Monday, June 30, 2008

Bolzano: A NEW MUSEUM - for Modern and Contemporary Art

Bolzano: Museion.
The new Museion for Modern and Contemporary Art has just opened in Bolzano. The Berlin-based architects, KSV, Kruger Schubert Vandreike, designed the glass and metal cube. The inaugural show, until September, is called Peripheral Vision and Collective Body which brings together a big selection of post World War II works, across disciplines such as, art, film, performance and text. Why not include a visit to the Museion when you do the Manifesta 7 tour.
Manifesta 7. Manifesta 7 (July 19 – November 2) is the European Biennale of Contemorary Art in the Trentino - Alto Adige and the South Tyrolean region of Northern Italy. The Biennale presents 100 days of contemporary art covering 150 km. The locations for the Manifesta 7 exhibitions are in disused industrial spaces like a former tobacco factory or the Alumix aluminum-smelting complex or a former central post office. Works by 188 artists will be presented at the four Manifesta venues, most of which have been created especially for the occasion.

Bolzano: Museion – Maurizio Cattelan. Maurizio Cattelan's Charlie Don’t Surf, 1997, is a sculpture named after a brutal dialogue in the film Apocalypse Now. Charlie is a small boy in a hooded sweatshirt sitting with his back to the viewer at a school desk.

A Detail. A detail of Maurizio Cattelan’s Charlie Don’t Surf, 1997.

Bolzano: Museion – Andy Warhol. Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, 1964-1966 were filmed in his studio, known as The Factory. Visitors with potential “star” quality would be asked to sit in front of a camera and sit still while the camera was running. Subjects included; Bob Dylan, Salvador Dali, Baby Jane Holzer to name just a few.

Bolzano: Museion – Allora and Calzadilla. The Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla sculpture entitled Sediments and Sentiments, 2007, is the last in a trilogy of works that explores the interplay between militarism and sound in the context of today’s global state of war. Singers emit operatic rap from a tape recorder hidden inside the piece.

photograph by Manfredi Bellati
Bolzano: Museion - the back. The Museion can be reached from the back by foot or by bike across two irregular, free-form curving bridges over the river Talvera. See how the modern building integrates and doesn’t disturb the surrounding buildings.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Marrakech: interesting people, designers, craftsmens and more...

Marrakech – The Red City. What could be more appropriate as an introduction to my Marrakech: interesting people, designers, craftsmen and more… blog than the instantly recognizable red walls themselves? They are so photogenic and are made from Tabia, a mix of red mud and water from the Hazou plains. This blog is a story about the people I met while I was photographing a shopping guide to Marrakech, which will be written by Susan Simon for the American publisher, The Little Bookroom and due out next spring. The Little Bookroom specializes in the most beautiful guidebooks that go off the beaten path.
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Marrakech: interesting people, designers, craftsmens and more...

Jnane Tamsna. A camel greets you down the rosemary walk leading up to the hotel Jnane Tamsna.

Jnane Tamsna – Meryanne Loum-Martin. Senegalese Born, Paris raised, Meryanne Loum-Martin was formerly a lawyer, now turned designer. She and her husband, the ethno-botanist Gary Martin own the hotel Jnane Tamsna in the Palmeraie area of Marrakech. Meryanne designed and decorated the hotel with her furniture and objects that she created using local craftsmen and artisans. Her style is eclectic and understated Moroccan chic, just like this small cast-iron chair she is sitting on. Meryanne also represents the talented Beligian painter, Philippe Deltour, whose paintings are hung in the hotel. The busy lady also co-authored the book, New Moroccan Style: The Art of Sensual Living.

Jnane Tamsna – a detail. I loved the detail of this curtain especially the mix of fabrics and textures. Meryanne puts together different materials from her travels all over the world.

Jnane Tamsna – the sitting room. The sitting room of the Jnane Tamsna hotel is a showcase for Meryanne’s furniture. Meryanne’s style is eclectic and she works with all the best craftsmen in Morocco using local materials.

Jnane Tamsna – one of the pools. You can see the pool nearly submerged by the palm trees, the flowers and the vegetation. The rosemary bushes creep up to border of the pool and the vegetables and herbs are planted just beyond. There is no hotel garden quite like this in Marrakech.

