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Zeit Magazin int. – The Berlin State of Mind

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One reason to get hold of the latest issue of Zeit Magazin International: Tyler Mitchell is (one might tend to say only!!!) 25 years old and – almost did it all! A solo-exhibition at Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, a cascade of magazine covers as Office, i-D, Dazed, AnOther – just to name a few – followed by fashion campaigns for Comme des Garçons, Prada, Givenchy (etc. pp.), and on top if it, Vogue’s famously Cover for the September issue together with Beyonce. Of course, we don’t know what is more shocking: That he was the first African American photographer in Vogue’s 125 history to do so or again, his age. Either way, we are already in love with this guy, who mentions James Baldwin and Frank Ocean within seconds, gives talks at universities while his photographic work traverse a new aesthetic of blackness. Other reasons are: interviews with William Defoe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a homage to artist Tomi Ungerer...

When Swiss-Dutch landscape architect Anouk Vogel got invited to take part of the Architecture Monogram series she decided to do this – yet, not without her alter ego. Vogel is used to hear both sides of the story, when she starts to think about new projects – sometimes solely within her head, sometimes as soft whisper, while one adopts the analytical tasks, the other one stays intuitive. How this on-going dialogue ‘sounds’ like can be seen and ‘listened to’ in this thoughtfully composed artist book. Thereby her inner Q&A never stands alone. Architectural designs, photographs, and material collections accompany her thoughts and probably represents best, what both sides of her brain hemispheres certainly can agree on: “I wish design could be simply the possibility of something.” - “Rather than an end product?” - “Yes”. Buy...

Every day feels like groundhog day? Well, let’s make it a Friday then! In line with this, we like to recommend you the latest issue of Noble Rot, which name, ‘The Difficult Second Album’, speaks volumes for these nerve-racking times. With an extended interview between Dan Keeling (one of the two wine and food enthusiasts behind this fantastic magazine) and hard-partying bad boy of the 80’s, American novelist and wine writer Jan McInerney aka the ‘hedonist in the cellar’, a flashback of how Henry Harris remembers meeting and falling instantly under the spell of chef and food critic Simon Hopkinson, as well as a detour through Catalonia’s most interesting new wines, Noble Rot provides the exact amount of liquid self care we need right now. Buy...

Exceptional situations require exceptional books! Well, at least they can help us to endure these times. As we are thrown back on the minimum of what our lives are made of right now, John Maeda’s book 'The Laws of Simplicity' is such a book. Whether for business, technology, or life in general the graphic designer and professor in MIT’s Media Lab succeeds to break down the principles of simplicity into 10 essential components. By following the doctrine that good design should be equated with sanity, he outlines different methods (even here, he keeps it mesmerising simple by summarising them in acronyms) to offer a framework on how to keep it as simple as possible without lacking complexity, and hence functionality or even meaning. While Law 9 'Failure' is described as „Some things can never be made simple” luckily the 2nd Law 'Organize' comes into play as “The home is usually the first battleground that comes to mind when facing the daily challenge of managing complexity.” Buy...

Diving into Steve McQueen’s audio-visual cosmos feels most of the time like a free fall into the far-flung corners of the depths of human existence. His critically acclaimed films such as 'Hunger', 'Shame' or '12 Years of Slave' are anything else than easy to digest, spanning from slavery, racism, sex addiction, self harming behavior to torture. And yet, his tangible and astounding multi-sensorial exploitation of mankind shows above all, our vulnerability  – and it’s beauty. The Tate Modern currently would present – under different, pre-corona circumstances – the work of this exceptional British artist and filmmaker. This range of installations, films and video art of the last 20 years is both, radically thought-provoking and dazzling poetic. Starting where his last exhibition at the ICA ended in 1999, this catalogue gives you the chance to see – not in real, but in a not less tactile version – an on-going search of this radical mind for the truth, albeit as he said in interview with BBC Radio 4: “…the most horrific things sometimes happen in the most beautiful places…I cannot put a filter on life. It’s about not blinking.” Buy...

As you know, our shop in Berlin has temporarily closed in order to help slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus. If you’ve visited the shop, you’ll know it can get pretty cosy when it’s busy, and keeping to the recommended social distancing guidelines would be pretty much impossible in our space.⁠ ⁠ The German government has ordered all shops to close, except essential ones like supermarkets – and bookstores! And while we agree that books are essential, we care more about keeping you safe.⁠ ⁠ So, in the next months, we and all the independent publishers from all over the world who sell their publications through us are going to need your help. ⁠ And since you probably need something to read to pass some time at home, check out our online shop for our full selection of beautiful, unique books and magazines. If you can’t decide right now, you can always buy a gift card to spend now or later. Or if you’ve got loved ones you can’t visit right now, or you just want to put a smile on someone’s face, we will deliver worldwide as long as possible. ⁠ ⁠ Your support is going to be really important to us at this time, to take care of our community and to make sure that we can carry on bringing you the very best of independent print in the future.⁠ Please pass on the message!⁠ ⁠ Stay safe. Say home. And we are really looking forward to welcome you to our shop soon to browse and chat!⁠...

