EYE 2 EYE

  • EYE 2 EYE

    i am a very lazy man : yohji yamamoto

    - by antoine

    “i am a very lazy man.”

    That’s not really the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto.
    Film costume designer, Hyères jury president, Y-3 sportswear line creator, musician and soon film director, not to mention one of the people who revolutionized fashion aesthetics, Yamamoto has done his share.

    I had the pleasure of spending an evening backstage at his fashion show to get an exclusive peek for the new Joyce.com website.

     Antoine Asseraf for Joyce.com, interview by Lucienne Leung.

    Thanks: Coralie Gaultier, Filep Motwary.

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    The perfect muse: François Sagat

    - by rene

    In Carlo Collodi’s 1883 children’s novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio” it is the wooden puppet that possesses sentience prior to its transformation; it is the puppet and not its creator, the woodcarver who triggers the miracle of the doll coming alive.

    With François one never knows who pulls the strings. It is him who invokes the sentiment for a story to become alive. Yet he hands himself over unconditionally to his collaborators, like an “instrument to be played”, as he likes to call it.

    Film director Christopher Honoré once expressed that François Sagat “redefines the notion of masculinity”.  François, the humble boy from Cognac has moulded himself to unattainable iconic status. Gilded with his blue inked crane, he is to conquer his righteous spot in the pantheon of pop culture…

    FRANCOIS_SAGAT_RENE_HABERMACHER_THE_STIMULEYE_APPLE
    "François Sagat with Apple" Exhibition SPECTRE, Hyères 2010. Photography by René Habermacher

    René Habermacher : you recently played alongside Chiara Mastroianni in HOMME AU BAIN by Christophe Honoré, and as well the lead in Bruce LaBruce L.A. ZOMBIE – how were your experiences?

    François Sagat: L.A ZOMBIE was an experience which had very little to do with HOMME AU BAIN… The shoot for LA ZOMBIE was like a real porno shoot, scene by scene, it was mostly fucking, except that of course the porno version was censored for festivals…Beyond the sex scenes, LA ZOMBIE was a chaotic shoot, without a script, hasardous… but I’m still to this day satisfied with this participation and collaboration with Bruce LaBruce, from whom I still have much to learn, and who possesses a huge cinema and litterary culture… Despite what his critics say, I think Bruce has a real style.

    During the shoot I really tested my capacity to resist “obstacles”, it was at times very difficult, I didn’t know where I was going, no direction, it was like being thrown in the lion’s den.
    There was no script, the storytelling was weak and the whole plan was turned on its head by last minute changes and many cancelations, but that can be said about a lot of “cinema” projects.

    L'HOMME AU BAIN by Christophe Honoré, starring Chiara Mastroianni and François Sagat.

    Regarding  HOMME AU BAIN, the shooting was a lot more structured, but energetic nevertheless. It’s on this project that I realized that my abilities as an actor were limited, weak even, and felt like I was a big challenge for Christophe Honoré because of my “heavy” image, of the luggage I was carrying.
    There were moments when I thought I terrified him, being everything except malleable. The project was constantly evolving due to the fact that we had planned it as a short, and that a lot of questions arose towards the end of shooting. It was finally released as a full feature film, and I have the feeling it wasn’t the right place for the film.

    It was an intimate project which to me, with hindsight, would have had a strong impact as a short. But I am neither director nor the creator of my own character.  Rather than control the situation, I felt the blowback. But surely the imperfection of the final result  makes it a real film, that can be remarked and criticized. I chose to shoot it and live the collaboration for the moment rather than think of the finished product.

    FRANCOIS_SAGAT_RENE_HABERMACHER_THE_STIMULEYE_ROSE
    François Sagat for QVEST magazine. Photography by René Habermacher.

    What is the difference to you between acting in a porn movie or a feature film?

    The difference ? Of course there are differences.

    When you’re a porno actor, you’re in constant control of your carnal envelope and your physical aspect, whether you learn it or you have it from the start.

    I didn’t know it as first but I am someone who has that ability. Porn is often an activity for people who are shy orally.

    As a performer, you never really have to carry the more or less artistic responsabilities of a porn film, because there is no artistic issue to start with. You just have to be a good soldier fitting what the consumer desires to watch and what the production has decided, and that’s it.

    I think also that I am someone who’s very sexual and exhibitiionist, but that’s not really giving you a scoop. Porn is like military service, it’s “my way or the highway”, and in my case, I’ve been and continue to be a good soldier.

    The main difference is that you need a capacity to adapt and to lose who you really are, physically as well as morally. I created for myself a character in porn as in life, it’s difficult to let it go.

    FRANCOIS_SAGAT_RENE_HABERMACHER_THE_STIMULEYE_PILLORY_VILLA_NOAILLES
    Video still from PILORI installation by Lynsey Peisinger & The Stimuleye. Villa Noailles, Hyères 2012.

    (more…)

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    power couple : esser & elisha : 2 : elisha smith-leverock

    - by antoine

    Powerdreamcouple part 2. Director Elisha Smith-Leverock has been going back and forth between fashion and music.

    Her fashion films collaborations with designer Fred Butler, scored by Benjamin Esser, have been both acclaimed and rewarded.

    She made the first music video for Esser before directing for Cocknbullkid, Pixie Lott, Sunday Girl and now… Esser.

    Interview by Filep Motwary & Antoine Asseraf.

    Elisha Smith-Leverock. 

    Your new video for Esser is very strong, and seems to show more confidence, perhaps because of the success of “I Want Muscle” ? I would like to hear your thoughts on “I Want Muscle”, how the story was perceived and how difficult or easy it was working for the film.

    I think the Esser video and I Want Muscle might seem more confident because they are both very personal projects.

    Making ‘I Want Muscle’ was a great experience. I set out to explore what physical strength can mean for women and I also wanted to challenge and expand peoples ideas of female beauty.

    Obviously there were some difficulties, especially trying to find clothes for Kizzy to wear. Some designers just flat out did not want their clothes to be seen on a bodybuilder and others were willing to lend but sample sizes are generally tailored to fit a very specific kind of figure, so they did not fit her.
    The reactions to the finished film were overwhelmingly positive, from winning the ASVOFF Grand Prix, down to the number of people that watched to film and how they reacted to it.

    A lot of people have said to me that they had never seen a female body builder portrayed in this way, without the fake tan and irony. But there was a time when people were more appreciating of ‘strong’ women and different body types, just think of Lisa Lyon for example.

    I WANT MUSCLE by Elisha Smith-Leverock.

