My Little Pony Burgers – Fast Food With a Twist

Last month the third annual Food Film Festival took place; a three day festival aiming to gain and share knowledge on a more sustainable food system. Part of the festival was a food court with trucks of street food with a twist, such as ‘De Keuken van het Ongewenste Dier’ (The Kitchen of the Unwanted Animal, TKUA).

Starting out as an art project, TKUA questions the eating habits of today’s consumer, that are a bit odd to say the least: most people eat meat that comes from factory farms, but look the other way when they have to face the origin of their cheap burgers. At the same time animals that are being put down for other reasons, but that are perfectly edible and often of better quality, are being discarded of since apparently they are not good enough for us.

These unwanted animals are turned into tasty fast food by TKUA. From invasive species such as crayfish, Japanese oysters and muskrats that threaten local ecosystems to the infamous ‘Schiphol geese’, which circle Holland’s biggest airport and get shot on a daily basis to prevent serious accidents. TKUA turns them into soup, croquettes, and uses their big eggs for omelets. Other animals used are rabbits, pigeons, and deer. But probably the most controversial are their ‘My Little Pony burgers’ made from retired race horse and pony meat.

After the horse meat scandal in Europe, these became even more current. The clever name really sums up the Dutch (and probably European) sentiment towards eating horsemeat: it’s ‘sad’ or ‘wrong’ since it’s considered a noble animal. Yet Dutch horses, as well as the other animals aforementioned, have generally lived a much better life than animals from factory farms. They have received the best food and care, and their meat lacks those nasty hormones and antibiotics. Your typical meat from the grocery store came from an animal that had been treated poorly, lived in a contained space, probably saw little to no daylight, got forcefed and injected with several medications.

So the real question is: would you rather have that horse discarded of and taken to destruction (after which it will be ground up and served to other animals), or taken to the butcher after which it will be turned into a hearty meal by loving hands?

Anneloes Bakker 
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New Fashion Photography

Fashion photography has changed a lot in the last decades of the 21st century, not only for the arrival of the digital approach, but also in deep for the revolutionary role of media and the appearance of new, previously un-explored avenues of thought.

Prestel Publishing decided to release a book for celebrating all those new fashion photographers who are making a mark in our times. So, New Fashion Photography has been launched; a 224-page hardcover volume that shows, pages by pages, the images of 30 artists such as Nick Knight, Tim Richardson, Rankin and Miles Aldrige, together with a younger generation like Kourtney Roy and Daniele & Iango. The book’s not only about breath-taking photos, but also exclusive interviews combined with commentary.

The publication got a cover picture by LaRoache Brothers, and it has been edited by Paul Sloman, an art director from the fashion book trade, who has curated in the past volumes like Isabella Blow, Isabel Toledo and Gothic: Dark Glamour. Tim Blanks, well-known contributing editor for Style.com, wrote the introduction and several celebrities make their appearance among the pages of one of the most iconic fashion tome out this year, from Lana Del Rey, Iris Strubegger to Carolyn Murphy, they all have been portrayed through new talents’ lens.

New Fashion Photography has been presenting at Contributed, an art gallery in Berlin. All the pictures included in the text are part of an exhibit that will last until May 18th 2013, the best images will be available as limited edition fine art prints.

Francesca Crippa 
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Guest Interview n°47: Studio Blanco

The Blogazine met Sara and Valerio Tamagnini – the founders of Studio Blanco – to discover their personal recipe to deal with art and creative direction of commercial, editorial and cultural projects, linking together freshness and unconventionality, along with an international network of creative minds.

Creative crossroads and artistic bonds, along with an extremely professional and distinctive approach are just some keywords of your activity. What led you to form a team and which are the common and different aspects of your personalities?
The studio began in a very simple and natural way. We basically felt the need to start doing something by our own – at that time I was mainly a promoter of events and club-nights while Sara was a freelance graphic designer. We decided to split a small space (around 30 sqm) and to try start doing something together: I used to do parties and consultancies for entertainment brands, so sometimes I needed also some graphics and I involved Sara – that’s how it started. Then step by step we had the chance to start developing real projects together: the first years were very hard as we used to work from 10 to 10 trying to mix commercial assignments (for the money) and cultural projects (for the soul or at least the pleasure). This was not a marketing thing but more the way we intended (and still intend) our work.

