Deborah Turbeville: Photocollage

In the method / madness of photography a collage holds a rather underexplored space. It is a bit of an afterthought, compared to the pantheon in which most memorable photographic images rest. This is an oversight. A collage occupies an in-between space of still and moving image. It’s not exactly animated, but it’s not exactly static either. A good photo collage has a kinetic quality to it that adds time to the space-time continuum; it has the ability to shift perspective just so.

David Adjaye Works 2007 – 2015

Adjaye was known in London quite early on in his career – his anthracite, brutalist-tinged creations that highlighted their materiality and geometry had a distinct voice. But it took him longer to find his rightful place in the canon of contemporary architecture. His work has been documented in Thames & Hudson books “Works: 1995 – 2007” and “Works: 2007 – 2015.” The latter one is being released today, though we absolutely recommend getting the pair.

The new 300-page book with over 500 illustrations highlights about 50 of Adjaye’s projects – a prodigious output. Whereas the first volume covers mostly Adjaye’s London work and is more intimate in scope – naturally so, since early projects tend to be on a smaller scale – the second one is a sweeping overview of Adjaye’s creations, many of them done in the United States. The most famous of these to date is the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. The museum opened in 2016 and will undoubtedly be a worthy beginning of the next volume. For now though there is plenty to dissect in the current tome. The projects contained therein are a mix of commercial and public, small and large, quotidian and lofty.

The Aesop Queer Library, 2nd Edition

 As June rolls around New York City and the StyleZeitgeist inbox go through Pride Month Commerce Assault. The new-found business gay-friendliness no longer surprises, and neither does crass commercialism. Resistance is futile – capitalism adapts to everything and adapts everything to it, loud and proud. Few efforts seem genuine, but last year the skincare company…

Fashion Comes for Books

In his 1967 classic critique of late capitalist society, “Society of the Spectacle,” the French philosopher Guy Debord posited that the West has reached a new stage of relations between commodities and people. Whereas before the laboring classes were alienated by capitalism from the product of their labor, now they were also alienated by it from their entire lives, from their surroundings, and most importantly from each other. He posited that during early capitalism the process of alienation occurred only during the workday. Once the factory lights were out the worker could at least go home and engage in his or her communal life. Now, however, leisure time became completely monopolized by what he called “the spectacle,” a mode of life in which fetishization of commodities has “moved the focus of existence… from having to appearing.” If that sounds like Instagram to you, you are not wrong.

Dieter Rams: Less and More

In the history of design Dieter Rams – age 86 – is already a deity. His famous Ten Principles of Design are the design world’s Ten Commandments. His precept “Less But Better” is or should be etched on every designer’s forehead. Actually, considering today’s concern for sustainability, they should be etched on every person’s forehead. Rams’s products for the German manufacturer Braun have inspired countless designers, including those of Bang & Olufsen, and of course, Apple. There is, of course, a documentary. And books. One of which, “Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams” originally published in 2015 by Gestalten, is now in reprint. The book serves a double duty as a catalog accompanying the eponymous museum exhibit that has been traveling the world since 2009, and is now on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  

StyleZeitgeist Magazine Holiday Gift Guide, Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonne

Francis Bacon: Catalog Raisonné

If you are a fan of the Irish painter Francis Bacon, you are in for a serious joy ride (if such a term can be applied to Bacon’s work). Earlier this year his estate released a painstakingly researched and compiled Catalog Raisonné of his work. That’s right – every single Bacon painting known has been searched for, discovered, photographed, described and put into this five-volume cloth bound colossus, distributed in the US by D.A.P.