    You made, if I’m not mistaken, the first music video for Esser, as well as the one for his hit “Headlock” – how is it working with someone you know intimately, to be simultaneously in tune with his world and able to step back to connect it to a bigger picture?

    It’s the best and the worst thing at the same time. It’s amazing because you have great mutual trust and it’s really easy to communicate and yet it’s the scariest thing because you feel so much more pressure. You don’t want to let the other person down when they have done something so great and have worked so hard for it. You don’t want to let them down by not getting your end right.

    When I shot Ben’s first video and successively the video for Headlock the approach was somewhat naive. These were also amongst my first experiments with moving image and it was really fun because Ben was just finding his feet as a solo artist so we both didn’t feel any pressure going into it.
    The process for his new video was more conceptual which very much mirrors Ben’s approach to making the track.

    What are your inspirational catalysts and how they help you form what you do today?

    Most recently I’ve ben watching a lot of Hans Richter films, this has been a great influence for the ‘Enmity’ video.

    Esser: Enmity on Nowness.com by Elisha Smith-Leverock.

    How do you approach making music videos versus fashion films ?

    I think generally making fashion films gives me a little bit more freedom so my approach varies. It will alway depend on if it’s a personal project where fashion aspect is a byproduct to the story or the visual idea or if I am working with a specific designer to actually showcase their collection. With personal projects the idea is more important to me than the clothes but obviously if working for a designer then you need to focus on showing the collection as well. I think this approach bares similarities to how I do music videos.

    With music videos, the idea/concept always becomes secondary to how the artist is presented.

    How do you see the future of fashion film ?

    I’m not sure how the future will be but I know how I would want it to turn out.
    I would love to see a stronger move towards actual content. Director-driven fashion films. Less ‘moving photographs’ as I like to call them. Whilst these type of films can be beautiful, I personally don’t find it very interesting to make them or to watch them. Seeing someone swishing around for 3 minutes gives me nothing.

    I think its far more interesting to watch something more abstracted, a story or mood film that tells me more about the ideas behind the collection. A well crafted film that really brings you into the world of the designer and the collection rather than just straight up showing the clothes.

    What is the last thing which stimulated you ?
    Charles and Ray Eames.

    Elisha Smith-Leverock

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    power couple : esser & elisha : 1 : benjamin esser

    - by antoine

    Musician Benjamin Esser & director Elisha Smith-Leverock are not just a dream couple, they’re a power couple.
    She directs his music videos, he scores her fashion films.

    Now as they prepare to release the first single/video from the upcoming second ESSER album, a radical shift from the first LP’s pop mood to darker synth pop, we talk to them about music, film, fashion, and what it’s like to work with your significant other.

    Interview by Filep Motwary & Antoine Asseraf.

    Benjamin Esser by Filep Motwary.

    Since the release of your debut album back in 2009, what are the changes to the way you perceive your own music, and how it has evolved?

    Benjamin Esser: I think the beauty in first records is naivety, which you can never regain.
    But I feel a lot less pressure in a lot of ways with this second one, there’s a confidence that means I can let the music take its time.
    I think people might immediately assume that I ‘discovered’ a whole genre of music that I’d never listened to before. But that’s not true, I’ve always been into bands like Cluster, Tones on Tail, Suicide, Add N To X (mixtape – coming soon!)…

    What is inspiration for you ? Do you consider yourself as eccentric?

    I find inspiration in repetition.
    Inspiration for me isn’t about looking outwards its about looking further inwards – into the core of things.
    No I definitely wouldn’t say I’m an eccentric, I guess I have my own ways of doing things. But everyone does.

    People would tell you my views on organization and timekeeping are fairly abstract. I strongly disagree.

    ESSER performing at Hyères 2012 Fashion & Photo Festival, with Stage of the Art.

    What are you looking for in music? And how do you measure success?

    I’m looking for complete submergence.

    What does it mean to you to have an image change, beyond the need to convey a change musically?
    Do you care about fashion or style?

    Well I completely agree with artists like David Bowie. His concept of reinvention was incredible and the conceptual way he approached his records is a big influence for me.

    Of course the amazing thing about fashion is anyone can become whoever they want to be – I could be a different person by tomorrow.

    at Hyères 2012

    ESSER performing at Hyères 2012 Fashion & Photography Festival, by René Habermacher.

    How is it to work with your wife – when she’s directing you around, when she’s making videos for other music acts or when you’re the one scoring her films?

    I like it.
    People always asume that you can’t be objective if you’re working with someone close to you, but I think it’s the complete opposite. We work together constantly actually and I’ll always ask her opinion on whatever I’m doing and vice-versa.
    In fact we’re the only ones that can give each other honest opinions because we know each other so well.

    As far as working on music for her films, she always has a really strong idea about what she wants. Which is great. It’s often a reinterpretation of a song (“I want muscle,” Donna Summers). So it’s always satisfying to do that.

    What is the last thing that stimulated you?
    Charles and Ray Eames.

    COMING SOON : II : Elisha.

    ESSER, ENMITY on Green United Music.

    Thank you: Laurence Alvart, Pierre LeNy.

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    hyères just a taste… steven tai

    - by filep

    Meet Steven Tai, our final Hyères designer.

    Steven. Photo by Filep Motwary

    How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?

    I feel incredibly honored to be selected for this year’s Hyeres. I vividly remember that when I first discover the festival I did not even begin my education at Central Saint Martins. But at that point I already felt a strong connection to the competition and I knew I would try to be apart of the festival one day. Therefore, being selected as a finalist really means a great deal to me because it means that an audience I truly respect understands my work.

    How would you describe Hyeres in three words?

    Natural, familiar, friendly..

    What has been your favorite part of the process so far?

    The entire process has been incredible. It really is difficult to pick just one favorite part. Having the name Hyeres backing you means you are granted opportunities that I could not normally even dream of. A selection of those moments include: – having countless fabric companies at Premiere Vision sponsoring my work – working with the prestigious Givaudan Fragrances to create a personal perfume – having the opportunity to create a look for the house of Chloé – coming to Hyeres and meeting all the wonderful designers and the team at Villa Noailles

    In three words , what is your collection about?

    Geeky, Awkward, confident

    Steven Tai / CANADA / Central St-Martin's London.
    Photo: Rene Habermacher.
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    hyères just a taste… ELINA LAITINEN, SIIRI RAASAKA & TIIA SIREN

    - by filep

    Elina Laitinen, Siiri Raasakka and Tiia Sirén come from Finland and design menswear together. They have been selected for Hyeres 2012.


