Collectible Dry - N4 - 2017

There’s no life without an addiction. We all need hot, vital lifeblood running through our veins in order to grapple with the vertigo of knowledge. Of course you can sidestep it, avoiding emotions and powerful experiences. That’s fine too. After all, it’s true that an addiction can ruin you. But it can also increase awareness…

Words are back in fashion. Rivers of words. Used as slogans, written on t-shirts and splashed across clothing worn as political manifestos. Numerous, obsessive, anarchical… whether we like it or not they’re everywhere. A (smoker’s) addiction can be overcome in the pursuit of personal happiness, or a (sex) addict can delve the abyss of guilt for the original sin. An obsession can depict and bring to life an extraordinary art collection, one that will become a major museum for everyone. During the 1970s the important conceptual artist Vincenzo Agnetti completed a transformational process through which thoughts, experiences and life become artistic works. Today, in Athens, at Documenta, a group of performers are experimenting with a new form of solidarity, feeding the hungry as an artistic activity. Haute couture is coming back into vogue, as is a new handbag named after a famous woman, created for pleasure but defined by its traditional design. This year marks the 50th anniversary celebration of the adventurous and colorful counterculture that blossomed in the years surrounding the legendary San Francisco Summer of Love of 1967, which saw groundbreaking developments in art, fashion, music and politics. And in June 2017 another Human Be-In will be held at Golden Gate Park. Just as it was back then: body painting as an expression of self, turning the human body into a canvas on which to express freedom and beauty. The freedom to dive into the dazzling, exotic atmosphere of Bangkok, or to hope Gio Ponti’s marvelous abandoned villa in Tehran can somehow be salvaged. Freedom rediscovered in the ironic, irreverent messages expressed through ad photos during the 1960s (a cultural revolution?) that would become social statements. An authentic passion for Alighiero Boetti, an artist who continues to attract fans and is now being celebrated in Venice with an intense, emotional retrospective. Discovering a city that creates attraction: Lagos, Nigeria, where life is in constant ferment and growth is exponential, as interpreted by Azu Nwagbogu, one of the city’s premier citizens, and his African photographer friends. What kind of addiction does the art they create provoke in artists? What are young, identity- seeking people like, running from the fear of loneliness and solitude? A crossroads of culture, a capital divided between East and West, modern and atavistic, past and future… yet overwhelmingly contemporary precisely because it is rife with contradictions and fears: welcome to Istanbul. You can’t help but dream of it. As Ron Gilad, mind-blowing creative director, prefers concentrating on thoughts instead of working on objects. Addiction equals passion. (Dedicated to Livia)

This issue features a range of creatives, including artist Mari Katayama, fashion photographer Taki Bibelas, and editor, publisher, and writer Philomena Epps.

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