For his series Couple Jam, Tokyo-based Photographer Hal visited underground Tokyo bars in the Red Light District.
These hidden places in Shibuya and Kabukicho, were more than influential for the photographer, as there he often finds models to pose for his perverse but interesting photographs. From strippers to businessmen, Hal invites whoever wants to take part in his projects, as long as they’re willing to share their tight set with a fellow model.
This type of work, that interferes with the models’ surrounding and inner world by testing their limits, can be perceived as a social event causing a beautiful artistic result, with the photo-shoots taking place in the models bathrooms. “I think of the bathroom as being one of the most private and intimate place in anyone’s home, this provoked a shyness in the models, and created a unique excitement and inspiration in the scene,” explains the photographer.
The site of a stunning 1885-era Parisian municipal bathhouse, HOME to the previous Les Bains Douches Nightclub, is now set to be revamped into a Luxury Boutique Hotel. Earlier this year, a group of 50 Art practitioners filled it up with their own art, creating their very own pop up art gallery from it.
Built as a municipal bathhouse in the late 19th century, Les Bains-Douches would eventually become one of the hottest Night Clubs in Paris known simply as Les Bains, a destination for the likes of Kate Moss, Mick Jagger, Johnny Depp and even Andy Warhol. Due to some faulty construction in 2010 the building was declared a safety hazard and is now slated for complete renovation in just a few days to pave way for La Société des Bains, a new space that will open in 2014. In the meantime, owner Jean-Pierre Marois turned over the building to 50 street artists commissioned by Magda Danysz Gallery who have been working since January to turn the decaying building into an endless canvas of amazing Artwork.
Dismaland Deemed ”The Bleakiest Amusement Park Ever”
Graffiti artistBanksy has opened what could be the world’s most terrifying, spookiest theme park ever. From today, the abandoned Tropicana outdoor park at Weston-super-mare near Bristol will be transformed into Dismaland, a “bemusement park” with a dark twist on California’s childhood classics. Disneyland, wrapped in a nightmare.
On Thursday, images and video captured inside “Dismaland,” Banksy’s new art exhibition/dystopian amusement park, began making the rounds on social media. They offer a glimpse into a world that’s predictably dark, bizarre and full of satire according to Buzzfeed. Amongst other deceptions, visitors can have the back of their head drawn in a “surprisingly revealing” portrait, or watch the weekly events including live comedy and music from Russian punk activists Pussy Riot.
It was produced under top-secret conditions, with a cover story that Dismaland was the location for a film called “Grey Fox” made by Atlas Productions.
Dismaland is one of the largest outdoor installations for the mysterious Banksy, whose satirical work has gained heritage-listed status around the UK and gained fans like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
Despite his fame, Banksy has remained fiercely protective of his identity and committed to outdoor stunts, including one in New York where he sold his pictures at a stall near Central Park for a fraction of what they would cost in a gallery. Dismaland features artists like Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Barry Salzman, Dietrich Wagner amongst many others.
Dismaland runs from Aug. 22 to Sept 27, and its website contains a warning that spray paint, knives and “legal representatives of the Walt Disney Corporation” are strictly prohibited in the park.
The group of the Wiener Werkstätte was founded in 1903 by Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser . These artists and craftsmen were very much inspired by the ideas of Art & Craft and Art Nouveau ( or Jugendstil) movements that were made to be used or seen in our everyday lives and made the link with the formal language of Art Deco and Bauhaus in order to create something new, something better. The primary goal of the company was to bring good design and craft into all areas of life within the fields of ceramics, fashion, silver, furniture, and the graphic arts as well as to bring up to date the ancient arts ( crafts), to raise them to the same level as the fine arts ( painting, sculpture, architecture …) . These beautiful objects had to be useful and the Wiener Werkstätte hoped that by doing so, they would reach a wider audience and that is how they laid the foundation for what we now call ” design “.
With the industrial revolution and the development of science and technology of the nineteenth century, the future looks bright but on the other hand, the machines are also at the root of unemployment. Workers’ rights are violated, their quality of life, mediocre. The pride they take in their craft is very diminished since the workers intervene only in a small part of the production process and feels very little connection with the finished product.
