Anders Haal and Nicole Walker Imagine Total Fluidity on Humanity’s Next Planet

The late British cosmologist Stephen Hawking argued in a 2016 documentary that humanity’s time on Earth was drawing to a close. His proposal for a second planetary home leads us to Proxima Centauri b, an Earth-sized exoplanet named Proxima Centauri in the so-called Goldilocks Belt – a theoretically habitable region near one of the closest stars to our own. “Near” and “Closest” are relative terms here. Proxima b is 25 million million miles from Earth.

The transition to “Proxima b” is one subject in a new fashion book by stylist Nicole Walker and Anders Haal, founder of Stockholm-based fashion label HAAL. Borders takes otherness, separation, and power, as primary themes, and launched during Paris Fashion Week 2018. 032c spoke to Walker and Haal, and preview the book’s opening chapter below, with a poem by Nathaniel Marcus and a visual essay in which the inhabitants of Earth and Proxima b consider the deeper possibilities for transformation that emerge after migrating 4.2 light years into space.

032c: How did the Borders project come about – how was the team assembled, and how did you decide upon its central themes?

Nicole Walker: I have been wanting to make this book for a long time – a book with a strong, clear message, questioning the ideas of borders, but presented in a rather poetic way. So I approached Anders, a close friend of mine, to do this book with me. Together we assembled a team of photographers and contributors to translate our ideas into photographs and words. It turned out beautifully.

Anders Haal: Borders define today’s media landscape. We wanted to question the otherness, separation and power hierarchies that contextualise fashion and art at their core: which limitations separate, which spaces unite.

“Proxima B / Temporary Planets” is the first chapter in the book. Could you give us a brief summary of the story it tells?

Anders Haal: It was shot by Alex de Brabant in Berlin. It presents parts of the HAAL SS19 collection, as well as the HAAL Duplex Lens, depicting the battle of Earth versus Proxima B, the planet Stephen Hawking predicted would be our second home – our second chance after the ultimate fuck up!

The imagery is heavily symbolic – there are families that include animals as equals, human irises are as complex as a planet seen from space, and there are utopian scenes in a desert landscape – and the overall effect is quite unreal. What does the turtle, featured on the book cover, mean to you? And how did you get to work with one?

Nicole Walker: We looked at perception and the line of division between animals and humans. The everyday relationship we have with animals – where they become our daily meals, the pets we cherish, or the animals we trap and keep behind glass – has to do with our connection to nature, and how our connection to nature is our core as a part of this ever moving planet. Dejan Stojanovic puts it well: “Senses empower limitations, senses expand vision within borders, senses promote understanding through pleasure.”

Anders Haal: The tortoise, who’s name is Einstein, is 34-year-old, 50kg, calm individual, who came to visit a flat in Berlin. He sat in Karl Kolbitz’s lap for a good 30 mins during which time they embraced one another. Afterwards, Einstein went back to the farm in Brandenburg where he lives.

What can we expect to see in the rest of the book?

Anders Haal: In the second chapter “Walls” by J Ari King and Henrik Alm, we see how borders are carved into the idea of landscape, from different places around the globe. In this photo series we inserted 3D illustrations of different sort of borders and walls, the melting icebergs, Ancient Greek columns, concrete walls, and gated community fences. We also portrayed performer Josh Johnson by the remains of the Berlin wall, as history threatens to repeat itself.

Nicole Walker: In the third chapter, Chris Maggios’s street photography aims to show the reality of human everyday life in todays America. In chapter four, Valter Törsleff shoots what do we all do, most days of our lives. We sleep, fuck, eat, drink water, cry, smell, and take a shit. Valter shoots his friend Sasha Melnychuk and their trip on the French Riviera. There is only we, no them.

Poem by Nathaniel Marcus

 

The deity under question was like attend

to refractive visions

and inhabitability: too many moons here.

Mirror like fogged-up so all-seeing

orbs: water churners: blood letters.

She said learn things by night.

What do you see in the evening plot

of my pupil?

Adidas weed-leaf remix T-shirt.

Nationalist armband icon or bar,

orb, slit, hexes, ageist, fever, fame.

There are countless dark arts, apparently.

This shifting shapes

itself up to be the only blind spot

and central. Soul scooped out of them:

retail outlet security cam:

routine traffic stop police officer body cam:

Lesvos riptide flowchart:

a Reuters photo

of a white rhino kneeling.

Are you familiar?

Are you an animal with which roulettes get predicted,

speak, eye snakes, snake eyes. When does the frame

of the scraped plate

of the zoo-glass crack? –

She also said fissure is a soft-focus optics.

A python spirals as afternoons do.

A gaze can too: tail of a comet

that could be a telecom satellite

draws a hem down the blue hour.

Borders is available to purchase at the HAAL online store.

  • Photographer
    Alex De Brabant
  • Art Direction
    Nicole Walker and HAAL
  • Styling and Casting
    Nicole Walker
  • Cast
    Anna Uddenberg, Joana Krawczyk, Karl Kolbitz, Natasha Hertweck, Nicole Walker, Sindy Novak, Stiven Novak, Asher, D. Parton, Einstein, Madeleine, Meine Liebe, Mordor, Phoebe, Rocky, Älvstjärna
  • Fashion
    HAAL, HAAL Optical Lenses
  • Location
    Berlin and Black Rock City
  • Photography (Burning Man)
    Fiona Jane
  • Photography Assistant
    Ronald Rose
  • Styling assistant
    Anne Kristin Winzer
  • Book Supported By
    Swedish Fashion Council

Related Content

  • BRAND LOYALTY: DIS Magazine for 032c

    DIS Magazine returns to the pages of 032c with a fashion story dispersed throughout our SELECT section. Casting employees, team members, and associates from leading corporations in high fashion, DIS presents its trademark "medium fashion" somewhere in the Pinkberry–Chanel continuum.More
  • Deeper

  • Life Exists in Images: Theaster Gates at the Fondazione Prada

    Theaster Gates' “The Black Image Corporation” presents photographs from the holdings of Chicago’s Johnson Publishing Company, a sprawling archive that shaped “the aesthetic and cultural languages of contemporary African American identity.” Gates approached the project as a celebration and activation of the black image in Milan through photographs of women photographed by Moneta Sleet Jr. and Isaac Sutton – of black entrepreneurship and legacy-making. “Life exists” in the Johnson archive, he says, just as it exists and should be honored in other places of black creativity.More
  • ALL A DAT ALL A DAT: Rap Crew 67 Can Make Anything

    Members ASAP, Monkey, LD, Dimzy, Liquez, and SJ are branching out. “67 can release rizla,” says LD ahead of the UK drill collective’s appearance this weekend in Berlin. “Not everybody can do that. A lot of people are just rappers.”More
  • 032c Resist Collection

    032c Resist Pin

    €10
  • David Ostrowski Brings Bauhaus to Warsaw’s Galeria Wschód

    The painter David Ostrowski has been off the radar for the last few years. A former student of Albert Oehlen and graduate of the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Ostrowski is best known for his large abstract paintings, which often include the use of spray cans and a formalistic approach to shape. Now he's back, with a new body of work and two shows – the first of which opens in Warsaw at the progressive gallery space Wschód this weekend.More
  • 032c WWB Collection

    032c WWB Rugby Shirt Black

    €115
    Buy Now