Aesthetica Magazine Issue 71

June / July 2016

Oppositions are part of everything we do. It’s a choice – one thing over the other: right from wrong, good from bad, and new from old. What’s interesting is when these opposites and their binary meanings blur. You can only truly understand something if you have a contrast to compare it to, but what is the derivation of “oppositions”? It could be a matter of semantics but, somehow, I feel it’s more profound than that, particularly with regards to change. How is real change instigated and what’s its rival?

This issue has a strong focus on differing positions across the creative sector. The Manus x Machina exhibition that opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art examines an age-old question about the significance of handmade versus machine-fabricated. The show surveys haute couture but nonetheless, in today’s advanced technological age, it’s important to think about craft and the art of making. Crucially, we’re also exploring a new generation of designers who are focusing on sustainability.

Following this theme, we interview the fantastic French architect Jacques Ferrier whose process of invention follows the same ideologies as our new designers but in large-scale physical form. He believes that buildings must incorporate the five senses. Edmund Clark: War of Terror, a new exhibition that opens at the Imperial War Museum, London, captures the essence of a new world order by documenting recent history. The show asks important questions about our times.

In photography, we present some of the world’s most engaging talents, who are creating works that challenge form and progress the medium further. Clemens Ascher uses pop colours, shapes and lines to convey new possibilities for digital art. Holly Andres constructs narratives that question the familiarity of suburbia and we also highlight a selection of works from Ori Gersht, whose iconic images slow down time – yet again, bringing a new understanding to the everyday and ordinary. Finally, going to our cover photographer, Jimmy Marble creates new worlds with bold colours, shapes and lines.

Seizing Innovation

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s costume institute invites viewers to question the fashion world’s accepted opposition of hand versus machine.

Sculptural Imagination

Robert Lepage revisits his lauded production of needles and opium in a multi-layered and stunningly hypnotic reprise at the Barbican, London.

Voiceless Landscapes

A formal background in architecture informs Parisian photographer Jérôme Bryon’s muted urban landscapes in latest series Grand Sud.

Suburban Explorations

Holly Andres transfixes viewers by presenting a concentrated experience of suburbia which urges them to linger within the unsettling narratives.

Cultural Microcosm

James Casebere is renowned for a pioneering use of models in his constructed photographs. Architecture populates the otherwise uninhabited images.

Playful Disposition

Los Angeles-based Jimmy Marble is a director, photographer and designer whose highly-animated work explodes with colourful potential.

Utopian Abstraction

With a thematic focus on staged worlds, Clemens Ascher’s photographic series In the Garden is a bright depiction of utopia.

Security Measures

A new photographic exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, London, explores the ethical implications of contemporary asymmetric warfare.

Fractured Recollection

Remembrance and amnesia are prevailing themes in London-based artist Ori Gersht’s historically-charged landscape and still life photography.

Ecological Consideration

The 31st edition of the fair highlights the increasing responsibility we feel for our surroundings, leading to a revival of craft and zero waste.

Tangible Portraiture

Currently based in New York and San Francisco, Russian-born artist Kristina Varaksina creates works which are highly sensitive towards human emotion.