You’ve heard of music and arts festivals before, I’m sure. Throw in some political discourse on top and you have the unique blend of a very individual festival, indeed: the Elevate Festival. Starting today in Graz, Elevate achieves it’s special mix by combining discussions, workshops, lectures, and film screenings with a program of contemporary music performers and DJs. If you’re not sold on it yet, how often do you get to go to something inside Graz’s historic Schlossberg? After taking an elevator literally down inside the hill, you’ll spend your festival time in a series of caves and tunnels inside the rock.
This year’s line-up of performing artists is so extensive, you need to read it for yourself, but expect an eclectic program that ranges from evenings of house, to avant pop, to psychedelic noise rock. The diversity offered at Elevate is made possible by extending the usual 3-day festival program to 6 days, and utilizing several venues means that on some days, you’ll have 4 simultaneous concerts to pick from. Just remember when you’re dancing to the last DJ’s set at 6am, the program of talks and films probably kicks off at 10am…to party through, or to power-nap, that is the question…
You’ve probably got everything planned already if you’re traveling to Graz for Elevate Festival this year, but how do you immerse yourself in the arts in Graz during the rest of the year? Easy – at White Line Hotels edit Schlossberghotel the art is so close, you’re sleeping in the same room with it.
Zurich based designer Senta Amacker was encouraged by her large family, and since a very young age, to explore and expand her creative vision. She found inspiration in the traditional crafts of her native Switzerland, which involve the rawness of nature, the smells of the countryside, and the incredible variety of shapes and colours that this country is famous for.
She graduated last March from the Northwestern Switzerland Academy of Art and Design Basel Fashion Institute with a Bachelor in Arts and Fashion Design, and since then she has been invited to present her collection over the summer at Basel’s blickfang, and at the Designers Open’s opening show in Leipzig in October.
“The freedom that I show as a designer in my collections is the freedom of an adventurer, equipped with the appropriate accessories and clothing to discover the world, and live the adventure that reality is. My latest collection was inspired by Amelia Earhart, a pioneer in aviation history and a role model in many ways: she was an incredibly strong woman”, stated Senta about her approach to fashion design.
Her main focus, and trademark, lies in the way her materials are cut. Cotton, leathers and metals are remodelled according to the designer’s artistically unrestrained vision. Individual pieces of fabrics are reconstructed and brought together through a minimalist intervention of folds, seams, and cuts, retaining an authentic sense of tradition, but re-discovering it through a new reading.
In today’s fast paced, mobile world, Senta believes it to be of primary importance not to forget where you come from, what your origins are, and how to keep developing and improving whilst keeping you feet on the ground. It’s a delicate balance between expressing your creative vein to the fullest and abiding to those values that have shaped you into the person that you have become, a formula that seems to have worked so far.
Should you be in her neighbourhood, why not drop her an email and meet her for a coffee.
While in Zurich, tuck yourself into a creative corner at Greulich Hotel. With rooms directly located on their patio garden, underneath the open sky, you’ll be forgiven if in the first moments after waking up you forget you’re in a city center at all.
Contributing Writer: Fier Management
Photo credits: Senta Amacker
Tucked away in Teruel, bordering Aragón, this observatory-like pad clasps to the bedrock amidst heady scents of thyme, lavender + almond groves. The Spanish terrain hosts a stark sequence of cubist structures which beautifully marry with the monastic 14th century Ermita – a small intense masterpiece at the heart of this decidedly relaxed, creative enclave.
There is a subtle sweet rawness that caresses the place, with the wooden cubes adopting translucence + solidity, framing the wide vistas beyond – the huge open-ended window of each den reflects those medieval portals of the old church – a connectivity that runs a thread throughout.
There is something to be said for ME time – from your private cube you can dance as naked as a bird, or just sit and gaze a yonder. Rejoin your fellow housemates taking the garden path past the sunken pool + follow your nose to the open kitchen dining or curl up over a bottle in the whimsical library.
A crafted, regional remit of old style luxury, translated for the nomads of today in a deliciously relaxed tone.
You know it, I know it, but still no one says it very often: art fairs are terrible places to see art. The atmosphere is always…oh how best to say it…something like being on one of those black rubber people-mover conveyor belts designed to shuffle gawking masses past valuable items of interest and a pre-designated speed. Sounds fun, right? But, should it even be fun? I mean, art fairs are trade fairs, after all, and their purpose is for doing business. If sometimes that business can be done after hours at a party or bar too, all the better, but business is still the word of the day. And sales.
