA_BEHA_RENE_HABERMACHER_THE_STIMULEYE
Marina Abramović with her "Mini Me". Photography by René Habermacher for POP magazine

Marina Abramović is everywhere lately. She has emerged from what was considered an alternative section of contemporary art, Performance Art, to finally occupy an untouchable position in the Pantheon of Pop.
A marathon performance at the MoMa, another retrospective in Moscow scheduled, and an exhibition at The Serpentine Gallery slated for 2012, day and night filming of an HBO documentary and an ever growing list of projects. Marina is known for her works in which she tests and pushes her emotional,mental and physical strength, but her schedule takes its toll: Marina is exhausted.
Broad recognition has come comparably late for Abramović, who was often categorized as some sort of Exotic Serbian Vixen. Nevertheless, she has shaped a significant slice of art history like no other.
Today, less considered for her public sexual identity, and more appreciated for her timelessness and her bravery, one could unarguably call Marina “the diva of contemporary art”, were she not so grounded.

02_MARINA_ABRAMOVIC_FREJA_BEHA_RENE_HABERMACHER_THE_STIMULEYE
Freja Beha Erichsen with her "Mini Me". A collaboration by Marina Abramović for POP magazine
Photography by René Habermacher

Our conversation takes place just after Marina’s return to New York from Manchester, England where she spent six weeks collaborating with Robert Wilson on a new biography, “The Life and Death of Marina Abramović”. The play was staged with accompanied music written and conducted by Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons) and narrated by a ferocious Willem Dafoe.
The audience witnessed him meticulously rummaging through the details of her life chronologically. Marina has been clear about her lack of appreciation for theatre as a concept and this play marks a sharp departure from her concept of herself as a performance artist.

She participates in what she used to essentially despise: “To be a performance artist, you have to hate theatre. Theatre is fake: there is a black box, you pay for a ticket, and you sit in the dark and see somebody playing somebody else’s life. The knife is not real, the blood is not real, and the emotions are not real. Performance is just the opposite: the knife is real, the blood is real, and the emotions are real. It’s a very different concept. It’s about true reality.”

05_MARINA_ABRAMOVIC_FREJA_BEHA_RENE_HABERMACHER_THE_STIMULEYE
Death mask of Marina Abramović. Photography by René Habermacher

René Habermacher: With this piece you staged something that you call artificial theatre. It lacks the realness that is central to your work. How was this experience for you?

Marina Abramović: I am his material. I completely gave all the control to Bob (Robert Wilson). That is the only way to really be material for someone else, which is very interesting, because its just absolutely the opposite of what I do. This is first time that i have this really radical approach with Bob – he absolutely refused anything to do with performance. This was an amazing experience for me and very difficult, because his approach to rehearsal is like mine to performance, – but yet it’s just rehearsal! Just be there for hours and hours in order for him to fix the light. I lose my reason, I need the public, I need another kind of dialogue. This was a huge discipline not to kill him!

RH: How did this project with Bob come together? Read the rest of this entry »


EYE 2 EYE | tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments »,

the shoes

October 13th, 2011

They’ve produced Shakira, Sha-Sthil’ed, released a secret Japanese album, toured Europe, and now they’re preparing their big Paris concert, before continuing more collaborations with WoodKid, Aikiu and Philippe Katerine. Ladies and Gentlemen, take your socks off for…The Shoes.

The Shoes / René Habermacher
Benjamin (left) and Guillaume (right) of The Shoes, photo by René Habermacher.

You guys DJ’ed at the Hyères Fashion Festival, then at Versailles for the end of Couture Week, are you infiltrating fashion ?

It was a fun DJ set, a bit camping/bar mitzvah, but well mixed.

We also played in Florence for Pitti, in a beautiful place.

Are you continuing to do production for other artists?

Benjamin: It’s a part of our identity we started and really want to develop, so we try to keep it going, in between festivals, concerts and other requests that come in.  We’re working on the WoodKid (Yoann Lemoine) album, a track with Philippe Katerine, very different things as long as we like the artist.

Guillaume: With Yoann it’s a bit different, as he’s also a friend.

How long has your album been out – you seem to have a lot of different videos already ?

B: The album came out in March, I think like Mylene Farmer we’re going to make a DVD with all the videos… (laughs)

G: We’ve done 4 videos already, preparing Time To Dance for the fall. In the end half of the album is going to have videos.

The Shoes ft Esser, STAY THE SAME. Directed by Daniel Wolfe.

Is Cliché one of the tracks for which you’ll make a video ?

G: a lot of people have asked, it’s a track that chicks like a lot because it’s the only feminine voice on the record, but it’s not in the plans right now, we think Time To Dance will work.

B: We’ve seen people go crazy on that track even though it hasn’t been played much. It has an old-school, Underworld-style crescendo that lasts 2 minutes.

I’ve seen you at the Nouveau Casino the first time around…do you manage to get some of the singers from the tracks to come sing from time to time ?

G: that was really at the beginning! We have Ben Esser who comes quite often, Anita from Cocknbullkid came at Nouveau Casino. But of course the audience likes to put a face on the song.

