MONOLITH Magazine

MONOLITHcover ‘ONLY YOUR BELIEF IMPRISONS YOU. EVERYTHING IS QUESTIONABLE.’

MONOLITH is one of the most stimulating reads out there on the magazine market. It is a bi-annual fusion of an investigative science bible, spiritually explorative kaleidoscope and philosophic psychedelia. It brings together the different disciplines in an intellectually appealing and visually absorbing crescendo. Here’s a little taster-treat for you: an exclusive chit-chat with Lore Oxford, the grand Mata of MONOLITH:

Everything is questionable… Why did you choose this as the MONOLITH maxim?

I read a book by Robert Anton Wilson called Cosmic Trigger when I was working on the conceptual side of MONOLITH – over a year ago, now. He speaks a lot about how the best way to perceive the world is to believe nothing and to question everything and it really got me thinking. If scientists could once have claimed that the world was flat with total confidence, then who knows what else the masses believe entirely that could one day turn out to be false? MONOLITH explores awe-inspiring subject matter and encourages its readers to be curious about the world we live in, and similarly the articles are intended not to immerse the readers in a pre-determined belief system, but rather to inform them and inspire them to form their own opinions. Everything is questionable seemed the perfect phrase to illustrate this.

Please elucidate your fascination with psychedelics…?
I think what draws me most to psychedelics is the stake that they hold both in spiritual and scientific fields. There’s a huge crossover with those two subjects, which is often ignored due to the fact that science often disregards spirituality for its untestable nature and in turn science can often seem closed-minded to spiritually enlightened people. Psychedelics are compounds that could genuinely be utilised in modern medicine and the effects they take on people’s brains, opening new thought processes and enabling the user to utilise their senses in whole new ways is scientifically fascinating. But in a subjective sense, they’re also incredibly mind-opening, inviting the user to explore themselves, their creativity and their consciousness. I can’t imagine how anybody who knows about psychedelics or has used them couldn’t find them fascinating.A trip that changed your life?The first time I tried acid, because up until that point I’d been filled with the same sense of fear and apprehension that many feel before they’ve used psychedelics. Someone offered it to me in the perfect set and setting and it just seemed like a good idea. Those 8 hours were filled with walking, deep discussion and constant, unrelenting, euphoric awe. What did you do on the 21st of December?

I’m just glad the world didn’t end. If nothing else, I know that I’m not done learning about the world yet.

What is TUNNEL VISION?

TUNNEL VISION is a monthly movie night hosted by MONOLITH MAGAZINE. Each installment accompanies anything from contemporary cinema to cult classics with intellectual guest speakers and innovative short films. It’s a great way for MONOLITH readers to meet and speak to others who have similar interests and builds on the sense of community that the magazine promotes for its readership.

MONOLITH is available on the website and in selected outlets across London. £7

The next TUNNEL VISION event will take place at Vibe Bar on Brick Lane on Tuesday, 15 January 2013. Free and open to all.

/H

MONOLITH

http://www.monolithmagazine.co.uk/

MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN

Midnight's ChildrenSalman Rushdie’s Booker Prize®–winning novel MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN  is a magical tale of the destinies of the children born at the stroke of midnight August 15, 1947 – the cusp of India’s Independence, – and has finally been adapted to film. GRASSGRASS is proud to present an exclusive interview with the celebrated Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta who ventured to realise this highly anticipated adaptation:

What inspired you to transform this incredibly complex and intricately woven story into visual form?

I remember reading the book in Delhi in 1982 and was very much impacted by it, being especially drawn to the cinematic language of the book. At that moment, of course, I never thought I would one day be adapting it, but here we are!

What was your relationship to the novel before making the film?

It is one of my all time favourite books. Aspects of it remind me of my own youth and growing up in India which is very dear to me.

What was your vision for realizing Rushdie’s Magical Realism?

I never wanted to make X-men or anything like that. I wanted elements of magic realism to be subtle and grounded in reality. With creativity and some special effects we were able to realize elements of magic realism in a way that allows the audience, I hope, to draw their own conclusions about Saleem’s experience and reality.

What was it like working so closely with Rushdie?

It was such a pleasure working with him! I am proud of the film we’ve made, but even happier to have become closer friends. It is an experience of a lifetime. He is a true gentleman and a genius with a dry wit that is unparalleled!

