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Poisonous Relationship is an exciting music project by Sheffield based artist, writer and musician Jamie Crewe, who after six shorter records/EPs, his longplay debut ”Our Sex Life Is Brutal” and several remixes of artists such as SSION and Beyoncé has just recently released his new album “Garden of Problems” on Ecstasy (the wonderful label run by The Miracles Club). The album is a real revelation, a very personal and melancholic take on house, combining a smart, percussion-driven songwriting with smooth sounds and Jamie’s androgynous voice. You can purchase the record on the P.R. website, where you also find the whole back catalogue of the project as a free download (!).
I’ve already posted the beautiful video to the first Poisonous Relationship single (and album opener) “Men’s Feelings” (free download here, remix EP out on June 18) in our latest music ticker, and it amazed me so much that I asked Jamie if he’d be up for taking part in our PICK 5 series. He kindly agreed and send us this thoughtful and well-written commented list of his favorite web videos – I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

1. Mica Paris – Contribution

“This is the music video for Mica Paris’ 1990 single ‘Contribution’, off her album of the same name. Mica is really underrated – she started off as a kind of missing British link between Anita Baker and Mary J. Blige, but by this, her second album, she had this vibe that was all her own – very London, very fresh, very vocal. On Contribution she’s like the excitement of the early 90s dance music underground condensed into a pop star. My friend Charlotte said the album sounds like songs you should already know, and she’s right. This video is directed by Patricia Murphy in gorgeous high contrast monochrome. It manages to be stark and stylised yet still have a deadpan kind of visual humour (the bouncing dogs, the frog), and give this glamour that’s classy and clean but still young and fun. When I first saw this video, the aesthetic just slayed me, and it’s informed a lot of the looks I go for and the visuals I create.”

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This is not the first time emerging fashion designer Holly Fox-Lee is featured on this blog, I’ve already posted her amazing Central Saint Martins graduate collection from 2009 here with a little delay in 2011. After the graduation Holly has worked for and with labels and designers such as Jeremy Scott, Cassette Playa and Tatty Devine and has now finally started her own London-based label The Print Dept. In our Q&A the designer talks about her trippy, flower-print-heavy first collection “Elevation I”, which was released just recently and is available on The Print Dept. website. You find full look book shot by photographer Winter Vandenbrink there as well. The interview was conducted by Pierre Bastille.

Holly, tell me a bit more about your new label.

I decided to start my own label at the end of 2012, I had been producing print and textiles for companies all over the place since graduating from Central Saint Martins. I had always planned to do my own thing but was adamant I would only get started when felt ready and like I’d had enough experience to move forward independently.

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+++ Poisonous Relationship – Men’s Feelings +++

From the EP “Garden of Problems”, out via Ecstacy. Directed by Jamie Crewe.

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It is great to see how the Berlin based XPOSED queer film festival is climbing to new hights with every year of its existence. After a focus on films from the Middle East last year, this year’s event will investigate Austrian queer avantgarde cinema and show new and old films by artists such as Mara Mattuschka, VALIE EXPORT, Peter Tscherkassky, Dietmar Brehm, Maria Lassnig, Albert Sackl or Kathrina Daschner. I’m especially happy to finally get the chance to see Vienna based artist Hans Scheierl’s legendary trans sci-fi movie Dandy Dust (June 1, the artist will be present), as well as the short films by American artist and underground filmmaker Avery Willard. Willard was just recently rediscovered by director Ira Sachs (Keep The Lights On), who produced a new documentary about the artists entitled In Search of Avery Willard (2012).
The event will start on Thursday evening May 30 with a screening of the film Burning Palance at Mindpirates (Facebook event) and end on Saturday night with the presentation of the festival’s Lolly Award, followed by an official closing party (Facebook event). For more film recommendations, a detailed overview on the program and an interview with festival maker Bartholomew Sammut, please visit the Expatriarch blog by our contributor Joey Hansom, who will DJ at the opening night. Here’s the XPOSED trailer:

Thanks to everyone who made it to our MOVEMENT! screening event yesterday and to all the artists who contributed to it. Special thanks go to Liz Rosenfeld and Simon Peatau, who attended the screenings and agreed to have a little chat with me after the films. It was a really exciting evening, and the amount of people who came and the wonderful atmosphere  really encouraged me to do something like this again. If you have good ideas and suggestions for artists and art/projects, who/which could be featured in a follow-up, just write me an email!

HOMEcountry – a film project by Imogen Heath

“HOMEcountry is the story of an individual’s loss of memory and search for home against the backdrop of a nation’s historical amnesia. The film project is an inquiry into the process of remembering through travelling, where personal and national histories combine and disintegrate across two frames of film at once. This campaign is raising funds to shoot the key scenes in Germany and produce a short film as a development stage for the larger feature film project between Australia and Germany.”

Donate via Indiegogo!

