The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 6 October 2018

Art

Human error

A Tokyo exhibition is exploring artists’ responses to catastrophes as well as pointing the finger at who’s to blame.

Much is being written about large-scale disasters – natural and self-inflicted – and how they seem to be coming thicker and faster in the 21st century. An exhibition opening at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo today asks how artists ought to respond. “Catastrophe and the Power of Art”, which features the work of German sculptor Thomas Demand as well as conceptual artists Gillian Wearing and Yoko Ono among others, provides a stark look at how humans are to blame for many unforeseen tragedies. For those in the mood for an affecting gallery sortie, the exhibition will run until 20 January.

Society

Image: Filip Dujardin

Helping hands

An exhibition in Zürich is shedding light on how apparently modest designs can make a major difference on a global scale.

Little yellow flower-shaped solar lamps are hanging in the Museum of Design in Zürich. Created to replace harmful kerosene-burning lanterns in shantytowns, they are part of an exhibition called Social Design, which examines how making simple (and sometimes small) design decisions can enhance life around the world. An equally lo-fi but no less useful object on display is a mock-up of a paper emergency shelter; it was built to house Rwandan refugees during the 1999 crisis and replaced the original plastic design used by the UNHCR. The exhibition also looks at how urban redevelopment can improve quality of life; it features pictures and models of the Foodmet market in Brussels, which went from being an industrial slaughterhouse to an attractive outdoor food destination in 2015.

Media

Image: Shutterstock

Money spinner

Trump’s back on television – but this time quality journalism is the star of the show.

On Sunday online documentary site Showtime will tell the story of what happened when three New York Times journalists acquired reams of tax dossiers pertaining to the Trump family. The Family Business: Trump and Taxes lifts the lid on the year-long investigation that led to the paper’s exposé on Tuesday, which claims that Trump engaged in ‘dubious’ schemes to help his father avoid shelling out millions of dollars in tax. Most infuriatingly for the president, the report refutes his claim of being a self-made man with journalists revealing that Trump received more than $400m from his father. It’s investigative reporting to be applauded: tune in.

Fashion

Image: Presstigieux

Fashion forward

Two new projects are progressing the debate about sustainability in the industry by doing more than just talking about it.

Sustainability has become a buzzword in fashion but too often the term is merely bandied about as a marketing ploy. In the past week, however, two promising ventures have launched. The Maiyet Collective, a shop inside The Conduit members’ club in Mayfair, features designers focused on transparent production (with signs documenting their manufacturing methods). And yesterday the Fashion for Good museum opened in Amsterdam. The four-storey space features interactive exhibits on topics including pioneering materials (think apple leather) and the process of manufacturing a T-shirt. Promoting sustainability in fashion, one of the highest-polluting industries, is a very good thing – when it involves concrete action rather than throwing around phrases to attract clicks. These projects move the conversation forward.

From Monocle 24

Nigella Lawson

The Menu

One of the most recognisable voices in the world of food and drink, Nigella Lawson is celebrating 20 years since the release of her debut cookbook ‘How To Eat’. Since then she has written a number of other cookery books, hosted television shows and even launched her own cookware range. We meet Lawson to discuss her debut release, her career – and what she thinks about how people eat today.

From Monocle Films

Retail special: tasty tipples

Monocle Films visits makers of sherry, gin and whiskey to discover their recipes for success. The memorable flavours and sharp designs of their refined drinks are a perfect tonic for the year ahead

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