The Wiener Werkstätte in Austria reacts by trying to provide their own workers better working conditions. Through craft production, the worker can be proud of its product and the finished object. A small pamphlet from 1905 outlined their program: “The limitless harm done in the arts and crafts field by low quality mass production on the one hand and by the unthinking imitation of old styles on the other is affecting the whole world like some gigantic flood…It would be madness to swim against this tide. Neverthless we have founded out workshop. Where appropriate we shall try to be decorative without compulsion and not at any price” From the onset, the Wiener Werkstätte encouraged its patrons to look beyond the material value of objects and to embrace geometric symmetry over surface ornament. We need only to look at Moser’s logo design and the flower motif based on the golden section to see how much these architectural principles dictated the company’s early designs.
Jozef Hoffmann was one of the most important figures of the Wiener Werkstätte and the greatest achievement of this group is located in Brussels : the Palais Stoclet . Adolphe Stoclet , a Belgian banker living in Vienna , asked Hoffmann to build him a house. Belgium played a leading role in the new Art. It is also interesting to compare the Art Nouveau Horta , for example, with the Stoclet Palace made in the style of the Wiener Werkstätte by Hoffmann.
The Wiener Werkstätte ultimately, was a set of different workplaces or workshops. Each workshop specialized in a particular craft . They had their own color, as an ID. This color was found on the premises , on invoices , correspondence,etc . Each workshop therefore had its specialty , and formed , with all the others, the Wiener Werkstätte . As part of the technical skills , such as woodworking, it is very interesting to observe how these workshops were organized , how artists and craftsmen all worked together and what techniques and materials were used, how all this came together to work efficiently.
The Wiener Werkstätte was to double logo “W” logo and it quickly became a “brand”. It was the first time the logo was associated with a style and a set of imagined objects. In marketing, it was named Corporate Identity. WW was a mark that all identified with the particular style of these products. The logo was also a guarantee of quality and originality. By buying the objects bearing this logo, buyers supported the arts and crafts and art. They thus become partners in improving working conditions of artisans and workers. Today we find this kind of mark in all sectors. But in 1903, the idea of BRANDING was new.
In the Art Nouveau it is possible to identify two movements : the organic and the geometric . The best example of organic style is certainly the work of Victor Horta , among others who realized the Tassel Hotel and the Solvay House. If you look at some pictures of the interior and you will notice the crooked straight lines and the famous ” whiplash” line. Now compare these with the interiors designed by the Scottish artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It uses simple geometric forms , particularly the square.
The WW deepened the latter style by going further . The architect Jozef Hoffmann also chooses to work with a lot of squares. These geometric shapes will be exploited even more refined in styles such as Art Deco and Modernism , thinking, for example in the work of Le Corbusier.
Hoffmann works extensively with optical effects. Each main axis is the link between the garden and the house. At each location, it plays with perspective and the perspective of the visitor. It also creates different views that allow it to emphasize the elements of his creation. Different themes frequently in the ornamentation of the tower and decoration parts (the Klimt frieze) such as the tree of life, paradise and the symbolism of spring. The tree in the garden below which a bench seat for the family also recalls these familiar themes. It is around this tree that meet and converse gods!
The Stoclet family had a large collection of artefacts and Hoffmann considered each piece of the collection. They all found their place in the design of the house. The Stoclet filled with grace their role as patrons. If a great musician passed in Brussels, he often received an invitation to come to the villa one evening with special guests.
The first exhibition of the WW was held in the greenhouses of the Society of Horticulture and Klimt designed a poster depicting Theseus and the Minotaur under the protective gaze of Athena. The preface to the catalogue expressed their aims: ”In our first exhibitions we were at pains to show the modern art of foreign countries to the public, in order to set it a higher standard whereby to appraise our native productions… It is obviously no part of our intention to give a comprehensive view of contemporary art; Artists represented in the associations premier included Giovanni Segantini, Ferdinand Khnopff, Constantin Meunier, Puvis De Chavanne, Auguste Rodin, Franz von Stuck and Max Klinger amongst others. Over 57,000 attendances were recorded and the funds made through these exhibitions were used to buy works of art from within each exhibition. These works were then donated to various public galleries. A large part of this exhibition was devoted to the arts and crafts thus fulfilling the first steps of the Secession group, toward equal recognition of art and handicrafts. In the eleventh room the Secessions journal; Ver Sacrum was brought to the attention of the public. The room was set out as one huge poster and in other areas of the display works were set at eye level and each artist was grouped together instead of being spread about from floor to ceiling.”
