Friday, 24 February 2017

Pagina 12: látex viste a la moda

Argentine article Pagina 12: 24th February 2017

Origional article: Pagina 12 látex viste a la moda.

Google translate version: in English

El látex viste a la moda

Por Ignacio D’Amore

Parte muñeca humana, parte performer, parte objeto de culto, Pandemonia es hoy figura esencial de las escenas fashion y del arte británicos de los últimos años. Desde la noche hasta las revistas de moda, su camino ha sido idéntico al de toda celebridad nacida para acumular fama y algún pequeño escándalo. Pero hay más: no hay modo de dejarla pasar sin intentar una reflexión sobre los medios, la belleza y el consumo. No se sabe quién está detrás del látex y de esos dos metros de altura que cumplen hasta el paroxismo con los mandatos de belleza plástica. Sus mascotas, sus peinados y todos sus accesorios son esculturas que confecciona para cada salida. Soy conversó con “ello” para intentar comprender quién y qué están habitando su resbaladiza piel.

Desde la primera fila de algún desfile de la firma londinense Sorapol, la performer británica Pandemonia es una silueta de colores plenos y brillo líquido que perfora el espacio como un troquel anodizado de dos metros plegándose sobre una silla que le queda chica. Toda ella es una idea maximizada en trazos anchos, un boceto de Roy Lichtenstein impreso tridimensionalmente en látex de pantonera caprichosa desde las entrañas de la contemporaneidad más taxativa. Es muñeca inflada e inflable; es humana y es inerte; es obra, es persona, es cartel, es enorme. Decir que a su lado la concurrencia general de la semana de la moda de Londres empalidece sería no solamente justo sino exacto, y estamos hablando de una de las concurrencias mejor nutridas de todas las semanas de moda del planeta. En solamente tres temporadas Pandemonia logró escalar de figura novedosa de la vida nocturna local a invitada deluxe en los shows más vanguardistas de la escena fashion británica. Ya no pisa discotecas (la gente fuma, ella es de látex); prefiere las inauguraciones y los eventos.

Inflable inflada

Nacida como una ¿criatura? de autoría anónima, o más bien, secreta, Pandemonia hizo sus primeras apariciones públicas en algún momento de 2009 como producto de una serie de críticas y reflexiones sobre la fama y la cultura obsesionada por la imagen de los medios masivos actuales. Se supone que quien está detrás de la ¿creación? es un artista conceptual inglés, aunque a esta altura no tendría sentido intentar corroborar semejante dato, por llamarlo de algún modo. Ella es observadora y es observada dado que todo aquello que capta, procesa y regurgita sobre el lienzo de su fisonomía performática es a su vez captado, procesado y regurgitado para uso masivo y suyo propio. Representa un colmo posible del consumo irónico actual al que tanto nos complace entregarnos porque es, en esencia, post sí misma -aunque opte por definirse como “post-pop”-, y no hay otra cosa más contemporánea para una personalidad que saberse cómicamente efímera y patéticamente indispensable al unísono.

Nacida como una ¿criatura? de autoría anónima, o más bien, secreta, Pandemonia hizo sus primeras apariciones públicas en algún momento de 2009 como producto de una serie de críticas y reflexiones sobre la fama y la cultura obsesionada por la imagen de los medios masivos actuales. Se supone que quien está detrás de la ¿creación? es un artista conceptual inglés, aunque a esta altura no tendría sentido intentar corroborar semejante dato, por llamarlo de algún modo. Ella es observadora y es observada dado que todo aquello que capta, procesa y regurgita sobre el lienzo de su fisonomía performática es a su vez captado, procesado y regurgitado para uso masivo y suyo propio. Representa un colmo posible del consumo irónico actual al que tanto nos complace entregarnos porque es, en esencia, post sí misma -aunque opte por definirse como “post-pop”-, y no hay otra cosa más contemporánea para una personalidad que saberse cómicamente efímera y patéticamente indispensable al unísono.

¿Cómo ha ido cambiando tu idea de ser una performer pública desde tus primeros días? Y además, ¿cómo fueron afectando con el tiempo las reacciones de la gente a tus performances?