    Elina. Photo by Filep Motwary

    Siiri. Photo by Filep Motwary

    
    Tiia. Photo by Filep Motwary
    How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?
    We feel really honored to be selected regardless of the fact that this is the first collection we have ever put together. We want to break every boundary there is, and it’s exciting that other people can understand our world as well.
    How would you describe Hyeres in three words?
    Coolest thing EVER!
    What has been your favorite part of the process so far?
    We have totally enjoyed the whole process of making the collection since we like to get our hands dirty and here in Hyères its really amazing to be able to work with a professional team.
    In three words , what is your collection about?
    Boys! Youth! Revolution!
    
    
    Elina Laitinen + Siiri Raasaka + Tiia Siren / FINLAND / Aalto University Helsinki
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    hyères just a taste… daniel hurlin

    - by filep

    Meet French-born Daniel Hurlin, one more talented original from this year’s selection of Hyeres’ Festival.

    Daniel. Photo by Filep Motwary

    How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?

    I am very happy. I am also very worried, because I want to make my collection the best it can be! But I am very happy, and proud.

    How would you describe Hyeres in three words?

    My world is in colors, so : Azure, emerald and beige

    What has been your favorite part of the process so far?

    Meeting the other selected designers help you rationalize everything, and make the whole process more human. Fashion design is an isolating process, even though you are constantly brought to collaborate with other people for all the bits of your collection. Being able to share with people who perfectly understand your dilemmas, is invaluable.

    In three words , what is your collection about?

    While I’m tempted to say “Perfect Blue Tamara” (title of my collection), I think this will be more enlightening : colours, materials, bodies.

    Daniel Hurlin / "Perfect Blue Tamara" / FRANCE / IFM Paris
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    hyères just a taste… lucas sponchiado

    - by filep

    Continuing the introduction of the Hyeres 2012 selected designers. Meet Belgian womenswear designer, Lucas Sponchiado.

    
    Lucas. Photo by Filep Motwary

    How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?

    It is incredibly great! It is an honor to be selected…

    The Hyeres Festival is a huge event and a great opportunity for me to show my work. I am glad to be selected, exited and very enthusiastic about it.

    How would you describe Hyeres in three words?

    Opportunity, meeting with other creatives from around the world and creativity.

    What has been your favorite part of the process so far?

    It is very hard to answer because there is a lot of different things happening during the process of the festival. Meeting all the different contestants and the festival crew is great. Professionally, presenting my collection to Maida Gregory-Boina was a great experience.

    In three words , what is your collection about?

    Contrast, sensuality and architecture.

    Lucas Sponchiado / "out of vacuum" / BELGIUM / La Cambre Brussels
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    hyères just a taste…maxime rappaz

    - by filep

    Continuing the introduction of the Hyeres 2012 selected designers. Meet Swiss womenswear designer, Maxime Rappaz.

    
    Maxime. Photo by Filep Motwary.

    How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?

    A chance to show what I’m working on and the opportunity to learn more through rewarding meetings.

    How would you describe Hyeres in three words?

    Professional. Stimulation. Fashion

    What has been your favorite part of the process so far?

    The challenge to update my collection and take decisions in a short time.

    In three words , what is your collection about?

    Geometry. Femininity. Poetry.

    
    
    Maxime Rappaz / SWISS / HEAD Geneva.
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    hyères just a taste…KIM CHOONG-WILKINS

    - by filep

    Introducing the Hyeres 2012 selected designers. Meet menswear designer, Kim Choong Wilkins from the U.K

    Kim. Photography by Filep Motwary.

    How does it feel for you being selected as one of the ten designers for this edition of Hyeres Festival ?

    For me this is the culmination of a very long journey. The idea that during the selection process many esteemed fashion specialists, including Yamamoto, have given their approval to my work is very encouraging. It is a crucial milestone.

    I graduated as textile designer and moved to Milan to follow my dream-job which turned out to be my nightmare job. I was a bit naive. I learn t a lot about what fashion was and what it emphatically wasn’t. Returning to London to take up my masters in menswear, allowed me to figure a few things out in terms of what fashion means to me. Personally, it is a medium to rally against mediocrity.

    I went to work for a handful of designers, sometimes as a seamstress, sometimes as a designer and all the time developing my signature and allowing me to mature.

    For me this is a kind of compulsion, I can only do this; to draw and make and knit and sew. Its not always so rational.

    Being selected for Hyeres gives this kind of obsession a context to nurture your neurosis and be part of a wider, critical audience.

    How would you describe Hyeres in three words?

    Limitless, creative , freedom…

    What has been your favorite part of the process so far?

    Being involved in a festival this prestigious has a huge focusing effect, simply being granted the brief has allowed me to find my voice. Working to develop a perfume, being given free rein to use a multitude of fabrics and an exclusive print..

    Basically to be a mega-brand for a month, lucky does not even describe it. The festival is both a very slick operation and a compassionate nurse for our creative ambitions. The festival is both a very slick operation and a compassionate nurse for our creative ambitions.

    What is your collection about in three words.

    Subversive, dazzling, dystopia

    Kim Choon-Wilkins / UK / Royal College of Art London
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    hyères just a taste…narelle dore

    - by filep

    We have started introducing the Hyeres 2012 selected designers. Meet womenswear designer, Narelle Dore from Australia.

    Narelle. Photo by Filep Motwary

    How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?

    I feel not only honored to be selected for Hyeres but also overwhelmed that my work will stay in the wonderful archive forever.

    How would you describe Hyeres in three words?

    Sunny, open-minded and wonderful!!

    What has been your favorite part of the process so far?

    Well, arriving at Hyeres, at the Villa was wonderful also the preparation for the show, the presentation while meeting the rest of the contenstants and people who work at the Villa Noailles

    In three words , what is your collection about?

    Macrame, salt crystals and women

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    Narelle Dore / AUSTRALIA / Royal Academy Antwerp, Photo by Rene Habermacher
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    hyères just a taste…jasmina barshovi

    - by filep

    We have started introducing the Hyeres 2012 selected designers. Meet menswear designer, Jasmina Barshovi from Switzerland.

    Jasmina. Photography by Filep Motwary.

    How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?

    I was very happy to receive the phone call, though I did not expect to make it to the finals.  I feel honored to be here.

    How would you describe Hyeres in three words?

    A great opportunity to meet many important people from the industry, it has a laid back environment that combines business and pleasure and in a way it feels like being back to school. Of course, there is the jury at the end of the shows, which adds a bit of stress.

    What has been your favorite part of the process so far?

    Rethinking the collection, going back to things I left on the side for a while. I was an opportunity for me to re-think women, as I am a menswear designer.

    What was the women’s garment you created for Chloe about?

