FAULT Favourite: Yoko Ono collaborates with Tiger on ‘Conceptual Photograpy’

 

The inimitable Yoko Ono, creative legend and FAULT Favourite, has collaborated with Danish brand Tiger on a new project- a conceptual art book centred on the idea that art should be accessible to all. The 159-page hardback, entitled ‘Conceptual Photography’, coincides with the artist’s latest exhibition, ‘Yoko Ono: One Woman Show 1960–1971’, taking place at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

coverA conceptual coffee-table tome, this project plays with words and photography in a beautifully poetic way, drawing the reader deep into Yoko’s wonderfully eccentric universe. A fantastical film script conjures a musical score consisting of an audience instructed to “hold bunch of white flowers, and pick them slowly”, whilst Ono urges the reader to “rearrange the photos in their mind.” By taking us on such an immersive journey between enigmatic narrative and poetic instruction, ‘Conceptual Photography‘ challenges us to perceive the world in a different way.

Two years in the making, Tiger and Ono have agreed to release the book for just £10-a nod to the idea of making the artwork accesible to all- and it is available in select Tiger stores across the UK. Mai Due Brinch, Concept Development Manager at Tiger comments, “Conceptual Photography breaks down genre borders, creating a fascinating ‘universe’ of text and images. The collaboration with Yoko Ono felt symbiotic given we share the same mission; to democratise access to art and move towards a truly inclusive experience, fair to both artist and spectator.”

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image courtesy of Yoko Ono and Tiger

 

Conceptual Photography is now available in selected UK Tiger stores. Yoko Ono’s exhibition entitled ‘Yoko Ono: One Woman Show 1960–1971’, at MoMA, New York, from May 17–September 7, 2015.

www.tigerstores.co.uk

‘Studio to Stereo’, a collaboration between Proud Camden and Sony

Last week we made our way to Proud Camden for the launch of their collaboration with Sony on an exhibition called ‘Studio to Stereo’. This is a show that brings together iconic music photography and Sony’s innovative hi-res audio technology, to bring to life some pivotal moments of recording history. Curated by Alex Proud and presented by DJ Tom Ravenscroft (BBC 6 Music), each of Proud’s infamous stables plays host to a different music icon, from Coldplay and Bob Dylan, to The Doors and Tame Impala, by way of Paul McCartney, Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd.

Alongside intimate and unseen photos of each act in the studio, Sony has laid on various devices playing re-mastered tracks from the associated albums- music landmarks such as The Doors’ LA Woman and Coldplay’s X&Y. The idea is that the Hi-Res Audio technology allows for the music to sound as if it’s fresh from the studio, showcasing subtleties apparently missed the first time round (one label noted that when recordings are converted for CD, only 3% of the original sound quality remains.)

Recapturing this ‘lost magic’ is a bold ambition, and on some tracks it was definitely more successful than others. However, no-one can argue that this show isn’t an exciting sensory experience. Alex Proud writes that he wanted to showcase “the different and unique ways that artists set themselves up in the studio […] the rooms they choose, the way they set up the instruments and spread themselves across the space, the clothes they wear and the look they project while they’re recording, it all has an effect on the end sound”. Seeing these historic photos on display, with the songs playing full-blast and the moody red lighting of Proud Camden overhead (a venue with so much musical history of its own), the exhibition came together to brilliant effect, doing real justice to the legends on the gallery walls.

Here are FAULT‘s exclusive highlights from the show.

McCartney, Lennon and Harrison tune up, Ernst Merck Halle, 1966. Photo by Robert Whitaker

McCartney, Lennon and Harrison tune up, Ernst Merck Halle, 1966. Photo by Robert Whitaker

Black Sabbath, 1972. Photo by Chris Walter

Black Sabbath, 1972. Photo by Chris Walter

Chris Martin while recording X&Y, 2004. Photo by Kevin Westernberg

Chris Martin while recording X&Y, 2004. Photo by Kevin Westernberg

The Doors' Ray Manzarek & John Densmore, 1970. Photo by Frank Lisciandro

The Doors’ Ray Manzarek & John Densmore, 1970. Photo by Frank Lisciandro

 

Yoko Ono enters the fashion world

From contemporary art, music, activism, film-making and authorship, you would think that Yoko Ono has done it all. Wrong. At the age of almost 80, Ono has entered a new world – the fashion industry. The 52 piece menswear collection called – forthrightly – Fashion for men, is purportedly based on sketches Ono drew in 1969 as a wedding present for her late husband John Lennon. In a statement, Ono spoke about her inspiration for the pieces: “I was inspired to create ‘Fashion for Men,’ amazed at how my man was looking so great, I felt it was a pity if we could not make clothes emphasizing his very sexy bod. So I made this whole series with love for his hot bod and gave it to him as a wedding present. You can imagine how he went wild and fell in love with me even more.” Conceited? Moi?

Yoko Ono

 

The decision was made to bring the collection to life when Ono showed her drawings to Humberton Leon, co founder of the US based franchise Opening Ceremony, three years ago. The collection was eventually launched by Opening Ceremony last week, and it is due to hit stores in Los Angeles, London and Tokyo in the New Year.

It would be an understatement to say Ono’s collection is ‘a bit out there’, featuring – to take just a couple of examples –  tight fitted trousers with a printed hand on the crotch area and a shirt with the nipples cut out. The still blasé might try a wonderfully revealing pair of trousers with the circle cut out of the behind, along with a “shoulderless” mesh shirt (see right). And these are just a few from a long list. Excited? Great – luckily for you, the collection doesn’t just stop at clothes but includes accessories and shoes as well. We won’t go into those…suffice to say, however, that in comparison to your conventional men’s brands, Yoko’s line is a far cry from even the “edgiest” of contemporary menswear. It would be putting it lightly to say that it challenges most conventions of the fashion world, at least. Perhaps even society, civilisation and humanity at large…

 

The – ahem – risqué collection has sparked a furore of debate amongst critics and consumers alike. Most of the former opine that Ono’s collection is a joke. Not all of them, though. For instance, Christopher Heydon, one of the interior designers for Ralph Lauren, at least gave some backing to Ono’s creativity: “She’s just a legendary individual. Any time she does anything I think it’s important to support her. I love her clothes. I love her style. Her music is amazing.”  The expression “damned by faint praise” comes to mind…

 

FAULT does question the necessity for men to add a bandeau lightbulb bra to their wardrobe – either as a functional item or an object of sartorial statement. That said, we are still sad to think that we may never see the collection being aired by gorgeous models strutting down the catwalk at New York Fashion Week, or even a gentleman walking down Oxford street in a pair of $750 open-toed high-thigh boots. Why? Because the collection tells us a lot about the woman behind it. Like her or loathe her, she’s creative. She’s unique. She’s different. Which can never be perceived as negative qualities.

 

The range may not be everyone’s cup of tea, nor does it in any way reflect (or, one would imagine, dictate) the mainstream fashion trend for Winter 2012/13. But these pieces aren’t just pieces for fashion, they are pieces that were designed for John Lennon himself – a personal gift for a man from his wife. Undeniably, it is a shame – for those with a sense of sentiment (or a wicked sense of humour) – that John will never have the chance to wear them himself. When wearing these clothes, you wear them with the knowledge that John Lennon was the first to look at the sketches. You could even say that owning these pieces are a chance to own a piece of history.

And it might even make the awkward first handshake with that girl at the bar a lot more interesting…

 

WORDS (mostly) BY FREYA SHAH

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