-Mucho ha cambiado desde que creé a Pandemonia. Al comienzo, lo que criticaba a través de Pandemonia era la cultura de las celebridades y la TV reality. Las redes sociales estaban en su infancia. Los auspicios de marcas con famosos y la prensa amarillista de aquellos días resultan inocentes y triviales en comparación con lo que hoy tenemos. En estos momentos Trump, el primer presidente que es a su vez una celebridad proveniente de la TV reality, está al mando de la Casa Blanca. Estamos oficialmente en la era de los “hechos alternativos”, en la que la fantasía es ahora realidad. Quizás sea momento para que Pandemonia se convierta en Primera Ministra, o al menos presida el gobierno de una o dos islas (sic). Pienso que Pandemonia es más relevante ahora que nunca antes.

No puedo evitar pensar en tu autodefinición como “post-pop”, aunque también podría decirse que sos post-humana. Me pregunto: ¿qué tan humana sos?

-Pandemonia es una persona, un logo y una marca combinadas. Estoy de acuerdo en que es post-humana, dado que su humanidad es en gran parte un personaje de la ficción del público. Hay cierta trascendencia en eso.Pandemonia es una trade mark, una marca registrada, un bien de mercado. Claro que hay trascendencia: ella es habitante de la memoria colectiva porque todo su ser en acción y en cuerpo es la idea misma de un ser en acción y en cuerpo. Para muestra, véase cómo los gajos laterales de sus peinados están en permanente agite estático. O, también, cómo muchas veces prefiere hablar a través de signos impresos en formato de globo de diálogo, interpolado del sistema gráfico de los cómics.
En el último ejemplar de la publicación fashionista Russh, la performer declaraba: “Si leés todos los diarios y revistas después de una de mis apariciones, y ves a la gente quizás diciendo cosas derogatorias o positivas, realmente no importa… Se vuelve más algo sobre esas mismas personas que sobre mí misma”.

Cuando los medios te devuelven tu propia imagen, procesada, intervenida, ¿cómo la recibís? ¿Y cómo afecta eso tus siguientes apariciones?

-¡Es emocionante! La estética de Pandemonia fue creada alrededor de la idea de poder devolver a los medios masivos sus propios ideales y valores… Ser siempre joven… Tener un estilo de vida lujoso. Percibo como un logro poder aprovecharme de esos mismos medios para que reproduzcan mi mensaje. El año pasado hice una campaña global para la marca de calzados Camper. Mi imagen, que es la de una obra transversal, fue repetida a través del planeta. Cuando hago una aparición pública y la gente discute lo que hago, lo considero un éxito. Es importante que todxs influenciemos la narrativa de los medios masivos. Después de todo, todxs somos formadorxs de imagen y pensadorxs.

¿Cómo manejás la inevitable incomodidad que puedan sentir ciertas personas cuando hacés una aparición pública? ¿Hubo alguna ocasión en la que hayas pensado “esto no termina bien” o “esto excede todas mis expectativas”?

-Al estar en el ojo de la tormenta, no siempre me doy cuenta por completo del efecto que estoy causando en la gente. Siempre es fantástico escuchar los puntos de vista del resto. La incomodidad, la extrañeza, son algo bueno. Despiertan a la gente y hacen que piense. Dicho esto, es importante dar un contexto. Los lugares a los que vas afectan la percepción que se tiene de uno, así que usar un poco de sentido común sirve de mucho. Lxs lectorxs de tu revista sabrán de qué hablo.