    A sophisticated by nature, confident yet simple. The clothes featured all sorts of details.

    In three words , what is your collection about?

    Nostalgia, blurry memories and emotions.

    The Stimuleye

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    hyères just a taste… paula selby avellaneda

    - by filep

    Starting today, we will be introducing the Hyeres 2012 selected designers. The first is 26 year-old Paula Selby Avellaneda from Argentina..

    How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?

    It is an honor-It’s motivating because it makes you feel as if you are doing something right, you‘re on the right track. The Festival is a good chance to make a collection for the sake of creativity, a boundless opportunity.

    How would you describe Hyeres in three words?

    Independent, for the love of art and generous.

    What has been your favorite part of the process so far?

    I am studying business at the same time so getting back to “stitching” for me was great. Before sending the work I was dreaming of the concept, the collection as a whole, trying the fabrics, carefully choosing and combining them. This time though the process felt different, as it was the first time I had created a collection respecting my archetypal sketches and drawings.

    In three words , what is your collection about?

    Materials, couture and Rock&Roll.

    The Stimuleye

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    hyères just a taste… pascale mussard

    - by filep

    “Ready to fight like a lionness.”

    It’s hard to imagine those words coming from the mouth of Pascale Mussard.
    But as art director in a very special company, the “petit h” division of Hermès, she knows how to wait for the right moment before springing into action, while in the meantime keeping an eye for that special quality — talent.

    Which makes her the perfect Hyères 2012 jury member.

    Pascale Mussard, photography Rene Habermacher © Hyeres 2012

    How should luxury be interpreted within a young creator’s work?

    At Hermes, an object, a creation, must “speak”. It is nourished by the soul and hand of craftsman. It is designed, created, pampered, shaped, dreamed, ennobled, sublimated. It is made with respect, love, passion. Young creators work must inscribe beauty in use, and use in beauty. Nothing superfluous, only honesty every step of the way: from design to production. As heirs of a noble tradition of craftsmanship, our initiatives must be loyal and the innovative expression of this tradition. It must show our optimism and wonderful ingenuity, that last long and leave all horizons open.

    What would you say is key to sustaining a fashion brand in a world like ours which is ever changing?

    Innovation?

    “L’obligation ardente de toute culture” Hélène Ahrweiller [the impassioned obligation of any culture]

    Integrity : Never forget our values, from where you come from and invent objects that will last long, be transmitted and bring joy.

    Continue to give testament to the relationship between man and the wisdom flowing from acceptance of nature and the unchangeable beauty of usefulness, by reflecting through craftmanship on the meaning of objects and the importance of the ties within mankind.

    New petit h film, produced by Partizan.

    The art at Petit h is so colourful, fun, happy. Do you feel that ‘happy’ is a keyword for our fashion era now? For our Hyeres contest, would you look for ‘happiness’ to be an aspect in choosing the winner?

    My uncle Jean Louis Dumas was saying “où que vous soyez , refusez de vous embêter, dans un milieu de qualité , ce serait du gâchis.» [wherever you may be, refuse to be bored, in a place of quality it would be a waste.]

    Petit h : May be not happy as « youthful» Petit h is indeed linked to childhood, particularly in the way to perceive objects and materials, in a new way without preconceptions or prejudice. It is a light, constant, free creation process which makes this petit “h” the legitimate child of Hermès: though sometimes impertinent, a child that does not cease to grow while learning on the materials, the hands that create, and the values of Hermès. For Hyères, it is a “team” judgment under a very innovative President: Mr Y Yamamoto.

    Happiness is always a positive value for me, but innovation, fantasy and talent are more important.

    Working for a house as historic and of great heritage as Hermès, how do you encounter the challenge to align new ideas with the skills of traditional craftsmanship?

    “During a long time I worked on a one-on-one basis with artists and designers. Then, in 2009, the project truly took off and we started working with a cabinet of accumulated materials and craftsmen who worked closely with the artists (at the time Gilles Joneman, Christian Astuguevielle and Godefroy de Vireu) in the recreation process. The pieces created were then submitted to the family and the artistic direction, and the project was approved for a first sale which went very well, allowing us to keep growing.”

    “An artist, designer, “geotrouvetout” [inventor] is invited by me to come to the atelier and to dive into the cabinet of materials – the materials are the source of inspiration for all creations, They must work with what is available. These materials will spark the creative process and discussion between the craftsmen and designers to find a solution that is concrete, realizable and esthetic according to Hermes values and procedures. The creation at Petit h comes primarily from a dialogue between the hands of the craftsmen, the materials and the ideas of the designer.”

    Craftsmen and designers do not necessarily have the same priorities. What is the collaboration like?

    Si vous écoutez vous finissez par entendre. Et un bon entendeur est plus facilement entendu…

    [if you listen you will hear. and a good hearer is more easily heard…]

    They have to be able to work together well, be able to respond to their partner. I frequently act as a middle person or a kind of midwife. I encourage the team members and say: “We have never done anything like this before, but why don’t we try it out?” If the designer knows exactly what he wants, then the craftsman has to use all his memory, skill and bring out all the techniques that he knows. Currently, we are working on a life-sized bear which is intended for the exhibition in Berlin (23 April – 12 May). The leather is folded using the origami technique – which is something that is for us completely without precedent. The designer Charles Kaisin calls up frequently to find out how we’re getting on. Last week, one of our craftsmen said he thought he would never be able to realize the idea. But eventually everyone in the studio found a method which works.

    An inner connection must be forged between the designer and the craftsman. If this happens then I am prepared to defend their work within the company like a lioness.

    What is the last thing that you experienced, saw or heard that stimulated you?

    Recently I had the chance , the luck to visit really inspiring places, Naoshima (Japan), Inhotim (Brazil) two sites that offer a unique combination of major contemporary art collection and nature.

    Two wonderful projects: A DREAM. Brazil and Japan, two countries very energetic and inspiring for me. A great encounter in Brazil: the architect Marcio Kogan ( Sao Paulo)

    This summer a beautiful and peaceful trip: Ladakh.

    Hyères Fashion + Photography Festival
    April 27-30, 2012

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    hyères just a taste… irene silvagni

    - by filep

    With one of the longest careers in the industry, Irène Silvagni is considered as one the master-keys that open every door in fashion.

    As creative director of Vogue Paris in the late 80’s, she initiated collaborations with Peter Lindbergh, Paolo Roversi, Steven Meisel and Ellen Von Unwerth.

    One of the 2012 Hyères festival fashion jury members, picked by president Yohji Yamamoto, for whom she does creative direction, we asked for her view on ethics, talent and achievement…

    Irene Silvagni photo by Elise Toide ©

    What are the ethics a young designer should have?

