A good ghost is a dead ghost.
A good ghost is a dead ghost.
My teacher Billy gave me a small, impeccable joint and an assignment to stop being an asshole. He sent me to bed, citing the laminated Safety Guidelines hanging over the sink. Covered in silver and sand-paper dust, they stated: No flip-flops. No jet-lags.
I came back the next day with lipstick on and Billy pointed to a second homemade sign, also laminated. His index finger was missing 2 phalanges. The picture of Calamity Jane said: “I don’t have time to put on makeup in the morning, I have my guns to load”. He handed me my first blowtorch only a couple hours later. I didn’t wipe my red off immediately, but probably didn’t wear any in his presence ever again; I bumped into a New Yorker who I hadn’t seen in a few weeks and she groaned at the sight me.
Mexico mixtape, from memory: Ween – The Mollusk, Carole King – Tumblin’, John Frusciante – Curtains, something by Fleetwood Mack, David Bowie – Oh you pretty things, Three Mile Pilot – Year of no light, Johnny Halliday – Les portes du pénitentier, Pinback – Blue Screen Life, Brian Eno – By this river, The Sea and Cake- The Biz
Prop.: I come from a long line of virgins
Prop.: Frame of reference
Prop.: Hereditary migration
Our dear friends’ young daughter was undergoing tests in preparation for her brain surgery. The frozen world of the lake and the water trapped under the layer of ice felt akin to the phenomenon of this little girl’s absences, which could last for minutes on end and were in fact small strokes.
We edited it to feel like a trailer because that’s what the operation felt like, the buildup to a story we have yet to discover. She is doing very well now.
Julian and I improvised this shoot on an iPhone, the morning of the last frozen day of Winter 2017. The icy Weissensee features our friend Aurelie Silbermann. The lake was thawing and portions of it were already submerged in a thin layer of water, but she is an adventuress and a stoic. The film was edited and finished with Jonathan Peters, our Editor at Blam.
Writer and Interviewer
Short Documentary at Blam Studio.
This happened fast, and came in at the beginning of our summer vacation. Julian and I spent it producing, writing and researching. It was exciting, we were sitting by a pool, making calls and typing away on a project we felt passionate about, basically living two workaholic’s dream. On my way to JoBurg I met Louise Menke, our photographer, skater and protagonist. The layover was in Istanbul soon after Erdogan’s coup. The plane was full of laminated propaganda leaflets featuring carefully edited quotes by democratically elected rulers across the globe, and videos we couldn’t mute or turn down.
Johannesburg is a very complex city. It was a lifetime in 8 days. Sometimes it’s hard to believe our luck. Sometimes it’s hard to believe how hard we work. Most of the time we wish we could do more.
Here from the Press Release:
Get Used To It focuses on women empowerment in South Africa on the occasion of Skateistan‘s Johannesburgh opening.
South Africa’s tragic colonial history has devastating consequences to this day. Highly engineered and violent racist exploitation has resulted in extreme inequality, corruption, and record crime rates. Gender equality is written into today’s South African Constitution, but in reality, Born Free girls and women suffer from a harshly patriarchal tradition that enables misconduct, and is known to turn on them in cases of attack or abuse.
One NGO uses skateboarding to break down barriers.
Oliver Percovich’s first street skateboarding sessions with Afghani kids in war-torn Kabul lead to the creation of Skateistan. Skateistan’s mission is to “Empower children and youth through skateboarding and education.” They have built two schools in Afghanistan, one in Cambodia, and one in Johannesburg.
In Get Used to It we take you on this trip. We skated the streets, we visited a progressive historical archive based in the Women’s prison, we interviewed township community leaders and pro-bono lawyers who lead legal aid workshops for victims of abuse. The energy was palpable. The open-door Skateistan school opening was supported by a skate demo including Tony Hawk and his wife, activist Catherine Goodman. They brought their family and the Birdhouse team. World-renowned artist and agitator Paul McCarthy delivered a statue of Obama wielding a board. Profits from the statue’s sale will contribute to fund future Skateistan projects. A community of global proportions came together that day.
Get Used to It – I won’t go quietly is named in honor of the progress we witnessed thanks to the work of citizens, skaters, educators and activists we met in JoBurgh.
At Blam Studio.
Shot and edited by Jon Wolf.
Gasag is the national Natural Gas provider for Germany and they sponsor a team in this awesome yearly event. This was the second 6 Day Race we shot for them at Blam. There isn’t much that fires me up quite like discovering a new universe, and having access to all it’s niche-y details.
A dream client… the taste level at Hermès is so high, but they remain playful and inventive. I assisted Julian with Casting and Production, the film was shot in Costa Rica.
Thomas Campbell loves surfing and his art comes first: he wouldn’t abide anything remotely artificial, down to the last detail. The surfer’s boards were custom-made to their preference by their usual shapers, one in the States and one in Australia, using a specially laid out Hermès design. Their pieces are the most counterfeit in the world, and the measures they have to take to protect their designs adds to their aura. All the one-of-a-kind silks they brought to the shoot were carefully inventoried and accounted for at all times.
No Carrés were hurt during the shooting of this film.
Graphic Designer Jørund Hannevold.
Michele Kadison’s Body Activation technique is the fruit of her experience as a professional dancer of the highest caliber. A New Yorker (yes you know what that means) Michele needed an identity that reflects her edge, modernity and vivacity. Honestly my main goal was to make sure she had something lovely that she wouldn’t grow bored of within a couple of months. So much depends on finding the right balance between clarity and excitement.
The main image Kadison uses in her therapeutic work is an upwards spiral. Visual references were seashell X-rays and black and white photos of her mentor Lindsey Kemp. Michele’s taste is amazing, her world is built on a commitment to beauty, so Jørund was free to create something really striking and different.
Photographer Trevor Good.
Trevor was my first accomplice in this mission to create a jewelry brand that begets art, the idea was to work with very different photographers for each lookbook. Arguably I was priming myself to become the creative director I am today, rather than formulating a stable brand identity.
The brief was about the intimate relation you have with your jewelry, how it is linked to memories, places, or trips, and the way you can stare at it or play with it, and with yourself, when you’re just hanging out. Taking the ring off, laying it on your naked breast, that kind of thing.
Hours of conversation and reference exchanges later, Trevor rolled up with these amazing shots, including this old photo of a Barcelona absinthe bar I’d never mentioned to him but used to go to all the time.
Photographer Alexander Coggin.
Alexander has an incredible vision based in theater, movement, narrative, and contemporary culture. At the time there weren’t really any commercial Fine Jewelry images like these. Taking them to Paris for Fashion Week was really fun and really hard because they were so unusual.
It’s funnily clear to me now that I was more interested in collaborating with artists than in pushing a brand identity. Our goal was to make something unexpected and personal, we didn’t even put my logos on those first couple of lookbooks. But I don’t regret it when I see how great Alex’s pictures are and how well they hold up.
Our models were artist, filmmaker and Community organiser Jessica Lauren Elisabeth Taylor who just completed her Masters in London after the release of her beautiful documentary Muttererde and the birth of her child, and actress Catherine Duquette.