I KNOW SIMPLY THAT THE SKY WILL LAST LONGER THAN I

Pierre Debusschere and Andrew Westermann on his new opus at Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography

As the 28th edition of the mythic Hyères festival kicks off this weekend, Dazed contributor Pierre Debusschere tells the story behind his grandest project to date, I KNOW SIMPLY THAT THE SKY WILL LAST LONGER THAN I and interviews model Andrew Westermann, one of the project's protagonists exclusively for us...

"This project started after we were commissioned by the villa Noailles to create an exhibition during the 28th Hyères international fashion and photography festival. An exhibition is a total other medium than a magazine or a website, so that was the kick to start this personal project. There are plenty of interpretations possible for this project – I want to leave it open for the viewer, but I can tell you a bit about inspiration. Music is a big inspiration for all my projects, I always start with music so I KNOW SIMPLY THAT THE SKY WILL LAST LONGER THAN I is also a way to reference and acknowledge that. You could see this project as my first pop album in a way, sharing different emotions. Music always takes you to a certain place in your mind and I tried to harness that feeling. There is also the classical Flemish painter influence, Umberto Ecco and ugliness.

The body is a conductor of emotions and messages, passing through the face. I didn’t want clothes to get in the way. We ask more than usual of our models, pushing them further and further as you can see in the full version of the film, which is 52 minute long. I really wanted to work with models I knew and had a relationship with but also totally new faces that for me had great expression. The cast gave us a lot.

I KNOW SIMPLY THAT THE SKY WILL LAST LONGER THAN I is a book, an exhibition (first at Hyères but touring over the next couple of years), a 52 minute long film which is only visible in the exhibition space, a soundtrack created by the 254forest studio with models' voices as well as Kanye West, a series of photographs and a website, launching today."

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