New York Artist Aïda Ruilova Heads West for a Provocative New Exhibition
Vintage erotica and voyeurism are on display in I’m So Wild About Your Strawberry Mouth, an exhibition of multidisciplinary works from acclaimed West Virginia-born, New York-based artist Aïda Ruilova in her West Coast debut at LA’s Kayne Griffin Corcoran Gallery. From the pages of the intense Werner Herzog-associated actor Klaus Kinski’s notoriously fictionalized autobiography, the exhibition’s title acts as visceral kindling to Ruilova’s themes of self-caricature, desire, intoxication and escape. Posters advertizing the classic 1970s French erotica film series Emmanuelle and the soft-focus fantasy knock-offs it inspired are inscribed with black paint from which leer cartoon eyes. The images’ allure lies in their “exploitation of the figure to propagate the identity of the franchise film,” explains Ruilova, whose works have shown in the Venice and Whitney Biennales. The pools of black are her way of “adding another narrative that is like a void.” Also on view is a 45-minute video work in which celebrated grindhouse director Abel Ferrara discusses how he would direct his own death scene in relation to that of the late Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italian radical and gruesomely murdered director of incendiary 1975 film Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom.
I’m So Wild About Your Strawberry Mouth runs from today March 23 through May 4 at the Kayne Griffin Corcoran Gallery, Santa Monica.
The Pacific Coast Paradise of Sibling Retreats Cuixmala and Hacienda de San Antonio
Not far from the jet-setter’s playground Careyes, splendidly remote Cuixmala brings first-class hospitality to a 25,000-acre biosphere. Photographer Douglas Friedman captures the wildlife haven and its sister property, Hacienda de San Antonio, a 19th-century estate situated at the foot of an active volcano three hours inland from the Pacific coast. “When you arrive on the beach when there’s no one around and you have an exquisite meal, that’s the definition of luxury to me,” says Alix Goldsmith Marcaccini, the current owner along with her husband Goffredo. Marcaccini inherited both properties from her father, the British tycoon and environmentalist Sir James Goldsmith, who set up Cuixmala in the 80s for his family and VIP friends. “Everyone used to be on a walkie-talkie,” Marracini recalls. Nowadays, there are modern amenities like WiFi and bespoke spa services, enjoyed in artisan-chic casitas and private villas favored by the likes of Mick Jagger. But the original off-the-grid spirit remains, and thanks to self-sufficient organic farming, guests eat exquisitely fresh cuisine. Tropical fruits and fish are sent from Cuixmala to the Hacienda, while meat, dairy and coffee are transported from the mountainside resort to the coast. National Geographic-worthy adventures include sunset boat rides on the lagoon that promise close encounters with spoonbills and cormorants, or mini-safaris to spot zebras, jaguars and horses galore. The ecological philanthropy guiding these haute utopias is demonstrated by Cuixmala's turtle protection program, which has overseen the return of hundreds of thousands of baby turtles to the sea.
A recipe for the fish ceviche served at Cuixmala can be found on our Facebook page.
Director Martin de Thurah's Intimate Portrait of the Indie Sensation’s Haunting Lament
Canadian chanteuse Leslie Feist swirls and twirls through a monochrome kaleidoscope while intoning her sultry ballad “Anti-Pioneer” in a new video by Danish director Martin de Thurah. A four-time Grammy Award nominee and 11-time Juno Award-winner, Feist honed her musical chops with electro-pop iconoclast Peaches and the Toronto alt-rock band Broken Social Scene. Her Gonzales-produced debut album Let it Die catapulted her into the mainstream limelight, and in 2006 her track “1234” from sophomore effort The Reminder went to number eight in the US after being featured on an advert for the iPod Nano. De Thurah’s video was shot with a tiny crew in an old building in Mexico City while the pair had a two-hour break in the middle of filming the promo for Feist’s “The Bad in Each Other,” lifted from recent LP Metals. “We had a window of opportunity to shoot something else, which never happens,” explains De Thurah. “I had thought about making something very simple, complex and emotional with Leslie alone. I found the song very intimate, and wanted the video to reflect that.” Currently touring Europe until September, here Feist opens up to NOWNESS about working with De Thurah, her Canadian music buddies and her fixation on puppets.
Why did you want to work with Martin?
Feist: Martin leaps out as this person with a really strange, beautiful language of moving poetry that isn’t spoon-feeding anything, but allows for a darkness and a buoyancy at the same time. Everything he had done I have a huge appreciation for, so I sought him out to recreate the language of those short films.
Are music videos important to your message?
Feist: It’s an addendum to making songs. I have an aesthetic taste of things that are going to reflect into the music, but it’s not something that I can do. There are people who have worked really hard in developing their eye and it is fun to join forces and see what you can find in the middle.
Are you still connected to the Canadian crew of Mocky [musician and producer], Peaches and Chilly Gonzales?
Feist: Ha! Very much so. Mocky, Gonzo and I are in constant contact, and Peaches travels as much as I do so we find each other when we’re in the same city. They’re definitely my original musical family for sure, and Mocky, Gonzo and I still work together all the time. They co-produced my last record with me so that’s a natural old friendship that’s just adapted over ten years. When we work together the inside jokes are flying at all times, but there’s a core sensitivity. Sometimes you can disarm the seriousness of a situation and truly look it straight in the eye if you’re jack-assing around at the same time.
There seem to be a lot of puppets in your work over the years, including last year’s The Muppets movie in which you had a small cameo.
Feist: Ha, yeah! For a couple of years on tour I had a woman, Clea Minaker, with me on stage doing live shadow puppet shows. I don’t know where it came from, but a natural answer is watching Sesame Street and The Muppet Show as a kid implanted that good-naturedness. Though also making the inanimate, animate. Even taking a salt and pepper shaker and marching them around or whatever is something of a mainline to good-natured happiness.