Lalibela is a town in northern Ethiopia famous for monolithic rock-cut churches. Lalibela is one of Ethiopia’s holiest cities. The population of Lalibela is almost completely Ethiopian Orthodox Christian. Ethiopia is one of the earliest nations to adopt Christianity in the first half of the fourth century, and its historical roots date to the time of the Apostles. The layout and names of the major buildings in Lalibela are widely accepted, especially by local clergy, to be a symbolic representation of Jerusalem. This has led some experts to date the current church forms to the years following the capture of Jerusalem in 1187 by Muslim leader, Saladin. This rural town is knownaround the world for its churches carved from within the earth from living rock, which play an important part in the history of rock-cut architecture. Though the dating of the churches is not well established, most are thought to have been built during the reign of Lalibela, namely during the 12th and 13th centuries. Contrary to theories advocated by writers like Graham Hancock, according to Buxton the great rock-hewn churches of Lalibela were not built with the help of the Knights Templar; asserting abundant evidence exists to show that they were produced solely by medieval Ethiopian civilization. For example, while Buxton notes the existence of a tradition that “Abyssinians invoked the aid of foreigners” to construct these monolithic churches, and admits that “there are clearly signs of Coptic influence in some decorative details” (hardly surprising given the theological, ecclesiastical, and cultural links between the Ethiopian Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox Churches), he is adamant about the native origins of these creations: “But the significant fact is remains that the rock-churches continue to follow the style of the local built-up prototypes, which themselves retain clear evidence of their basically Axumite origin.”
The churches are also a significant engineering feat, given that they are all associated with water (which fills the wells next to many of the churches) exploiting an artesian geological system that brings the water up to the top of the mountain ridge on which the city rests.
Lalibela was the refuge for one of Christianity’s most interesting heresies, known as Monophysitism. This belief states that Christ was both divine and human before his incarnation but that his divine nature left his body and only reentered it after the Resurrection. First professed at the 2nd Council of Ephesus in 449 AD and soon thereafter condemned as heresy at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, Monophysitism spread through Asia Minor into Africa and Ethiopia. In different forms it survives today in the Syrian Orthodox church, the Armenian church, the Coptic church of Egypt and Ethiopian Orthodoxy.
These abandoned flying saucer-style holiday homes built for US military officers in Taiwan left to rot are built on burial grounds…
Sanzhi Pod City in Taiwan was designed as a holiday resort for US officers
Space age homes built in 1978 on top of a burial ground for Dutch soldiers
Several deaths during construction including suicides and accidents
Pods were abandoned and demolished to transform site into new resort,
Desolate, shattered, warped and stained, this abandoned series of Smartie-coloured pod homes paints a bleak picture.The flats, known as Sanzhi Pod City, were built in New Taipei City, Taiwan and designed to be part of a holiday resort.They were built in 1978 as a vacation destination for US military officers deployed to the Far East and wealthy Taiwanese. According to locals, a burial ground for Dutch soldiers lies beneath the startling designs. History surrounding the sad structures is even stranger. The buildings were abandoned in 1980 after investment losses by developers Hung Kuo Group and a number of bizarre deaths, including several suicides and car accidents during construction. Gem, a real estate administrator from the Philippines, said: ”As an avid documenter of man-made landscape, I found these pod houses very cool. The colours, the retro futuristic style, whoever designed and built these had a lot of balls.”
”As to their demise, people give me different stories. Apparently, these retro futuristic building styles were popular at that time, but the price was so high that they failed to sell most of the units. I guess the developer went broke and that’s why they lay in absolute ruin for years. Maybe the era was all wrong, the target market was all wrong, and the grand experiment failed, but they were still intriguing to look at.”