It’s a bit unusual to have the lyrics pre-recorded with live instruments, usually it’s the other way around — live lyrics with instruments playback. Especially because you guys really are hardcore on the instruments, while the voice seems to come from nowhere…

B: that was the main criticism aimed at us at the beginning, and we hadn’t solved it when you saw us.

G: we were a bit shy, now we sing it ourself, it’s not perfect but it works more with energy instead. Now we’re starting to more or less control the singing.

The Shoes performing WASTIN' TIME with Esser at Hyères 2011, with Stage of the Art.

Do you sing it entirely live now or do you mix with the recorded lyrics by the singer ?

B: you’re getting into our trade secrets… we mix the voices actually.
G: we don’t try to hide it. it was a problem at first, but now we’ve worked it out – though of course when someone like Esser comes along it’s great, it gives it more of a band feeling and we can concentrate on instruments.

So how did you choose the singers and bands with which you collaborated ?

G: it happened by itself.
B: we were spending time in the UK, we met lots of people, making friends. It started with Primary One, we did the music for the track People Moving, he came to the studio in Rheims and we realized we could never have this kind of result with our own voices, so it became our first featuring. Then we contacted the people we had met with some demos, sometimes with lyrics sung in “yogurt”. No real name dropping.
G: none of the featurings are very famous people, it’s rather people who are at a similar stage of their career… since then we see a lot more Cocknbullkid and Esser.

Singing in French, is that something you’d consider ? I imagine the collaboration with Katerine is in French ?
B: for The Shoes, no, but for other artists we do it.

G: Benjamin does it more than me, but it’s not something for The Shoes yet.

The Shoes performing STAY THE SAME with Esser at Hyères 2011, with Stage of the Art.

What’s the current program, festivals ?

G: [this summer it was] festivals, the WoodKid album.

I’ve also produced the album of this artist called The Aikiu, which is a complete transfiguration of the initial project.

Is that the first real album by The Aikiu ? It seems it’s a project that has been on the verge of happening for a long time, I remember hearing a single at least 5 or 6 years ago…

G: They’ve had EP’s only so far, they asked us to come work on the album, we arrived and blew the whole thing upside down. We broke everything and started from scratch. I think Alex has a great voice, and that there’s great things to do with his voice — but that’s complete now and we’re working on WoodKid.

And working on WoodKid’s album brings some extraordinary conditions, we get to use unusual instruments. Yoann also puts a lot of constraints on us too, he knows what he doesn’t want, which pushes us to do things in different ways.

I was also very happy to discover that you (Guillaume) were behind Gucci Vump and the track SHA SHTIL which was THE track of the summer last year… Is that something you’ll continue or are you focussing exclusively on The Shoes ?

G: I’m focussing more on The Shoes, but Gucci Vump is a funny project, a bit shapeless, Louis (Brodinski) and I run into each other from time to time, we get commissions for remixes from time to time — like WoodKid’s Iron. It’s a dilettante project.

Gucci Vump – Sha! Shtil! by quepasooo

So after the festivals you guys are focussing on your own tour ?

G: Yes we have over 30 dates in the fall, the climax will be November 9th at La Cigale in Paris. We also hope to return to Japan.

You’ve already played in Japan ?

G: The album did really well over there, Japan’s the first country to sign us besides GUM, and they didn’t want to wait so long for the album, so we released an album just for Japan, with B-sides. People try to get their hands on that album, which is a bit of a collectors’ item, with demos and beta versions of tracks which later appear on CRACK MY BONES.

But we’re very focussed on our La Cigale date – with almost all the guests from the album, extra band members…

We usually have 2 percussionists, but we’ll probably go back to 4 – visually it’s beautiful and in terms of sound it doesn’t hurt. When you have 4 guys doing a sort of choreography, it gives something unusual.

The Shoes, photo by René Habermacher.

The last thing which stimulated you…

G: a DJ from a rap group called 1995, a French group, which made an amazing mixtape for the summer.

B: for me, it was the Solidays concert of Ebony Bones – I usually don’t listen to her music, but in concert it was impressive.  It’s really made for a festival.

G: from time to time, you get groups that you don’t necessarily like that make a strong impression on you live, they transfigure their music. But you also get the opposite…

I had that with Gonzales. 10 years ago I liked his stuff, I went to see him live, and I hated it so much, I couldn’t listen to the music again for several years. And still now I like the music but I can’t stand his videos or his imagery in general.

G: it was really important for us to delegate the image to Pierre (LeNy), even if we have our ideas regarding what we like visually.

So far you haven’t appeared in any of your videos….but you’re not hiding either ?

G: You often see beautiful videos that fail as soon as the singer appears, the acting required from the singer brings the whole thing down. We want our films to be little bits of cinema – we’re not going to add anything to that feeling.

THE SHOES
Special concert at LA CIGALE
November 9th 2011
Opening act: ESSER

Photo credits:
STYLING: Michael Philouze
GROOMING: Tanya K @ B-AGENCY
PHOTO ASSISTANT: Fabien Campoverde
with special thanks to Pierre Le Ny & G.U.M.

