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Bound & Flogged: McQueen, Brit respect for rave, hidden American icons, and Russian fugitive fiction

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FASHION PHOTOBOOK OF THE WEEK: Alexander McQueen: Working Process

After McQueen commissioned photographer Nick Waplington to document his last collection—his Fall/Winter 2009 ‘The Horn of Plenty,’ from inception to runway—he himself placed the book’s layout, picture by picture, on storyboards. The book was ready for publication when London’s enfant terrible died, and was put on hold until now. This substantial overview, with more than 120 photographs, is published just as McQueen edited it, commemorating the most personal of his collections as well as proving a priceless insight into the inner workings of his genius.

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Alexander McQueen Nick Waplington

OLD BOOK OF THE WEEK: Crime & Punishment

Yeah, its long, arduous, and very Russian reading with very few LOLs. But if Edward Snowden (everyone’s favorite whistleblower), while stuck in a Moscow transit lounge waiting for his temporary asylum application, can do it--than surely, you can too. His lawyer has told the world that C&P is recommended reading, so Snowden can get to know something of the Russian "reality of life", and that he “needs to read about Raskolnikov killing the old woman pawnbroker". I don’t know about you, but that ax-murder scene was always my personal favourite.

 

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SPECULATIVE ARCHITECTURE BOOK OF THE WEEK: Never Built Los Angeles

No one does nostalgia like The City of Angels, especially when it comes to fantasizing about an architectural landscape that never was. Never Built Los Angeles explores the untapped potential of one of the world’s great cities still in search of itself. Through over 400 images Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin feature visionary works that could have transformed both the physical reality and collective perception of the metropolis: from Olmsted Brothers and Bartholomew’s ground-breaking 1930 Plan for the Los Angeles Region, (which would have increased the amount of green space fivefold) to John Lautner’s series of spaceship-like apartments and Jean Nouvel’s 2008 condo-tower, a contemporary Garden of Babylon clad entirely in cascading plants. Dare to dream.

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LAX, Never Built Los Angeles

MULTIDISCIPLINARY ART BOOK OF THE WEEK: Soundings

Soundings: A Contemporary Score investigates the ways in which some of the most innovative contemporary artists are working with sound today, whether through architectural interventions, visualizations of inaudible sound, explorations of sound ricocheting within a gallery, or recordings of abandoned buildings in Chernobyl. Published in conjunction with MoMA’s first major exhibition of sound art, Soundings presents a brief interview of artists like Tristan Perich and Cartsten Nicholai, illustrated with installation shots, field photographs and documented performances. 

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MOMA Soundings

ICONIC COMPENDIUM OF THE WEEK: Taryn Simon-An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar

Taryn Simon’s An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar reveals objects, sites and spaces that are integral to America’s mythology, but which remain largely inaccessible or unknown to the public. Photographs include the recreational facility of a high-security prison, the headquarters of the Ku Klux Klan, and an operating room in which a Palestinian woman had her hymen (and thus her virginity) restored. Each image is accompanied by a brief text written by the artist that precisely explains what is seen and why it is hidden or off-limits, forcing us to confront our own fascination of forbidden territories.

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PIRATE RADIO BOOK OF THE WEEK: Small Time Books's & Tim Head's MAXIMUM RESPECT...

Small Time Books's first book with British artist Tim Head is a nostalgic love letter to the London rave and pirate scene of 89–2001. MAXIMUM RESPECT… presents a series of Tim’s collage works created over a number of late night jams in 2013. What's not to love?

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Follow Christine at @ChristineCocoJ

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