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BART HESS at Manifattura Tabacchi

Bart Hess text by Philip Fimmano 


The work of Bart Hess is of the most tactile and intuitive nature. He first delved into instinctive textiles when studying at the Design Academy Eindhoven, where he created A Hunt for High Tech, a collection of materials that mimicked the bestial outer layers of unfamiliar hybrid species, accompanied by an evocative film that brilliantly brought his concepts to life. Over the past ten years, Hess has developed an impressive roster of work. He has pinned, stretched, slimed and scraped materials in relation to the human body, and collaborated with the likes of Lucy McRae, Nick Knight, Lady Gaga, Iris van Herpen and Walter van Beirendonck. In 2013, he is the recipient of the Stichting Profiel prize and his work is the subject of a mid-career survey at the Rijksmuseum Enschede. The exhibition notes explain that Hess creates another world, one “in which technology melds body and object… when we don the materials and applications that Hess has created, we are transformed into a new but completely logical creature.”

Hess feels that our bodies are increasingly becoming a platform for sensitive and interactive technology, and has constantly exposed the intimate relationship materials have upon our skin, including a concept for Philips Design that mounted an electronic tattoo underneath the skin’s surface. “It felt like a natural instinct for me to start working on the body. When I create a new design I always place it on my own skin even-though it originally was created as, for example, a flooring material. The fascinating thing about it for me is the combination of a skin and a material. By using a material on the body that is not the body’s own, but making it look like it could possibly be, I create a tension between the body and material.”[1]

Foamy, sweaty, blobular and molecular are the kinds of surfaces that Hess concocts. Flirting with a touch of the grotesque and the macabre, he explains that he tries “to find a balance between beauty and disgust or horror. I think the darker side of beauty has less restrictions because it hasn’t been explored that much, which makes it more interesting for me to show to my audience”.[2] Through the use of design, film, photography and installation, Hess has found intimate ways for his textiles to communicate with their “audience”, and in 2012’s Work With Me pop-up studio, he was even able to involve some of them in the making process.

If Hess is on the hunt for tactilities that can transform the design landscape, he is definitely on the right track. By innovating materials that braise, coat or titillate the body, he has opened up a sensual and sexually-charged discourse about the future of smart textiles. Hess introduces materials to our primal needs and innate sense of touch, showing that fabrications will first need to seduce us before they can become part of us.

Text by Philip Fimmano

Taken from the publication Fetishism in Fashion


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INSTALLATION SENJAN – Manifattura Tabacchi

Senjan Jansen is a composer, sound director, and designer as well as music producer who collaborates with various artists in the world of film, high fashion, theatre, and visual arts. Following a degree in filmmaking, he started composing music and designing sound for international films and television projects. He crossed over to extend his activities to fashion when Haider Ackermann asked him to produce the soundscape for his show in Paris. Jansen enables his soundscapes to manipulate, surprise, disguise, and to captivate. He creatively conceives a tension which comes to life through sound in one narration as he records and composes intimate musical soundscapes and auditory environments which echo an artist’s vision and the visual narrative. In 2017 he joined forces with visual artist Laure Prouvost on They Are Waiting For You (Walker Art Center) and Ring Sing And Drink for Trespassing (Palais de Tokyo).


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Danish design collective Superflex has filled the Tate Modern‘s Turbine Hall with a snaking framework of three-seater swings, which it hopes will encourage social interaction between visitors.

The One Two Three Swing! installation features a bright orange framework that weaves throughout the huge Turbine Hall, and continues to the outside of the building.

The Danish collective, founded in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Bjørnstjerne Christiansen and Rasmus Nielsen, hopes that the three-seater swings will instigate group activity and demonstrate the positives of working in collaboration.

“The work invites audiences to combat social apathy through collaborative action, joining together on the count of three,” said the Tate.

Running until 2 April 2018, One Two Three Swing! is the third in a series of annual Hyundai-commissioned artworks that have occupied the Turbine Hall’s vast space – but it is the first installation to break beyond the gallery walls.


Superflex installs dozens of swings at Tate Modern to “combat social apathy”

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Pourbus’ early work was a mix of the traditional Flemish style of the early sixteenth century and Italianate influences brought north by his peers such as Frans Floris. He later he began to adapt Italian influence more and more, thus his later works can be considered early Flemish mannerism, which still contained some idioms of the traditional northern style. He never traveled to Italy and instead looked to his peers for stylistic influence. The Groeningemuseum in Bruges displays many of his works.

See Wikipedia for more on this great painter.


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