Greenspace October 7, 2012 By Jordan Sayle

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Leaves by Delaney, Global Marshall Plan Initiative, Plant-for-the-planet.org from Cause and Effect, copyright Gestalten 2012

visstaheader3 Visualizing Sustainability
If you’ve looked at the polling data being collected in the swing states ahead of next month’s presidential election, or even if you haven’t, you probably know that the economy ranks highest among likely voters when it comes to the issues informing their choice between the candidates. Also routinely mentioned are unemployment, health care, and the budget deficit. While it’s unsurprising that these dollars and cents issues loom large in a time of widespread economic hardship, what’s noticeably missing from most polls altogether is the environment and energy.

Signs of climate change’s impact have become more apparent since the last time Americans elected a president, but the environment and related energy issues seem to have been downgraded in the mind of the average citizen. At this point in the cycle four years ago, even as the solvency of the nation’s banks was in question, a Quinnipiac poll found that between six and eight percent of voters in the key swing states and between nine and twelve percent of independents in those places named energy policy as the single most important issue upon which their decision would rest.
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Music October 2, 2012 By Lily Moayeri

Plan B - Album Pack Shotheaderillmanors1 Plan B
Ben Drew’s emotions are always on the extreme end of the intensity scale. The sole powerhouse behind the entity Plan B, the 28-year-old Drew displays forceful passion no matter what the situation. Speaking non-stop about large-scale ideas, Drew’s ambitions sound like the kind of big talk people spout when they have nothing going on. Except that Drew has a lot going on. Anything he ever said he was going to do, Drew did it. Singing his raps with just a guitar? He did that. Number one album? Did it. Acting? Done. Writing and directing a feature film? Done and done.

No matter what the vehicle, Drew’s intensity is relayed potently. Initially introduced to the world as a musician, his 2006 debut album, Who Needs Actions When You Got Words is the kind of album the Parental Advisory sticker was created for. Putting no filter on Actions’ language, Drew lets forth with a flow similar to Eminem. With a distinct British undercurrent of urban street rhythm, Drew paints a stark picture of growing up in England. Four years later, he restyled himself as a Motown crooner with The Defamation Of Strickland Banks.
filler29 Plan B

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Art October 2, 2012 By Derek Peck

© Samantha Casolari

© Samantha Casolari

headersamantha Samantha Casolari
When photographer and past PLANET contributor Samantha Casolari told us she was headed home to Italy for summer vacation, we asked if she could send back some images from her trip. The collection presented here, intimate images that exude a sense of place, friendship, and the passage of time, are imbued with Samantha’s signature sense of color and mood. They are fitting remembrance of a summer just passed.

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Art September 25, 2012 By Sarah Coleman

The Invisible Man, Harlem, New York, 1952. Gelatin silver print

The Invisible Man, Harlem, New York, 1952. Gelatin silver print

header Gordon Parks
“I am an invisible man,” begins Ralph Ellison’s famous 1952 novel, in an opening that rivals “Call me Ishmael” and “Lolita, light of my life” for its compact resonance. The narrator of Invisible Man goes on to say that he’s “not a spook like those that haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood movie ectoplasms.” Instead, his invisibility is caused by race: being a black man in 1950s America makes him a blank canvas onto which people’s fears and anxieties are projected.

How do you photograph an invisible man? That was the challenge Gordon Parks took up in 1952, when Invisible Man was published. At that time, Parks himself was a highly visible black man. He’d broken through race barriers to become the first African-American staff photographer at Life magazine, and had written his own prose and poetry. He’d made an enduring and iconic portrait, American Gothic, in which a dignified cleaning woman symbolizes the shabby treatment of blacks in America.

The soulful images Parks produced, with inspiration from Ellison’s novel, are the subject of an intriguing exhibition, Contact: Gordon Parks, Ralph Ellison and ‘Invisible Man’ at the Howard Greenberg Gallery. At the time he made this work, Parks had just won a plum assignment to work in Paris for Life. He was leading a cosmopolitan life of glamor–but his passion and empathy for Harlem shines bright and clear in his Invisible Man series.
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Fashion, film September 20, 2012 By Aiya Ono

Shirt by A. Sauvage

Shirt by A. Sauvage

ASAUVAGEHeader A. Sauvage
Few fashion houses have a a mantra like D.E.– Dress Easy, and a film showcased at the Sundance Film Festival.. The orchestrator behind it all: Adrien Sauvage, founder of the House of A. Sauvage. In 2011, Sundance film Festival showcased This is Not A Suit, a sort of existential enquiry about the designer and his collection, reminiscent of Absurdist plays such as those by Samuel Beckett. The film features Sauvage in a room in solitude, as a voice over explains,“the art of D.E.”

The film is also the title of an ongoing project that involves Sauvage dressing those close to his heart–from filmmakers and musicians like Spike Jonze, Terry Gilliam, and Eliot Sumner, to sports veterans like Sauvage himself, who was a professional basketball player during his youth. Changing focus from sports to the art of Savile Row at 20, every representation of Sauvage’s brand is striking. His methodology of creating suits according to activity (for example, what is the perfect suit for grabbing a cup of coffee?), the presentation of his collection, both still and in motion, and the words used to string all elements together–Sauvage is a creator who knows what he’s doing and it comes through in everything he does. Sauvage’s aim is to create a timeless existence, unconfined by seasons and trends. As the voice over states in This is Not A Suit, Sauvage indeed “constructs his own time” and this is what makes his brand so seductive.