Ya hace rato que Pandemonia ha dejado de mostrar los ojos, último rastro de lo físicamente humano que subyace (o subyacía) bajo el montaje. Ahora su mirada va siempre cubierta de lentes ahumados al tono del conjunto. Ella es la literalización del polémico concepto it girl, que se adjudica a aquellas chicas del momento que tienen “algo” (“it”, en inglés). Pero también “it” es, en ese idioma, el pronombre neutro adjudicable a lo definible y lo no tanto. Es decir: Pandemonia no “tiene” ese tan buscado “algo” (carisma, misterio o lo que se prefiera) sino que “es” algo, en el sentido de que se propone como una definición corpórea de los atributos que la gente vea en ella. No tan rápido, Sonia Ben Ammar: no hay girl más it que ella, por muchxs seguidorxs que abarrotes en tu cuenta de instagram. Aunque podríamos aquí etiquetarla como una “chica plástica” y reírnos tres segundos frente a la pantalla o el papel, más ajustado sería recordar que todos sus trajes, que a su vez incluyen piel y pelo, están fabricados por ella misma en látex y no en otro material. Y así como es exclusiva confeccionista de su propio cuerpo, también es propietaria celosa del derecho a preservarse como Pandemonia y como ninguna otra persona más. Entrevistándola, poco importa saber sobre su edad o su género autopercibido. Estamos frente a una personalidad que excede algunas de las limitaciones humanas más elementales.

Me gusta no saber quién está debajo del latex, así que quisiera preguntarte si alguna vez pensaste en revelar quién es Pandemonia.

-Yo produzco arte para mí y para gente desconocida. Trabajar a partir de un nom de plume me permite tomar distancia y reflexionar sobre la cultura. El misterio, a su vez, le permite a esa gente proyectarse en Pandemonia y hacerla propia. Pandemonia es definitivamente un personaje público. No veo razones para modificar esta dinámica.

Estar en primera fila en algunos de los desfiles de moda más increíbles del mundo tiene que ser una posición muy afortunada. ¿Hay ventajas y desventajas que Pandemonia tenga que enfrentar por el “solo” hecho de ser ella misma?

-Es una perspectiva privilegiada. Me posiciona en un lugar de ventaja porque puedo ser observadora de algunos de los esfuerzos creativos más sobresalientes de nuestra época, además de todo lo que rodea esos mundos. Creeme, la primera fila de un desfile ofrece una muy buena vista de lo mejor y lo peor de la humanidad. Inversamente, sé que no soy una mera observadora, y de hecho unx nunca puede olvidar que está siendo observadx bajo una lupa. Puede ponerse candente.

Casi como su coterránea Amy Lamé, flamante Zar Nocturna londinense, Pandemonia necesita estar no sólo atenta y al pie de las pasarelas sino también en permanente ejercicio de su figura pública porque sin exposición expira como un cheque firmado en hollín. Aquel convenio con la marca de calzados Camper, que recién se mencionara, terminó por resultar ideal para ambas partes: los nuevos modelos semejaban trozos de la propia Pandemonia modelados al calor como cuerdas de goma colorinche, mientras que la firma la tuvo en primera plana promocionando la línea a través de redes sociales y en inauguraciones varias. Y no obstante su popularidad en crecimiento exponencial, todavía no se concretan, al parecer, campañas de productos para el pelo y el buen cutis.

¿Seguís una rutina de belleza? ¿Algún consejo para otras personas hechas de látex?

-Creo firmemente en las mascarillas y en los tratamientos de cabello voluminizantes. Y en la buena ropa, que nunca hace mal.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Russh Magazine

Russh Magazine: Portrait of a Lady. March 2017, words Miranda Darling.

Portrait of A Lady by Pandemonia on Scribd

PORTRAIT OF A LADY

Intrigued? You should be. Pandemonia lets us behind the latex.

Words Miranda Darling

It’s impossible not to stare at Pandemonia. Some do it covertly from behind their cup of tea, their sunglasses ... most don’t bother to hide their interest in the two-metre-tall latex Amazon moving elegantly through the lobby of the Chiltern Firehouse in Marylebone. Pandemonia sits graciously – she moves with great care, her voice soft and her words well spoken as I ask about her name. “It comes from Paradise Lost , Milton. I just like the idea of chaos – that creativity comes from chaos ... In Paradise Lost there’s this palace where all the spirits live, and it’s created by Mammon. I think it’s built on the head of a pin or something ... it’s tiny so there’s a [play with] scale, and I like the Mammon aspect – there’s a crassness to it.” Discreetly making sure we are not sitting perilously close to the open fire, I suggest that Pandemonia acts as a Trojan horse of sorts, inserting herself into popular culture, all the while using its machinations as part of the artistic process. The latex lady nods carefully: “Definitely. It turns into a critique of itself. And by performing Pandemonia, I am feeding the media back their own imagery – glossiness, beautifulness, shininess ... You look at all the newspapers and magazines [after an appearance] and see these people with Pandemonia and they might be saying derogatory things or positive things, it doesn’t really matter ... It becomes about them more than me.”