India in 3 words:

Family, home, complexity.

Indira Gandhi in 3 words:

A formidable politician.

‘Be the change you want to see.’ – What change do you want to see and what is the role of the film in this?

I seek truth and clarity in the world, which I try to express through my films, including Midnight’s Children. On a personal level, I seek truth in myself and in the films I make I try to reveal the essential truth of a story and a character.

Is there a Saleem inside of you? Inside of everyone of us?

Definitely. Everyone, at one time or another, has felt like the anti-hero in their own life story. The outsider, the misunderstood, the unfortunate victim of circumstance. I think this is what makes Saleem inherently loveable. 

Many thanks for your time and thought, Deepa.

/H

OUT IN UK CINEMAS 26th December

Gold in the Crucible

Photography by Halea

For three days the Hoxton Arches were the site of the extraordinary exhibition Gold in the Crucible which was a kind of symbolic coming of age for the participating artists, in form of a continuation of the sculptural exploration with trans:form earlier this year.

Curated by Hanna Laura Kaljo the exhibition was the processual result of the six artists – including GRASSGRASS protégé Durbin Lewis – offering an array of interpretations in form of ‘pieces that embody the creative act of becoming, continuing their growth or decay in the viewer´s presence. The meaning of the works lies not in the final object, but within the unfolding of its inherent process,’ accentuating how the progressively fluid nature permeates into all that exists.

/H

Photography by Halea

Pamela Carr
Durbin Lewis
Eva Rudlinger
Wanda Wieser
Andrea Zucchini
Cristian Zuzunaga

PRETTY SUCKS

PS3

WAH LA LA! American Apparel on Acid – that is how we roll (and leap, and fall).

Hamburg-based designer Bea Engelmann revolts against the rigid chic of the Northern city – and the youthful exuberance spills over to London. As the fosterling of CUTE  MONSTR, the label caters to those who joyfully worship the unperfectly perfect and want to bounce around without fearing to tear their wear throughout a day and night of blissful adventure.

I hereby declare my love to the PRETTY SUCKS universe leggings and the girl’s best friend t-shirt (le diamond, gurrrl). These pieces are supremely cool and chill, and with a pinch of overtly carefree hipster-pastiche we gallop past pretentiousness, riding forth into an era of fun!

/H


PS1PS5

Photographer HALEA ||  Model TINA

PRETTY SUCKS

http://www.prettysucks.com

LES NANAS D’PANAME Book Launch

CONGRATULATIONS, LES NANAS!

Today the two staggering girls Chloé and Aurélie are launching their first photographic book as a celebratory extension of their marvelous project LES NANAS D’PANAME. For all of those non-French speakers out there, les nanas means something along the lines of the chicks – to be read as part of a playful and empowering narrative of female reflexivity. Hopefully there is no need to enlighten you about Paname – Paris’ empyrean colloquial name that originated from the 19th century argot slang and was later re-popularized by Renaud’s Amoureux de Paname.

Parisian photographer Chloé Bonnard and make-up artist Aurélie Martin embarked on a marvelous journey to create alluring portraits of a handpicked selection of fellow female creatives in their city, representing a contemporary movement of young feminine, creative power in the cultural capital. They assembled 57 girls that spring from an array of formative backgrounds – ranging from musicians, dancers and actresses, to designers, editors and writers.

The book launch will take place tonight at the Sergeant Paper Art Store, followed by an after-party at the Workshop on Rue Saint-Martin – so make your way over there if you’re around town!

The creators and their models are birds of a feather …and invite you to their artful wonderland, with the portraits being complex and daring representations of each individual girl and her creative profession. These photographs are more than just portrayals – they are liberated expressions conveyed à l’esprit pop et flashy!

This project needs to travel, transcend French borders! So we’ll keep our fingers tightly crossed. Waiting, wishing. May we dare to dream it might be L… maybe, possibly?

/H

DIY Taxidermy with Charlie Tuesday Gates

To drink on a Tuesday night would be the absolute last thing on my mind (#SchoolNight), and for others, it would be to attend an interactive DIY taxidermy session at The Book Club with artist Charlie Tuesday Gates — which I had the immense pleasure of doing.

