The North-Korean government recently released new photos of Kim Jong-il on his never-ending odyssey through his country’s industrial production core. Here we see the great Leader fondling bras. This brings us to the overriding question of whether he would fondle a real breast with the same aloofness if it were covered in plastic? Or – and this is a possibility we must seriously consider – would he first calmly remove the plastic before the arousal of passion would kick in? Let us contemplate this.
Check out an impressive collection of Kim pics at http://kimjongillookingatthings.tumblr.com/
Nadia Plesner (1982), a Danish artist who works and lives in Amsterdam, is currently being sued by luxury giant Louis Vuitton for depicting a so-called “Audra” bag on her epic work Darfurnica. Since January 28 of this year, Plesner has incurred a fine of €5000 a day – now totaling over €440,000 – for refusing to remove the work from her website, and for refusing to stop exhibiting the work in any other form. But by suing Plesner, Louis Vuitton is unduly interfering with the freedom of expression of all artists.
€440,000 – good for only one or two Paris Hilton shopping sprees, but an awful lot of money for a 29-year-old art student. According to Plesner, “Darfurnica is a modern version of Picasso’s Guernica,” the Spanish artist’s famous outcry (1937) against the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War. “What horror,” they must have thought at the Versailles Palace of Louis Vuitton’s legal department. “We don’t want our wonderfully exclusive upscale bags linked to such monstrosities!”
But for Plesner, Darfurnica is not about besmirching Vuitton’s carefully crafted reputation; rather, it is an exploration of the fading boundaries between journalism and advertising, between editorial and commercial content. How come, she asks, trifles about celebs have become breaking news, while a genocide happening somewhere in the world – in Darfur for instance – is not “important” enough to make headlines? “This is unacceptable and I refuse to turn the blind eye to what is happening,” Plesner says on her website.
The question is, why is Louis Vuitton so incredibly finicky about the image of one of its bags appearing in the work of a hitherto unknown artist? Does the company’s legal department believe that the Audra bag’s cameo in Darfurnica will actually damage its sales, reputation, or brand equity?
By suing, the company has opened up a can of worms, launching Plesner – a tiny dauntless David up against a powerful corporate Goliath – into the limelight as a martyr and symbol of artistic freedom and freedom of expression.
In terms of reputation management, the lawsuit is foolish and counterproductive. All the more so considering that Louis Vuitton is not the only brand depicted on Darfurnica – Chanel, Hèrmes, Paramount, Facebook, Victoria Beckham, and the omnipresent Paris Hilton are also featured. Did they sue? Nope.
Without a doubt, Louis Vuitton’s biggest tactical mistake is its failure to recognize that it is not just a brand, but also a cultural icon. In this capacity, Louis Vuitton is not merely the exclusive intellectual property of Louis Vuitton, but also an object in and of the public imagination, and a part of the cultural heritage of our time. Although it is privately owned, its iconic status has transformed it into some sort of public property, and made it an object of artistic sampling – just like Andy Warhol and his Campbell’s soup cans.
Most brands would be happy to reach iconic status, but not Louis Vuitton. The haughty brand, whose ad campaigns boast politically engaged celebrities like Bono and former Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev, has gotten itself into in a street brawl with an art student, whom it is now attempting to squash financially as well as artistically.
But the effort to erase Darfurnica from the public eye only adds insult to injury, as it is an attempt to curb all artists’ freedom of imagination and expression – not exactly the core-business of a luxury brand.
Unlike its counterparts Hèrmes and Chanel, Louis Vuitton overlooked one crucial thing: noblesse oblige.
Here are two pics from a brilliant series of photos that show Kim Jong Il looking at things. On http://kimjongillookingatthings.tumblr.com, where I stumbled upon these jewels, you’ll find more pics of the Dear Leader looking at things. What strikes me most is Kim’s invariably remote look – as if he were clinically observing the slimy remains of a carnivorous blob from outer space, without showing all too overt signs of repulsion. Kim Jong Il, a remarkable man indeed.
Kim Jong Il Looking at soy sauce
Kim Jong Il looking at breakfast
Now here is an example of how technology has come to approximate the elevated grace of dragonflies balletdancing over the surface of a pond. Or is this just Pong – the most primitive and entertaining of digital game-forms – in 3D? Wonder how it would look like with 16 Quadrocopters performing Swan Lake while keeping the ball in the air? It’ll definitely take a hell of a lot of programming.