    The most important is the “freedom”. One needs to follow what ever what he/she believes in.

    Stick to your style.

    In your career you have introduced to the industry and the world a lot of new talent. Do you still find yourself as excited by the new crop of talent today? And do you find there is a lot of progression in terms of work that is coming out today?

    I remember the time when we were a few editors fighting to have Azzedine Alaia recognized, wearing his clothes at the shows, fighting to have editors and buyers get to rue de Bellechasse; and those were moments of intense happiness.

    I also remember when the Japanese designers arrived in Paris, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto. It was a shock, a new kind beauty, a page was turned but in a way it seemed like a battle against a certain form of journalism which did not understand and accept this evolution.

    A revolution that opened all the Belgian movement, which is to this day still at the top.

    What do you think is the most challenging thing for young designers to conquer to achieve success today?

    The main problem is of course to resist the pressure of economics and the space given to big advertisers in magazines, also to be able to produce and deliver.

    The success of Carven, Rochas, Giambattista Valli, all of the independent designers has given a new energy to fashion… The placement of Raf Simons at Dior, the return of Slimane at YSL will bring new challenges in term of aesthetics…

    Irene Silvagni photo by Elise Toide ©

    How do you relate fashion with elegance?

    I do think that elegance is related to the woman or the man wearing clothes.

    Though, some clothing are not supposed to be “elegant”, they have style, magic, they are strong or soft, black or white all and its contrary. A piece of cloth wrapped around the body is elegant. I could go on and on talking on elegance. Sometimes I cross some girls in the street and I feel amazed by their creativity in putting clothes together. It’s amazing, inspiring and elegant!!

    There are more magazines then ever, yet the paper publishing is in crisis. How do you see fashion magazine publishing today? What excites you or you are missing to see?

    I miss the space given to young designers and new talents, I miss being surprised, I miss the adrenaline.

    These days, while turning the pages I often know what I am going to see, I read the same news on every magazine, see always the same people. As a professional and a reader I am disappointed most of the time, although there are still some magazines that I find exciting!

    What is the last thing that you experienced, saw or heard that stimulated you?

    The last Azzedine Alaia fashion show…

    Olivier Saillard exhibitions and performances.

    Hyères Fashion + Photo Festival
    April 27-30, 2012

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  • EYE 2 EYE

    hyères juste a taste…Alan Bilzerian

    - by antoine

    Among the crew of fashion wisemen assembled by Yohji Yamamoto in the Hyères 2012 jury is Alan Bilzerian, owner of the eponym Boston boutique, who was kind enough to answer the questions of the Hyères partner blogs…

    The Stimuleye
    Alan Bilzerian by René Habermacher.

    How important is craftsmanship in a collection for you?

    Actually, its one of the first points that bring me closer to the designer. It puts a skip in my step when young designers succeed in translating quality.

    When looking at the Hyères ranges, what is more important to you, the designer’s ability to conceptualize a range and see it through to its most artistic and expressive, or do you focus strongly on the commercial viability of the ranges?

    I feel very uncomfortable about looking at large ranges of any designer. I believe you can exhibit your emotion of design very clearly in short exhibitions. But I look at both the commercial side as well as artistic expression.

    How supportive are your consumers to young designers? What is the most challenging aspect of trying to sell a young designer, and what can the designers do about it?

    The consumer will listen to us about any new designer and will certainly give it a chance with a try on or touch. The competition is so strong because of the immense amount of product, we feel you need a little push from the editorial side and a strong support system with shops of high caliber.

    The corporate fashion conglomerates are assembling more and more brands under their umbrella and control through advertising the exposure of fashion in the editorials.This makes it harder for young, independent designers to create visibility and establish their vision and brands.  How do you see this affecting your work as a buyer?

    Its always very challenging to move into new names because in my shops I like consistency to prove that I made the right decision for the customer. The fashion umbrella of the conglomerates are needed as well because of the visible progress shown to the consumer, it helps momentum.

    What is the last thing that you experienced, saw or heard that stimulated you?

    Nostalgia…

    Hyères Fashion + Photography Festival
    April 27-30, 2012

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  • EYE 2 EYE

    hyères just a taste… Olivier Saillard

    - by antoine
    His name may not ring any bells, especially if you’ve never attended one of the numerous exhibitions he curated during his years at Union des Arts Décoratifs or more recently in his new position as curator for Paris’ Galliera Fashion Museum.

    But his appreciation, his judgement, informed by an impressive culture and understanding of fashion in the long run,  leave little to doubt.

    Who better to evaluate the young talent of tomorrow than one of the few people who get fashion beyond the trends of the moment ?
    Days before his double Comme des Garçons / Balenciaga exhibit opens at Cité de la Mode, here is Olivier Saillard.

    Olivier Saillard by René Habermacher on The Stimuleye
    Hyères 2012 jury member, Olivier Saillard, Director of the Galliera Fashion Museum. Photo by René Habermacher.
    Why should a garment be considered as important?

    At the risk of appearing a bit primal, because we’d be a bit cold if we had to live naked, unless we all moved to warmer pastures !

    Beyond climatic considerations, I love to see a garment as a solution, and to note that some designers are, to this day, still preoccupied by the idea of solving, through a way of dressing, our natural morning wardrobe.

    You have produced works that straddle the line between fashion and performance. Or maybe there is no line. When looking at the collections for the festival, how important is the element of presentation to you? Would a poor presentation of a great garment influence how you score it?

    Now more than ever, presentation interests me less than the garment itself. I skip fashion shows and rather appreciate presentations in show rooms.
    (more…)

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  • EYE 2 EYE

    hyères just a taste…. Marc Ascoli

    - by antoine

    “Fashion goes out of fashion” says veteran creative director Marc Ascoli.

    A jury member for the upcoming Hyères Fashion + Photography Festival, Ascoli is known as the man behind the image of Yohji Yamamoto, Martine Sitbon, Jil Sander for many years.

    He knows the times change, and yet the thirst for creativity is never quenched.
    Here’s a taste of Hyères.

    the stimuleye, rené habermacher, marc ascoli, hyères
    Marc Ascoli at the Hyères 2012 jury selection, by René Habermacher.

    FILEP MOTWARY/UN NOUVEAU IDEAL: What makes a young designer interesting in your eyes ?

    His/her sensibility before anything else, that he/she has something to say. But also the degree of creativity, the ability to show he/she doesn’t fit the mold or follow established models.

    A young designer, to be interesting, needs to reflect his era and talk about the times.

