OUT NOW

ISSUE 42 SS23

KALEIDOSCOPE's Spring/Summer 2023 issue launches with a set of six covers. Featuring King Krule, Takashi Miike, Popcaan, Jim Shaw, a report into the merchification of the art world, and a special insert by No Agency and Richard Kern.

Also featured in this issue: American novelist Emma Cline (photography by Caroline Tompkins and interview by Lola Kramer), a new series of drawings by Aurel Schmidt (words by Sophie Kemp), Japanese photographer Hiroh Kikai (words by Jeppe Ugelvig), Italian punk band CCCP (words by Achille Filipponi), and “Five NYC Painters” (paintings by Brook Hsu, Francesca Facciola, Michelle Uckotter, Olivia Van Kuiken, and Justine Neuberger, and words by Reilly Davidson).

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FROM THE CURRENT ISSUE

MANIFESTO

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From June 22 to June 24 during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris, KALEIDOSCOPE and GOAT presented the new edition of our annual arts and culture festival, MANIFESTO. Against the unique setting of the French Communist Party building, a modern architectural landmark designed by legendary Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, the festival will bring together visionary creators from different areas of culture across three days of art, fashion and sound.

FROM THE SHOP

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ERIK BRUNETTI: OVAL PARODY
50 EUR
Giger Sorayama
80 EUR
TOBIAS SPICHTIG PAINTINGS
45 EUR

CAPSULE PLAZA

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In April 2023, a year after the launch of the magazine, Capsule introduced Capsule Plaza, a new initiative that infuses new energy into Milan Design Week by redefining the design showcase format. A hybrid between a fair and a collective exhibition, Capsule Plaza brings together designers and companies from various creative fields, bridging industry and culture with a bold curation that spans interiors and architecture, beauty and technology, ecology and craft.

MARK FLOOD 
1017 ALYX 9SM

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In January 2023, KALEIDOSCOPE presented a solo exhibition by Houston-based artist Mark Flood (b. 1957), curated by Alessio Ascari, at Spazio Maiocchi in Milan. In his paintings, Flood deploys the detritus of contemporary culture—slogans, celebrities, logos, and memes—to mock American society and the elitist art world. The exhibition also provided the scenography for the runway presentation of the 1017 ALYX 9SM Fall/Winter 2023 collection.

FROM THE ARCHIVE

BREAKING FROM FANTASY

(LA)HORDE

PHOTOGRAPHY BY WINTER VANDENBRINK
WORDS BY ISABELLE BUCKLOW

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At the Ballet National de Marseille, collective (LA)HORDE are re-energizing the classical forms of the institution with what they’ve termed “post-internet dance.” Poetic, punk, optimistic, politically engaged, their work is rooted in the realities and dreams of the 21st century, looking to real people, real bodies, and the power of movement to break from the exclusionary rigidity of the ballet.

(LA)HORDE is a collective of three artists—Marine Brutti, Jonathan Debrouwer, and Arthur Harel—who, having met at a young age, started working together, they explain, “with no other motivation than deconstructing the world, helping each other out, supporting one another.” They became (LA)HORDE in 2013 primarily out of a need to resist the labels or categories they might, as individuals, find themselves trapped within. This made me initially hesitant to introduce the collective by defining them as a dance collective, for the term “dance,” as it is often understood, seems too narrow to encompass what they do. However, it feels important to invoke the word, to say (LA)HORDE is a dance collective, and, in doing so, make a case for the expansiveness of the term, for its ability to travel across various media and address questions about gender, racism, sexuality, and power. For them, dance is poetry; dance is film; it is movement, politics, community; it happens in the street, in archives, onstage, online, and it always begins with the body. When it’s increasingly easy to feel defeatist about the future, theirs is a socially committed endeavor that believes in the power of action.

I spoke with them back and forth over email, via video-call, and, quite serendipitously, I caught a glimpse of rehearsals for the new work Age of Content (premiering in Hamburg in August 2023). What follows is an introduction to (LA) HORDE’s practice interspersed with quotes from our various conversations. “The use of our bodies in contemporary society is very functional and limited to efficiency, competition, and performance—all of which are obviously driven by our late-capitalist culture. So, dance is there to allow us to create an abstract language with a universal DNA, a language that questions our freedom and relation to our humanity.” —(LA)HORDE

The French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu developed the concept of habitus to define how the habits of a given culture inform and shape physical dispositions to create classed, gendered, and ideologically regulated bodies. (LA)HORDE describes themselves as antennas, and, with an ethnographer’s scrutiny, they seek to uncover those socially inscribed habits. “We observe the world and feel it, always through the body,” they explain. “And, together, we explore and transcribe the existential or systemic questions our bodies tell us to investigate.” Often these investigations expose insidious political or administrative violence that is reinforced at the level of the individual through the reproduction of unchecked habits, culminating in work that is both energetic and disruptive.

