31st December 1979. Up in the Swiss Alps, my brother and I were glued to the radio. Gonggg- Midnight! "And now - it's the '80s. The '70s are over, a new era has just begun…" "Hey, bullshit! The '80s?" I remember thinking. "Am I supposed to feel different now??"
Twenty years later I see myself as a '70s person who never really trusted the '80s and who worked through the '90s. Although I was too young to really know it, I still feel most influenced by the decade when people were so convinced that things were going to hell. During that time of fuel shortages and nuclear mishaps, Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror (1978) - revisiting the plagues, disasters, and peasant revolts of the 14th Century - was instantly popular.
In 1999 there sems to be no newspaper line without three zeroes in a row. Like a super-hyped movie, the possibilities of a progressive future are the topic of the day. At the same time. There is a movement to bring back the old: Volkswagen revamped the Beetle, Levi’s checked through its entire family album, coming out with a new vintage range of crafty oldtimer best-ofs: from "In the Beginning" to "Icons" to "WW2." In the latter, it's the nifty and diverse solutions of wartime restrictions that are celebrated, rather than its actual namesake.
In the age of the big fish, more and more swallowing has been going on, at a speeding rate. With the internet and PC-G3-MP3-XYZ programs facilitating, dominating, tyrannizing our daily life - where are we left as individuals? At the shrink every Wednesday whining about freezing, crashes, bugs, extension incompability, virtual memory glitches?
If sitcoms have replaced the neighborly chit chat and the Internet most other personal communication, what happens to our animal needs? Despite the e-uphoria of growing netshopping and glob-b-e-friending, there is a square-eyed weariness going around; an unease about the universal sameness of ultimate giants we surrender to. We can feel a yearning for an escape, something unique and different. In clothing, the handmade, custom made, small run, vintage, serves as a last resort of some individualism. Ditto the DIY and low tech in other fields, from contemporary art to music, to publishing.
8 August 1999, resurrecting from a chip-grip-who's-got-the-upper-hand-battle with guess who's grey and new and Bondi Blue?
Molly von Hacker: CHELSEA
Thomas Girst: Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?
Michelle Eabry: Boxers
Nicolas Bertrand: Hedi Slimane
Rebecca Peters: Piece Time
Tom Moody: Laura Parnes and Sue de Beer
Fia Bäckström: Stockholm. A Report
Angela Hill: Vintage 1999, Summer at Nery
Lauri Bortz: Teen Dreams
Uscha Pohl: Girls and Their Friends, “Polygamy” by Tom Moody
Susan Shaw: Kathy Temin
Nigel Bennett: Bangkok & Vietnam
Featured and Featuring:
Andreas Angelidakis, Fia Bäckström, Donna Bailey, Sue de Beer, Nigel Bennett, Nicolas Bertrand, Johanna Billing, Mark Borthwick, Lauri Bortz, Mark Dagley, Alina Dronova, Michelle Eabry, Juan Manuel Echavarria, formfront, Ginger Freeman, Thomas Girst, Nakako Hayashi, Angela Hill, Karl Holmqvist, Ellis Kreuger, Herta Kriegner, Laure Leber, Katarina Löfström, Miltos Manetas, Tom Moddy, Marianne Nowottny, Laura Parnes, Rebecca Peters, Uscha Pohl, Susan Shaw, Hedi Slimane, Mats Stjernstedt, Kathy Temin, Hugo Tillmann