Artist Item Idem and designer Yang Li collaborate on a 'Human Machine' themed exhibit featuring a roll-call of rousing creatives
Art meets fashion. Human meets machine. Certain marriages sing in beautiful harmony. Lorca Cohen has invited swiftly rising designer Yang Li, together with curator Item Idem to present pieces – through performance art or an installation – that address the subject of 'Human Machine', in their project BUREAU DE CHANGE. The works, by renowned names Desi Santiago, Venus X, Gosha Rubchinskiy and Item Idem, amongst others, will be presented along with Yang Li's three collections. Dazed Digital caught up with Li and artist Item Idem to discuss fashion and the future of collaboration.
The most important things in art and fashion, for me, are timing and contextual awareness
Dazed Digital: How has your opinion of what is effective and important in the worlds of art and fashion changed this year?
Yang Li: The most important things in art and fashion, for me, are timing and contextual awareness.
Cyril Duval: For me, the genuinely fascinating aspect that once was doesn't exist much more within these colliding formats. Some formats could maybe still be fascinating, like, for example, Target inviting Missoni.
What I'm eagerly awaiting is an inversion of this conversation between high and low environments, where you would see Missoni curated or 'ghost designed' by, for instance, Target. How interesting would that be?
DD: Tell us about the influences and inspirations behind BUREAU DE CHANGE?
Yang Li: It was a conversation between Cyril and myself who, together with the contributors, interpreted the world of the brand and its spirit in a physical space. Working with Cyril was a great learning experience for me as a curator. We wanted to present a physical vitrine with physical objects both from ourselves and other contributors in a physical Tumblr-like format.
Cyril Duval: Following her capsule project with Comme des Garçons, Lorca Cohen asked me to propose ideas for her rotating Parisian location LORCA. Our collaboration starts and ends as a discussion. This is the overall idea ruling all the formats deployed within the project. We nicked our references from many cultural artifacts such as the sets used for Jacques Tati's 'Play Time', which we blended with the most simplistic retail language material, composed of industrial shelving units puzzled together as deconstructed office cubicles. Just picture Michael Jordan in conversation with Deng Xiaoping in a Jacques Tati interior, and you will come as close as possible to what BUREAU DE CHANGE might be!
DD: What is exciting you at the moment?
Yang Li: New experiences or people that can show or tell me something I didn’t know before. A feeling of community. Anything to break routine.
Photography Jean-Pacôme Dedieu and Rémi Lamandé
Film by Desi Santiago – Stay Paranoid, 2012
Audio by Venus X – Fiat 'Let it Be Done', including clips of financial literacy tutorials; famous rapper Lil Boosie counting money; infamous stripper Pinky showing her earnings; notes being counted in a bank; Young Money – Money To Blow instrumental; soldier shot footage of confiscated poppy seeds being burned in Afghanistan; soldier shot footage of tanks attacking insurgents in Iraq; kids money camp news coverage; commercials for money dominatrix with money slave; random commentary on the current state of the US economy.