And here is one of these little fuckers playing keyboards.
The brilliant idea to construct a building in the shape of an H is the irrefutable intellectual property of V. Hipcescu. But because he is a man of transcendent altruism and generosity, he will not sue the Lisbon based architecture firm Gonçalo Byrne Arquitectos for plagiarism.
Images courtesy of gonçalo byrne arquitectos / © joao morgado.
Besides the fact that Hipcescu Tower (850m, 200 stories) dwarfs the so-called Estoril Sol Residence (15 stories), the resemblance between the two buildings is striking.
Take a look at more pictures of the Estoril Sol Residence and see for yourself.
Having worked with him on a project for Guess Watches, I knew that Daniel Nogueira was a versatile director. But his latest project, Follow Me, a music video for a singer called Krause (whom I’d never heard of), really surprised me. Daniel actually created Follow Me out of pointcloud-data – the video’s launching website explains what pointcloud-data actually means, in case you’re interested in how this high-tech pièce de résistance came about. I’m pretty sure that Follow Me cost him a lot more blood, sweat and tears than he’d expected when embarking on the project. Daniel man, big up from Hipcescu!
Exposure is an installation by the British sculptor Antony Gormley. In Lelystad, The Netherlands, where it stands, locals have irreverently dubbed it the shitting man. Exposure weighs 60 tonnes, contains 5,400 bolts and consists of 2,000 components.
Look at it from a distance and you see a crouching man. Take a closer look and the man dissolves into abstract metal nodes that constitute a complex geometry.
photo: Ed Jansen
It is at the dissolution point that the figurative fades into pure abstraction. This man is clearly a hybrid.
On Kawara is a Japanese conceptual artist. On each day, between 1968 and 1979, he would send two different friends or colleagues a picture postcard, stamped with the exact time he arose that day and the addresses of both sender and recipient. This work was called I GOT UP.
The message on the postcard was always the same: “I GOT UP.” The only variables in this otherwise monomaniacal work were the postcard and the specific time and place of On Kawara’s waking. In a sense, he started Tweeting two decades before the advent of internet – each ‘Tweet’ containing the fundamental message that every Tweet contains: I communicate that I exist. In On Kawara’s case: I communicate that I exist in a given time and place.
By the way, check out On Kawara’s Twitter account.
V. Hipcescu. Urbanist. Architect.
Like Leonardo da Vinci, V. Hipcescu embodies the ideal of the homo universalis, excelling in a wide variety of fields – from athletics to engineering, from poetry to music, and from nuclear physics to social sciences, to name but a few. We will, however, designate this space to his role as city-founder.
The completion of Hipcescu in 2010, with the characteristic 850 meter high Hipcescu Tower at its center, attests to V. Hipcescu’s stature as an architect and urban planner. We can clearly discern the influence of Haussmann, the progenitor of the Parisian grands boulevards, that stem from the Place de l’Étoile like beams of light emanating from a star.
As an architect, V. Hipcescu has been strongly influenced by some of the great visionaries of functional architecture – Le Corbusier, Émile Aillaud, and the lesser known Siegfried Nassuth – as well as by the ideas postulated by the Congrès International d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM).
V. Hipcescu’s magnum opus is, without a doubt, Hipcescu Tower. This majestic 200-story edifice strikes a delicate yet daring balance between functionalism and cosmopolitanism. And while it is undeniably staunch and indomitable, it is also receptive to its environment, interacting with it organically, as if by osmosis.
Hipcescu Tower is the culmination point of V. Hipcescu’s architectural prowess – simultaneously a synthesis and a sublimation of the ideas and theories of his significant predecessors. Through it, we are transported into the stratosphere of Architecture. Hipcescu Tower is a monument to Virility on a scale that is unprecedented and breathtaking.
We are truly grateful for what V. Hipcescu has given us and thank him for so kindly sharing his genius with the world. On these pages, you can enjoy a selection of the most beautiful panoramas of the City of a Thousand Suns, Hipcescu. Click here to find out more about V. Hipcescu. Thank you.