Lehann Maupin Gallery Hosting Bul Exhibit

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The Lehann Maupin gallery in the Lower East Side is hosting an exhibit by South Korean artist Lee Bul. Until June 21, 2014, curious viewers can enjoy this forth exhibit by Bul. Bul’s work is a futuristic, cyborgian investigation into the tensions underpinning utopian idealism and humanities urges to transcend the physical world. Influenced by her home nation’s meteoric rise into the modern age during the second half of the 20th century, Bul’s work continues to be striking and thought provoking.
Bul has long looked critically at the idealized version of the human form and how it decays, corrupts and dissatisfies. Her work shows how physical, spiritual and intellectual boundaries are transcended as humanity and technology continue to converge. With a distinct feeling of science fiction, Bul’s most recent exhibit continues to expand the viewers understanding of the perfect future we ultimate wish to create and inhabit. Drawing on the classic images of a utopian future, Bul intensifies the isolation and apathy of the future humanity is creating.
The installations in the exhibit hang from ceilings, mount walls, and occupy whole rooms. The grandest of the installations is Via Negative II. The immersive piece stretches into the spiritual realm, creating a maze of corridors all fixed with fractured, mirrored surfaces. The labyrinth leads into a central chamber, filled with illuminated mirrors, given the sense of infinity and a closeness to some central spiritual entity. The effect is jarring and disorientating in the best kind of way. The piece is suggesting that the devine in unknowable, alluding to the apophatic theology, which posits that the Devine transcends being and can only be defined by stating what it isn’t. This unknowable quality of the devine is why Bul uses mirrors so heavily. Mirrors dont have any color or form to them independently and can only be understood through their relationship to the viewer.
The exhibit, taken as a whole, encourages the viewer to think about the fading dichotomy between humanity and technology and the philosophical implications of those blurring lines. Bul’s latest work only solidifies her place as one of South Korea’s most prominent artists.

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Normcore is Still Misunderstood

Back in October 2013, K-Hole gave the fashion industry a new word to play around with: normcore. It’s been more than six months since it was born, and a lot of people still have absolutely no idea what it means.

The LA Times labeled it as an “a la carte, mix-and-match, label-agnostic approach to fashion.” They said that it’s a conscious effort to look effortless.

A fashion photographer based in New York said that the fashion industry wants “the cool kids downtown on a dirty couch in tube socks” thing. It seems as though normcore has made it possible for just about anyone to be a fashion model.

 But the NY Times gave three definitions of normcore. And the third one is the one that caught my attention. An internet meme that turned into a massive in-joke that the news media keeps falling for. Damn. I just fell for it as well.

The style, which I think has been appropriately described as “dressing like a tourist,” has become the ultimate fashion statement. It has also become the ultimate joke.

Or has it?

The concept began in Brooklyn and spread rapidly. It was considered the way to stand out in Bushwick in 2014 – a pair of New Balance sneakers and Jerry Seinfeld jeans.

And even though it started in Brooklyn, it’s spread across the nation. Lucky has offered a normcore shopping guide. And now, it’s becoming a huge movement in France.

K-Hole, the originator of the term, didn’t want it to be a fashion trend; instead, it was supposed to represent a broader sociological attitude. Alternative types were spending too much energy trying to define themselves as individuals that they lost the joy of belonging to a group. K-Hole envisioned something different.

“You might not understand the rules of football, but you can still get a thrill from the roar of the crowd at the World Cup,” K-Hole’s report read.

Lauren Sherman, a writer for Elle.com, calls the whole movement a fraud. She described it as dressing like an uncool dad from the ‘90s. Adults who were teenagers during the Seinfeld age, Sherman wrote, recall the white sneakers and ill-fitting jeans.

The backlash, however, seemed to reinforce the trend. Now, six months later, it’s still on the rise. So go into your dad’s closet and grab some jeans. They probably won’t fit well.