The artist pinpoints June 2000 as the moment celebrity culture really began to take off, with mobile phones, the internet and social media creating a platform where we could all manufacture our own history, language, and stories. Pandemonia began to make work around these ideas and the messages being transmitted by the advertisements, the “forever-young, glossy culture”, to create a celebrity around these themes, “the meta-narrative”, as she puts it, that would “reverse the subject and the object in an art piece”.

Pandemonia herself is constructed, the artist explains, out of signs and symbols: her hair is not ‘hair’ but rather a symbol of hair; the same applies to the little dog Pandemonia often carries with her. Indeed, she is as familiar as she is strange because she manifests so many of the hyper-recognisable tropes of our pop culture. “The iconography is probably based on Americana from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, which has seeped into UK culture.” Even the choice of latex as a material, shiny and ‘plasticky’, with all its sexual connotations, is linked to our subconscious. Latex links meaning to Pandemonia’s imagery; it is made from the sap of trees – from nature, the artist explains – and so has connections to the “nature within ourselves that we can’t really control – only temper. It’s something the conscious mind is not really in control of,” she says. It is “erotic and evocative”, bound up with the artist’s interest in shamanic ideas, and the archetypes that run through Western culture.

The artist makes all of Pandemonia’s clothes as well, having studied anatomy and how the body fits together. The cut-and-paste pattern work is glued together, with ideas drawn not from current fashion but from the past. “I find drapery very psychological,” Pandemonia says. “I never created this stuff to look realistic – it’s all supposed to look like the image of it, the sign of it, the symbol of a person, which I think is important. It’s like a three-dimensional drawing ... I used to make prints. A lot of my earlier work was about language ... and I wanted somehow to get inside the advert, to get through the surface of the printed image to the other side of the pixels.

“Pandemonia as a vessel,” she goes on, “has allowed me to travel around the world and go to places I could just never ever go to ... and see the world from a different perspective. You’re born into the world with certain traits – like family, gender – but then I can do Pandemonia and rubbish all of this, do something completely different.” She takes a careful sip of her drink through a straw. “I am describing a whole cross-section of society by living it.” However, she laughs quietly, “I have to be invited because they’d spot me straight away!”

When I first met Pandemonia in the summer we had talked about façades, and her fear that, one day, her mask would literally fall apart in public. What role does anonymity play in Being Pandemonia, I wonder? “It’s important,” she replies quickly. “All you see is Pandemonia. You just have to deal with that, and think about that. If I were to show a different person, I would destroy the image. If you see the person behind it, you will just be fixated on that and not the product – it would be like killing it.” It also adds another dimension to the stories the media can write about her: Who is Pandemonia? The anonymity adds mystery.

The latex covering reminds me of superheroes and I ask the artist if it feels different being ‘in character’. “I do sometimes feel different. Like my core is sliding around a bit ... and when everybody knows you as Pandemonia, well you just become more Pandemonia.” And being Pandemonia requires the participation of other people; it requires the right context, too. “I’m very particular about where I go,” she says. “I don’t like to go to clubs, for example, because the framework of wherever I go shifts it, and it gets out of my control very quickly.” Pandemonia did recently go to Paris for Fashion Week. “It’s quite exciting, going all around Paris. I only went to one show – it’s too difficult with the language, so I just did the show then disappeared.” Does Pandemonia take the Eurostar? “I can’t explain everything ...” she replies, “She was at Paris Fashion week ... People are thinking about it.”