Film credits:
Filmed by Jason Last & René Habermacher
Edited by Antoine Asseraf
Production Assistant Lynsey Peisinger
a THE STIMULEYE production


EYE 2 EYE, EYE HEAR | tags: , , , , , , , ,
2 Comments »,

the end of summer hypernation

August 30th, 2011

The Stimuleye is back from summer hyper-hybernation.

After a galloping transatlantic spiral of frenzy, we lay exhausted for days on various shores around the globe. Meanwhile, not entirely lazy, some of the Stimuleyes danced away in Watermill or invented a bookclub of a new, performative kind, shuffling readings of MANHUNT, STILETTO and Jackie Collins’ masterpiece THE STUD into a new, exciting bootleg. But more about that later.

During this hot days another Stimuleye project rushed through printers rotation: a collaboration with Marina Abramović featuring Freja Beha Erichsen photographed by René Habermacher for POP magazine.

POP-Magazine_AW2011_MARINA_ABRAMOVIC_FREJA_BEHA_RENE_HABERMACHERPOP-Magazine_AW2011_MARINA_ABRAMOVIC_RENE_HABERMACHER
Freja Beha Erichsen and Marina Abramović, both posing with Marinas "mini-me" and wearing GIORGIO ARMANI
Photography by René Habermacher

The Fall Issue will feature 2 covers with Marina and Freja and an inside story with exclusive interview, plus a limited edition hardback showing Marina’s death mask. Some of our fellow readers might recognise another co-star: yes, it’s Daisy the Boa which we met in Manchester, in an attempt to strangle the alter ego of Marina, her “mini-me”.

Coming soon to the newstands, the new POP is investigating this time THE REDEFINITION OF THE LADY. As Ashley Heath, its publisher puts it:

“POP has been exploring the notion of a very particular kind of modern fashionable woman. But it’s shifting all the time in such an interesting way. There’s a very liberated, new-world perspective to it and I think Marina Abramovic taps into that. She’s a figure who will only continue to grow in influence I believe. You hesitate to use the word ‘icon’ these days, but Marina and Freja are both resonant female role models at a time when lowest common denominator so often rules the day”

POP-Magazine_AW2011_MARINA_ABRAMOVIC_RENE_HABERMACHER_2POP-Magazine_AW2011_MARINA_ABRAMOVIC_RENE_HABERMACHER_3
POP's Special edition Hardcover with Marina Abramović's death mask and "mini-me" wrestling with Daisy.
Photography by René Habermacher

MARINA CREDITS: Styling Isabelle Kountoure , Hair by Chi Wong at Julian Watson Agency using Shu Uemura Art of Hair, Make-up Yannis Siskos at Effex using Giorgio Armani Cosmetics, Photography Assistance Jonathan Flanders & Hannan Jones, Digital Remastering The Stimuleye, Snake Wrangler David Steward for Creature Feature, Production Lynsey Peisinger for The Stimuleye

FREJA CREDITS: Styling Isabelle Kountoure, Hair Peter Gray at The Collective using Shu Uemura Art of Hair, Make up Romy Soleimani at Management Artists, Manicure Tracelee Percival at Vue using Priti NYC, Model Freja Beha Erichsen at IMG New York, Casting Angus Munro at AM Casting, Streeters NY, Photography Assistance Cesar Rebollar, Fashion Assistance Jodie Latham, Stephanie Waknine, Rebecca Sammon & Michaela Dosamantes, Digital Technician Dilek Islidak, Digital Remastering The Stimuleye, Set Design Anne Koch at CLM NY, Production John Engstrom at Scheimpflüg Digital, Shot at Eagles Nest Daylight Studios NYC

POP MAGAZINE


EYE CANDY, EYEcon | tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments »,

5 FACES OF LUDIVINE

July 26th, 2011

Ludivine.
Both Femme-enfant and enfant terrible of French cinéma, Ludivine Sagnier has been popping up on screens for well over a decade now.

However, we’ll forgive you if you haven’t noticed it, because Ludivine is a chameleon, blending in with her characters, making you forget she’s Ludivine.

She has “the mystery of lightness”. We didn’t say it, Christophe Honoré did.

As she appears in his upcoming film, THE BELOVED as well as Lee Tamahori’s DEVIL’S DOUBLE, we were commissioned to do an interview and video portrait we did for Vogue Italia, out on August 1st 2011. Here is an exclusive teaser out-take, where Ludivine plays for us the imagined role of TERMINATRICE, in a Versace dress.

TERMINATRICE. Music OUTLANDS by Daft Punk.

Set to Daft Punk’s TRON soundtrack, TERMINATRICE is one of the 5 teasers René and I directed for the video portrait of Ludivine. Set in the new and newly-starred Jean-François Piège gastronomic restaurant (designed by India Mahdavi and M/M) and adjoining Thoumieux hotel, Ludivine offered to us one very full day of her very full schedule between 2 trips to Cannes…

The last thing that stimulated her ? Meeting Robert de Niro.
More on August 1st.

DREAM. Music ANTIPHONIE by Discodeine. Dress, Valentino. Launched on Un Nouveau Ideal. 

