“I have become a mere recording angel,” states WILLIAM T. VOLLMANN in this issue’s 40-page dossier on the American author’s pursuit to understand the tyrannical world.
Meanwhile, PIERRE ALEXANDER DE LOOZ activates the secret Vogue history of CY TWOMBLY photographed by HORST P. HORST; publisher LORD GEORGE WEIDENFELD divulges the historical foundation of the global networking imperative in an interview with HANS ULRICH OBRIST; architect ARNO BRANDLHUBER asks how we can build architecture in the form of a discussion; artist MATTHEW BARNEY previews the Detroit chapter of his opera Ancient Evenings; designer RICK OWENS talks with CARSON CHAN about the discrete, the lurid, and the total aesthetic; director PAUL SCHRADER and king of disco GIORGIO MORODER crystallize 30 years of AMERICAN GIGOLO; artist ANDRO WEKUA stares us down with a 21st-century scenography;
ALASDAIR MCLELLAN showcases LARA, DIANA, COCO, SIGRID, CAMERON, ISABELI, LILY, AGYNESS, and DREE; DANIEL SANNWALD captures a postdigital surrealism in “Aftershock Pompeii”; DANKO STEINER stages a transatlantic cabaret with ANJA, CARMEN, HANNELORE, MISSY, NATASA, and PATRICIA; art critic NIKLAS MAAK speculates on how our future could live in architecture firm SANAA’s ROLEX LEARNING CENTER; designer HIROKI NAKAMURA of VISVIM emanates product fundamentalism;
the new 032c SELECT presents the best of this season’s books, products, and ideas; and so much more on 284 pages …
Matthew Barney, Chris Dercon, Georg Diez, Vicente Gutierrez, Oliver Helbig, Horst P. Horst, Young Kim, Niklas Maak, Sebastian Mayer, Alasdair McLellan, Rick Owens, Alexander Provan, Steve Pulimood, Zac Rose, Christopher Roth, Daniel Sannwald, Slavs & Tatars, Ana Steiner, Danko Steiner, Fed Tan, William T. Vollmann, Tung Walsh, Andro Wekua, Mei-lun Xue
When William T. Vollmann was 22 years old, he decided that he would write a book about the plight of the Afghan people, who were then engaged in battle against the Soviets. He planned to travel to Pakistan and document the misery of Afghan refugees, then sneak across the border and photograph the courageous deeds of the mujahideen struggling to repel the invaders. In addition to the written account of his journey, he would produce a slide show and present it at fundraising events back home in California; Vollmann’s neighbors would be so affected by the wretchedness of his subjects and the righteousness of their cause that they would open up their checkbooks right then and there (and later place calls to their local representatives). Before leaving, Vollmann wrote former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, who had been one of the primary architects of the Vietnam War, for advice. more – ‘WILLIAM T. VOLLMANN. Conflict, Compassion and the Process of Understanding’
HIROKI NAKAMURA’s eyes light up, becoming near obsessive when asked to describe the products he makes for Visvim, the under-the-radar Japanese brand with a cult-like following. “Good crafts-manship makes us happy, so we naturally want to make things,” says Nakamura during a recent conversation at the Visvim A/W10 collection trunk show in Hong Kong. The VIP customers at the show spent between three to six hours obsessing over every single piece, and carefully placing their pre-orders. more – ‘Hiroki Nakamura’
Rather than invention, condition is the mainstay of ARNO BRANDLHUBER’s architectural imagination. A Berliner since 2006, Brandlhuber (born 1964) has embedded the city’s otherwise humdrum urban landscape with a critical vision that is both stimulating and practical. In his home, which he shares with artist Isa Melsheimer, on the top floor of his new building on Brunnenstrasse in Berlin-Mitte, Brandlhuber explained how he sees “building” as a verb, not a noun. more – ‘THE BRANDLHUBER PARADOX’
From above, Mongolia is a swath of desert, its red soil blending seamlessly from the northern border of China. Eventually, sharp but minor peaks occur, abutting serpentine streams. A sliver of valley appears, just between ridge and rill, bearing an orderly grid of short, white buildings – Ulaanbaatar, the modest capital of a scarcely populated nation. Sandwiched between an erstwhile protagonist to the north and an unapologetic competitor to the south, Mongolia is accustomed to attention from global forces. Recently, an interest from afar touched down on its vast terrain, a presence distinctly french. On October 23, 2009, Louis Vuitton unveiled its bi-level Double Damier façade on the northwest corner of Central Tower, a newly erected commercial highrise in Ulaanbaatar’s main Sükhbaatar square. The Louis Vuitton Ulaanbaatar store both heralds the wealth to come in a burgeoning market, and bears witness to LV’s manifest expansion.
more – ‘Diplomacy and Monograms’
How an Austrian refugee escaped the Nazis and arrived in London with sixteen shillings, only to become one of the most important publishers of the 20th century, and the embodiment of the 21st century’s global networking imperative. “During one of those typical discussions around Weidenfeld’s table,” the writer Ian Burma once recalled, “there gathered an Israeli prime minister,
a French historian, an Indian scholar, a British editor-in-chief, an Italian writer, an American foreign minister, and a German conductor. Most of them were nobel Prize winners. And this was just the cast for breakfast!”
more – ‘LORD GEORGE WEIDENFELD’
In recent years, it has been difficult to imagine an editorially defiant fashion magazine coming out of Japan, or one that at least challenged the country’s dominant publishing model of glossy shopping brochures. However, this is what Toru Ukon had in mind, as far back as 2003, when he founded HUgE. Unlike most other fashion titles, HUgE, he says, “wanted to be borderless, which at the time meant mixing French ‘Grande Maison’ with the sensibilities of street and rock.” more – ‘HUgE’
Crystallizing 30 years of AMERICAN GIGOLO with Paul Schrader and Giorgio Moroder Interview by GEORG DIEZ and CHRISTOPHER ROTH This is the gayest non-gay movie ever made. This is a homo-hetero conspiracy. This is sex as aesthetics. This is color in place of emotion. This is surface and sound. We can still feel it today. we... more – ‘THE NEW ANGELES’
By SLAVS & TATARS It has become a cliché of just proportions, hemmed in equally by the Left-leaning and the Right-righteous, that Islam lacks moderation. Some, like The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, get hoarse pleading for the moderate voices of the Middle East to rise and be counted. Others, such as Tariq Ramedan,... more – ‘GO EAST, YOUNG MAN’
By VICTORIA CAMBLIN Carlo Brandelli has a way with real estate. The former Kilgour creative director moved into his quiet East London home and studio on September 11, 2001, though because the space – once stables, then an architectural atelier – is so unusually isolated that it didn’t have television reception until SKY was installed,... more – ‘CARLO BRANDELLI’s Objects of Devotion’
KHU KHU KHU In Egyptian mythology, the human soul has physical as well as metaphysical properties, of which the Ren is the immortal spirit-name whose continued utterance ensures perpetual life after death. Similarly, the Khu represents a kind of ghost animated in the afterlife only if the proper mumbo-jumbo spells are cast at the deceased’s funeral.
more – ‘MATTHEW BARNEY. Ancient Evenings’