The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 10 June 2017

Culture

Image: Getty Images

History books

The German heartland takes a leaf out of the Greeks’ book as it builds a life-sized Parthenon.

Kassel has a new landmark: a life-sized model of the Greek Parthenon built not of marble but of forbidden books donated from around the globe. The installation by Argentine artist Marta Minujín (pictured) marks the spot where the Nazi regime once burned banned books. The work counts as the centrepiece of Germany’s leading contemporary art exhibition Dokumenta 14, which officially launched in Kassel today. Not only does Minujín’s artwork stand for democracy and freedom of expression, it’s also a reference to Athens, where a satellite show of Dokumenta kicked off in April. Curated by Polish art critic Adam Szymczyk, this year’s dual exhibition set out to present a critical, reflective array of work by 160 established as well as unfamiliar artists from 50 countries and will be on for the next 100 days.

Hospitality

Image: Getty Images

Open doors

Despite its shortcomings Airbnb is uniquely placed to offer help – and a bed – to those in need.

It may be criticised as an unregulated undercutter of the hospitality industry but Airbnb’s flexible structure has allowed it to run some effective social initiatives. This week it launched Open Homes, a platform that offers members the ability to host those in need for free, including refugees and victims of natural disasters. The goal is to house 100,000 people in need over the next five years and so far 6,000 hosts have registered to help the cause. It’s not the first time that the company has used its network for charitable purposes: in 2012, when Hurricane Sandy hit New York, 1,000 people put forward rooms in their homes at no cost and free rooms were offered up once again when people found themselves stranded as a result of President Trump’s travel ban in January, which forbid US entry from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Design

Building the future

We may have reached peak biennale but Lyon still thinks it can take the format to new heights.

Biennales seem to be a dime a dozen nowadays so do we really need another? Lyon thinks so. The debut Biennale Lyon Architecture, which opened this week and runs until 9 July, has set out to cater to the industry’s practitioners as much as the public by showcasing 30 exhibitions that seek to reflect on modern issues and create practical solutions. Vice-president Franck Hulliard envisages it as a forum for creating ‘urban utopias’. “We want to get together the important players to discuss what our future holds,” he says. Appropriate to the theme, the biennale will be held in the Confluence, a region of Lyon that has been one of the city’s key regeneration projects of the past 20 years.

Food and drink

Harvest festival

We all know we should eat our greens – but now there’s a book that makes us want to.

With moral panic raging about how the meat we eat affects both the environment and our health, it’s gratifying to find a cookbook that isn’t too preachy or doctrinaire about the preparation of plants. On Vegetables is Californian chef Jeremy Fox’s fine attempt to bring his peerless cookery to those who haven’t had the fortune of dining at his Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen in Santa Monica. Inside this prettily illustrated Phaidon book are 160 (sometimes daunting, always alluring and often irresistible) recipes that show off everyday ingredients alongside some more rarefied market specialties. Think figs, puntarelles and tasty trumpet mushrooms elevated well beyond the status of mere side-plates. While chefs the world over are digging deeper into their larders to help make vegetables voguish, Fox’s creations are dishes you might actually cook for yourself.

From Monocle 24

Image: Alamy

A cinematic grand tour

The Cinema Show

The nest of houses beneath the famous Hollywood sign is one of the best places to view the popular landmark. But some residents of the Hollywoodland neighbourhood are going to extraordinary lengths to ban tourists.

From Monocle Films

Celebrating fashion in Oslo

After lagging behind its design-minded neighbours, the Norwegian fashion industry has finally moved out of its comfort zone and stepped up its game. We meet Oslo’s most promising fashion houses and see how they are being taken seriously on the international stage.

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