Charisa – shining a torch on queer and female artists who are being ignored within the commercial industry.

CHARIZA INTERVIEW FOR SANG BLEU

 

Friday sees the open of a new gallery concept, Chariza. Hosted in a purpose built space nestled between Tate Britain and Chelsea College of Arts, Chariza is using her position to subvert art world norms and shine a torch on queer and female artists she feels are being ignored within the commercial industry. As much of a persona and character as she is a physical entity, Chariza will exhibit five creatives, Jenkin Van Zyl, Coven collective member Hannah le Feuvre, James Cabaniuk, Vienna based Paratsu and abstract roof paintings from Derek. Accompanying her first show is a weeklong programme of events, with highlights including a one-day only queer punk festival, (featuring performances from Niagara Falls, Alpha Maid & others), brunch before pride, and an ‘Intellectual Sex Party’ exploring how the digital age has changed sex. Committed to creating an inclusive space and community, we talk to Chariza creator Karis Clapperton on the eve of her private view…

Who is Chariza?

Karis: Chariza is a project-based gallery, she’s a reaction to me wanting to create something that I felt represents people that are undervalued and underappreciated in the art world. She’s more than just a gallery because it’s also a persona; Chariza isn’t an identity as such but an applied character. My work in the past has been centred on identity and performance, creating different characters in response to things that annoy me, so my personal work is very reactionary. Chariza is not so much a performance but its performative, she’s still me, but its applied. Chariza is also a way of feminising the gallery model. I really like the confusion surrounding it, Chariza is she as much as she [...]


Talking to Nicke Bildstein Zaar about Cottweiler’s SS16 show

 

Walking into the Oasis Sports Hall last week in London’s busy Holborn during London Men’s collection, the pedestrian nature of the council run sports centre was transformed into Cottweiler’s chosen space to exhibit their latest collection. Rather than adapt to what is prescribed of designers on the Fashion Week schedule, Cottweiler took what was expected of them, and other menswear designers to a whole new level of precision and presentation.

Using the badminton halls, spectators were able to see the three separate rooms from mezzanine level or ground level transformed into contextless spaces for a new found male expression of peace and zen. Mundane interiors were contrasted with sharp uses of light and the sound of chanting. The distinction between sportswear, spirituality and the setting of a show home created a new form of fashion presentation unlike anything else happening in London.

So, to find out more about their impressive collection we spoke to the art director behind the collection, Nicke Bildstein Zaar, about the ideas that he worked with Cottweiler on and how they were invested in the show.

We also commissioned Ryan Skelton to take photographs of their presentation.

 

What is it about Cottweiler’s work that you like?   For me it’s really about the totemic quality of clothes they design. The garments are familiar, yet depending on your vantage point they can evoke different feelings. Obviously, there are plenty of examples of groups of people in the last decades who have worn tracksuits and athletic gear for other reasons than to express an interest in sports. To me Cottweiler represents this hybrid symbolism that invokes that certain tension which I feel people can relate to. Ben & Matt live what they do, and I think that comes across.     How do you think the Cottweiler man [...]

An Interview with a perfume archivist on scent, sex and the body

Perfume is the personification of our inner desires invested physically into a small vial, conjured up by the foraging and coalescing of ingredients from the ordinary to the bizarre. Each scent reacts with a different body in a different way, making the wearing of even the most common scents a personalised experience. The idea of the scent is compelling; the variety and obscurity of the range available is overwhelming, one must scavenge to find the smell that suits, and we could never understand the potion like (and highly intellectual) conjuring that happens in order to make the scent of the un-natural or the intangible.

The application and adoption of perfume is ritualistic and pleasurable; the purpose of scent has been known to be something other than just covering up foul odours since Eastern Antiquity. On application, we expect a scent to act for us, to physicalise the body into a sexual, powerful, present state. We expect the perfume to do what we dare not to challenge or to say.

James Craven is a perfume archivist at Les Senteurs, an independent London perfumery of niche and specialist scents that offers a service that seeks to find the perfume that belongs to each individual. James’ knowledge of scent is astounding and he’s able to embody the scents before you’ve smelt them with enigmatic narratives richly evocative of their (often profound) components. Following on from a conversation he had at Central St Martins School of Art with Judith Watt, we interviewed James on scent, the body and the perversity of people’s desires.

Inevitable with its coexistence with the body and the preoccupation with scent and sex, perfume advertising is inscribed as something ever sensual. Smell itself cannot be visualised, so the advertisements act as an embodiment [...]


“If we get caught here, we’re fucked, we’re all fucked” – Mark Reeder on Berlin, punk and techno in the ‘80s.

 

By Jack Drummond

Berlin in the 1980s was a turbulent, poverty stricken city. A divided capital filled with elderly war survivors, old crumbling structures and new concrete apartment blocks. Squatters occupied once affluent neighbourhoods, police clashed with punks, and artists like Gudrun Gut, Blixa Bargeld and Nick Cave all attempted to find themselves amidst the drugs, alcohol and the endless nights of partying. A new film, B Movie: Lust and Sound in West-Berlin, 1979-89, attempts to chart the city using previously unseen archive footage and with former Factory Records representative, musician and producer Mark Reeder as its central figure. We spoke to Reeder about the movie, about secret punk gigs in East Berlin, about the Stasi and gay bars, about trance music and early techno, and about the changing face of the German capital he still calls home.