In your statement you underline your choice “to be placed on the margin – both geographically and mentally”. What does it mean for you from a professional and personal point of view?
Our studio is in Reggio Emilia, which is a small town in the North of Italy between Milan and Bologne, so we are not in the centre of anything: our area is more about doing than appearing or talking and we’re in the middle of the “Pianura Padana”, so everything’s flat, quiet and there’s always a sense of nostalgia – the one that Luigi Ghirri magically stole to his images.

So we are on a margin (as we are not in Milan or Rome) of a margin (Italy is not really the centre of the world), but at the same time we like the fact that Reggio Emilia is very well-located, so you can easily move to Milan, Bologne, Mantova, Verona, Florence (…) and it’s stimulating. Ok, to be honest with you, we are not in love with our town, but growing here helped us to understand the basic needs and sometimes after the Milan – Paris – New York and the “arty farty” circuit, the back to basic of our town – the fog, the ordinary life, the local food, the friends – is a great way to come back to reality.
And then, as Godard said “the margin holds together the page” which means that you can look to the text and the contents on the main area but without the border you can’t have the whole page. We like the approach in which the details are important as the most direct things. And we also like to be one step back, behind the curtains, not in the front row.

Have you ever considered of moving to another place anywhere in the world?
Yearly! But in the end we remain here so it must say something. Anyway, staying here is a struggle sometimes because we felt the need for more pressure, life and energy as you may have in a big town. But then again, being here means that you don’t lose your time in too many PRs or events and you focus your time on doing a good work, on developing a new project – and this is really important for us.

You established your studio in 2005, so it’s now your 8th birthday. If you would make a recap of your experiences until now, which are the main events/projects that influenced your professional growth?
I would say that the Carte Blanche capsule collection project for Sportmax is a good example of a small indie project born in 2008 that now has arrived at its fifth edition and it’s very well considered. Carte Blanche started as a collaboration with Christophe Brunnquell (former art director of Purple magazine) and then – year after year – we involved a lot of interesting personalities such as Kim Gordon, Lola Schnabel and Ambra Medda. It’s also really interesting because we are giving “carte blanche” to the artist in his/her collaboration for the project, but we also received a “carte blanche” from the brand as we curate the project from A to Z – from the identity to the selection of the personalities and so on. We grew up with Sportmax and this is a collaboration that make both of us proud of.

Then there are a lot of other projects we remember with pleasure: Control+C in Carpi (MO), a musical-based festival we art directed with Corrado Nuccini for 5 or 6 editions and in which we involved musicians such as Broadcast, Prefuse 73, Plaid, Nathan Fake, Apparat, Junior Boys, Sylvain Chauveau, Swod, Hauschka, Dustin O’Halloran, Johann Johannsson, Josephine Foster, The Field and many others.

And then the first italian exhibitions of Mark Borthwick or Christophe Brunnquell, the Recession editorial project in which we asked 35 international artists to interpret the recession theme through words, images, artworks and music with participants such as Richard Kern, Ed Templeton and Ari Marcopoulos.

Is there any creative person – old master or contemporary artist that you’d still love to work with?
Luigi Ghirri, Daido Moriyama and the Provoke members, Max Richter, Ennio Morricone, Ed Ruscha… But the list could go on and on and on.

You’ll soon be at “Fotografia Europea” (Ed. Note: the yearly international event devoted to photography held in Reggio Emilia) presenting TO BELONG, the project  - arranged with the Swedish photographer Anders Petersen, in collaboration with SlamJam – which is strictly connected to your home town and the earthquake that hit the area in 2012. Could you tell us something about the exhibition?
The earthquake of the last year really hit very hard our region. It was not only about the dead people, the damaged buildings and all the other scary things you can associate to each earthquake. It was also about the sense of impotence, the ordinary life as a gift and not as something that you can take for granted. Me and Sara had our first baby last May and for me it was strange to think about how life and death are very close to each other.