Jnane Tamsna – the edible garden. Meryanne’s husband, Gary Martin, a well-known ethno-botanist and founder of the Global Diversity Foundation (GDF), created the garden from scratch. The land is one big vegetable garden or edible landscape. He told British House and Garden “I don’t do grass at all.”

Jnane Tamsna – the rooftop. The rooftop of one of the five houses that make up the hotel Jnane Tamsna in the Palmeraie, the oasis area just outside Marrakech. The hotel is owned and was entirely designed by Meryanne Loum-Martin, she is the pioneer of understated Moroccan style.
Note: the Moroccan inspired lantern designed by Meryanne. Pin It

Marrakech: interesting people, designers, craftsmens and more...

Le Tresor Des Normandes or Mustapha Blaoui. Mustapha Blaoui shows off antique pairs of embroidered babouches. He is a gracious host and knows All Marrakech, not only the residents but also who is visiting. It is a ritual for friends and customers to call on Mustapha around five or six o’clock and sip his sweet mint tea and chat in his store.

Le Tresor Des Normandes or Mustapha Blaoui. Unexpectedly, behind studded blank double doors there is this warehouse piled high with the most beautiful objects; candlesticks and lanterns, straw carpets trimmed in leather, frames, brightly colored leather chests, pots, bowls, table and chairs. It’s an Aladdin’s cave, it’s 1001 Nights, it’s ‘magical'.

Le Tresor Des Normandes or Mustapha Blaoui. In the whole store these silver plated metal plastic water bottle holders were my choice.
Le Tresor Des Normandes: 142 Rue Bab Doukkala - Pin It

Marrakech: interesting people, designers, craftsmens and more...

Maryam Montague. Probably, American born, Maryam Montague is better known for her stylish and “poetic” blog than as a personal shopper, or for her work in running democracy and governance programs around the world. However, one thing is for sure, she has a great eye, great style and great taste. Self confessed as a compulsive shopper, she loves to show her personal shopper clients around Marrakech in her air-conditioned car with a driver, securing for them absolutely the best prices. She has also decorated houses for clients, styled magazine articles and updated guidebooks to the Red City. This clever and beautiful mother of two is a “Jack of all trades’ creative.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Marrakech: interesting people, designers, craftsmens and more...

Dar Mo’Da – the mascot. Charlie, the parrot rules over the riad.

Dar Mo’Da – the downstairs pool. The Dar Mo’Da is a private house available for rental for a family or a group of people. It can sleep eight to ten people. It is centrally located in the Medina or old city on the rue el Mouassine, near the Dar el Bacha Royal Palace. The house comes with a permanent staff and the guardian also is an excellent masseur. Besides the two pools there is a hamman, it is fully air conditioned, it has satellite TV and wifi.

Dar Mo’Da – Elena Masera and Susan Simon. Elena Masera and Susan Simon rest by the downstairs pool. We have just come back from a working day in the heat of Marrakech. Elena was sent to us by "divine providence", she was one of our invaluable guides and became a friend and we had a lot of fun together. Elena also efficiently manages the Dar Mo’Da. Susan and I where in Marrakech to write and photograph a shopping guide to the red city for the American publisher, The Little Bookroom, so look out for it next spring. I highly recommend it, it will be full of fabulous addresses for shopping in Marrakech.

Dar Mo’Da - one of the indoor sitting rooms. One of the sitting rooms on the ground floor. The white decor is so relaxing after a day shopping in the heat of the souks.

Dar Mo’Da – the terrace pool. A detail of the terrace and the pool. There is also an outdoor dinning room on the rooftop and a stunning 360 degree view of Marrakech.
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Marrakech: interesting people, designers, craftsmens and more...

Café des Epices. 'Billed' as an oasis in the heart of the Medina, the Café des Epices has become a obligatory stop. The rooftop terrace looks out onto the Place des Epices and is a great place for people watching, excellent coffee, a cold drink or a snack like these appetizing pitta bread sandiwiches. It also has wifi access.
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Marrakech: interesting people, designers, craftsmens and more...

Chez Khyati Mustapha. Mustapha Khyati is The pouff maker of Marrakech. He works in the alleyway in front of his shop. His creations come in all shapes and sizes and his leather is top quality. He also makes cushions and babouches to order.
Chez Khyati Mustapha: 5 rue El Ksour - Medina tel 00212 070 01 83 86

Contessanally tip:
Click on the photos to enlarge them.

