In February 24th, contemporary and fashion photographer Terry Richardson introduced to the world his first solo exhibit, TERRYWOOD. His works will be exposed at the OHWOW art gallery in Los Angeles, Hollywood. Now why am I talking about this exhibition? Not because I am avid freak about the world of photography. Not because Tyler the Creator, Ron Jeremy, Lindsay Lohan, Sasha Gray or Jessie Andrews showed up at his after-party… well I admire each of their career paths and personality but this is not the point here. Granted, the after party pictures make Terry look like he’s an unsecured guy who wants to pose like he’d be the coolest guy in L.A. Should we forget that he has been said to be lacking of social skills as a teenager? No. But we can’t deny that his work is totally dope. The reason why I mention this feat at this point of his career is because I like provocative thoughts, words, and images.
Now what is it with provocation that is so attractive about? In my opinion provocation has got this disruptive essence capable of disturbing the commonly accepted patterns in our society; stirring the rigid thoughts into motion while questioning the origins of morals instead of simply accepting them. Provocation in some way regenerates the air from the pungent niceties we are usually accustomed too. It’s like a refreshing trip towards horizons yet unknown. Some may abhor provocation, mainly because they are afraid of changes. However I think it is a great mean to confront old concepts with unexpected angles because it fosters creativity for the better. Copywriters and advertising art directors recurrently make use of provocation and rightly so because it attracts the attention. To put it simply: IT STANDS OUT.
And that’s just about how to summarize the work of Terry Richardson. It is of no wonder if Renzo Rosso‘s denim luxury brand Diesel, known for its tendency to be controversial hired the services of Mr Richardson for the award-winning print “Global Warming Ready” campaign in 2007. His craftsmanship has the ability to make a common scene stand out thanks to shrewd “mise-en-abymes” like no one else does. And since the very first day I have come across his works, I have been addicted even before being aware of who was the photographer behind. TERRYWOOD is just about that provocative feel. The exhibition portrays the atmosphere reigning in Hollywood where Terry Richarson lives the way he sees and catches it with its lens. The search for fame, the kitsch and the idiosyncrasies characterizing Hollywood is gathered in this collection of 25 visual works. And if words are not enough to convince you my fellow reader, I invite you to have a peak through Terry’s diary and let me know what you think. I like a little feisty constructive debate. TERRYWOOD will go on until March 31st so make sure to drop by the OHWOW Gallery if you’re around.
On February 22nd 2012, french pop artist YUKSEK released a new video clip for his sound track OFF THE WALL. The clip has been produced by SoLab.fr and directed by Romain Segaud. Yuksek (Pierre-Alexandre Busson) is a french electronic producer, remixer and DJ from Reims who was born on 1977. After playing the piano for 10 years at the Conservatoire, Yuksek started dedicating his time to his music by publishing remixes and tracks under his current name in 2006. He published his debut Album, Away from the sea in 2009. Album which subsequently helped him grow his fan base in France and on the international scene. So much that his acclaimed tracks, Tonight and Extraball have been used for Peugeot 200 year anniversary and for Lacoste, Red Label respectively.
On June 13 2011, Yuksek released its second album, Living on the edge of time. Rapidly, On the Train and Always on the Run became acclaimed singles. At the time I was meant to finish my studies in Barcelona where they had a tour concert in Razzmatazz. I initially wanted to publish a post about the concert yet, I was clearly disappointed by the overall performance. Except the girl drummer that kept the audience alive with her soul, the rest of the musicians clearly lacked of stage aura and passion. Compared to The Rapture or The Shoes performances in the Razzmatazz, this live concert was clearly disturbing and disappointing considering what you could expect from the quality of their tracks and media attention online. However from the portrait and interview Les InRocks have drawn from the man we have to consider that Pierre Alexandre Busson appears be a fair husband and considerate father of a daughter who cares for her education and spending time with his family. Consequently, touring might have taken quite a toll on his energy so I will forgive the performance in the Razzmatazz until I attend another one. And then yesterday I found out through the twitter account of Kyan Khojandi that Yuksek had released a new video clip which is fresh and creative. So I may want to change my opinion again. So if you’re around London tonight or Zurich tomorrow, make sure to get your tickets from his DJ set in The Nest, London or from his live performance in the Digital Maag, Zurich and let me know what you think. For more upcoming Tour dates check out Yuksek’s website.
Saturday February 4th. 7:00 pm. Toulouse – Carmes Metro Station. I’m meeting up in the cold winter with an old friend of mine- She had been my English lecturer four years ago back when I was in university. We are supposed to find a gymnasium in the middle of La Ramée Park in the outskirts of Toulouse. This is where the Roller Derby event will take place. On our way she tells me how she discovered this sport in Toulouse. She grew up in the city of Great Falls, Montana, where Roller Derby is fairly popular. So, when she heard some of her students were gathering in Place de l’Europe to race their skates with the feminine team of Roller Derby Toulouse, she gladly tried out to join the pack. By the time we arrived, there was already a long queue of people waiting in the cold to get inside the gymnasium. For a meager 4 euro entrance fee, we managed to find seats on the first row much like Very Important People would… except we weren’t such a big deal. The girls were already warming up, ready to go at it on the skate rink while we were sipping on beers and eating colorful tasty cupcakes.
Now for those who do not know what Roller Derby is about, I will not try to explain you the rules or key words of this game for now. The Roller Derby rule book itself would be 54 pages long… My best advice is to go and see it for yourself if you have a team nearby. Since Drew Barrymore’s directorial début with WHIP IT (2009), this 81-year-old american sport lost in oblivion has witnessed a significant revival around the world. So whether you’re a die-hard fan, or would like to enroll in a team, chances are you might find a club to discover Roller Derby wherever you are around the world. If you live in France, just head onto the dedicated Roller En Ligne Portal which lists all the existing Roller Derby teams in the country. In the Southern Rugby lands, The Roller Derby Toulouse association has already gathered 200 participants in less than 2 years of existence. And let me tell you something, that saturday February 4th, the stands were full of people who had never seen a Roller Derby Race. And from the enthusiasm I saw, my guess is that Roller Derby has long beautiful days ahead.
Without further ado, I will let you discover some of the highlight of the night in a short clip I shot with my fruit phone.
Motorbikes. Hardly ever been a fan. Nor am I to ride at unfathomable speeds. But how would that be like to ride a motorbike on a near vertical wall? A wall that happens to be called the Wall of Death. for show or legacy, we do not know. But it sure must be quite a thrill. The Ken Fox Troupe is today one of the last daredevil families to perpetrate this tradition throughout Europe and the British Isles. A tradition that appeared back in the 1920s. Digital Artist, Photograph and Film Maker, Benedict Campbell had seen them while he was a kid and by the time he grew up through his film making studies, he nourished an ever growing endeavour to portray there lifestyle on camera. And he pays a fair tribute with great shots, sequences, and a soundtrack that sucks you into this uncommon lifestyle. Entitled the Wall of death, the short documentary is a touching canvas about a family following an enheartening passion for wheels. From the daughters to the three sons, without forgetting the pioneering dad till the mom, everyone is involved in this show that looks like a game but yet remains dangerous as it could be.