    MALI/SKATTIE: Once you’ve started working with a brand, what is your degree of involvement and counseling?

    It really depends on the intensity of the relationship I share with the person. Today the difficulty is to know which direction a brand wants to go, how to express its singularity.

    yohji yamamoto by david sims

    yohji yamamoto by david sims

    Marc Ascoli + photographer David Sims for Yohji  Yamamoto.

    MISHA/TOKYO FASHION DIARIES: Today, it seems essential for a designer to have a public persona. How does that affect you ?

    The current situation is ambiguous. Designers are personae, they embody and diffuse the image of the brand. Taking into account the investments made by fashion houses in terms of publicity, designers have become true flag bearers.

    But that’s where the error often lies, to hire people gifted in public relations but much less in terms of style.

    Today there is a “bottom line” in fashion, people tend to look at things commercially. Does the buzz which personality give off equal the quality of the offering ? The question today is primordial. [In the case of] Sarah Burton for Mc Queen, we don’t see a flamboyant personality, but everyone is floored by her work.

    Even though it’s a time of crisis, everything is about competitivity. Considering the number of collections (men’s, women’s, pre-collections), it’s about standing out through quality not only personality.

    RENÉ / THE STIMULEYE: What is the role of the stylist in the creation of a fashion image ? How did the evolution of this role impact the role of the artistic/creative director ?

    There’s now a lot of confusion between stylists and artistic directors, but I believe the two have very different roles. The artistic director works on the long term image of the brand, its DNA and visual impact, whereas the stylist reflects the brand’s fluctuating image by styling the clothes, whether it’s for ad campaigns or a fashion shows.

    jil sander by craig mcdean

    Marc Ascoli + photographer Craig McDean for Jil Sander

    BRUNO / BRRUN: Does fashion have a political role beyond aesthetic and function ?

    Fashion takes place in a different universe. It’s a universe where you’re bringing something else to reality, where there is little concern for politics, because it’s all about creation and individuals.

    You can see today that there is a huge gap between fashion and the political reality of our times.
    Fashion goes out of fashion; fashion is irrational so it can’t be political.

    ANTOINE / THE STIMULEYE: When and how does a creator, singer, artist need to work with an art or creative director ?

    An artist always needs an alter ego with whom to exchange ideas, to help write his/her story. It’s not just a matter of positioning. The artistic director has to be sensitive enough to understand the artist’s universe and then catalyze it ; establish an image visually and eventually commercially.

    Martine Sitbon by Nick Knight

    Marc Ascoli + photographer Nick Knight for Martine Sitbon.

    What is the last thing which stimulated you ?

    Being a very curious person, I am constantly stimulating my creativity through various cultural activities. The exhibit of Madame Grès curated by Olivier Saillard at Musée Bourdelle really seduced me. Everything was in its place, the location, the clothes, the spirit.

    I was also very stimulated by the latest Comme des Garçons fashion show. I thought it was majestic.

    Hyères 2012, April 27-30, 2012

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  • EYE 2 EYE

    HIGHER ATLAS – Marrakech Biennale

    - by rene
    The Arab Spring.
    One year later, the events seem so distant already, and yet an undeniable change has taken place in the atmosphere.

    A special case: Marocco, where evolution, rather than revolution, is being encouraged through a revised constitution. And now, the Marrakech Biennale, HIGHER ATLAS, curated by Carson Chan and Nadim Samman under the patronage of Vanessa Bronson, opens its door.

    A special case, a special place, in a special time… an interview with curator Carson Chan.

    The Théatre Royal, under construction.
    How was lunch?

    Thanks for asking! There’s been little time for lunch these days, but the 6 dirham omelets across from one of exhibition sites, the Théâtre Royal, are great.
    Now that you spend so much time in Marrakech- what are your favorite places you hang out to get a fresh head?
    With my indispensable curatorial assistant, Marie Egger, we often duck away for an hour at the Cafe de la Poste, a beautiful colonial-era restaurant.

    Did you accustom to the local rhythm?
    It took a few weeks, but I think I finally got a hang of how to deal with contractors, suppliers, interns, accountants and bureaucracy in Marrakech. This time around, I’ve been here for more than a month, and it’s been great to become familiar with some of the people in my neighbourhood. That being said, I’m still often my own tourist attraction!

    So did you surrender? Or is it the other way around?
    I think everyone involved has surrendered to the biennial making process. I knew that logistics would be a challenge, but in the end, the exhibition, often spectacular, sometimes very quiet, was curated to appeal first and foremost to the senses.

    How did your engagement with the Marrakech biennale and Nadim Samman come together?
    We were invited December 2010. I ended up meeting Vanessa Branson, the president of the Arts in Marrakech foundation at Art Basel Miami, and was hired after a brief presentation of my past exhibitions on my ipad! She had met Nadim a month earlier in London at an exhibition he made there.

    You had initially planned the El Badi palace to be at the core of the Higher Atlas biennale. As I understand one of the challenges you faced with the change of administration was that at some point El Badi was no longer available. What were the consequences?

    The consequences of losing the El Badi palace was pretty great in the end! The show now spans five different sites in and around Marrakech, so when traveling from one location to another, visitors, both local and from abroad, will begin to see the city as part of the context of the exhibition.

    The Théâtre Royal, a half completed opera house commissioned by King Hassan II, the old foundations and underground cisterns of the sacred Koutoubia Mosque, the so-called Cyber Park (it’s owned by Moroc Telecom and has perhaps the best wifi in the city!), the Bank al-Maghrib building in the historic Djemaa el-Fna square as well as an large scale sculptural installation by Elin Hansdottir in the town of Tassoultante about 15km outside of the city are all places where we have exhibitions.

    Particularly in the urban public spaces like the square, the park and Koutoubia, it has been amazing to see visitors that have had very little exposure to contemporary art stay and take time to experience the work.

    Installation by Ethan Hayes-Chute.
    Did the “arab spring” affect you curating this project?

    The so-called Arab Spring (no one here would ever associate any kind of political unrest as a problem relating to other countries…) was definitely on my mind when I started conceptualizing the exhibition. Before spending time at in Marrakech, all I knew of Morocco was what I read about in the media – a politics biased reading if anything. The very fact that we made an exhibition of contemporary culture was a response to politic-heavy understanding of North Africa.

    People here go shopping, go to restaurants, read books, watch movies and use the internet for YouTube just like everywhere else.

    One of the biennales goals are articulating the blurred boundaries between historically discrete spheres, and the conjunction of local and global conditions. Which works would you allocate to this specific target, and how do you see their relevance?