Charlie has more charisma in her surgical-gloved pinky finger (or magpie-headpiece) than alot of people have in their entire body, which is necessary to captivate an audience for almost three hours. In between using animal skins as puppets and re-dressing carcasses, she does taxidermy as performance and show. #Casual #DayInTheLifeOf



Here Charlie illustrates how one can use basic household items to do taxidermy, making this seemingly untouchable form of art accessible and simple. From what I gathered, taxidermy (with artistic license) has one step and one ingredient — dousing and salt respectively. Alongside her, an audience participant makes taxidermy of  either a rabbit and squirrel: nothing like learning from first-hand experience !

The meat of the rabbit was cooked by George Foreman (grill) and another member of the audience who happens to be a chef, later served to six people. Despite having a rabbit named Octavian, rabbit is undeniably tasty so I savoured a limb while Charlie proceeded to salt the skinned lamb’s body. It’s like Martha Stewart, Yan Can Cook and Bill Nye The Science Guy met to collaborate (…and make macabre art ?)

To end, she raffles off a few obscure pieces — mostly a mix of taxidermy and found objects. #WomanAfterMyOwnHeart
The one above is a lovely ornamental squirrel-crystal-ball that I imagine would go well alongside a jewelry box on one’s powder table. #NotSarcasmActually

What an inspiration ! I have genuine intentions of purchasing mice (#TaxidermyForBeginners) to practice and refine this very special skill/art form/hobby. Like, seriously, fuck all the My Little Pony-collecting, flower pressing and cupcake-baking….

NOTE: Charlie’s work is both brilliant and controversial, and seems to pertain the very pregnant question of ethics for many. For starters, she only uses animals that are already dead, diligently hunting skips where their bodies have been discarded or keeping an eye out for roadkill to collect. She preserves animals that will surely outlast the time it takes for the average person to chow down a steak. And in this, conveying a message through art that may be even more essential than leaving dead lambs in skips to just be dead lambs.

Photographs by myself and Dalia Kranauskaite.
Fin !
/E

Scare and Share


Halloween is one of my preferred annual fêtes and, in fact, could even be described as a holiday in my belief system of conscious hedonism (never mind religious/national threads of ideology). Not only does it justify dressing up, deception and acting eerily, but it also challenges your perception and intimacy with people. Being a secret lover of masquerade balls à la Marie Antoinette, I gravitate towards the unknown, especially when it is strangers and friends mingling in lavish attire, restraining any form of recognition which is then usually reinforced by the influence of pleasurable substances that go so well with these affairs. It is this form of self-expression (in apparel and comportment) that you are able to extend beyond the familiar boundaries of the identified self – which, collectively, produce an air scented by extroversion that will allow modes of scaring and sharing that well transcend to a sphere of coalescence.

Moreover, Halloween is not only  remarkable in its quality, but also in its quantity: it enfolds and multiplies in variable ways, amounting in a variety of festivities. This year the 31st happens to be on a Wednesday, the best day possible which ensures a multiplicities of parties, dinners, and trick or treating (yes, we’ll hit SouthKen for the fanciest candy this year  – bless the masks for disguising our true age, sparing us from egg yolk/annoyed house keepers)!

The celebrations kicked off this weekend and I was lucky to be in Berlin for this supa-special occasion. My friend and performer LaRubinia invited me to CREEPY CABINET at Rocco&Sanny in Mitte – a cosy/cool New York-like basement bar neighbouring infamous Kingsize. After a shared bottle of Jesus blood (some call it wine), crooked Pueblos and too much dark lipstick, we headed to the place at around 1AM and were welcomed by the cross-carrying LaRubinia and her companion who poured way too much Russian water into our glasses and mouths… In blurred excess, we found ourselves in the abandoned offices of an advertising agency that occupy the 4 floors that rise above the bar. Drunkenly rummaging through piles of furniture and documents, we ended up with an impressive selection of coffee table books, litho prints and wine bottles that had been left behind, which served as splendid souvenirs of a grandiose night that quite well represents what Halloween is about: (s)caring and sharing… whatever it may be. A moment, a drink, a mask, a body, a risk, a night.

/H

Working Rivoli Ballroom cloakroom

We’ve all been there before: scrounging around Tesco’s reduced section/grappling for copper at the bottom of the fanny pack/wondering whether that half-finished ciggy in the ashtray is still smoke-able. I cannot tell you how or why I always seem to end up “there” a sad-awful lot… but a bad habit of spontaneous money squandering is a safe bet.