Anyway, we decided we had to do something, but we wanted to help in our own way, with our language, not trying to organize another benefit event or something that could sound like a fake. We wanted to do a project about the memory and saw this beautiful book called “Un Paese” by Paul Strand and Cesare Zavattini about the small town of Luzzara – near Reggio Emilia. The book was done in the fifties and then celebrated again with other photographers such as Ghirri and Stephen Shore. We thought of doing something similar starting from the earthquake and trying to shoot people and places from the hit area, involving someone that was not italian, that we appreciated and that had a special sensibility in portraying people in trouble: Anders Petersen.

I’m copying here parts of the beautiful text that our friend Cosimo Bizzarri wrote about the project – which is far better than all my words:

“On May 20th, 2012, at 4:03:52, a crack opened in the earth’s crust under a village near Modena called Finale Emilia, where for more than a thousand years the territory of Emilia has ended and the rest has begun. It lasted for twenty seconds. Then the streets quickly filled with men and women in their pajamas, scared to death. All but seven, who would never come out.

Over two months, 2,300 aftershocks left almost thirty people dead and a society in shock. Cars were smashed by the debris of the buildings under which they had been parked. Jackals stole uniforms from rescue teams in order to pillage the evacuated houses. Those who had been evacuated screamed at the other jackals: the TV crews. Palaces without facades, whose furniture could be seen from the street. Castles and bells towers torn down without dignity with dynamite. Everywhere, barriers and dust.

A people that wakes every morning on a broken land can have only one goal left: pull it together. So week after week, doctors went back to heal their patients, factory workers to cast their girders, cheese makers to sell their cheese and builders to erect houses.

Studio Blanco contributed with what they do best: a visual story to join together Emilia’s faces and places, as if to ward off the possibility that the crumbling of the land could be followed by the crumbling of the people who lived on it. To tell this story, they invited Swedish photographer Anders Petersen, a man who has nothing to do with these places, but who has made raw and moving reportages about vulnerability for more than forty years. Over eight days in November 2012, Studio Blanco brought Petersen to toll roads and museums, riversides and devastated squares, letting him photograph wherever, whomever, however he liked, with the idea that only an outsider could find and capture the spirit that keeps these lands together.

A young contortionist, a knotty tree trunk, two elderly people dancing in a ballroom. One year after the earthquake, Petersen’s photos create a small poem about Emilia, which sews up that deep crack and returns this land, whole, to the humanity that has always belonged here.”

Monica Lombardi – Images courtesy of Studio Blanco, Anders Petersen, Sportmax, Estelle Hanania, Carlotta Manaigo, Matteo Serri, Ari Marcopoulos 
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Sunday Breakfast by Love For Breakfast

If the tropical atmosphere doesn’t come to you, bring it into your house. Sometimes happiness is in the little things.

Alessia Bossi from Love For Breakfast 
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On the Northen Line

“It’s morning time on the Northern Line”. Sometimes a phrase in a song is enough to give you an idea of a place, of its look, even of its smell. If it’s true that every journey has its soundtrack, Jamie T’s “Alicia Quays” is the perfect song if you want to land on the silent chaos of London for six minutes, represented the best by the Tube as its most descriptive scenery. Jamie who? I’m talking about Jamie Treays, stage named Jamie T, one of the roughest diamonds that the underground London has given birth in the last decade: sort of a crazy, brilliant minstrel of London’s working class, especially the one of the East End zone, where people talk with cockney accent and the use of words like “chav” and “scally” is even more frequent than the use of common conjunctions and verbs.

50 stations, the most of them subterranean, 36 miles of rails and tunnels: Northern Line, otherwise known as the “Black”, for the color on the metro maps, transports 252 million people every year. Ex “Misery Line” – as it was named in the 80’s and the 90’s because of the awful conditions of the rails and stations – today, in spite of its name, is the most extended line of the Tube down south of Tamigi, and the line that reaches the most Southern station of the Tube, Morden. From here to the Northern border, High Barnet, the Black slashes an entire city underground, stopping even on the famous (in good as in bad) stops of Camden Town and King’s Cross. Works starting on 2015, the line will be extended until Battersee, in South West London.