London’s Frieze Art Fair still hasn’t changed those final keywords of what the event is all about, but it has succeeded in presenting itself as just one part of a larger yearly cultural event through sidelines such as the TV-broadcasted Frieze Film, educational programs aimed at younger children, an off-site music program, and of course the on-site artists commissions and the Emdash Award (previously the Cartier Award). Past their own attempts to increase the scope of Frieze, the city’s galleries and artists don’t pass up the opportunity to make the most of the energy the fair brings in, and Frieze weekend sees some of London’s best exhibitions, and parties. Truth be told, unless you’re an industry professional, you don’t even have to step foot in Regent’s Park to get the most out of what the Frieze Art Fair has to offer.
If the business side of the art game leaves you cold or, shall we say “Frieze-ing”, here’s my top 5 off-site picks for the Frieze Art Fair. And guess what? For the first, you don’t even have to be in London.
LuckyPDF TV Ok, so this one is a half-cheat, because you can also go see the Peckham collective on set at the Frieze Art Fair, but you can also watch them live from your computer screen, anywhere in the world, from now until sunday at 4pm (London time). www.luckypdf.com
No Neutral Ground at the German Embassy (22 Belgrave Square) is something you might look over at first glance, but is worth the effort for Melanie Manchot’s Perfect Mountain. Here the German-born, London-based photographer has asked tourists atop an alpine glacier to don traditional costume, and pose in front of a backdrop of the mountain they are standing on. The next time a holiday seems surreal, remember Perfect Mountain. This one goes a bit longer — it’s on until October 20th.
Wilhelm Sasnal opens for Frieze weekend at the Whitechapel Gallery. Mixing a bit of art history with a bit of internet found imagery (think Roy Orbison meets Georges Seurat, and then a few more characters), even if the work isn’t so much your thing, the Whitechapel’s always worth checking out.
Sarah Lucas‘ Artist in Bed at St John Hotel (1 Leicester Square) has the easiest opening hours of anything this weekend: 7am until midnight (i.e., if you miss this, you’re just lazy). The sculptures are installed in the bar, and there’s a good chance you’ll be somewhere near there at some point, so stop by for a drink and a viddy.
The Evening Before the Morning After: on the subject of bars, did you hear the one about the alcoholic artist? No, me neither… Mario Garcia Torres invited a selection of artists to send him their ideas for cocktails, recipe included, to be mixed at Bistrotheque on the 14th from 8pm. Consider it a homage to Gilbert & George, and critical commentary on the culture and expectation of artists and alcohol, and just a fantastic opportunity to imbibe some of the most creative cocktails you’ve seen.
Where else can you spend the evening before the morning after? White Line Hotels edit The Ampersand Hotel .
Intimate, honest and sometimes raw. The images printed in the relatively new bi-annual interiors magazine Apartamento (issue 7 is on sale now) tell stories of real life interiors and to me, are quite reminiscent of Jürgen Teller’s photography (Teller being featured in this very issue is purely coincidental, I’m sure of it!).
No mis-en-scène, no gloss, no lavish or “casually” arranged minimalistic displays but inspiring interiors from all over the world which in their unique and lived-in state show us that style is at its most natural when it isn’t staged but when it occurs almost haphazardly, from our own particular individuality. Whilst this is not as easy to achieve as you may think, it certainly looks that way on the matte pages of this simplistic publication. Famously described by The New York Times as “the first post-materialistic interiors magazine”, Apartamento shows us that interiors are nothing without the people living inside them. Strong and fascinating characters such as photographers, authors and other creative eccentrics are the perfect companions in these (their) featured spaces. A clear emphasis on colour and simple composition, makes for some powerful imagery and brilliant reference material for either domestic dwellers or design lovers. Since its launch in 2009 the Barcelona-based magazine has regularly presented cultural and promotional events in line with its international distribution in cities such as Tokyo, New York, Berlin, London and Milan.
The concept for October’s event in Barcelona was conceived by Ana Dominquez and Omar Sosa and features a unique and exclusive collection of photographs shot by Nacho Alegre, photographer and founder of the magazine. The Apartamento Bricks Still Life exhibition brings to life a basic object like the builder’s brick and turns it into a surprisingly delicate and evocative sculpture. Don’t miss it. Go see the bricks. Go meet the people and get yourself a copy of Apartamento.
Exhibition runs from 29th September to 21st October 2011 at Otrascosas de Villarosàs, Via Laietana 65, Principal, Barcelona.
While in Barcelona, go see another honest and intimate gem in the city, White Line Hotels edit Hotel Omm. Don’t miss it.
Contributing writer: Stefanie Soar
Photos courtesy Apartamento