When the New Yorker staff writer, Lillian Ross, met ‚le petite Truffaut‘, the French cinéaste, author, critic and pioneering film director of La Nouvelle Vague the fifth time in 1976, his English was surprisingly “terrific!”. Truffaut who seemed throughout resistant to pick up any English word far into his career, announced proudly that he had taken an intensive language course - which was basically reading the newspaper and watching the Watergate hearings on TV. Overwhelmed by the charming pronunciation Ross transcribed most of what he had to say phonetically for the magazine section 'Talk of Town': “To ze best of my recollection at zis point in time.” He could read books in English. “I read ‚Ze final Days,‘” he told us. “Extraordinaire!“ I also read 'I remember Eet Well,’ by Vincente Minelli. But cannot read ze novels in English. Ze vocabulaire! Ver-ee difficult!” The beautifully written texts by Lilian Ross, shifting between interview and portrait, give you a very personal, touching sight of this extraordinary filmmaker. During these five encounters, they talk about his latest movies, but also how he spends his vacation (mostly he sits by the pool of the Beverly Hills Hotel, not going into the pool, not playing tennis, just sitting there or, visiting his long-time friend Jean Renoir from time to time), life in general, while he regularly updates the incredible number of movies he has seen (by the time they caught up in 1976 Truffaut had watched 5450 movies from the age of 11 years!). This small pocket book of grand journalism leaves you with only one desire: that this should never end! Also you probably will have difficulties to decide who to love more: Lillian Ross or François Truffaut? Frankly, maybe it doesn't really have to end, find more of the Film Desk Books here. Buy...

Where on Earth do you begin a story about the Earth? Earth defined by nature? Earth defined by a higher power? Earth defined by humankind? ⁠After a "Call for Globes" by the ETH Zurich, the responses were wide-ranging, coming from various disciplines. Whether from sciences addressing the subject of climate change, from architecture raising questions about global urbanisation, or from the arts reflecting on planetary transformation - the material gathered does not only open a discourse on how we see the world, but also how our world is constructed of competing narratives. And what better way to show this, than the opening picture of "Terrestrial Tales" showing God as a supreme craftsman bowed over the globe to administer the final touches of his creation, next to a picture of a migrant worker assembling a mass-produced globe between boxes and boxes of big blue plastic spheres in a factory somewhere on planet earth.⁠ Buy...

"Mies stands out so far today that one must stand for him, against him, underneath him, on top of him, on his shoulders if you get there. My stand today is violently anti-Miesian." - Philip Johnson ⁠ ⁠ For their recent installation at MoMA Experimental Jetset made a sorrow research which they compiled in the reader Full Scale False Scale, named after a Pavilion built in 1962 by architect and architecture critic Philip Johnson. The reader accumulates quotes and theories on architecture, construction, colour, elementarism, de Stijl, and international style with a focus on Philip Johnson and influences by Mies van der Rohe, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, and Theo van Doesburg. Sorted only by chapters it lets you into the manyfold thoughts on (and against) modernist architecture with strong quotes that stand alone - uncommented, without hierarchy. ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ "I wanted deliberately to fly in the face of the modern tradition of functionalist architecture by tying on to an older, nobler tradition of garden architecture. (...

[gallery ids="72472,72474,72475"] ⁠If you, like us, are thinking now might be a good time to grab something new to add to your reading list…we just got our hands on Rachel Cusk’s incredible ‘Outline’ trilogy: ⁠A woman is on an aeroplane. A woman is sitting in a classroom. A woman is at a dinner party. Who is she? We are afforded only the briefest glimpses of Faye, the person who would ordinarily take the role of “main character” in this sparely-written trilogy of novels. This is what Rachel Cusk wants– to do away with character. And she succeeds. ‘Outline’, ‘Transit’ and ‘Kudos’ form a cycle where in place of a “plot”, acquaintances, colleagues, friends and strangers appear like phantoms to use Faye as a sort of sounding-board, their identities and experiences narrated purely and cleanly as though distilled, before receding again. These episodes build up on each other over the course of the three novels to reach a powerful and devastating conclusion as exciting as any thriller. As they do so, the spaces in between the conversations paint a portrait of Faye as a woman coming to terms with a great loss, and with herself, and the unfamiliar territory she finds herself in. And as you read these novels, you realise you, too, are on foreign ground – this is a whole new kind of fiction, one that can only be experienced by picking up a copy and letting it in.⁠ Find all books of Rachel Cusk here...