Northern Line tells stories about the lives of workers and businessmen, of the aged and the young, of happiness and solitude. While Jamie T sings about it (dedicating a whole song by the same name), journalist William Leith writes about it in his book “A Northern Line Minute” like following: “People never tell you to have a pleasant journey in the underground, just as people will say ‘enjoy your meal’, but never ‘enjoy your cigarette’ if you’re a smoker”. And this instead, is a slightly poetic article, dedicated to the escalators of Angel stop, along the Black. These stories confirm that even, maybe above all, in a dark, subterranean and lonely place (in spite of the thousands of people who use it everyday), one can find out urban poetry from human souls. Just there, where people stare at the ground without talking to anyone and, maybe more often than they’d care to admit, they find themselves thinking “What am I in my own dear eyes?” (Jamie T, Alicia Quays)

Antonio Leggieri – Photos Daniel J. Wolpert & Paul Downey 
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Daring to Be Baring

Introduced to the fashion scene for the first time during the 40s the crop top went from conservatively tailored to comfortably sexy when it peaked in popularity during the 70s and 80s thanks to Flashdance and Madonna. Finding a new, more preppy crowd in the 90s through the film Clueless the crop top became an essential before leaving the scene, until today.

The current cropped creations are far more versatile than the baring ones in the last years of the 1900s, although interesting enough, some of the designers of today seem to get their inspiration from the last years of the past millenium. Michael Kors for example introduced a long sleeved crop top that combined sophistication and sport. Miu Miu designed a slinky black as well as white deep v-neck crop top steering the mind to boudoir lingerie and creating a simplistic yet sexy attire. Once again underwear is outerwear.

The crop top for 2013 is being presented in a wide range, in addition to the sporty elegance and boudoir lingerie there is bollywood exoticism at Marchesa and grunge crochet at 3.1 Phillip Lim. However the most common feature is minimalism; a simple color in a geometrical cut but in luxurious material. At Balenciaga, crop tops had been produced in boxy cuts that loosely hung on the body in again a simplistic manner. Geometrical shapes could also be spotted at Alexander Wang who used the illusion of cut-outs to set his crop top apart.

In a way the circle of the crop top has been completed by the 21st century versions. It started its journey being tailored and in combination with high-waist, which in the end is similar to the fashioning of the crop top today. However the usage of the top has become more fine-tuned, using more exclusive materials that escort the item to the walk-in closet of a modern fashion icon.

Victoria Edman 
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Making a Statement

Wearing shirts with slogans or other prints seem to have become popular on the street as well as on the catwalk. It is however not the first time that slogans have left the world of advertising, becoming part of our apparel.

The graphic shirts first saw the light in the 1960s in a shop on London’s Kings Road set up by Tommy Roberts and Trevor Myles. The prints were of Disney images including pictures of Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse. In the 1970s Vivienne Westwood and her partner Malcolm McLaren produced T-shirts with political messages to sell in their notorious shop. The most popular design was a swastika and an inverted crucifix under the word “Destroy”, which was named as “the ultimate punk-rock T-shirt” by McLaren. During the 1980s, slogan shirts with political messages continued their popularity before losing their impact in the 1990s.

In 2006 Henry Holland made a series of slogan shirts with inspiration from the world of fashion branded with provocative messages such as “Do Me Daily Christopher Bailey” or “Cause Me Pain Hedi Slimane” They were modelled by his friend Agyness Deyn and stores like Topshop quickly made copy-cat editions re-introducing the slogan shirt to the mainstream fashion scene.

A shirt with a slogan functions as a way for people to convey their thoughts, opinions and even personality to the world on all kind of questions. The slogan shirt is a way of expressing a viewpoint without saying a word and in a society where fashion obtain so much media attention a simple shirt can make a statement and reach over a million people around the world. Something that will separate one man from another making him into an individual and not a follower.

