Black Beauty. An African Perspective. - News & views from emerging countriesA Post-Punk Resistance The collective was formed as a post-punk resistance to normative mass culture, favouring a salvaged, dystopian aesthetic and radical, crafty process during a Thatcherite government that prized privatisation and the fragmentation of society. They all grew up idolising Bowie and Bolan, as well as Waters and Westwood, which informed their do-it-yourself attitude and provocative, often ironic humour. Maciejowska interviewed Macdonald, Blame, Baby, Torry, Palmano, Lebon, Hinton, Jones, as well as Susan Bartsch, who represented the designers in her Manhattan boutique and briefly held a showroom her Chelsea Hotel apartment, where Janis Joplin happened to live next door. The transcripts are included in the book, alongside essays that explore the work produced by these creatives and the radical design of the space itself, as well as the cultural bricolage of the East End, the post-punk approach to subcultural identification and the bacchanalian hedonism that acted as a glittering backdrop, offering utopic ecstasy in dystopian London. Fric and Frack created the interior of the shop and made furniture, which would sometimes be taken to Dave Baby who would carve phalluses, demons or swastikas reappropriated as a means of subversion into them. The shop itself was a melting pot of these influences and aesthetics, much like the works on display. The Fric and Frack furniture was in constant circulation, either being borrowed or bought, and Dave Baby had cut demon-shaped holes into the wall, while Trojan and John Maybury had painted a dual sign for the shop frontage.
The House of Beauty and Culture
The House of Beauty and Culture (HOBAC) was an avant-garde boutique, design studio, and crafts collective in late s London, with key figures like Judy.
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Africans have a big and rich diversity of cultures, beliefs, languages and ways of life. From this background the conception of beauty is not uniform throughout the continent. Two big parameters can be used as a bridge and offer a unified perspective: the different relevance given to external and internal beauty. A hard-working young girl, who is less beautiful outside, could be married faster than a beautiful girl considered by the community as lazy. So physical strength resulting in hard work comes first and external beauty second.
Kasia Maciejowska. Experimenting with deconstruction and championing androgynous style, the collective expressed and embodied the experience of a generation of avant-garde Londoners reacting to a world of Thatcherism, mass production and the AIDS crisis. A key member was accessories designer, art director and fashion stylist Judy Blame, whose exhibition Never Again runs here until 4 September. The shop embodied an unpolished, narrative, low-tech, dystopian, masculine, radical and postmodern aesthetic. It was specifically urban and expressively communicated the personal experience of living as a young person with artistic aspirations and little income in a post-industrial city. The craftworks possessed different discernable characters, each being intimately reflective of the individual personae that made them, so the holistic body of HOBAC was one that contained various materialities, styles and techniques, unified by a shared critical position. It was a collective, and bore all the erraticisms and symbioses that signify communal living as well as collaborative artistic practice.