All shots were taken in 2008 by photographer Gem Urdaneta, 33, a couple of years before the pods were demolished by the Taipei government.
View original article byINDIA STURGIS FOR MAILONLINE. Thanks to Blue Maggot for bringing this to my attention and for her constant encouragments and loyalty!! There are others UFO houses all around the world, not all are left to rot. Viewprevious poston the matter.
The UFO-shaped house in Royse City, Texas, sits alone in an overgrown field, a vision of some solitary failed retrofuture dream. The Futuro House was designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in the late 1960s. Made of new materials like plastic and manufactured to be portable and adaptable to diverse terrain with its raised legs, the capsule house was imagined as a ski chalet with a quick heating system. You entered through a hatch to an elliptical space with a bedroom, bathroom, fireplace, and living room. Suuronen soon saw its potential beyond the slopes, and through the Futuro Corporation built the lightweight houses as a prefabricated, compact housing solution adaptable for any corner of the globe.
Due to its unusual space age-influenced design, and the oil crisis of 1973 that made plastic expensive, under 100 of the houses were made. Around 60 of those survive, and they’ve dispersed all over the globe like a covert invasion of extraterrestrials that got canceled decades ago. Some look new, such as one in gleaming yellow on top of the WeeGee exhibition center outside of Helsinki, or another recently restored as a study space at the University of Canberra in Australia. Others are anomalies in the urban landscape, including one in Tampa, Florida, that’s a strip club VIP room, whileat Pink Elephant Antique Mall in Livingston, Illinois, a battered model mingles with other kitsch from the past like a Twistee Treat shack and a Muffler Man.
The site TheFuturoHouse.com carefully maps the whereabouts of the world’s remaining Suuronen UFOs, from New Zealand to Greece. You can also cruise by them on Street View through Google Sightseeing’sround up of the saucers. And while you can’t buy one for $14,000 like when they were made, the houses do periodically turn up for sale — one appeared on eBay this May.
Matti Suuronen wasn’t the only architect to attempt UFO-style living — there were also theSanjhih UFO houses in Taiwan built in 1978, unfortunately now demolished. But there is something enduringly endearing about the homes, and there’s definitely room now in our current housing situation for houses that can be quickly built in varying topography. It’s easy to imagine them touching down on top of New York City’s apartment buildings as additional living space, or braving the rugged landscape of Antarctica as research bases (there are in fact similar structures in use by the Australian Antarctica Division).
Through December 14, you can visit a freshly restored 1972 Futuro House adopted by artist Craig Barnes on top of Matt’s Gallery in London. But to really go back in time, check out the 1971 footage below from when the Futuro House was a brand new vision for futuristic living.
Those that are drawn to the more creepy side of life will be thrilled to find out that 1920s Paris was obsessed with all things macabre. And that goes for nightclubs, too. During the 20th century, a number of different cabarets opened across the city, complete with gargoyle ceilings, bone chandeliers and nightly shows that were just as creepy as they were strange.
Le Cabaret du Ciel de de L’Enfer on Boulevard de Clichy
Cabaret du Neant
L’Araignée-Cabaret des Truands
On a more modern ote I thought you might be interested to see 2 bars that were designer by HR Geiger who recently died. The first one he tried to open was in Tokyo but because of restritions that are very strict in Japan due to frequent earthquakes and the likes, the project was (very unfortunatelty) abandonned by Geiger but some of associates persevered and managed to open it. Still it will never be nothing like he wanted it to be in Japan but nonetheless it is quite striking. Here is the official link to this bar that is now officially closed. Just click on the main entrance picture below.
H.R. Giger’s art is among the most recognizable in existence—it’s very easy to identify something he made, and the unbelievable bar attached to the museum dedicated to his work in Gruyères, Switzerland, is no exception. Amazingly, it’s not the only one in existence—at various times four locations have been able to boast a Giger Bar, two in Switzerland (the other one is in Giger’s birthplace, the town of Chur), one in New York City, and one in Tokyo. But the ones in Switzerland are the only ones that are open today.
The New York branch was located in Peter Gatien’s legendary Limelight nightclub in the Chelsea neighborhood, but once it closed in the 1990s, the Giger Bar closed with it.