    I would say Jon Nash’s work, Moroccan Drift, is a good example. When he was researching Morocco online, he came across several drift videos in which people would speed up their cars and turn in such a way that the car moves sideways. Inspired by Tokyo drift and other videos from around the world, young Moroccans made their own Moroccan drift videos.

    In the end, it was the space opened up by the Internet, not, say, geo-politics, that shaped the cultural lives of the Moroccans making these videos. Morocco is used by filmmakers as stand-ins for several other places. Ridley Scott shot Prince of Persia here, and of course Morocco is no where near Persia. Large HDI balloons are often used as stand ins for the moon, and American artist, Karthik Pandian, decided to launch one of them in the Djemaa el-Fna square for one night. On that night, March 2nd, Marrakech had two moons, the real one, and the one Karthik launched, which was cubic in shape – a gigantic white cube, as it were.

    Was it difficult for you to get rid of the post-colonial shades and orientalist romanticism?

    Post-colonialism and its echos are definitely here, but not unlike other cities like Hong Kong, Montreal or Mexico City. We worked with about 50 university students from the Cadi Ayyad University, and they definitely regard themselves as either Moroccan or simply world citizens, not products of post-colonialism. In fact, I consciously tried to bypass this framework by foregrounding art as a question of physical experience, rather than a communicator of historical conditions. Having said that, Leung Chi Wo, from Hong Kong, reflected on post-colonial identities in his work.

    Marrakech_Biennale_2012_CARSON_CHAN_BRANSON_wienskowski_THE_STIMULEYE
    Right, Carson Chan, co-curator, and left, Vanessa Bronson, biennale founder.
    I am curious to hear a little on the locals reactions in this context?

    The local reaction so far has been amazing! If anything, it has really gotten people talking. Thousands came to our opening, and we are being featured in the local media – radio, television, newspaper, magazines – on a daily basis. Our interns, who have worked for the past two months alongside myself and our artists, are our main ambassadors. They tell people on the street, friends, make their own ads and posters about the show.

    I went to check up on the Koutoubia exhibition the other days and it was packed with people streaming in from the main square. At the Bank al-Maghrib, where Nine Eglantine Yamamoto-Masson curated video art as part of a walk-in screening room, I saw families sitting inside entranced by the videos.

    How did you encounter the local support when approaching it?
    Not only do we have support from the mayor, the Wali of Marrakech and just recently the patronage of the King himself, the love and support we get from our contractors and workers has been immense. One contractor, Said Aakif, has been instrumental to the success of the biennale, and we’re all really grateful for his dedication.
    You recently halted your project PROGRAM in Berlin, what was the decision? And, in retrospect how do you see this curatorial experience has affected you?

    Fotini Lazaridou-Hatzigoga and I ran PROGRAM for more than 5 years, and as a project that experimented in art and architecture exhibitions, we felt that we had had our run.
    There will definitely be more projects through PROGRAM, but the experience there has definitely shaped my work here in Marrakech. To start with, many of the artists I’ve shown there were also in the biennale.
    What are your plans after the Marrakech Biennale?

    I’m editing two magazines – editor at large for 032c, and contributing editor for Kaleidoscope – so that will take up much time. There are a few more exhibitions this year, talks and lectures, but I’m taking time to work on a conference at Yale University with David Tasman and Eeva Liisa Pelkonen about architecture exhibitions. There are a few books up my sleeve as well…

    
    Aleksandra Domanovic's "Monument to Revolution" and the al-Ghiwane singers, 
    performing turner-prize nominee Roger Hiorn's untitled performance.

    What is the last thing that stimulated you?

    The most stimulating thing was the exhibition vernissage. To see people experiencing the artworks I spent so much time thinking about and considering, to see them take it in and take their time, to see people encounter things they may never have encountered before, that has been the most stimulating.
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  • EYE 2 EYE

    ariane labed

    - by antoine

    She’s French, but she acts in Greek.
    ATTENBERG was her first film, but it won her a Lion at Venice in 2010 for Best Actress,
    and the admiration of Quentin Tarantino and Sofia Coppola.
    She loved the shooting, but hated the fame which followed.

    Introducing Ariane Labed in
    ARIANE
    an exclusive film by Justin Anderson,
    in collaboration with THE STIMULEYE and Giorgio Armani,
    and original pictures by René Habermacher.

     ARIANE, directed by Justin Anderson. Clothes - Giorgio Armani. Furniture - Armani Casa. Commissioned by THE STIMULEYE. 

    Antoine Asseraf : Bonjour!

    Ariane Labed:  Bonjour!

    Are you currently in London ?

    Yes, finally! I was supposed to move to London last September, but I’ve been moving around nonstop!

    Do you often go back to Greece ?

    I was in Greece in November to play with my troup VASISTAS, but now I’m more between Paris and London.

    When did you first come to Greece, and what was your impression of the country at the time ?

    I arrived in Greece 3 years ago, for a 9-month project of my troup with the National Theater of Athens, to put on a Faust.
    I was born in Greece, lived there until I was 6, and I think I left part of my childhood there.

    I dreamt of returning. When I met Argyro Chioti in college, a Greek theater director with whom we created the troup VASISTAS, I jumped onto the opportunity of going.

    So instead of 9 months, I stayed for 3 years, meeting Athina [Rachel Tsangari] and Yorgos [Lanthimos] had something to do with hit.  Beyond a purely sentimental attachment to this country, I was impressed by all the artists I met and their urgent need to create. Without expectations of getting anything in return, beyond any judgement to which they could be subjected, beyond thinking about breaking even.

    If I have just left, it’s only because I need to live in a country where I feel foreign, where I lose myself in the streets. That’s what I’m doing in London. The day where I won’t lose myself anymore, I will leave again.

    But I will always return to Greece.

    Ariane Labed by René Habermacher

     Ariane Labed by René Habermacher.

    The films of Yorgos Lanthimos and Athina Rachel Tsangari in which you starred have universal resonance, but we can nevertheless imagine that they come in a context, in reaction to precise things happening in Greek society: the influence of the Orthodox church (the impossibility of cremation), the need to break the myth of Greece as a postcard-perfect location (the desolate landscapes of Attenberg)…

    As you said yourself the Greek audience doesn’t really support these films, and when reading the article in THE GUARDIAN regarding New Greek Cinema I found the comments left by the Greeks to be very virulent – do you think the films play a role in questioning Greek society ?

    If Greeks have a difficulties situating themselves in films such as Dogtooth or Attenberg, it may be because they carry a truth about their country which hurts.

    This young generation carries with them the failure of the previous generation, a generation who thought they offering through a notion of “progress”, and after the military dictatorship, a better life, without taking into account the contradictions of orthodox culture and the desire for revenge after several centuries of hardship when the Greek people were a strange gate to the East.