Victoria Edman – tops on a hanger by thegreeneyeoffashion.com 
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Designer’s Love For Food

It is widely known that design should concern all aspects of our lives. From the clothes we dress and the furniture we proudly furbish our houses with, to the less obvious examples like the interiors of plane cabins or medical equipment, nearly everything we touch has been designed by someone. The same goes for the food we eat, where by food we don’t only refer to the persuasive packaging that so many of the products we see on supermarket’s shelves have, but also to how the meals and the way we consume them have been cleverly designed.

Even though some designers have been dealing with food for quite some time now, in the recent months we have seen the rise of interest in the topic, with the birth of numerous magazines (Alla Carta and The Gourmand to name but a few) and specific projects considering food design.

As it goes, designers’ interest in food has taken many shapes. Starting from designing utensils and cutlery, which has formed some of the most famous design companies in the world, like the Italian Alessi, to various experiments with food design, like the ones developed by Martì Guixe. In fact, we can see Martino Gamper set up ‘designed’ dinner parties with his project Total Trattoria, where he created everything, from the tables and chairs to water jugs and glasses, from cutlery to the actual food people ate. Or designers like Marije Vogelzang creating particularly appealing ‘eating performances’ or our beloved Formafantasma create baked vessels from water and flour, taking inspiration from traditional Sicilian crafts.

In fact, this relationship, that results in some obvious and some less obvious outcomes, has been explored with an exhibition at MART, in Trento, titled “Progetto Cibo, la forma del gusto” curated by Beppe Finessi. The show explores the lasting relationship between design and food, starting from Bruno Munari’s book “Good design” and ending with contemporary projects by the aforementioned Martì Guixe and Formafantasma. In a typically Italian style, “Progetto Cibo, la forma del gusto” shows how food can be turned into a universal language, bringing together and uniting different cultures and realities helped by the clever hand of design.

“Progetto Cibo, la forma del gusto” is on display until the 2nd of June 2013 at MART, Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto.

Rujana Rebernjak 
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Neglected Holiday

Other than required high school reading, what do Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Truman Capote, Jack Kerouac and E.B. White have in common? Each crafted some of their most celebrated essays (Capote’s “A House On the Heights” and White’s “Here Is New York” among them) for a largely forgotten magazine called Holiday, a travel rag that, during its heyday in the 50s and early 60s, ranked right up there with Life and Esquire. So why have so few people heard of it?

Measuring in at a hefty 11 by 14 inches, Holiday ran from 1946 through 1977 and, at its height in the 1950s and early 60s, drew more than one million subscribers each month. “The magazine, in effect, sold an idea of travel as enrichment, a literal path to intellectual and spiritual betterment,” Michael Callahan wrote recently in Vanity Fair. “What Vogue did for fashion, Holiday did for destinations.” Part of it was timing. Holiday came about just as World War II was winding down, and many Americans were eager to explore the globe. As Roger Angell explained to Callahan: “It was a peacetime world. And you could see that all of these places that we had become aware of in horrific circumstances were not peacetime places that you wanted to go.”

The magazine boasted one of the most dynamic editor/art director relationships of the 20th century, Patrick Henry and Frank Zachary. Henry provided the words: John Cheever, John O’Hara, and Joan Didion all contributed to its pages. Ray Bradbury wrote a mind-boggling story about how Disneyland’s childhood fantasies are better than adult’s revisionist histories, saying: “Disney liberates men to their better selves.” Stories like Didion’s “Notes from a Native Daughter” and Kerouac’s “Alone On a Mountaintop” are good examples of popular stories originally commissioned by Holiday editors that went on to go viral on their own.

For his part, Zachary’s art department — which included illustrator Ronald Searle and legendary photographers Arnold Newman and Slim Aarons — designed some of the most mind-blowing magazine covers known to man. Zachary’s goal, he said recently (he’s now 99 and living in Long Island), was simple. “I just wanted to make the finest magazine.”

Lane Koivu 
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Sunday Breakfast by Love For Breakfast

Opaque image of a breakfast that as in a dream reminds me of summer.

Alessia Bossi from Love For Breakfast 
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