ALIEN. Music GLASS JAR by Gang Gang Dance. Trench, Burberry. Launched on Fashion Copious. 

CRISE. Music SECRETLY by Skung Anansie. Dress, Fendi. Launched on Jules Fashion. 

IT GIRL. Music YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN by Cults. Top, Giambatista Valli. Launched on Hiromi's Journal inTime. 

DIRECTED by Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher

STYLED by Lydia Lobe Elessa
Assisted by Edwina Ramade

HAIR by Karin Bigler @ D and V
MAKE-UP by Yacine Diallo @ Artlist

PRODUCTION The Stimuleye
Production Assistant – Lynsey Peisinger

FILMED AT Hotel Thoumieux, Paris

THANK YOU
Jean-François Piège
Lisa Kajita
First Floor


EYE CANDY, EYEdoll | tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments »,

LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC – III

July 8th, 2011

“An artist should not make themselves into an idol”

Marina's commandment III. Photo by Lynsey Peisinger.

MINI-MARINA
Mini-Marina is a doll that wears Marina’s own, real hair.

It just flew in from New York City.

The costume department is working on dressing Mini-Marina for the premiere…

Life And Death Of Marina Abramovic
at Manchester International Festival
July 9 – 16, 2011.


EYEdoll | tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments »,

LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC – II

July 7th, 2011

“An artist has to be aware of his own mortality”

AN ARTIST HAS TO BE AWARE OF HIS OWN MORTALITY - MARINA ABRAMOVIC

Marina's Commandment II. Photo by Lynsey Peisinger.

MASK
Its raining in Manchester. Although sometimes not.

The first preview went on stage under the roof of that building where his architect threw himself from his landmark tower to death.
Marina thinks there must be some energy left from this.

At Marina’s funeral, who do you expect to see in the coffin? Marina, obviously. Since we have three people in both of Marina’s funeral scenes, they decided to make everyone wear “Marina masks” so that everyone would look like her.

We call them “Marina Death Masks”. They looked much more morbid before they put makeup on them…


EYEdoll | tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments »,

LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC – I

July 5th, 2011

“An artist should have friends that lift their spirits”

marina abramovic

Marina's commandment I . Picture by Lynsey Peisinger.

STIFFY
The first three weeks of rehearsals were held in a rehearsal space where we used temporary props and stand-in animals.

Stiffy (aptly named by Willem Dafoe) was Marina’s stand in horse. We miss Stiffy now that we are at the theatre and the “real” horse has arrived.

He had a very wide body and Marina had to walk like a cowboy after sitting on him for too long.
But he was good to Marina for those weeks.

Life And Death Of Marina Abramovic
at Manchester International Festival
July 9 – 16, 2011.


EYEdoll | tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 Comment »,

SIREN SUZANNE von AICHINGER

June 21st, 2011

Suzanne von Aichinger is a modern archetype of the Parisian muse, in spite of the fact that she was born in Germany, and grew up in Canada.

She was discovered by the legendary illustrator Antonio Lopez, whom she considers to be one of the great influences in her life, as well as a very close friend. She inspired and collaborated closely in the design studios, with Christian Lacroix, John Galliano and Jean Paul Gaultier. Suzanne von Aichinger posed for iconic photographers Serge Lutens, Paolo Roversi, Mario Testino, Jean Loup Sieff, Ali Madhavi, David Seidner, and strutted down the catwalks of Yves St Laurent, Thierry Mugler, Claude Montana, Gianni Versace, Christian Dior (Galliano) , Hermes, Martin Margiela, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier.

In Greek mythology, the Sirens with the irresistible charm of their song, lured mariners to their destruction on the rocks surrounding their island..

In modern mythology, Sirens are dressed in Rick Owens, pose for photographer René Habermacher and share their secrets and thoughts on current and past affairs with Stimuleye Filep Motwary

SUZANNE VON AICHINGER feature, is a collaboration between Un nouVeau iDEAL and THE STIMULEYE
Fashion Editor : Ines Fendri ⎜ Make Up : Akiko Sakamoto ⎜ Hair : Karin Bigler
Production : Lynsey Peisinger for THE STIMULEYE
Special Thanks to Mr Rick Owens and Anne van den Bosche @ Rick Owens Press Office
05_SUZANNE_von_AICHINGER_rene_habermacher
KALI, Suzanne von Aichinger wears a Rick Owens cape and gloves, all FW2011. Photography by René Habermacher

I always liked her and when we finally became friends, I liked her even more. In the following conversation Suzanne shares her thoughts on fashion, music, talent, the water, mythology and other obscurities. You are about to discover the muse, the model, the artist, the stylist..

I caught her leg on her daybreak between styling for a Vogue photo shoot and organizing a major project.

FILEP MOTWARY: Hi beautiful? So it was very difficult to catch you in the past two months. What have you been up to?

SUZANNE von AICHINGER: I know Filep. I’ve been a little like Houdini…escaping. But for a good reason. I had plenty of work and styling projects

Tell me more about it please. It seems you work non-stop.

