travel

The luxury voyage redefined, from remote retreats to spontaneous urban sprees

Latest In travel

June 24, 2014

JR & José Parlá: Wrinkles of the City

The Freewheeling Artists On How They Transformed the Streets of Havana

Artists and longtime collaborators José Parlá and JR traveled to Havana, Cuba for Wrinkles of the City, a global series of public art installations and expressionistic murals centered around enigmatic portraits of the residents in each metropolis, from Berlin to Shanghai. This leg acted as a homecoming for Brooklyn-based Parlá, whose own parents emigrated from Cuba to Miami where he was born. Commissioned by the 2012 Havana Biennale, today’s self-directed film captures the duo’s citywide project that ran from Old Havana to Vedado, offering both artists the opportunity to engage with a city that has profound personal resonance. “Using any kind of media to express myself has always been key to my work,” says the Paris-born, NYC-based JR. “I’m glad we made the film to better understand our journey through this fascinating place that is La Havana.”

You’re both multilingual expatriates with similar backgrounds—what impact does that have on your art?
José Parlá: JR’s work is a commentary that is sharing something positive with the present or with history. Working together as we have has been organic because we both think alike. If I can't make something happen, JR steps in, and if he can’t, then I communicate it. In Cuba we spoke Spanish, Portuguese, French and Japanese, inventing ways to share.

JR: José and I have that in common, we always feel language is not a barrier. I guess it’s because we speak with our own hands a lot. 

How does your work in one discipline inform the other?
JP: The stories of walls are the memories of society. If I use photography it is to document places and people that later inform my paintings as well, with regards to colors and the mood or history of a painting’s direction. When I paint very layered and large-scale calligraphic paintings, the language is informed by gestural, free-associative movements, which I think of as a dance that envelopes the work.

What’s your favorite highlight from the trip?
JP:
When we were making the largest wall work of the whole project, JR guided me from across a field while I was suspended on a crane. It was hard to see with the sun glaring in my eyes. We finished the whole thing and celebrated the whole night.

JR: The people we met, especially the couple who we photographed and pasted up. We stayed in touch with them and they have been such an inspiration to both of us.—Timothée Verrecchia

(Read More)

SUBSCRIBE TO travel
ON NOWNESS

MORE TO LOVE IN travel

Refresh

Spotlight

Pow-Wow: Dance-Off

The Vibrant Costumes and Drum-Led Competitions of a Native American Tribal Gathering

Adorned in hawk feather headdresses and colorful ceremonial robes, generations of Siletz Indians unite to observe their tribal traditions at the annual Nesika Illahee Pow-Wow in this series from New York-based photographer Marissa Kaiser. Centered in an open conifer-lined field, the four-day pow wow in Lincoln County, Oregon, next to the Siletz Reservation has evolved into an intertribal festival featuring song, dance and a feast of native foods such as smoked fish, Indian tacos and bannock, a variation on soda bread. “It is beautiful how the tradition is kept alive and passed on from the eldest to the young kids,” notes Kaiser, whose clients include Nike, Adidas and ESPN. Often handed down from generation to generation, dance costumes are embellished with porcupine quills, beads, fur, horns, and bones, with male “fancy” dancers wearing two eye-catching feather bustles tied to their backs and female “jingle dress” dancers with small cone-shaped tin jingles fastened to their outfits. “It might have been a dance competition, but it was also a celebration,” observes Kaiser. “There wasn’t any crazy competitiveness because there was all this love and happiness and dancing.”

(Read More)

Spotlight

Chris Cunningham: jaqapparatus 1

The Filmmaker-Artist’s Unique Take on His Laser-Fueled Robo-Sex Ballet

From his formative years sculpting alien heads to his recent "jaqapparatus 1" robotic performance-art installation, seminal music video director-turned-artist Chris Cunningham retraces his varied and critically acclaimed career in this personal, self-directed short. One of an elite group of directors alongside Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry and Jonathan Glazer who redefined MTV in the 1990s, Cunningham elevated the pop promo to a burgeoning art form with daring and disturbing music videos for the likes of Aphex Twin, Björk and Madonna. While his peers graduated to the big screen, Cunningham went underground, quit making promos and commercials, and spent the best part of a decade experimenting with fusions of film, music, art and technology that culminated in a string of live audio-visual performances at festivals in Japan and Europe. For "jaqapparatus 1", his first installation unveiled last month at the Audi City London high-tech concept store—a shadowy, sci-fi set involving two laser-firing robots locked in what seemed like a brutal mating ritual-cum-war—Cunningham cast two Talos motion-controlled camera rigs as his anthropomorphized protagonists. “Mounted on the robots heads are powerful lasers which they use to attack, repel and communicate with each other,” explains Cunningham, “a kind of duel, a surreal mating display which sees each machine trying to dominate the other.”

(Read More)

Previously In travel

View Full travel Archive

LOAD MORE
请扫描二维码,关注NOWNESS官方微信!
WeChat

或直接添加NOWNESS官方微信账号:
NOWNESS_OFFICIAL

3777