As well as collaborations with behemoth brands such as Camper and countless editorials for fashion magazines, Pandemonia appeared in the latest Absolutely Fabulous film, and on the gold carpet. “The Ab Fab premier was brilliant! I came to life. The premier was better than the film for me!” She had made a silver dress for the occasion, and says film is something she would definitely do again, despite the difficulties of being

“I never created this stuff to look realistic – it’s all supposed to look like the image of it, the sign of it, the symbol of a person.”

Pandemonia for 12 hours straight. The moving image is another vehicle that works perfectly for Pandemonia; it gives her a voice. “I always wanted to jump across mediums. Making work for the gallery never goes beyond that,” the artist adds. “All the action is actually happening in the centre, between all the people. Then you see celebrities and how they can transfer from newspaper to TV to film ... I always thought that was rather unfair that they could do that but, as an artist, you’re always locked into something – a picture on the wall and that’s it. Why can’t we do more than this? And now we have digital media, we can do more.”

I find myself smitten with Pandemonia’s little pooch. She has three small hounds: Snowball (white) Snowbelle (pink, and the one I am privileged to be cradling) and a leopard-spotted one. Pandemonia’s blog features a ‘dog’s eye view’ as well as her own. “I can do things through the dog that Pandemonia can’t do, talk about things from another angle.” Pandemonia shows me some photographs of Snowball at an opening. “[For the dogs] it’s always about food and jewellery and money – all the crass stuff.”

For all of society’s obsession with surface, and Pandemonia’s playful engagement with that, there is no one woman or celebrity whom the artist identifies as Muse. Film stills, however, are a big inspiration for elements like Pandemonia’s hair. “I never [base] it on one exact person. There’s Veronica Lake, I suppose – the ideal ... I’m quite old-fashioned. I look at what’s happening currently but that’s not what I draw from.”

Pandemonia draws from a deeper archetypal well that includes the Makishi tribe in Africa, and the Siberian shamans who are always male and dress as female for ceremonies. In many traditional societies, the feminine is seen to be more connected with nature and the subconscious. “In art,” Pandemonia continues, “artists are always painting the female form, and in advertising the female form is used to sell things – the emblem of consumer society. That was my logic.”

Pandemonia and her embodiment of recognisable (and artificial) tropes also engages with the idea that the repetition of advertising images of an ‘ideal woman’ changes our view of what is normal. The female form is the embodiment of our desires – men want her, and women want to be her – therefore Pandemonia carries that charge with her, larger than life in every way.

As we go to leave, Pandemonia is spotted by a small gang of girls, about 10 years old, who are immediately drawn to her. “You are amazing!” one exclaims, “Are you real?!” One mother takes out her phone and there is the obligatory round of selfies, Pandemonia’s process in action, and so the circle of my afternoon with Pandemonia elegantly closes in on itself.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

The Art Gorgeous

December 27, 2016

Original "The Art Gorgeous" article by Pandemonia

assemblage...

Around The Globe With – Pandemonia



✦ I step out of a taxi in Convent Gardens, a private member-looking club with no name on the front. The staff usher me into the main dining room. I’m a bit disoriented and the room goes silent as everyone is looking at me and I can’t see my host.
Diana Chire rescues me and sits me down at a large table with at least 30 women, and I find myself the guest of She Zine, a feminist arts magazine. I’m next to Jessica Patterson, founder and CEO of JP Media Group. The conversation turns to #WCW Women’s Crush Wednesday and she explains, “I put these events on for women to reclaim the #WCW tag. We want to take ownership of our image and change its meaning.”


But she is interrupted by a muscular man in tight pants who leaps on to the table. He starts performing for us, and then I remember that we at Circus, a cabaret restaurant and cocktail bar.”



Through the cabaret haze, I recognize a cartoon lobster. Philip Colbert of the Rodnik Band has just arrived, and I am so excited to hear about his recent collaboration with Chupa Chups.

“I have always thought Chupa Chups is the perfect pop icon: it’s pop meets Surrealism,” Philip explains. “Did you know Salvador Dali created the original logo in 1969? For me, the lollipop is like the molecule of Pop.”

