Monocolumn

A daily bulletin of news & opinion

26 September 2014

FASHION: TORONTO

Politics of Fashion | Fashion of Politics

Toronto’s Design Exchange museum is exploring how fashion can be a transformative force not only in society but politics, too. On display are over 200 pieces of clothing including a dress worn by Margaret Trudeau – former wife of the Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau – worn to a formal White House dinner in 1977. A calf-length number in a hall full of evening gowns, it was a risqué move that reflected her free-spirited personality (or, as some speculate, a small act of rebellion for the woman who would soon leave her husband). The show also features contemporary works such as McDonald’s-uniform-inspired outfits plucked from Moschino’s creative director Jeremy Scott’s debut collection this year – cheekily satirising modern consumerist attitudes. From underhand political gestures to mass-marketing moves, there’s no doubt that fashion is a soft-power tool, literally.

Design Exchange, 234 Bay Street. Open Tuesday 11.00-21.00; Wednesday to Saturday, 11.00-18.00. Until 25 January.

ART FAIR: ISTANBUL

ArtInternational

ArtInternational returns to Istanbul this weekend for its second year and the fair has a diverse lineup of modern and contemporary art from both the East and West. International highlights come from galleries such as Tornabuoni Arte in Florence and Lehmann Maupin in New York and look out for local scene-setters such as Istanbul’s Galeri Manâ, too. But by far the most pleasant way to see art might be By the Waterside, the fair’s sculpture terrace situated on the pier in front of the congress centre that embraces the surrounding scenery of Istanbul. Large sculptures on show from artists such as French light-designer Laurent Bolognini, Paris-based Turkish artist Osman Dinc and internationally renowned Spanish sculptor Juame Plensa among the city’s iconic waterfront will mean visitors may well end up not knowing where to look.

The Haliç Congress Centre, Sutluce Mah, Eski Karaagac Cad, Beyoglu. Open Saturday, 12.00-20.00; Sunday, 12.00-18.00.

PRINTS: LONDON

A Hidden Order: Sama Mara & Lee Westwood

What would a visual pattern sound like? Creating the sound of sight with a series of unusual prints is the vision behind A Hidden Order, the collaborative work of British artists Sama Mara and Lee Westwood now showing at Kashya Hildebrand in London. The visual partner of the project is London-based Mara, an artist and mathematician. The aural muse behind the prints is composer and guitarist Lee Westwood who bases his style on modern jazz and folk. The striking and intricate geometric tessellations on show are created through each colour corresponding to a musical note. The notes are then composed into 10 instrumental chamber works performed by a quartet and somehow Mara has managed to interpret that into a visual representation. Whether you understand it or not might not even be important – nobody hears the same thing.

Kashya Hildebrand, 22 Eastcastle Street. Open Monday to Friday, 11.00-18.00; Saturday, 12.00-18.00. Until 11 October.

PHOTOGRAPHY: TOKYO

The Other Side of Burn Side of Summer

Independent vintage bookshop Nostos Books is celebrating the works of Tokyo-based photographer Takeshi Abe, who shoots for Japanese magazines such as Popeye and Brutus, this weekend. The event showcases 21 photographs that he took in Portland, Oregon in the summers of 2013 and 2014 – time he spent with fellow photographers who all first met by mailing printed pictures to and from each other all around the world. Abe's works are for sale at Nostos along with a well selected collection of vintage books on art, design and photography.

Nostos Books, 1F, 4-2-12 Setagaya, Setagaya-ku. Open daily, 13.00-20.00. Until 28 September.

MUSIC: GLOBAL

Purling Hiss: Weirdon

The humorously titled Purling Hiss (swap the first two letters of each word and see what you get) is the name of Philadelphia musician Mike Polizze and his band. Polizze has been making extremely lo-fi sounds for a few years now but his last two albums have seen him expand into classic songwriting that involves less fuzz and more heartfelt choruses. This is classic Americana at its core, and you can hear the likes of Neil Young, Big Star and any number of slightly crumpled and creased rockers from the past 50 years within Weirdon’s chugging cuts. It’s nothing new but like an old favourite shirt, why would you even want that? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

‘Weirdon’ is available to buy now.

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