It’s been good for me lately. I’ve been styling some perfume campaigns, editorials for Russian Vogue, Italian Vanity Fair, doing photos with Dita, and now I’m preparing another perfume campaign, and a major photo shoot with one of the MOST gorgeous women on the planet.

Oh Gosh, indeed its a lot. You mean the actress, Elisa Sednaoui? Ali posted a shot of her on twitter…

Oh what a beauty Elisa is!!! But, I’m referring to another lady…very iconic. I don’t know if I should say who it is. I don’t like to talk about things before they come out…

I understand. How easy it is for you to collaborate with people. What a concept needs to have in order to get you involved in it?

Collaborating with people is my ultimate way of creating. I find the dynamic of working with another or others, stimulating, and proven a successful way of expression for me.

How do you make your choices? Is money an important motive or not always?

There has to be an element that compels me, something that excites my imagination. I also have to feel that I have something relevant to bring to the story. Money is very often not a motive. But, sometimes it is an essential part of creation. We must also live, make a living, etc. You have to know when to give and when to sell!! There is no shame in being paid for a job well done. Andy Warhol considered making money the highest art form. I’m not sure that I adhere to this philosophy, but I don’t love being broke either. I like the freedom that having some cash on hand can procure you.

On the other hand there might be talented people, who would love your contribution but, lets say, cannot afford you. How would you react in such conditions?

I usually say YES to a project, which stimulates me. It’s not about the $$$. It’s about the action. I believe in working with people that I consider talented or kindred spirits. As people of great talent have wanted to work with me, when I had no money to pay them. Just for the sheer joy of seeing an idea become a reality.

I wanted to ask you about the photo shoot you just did with René Habermacher. It’s so iconic, yet in a very special way. How was working with René?

I loved it. We had a beautiful day together, with a great creative team. We wanted to express in this series, something that is based more on personality, than fashion. I feel that there are many stories to be told in my future with René. There is a quality in his vision that is very strong and appealing.

03_SUZANNE_von_AICHINGER_rene_habermacher
CASSANDRA, Suzanne von Aichinger wears a Rick Owens dress, boots and gloves, all FW2011.
Photography by René Habermacher

Exactly my point. The photographs serve our conversation so right! I’m very happy that Rick Owens was so positive when I contacted him for the garments. He is always so nice to me. Also for the fact that we shot his winter collection which is by far my favorite!

So am I! I LOVE Rick! He is one of my favorites. And, his fashion is timeless. I know that this can sound cliché, but if you have some pieces by Rick from 12 years ago, they are as relevant as pieces that he has made 2 days ago. They don’t go in and out of fashion. They have their own essence and place.

Having in mind that Rick’s clothes are so special, yet the 2000’s are the epitome of diversity. Each designer points out a different outline every season, there is so much choice. How do you see fashion now yourself, as a stylist?

It’s hard for me to answer this. I see many great things happening, no doubt. But, I see a lot of nonsense going on as well. There is not enough power any more in the hands of the creators. Now, big design houses change designers like they change their underwear. Just ridiculous. There is no time for the designer in place to create a brand identity, that he is fired. And very often, they find out that they’ve been fired, by reading about it in the papers.

It’s as if the financial/commercial people at the heads of some houses, envied the position of creator, and wished to usurp it. They believe that they are capable of being the creator. WRONG!!!!
Read the rest of this entry »


EYE 2 EYE, EYE CANDY, EYEcon, EYEdoll, RETINA | tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
3 Comments »,

NEXT: SUZANNE von AICHINGER

June 20th, 2011

In Greek mythology, the Sirens with the irresistible charm of their song, lured mariners to their destruction on the rocks surrounding their island..

In modern mythology, Sirens are dressed in Rick Owens, pose for photographer Rene Habermacher and share their secrets and thoughts on current and past affairs with Stimuleye Filep Motwary

Stay tuned..

SUZANNEvAICHINGER_rene_habermacher
Siren Suzanne von Aichinger wears Rick Owens FW2011. Photography by René Habermacher.
Fashion Editor : Ines Fendri ⎜ Make Up : Akiko Sakamoto ⎜ Hair : Karin Bigler ⎜ Production : Lynsey Peisinger

What was the last thing that stimulated you?

Suzanne von Aichinger:
Shooting Haider Ackermann’s portrait for Vogue.”


EYE 2 EYE, GOOGLY EYE | tags: , ,
No Comments »,

ERWIN BLUMENFELD: through the eyes of his son Henry.

May 25th, 2011

On the second day of the fashion and photography festival in Hyeres, I watched Henry Blumenfeld, elementary particle physicist and son of Erwin Blumenfeld, inconspicuously walking through the exhibit of his father’s work at the Villa Noailles. He was wearing a tan suit, sneakers and a baseball cap that was slightly crooked on his head. Before long, the spacious, bright room where the artist’s photographs and videos were being exhibited became empty and quiet. Only the slight hum of voices around the villa could be heard through the walls. Here, surrounded by a collection of stunning and rare examples of his father’s work — large-scale, restored prints — Henry sat down with us for an intimate conversation: Erwin Blumenfeld the artist, the father, the mentor and the man of perseverance.

by Lynsey Peisinger, Photography René Habermacher

02_BLUMENFELD_rene-habermacher
Son Henry Blumenfeld in front of his fathers DOE EYE with Jean Patchett for Vogue US 1950

LYNSEY PEISINGER: Where were you born?