Within classical dance—particularly ballet—such reinforced violence is enacted through a formal disciplinary training that creates certain bodies and excludes others. It might seem surprising that a group committed to interrogating the mechanisms that exercise power over social bodies would take up residence at a ballet, with all its traditionalist and elitist associations. Yet, in 2019, (LA)HORDE became directors of Ballet National de Marseille, a move that demonstrates their confidence and curiosity to interrogate the institution from within.

The collective saw the director role as “the perfect challenge for this stage of our careers. An opportunity to pause and write a manifesto about what contemporary dance is and can be today.” The application required “a team of five people to draft an entire four-year plan with all the realities that implies in terms of artistry, budget, and production.” Upon successfully granting them the position, the Ministry of Culture asked them if they wanted to rename the ballet. Recognizing that “ballet” is a charged word—“It can conjure strong images of classical dancers all with the same bodies, all the same height”—they were resolute not to rename it: “We think it’s good to try and renew the definition,” they explain. “We don’t want to avoid it but work with it.”

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For example, their 2019 piece Marry Me in Bassiani drew upon the 2018 police raid on the Bassiani night club in Tbilisi, Georgia—a safe haven for LGBTQ+ bodies—and the subsequent rave protest outside the country’s parliament building. Together with the Iveroni Ensemble, (LA)HORDE explored dance-as-protest throughout Georgia’s national history. When Georgia was part of the USSR, dancer Iliko Sukhishvili sought an audience with Communist officials to demonstrate how ballet promoted their values of a pure folk heritage and could thus serve as propaganda for the Soviet State. For Sukhishvili’s Ballet company, however, this offered an opportunity to keep creating, all under the guise of “traditional” or “concert” dance, and thus avoid censorship.

(LA)HORDE has also thrown themselves into exploring the legacy of the institution they have inherited. Roland Petit and Zizi Jeanmaire founded the Marseille ballet in 1972, and the pair retain a strong presence within the ballet’s walls, sometimes quite literally: “Marseille is known for two strong winds—the Mistral and the Tramontane—which often find their way into the building. They’re constantly making doors slam and we always joke that Zizi or Roland are unhappy or happy about an artistic decision we are making.”

Petit notably fostered collaborations with fashion designers such as Gianni Versace and Yves Saint Laurent; he also created a ballet for Pink Floyd in the early 70s and went to Hollywood to work on musicals. (LA)HORDE shares this interdisciplinary approach, forging relationships with international designers, artists, writers, as well as nurturing interdisciplinarity more intimately: “The most beautiful aspect of working with an international ballet is the diversity brought by our group of dancers. We have 17 different nationalities represented with as many different approaches towards dance.” This has led to an eclectic program featuring Lucinda Childs, Claude Brumachon and Benjamin Lamarche, Peeping Tom, and Cecilia Bengolea and François Chaignaud. Gathering a plethora of dancers both established and upcoming, (LA)HORDE shows “that dance is not this or that, but that dance is this and that, and also this.”

Even with a notably diverse cast of dancers within the company, (LA)HORDE looks beyond their immediate circle to draw in social groups traditionally alienated from dance spaces: working with blind performers, juveniles, and pensioners. Collaborating with different social groups allows them to tap into sites of gestural circulation that operate outside the academy or institution. (LA)HORDE does their fieldwork at protests, in clubs, and on online forums. TO DA BONE explored the phenomenon of Jumpstyle, a dance style that emerged to accompany Hard- core’s 165bpm. Having followed the Jumpstyle community online, they eventually met with some of them and made a ten-minute film together, which then became an hour-long performance, as well as a documentary.

Observing and sharing community practices (of which one is not a part) is never a neutral act, and (LA)HORDE expresses an acute awareness of their posi- tionality, their biases, and their country’s colonial past: “France’s political background has an impact in our field as well, especially when it comes to the cultural appropriation, exploitation, and exoticism of certain bodies and their movements.” They understand the need to reset the rules and cultivate a certain style of engagement: “It’s all about style: the way you do things. There are ways to meet with people, ways to remain critical, ways to support.” (LA)HORDE’s way is to facilitate “a heterarchical environment where our collaborators are empowered to tell their own narratives on stage.” In the Jumpers performance, members of the community take to microphones and share their stories. “This break of the fourth wall was important because it’s also a break from fantasy,” they explain. “This group was not a ‘perfect’ community for us—cis white men who can actually be very violent with one another,” and, so, they did not try to create a utopian ideal or speak for the group but worked with and from these tensions and contradictions, investigating the space between reality and representation.

