A warm smile, ever questioning eyes, your fragile hands. Time and time again they combine and seduce with their elegance and intensity.
We haven’t seen each other much in the past few months. Enough though to guess who you are. We sat at the table together. Listened to each other. Sometimes you were very happy. Sometimes severe, when it seemed that we wouldn’t be able to realize a story as we had imagined it. Sometimes very sad. Like when Michael Haneke didn’t answer our pleas.
You are always apparently calm. No raising of the voice, no big gestures. Only that running of your hands through your hair. That’s when, so you told me, a storm is ravaging within you. Your heart is pounding, your bones are in shock and your nervous system is under attack. Only for a moment. Because when fear strikes, you wait patiently. With averted eyes you remain soft and beautiful. Reserved. Always elegant.
Intense contradictions have become the starting-point of this magazine. This A MAGAZINE curated by HAIDER ACKERMANN is not about himself: no interview, no praise, no fashion collection. You seem to be completely absent, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Page after page, this magazine is a mirror of your thoughts, the reflection of your desires, your everyday inspirations. Wellconsidered and volatile, poetic and hard, melancholic and rational, discreet and candid.
All of them paradoxes, inherent in your life, that meet at some point. Mostly in thoughts, invisible, ephemeral. You made an effort to grasp this magical moment. To pour “la rencontre”, as you like to call it, into images.
The moment in which every human’s strength becomes his weakness, whereupon his weakness becomes his strength.
Roger Ballen’s sometimes raw photos talk about the same pain as Funakoshi’s motionless pictures or Hiroshi Sugimoto’s endless seas. The subtlety in Robert Mapplethorpe’s work translates both in power and elegance. Berlinde De Bruyckere’s oeuvre at times seems to be a three-dimensional expression of Francis Bacon, or a still of the sharp emotions that Kazuo Ohno conveys when dancing. Every contribution has its own story, independent from the others, and still it seems as if an invisible thread connects them all.
You started from the photos on your memo board, Bacon, Nick Cave, Katja Rahlwes… and we ended with this magazine, in which you gave people you admire, such as Serge Lutens or Will Oldham, freedom of speech. Antony, Cris Brodahl, Raf Simons, Ann Demeulemeester… they all made a contribution, especially for you. Asia Argento and Tilda Swinton shared a part of their personal life with you.
Every story, chosen by you or made for you, testifies to an intensity and elegance you search for in images, words and friendships.
Hilde Bouchez, Editor in Chief
“DISCRETION | SHADOWS | ELEGANCE | OBSCURITY | SPLEEN | UNCOMMON BEAUTY”
Table of Contents
Haider’s memo board
Kazuo Ohno’s Hands
Antony & the Johnsons
Le Figlie della Furia
Berlinde De Bruyckere
Fred Rambaud & Benjamin Donadieu