HENRY BLUMENFELD: I was born in 1925 in Zandfoort near Amsterdam. My father had been an ambulance driver during the first World War. During the war, he had met my mother who was Dutch, Lena Citroen, who was a cousin of Pal Citroen, a German/Dutch artist. He grew up in Berlin with my father and they went to school together and they were very close friends. Through Pal, he met my mother and they corresponded during the war. My mother came to visit him in Germany when he was a soldier there. He tried to leave Germany, but he couldn’t. So, just after the war he came to Holland and then, a little bit later, married my mother in the early 20s. I guess, 1921. And because he was German and she was Dutch, she became German — that was the Dutch law at the time. I was born in Holland, but because I had a German father, I also became German.

LP: What was your father doing at that time?

HB: He was surviving. Leaving Germany at the end of the war, he tried to survive with the help of my mother and set up some kind of art dealing business with a friend, but that didn’t work very well. He was doing a lot of collage and kept in touch with other German Dadaists. After two years, he started to work as a clerk in a department store. Later, around the time I was born, he opened his own shop called the Fox Leather Company, selling ladies handbags and suitcases on the Kalvestraat. That went fairly well, but soon Hitler came to power and the business went badly and eventually bankrupt. That’s when he decided to become a photographer in 1934.

01_BLUMENFELD_rene-habermacher06_BLUMENFELD_rene-habermacher
ERWIN BLUMENFELD Exhibition at the villa Noailles Squash Court. Right: Erwin Blumenfeld OPHELIA 1947

RENE HABERMACHER: So your father’s first art oriented interest was collage and he was in the Dadaist movement?

HB: He was already interested in photography. He got his first camera when he was about 6 or 7. But his main interest was perhaps the theatre. That was something he was strongly attached to: the German language. His Dutch always remained a little bit feeble to say the least. He worked quite a lot, but with theatre in German language, he couldn’t make much of a living… With his collages he couldn’t make a living with that either but always kept in touch with the Germans — Grosz and Richard Huelsenbeck and other people of the Dadaist movement. Recently there was an exhibition in Berlin on this periods work of my father and a book has been published.

LP: Did he continue to do collage later on when he started doing photography?

HB: No. When he was doing collage, he was also painting — he was a Sunday painter: He did quite a bit of painting on Saturdays and Sundays. But he dropped doing his collage and the painting and started doing photography in Amsterdam. The business went rather poorly, he had health problems and more or less escaped to Paris around the 1st of January 1936. The first year it was very difficult for him to make a living. He got support from the family of his wife, of my mother. On his side he didn’t have much family left. His father had died before the first world war and his mother deceased shortly afterwards. He lost his brother in the war as a soldier in the German army and his sister died of Tuberculosis shortly after.

My father was friends with Walter Feilchenfeldt’s wife Marianne. He was a quite well known art dealer in Zurich. Mariane Feilchenfeldt helped him to rent his studio in Paris at 9 rue Delambre.

RH: So in Paris he got introduced to photography on a professional level?

HB: Already in Holland he was doing it on a professional level. He took many portraits and pictures there, but they didn’t sell much. He got in touch with some French people who came to Holland and they eventually supported him when he went to Paris — like Andre Girard the painter. Then, after about a year later, he started to sell photos to small photo magazines in the US and England, such as Lilliput. In 1937, he met british photographer Cecil Beaton who introduced him to Vogue. My father started to work for Paris Vogue in 1938.

When he was in Paris, he worked only in black and white. Color was not yet really developed for photography. It was very difficult for individuals to use color in their own studios, so he only did black and white while he was in Paris. I should mention that for his Paris period, his publications in Verve were very important. He had some of his striking black and white photos published in the first issues of that magazine. In the dark room, he experimented a lot, but only in black and white.

Then came the war and during the war, we were foreigners in france — we were not really refugees, but were without status, so it was quite difficult. In the beginning of the war, we were more or less exiled, we lived in a hotel in Vessely nine months, a sort of medieval town in Burgundy, France with a really nice cathedral. Then the Germans came and my father and sister were put in a camp. My mother and my brother and I, with the help of some Citroen cousins, managed to escape to the south of France. Our father was then in a rather horrible camp in France. We stayed in the Country until 1941, trying to get out. Then we managed to get a visa for the US — my father had been to the US already, in June of 1939. That was were, I think he took his first color photographs. He came back to France in July 1939 and he was stuck in France for two years. Then when we got to go to the US, he started working first with Harper’s Bazaar for two or three years, switched to Vogue and started doing color photography. At the time, he took his color pictures in the studio, using different color lights and so on — he was very experimental. But for the development and the printing, it was completely out of his hands. It was always done by Kodak. At the time, he couldn’t do anything in color on his own in the laboratory.

