By Georgia Haire
In Victorian Britain, the fallen woman was a figure of great concern. In a society with strict concepts of female respectability and virtue, a woman who experienced a sex life outside of a marriage faced ruin and rejection. An unmarried woman who fell pregnant had her ‘life chances’ seriously jeopardised. For these women, the Foundling Hospital offered a solution.
Established in 1741, the Foundling Hospital offered a home to children born out of wedlock and at risk of abandonment, admitting any baby into its care, without any question. By the 19th century however, with space at the hospital becoming more limited, a new, rigorous application process was introduced with a focus on the character of the mother. Only the babies of these ‘fallen women’ whose respectability could be ‘restored’ were accepted.
The Fallen Woman exhibition at the Foundling Museum gives a voice to the ‘fallen’ women who, faced with limited choices, were forced to give up their children and were subject to the judgement of Victorian moralisers, society and the male Governors of the Foundling Hospital. Through their written petitions to the hospital, we gain access to the distressing personal circumstances of these women, and their attempts to realign their own narratives with those that society deemed acceptable.
The figure of the fallen woman was mythologised through Victorian art and literature, capturing the imagination of many contemporary artists and writers. The exhibition features a number of notable artworks that explores this subject, depicting the ‘fall’ of respectable women and the seemingly inescapable consequences that followed, such as prostitution and death. These pieces, alongside the firsthand accounts of the ‘fallen’ women, tells a compelling story of both the reality and the myth of the fallen woman; revealing how [...]
After viewing Mina Aoki’s work, one might never guess that she’s only been tattooing a few years. Aoki, who began working at New York’s Daredevil and Fun City Tattoo shops as an after-school job at 14 years old, later apprenticing and ultimately working as a tattooer, has been cited by many as a rising talent and, more importantly, as someone with an unparalleled passion for the trade. Her tattoos–full-bosomed ladies with long, smoothly shaded hair, her disembodied eyes and mouths, romantic roses, and crisp tribal work–are not only impeccable but always incredibly sexy. We recently caught up with her to talk about her inspirations, work, and influences, ranging from 70s pornography to fantasy novels.
You started working at Fun City and Daredevil when you were only 14. How did you start working there? Had you been interested in tattooing prior to getting that job?
I started working at both Fun City and Daredevil in the summer of 2006, almost 8 years ago. I was 14 at the time, which sounds pretty wild since I was so young.
My father was actually a client and friend of Brad Fink, the co-owner of Daredevil. I remember going into Daredevil for the first time when I was 12. It was in the old location, 174 Ludlow Street in the Lower East Side, and it was right when the shop was being extended, so Brad gave my father and I a tour of the space. I remember seeing Michelle [Myles] there, and even though I didn’t know who she was yet, she looked so cool to me; she was this beautiful blonde woman, covered in tattoos, sitting at the drawing table drawing for her next appointment. That was when I realized that [...]
Gorgone directed by Hope Plescia. London, 2015. 3:33 min. Earlier this year Hope Plescia created a film which we premiered this summer alongside Jun Matsui film at Dalston’s Rio cinema. Working closely with Shibari model and rigger Gorgone, the film explores the secret world of Japanese Rope bondage better known as Shibari or Kinbaku. Gorgone grants the viewer an intimate look into the specific practice of self-suspension. Here, the power play dynamic between dominant and submissive, model and rigger, are dealt with internally through one woman’s exploration.
KAOS remains one of the most authentically subversive nightclubs in London and last month it celebrated its tenth anniversary where myself and Eloise went to take portraits of the hardened fans of the club.
Lee Adams, the founder let us use the shower room in The Flying Dutchman as a studio. I would wait outside the shower room while Eloise took photographs of individuals and I would catch people to be photographed and wait with them while Eloise finished each portrait.
There is a kind of following that KAOS possesses which I’ve never experience for any other social event. The club lets its attendees manifest themselves into something that the mundanity of day to day life doesn’t necessarily offer us. Although the club has a reputation for being utterly wild, which it very much is, I’ve never visited a club which is simultaneously so inclusive. People of all backgrounds and ages attend to experience a similar kind of expression.
The club is known for being closely associated with a fetish and performance art scene and the likes of Ron Athey, Franko B, Chadd Curry and David Hoyle are always familiar faces. However it is also enjoyed for its dj’s who play dark techno which is not necessarily available to experience in many other clubs in London.