 

Mark Reeder is an interesting man. Brimming with energy, the first time I meet him is outside the Wintergarten Variety Theatre on Potsdamer Strasse – one of the main thoroughfares of the former West Berlin enclave. It’s now filled with art galleries, döner kebab stands and prostitutes that linger close to the pink neon sex shop on the corner. The Wintergarten is the meeting point for a tour of ‘Mark Reeder’s Berlin’, organised to promote Jörg A. Hoppe, Klaus Maeck and Heiko Lange’s B Movie. Reeder turns up with a massive grin, in a smart blue military jacket with a high starch white collar and a New Wave-esque side-parting in his tightly cropped steely hair. And yet, despite over 30 years in the city, he still hasn’t lost his Mancunian drawl.

 

B Movie works like a love letter to 1980s Berlin: part-documentary on the city’s music and art scene, part-biography of Reeder. It uses him as [...]


The Tattooed Parisienne: Reclaiming patriarchal myths of femininity

 

By Julie Bréthous

The Parisienne is a myth, a legend. She has evolved to represent the global epitome of femininity, of womanhood. Chic, elegant, always well dressed, always appropriate, but still slightly ahead of her time, and with a certain je ne sais quoi, always looking natural, The Parisienne haunts the streets of Paris, embodies the fantasy city that never sleeps and seduces the passer-by. To be a Parisienne is, as American author Richard Bernstein puts it, ‘to belong to a world apart, to an intellectual and moral category, not of class, race and gender, but of a qualitative difference from the rest, an essential worldliness’. To the eyes of others, both men and foreigners, she is the perfection of womanhood. However, women may try as hard as they want to look effortlessly Parisienne, the truth behind that myth is that is was constructed for the sole purpose of selling French arts and fashion to the world. The whole discourse that surrounds that persona is the proof of it: who, what is the Parisienne? It is impossible to define her, as she evolves every season through the glossy pages of fashion magazines to become once a sophisticated modern woman, and six month later some kind of glamourous bohemian. That lack of precision regarding who the Parisienne exactly looks like allows her myth to live on. It lingers and swallows everything on its way, making every new trend his, grows, mutate, and therefore cannot disappear. The truth behind that so-called Parisienne is that it is solely an empty shell invented to be filled with whatever convenient meaning for the French fashion industry.

As the Parisienne reappears over and over in front of the eyes her public, she keeps on being sold as an [...]


Will Munro celebrated at The Centre for Sex and Culture in San Francisco tomorrow evening

Tomorrow, The Centre for Sex and Culture in San Francisco will be hosting an evening in celebration of Will Munro’s life named No Tears for the Creatures of the Night . Will Munro was a legendary queer artist and activist who passed away in 2010 and this evening will bring together a selection of his 8mm films including “You’ll Dance to Anything” and “Rebels Rule”, the artist profile “Will Munro’s Dirty Load”, and Wrik Meads “Filth”.  As well as a selection of work inspired by him .

Filmmaker Kevin Hegge will present his documentary film “She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth Column” about a group of female artists and filmmakers, including GB Jones (The Yo Yo Gang, JD’s Fanzine), who’s female art-punk band helped spawn the queercore and riot girl movements.
Punk photographers Martin Sorrondeguy (Limp Wrist) and Don Pyle (Trouble in the Camera Club) present their slideshow presentation “Clocked”: in which they explore the overt and implicit themes of homosexuality in their photographs of the underground music scene of which their work collectively spans from 1975 to the present day.

We had the chance to speak to Keven Hegge about the evening and his important documentary in preparation for tomorrow evening.

Who is Will Munro?

Will Munro was artist who lived and worked in Toronto until his untimely death in 2010. HIs work involved a lot of craft, like sewing and often explored queer themes in punk rock and rock and roll mythology. Craft was a super important element of the work because Will really made music and art his work, there was a strong working class element to it, rather than have a more institutional relationship to conceptual art making. Because his work came from this genuine obsessive love for music and punk mythology, [...]


Henry Darger at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Henry Dargers life and works are utterly fascinating, he created a complete world within his book ‘The Realms of the Unreal’ alongside the novel were flags, several hundred paintings, drawings and collages of mainly the heroines of the piece fully entitled ’The Story of the Vivian girls, The realms of the unreal – The Glandeco-angelinian War Storm caused by the child slave Rebellion’.

The Vivian girls were the seven daughters of Robert Vivian, the seven princesses of the Christian nation of Abbieannia. The Vivian girls are brave and strong and constantly fighting a rebellion against the evil child slavery regime led by John Manley and the Glandelininians. Darger was inspired to begin the novel by a photograph in the Newspaper of a five year old murder victim named Elsie Paroubek, who was suffocated to death and her body found a month after her disappearance in a sanitary channel. He lost the photograph, believing it to have been stolen when his locker was broken into. The absence of the photograph greatly disturbed Henry and he even searched archival records to trace another copy down from the old newspaper reports but to no avail.

Elsie is imagined in the novel as Annie Aronburg -the leader of the Vivian girls in their oftentimes horrifically violent fight against the Glandelinians. The gruesome death of Elsie, her disappearance and her funeral were given a huge amount of media coverage in the ‘Daily News’ and other papers at the time. Her killer was never found and, along with Henry never finding the lost photograph, made writing the novel his all consuming obsession; the creation of Darger’s legendary works of outsider art.

Outsider Art is the term used for work made completely separate from traditional art schools or any [...]