Most of these photos here were printed by Kodak. When I say printed, they weren’t really printed, they were large color transparencies. Like big negatives — 12 by 15 inches. I think that all of these photos here were taken in this large format and they were transparencies. The pictures were only printed for Vogue — working from the transparencies. Sometimes my father would give some direction on how they should be printed, but he was not generally involved in the printing itself. Only later, around 1956, they started to develop a new process called C-Prints. He bought the C-Print machine and he could start doing his own color. But C-Prints were very unstable as far as the color went — if they were exposed to light, in a few days they would essentially vanish. So all of his work in C-Print is essentially gone. Even the color transparencies that we have of his work have either faded or changed color a lot. Especially the reds, had faded. So, our doughtier Nadia has worked a lot with Olivier Berg at a laboratory in Lozère to try to restore the original colors. She is using the original publications because those prints have kept their color much better than the transparencies. So what you see in this exhibit is the result of the work that Olivier Berg and Nadia have done.

RH: Would you say that your father was somebody who was very progressive and pushing for new things in general?

HB: I don’t know about new things…. He was for the experimental, which is a little bit different. I don’t know if he was really striving for new things, but he tried to do do things differently and experimented. He was very much inspired by especially old painters like Goya and Renoir and much impressed by Picasso. I don’t know if he ever got to meet Picasso in Paris at the time. But he met quite a few artists as Dali and others.

05_BLUMENFELD_rene-habermacher
Erwin Blumenfeld advertising for PALL MALL circa 1957.

RH: But he liked the experimental, so maybe that was something that remained with him from the Dadaist movement?

HB: Yes, that was important to him.

LP: I heard Michel Mallard talking earlier about how remarkable it is that there was no photoshop or digital editing at that time… this image, this one with the lips and the eye, DOE EYE, where the nose is missing and there is color separation, was this done in the retouching process?

HB: This was done in the process of retouching. It was an original black and white picture. It was colored afterwards by my father and by Vogue. They worked on it together. That was a special case because the others that you see were done in color and then reworked. This one did not originally have these colors.

RH: When your father was working, did you often witness his process and how he worked in his studio?

HB: No. When he was in Paris, working in black and white, I was somewhat present. But afterwards, in the States, I was not really present anymore. So I didn’t really witness him working in color.

RH: Was his approach as a photographer more controlled or more spontaneous?

HB: I think both. He was quite controlled — all of these pictures here were taken in a studio. But he also traveled quite a bit in America and in Europe and he took many 35 millimeter color slides. Incidentally, the color of those slides kept much better than the color on the transparencies. But, in the studio, he was very controlled and would take many pictures to get something specific in a sitting.


Left: Erwin Blumenfeld LE DECOLLETE 1952, RIGHT: Henry Blumenfeld in Conversation

LP: In Paris, were you present when he would shoot people in the studio?

HB: Sometimes, but not very often. I was more present when he was working in the dark room.

RH: I recently saw notes from Richard Avedon where he had a black and white print and he marked on it all of the places where he wanted the development to be darker or lighter using manipulation techniques in the dark room. Was your father working with these techniques too?

HB: Yes in the dark room, for black and white, he manipulated a lot. It would have been interesting to see what he would have done with color photography if he had been born fifty years later. At the time, the technology wasn’t there for him to do anything after a picture was taken in color.

RH: Where would your father have his intellectual and creative relationships — in other photography or painting etc?

HB: I would think painting. Very much painting, classical painting. Many of his photos were inspired by different painters. He was also inspired by modern life and by life in NY at the time, in the 40s and 50s. He liked jazz music very much, in the New Orleans style.

And he was quite interested in looking at television when it first came out. We got our first television set around 1950 or so. It was black and white at the time. I don’t think he ever saw color television. Maybe he saw it, but he never had one. He liked movies — but more for the content than for the photography. He liked Nanook of the North, about a Danish explorer. He was interested in movies — liked Erich Von Stroheim and he liked Sunset Boulevard and Billy WIlder.

RH: Was that love for cinema also what led to him making films?

HB: The filming was more in line with advertising. I think he was trying to see if he could use the filming for advertising, rather than to tell a story like in movies. Now you see everything mixed, advertising and movies. But at the time, it was an experiment.

RH: Do you think that your father really divided the things that he did for himself and the things that he was commissioned to do? The time after the war was quite commercial driven in America — was it easy for him to also do what he wanted to do?

HB: For one thing, the black and white and the color were two different things. In black and white, he could do what he wanted. In color, probably none of them were published in the exact way that they had been taken. They were made and developed specifically for Vogue. He did appreciate the possibility to work in color, but the whole fashion business and the way it worked was not very attractive for him. But still, when he had started out in Germany, he had started out working for a textile company and so, even then, he was interested in materials and fashion. Still, he didn’t really appreciate the fashion magazine business, but he knew that he could make his living there. So there were two sides to it for him — on one side, it was a place for him to make a living, on the other side, it gave him the opportunity to work in color, which he might not have had otherwise. He did have certain resentments, which is true for everyone in any job.

