Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Loewe Meccano and the Lebanese collective memory

The current Loewe collection includes so many references to Meccano with the new creative director Jonathan Anderson taking the helm (shoes, charms, and a silk scarf seen above). I post this not as a fashion item but more like a social observation. My quest to find that point where personal remembrances become collective memories and hence induce a sense of community and in extenso a national identity will never cease. Note that Meccano made it to my "Lebanon's History Book" project.
Artwork by Tarek Chemaly
And lest we forget, in another artwork entitled "Meccano" from the Bouée series.
Detail from Meccano by Tarek Chemaly

When I grow up I want to be Telmo Pieper

All images (c) Telmo Pieper

When artist Telmo Pieper found a set of childhood sketches, he went back and made real life drawings out of them... All skewed proportions, odd shapes, and realistically unrealistic execution, the project reeks of genius. By the same token, it's me who invented the Smart car with my lego set (I would always do that odd shape of a two seater and no one figured out why I would do that - until the future proved me right).

Friday, July 25, 2014

El azra2 ghab/Dominant rouge series by Tarek Chemaly

...And for everything else there's Mastercard (Tarek Chemaly)
Bathhouses by the river (Tarek Chemaly)
Food for thought (Tarek Chemaly)
Happy meals (Tarek Chemaly)
At a time when photos were still developed, and when one still needed to wait for the film roll to finish before doing so, one time it took the family forever to do so and when the photos were developed, they were dominant red in color. So a friend explained “with time the Kodak loses its blue”. Based on that concept, I went back to small digital works done between 2000-2001 and another batch done in 2003 and eliminated the blue (and green) to have them fully red in colors. The title of the series comes from a song by Romeo Lahoud originally sang by Salwa Katrib “Khidni ma3ak” (take me with you) specifically the time “matra7 ma lawn en azra2 ghab” (when the color blue has vanished).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Solet Tapis - I see dead logos

Remember Haley Joel Osment from the Sixth Sense fame and the line "I see dead people"? Well, I guess I am someone who keeps seeing dead logos. I think (I am seriously not sure) that Solet Tapis did a logo change... The reason I am hesistant is simple - their old logo is e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e. and the new one is on some banners (I think some delivery trucks too)... It seems the new one is morer in lowe case (the older one was in capital letters) except for the letter S that is. And the word is now written in attached letters in a sleeker more agile font. What is kept is how the s eventually underlines the logo like a carpet itself.
The still not opened website displays the following:
Which seems to validate the theory that indeed, the logo has changed (and a selling line has been added, which is to be fair adequate to the brand - meaning it doesn't overpromise nor is it cheap)... If only they would let the old one die in peace.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Petition against importing water

Concerning the recent rumble by the Lebanese government to import water from Turkey, when we actually have a water management problem and not a water shortage, please join me in signing this petition on against such a money-wasting decision an in favor of a better management scheme!

Gender Bender - taking it like a... Man?

Remember those blatantly sexist ads? Holly Eagleson and Lauren Wade have come up with a beautiful project, on how to make men pose in the same way as women do in advertising - objectified, made into a commodity and stripped from the minimum bare of humanity. So there, now we know how it feels like.
The project is also on par with a different one done by Alicia Elfving whereby bikers get to have the treatment women get for showcasing motorcycles. The result is nothing less than mind blowing.
Perhaps the most intriguing case of gender bending goes to Eram with their classic "no women's bodies have been exploited for this advertising!

Bouchar - a new series by Tarek Chemaly

Bouchar, or pop corn, a comfort food for the times when things don’t go right. Whereas normally synonymous with movie outings and family gatherings in front of TV, my own associations were bleaker and darker. More like burned and spurned ones rather than the full white popped grains.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kneider sweeps the floor with Caillebotte's... floor scarpers

Phot credit - Maya Metni
For those who do not know the visual above - before it got screwed that is (oh sorry, before it was "improved upon") by Kneider or whomever does their atrocious visual - used to be by Caillebotte. It was spotted by fellow ad enthusiast Maya Metni as a supreme example how a beautiful work is added to with incredibly misplaced sense of art direction to produce such a disappointing result. Oh and if you want to toy around with previous art, why not follow Maya's footseps with her use of Hockney for Rectangle Jaune?

Monday, July 21, 2014

How Scott King sank American Vogue.

July Vogue issue by Scott King
August Vogue issue by Scott King
September Vogue issue by Scott King
November Vogue issue by Scott King
Now that's a refreshing read on a Monday! Former i-D art director and Sleazenation creative director (if you don't know either then stick to Vogue and get uneducated) takes over Vogue in an artistic project which sees him redoing the covers. Whereas the work dates back to 2006, it has been having a moment in the sun for being featured in Fashion Cultures happening at various venues in Glasgow.
The project takes a leaf from all anti-consumerist manifestos, and has not exactly displaced Anna Wintour, but some of those covers still feel refreshingly maverick (even if the cultural references on some of them - Paris Hilton, Cherrie Blair appear dated with age).
The "advertisting free issue" which proclaims "14 pages!" is epic. What can I say?
"Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking!"

Citroen 2 CV: a tale of two horses.

 Arabiyyet jiddi lawnayn kanou yjerrouha hsanayn - my grandther has a carriage in two colors drawn by two horses... Here are so fine examples of 2 CV (2 Chevaux!) parading in the streets of Beirut. Whereas technically, the photos below are not 2 CV, they can still belong to this post - another example of Cacheology.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

History will judge, oh - and airplane crashes.

Now that tragedy has struck again for Malaysian airlines after the first disaster of #MH370 (the current one is the downing of one of their planes #MH17 over Ukraine), I was really - and I mean really - eager to see how Malaysian transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein was going to handle this one. Tough luck, in a country not exactly known to be a full democracy, Hussein was actually discharged from his post.
Considering he was also the minister of defence (and from what I understood still is), he is also - no, no, nothing to do with corruption and nepotism - the cousin of Najib Razzak, the prime minister. So going as far as discharging him from his post truly speaks volumes about how bad the situation was and the ultimately bad job he did.
So it's interesting that Mr. Hishammudin has been so vilified by the way he handled the crisis of thr #MH370 would end up saying "I think history will judge us well" about the situation - other people who used a variant of this sentence include George W. Bush with "History will ultimately judge [...] I am a content man" and Fidel Castro "history will absolve me"(so basically he is in good company - or a bad one, depending on how you look at it).
(C) Plantu
It reminds of the Plantu caricature published after the Soviets downed a Korean Airlines Boeing in 1983 after "detecting signs of an aviation tragedy" the Soviet fighter planes decided "to put an end to the flight". Which could be one of the first uses of the "preemtive attack" doctrine history will judge George W. Bush on.