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The friction between the real and representational is embodied by the idea of “post-internet dance”—a term coined by the collective to encompass the exchange of information, communication, community across space and time, his- tories/futures, online and offline. Musing on the term, they explain, “The world around us is not anymore bound by our direct surroundings or our eyesight. We are connected to people, artists, thinkers, poets, writers, in real time. And we can answer each other.” Those artists in their post-internet orbit, or who they have deemed proto-post-internet, include: “Madonna, Lucinda Childs, Audre Lorde, Michel Foucault, General Idea, Neïl Beloufa, PT Anderson, Mary Harron, Romeo Castellucci, among others.” What is so striking about such a grouping is that they are (or were) all storytellers, working with sounds, images, and words to construct worlds that expand our sense of what is possible and simultaneously help us to better know our present. (LA)HORDE too finds that “within art there is the possibility to build new worlds. The possibility to distance ourselves from— and return to—the one we’re actually in, to be able to represent or analyze socio-political dynamics that we find interesting.” They add: “Most of the movements we are creating on stage or in our films would be unacceptable to perform in ’public’ spaces.” And so it’s as if they posit: What if there were an alternate world where these movements were accepted, and, if we could move that way, what else might be different?

“You know it used to be punk to believe in ‘no future,’” they explain, “but we think that to be punk now is to demand a better world, and to build it.” This was exemplified in the 2017 immersive performative fresco The Master’s Tools. In it, performers wearing cleaner overalls spray “Tomorrow is canceled” across a limousine. But it is also about another, different tomorrow—one with a whole new vocabulary—that is on the cusp of becoming.

But building a better world is not without conflict. Often when encountering (LA)HORDE’s work in criticism, the word “violent” will be used. Indeed, it would be remiss not to use the word. They admit that they initially “weren’t aware that our work would be dealing with so much violence. Violence is the primary trigger, or reaction, to anger, rage.” And that primary response proved to be something of real aesthetic interest because “those emotions are not the prettiest ... We don’t think dance needs to be decorative or pastoral. Rage is both mesmerizing and astonishing, so we had the urge to question it and to deconstruct it on stage.” However, far more than just an aesthetic consideration, violence carries a deeply political resonance too, and, over the last ten years, (LA)HORDE has wrangled with their treatment of it. Although never treated with gratuity or nihilism, they explain that there is an “inclination to weave a sense of light and hope into our work, because, given the circumstances of the present, it would be irresponsible to take a ‘neo no-future’ stance. The aesthetics of violence will still be part of our work, but the nature of the violence may change.”

Ballet to protest, ballet as protest, (LA)HORDE celebrates the collective capacity of moving bodies to resist mechanisms of control. But accompanying this refusal is a persistent and curious drive towards better. Dance, a universal lan- guage “that questions our freedom and relation to our humanity,” is also a language information that allows for the creation of new combinations and collaborations.
“We’ve been shamed and discouraged for thinking we can make a difference, and that is how those in power keep things as they are, but we have the knowledge to make the world a better place.” They remind themselves, and their audiences, that “having hope is not candid. It’s not delusional”; it can be made tangible through imagining, organizing, and “acting on our direct surroundings.” At the time of speaking, Paris was burning, and people of all generations were protesting against workplace exploitation and pension reforms; (LA)HORDE expressed their respect: “The future is ours”.

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Active since 2013, (LA)HORDE is a three-member French collective founded by the choreographers and visual artists Marine Brutti, Jonathan Debrouwer, and Arthur Harel. Since 2019, (LA)HORDE has been taking over the direction of the Ballet National de Marseille. Their first institutional solo exhibition will be on view at Julia Stoschek Foundation, Berlin, through July 2023.
Isabelle Bucklow is a London-based writer, researcher, co-founder, and editor of motor dance journal.

ALL CLOTHING: GUESS USA
PHOTOGRAPHY: WINTER VANDENBRINK
STYLING: SALOMÉ POLOUDENNY
CREATIVE DIRECTION: ALESSIO ASCARI
STYLING ASSISTANT: EMMA BURKEL
GROOMING: VANILLE GAUTIER
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: GUGLIELMO FIBROSI