I run into Brix Start Smith waiting for me. Brix worked with post punk fixtures The Fall and the Adult Net before moving into fashion with Philip Start. I loved her in the “I am Kurious Orange” ballet produced at the Michael Clark Ballet Company.

As we talked at her table, a troupe of dancers march aboard and the fire breather treated us to a flaming nipple tassel dance.



Turning back to Diana at the end of the evening, I give her my best wishes for the magazine. We discuss the night’s entertainment, Pandemonia, and how it all relates to Third Wave Feminism.

Before the next act started I took the opportunity to disappear. POP!

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Maryam Eisler’s Searching for Eve in the American West
Tristan Hoare Gallery


Photo: Daniel Lismore, Philip Colbert, Maryam Eisler, Natan CG, Pandemonia and Nimrod Kamer.

✦ I love Americana, and love the biblical Eve, so this was an irresistible night out for me. In the company of my doggie, Snowbell, I set out to investigate.

Pushing our way through her adoring fans I managed to get a few words with the artist, who fell in love with the American Southwest while on the trail of Georgia O’Keeffe.

Who is your Eve”, I asked her.

“She is Woman with a capital W, and the sensuality behind woman and nature as one.” Maryam was struck by the contrast between the soft, smooth curves of the female body and the jagged forms of the desert.

I told her is seemed like the landscape was largely internal, like de Chirico’s?

She agrees and adds that while in America she did a lot of research on American modern poetry. Influenced by Ezra Pound and E.E. Cummings, she actually married the poetry and images in the catalogue of the exhibition.



At that moment, in walked designer Edeline Lee wearing another Tromp L’oeil coat. How embarrassing! After documenting the faux pas, I decided it was time to high-tail it out of there. Snowbelle needed chocolate to recover, so we headed over to Belgravia to R Chocolate’s opening launch. Squeezing into the shop, Snowbelle couldn’t believe her luck as we were offered a dizzying array of the finest couture chocolates decked out in thyme and honey, strawberry and basil, lemon caramel, raspberry and tarragon, fresh mint and apple.



R Chocolate 198 Ebury Street London SW1W 8UN



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John Philips: Vanitas at the London Print Studio
(Till Wednesday 21st December)




✦ At first glance, these sumptuous pictures look like 17th century paintings. On further investigation however, it becomes clear that they are a combination of digital manipulation and photography, some works being the combination of up to 14000 images.



Philips tells me, “Everybody has a camera on their phone and everyone is photographing trivia. So I decided I would also photograph things that were discarded and unwanted but try to make images that had a real sense of presence and that really enchanted and grabbed people.”

Despite running the highly collaborative London Print Studio, John was able to carve-out a private space where he created these images. He adds, “Weirdly, although I did these in isolation they seem to have generated more of a social response than my other work. I suspect way back in our ancestry, we all buried flowers with our dead so our relationship to death and flowers is very deep and ancient. It resonates across all cultures.”

Well, I knew it was time to get to the next show if I didn’t want to wilt myself.

Cabbing it to Mayfair I caught up with Francesco for a tour of his latest exhibition.

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Francesco Jodice Cabaret Voltaire Gazelli Art House




✦ Francesco exhibition is a project 20 years in the making. Archiving 150 places around the world, it documents the social transformations facing our times – specifically what he sees as a growing phenomenon of cities defined more by psychological imperatives rather than physical realities.

As evidence, Francesco cites “Baikonur”, the famous Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. When the Soviet system collapsed, Putin rented the city from Nazarbayev. This is the first rented city in the world.”

I point out it’s a bit like America renting Guantánamo Bay from Cuba, and ask if his work relates in any way to Trump or Brexit.



“That was a coincidence,” he says, but then takes me to see his video installation called Atalante. “The movie is based on a line from the video game called Deus Ex, ‘It is not the end of the world but you can see it from here’. I love this sentence, and I am inviting you on a terrace where you can see it. I have no judgement about Brexit of Trump. As an artist I am very curious to observe these things as a new chapter…it is the new flow of the tide, and I have no idea where it is going to bring us.”