    Being French, I love all these contradictions about Greece, but that is also where the complexity lies, and these are facets which the new generation denies or which the previous cannot accept.

    What I also love in Greece is that it’s non-colonial, as luckily they could never afford to be colonial, but it is painful to see and hear the Greek racism against the recent wave of immigration. I think the Greeks are overwhelmed by a lot of things today, and it’s evidently linked to the government which “enjoyed” European aid for decades, including the Olympics of 2004.

    Though all this is probably only the beginning of what is slowly happening all over Europe.

    ATTENBERG by Rachel Athina Tsangari - Trailer. Best Actress award at 2010 Venice International festival.

    The beautiful thing about this chaos is that, these artists, without means, who expect nothing from the government, find the strength to meet and trust each other enought to creat together.  That’s the case for HAOS, the production company created by Athina, which led to collaborations with Yorgos Lanthimos on DOGTOOTH and ALPS, and EMBROS, a new squat which just opened and brings together theater, danse, performance, critiques, writers, etc… Greek artists have never collaborated as much as they do today.

    Of course the films of Athina [Rachel Tsangrai] and Yorgos [Lanthimos] carry and will continue to be denounced by a society which closes its eyes, much like other Western socities. That may be why they are recognized abroad but considered “weird” and barely tolerated in their home country.  The taboos touched upon in Attenberg – death, cremation, incestuous desire, lesbian sexuality, are topics on which one can hardly have a dialog in Greece.

    But it is difficult for me to criticize Greece… Beyond the corruption of the government and the misery into which it has dragged the people, which I can intellectually denounce, there remains for me an unspeakable element, a vibration I feel only there. A chaos which I find appeasing.

    Ariane Labed by René Habermacher

     Ariane Labed by René Habermacher.

    How did you live this experience of the “fashion film”, between actress and model, with Justin Anderson ?

    I was quite reticent at first… but once I met Justin [Anderson] and he told me the concept, with the slow motion, I became quite excited. In the end it was a beautiful experience.

    What are your current projects ? Can you tell me about your play with VASISTAS ?

    The big news is that I’m about to shoot a film in France. The first film in my native tongue !

    It took quite a while for people to figure out I’m French. My first 2 films, ATTENBERG and ALPS, are both in Greek, so everyone thought I was Greek. It doesn’t bother me at all, but really it’s quite a different exercise to play in a foreign tongue.

    Congratulations. Are the plays with VASISTAS also in Greek ?

    I’ve worked with my troup for 5 years now. We are 3 women: 1 Greek, 1 Mexican and myself. We met in college at Aix-en-Provence and created a troup. We work in different languages, centering on the body, on the impossibility of communicating with words. We don’t work from existing plays but rather from an editing of texts ranging from Deleuze to advertising… I play in French most of the time, but the text is there to relate to meaninglessness… My work is rather physical.

    So it’s your own creations ?

    Yes. The last show was called  “spectacle” [“show”]. www.vas.eu.com

    This impossibility to communicate is also an important theme in Attenberg, your character is very physical but has difficulties communicating with others —did your theater experience push the role in this direction or was it already thought out this way ?

    The writing of Attenberg didn’t change much…but it wasn’t written for a foreigner, so maybe inadvertently we pushed this Marina towards another manner of communicating. Certainly, with Athina we didn’t want to approach the character psychologically. There’s always a great deal of physicality in my approach.

    Ariane Labed by René Habermacher

     Ariane Labed by René Habermacher.

    Where does this physicality come from, is it because you’ve practiced ballet, or did you practice ballet because it was in you ?

    I did 10 years of classical ballet. I stopped when I was 16 because I could no longer stand the way the body was dealt with. It’s a strange contradiction, I was and remain persuaded that ballet is a sublime and fair form of expression, but I can’t deal with the instrumentalised body.  In ALPS, I play the role of a competitive gymnast, it was a superb challenge to have to return to this physical condition, and yet a real nightmare !

    So you keep this tension within you, between the habits of ballet, the need to express yourself physically, and the rejection of the classical dance system….

    Yes, something like that.

    When we spoke for the first time by email over a year ago, I wasn’t aware that you were at the time going through a “reaction”.

    Reaction?

    Reaction, or crisis, ou questioning ?

    Was it the reaction to cinema ? to the success of Attenberg ? or to the rigors of a gymnast’s discipline ?

    Yes, it was shortly after my award in Venice… I was lost.  I did not know how to deal with anything — I didn’t expect and wasn’t prepared for such a level of display. I locked myself into work (the preparation of the role in ALPS) and fled the journalists. It took me a long time to realise that it could be a gift in my life.

    That’s when I decided to get an agent in Paris to continue film-making.  When I made Attenberg, I didn’t think I had a place on a screen. I’d loved the shooting, but I couldn’t picture myself fitting in.  This award led me to hope I could continue, and now I only dream of shooting again.

    Before Attenberg, was there something you found repulsive in cinema, or was it an attachment to the physicality of theater ?

    I didn’t think you could find the intensity you have in front of the public. That moment when you lose the notion of time.

    And paradoxically what troubled you after Attenberg was the intensity of the public scrutiny !

    Being exposed in a work of art has nothing to do with being exposed as yourself holding a world cup trophy.

    I can be naked, raw, give myself completely for a scene or a film, but to expose myself as Ariane Labed in the press is something I find completely uninteresting.

    ALPS by Yorgos Lanthimos - trailer. Best Screenplay at 2011 Venice International festival.

    So it’s rather the status of the “star” that troubles you rather than shooting itself ?

    Shooting is sublime. But I’m not sure of what the actress’ status is. I don’t think there’s a rule. It’s a crazy job, and I hope you can go about it your own way. At least that’s what I’m trying to do.

    You returned to Venice for ALPS, which won the prize for Best Scenario, how was it this time ?

    It was a holiday ! I took a lot of pleasure, and I was very happy for Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filipou [the writers].

    Let’s quickly talk about ALPS – when does the film come out ?

    In France I’m not sure, but in the UK in the Spring.

    How was this second film for you ?

    I was afraid. After the success of Attenberg, I put a lot of pressure on myself… I was telling myself again that maybe Tarantino was wrong, maybe I shouldn’t be on screens anymore….but it helped me to work even more.  It was a small role in ALPS, but which required 3 months of intense preparation, so I tried to make the most of shooting days and give my best. It was a very different experience.  Yorgos doesn’t work like Athina at all, he leaves the actors with a lot of doubt, and captures everything that slips through.

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