Aesthetica Magazine Issue 83

June / July 2018

A new way of seeing the world has emerged, one which has been driven by technology. There has been a major shift in both civilisation and wider patterns of behaviour as a result of the information age. I have to ask myself though, is it all negative? I have embraced technology in all facets of my life. It’s made work, motherhood and life easier. However, it’s changed us all in an unprecedented way. We want things to move faster and often with immediacy. Patience is a thing of the past, and so the fast-paced way of living is one that needs unpacking. Images are a part of our communication. You don’t say you’re enjoying a nice meal; you take a picture of it and upload it. The development of a post-production society that promotes editing, cropping and filtering is something that needs to be understood. We should do this in order to hold on to our humanity and empathy, the way it was pre-digital. Analogue did have its merits.

This issue surveys the intersection between the created and the real. Elena Mora is a set designer who has worked for Audi, Adidas, Wallpaper* and many more. Her use of still life incorporates graphic design, photography and installation to consider how we are creating idealised spaces and the transformation of objects into subjects. Meanwhile, a massive mid-career retrospective of Alex Prager opens this summer at The Photographers’ Gallery in London. Prager is one the best-known contemporary photographers, who draws upon the language of film to create some of the most innovative works to-date. She has the same presence as some of the great female artists such as Cindy Sherman. Moving into design, we take a profound look at the work of Pauline van Dongen – who is part of V&A’s The Future Starts Here – revealing how she merges fashion and technology for more sustainable solutions. We also report on this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale around the theme of FREESPACE.

In photography, we showcase Carolina Mizrahi, Evelyn Bencicova, Ole Marius Joergensen, Michelle Cho & June Kim, Victor Micoud, Isabella Ståhl and Jon Setter. David Stewart gives us the Last Words. Enjoy!

Facets of Reality

Victor Micoud’s La Cité Idéale focuses on the surroundings of Disneyland Paris, capturing the essence of this surreal neighbourhood.

Cinematic Storytelling

Translating personal experiences into hyperreal images, the renowned photographer Alex Prager is celebrated through a mid-career survey.

Singular Perspective

Using repeated patterns including colour, material and texture, Jon Setter organises details of landscapes as an abstracted expression of space.

Balanced Composition

Carolina Mizrahi is an art director, photographer and set designer whose cross-disciplinary practice traverses a line between fine art and commerce.

Into the Wilderness

Melancholy and, at times, tied to a Romantic sensibility, Isabella Ståhl’s images communicate the desire to return to the notion of home.

Shifting the Focus

A vision of the future, Evelyn Bencicova’s series Artificial Tears assesses what it means to exist within today’s increasingly factitious world.

Uncanny Performance

Michelle Cho & June Kim’s collaborative series look into the ideas of relativity in the everyday, inspired by vivid and structurally expansive architecture.

Elusive Sensibility

Ole Marius Joergensen creates narratives around the themes of identity, using empty topographies as spectres of unidentifiable emotions.

Reactive Architecture

Accessibility, sustainability and humanity take centre stage at Venice Biennale, pushing the literal and figurative boundaries of space.

Immersive Technology

Interactive garments transform our relationship with fashion and the environment as sustainability is linked with the individual experience.

Conscious Environments

Elena Mora offers an intriguing perspective on how set design can create an interdisciplinary stage for idea creation and collective aspiration.