Diana Tourjee’s Transgender Surgery Fundraiser

“My name is Diana Tourjee. I am a 24 year old transgender woman, writer, and student living in New York City. This campaign has been established to fund my Gender Confirmation Surgery, specifically vaginoplasty. Unfortunately my insurance agency has not evolved to acknowledge the real medical necessity of transgender care. They have denied to cover the cost of my surgery on the grounds that is a cosmetic procedure. It is heart breaking that medical care isn’t where it needs to be for so many people, across so many demographics, but I understand the reality of the situation. Thats where you come in. I need help from my community, and it is with great humility that I ask for that help.

Donate via Indigogo!

Justin Vivian Bond’s “Golden Age of Hustlers” video

“Art places voices in history. Just as Justin Bond carries Bambi Lake’s Golden Age of Hustlers to new ears at the legendary Joe’s Pub in NYC, so would this music video present the collective consciousness of V’s music. The music video for Golden Age of Hustlers will mix performance from Justin Vivian Bond, live staged tableaus from local performance artists and still projections from San Franscisco’s queer community in the 1980s.”

Donate via Kickstarter!

We proudly present our first real-world event MOVEMENT!, which will take place on the May 24 at SHIFT, the new project space of Tresor Club on Köpenicker Straße between Berlin-Kreuzberg and Mitte. The event, with which we’ll celebrate our 4th birthday, aims to show different ways in which contemporary artists use music and sound in combination with dance and other body practices in order to investigate and express queer identification or dis-identification.

We will show 10 different works by artists who identify as queer, trans* and feminist, each of them working with different points of departure such as race, class, and gender. All approaches explore the intersection of the individual and the community, combining a critique towards the normalizing institutions of modern capitalistic society with utopian spirit and practice. The evening’s program ranges from short documentaries and music videos to recordings of live performances. Most of the projects were created and released within the last two years and will be screened with the kind permission of the artists.

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You will be painfully missed.

The young Lisbon based fashion label HIBU. creates street wear that transcends gender barriers, combining deconstructive elements with functionality, comfort and a little bit of drama. About his new YOUTH collection 22-years-old HIBU. co-founder and designer Gonçalo Páscoa writes: “YOUTH was born out of melancholia out of the carefree feeling we used to have as kids… That feeling that allowed us to play and imagine beyond what others wanted or thought about us. We had no rules, no boundaries, only freedom to be whatever and whomever we felt like it. This collection is all about that, that freendom. It tries to showcase an effortless, adrogynous and comfortable style by deconstructing basics and having a sporty feel. The movie Lords of Dogtown also played a major role when it comes to esthetics because it sums up all of the above thanks to the coolest skaters that ruled back in the days. YOUTH is a celebration of freedom and style.” You find a behind the scenes video of the lookbook shooting on Vimeo. All pictures (c) HIBU.

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Directed by Jeremy Stewart (Still and Moving), filmed by Leo Herrera. As already mentioned in the post below, Shaun J Wright and stereogamous will be opening the Berlin concert of SSION in Berlin on June 20. More information about Shaun and the single in this recent post.

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M. Lamar is a New York based artist whose captivating performances have him singing on fierce piano with a gripping countertenor voice and addressing complex and at times uncomfortable themes such as slavery, the sexual aspect of lynching and their legacy. After being in various punk/goth bands and a church choir, while being classically trained, he dropped out of Yale University years ago to pursue his solo musical project and since then he has released two critically acclaimed LPs.

Speculum Orum – Shackled to the Dead is his new album and to promote it he recently played a show in Berlin. I caught up with M. Lamar at Südblock during the first leg of his tour to discuss the state of America today, black dicks, white supremacy and how he sees art.

How did you come to the decision of dropping out of your art school to pursue music?

I should say that I completed my degree in Fine Art. I went to graduate school, I went to Yale for a year where I did mostly sculpture. And I dropped out because I knew I didn’t want to be part of the bourgeois art world. And I also realised that I didn’t want to make visual art. I was going to New York to do shows and perform music in some way and along the way I was taking private voice lessons and music theory but that was just for me. I am actually part of the same festival in Stockholm as Penny Arcade and it’s funny because she is talking about the things that sort of happened in the mid 70s to 80s, all these professional artists who were determined to make money.. And I realised I really didn’t want to do that. And so I dropped out of Yale and moved back to San Francisco.

Were you trying to rebel against your upbringing or family?

No; if anything I was rebelling against society, in general and I was trying to find my people. I went to school in SF undergraduate and then went to Yale; I dropped out and then returned to SF with my people; I moved in with this sort of punk rock, goth, trans crew. That’s when my life really got going when I rejected the whole professional artist thing. I’m from Alabama originally and my mother, who is a teacher, was the first out of ten children in her family to go to college so the longing within that context was to create these very bourgeois children, who would go on to be doctors or lawyers. My mother was very disappointed because my sister also became an artist. So dropping out of Yale was me completely rejecting that longing and was also me finding my own way.

When did you got into black metal?

I came out of this goth, punk thing. I remember at first there was this boy I had a huge crush on and I don’t know how I ended up in his car and Cradle of Filth was on the stereo. And as horrible and commercial as they are now they were probably my introduction to it around 2001. It was the voice that really got me. He was doing his high singing and it really turned me on, and when I was in bands I wanted to do this high singing with this sort of heavy music.

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