By Matt Goulding, Roads and Kingdom
It’s not often you walk into a restaurant with a Michelin star located in a Danish mansion and find that it smells just like home. But walk through the doors of AOC in central Copenhagen and the smell of wood smoke and rendered pork fat hit you like a triple shot of aqvavit—a familiar and hunger-rousing welcome for anyone who has spent time in the American South.
But make no mistake, the meal behind the smell is no crude slab of hickory-smoked pork shoulder; it’s a perfect rectangle of marbled pork belly, cooked sous vide, vacuum-marinated in a jet-black paste of charred onions and molasses, then lightly smoked on a Big Green Egg (another heart-warming embrace in a foreign country). The belly is anointed with pickled radish seeds then scattered with foliage, as if a stiff Danish wind blew the forest floor onto the plate just before leaving the kitchen.
AOC is serious stuff. Ancient arches and low lights and a 17th century cellar shape the dining room into the most elegant basement you’ve ever seen. Servers can walk you through the minutiae of the menu as if they’ve spent a lifetime preparing the dishes themselves. The sommelier Christian Aarø has won the award as the best wine guy in Denmark so many times that he’s now taken himself out of the running.
Most importantly, the chef Ronny Emborg is a heavyweight, a guy who has mixed his time at elBulli and Mugaritz and his Danish roots to create a cuisine that would love comfortably in the company of the Spanish juggernauts. There are more than a few of the Nordic / Noma touchstones— rocks standing in as serving vessels, impossibly precious bites of foraged roots and leaves—but the cuisine is too unique—too diverse—to simply be pinned down as New Nordic. I could say a lot about Emborg and the way that he cooks, but the dishes speak for themselves:
Halibut is frozen and shaved into ivory curls, then laid across a trail of creamy egg yolk, Danish caviar and fresh horseradish. Take a bite and let the eggs pop, the horseradish burn, and the frozen fish melt across your tongue like some sort of polar awakening.
Mackerel loins are rolled in hay ash until they look like licorice, then set afloat in a tie-dyed sea of buttermilk, parsley, and green tomato water—the fat of the fish playing perfectly off the smoke of the ash and the bracing bite of high-acid tomatoes.
Nuggets of fried sweetbreads are draped in a crispy blanket of caramelized milk skin, then bathed in a stock of toasted onion and thyme oil. It’s hard to imagine a more intensely savory bite then the one you get when allium and scaled milk and tender thymus meet on the fork.
The Serpentine Gallery is proud to announce that Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei will create the 2012 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. It will be the twelfth commission in the Gallery’s annual series, the world’s first and most ambitious architectural programme of its kind.
The design team responsible for the celebrated Beijing National Stadium, which was built for the 2008 Olympic Games, comes together again in London in 2012 for the Serpentine’s acclaimed annual commission, being presented as part of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad. The Pavilion is Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei’s first collaborative built structure in the UK.
This year’s Pavilion will take visitors beneath the Serpentine’s lawn to explore the hidden history of its previous Pavilions. Eleven columns characterising each past Pavilion and a twelfth column representing the current structure will support a floating platform roof 1.4 metres above ground. The Pavilion’s interior will be clad in cork, a sustainable building material chosen for its unique qualities and to echo the excavated earth. Taking an archaeological approach, the architects have created a design that will inspire visitors to look beneath the surface of the park as well as back in time across the ghosts of the earlier structures.
Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, Serpentine Gallery, said: “It is a great honour to be working with Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei, the design team behind Beijing’s superb Bird’s Nest Stadium. In this exciting year for London we are proud to be creating a connection between the Beijing 2008 and the London 2012 Games. We are enormously grateful for the help of everyone involved, especially Usha and Lakshmi N. Mittal, whose incredible support has made this project possible.”
The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion will operate as a public space and as a venue for Park Nights, the Gallery’s high-profile programme of public talks and events. Connecting to the archaeological focus of the Pavilion design, Park Nights will culminate in October with the Serpentine Gallery Memory Marathon, the latest edition of the annual Serpentine Marathon series conceived by Hans Ulrich Obrist, now in its seventh year. The Marathon series began in 2006 with the 24-hour Serpentine Gallery Interview Marathon; followed by theExperiment Marathon in 2007; the Manifesto Marathon in 2008; the Poetry Marathon in 2009, the Map Marathon in 2010 and theGarden Marathon in 2011.
The 2012 Pavilion has been purchased by Usha and Lakshmi N. Mittal and will enter their private collection after it closes to the public in October 2012.
by Dan Shaw, 1 May 2012 Huffington Post
When the the New York Times Sunday Styles section debuted on May 3, 1992, fashion wasn’t as fashionable as it is today. Style and design had not yet infiltrated every aspect of bourgeois life. Back in the late 20th century, fashion wasn’t the global lingua franca, but Sunday Styles helped usher in a new era.