I add that the internet and social media have changed the game. All this information and misinformation is challenging power and authority. Without facts we are only left with emotion and it is unsettling the current order.

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Maria Nepomuceno, Victoria Miro Gallery



✦ It was a hectic day. First, was ladies at tea with Hello! Magazine at the Café Royal, for a fashion interview. It was an interesting interview, supposing what Pandemonia’s perfect fantasy day would be, but with an invite in hand to Maria’s show, I was very aware of the time. I realized I had never been to the Victoria Miro Gallery, as prominent as it is, and as it turned out, it was a wonderful first visit. Meeting Maria, I find out that she lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She tells me that her work is heavily influenced by nature.



M: “My work as a whole there is always this idea of a flux of energy. All the parts of beads and ropes they are hand-made so there is this idea of creating an organism that makes me think about creating life as a whole, nature, plants, animals,landscape, and universe.”

P: They do look a bit like internal organs, the subconscious. Processes moving behind the scenes.

M: “Yes, there is a viscerality. Each material has a symbolism. For example, the beads are for me like cells, microcosms. At the same time, they are reproduced at a large scale and they become like planets. They give an idea of cosmos.”



Another fantastic month from London…from molecules of Pop lollies, to the psychic plumbing of Maria Nepomuceno, it is enough to make your head go *POP*.

by Pandemonia
October & November, 2016

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The Art Gorgeous

Around The Globe With – Pandemonia. Pandemonia’s Social Diary October 19th 2016

The Art Gorgeous article by Pandemonia



assemblage...


Around The Globe With – Pandemonia

October 19, 2016


Pandemonia’s Social Diary ☀


✦ Walking for Manish Arora – Paris Fashion week I step off the Euro Star, Gare de Nord and hop in the first cab I find. Arriving at Comptoir General, I am immediately made to feel at home by Manish and his team. They are very friendly and show me the outfit they wanted me to wear. Finding myself fourth in line, I am bit a nervous, but Mei the model in front of me puts me at ease.

Several stylists buzz around, dressing me. It’s a strange experience wearing someone else’s fashion. It was fun to watch Pandemonia stripped of her tropes, slowly becoming an element of Manish’s vision.



The preparation is intense as we all get ready. I see some familiar faces from London modelling, singer Bishi and Artist/ Model Tessa Kuragi. I keep a look out for Mei, so long as I’m behind her I’ll be in the right place. There is a lot of shouting, it is a bit chaotic even. A blue dog called @Fluffy_the_Dog appears from somewhere and then… we are on!







After the walk, ever so quickly, all the girls change back to their street clothes and disappear into Paris. Afterwards in a bar around the corner I get Manish to tell me about his collection:

“The idea of the collection was: life is beautiful.
That’s how I began.I always believed that,
while it’s not always easy,if you start thinking like that,
it just happens. I wanted to bring that feeling into the show.”

“I like your pop aesthetic.
I have a Western aesthetic too,
but yours comes from somewhere else.”


“I think it was Suzy Menkes who told me
that my work is definitely not ethnic
but that only an Indian designer
could design something like that.”

“Your toaster handbag was great!
Especially the toast bit being the purse.
Money, the bread of life.”
(Why didn’t I think of that one!)


“It’s quite from your world.”

“How did you feel about the show?”

“You know, I haven’t seen it yet, I was back stage.
But the way it went off, the energy and reactions,
seem it was really nice… After I go home I will crash out
for a couple of hours, wake up, check everything and see how it went.”




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✦ Frieze Art 2016 Private View



Walking into Frieze, I bumped into was none other than the glamorous Nancy Dell’Olio. My doggie, Snowbell, instantly noticed her Louboutin Cataclou wedges sparkling on her feet, so we cozied up for some photos.



Following signs for my friend, Julie Verhoeven, I was surprised to find myself in the bathroom where she was manning her Toilet Attendant installation.

“Last time I met you was at the Melissa Pop shop Covent Garden…
So this is your toilet?”


“Well… I’m in charge.
Five day shifts, 11 to 7 the majority of the days.”

“How are you finding your new career?”