These portraits have been chosen to show you all a kind of underground culture which is very much alive in London but once used to be more vibrant. It is so important to document and keep this kind of underground culture going in the face of commercialisation spreading its tendrils and seeping into everything. This club remains utterly original and so do the individuals who support it.
Static Shock Festival is an annual selection of concerts over a four day weekend in London celebrating the best of international hardcore punk. Now in its third year, the festival has been attracting a widening audience of hardcore fans congregating from all over the world.
The festival which is organised by Static Shock Records is completely underground and totally self financed meaning that it acts as an authentic breath of fresh air against the vapid monotony of the city’s increasingly capitalistic destruction of music venues. Most prominently this was expressed though much of the festival taking place at the new DIY Space for London, a brand new venue totally cooperatively-run and funded which recently openend in South East London. This concluded with an exhibition named The Kids Will Have Their Say at the space showing the work of Ollie Murphy, Ashley Rommelrath and Reid Allen which had previously been at The Doomed Gallery and a special karaoke party to finish the weekend off.
Photographer Simon Parris has been kind enough to share a selection of his images that he took over the four day weekend earlier this month and we spoke to Paco Mus; the CEO of the record label La Vida Es Un Mus told us his top ten performances:
1. Orden Mundial
2. Blazing Eye
3. Una Bèstia Incontrolable
5. Digital Octopus (After party)
8. Chris Bress Gabba set
9. The Love Triangle
10 Questions: Takahiro “Horitaka” Kitamura on “Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World”
Tattooing by Yokohama Horiken
For most within the tattoo world, Takahiro “Horitaka” Kitamura needs no introduction. Aside from being a renowned tattooer, Kitamura boasts an impressive resume as owner of State of Grace tattoo shop in San Jose, co-organizer of the Bay Area Convention of Tattoo Arts, and author of a number of widely-published books including Bushido: Legacies of the Japanese Tattoo (2001), Tattoos of the Floating World: Ukiyo-e Motifs in the Japanese Tattoo (2003), and Tattooing from Japan to the West: Horitaka Interviews Contemporary Artists (2005). We recently caught up with Kitamura to discuss his most recent endeavor – curator of the Japanese American National Museum’s upcoming exhibition Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World. Composed primarily of photographs by Kip Fulbeck, Perserverance showcases tattooing by a number of international artists and will surely be a landmark event within the history of tattooing. Just days away from the March 8 opening, Kitamura discusses with us, among other things, how the exhibition came to be, the artists involved, and the various issues that arise when organizing a show of this magnitude.
The exhibition takes place at the Japanese American National Museum – the largest museum of its kind in the United States. How did the exhibition come to fruition and why is the Japanese American National Museum such an appropriate venue?
Perseverance is the result of a bold move by director Greg Kimura and his staff. Dr. Kimura has long been aware of the increasing popularity of tattooing as a whole, as well as the appreciation and ubiquitous nature of Japanese style tattoos. This piqued his interest and he called on Kip Fulbeck, (professor, author, artist, poet, photographer, awesome guy extraordinaire) who has exhibited in the past with the Japanese American National Museum (JANM). Kip has [...]
Emerging out of Montreal, Editorial Magazine is a magazine produced by a small team of women three times a year. The publication explores an uncensored perspective on up and coming art, fashion and photography from throughout the globe. Rejecting any co-operation from any brands or publishers, Editorial expels a fresh energy presenting a vision of whats really interesting right now.
This spread is one of my favorites in the new issue. Monika has been our Tokyo Correspondent since we started the magazine a few years ago, and is largely responsible for the Editorial’s popularity in Japan. Monika came to visit Montreal this Spring and we talked a lot of about body image. We ate a lot of poutine and both had big bellies. Monika talked about how she found it beautiful, and wanted to make a fashion story that reflected those feelings. She worked with the amazing stylist Masako Ogura, who styled a shoot for us a few issues ago. I think it’s really important to show different kinds of bodies.
I’m obsessed with this essay “Sympathy of the Forger” by Brad Phillips. I love learning about historical scandals, especially in the art world. Brad has a bit of that “bad boy artist” thing going, so he’s kinda the perfect author for the piece- no bullshit and lots of juice. It’s hard to find good art writers who aren’t too academic and who can make you laugh. This piece made me laugh.
It’s cool to analyze the motivation behind art forgery. I personally copy Matisse’s [...]