Salong Flyttkartong Studio – An Interview with Controversial Artist Linnéa Sjöberg

Linnéa Sjöberg is the swedish artist who has succeeded in causing a healthy amount of controversy over her art project named Salong Flyttkartong Studio, translating into Studio Moving Box. 

This project saw Sjöberg take on an alter ego and perform crude homemade tattoos in the form of  a succession of art performances on to her friends in domestic spaces. The tattoo world didn’t react too kindly to Sjöberg’s direct approach to the craft of tattooing. However the brutal aesthetic and nature to the creation of these tattoos, and to her own identity shone a light on to the all too often patriarchal and traditional nature of the tattoo world.

To find out more about Sjöberg’s motives for this project and the stories which amounted behind it, we spoke over Skype during the summer.

 

Reba Maybury: I was quite surprised that I’d never heard of your work before.

Linnéa Sjöberg :People say that in Sweden too, I think that this is because of the way I work. I take a long long time on each project that I take on and they become very personal, I change my identity into a new character who becomes the artwork. For example I did this with my business woman persona, and then again for Studio Moving Box. I’ve never been one for trying to get a lot of media attention onto myself either. I suppose I’m a bit under the radar, I enjoy working underground.

When did Studio Moving Box start?

It didn’t have an exact start date, but I could say that it started once I bought my tattoo machine off a friend who didn’t want to continue to tattoo anymore. He had tattooed me a lot, I’ve personally never been tattooed in a studio, only by friends. I’d wanted one for a while but I’d promised myself that [...]


Cookie Mueller has just had a new book dedicated to her

 

It might seem unlikely that a woman introduced to the world in the second-most shocking scene in a movie full of them — John Waters’s revolutionary classic “Pink Flamingos,” in which she shares an intimate moment with a beau and a live chicken — would go on to become one of the most influential if unheralded figures in late 20th-century American culture. But Cookie Mueller — the late actress, writer, musician and model who died of AIDS in 1989 — was both a fixture of the downtown avant-garde and one of its most perceptive critics. Now, her legacy is being celebrated in “Edgewise,” a new oral history (out from Bbooks Verlag, $25) told in the words of Mueller’s friends, lovers, family and fans.

“I wanted the book to host the whole group,” says its author, Chloé Griffin, “and act as a continuous dialogue of memory.” And what memories: Mueller seems to have been everywhere something interesting was happening, from Waters’s Dreamland Studios in Baltimore to full-flower hippie San Francisco, where she encountered Charles Manson; from the anarchic bohemia of ’70s Provincetown to Studio 54, the Mudd Club and all the art galleries below 14th Street in 1980s New York. Her early fashion sense surely taught the B-52s the punk appeal of a ratty beehive; later, she pulled together the lingerie-and-bracelet aesthetic years before Madonna brought it to the mainstream. Photographers like Nan Goldin, Peter Hujar and David Armstrong made some of their most indelible images with Mueller in the frame.

As an art critic for Details, Mueller brought an enthusiastic eye to the New York scene. “All of it is worthless,” she wrote, “but all of it is true, and that is something.” As an advice columnist for the East Village Eye, she tackled [...]


Exposed: A History of Lingerie

The Museum at FIT, New York are currently hosting an exhibition that chronicles the history of lingerie through more than seventy pieces from their archive, many of them having not been on display before.

Lingerie is functional, beautiful and alluring and the Exposed exhibition presents a selection of pieces that display a motive of purpose or pleasure, highlighting the modest and hygienic necessitation of lingerie as well as addressing the desire for its erotic allure.

The exhibition is curated chronologically and narrates history’s changes in fashionable silhouettes, notions of propriety and technological advancements through the dishabille. It’s earliest piece on display is a pair of 1770 stays and the exhibition closes with pieces from contemporary lingerie brands such as Wonderbra and Agent Provocateur.

Exposed also has a concentrated focus on the trend for underwear as outerwear and pairs several items of lingerie alongside a piece of everyday clothing with relation in design. Though the underwear as outerwear trend is closely associated with the 80s, the exhibition uses pieces and pairings from a variety of past decades to highlight lingerie’s role in influencing fashion; a Peter Soronen corsetted bodice evening dress from 2007 is placed beside a pair of 19th Century coloured corsets and a 50s Iris night gown is beside a Claire McCardell evening dress, also from the 50s.

The exhibition is a wonderful display of the female body and the changing attitudes towards its desirable silhouette. The exhibit exposes more than the pieces themselves, through the craftmanship and advancing technological changes evident in the pieces, one can trace a history of a particular time’s desirable silhouette for the body, thus exposing history.

The exhibition runs until November 15th at the  Fashion and Textile History Gallery at The Museum at FIT. More [...]


London’s first Transgender film festival

Transgender issues have been becoming increasingly present within wider culture over the last few years, so it is of great pleasure to find out that the first Transexual film festival will be presented at London’s Cinema Museum next weekend.

Taking place at the Cinema Museum in Kennington from 6pm until midnight, the festival brings together revolutionary shorts from North America and Europe, starting off on home ground with Simon Savory’s video set to Du Tonc’s ‘Darkness’ and some award-winners from Germany’s Transgender Film Festival by Gsus Lopez and Tom Stock.