So one does the obvious thing while juggling a degree, GRASSGRASS and laundry — work the cloakroom for a night in the boudoir of a tranny Halloween party at Rivoli Ballroom.

Where else
would your employer be a wonderous latex-clad catwoman ?
can you happily wear a leopard button-up without feeling too “hoochie-mama” ?
would you get to feel dwarfed alongside glamorous Amazonian-height trannies ?
would you be able to chill in a room decorated in the 50’s ?
can you have a chat at length about nipple piercings ?

Photographs courtesy of Miss Dalia Kranauskaite

And because it is a boudoir — making it exceptionally fancy (refer to wallpaper) — our services extended to pinning thick hair extensions, tying angel wings to bra straps and receiving various removed clothing items throughout the night.

Operating this cloakroom is well worth the friendly conversation, free-flow cider and bit of dosh… which I immediately spent on expired colour transparency film and a ticket to Charlie’s DIY taxidermy class (refer to bad habit). Despite the intimidation of being lost in a coat-jungle and bag-jumble, this is a piece of work experience I highly recommend.

/E

BAR25 – Days out of Time

BAR25. No words can describe and no pictures could ever do justice to it – to what it was and what it stands for.

Die Bar was revived! Just for one night, in London, for the international premier of the BAR25 film that documents its evolution, from the birth of its founders’ ideas to the physical destruction and activation of the masses to reclaim urban spaces, stand up for freedom of lifestyle and communal integrity. It wasn’t just a club, it was a dream, a social provocation, a realization of artful vision.

An homage-gone-party took place 05/10 at the (almost-Berlin-like brick-walled venue) Village Underground in Shoreditch, organized in collaboration with HalfBaked – just in time for my birthday! What better way (and time) to drop by Neverland, making all body-bound atoms rave to Dirty Doering, defying rainy reality and traveling back in time to blurred memories of nights and days merging in Danny Faber’s universe, savouring the irrelevance of time… Being at home at home, Berlin in London. The epitome of nightly joy (except for, perhaps, my rave companion being carried out on the security guy’s shoulders).

For those of you who don’t know the BAR25 or never managed to go and experience and feel it, add this documentary to your secret must-see list that will save you from cultural ostracization. It gets you as close as you can (retrospectively) get to the beautiful madness of this legendary place which started a movement that brought people from all over the world together. Watch it, then book a flight to Berlin (never mind a hotel) to spend a weekend at Kater Holzig and Chalet, the new projects of the crazy geniuses that created die Bar.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Bowing down in ridiculous pose of gratefulness for this mind-blowing night that ended with rain-wet feet, sweat-soaked clothes and a spliff accompanied by absurd conversations in the downstairs backstage area to welcome a new year of life.

/H

http://www.bar25.de  // www.bar25-derfilm.de // www.halfbaked.org.uk

BWAUUURKK

You know your belief/pride/faith in your culture is tested when the following happens: the other night  (in fact the other special night after our blog launch), we got back home predictably starved and dehydrated. So we raided our stash of our snobby munchy food, meaning the Angelina chocolat chaud and the rest of our Ladurée macarons (courtesy of one of our beautiful friends that understands what to bring when you’re invited for dinner to ours).

In reality, we are not so fussy about food, but simply wanted to enjoy our macarons peacefully. The first bites were amazing, as expected. Sweet lemon, refreshing apple, rich chocolate, delicious salty caramel, tasty pistachio, surprising rose… Ladurée is one of the few things that makes me proud of my country. We kept on pleasing our taste buds with deep cassis, nice vanilla and multiple others until we had one last macaron left.

It almost looked like a liquorice one, but not quite. We cut it in half ready to try something new and incredible. As soon as it touched our tongues our faces distorted horribly and we spat it back out instantly. Our confused mouth interiors did not know how to assimilate the information. It was sweet, waaay to sweet, sticky with a pink inside and a horrible chemical candy taste. I could not believe it. It was horrendous, a blasphemy to the macaron traditions, which I know very little about, but I suddenly felt the need to investigate this culinary faux pas.

After a few click-clicks on Google and the Ladurée website, it turns out that this pink and chewy reminiscence of a wonderful met français is a limited edition bubble gum macaron for Lanvin. This new creation reminded the designer Alber Elbaz of the “taste of childhood”.

Alber, you do wonders for Lanvin, but we clearly did not have the same childhood.

/J