Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The (rather sad) lost of appreciation.

This got me thinking:

"I realise I would never have seen these two rocks were tied together by three pairs of socks if if [hey, her words] wasn't through my LCD screen: I was too busy shooting." 
-Garance Doré, via Nowness, on an artwork she photographed at the Art Biennale

When I first heard about Garance's (because we're close like that) trip to Venice, I was actually excited to see her street style shots and to read her always-so-amusing anecdotes. She also announced that she was going to see the 54th International Art Exhibition. "Good for her", I though, and then I was quickly absorbed by mundane activities.

A couple of days passed and I paid her (hum, the blog) a little visit. I was a little perplexed to read her recent posts because of the feature she did for Nowness, on the exhibition. Garance Doré, who claimed that she didn't have any profound knowledge on contemporary art took (achingly bright) pictures accompanied by (rather, hum, simplistic) remarks, that were virtually published on a website which excels in "luxury storytelling". Why in the world did Nowness choose a self-proclaimed neophyte to cover an important exhibition?

But who am I to criticize a world-renowned blogger (if that term can even be applied)? This is my second post and I currently have 4 followers (whom I all know, thanks to school). I don't have any grand knowledge either on history of art, although I am excited to study this fascinating subject this September. 

I guess what appalled me the most is that she was at the museum, watching the exhibition through a tiny screen. I am not against the idea of shooting artwork. I just don't think that you can  properly capture something that you can't truly understand. Isn't photography about expressing an idea, showing the audience your vision? I don't think Garance intended to project ignorance and her naivety through her pictures (and especially, to share it with the World Wide Web).
All this brings us down to the value of appreciation. (Yes, a definition (or four) is totally necessary.) 

1. Recognition of the quality, value, significance, or magnitude of people and things.
2. A judgment or opinion, especially a favorable one.
3. An expression of gratitude.
4. Awareness or delicate perception, especially of aesthetic qualities or values.

At the Biennale, even though she was surrounded by it, Garance didn't truly appreciate fine art (even through her expensive LCD screen). But let's not confuse appreciation with understanding.

Today (wow, I sound like an elderly person), everyone has a (or several) digital cameras. Today (again, the elderly voice ), youngsters (I am mentally a 86 year-old lady) bring their cameras everywhere with them, and that's fine with me. After all, this picture-taking obsession has a useful purpose: to preserve memories. Unfortunately, this habit can be slightly irritating, especially during concerts. It makes me cringe to watch all the flashing lights during a televised music presentation, instead of seeing the crowd dance or chant with the performer. It seems that the audience doesn't fully live the moment - it is too preoccupied to take blurry pictures and shaky videos. I once went to an outdoor concert and the person beside me looked so uninterested at what was happening on stage, whereas the video he was filming was the "greatest thing". You would think these precious (but badly captured) moments would be cherished by the person who refrained his urge to dance around and to sing (maybe off-key) to his favorite songs, just so the band mates' faces would be slightly visible or that the sound of the video would not screech. Alas no, all those pixels rarely make the Facebook cut. I bet the "amateur" glanced at these pictures and watched those videos only once or twice, and then deleted those empty moments to make memory space for more concerts. And the circle goes on and on...

This is why I admire the Slow Movement. Don't be suspicious, it is not a sect!
What started as a protest against an opening of a McDonald in Rome back in 1986, is now expanding in other areas than food. Slow Art consists of "appreciating art in itself, as opposed to a rapid, flitting witnessing of art, common in a hectic societal setting". So Garance, instead of watching people's reactions (or cameras), concentrate on the artwork, without the hassle of taking pictures. 
The Slow Movement is also affecting fashion. 10 Corso Como, the epitome of luxury, opened in 1990 and is a "multifunctional concept dedicated to art, fashion, music, design, cuisine and culture". Bref, all the good stuff. Created by Carla Sozzani (yes, Franca's sister), it allows shoppers to enjoy the moment. Finally, a department store where you can wander in peace, without pressing and disapproving looks from salespeople!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Hello blogosphere.

Ok. Although this is my first post for my second attempt to blog, the importance (or more fittingly, the lack) of fabric is a subject I really wanted to talk about for a long time. Watching the recent shows and reading the (undeserved) positive feedback some of them have gotten on blogs pushed me to actually do something about it. En bon québécois, ct'assez l'niaisage. 

Let's begin the rant with the overhypped Prada creepers from S/S 11 

Although I think the idea of creating wingtip creepers ingenious, the use of tri-color foam for the platform is distastful. Actually it is disgustingly insulting that a respectable house like Prada cheapened its image and think that a regular customer of the label would pay a whooping 795$ for foam that will desintegrate with every step on irregular concrete pavement. (Unfortunately, it already happened, and the remotely cheap design has already been imitated.) What happened to Miuccia's "when you are big, the quality is better" statement? And are these glue gun filaments and smudges I see on the blue sole, next to the espadrille, or ruffed up raffia from the latter? Check out on their website, zoom in and decide for yourself... 

And how can I rant about insulting, but incouscious designer's decisions without mentionning Christopher Kane's A/W 11 (and dare I say) slightly immature collection?

Christopher Kane Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear
Shapless nineties lava lamp revival.
Christopher Kane Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear
Mermaid-who-woke-up-has-a-humain-and-found-her-leftover-scales look.

Ah yes. It has not been the first time that Christopher Kane has, let's put it this way, "experimented" with fabrics. He is maybe one of the only designers showing in London who managed to vulgarise the delicate fabric that is lace by mimicking it with neon leather and to destroy the classic silhouette of a below-the-knee skirt and cardigan, thanks to a material reminiscing what I like to refer to as the female d*****bag print. (Besides, I am daily fighting against a current of clashing prints and cheapo fabrics: I live in Gatineau.)

Christopher Kane Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear
Gatinois and Gatinoises alike would be happy to 
hear that trashy prints 
are right on trend.

Christopher Kane Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear
An imitation of my favourite fabric 
is matching my mac & cheese bowl.
'Nuff said.

Although I appear narrow-minded and quite uppity, I actually think these collections would be pretty well received in a shop selling crafty independant labels since yes, the garments are orignal creations and are made with innovative fabrics, such as the perforated leather. (Ok. Maybe the gino print ne ferait pas fureur, but you get my point.) But the fact that these garnements are being displayed on the runaway and are sold for thousands of dollars is simply ridiculous, considering the lack of aesthetic of the garnements.