The longest film of the night is Cecilio Asuncion’s hour long documentary What’s the T?, a documentary about a male-to-female transgender woman in San Francisco.

This new festival will presents feature films and documentaries about Drag Queens, Drag Kings and Transsexuals and will be held at London’s Cinema Museum from 18.00 till midnight, offering many awarded short films that give an insight into trans-life.

£5 per screening and £12 to see all 3 programs.

Advance tickets may be purchased from Billetto, or direct from the Museum by calling 020 7840 2200 in office hours.

The Cinema Museum
2 Dugard Way (off Renfrew Road)
London SE11 4TH


Farewell to Summer, Farewell to Flesh

A simple visual pleasure will soon be taken away. As the dark nights begin to set in, wrap your writhing body in a new skin, a smooth skin, a skin made solely of rubber. Set aside your differences of restraint, material will become your form. Bodies no longer adhere to form; they revel in limitations opposed by the tools of inhibition.

Is not the most erotic portion of the body where the garment reveals intimate proportions without corrupting the flesh? This staging of an appearance as disappearance allows for a gradual unveiling, where the entire excitation takes refuge in the hope of seeing a sexual organ. The sporadic flash of skin between articles of clothing, ravishes the mind and the spirit.

Seduce me in your latex body.

Manipulate and use me. I am mostly liquid but I will never burst. I am part sugar but when you lick me you wont taste my sweetness. Process me and I will become exceptionally resistant to wear and tear. Take me with great tensile strength, resilience and elongation. I feel like your skin only stronger. I may be difficult at times, but your body will become mine, eventually. Once I have possessed you, I take over and you cannot escape. I fit around the whole. Under the creases and over the crevices I stretch, each fibre of my being can feel your skin, quivering.

There it stood before me, the body. The light shone from it like a black glistening beacon. Each movement caressed the eyes. Salivating at the thought of stroking it. It was cold to touch, but a hot explosion swarmed all over me. This body is a body in the act of becoming; it is never finished, never completed, continually built and [...]


The zines of Mark Gonzales

Long overdue, Non Stop Poetry: The Zines of Mark Gonzales is a comprehensive presentation of the zines made by Gonzales from the early-’90s to the present day. Gonzales, thought by many to be the greatest skateboarder of all time, is revealed by this significant book to deserve equal recognition as an artist and poet. His extraordinary production of more than 145 zines (the exact number is unknown since Gonzales kept no records of his output), is a remarkable artistic achievement worthy of the careful analysis and documentation provided by this book. Gonzales zines are made spontaneously using an argot all his own and demonstrate a remarkable gift for verse and drawing. Misshapen, hastily scribbled and collaged into brilliantly drawn and colored ephemeral pamphlets, these handmade zines continue a notable tradition of artist-made publications from Ed Ruscha to Raymond Pettibon.

Produced in extremely limited numbers, Gonzales’ zines were almost exclusively distributed outside traditional channels. Most were generously given away or mailed to friends reminiscent of the distribution of Wallace Berman’s Semina. If they did find their way to stores such as Printed Matter in New York or Colette in Paris, they were almost immediately snatched up. Thus, the compilation of these zines was a herculean effort and the book is invaluable as an encyclopedic compendium that will be a critical purchase for anyone interested in contemporary artist publications. Every zine found after years of research by the editors which was created by Gonzales from 1992 until today, including those created in collaboration with Harmony Korine, Cameron Jamie, and others, is presented with all available publishing information and illustrated with cover and interior scans.

Upon critical contemplation of the aesthetic and philosophical contents of the zines, Gonzales’ creative genius becomes evident. From child-like drawings of playful characters [...]


Sleeping Hermaphroditos

 

The Sleeping Hermaphroditos, is a Roman Imperial work  from the 2nd century AD and  was discovered near the Baths of Diocletian in Rome, and probably inspired by a Greek original of the 2nd century BC. The mattress was sculpted by Bernini.

With the sculpture’s womanly curves, you might think walking past without closer observation, that a female is depicted. Hermaphroditos was actually a male, the son of Hermes and Aphrodite, and is depicted here as a bisexed figure. The sculpture, and those like it, raise profound questions about the nature of arousal, desire and gender.

The following sections are written by Astier Marie-Bénédicte of the Louvre,and described this fascinating piece of art in more detail:

The story of Hermaphroditos:

There is nothing improper in this work, but it still intrigues the viewer. Hermaphroditos, had rejected the advances of the nymph Salmacis. Unable to resign herself to this rejection, Salmacis persuaded Zeus to merge their two bodies forever, hence the strange union producing one bisexed being with male sexual organs and the voluptuous curves of a woman. Stretched out in erotic abandon on the mattress provided by Bernini, the figure sleeps. Yet Hermaphroditos has only fallen half asleep: the twisting pose of the body and the tension apparent down to the slightly raised left foot are indicative of a dream state.

An embodiment of Hellenistic taste:

[…] The subject reflects the taste for languid nudes, surprise effects, and theatricality, all of which were prized in the late Hellenistic period. The work is designed to be viewed in two stages. First impressions are of a gracious and sensuous body that leads one to think that the figure is a female nude in the Hellenistic tradition; this effect is heightened here by the sinuousness of the pose. The other [...]