New York, the fashion capital, was a different city twenty years ago, a place where residents ordered their morning coffee “regular” or “dark and sweet” at delis and street carts because the first Starbucks would not open in Manhattan until 1994. If you wanted to shop at Barneys New York, you schlepped to Seventh Avenue and 17th Street, because Pressman family did not open the Madison Avenue flagship until 1993. If you wanted avant garde fashion from Japan and Belgium, you headed uptown to a Charivari, where the Weiser family introduced Yohji Yamamoto, Ann Demeulemeester and Dries van Noten to New York at its stores on the Upper West Side. If you had a foot fetish, you could go to Susan Bennis Warren Edwards on West 57th Street, which sold the most expensive shoes in the city and shuttered its doors in 1997, the same year Charivari filed for bankruptcy after four decades of audacious retailing.
For cheap chic, there was Canal Jeans on lower Broadway; the building is now, tellingly, a Bloomingdale’s. You couldn’t shop at Old Navy, which opened its first branch in the city in 1995, or H&M, which arrived in New York in 2000. Many now familiar brands were years away from conception: American Apparel (1997), Juicy Couture (1997), Seven for All Mankind (2000).
Fashion was basically an insider’s game in 1992, and the players were the small band of editors, writers, buyers, stylists, socialites and photographers who attended the runway shows. To stay on top of the latest news and gossip, you had to subscribe to Women’s Wear Daily or you were out of the loop. Styles soon became a must-read, too, but it had a rocky start. The first cover story, “The Arm Fetish,” startled many readers by declaring that a “sculptured body is now the foundation of fashion.” The article was mercilessly lampooned by the Village Voice with a parody about “The Penis.”
There were no tents and no corporate sponsors for the spring and fall collections. Most New York designers held runway presentations in their garment district showrooms with guests being herded into freight elevators alongside the ubiquitous bike messengers. A few of the Young Turks, like Todd Oldham and Isaac Mizrahi, showed downtown in obscure locations. The society dressmakers like Bill Blass, Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta held their shows in ballrooms at the Plaza or Pierre hotels. Fashion Week had not been organized. It was not yet a proper noun.
by Charles McGrath, 1 May 2012, NYTimes
In 2004 the fashion designer Helmut Lang, at the peak of his fame, sold the remaining shares of his label to Prada, which already owned the rest, and a few months later quit the fashion business altogether. He spent the following year at his house in the Hamptons, deliberately doing nothing.
“This is very hard to do,” Mr. Lang said recently. “The first half of the year was kind of easy. The second half, I had to force myself.”
He then set about reinventing himself as a visual artist, a process that his friend Mark Fletcher, a private art dealer and adviser, likens to slow food, something that can’t be hurried.
Mr. Lang’s first New York show, organized by Mr. Fletcher; Neville Wakefield, an independent curator; and Sadie Coles, a London gallerist, opens on Friday in a Greenwich Village space that is a sort of halfway house, somewhere between a real gallery and a private viewing room. The space, in one of the grand, old Edith Whartonish town houses fronting Washington Square, used to resemble an LSD den, with shag carpeting and purple walls, according to Mr. Fletcher, who refurbished it. Now it’s a pair of elegant, high-ceilinged rooms, furnished for the moment with Mr. Lang’s art: matted black sheepskins on the walls and black stalagmites sprouting from the floor.
In the strange logic of the art world, this is actually a low-profile New York debut for someone in Mr. Lang’s position.
“That’s the good thing about Mark’s space,” Mr. Wakefield said in an interview. “He’s not wheeling this work out in a Gagosian-style showcase, which probably was an option.”
“It’s as if Helmut were a young artist,” he added. “He hasn’t been making work for very long.”
When he was making clothes, Mr. Lang was known for designs that were minimalist, frequently androgynous and often made from unusual, even unwearable materials. He made silk blouses that looked like transparent plastic trash bags, shirts that changed color when they touched the skin and coats with collars that looked like inflatable airline pillows. His most famous design was probably a sleeveless rubber dress that required the wearer to douse herself with talcum powder before trying it on.
Most of the pieces in the show — aside from the sheepskin, some foam wall reliefs and a pair of what appear once to have been industrial scrub brushes — are made of rubber as well: big chunks and disks of it, some of which Mr. Lang, 56, scavenged himself and some he paid a helper to find. He declined to specify exactly what these objects were in their previous lives.