“So far everyone’s being very well behaved.
I’m waiting for some shagging though
I suppose that will happen after hours…”

“Wait until Friday night!”

“I’m policing.
People need to put the seats down.
Keeping an eye on that.
I’m selling a few wares.”

“What do you have to sell?”

“Velvet poos.”

“Oh!… Are they going like hot cakes?”

Moving back to the hall, I was drawn to the Silberkuppe Gallery’s, Anonymous Was a Woman by Margaret Harrison. Like a feminist Mount Rushmore, it features women prominent in politics and culture whose work brought them to nasty ends.



Later on, I met with Clelia Colantonio of the Frutta Gallery whose exhibit, she told me, was inspired by an Italian trattoria. It featured Lauren Keeley, a British Artist and her sight-specific pieces. Built up on plywood, the pieces are somewhere between sculpture and painting. They convey an interesting Trompe-l’oeil feel, but are actually built in three dimensions.



Around the corner, I was impressed by Jesse Darling’s “March of the Valedictorians”. The chairs, with extended legs bent into anthropomorphized shapes, were clearly inspired by Modernist tastes. Zhoe Granger of Arcadia Missa explained that Jesse often uses steal or other industrial materials, subverting the elements by coaxing them into more fragile organic forms.





Turning to another wall I spot some paintings with the Evisu logo. The works are by a musician and artist named Dean Blunt, who chose Evisu because it was very prominent brand within the Hip Hop scene, commenting on the commercialization of hip hop culture. Zhoe stressed the representation of the rampant flattening what was once organic black street culture.

Afterwards, I disappeared into the art fair bumping into fashion designers Pam Hog, Victoria Grant, photographer Diana Gomez and Bip Ling amongst many others.

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✦ Vin & Omi, 6th Oct



Photo credits to Saul Zanolari!

Dressed in black, hoping I’m not overdressed, it’s off to cocktails at the Sanderson Hotel where fashion designers Vin & Omi are launching MERGE, an exhibition of their favourite artists.
James Unsworth’s graphic cigarette prints took my notice before I was spirited away by the glamorous Earl of Earl’s music. Earl told me she originally came from Alaska singing gospel in the local church choir. Moving to London, she decided to produce her own music. Discussing our looks, she let slip she wasn’t always blond. I reassured her that my hair wasn’t always blue. All the while, Saul Zanolari’s “BB the Green Boy” was smiling down at us.



Snowbell’s tummy rumbled as he had sniffed out the Alison Jacques Gallery across the street, where Takuro Kuwata confectionary-like work is on exhibition. Alison explained that Takuro’s work is rooted in traditional Japanese ceramics, but with “so many references in the work, even geographical ones with Japan being on a fault line. And there is a historical angst there”. On contemplation, I felt his work expressed a sort of elemental energy.



Me with Alison Jacques and sculpture! Photo credits to James Unsworth!

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Colnaghi, 7th Oct Night



With an invitation to one of the oldest galleries in London, I set out to Colnaghi’s unveiling of their new 4,000 sq ft gallery & Vanitas exhibition opening. A subject close to my heart!



Vanitas is a selection of 30 Spanish paintings and sculptures from the 16th to 20th century on the theme of Memento Mori. It is dedicated to the genre of symbolic works that remind the viewer of their mortality, and the transient nature of our existence. Arriving at the gallery, I was struck by the live-action Mary Magdalene “painting” in the front window. For authenticity, the stylist brought all the cloths and props, even the slate floor, from Spain.

The gallery was replete with stunning old masters, while creative director Diego Fortunato designed all the sumptuous interiors. The crowd was impressed with both. Snowbell meanwhile had her eye on the canopies, as did David Pun who I noticed was in attendance. I had a moment with DJ Blonde Ambition, a girl of like-mind who transmogrified the gallery space into a party with some fresh beats. By the end of the evening all dour warnings all cast aside, we guests all enjoyed ourselves in our own happy bubble. *POP*



(Left) Me with DJ Blonde Ambition! Photo credits to her!

by Pandemonia
19th October 2016