WHAT WE READ: Six Essential Stories

“When you can make jeans better than Levi’s, that will be the time to start talking about national pride” – one young, disgruntled reader of Pravda in 1984, quoted on Dazed Digital.

In the rush to produce content related to post-Soviet fashion, Dazed Digital have this good piece, looking at the links between 501s and the fall of the Soviet Union. Read more: Exploring the USSR’s underground obsession with Levi’s 501s.

“He liked to work with reality, and flatter it. I’m trying to work with that” – Demna Gvasalia on Cristobal Balenciaga, interviewed for Vogue.

Elsewhere, Vogue have interviewed Vetements’s Demna Gvaslia (featuring one of Annie Leibovitz’s gloomiest shoots ever). Read more: How Demna Gvasalia Is Revolutionizing Balenciaga From the Inside Out. See also: 032c’s 2015 interview with Demna Gvasalia.

“‘Ich bin ein Reiseführer in die Geschichte’ [‘I am a travel guide to history’]” – Eric Hobsbawm in The London Review of Books 

The London Review Of Book’s longrunning Diary series – in which writers send reports from around the world – has been taken out from behind the paywall. Click here to see a selection embedded onto a map, and/or read Eric Hobsbawm’s instalment, reflecting on 75 years of history in Berlin. See also: Eric Hobsbawm’s 2011 interview in 032c, “It Wasn’t Main Street.”

“Could it be the internet “starts to dream of itself”? I call it my von Clausewitz question. Originally it comes from the war theorist Carl von Clausewitz in Napoleonic times. He famously said “War sometimes dreams of itself.” I found it a deep observation and I asked several individuals and no one had a real answer. Sometimes a deep question is better than a straight answer. I think we should start to develop deep questions of what we are doing here with the internet and what the internet is doing on its own. Nobody has a clue.” – Werner Herzog in the New York Times

Around the release of his new film Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, The New York Times has interviewed Werner Herzog. Read more: Werner Herzog Says ‘The Internet Has Its Glorious Side.’ See also: 032c’s 2013 interview with Werner Herzog.

“I wonder, as people often do, whether Bannon is nuts … ” – Joshua Green on Steve Bannon, head of Breitbart news and Donald Trump’s new campaign chief in Bloomberg

With the announcement that far-right conspiracy site Breitbart’s executive chairman was appointed Donald Trump’s campaign chief, this 2015 profile of Steve Bannon has sudden, significant importance. Among its many excellent nuggets is the revelation that the most senior member of staff behind a serious contender for the presidency of the United States is inspired by Honey Badger, a meme about an aggressively insouciant African predator. Read more: This Man Is the Most Dangerous Political Operative in America.

“‘It’s almost like an Internet hack’ in its ability to draw so much attention” – Zsolt Miklosvolgyi, a Hungarian living in Berlin, quoted in the Wall Street Journal, talking about Kanye West’s temporary The Life Of Pablo merchandise stores

And finally, the Wall Street Journal on Kanye West’s temporary store, hosted by 032c WORKSHOP at our space in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Read more: Fans Line Up for Kanye West’s ‘Life of Pablo’ Pop-Up Shops.

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  • Life Exists: Theaster Gates’ Black Image Corporation

    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
  • FRIDA ESCOBEDO: The Era of the Starchitect is Over

    Rising Mexican architect Frida Escobedo is relentlessly inquisitive, eschewing stylistic constants in favour of an overriding preoccupation with shifting dynamics. Personal curiosity is the driving force behind her practice, which makes he an outlier in a profession dominated by extroverted personalities keen on making bold assertions. "I think it really is a generational shift," Escobedo says. "The idea of the starchitect making grand gestures with huge commissions is over."More
  • “I live a hope despite my knowing better”: James Baldwin in Conversation With Fritz J. Raddatz (1978)

    Born in Berlin in 1931, editor and writer Fritz J. Raddatz relied on food delivered by African American GIs after the death of his parents. To Baldwin he was an “anti-Nazi German who has the scars to prove it.” Debating his return to the USA after 25 years, Baldwin explores the political climate in America at the end of the 1970s in a conversation at home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence.More
  • House as Archive: James Baldwin’s Provençal Home

    For her new book, Magdalena J. Zaborowska visited the house Baldwin occupied from 1971 to 1987 “to expand his biography and explore the politics and poetics of blackness, queerness, and domesticity”. Here, she narrates her early journeys to Baldwin’s home and proposes a salve for its recent loss: a virtual presentation of Baldwin’s home and effects.More
  • Where are the real investments? Theaster Gates on James Baldwin

    The Chicago-based artist talks to Victoria Camblin about materializing the past, the house as museum, and preserving black legacies. Social and artistic engagement, Gates suggests, may allow the contents and spirit of Baldwin’s home, and others like it, to settle in lived experience.More