08_BLUMENFELD_rene-habermacher
Erwin Blumenfeld DECOLLETEE and BLUE both 1952, and POWDER BOX 1944

RH: There are artists who suffer between the economical need to do something commercial and the desire to make the work that they are passionate about. They can feel torn…

HB: I don’t think that was his case. First of all, he did well financially in the 40s and 50s and he appreciated that. And then, because of that he was able to continue his work in black and white. You might have seen his book “My One Hundred Best Photos”. We have people comment on the fact that there is almost no fashion in that book–he did a little fashion photography in black and white for Vogue before the war, but later he didn’t do any fashion work in black and white. But, it gave him a lot of satisfaction to be able to do that book of his black and white work.

Still…he wasn’t always satisfied with everything. Becoming old for him was very difficult. It made him suffer a lot…some people accept it, but he accepted it quite badly.

LP: You said that he was experimental as a photographer. As a person and as a father, did he also have that type of attitude? And did he transmit that type of approach to his children?

HB: Well….I think he had his ups and downs. He was a very active father in many ways. He was involved with his children and either pleased or displeased with what they were doing. I don’t know….the children turned out very differently. I became an elementary particle physicist. My brother became a writer. He is not exactly politically minded… he is interested in art, sociology in many ways and in the way people behave. He was very rich in ideas my father, perhaps more so than his children.

LP: Did any of his children take an interest in photography?

HB: Interest yes, but not active in photography. Though, my wife became a photographer. She was born in Paris to an Algerian/Russian father and a British aristocratic mother. She survived the war in France — her father was Jewish, her mother was British, but anyway they would have liked to capture her. After the war she came to New York and worked for one year for the New York Times, one of the first women to work in a non-secretary position at the New York Times. Then she went back to France and when she came back to the States, the New York Times fired her because her vacation to France was more vacation than they were willing to give. Then she met the wife of Alex Liberman, the editor of Vogue, and became model editor at Vogue. Her job was to provide models for the photographers. Then she met my father and after a fews years, she started working for him. She started representing him. She never got any lessons from him in photography but she worked with him as an assistant– sending his photographs to different commercial companies. Then after we got married, she became a photographer herself and worked quite actively as a photographer. First a bit in Princeton where we lived. Then in Geneva for a few years. Then we came to Paris and she started working for Vogue and other magazines. She did mostly portraits of personalities and important political people and scientists etc. And other side projects, like children photography too. To a large extent inspired by my father. Of course, after we got married and had children, my father got another assistant, Marina Schinz. She became a photographer too — mostly garden photography and published a book on that.

LP: It is interesting that she worked with your father, who was doing a lot of fashion photography and then she became a garden photographer…

HB: She admired his work very much and when he died, she bought his studio on Central Park South. And she didn’t have a single photograph of his on the wall.

Both she and Kathleen, my wife, probably wouldn’t have become photographers without him. They were inspired by him, but they probably felt that they couldn’t really rival him, so they chose different styles.

LP: Do you think that he was a good teacher?

HB: He wasn’t really a teacher. But he was a big influence. My wife saw how he worked, but he never tried to give her lessons. Same with Marina Schinz.

When my father died, he let Marina handle his photographic inheritance. From the point of view of his will, it was never very clear…He left the photos with her and she tried to handle it the best possible way. So she divided all of the black and white photographs into four lots–one for each of his children and one for herself. Then she gave essentially all of the color transparencies to Nadia. Now Nadia has been quite active in promoting her grandfather’s work. She is now working on an exhibit for next year in Chalands sur Seine. There is a photography museum there and next year they will do an exhibit of my father’s work.

03_BLUMENFELD_rene-habermacher04_BLUMENFELD_rene-habermacher
Left: Erwin Blumenfeld BLUE with model Leslie Redgate 1952.  Right: Erwin Blumenfeld VARIATIONS, unpublished 1947

LP: What is the last thing that stimulated you?

HB: What do you mean by stimulated? Something that affected me? Well, the thing that affected me is that my wife, Kathleen, died three months ago. Clearly that affected me. She had been sick, her brain didn’t work anymore. She was going downhill for ten years and in the last two years, she didn’t talk anymore. I don’t know what went on in her head. And three months ago, on the 9th of February, she died next to me…That is the thing that affected me. Also, what affected me was, she died very peacefully next to me. I didn’t realize that she was dead until I felt her and she was still warm and the kin came and said “votre femme est morte”. The morning afterwards, I got the announcement that a second great grandchild had been born. That also affected me. The day afterwards was the funeral and that was quite a moving event–we had five of the grandchildren and they made speeches and my children made speeches and I made a speech. One of the granddaughters filmed it and I now have it on dvd. So, that too affected me. I could tell you more, but maybe that’s enough for the moment.

Kathleen had been very close to my father and she admired him very much. Over the last ten years, she slowly went out of this world.

Thanks to our daughter Nadia, Kathleen had two double page spreads in Match in the last year. Nadia had given the pictures of Kathleen to Roger Viollet and he organized the spread.

RH: What is your work?

HB: I am an elementary particle physicist, experimental! Which is quite different. But I worked first with Cloud Chambers and then with Bubble Chambers and so I surely took more pictures than my father did. Of particles. Millions of pictures.


EYE 2 EYE, EYEcon | tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 Comment »,