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Art September 6, 2012 By Aiya Ono

postop118 Heather Huey was Shot by Billy Kiddheathertitle4 Heather Huey was Shot by Billy Kidd
Fashion photographer Billy Kidd’s newest work explores his partner and muse, Heather Huey, a milliner whose pieces have caught the attention of stylists such as Karl Templer and Nicola Formichetti. Huey and Kidd have been working together as artists and lovers with Billy behind the lens and Heather as inspiration for almost two years, using Huey’s body cages and sinuous cocoons to help create poetic images that retain intimacy and anonymity. The result is an erotic ballad that is contemporary yet classic. Their work will be on view from September 6th at Clic Gallery.

Both of your work have an aesthetic that is undeniably grounded in classical aesthetics–Billy your work recalls Lee Miller and Man Ray, Heather you create headpieces, which are historically significant. Yet both of your work is undeniably contemporary. Has this brought you together?
Billy: I feel that’s why Heather and I get along so well. We have such similar tastes that we often respond to the same things.

How did this body of work begin?
Billy: We started shooting almost 2 years ago as a photographer often does with his lover/muse. Heather being the shy one, took some time to open up in front of the camera. Our love and comfort with each other was the catalyst for where it went. It was a goal of mine to, without retouching, to alter her body into different shapes.

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Art, Events September 4, 2012 By Chloe Eichler

Greame Williams, Sisulu released. South Africa, Soweto, 1989. © Greame Williams.

Greame Williams, Sisulu released. South Africa, Soweto, 1989. © Greame Williams.

riseandfallheader Rise and Fall of Apartheid
ICP’s latest tour-de-force historical exhibition is Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life, opening September 14th. The exhibit attempts to include all the important forms of visual documentation that bore witness to South Africa’s sixty years of apartheid: films, books, and photographs in all forms, from newspaper-commissioned to social documentary to photo essay.

The exhibition is of course powerful for its subject matter, and the show digs deep in its illustration of how apartheid touched every aspect of life, large and small. You see the South African Communist Party demonstrating in a large group, with arms raised defiantly and film cameras swarming the scene. Contrast this with the lone woman on a streetcorner, protesting against hangings to passing traffic. Contrast this with a pro- segregation demonstration backed with Biblical quotes. Throughout, Rise and Fall of Apartheid is valuable for the way it showcases South African photographers working in incredible times, and under incredible pressures.

The show’s deep reach is thanks to its curators, the Nigerian-born Okwui Enwezor with Johannesburg-based Rory Bester, two specialists of modern and recent-era South Africa. Rise and Fall of Apartheid runs September 14 – January 6.

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Books August 22, 2012 By Jennifer Pappas

from <em>Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon</em> by Paola Gianturco, powerHouse Books.

Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon Paola Gianturco, powerHouse Books.

grandmotherpower interview Grandmother Power

One summer morning when I was about eight years old, my grandmother told me she was going to teach me how to make diples, a deep fried Greek pastry topped with honey and powdered sugar. In her cramped, Formica-filled kitchen, we also made koulourakia – plump hand-shaped twists she simply referred to as Greek Cookies. Together, we rolled up our sleeves, rolled out the dough, plastered our hands and forearms in flour, and went to work. We made tray after tray, more cookies than anyone could eat. But the eating wasn’t the important part; it was the making – the passing on of food, culture, history, tradition.

As I type this memory into existence, I’m suddenly left with another thought: nobody does that anymore. Or do they?According to an article in the April issue of Esquire, the only thing grandparents (aka Baby Boomers) are doing now is systematically disenfranchising the youth of America via decades of self-serving economic and social policy. But Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon (powerHouse books) may just prove all the cynics wrong. Paola Gianturco, author and documentary photographer of the new book talks to PLANET about grandmother activism, survival, and the global movement going on right now in kitchens, villages and courtrooms across the world.

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Art, Music August 16, 2012 By Chloe Eichler

John Cage, <em>A Dip in the Lake</em>, 1978.

John Cage, A Dip in the Lake, 1978.

mcadnagoodtitle MCA DNA
John Cage has been an important figure on the landscape of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago since literally the beginning: he performed at the opening of the institution’s first-ever exhibition in 1967. In the decades that followed, Cage and the MCA enjoyed a fruitful working relationship, with the artist creating and performing scores on-site and the museum hosting performances of his works over the decades, continuing after his death in 1992 and into the present day.

If only just for those performances, MCA would be a precious keeper of Cage’s legacy. But the museum has more: the material results of its long association with the artist can be seen in MCA DNA: John Cage, a multimedia exhibition opening September 1st of photographs, letters, performance, video, and Cage’s idiosyncratic scores, the most famous of which is created on a large map of Chicago. The exhibit seeks to make Cage’s scores come alive again, with displays and materials that demonstrate how to interpret them. Elsewhere the artist’s influences, such as books he kept, sit next to notes he wrote and archival papers documenting his time at MCA. The exhibit mixes art with archive and creative with strictly professional, and keeps the close link to the MCA as a central element throughout. As site-specific as a Cage performance and equally unpredictable, MCA DNA: John Cage is a snapshot of an extraordinary artist’s process.

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Art August 10, 2012 By Aiya Ono

© Magdalena Wosinska

© Magdalena Wosinska

wildatheart header good Wild at Heart
In May PLANET introduced photographer Magdalena Wosinska and her soon-to-be-released book, This Grass is Electric. At the time she had just returned from a road trip with friends that involved shotguns, cliff-jumping in the nude, and exploring natural psychedelic substances as they rode motorcycles from Los Angeles to Laughlin, Nevada for a Harley Davidson convention. PLANET is pleased to present images from this “typical weekend with these kids,” as Wosinska describes it.

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