Thursday, 9 October 2008


The Fall/Winter issue of Purple Magazine includes Pigxtras: The Harmony Korine Purple Book, a study of human behavior revealed through images photographed off the television. It put me in the mood for carrying out a similar study, but I don't have a television, so I spent some time re-photographing Pigxtras. The book is introduced by a useful note from Aaron Rose: 

Recently I had the pleasure of spending a few days searching through Harmony Korine's archive at his house in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to his extensive work as a writer and film director, Harmony has over the years collected an array of images of every type. Rummaging through the boxes upon boxes he has amassed - many of which Harmony had, until recently, thought he'd lost - led to discoveries at every turn. Among them was an impressive series of tattered-and-torn fanzines that, begin as a tennager, Harmony created almost ritualistically. Some were simple black-and-white, photocopied journals, others were copied from major productions and included color pages and foldouts. 

Another surprising find was his collection of hand-made publications... Despite their "lo-fi" aesthetic, Harmony's zines qualify as some of his most amazing works to date. When it came to organizing this edition of The Purple Book, the timing of these finds could not have been better. The images of our exploration of his Nashville arcrhive were all fresh in our minds, but the ones we chose to present here stood out. Harmony has been photographing television images for as long as I've known him. He's used some of the images in artworks; others were references for his films. All of them, however, are intentional studies emanating from the drama of human interaction as framed by the screen-based medium of television.

Oh, but, forget re-photographing the photos of the re-photographed television. What kind of night in is that? The rest of Purple magazine was a kind of unclothed manifesto for the experimental film. Three points I want to make as a trailer for my forthcoming major public statement on this subject:

1. In the interview and fashion shoot piece A fascinating NEW GENERATION of downtown chic NEW YORK GIRLS born into the realms of FASHION ART and SUCCESS (Block capitals in the original), Nathalie Love - "What is your friend like?" "I have three" - would like readers to send her jewelry. It's heart warming to see the reach of relational aesthetics nowadays.

2. There's a thread worth following here - of connections between art, culture, and wealth as a core strategy of cultural magazines. A comparative study is 032c magazine, out of Berlin whose editorial statement for their Summer 2008 is as follows: 

032c employs a regime of curiosity: our editorial process is about investigating the potential of today's overlapping worlds of art, architecture, fashion and commerce. Does overspill from one field into another lead to new discoveries and productive output, or is the unexpected encounter made impossible by brand strategies and commercial considerations?  (14)

3. I wanted to sum up my experience of Purple in a single phrase, so I wrote in my notebook:

I thought the boundary between art and fashion was a subtle thing, but then I looked at what I was wearing.

Jewelry for Nathalie Love should be sent to PO Box 102, Isleboro, M.E. 04848, USA. She also wants shoes, to the same address.