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The Odd Woman and the City

Sophie Calle

 

“Calle is a character in her own story, a false witness, an unreliable narrator. Feigning a hysterical kind of love coded female, with an analytical bent. With a sly humour, power relations are flipped and flipped again. Who is in control, who is the butt of the work? In the case of The Address Book, the victim, in response to having his friends’ opinion of his private life splashed across the pages of Libération, attempted to get his revenge on Calle by having the newspaper publish nude photos of her. Of that work, she said: ‘The sense of excitement was much stronger than the guilt’.

In Double Game, Calle allows novelist Paul Auster to fictionalize her life in a novel, before republishing his account with her own red corrections scrawled on top. Taking it one step further, she then requests that the author give her tasks to do, as though she is a character in one of his novels, and the interaction culminates in a project entitled Gotham Handbook.

Other works play out this repeated doubling-back, such as The Detective, where she asked her mother to hire a private detective to follow her, while she had someone follow the detective, engaging in a game of triangulation and elusiveness, the trick of being the woman who evades, always disappearing round a corner. An object that first receives the world before finding pattern in the day, letting things circle back around, playing out the real work of looking. This mode requires a certain shiftlessness, one not traditionally accorded to women, who rarely know what it feels like to be anonymous, to pass through space unnoticed.”

Read Madeileine Stack’s full piece here.

Photography by Sophie Calle.

Fluidity – not fixed, firm, or stable.

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Fluid – b. fig. and of non-physical things: Flowing or moving readily; not solid or rigid; not fixed, firm, or stable.

Beauty is an abstract concept. Century after century, philosophers have sought to define it and place it within the perimeters of language and meaning, yet still today beauty continues to evade such categorization. It knows no boundaries, for it is visceral and experienced emotionally within the present. Beauty is, by its nature, fluid.

Ever since antiquity, humans have endeavored to capture the immediate emotional impact of beauty, and solidify it into form. Take the child struggling in vain to net the butterfly in order to confine its beauty within the perimeter of a glass jar, or the husband, layering slab after slab of stone to transform the unpredictable beauty of his wife into the solidity of a statue. Each reflects an intrinsic human desire to capture beauty and make it one’s own by validating it through the process of art. Statues have long functioned as a way of cementing the fleeting, fluid and transient nature of human beauty and transforming it into an aesthetic that is easily accessible to the human gaze. Consequently, this desire serves to perpetuate vanity; by reflecting the beauty of another, statues allow for reflection of the beauty and idolatry of oneself. This desire to create form out of an ephemeral concept has lead to beauty becoming defined as a concept that is fixed, static and ocular. It has become a notion built upon social constructs, defined by its ability to be consumed and consequently validated by the human gaze.

Text by Alice Hall. Image by Beso Uznadze.

Read the full article here.

LYRA Femmes – Be In Our Next Issue

Hey!

Since we started the magazine, we’ve come across the most amazing women. We have encountered stories about resilience, creativity, justice, fight, brilliance, change. So we’ve decided to celebrate LYRA women by sharing their stories with the world.

We want to get to know you better, so no matter what you do or how you impact the world that surrounds you, get in touch and you could be one of our LYRA Femmes.

How to do this?

 

  1. It’s extremely simple – send us two paragraphs, the first a short bio (no more than 400 words), the second on why do you read/like LYRA (no more than 150 words). We need also your SM accounts, so we can tag you.
  2. Like us on Facebook, twitter and Instagram
  3. LYRA team will choose the bios to be featured on our blog
  4. LYRA team will choose the most interesting bio and interview the winning Femme for a piece in our next print issue.

Please send your bio to: luisa@lyramagazine.co.uk

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Iliana Kanellopoulou’s Violent Women

Young Greek photographer Iliana Kanellopoulou says ‘guns are for women too.’ Against the backdrop of the anti-austerity protests in Athens, influenced by images of female Kurdish fighters, Iliana wants to photograph a ‘fictional feminist army’. She’s teaming up with other female photographers to create a photo-pamphlet filled with different visions of what this might look like.

 

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LittleBird_Kickstarter_13 crowd fund

Little Bird: A Film about Women Shot by Women

LYRA, obviously, knows how useful, and liberating, it can be to crowd fund. So we’re very interested in other creative ventures that choose this path, especially if they’ve similar interests to us. We heard about the efforts of Georgia Oakley to raise funds for a short film about women shot by a completely female team, and asked Georgia to write something about the film, and her decision to rely on the crowd.

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Kickstarter Video – LYRA

Though we completed our Kickstarter campaign (thank you everyone!) we feel our video presents the ideas behind LYRA so beautifully that it should be available on our blog! You can buy the first issue of LYRA here.

Our memory of shooting the video is a mixed one. On the one hand, we exceptionally lucky to work with the amazing Giorgio Bosisioon the other hand we completely melted on camera, and had to be coaxed back into making sense. By the end of our twelve hour day, in which we also filmed Irma Kurtz, we could barely speak, and were both utterly sick of, well, everything. We will never forget the hilarity of Giorgio making Jago repeat a middle-length sentence twenty or so times.

LYRA’s Sunny Walkabout

It was so sunny yesterday that we decided to take LYRA on a walk around Camden. We went to a coffee shop and read under the sunbeams, chatting with locals about the beautiful afternoon and, of course, LYRA. Everyone wanted to touch it, and were drawn to its beautiful design, relevant topics and, perhaps, the nostalgia they felt toward print magazines.

We finished our stroll at the news stand, really touched by the warm welcome Londoners had given us. It was a beautiful afternoon indeed.

Subscribe to the magazine, support our Kickstarter & buy tickets to our launch party here.

Text and photos by Luisa Fernanda.

 

Ailsa Ogden Feminism

Nikki van der Gaag on Feminism & Men

In our first issue, the feminist campaigner Nikki van der Gaag argues that men, boys especially, must be inducted into feminism if the movements success is to be ensured because

boys who witness their fathers using violence against their mothers are more likely to use violence against their partners when they grow up. At the other end of the spectrum, boys who see their fathers sharing the housework, looking after the children and being respectful towards women are likely to replicate this positive behaviour when they become adults.

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Woman's Emporium

Sh! Woman’s Emporium

I used to live across the street from Sh! Woman’s Emporium in Hoxton, but I didn’t go in until I interviewed their founder, Ky.

I’m not sure why: partly, until recently, men needed to be accompanied by a woman. And it was too close. I don’t like having to say hello to someone every morning (a problem I had with Goodhood) because, often, I am in no mood to do so. And, I always figured, if I needed to buy something from them I’d rather the experience be somewhat alien finding the erotic, generally, to reside in the unknown. After a few weeks, it simply ceased to really exist for me. It was just another shop I walked past, like Goodhood or, latterly, Prohibition Vapes.

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Mauritshuis Borch - Woman Writing a Letter

Why I started LYRA

I don’t relate to the way the mainstream media portrays women, and it makes me angry. All the time. It’s the paradox on which they operate: selling unobtainable beauty while shunning women for being, well, women. Relying on an ugly sexualisation, using sex to sell, while leaving the issues that make many of us, women especially, uncomfortable around sexuality and nudity. Never spreading an understanding of sexuality because such an understanding liberates.

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