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Marrakech: interesting people, designers, craftsmens and more...

Art Ouarzazate. The colorful sitting area at Art Ouarzazate is where you can sit, relax and sip mint tea whilst being shown the most creative and unusual carpets designed by Abdel Samad.

Art Ouarzazate - Abdel Samad. Art Ouarzazate’s carpet designer, Abdel Samad shows off one of his wonderful creations, it’s a hand woven carpet with rings of colored beads sewn onto it.

Art Ouarzazate – a detail. A detail of the “shaggy dog” carpet made from strips of knotted suede at Art Ouarzazate. The colors are so well chosen and look so good together. It’s a joy to walk barefoot on the leather; I would love to have this in my bedroom.
Art Ouarzazate: 15 rue Rabna Kdima – tel 00 212 012 148 963 Pin It

Marrakech: interesting people, designers, craftsmens and more...

The Akbar Delights and Moor private showroom. Brother and sister, Isabelle Duchet-Annez and Yann Dobry run and design Akbar Delights and now the new line Moor. Whilst Isabelle takes care of all the “paper work”, Yann is plane hopping between New York, the Orient, France and Morocco designing the collections, which are made in India. They are sitting in the VIP private showroom in the Gueliz district, where celebrities, like Uma Thurman arrive in the underground parking and are whisked up to the first floor. Behind them is part of their extensive collection of King Mohammed paraphernalia.

Moor. This ecru Moroccon inspired hand-embroidered linen shirt exemplifies the mood of the new Moor line designed by the talented Lyonnais designer, Yann Dobry of Akbar Delights.

Akbar Delights – a detail. A detail of the sleeve of a tunic embroidered with small beads. Akbar Delights, on the Place Bab Fteuh, just inside the Medina, is a high-style tiny sophisticated boutique selling the most beautiful, made in India, hand-embroidered tunics in silk, cotton and linen inspired by the Orient and Asia. The accessories, like, gold embroidered babouches and beaded evening bags are displayed with cult books, objects and the biggest collection of King Mohammed paraphernalia.
Akbar Delights: 45 Place Bab Fteuh – Medina – Pin It

Marrakech: interesting people, designers, craftsmens and more...

Emdi - Marie Dominique Jauzon. Marie Dominique Jauzon has put her experience of years of fashion designing in France to use into her own label, Emdi. She makes the clothes and accessories in Morocco using only the best-imported natural fabrics. Her style is sophisticated Marrakech revisited, like the Jeans jacket she is wearing or the Toile de Jouey jackets hanging on the cupboard behind her. She is also an avid photographer and she is preparing a set of beautiful Moroccan postcards inspired by the bright colors the city offers everywhere.

Emdi – a detail. A detail of a kaftan made in tweed and embroidered by hand from the Emdi winter collection. Marie Dominique Jauzon shows and sells her beautiful clothes and accessories directly from her riad in the Medina.
Contessanally tip: Click on the photo see see a bigger image.
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Marrakech: interesting people, designers, craftsmens and more...

Chez Zoe. A former dancer, French born, Caroline runs the Chez Zoe showroom in Marrakech. Chez Zoe makes the most beautiful hand-embroidered household linens and cottons. The original and magnificent designs are executed on site by a dieing breed of ladies, who still embroider by hand.
Chez Zoe: 510, zi de Sidi Ghanem – tel 00 212 44 33 61 44

Chez Zoe. The Industrial zone of Marrakech is full of design showrooms. The interesting thing is that most or part of the craftsmanship is done on site, usually in a backroom. Here you get a feel of the activity Chez Zoe. A beautiful hand-embroidered sheet is waiting to be ironed before consignment.

Chez Zoe. This toweling robe is a take on the classic djellabah, hangs waiting to be packed; it will be going to a hotel in France. On the left hand side you can just glimpse one of the women embroidering on site.
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Monday, June 09, 2008

Marrakech: interesting people, designers, craftsmens and more...

Aziz. This handsome Morrocan jewelery designer, Aziz has so much style. While he was treading necklaces outside his store, he caught our attention with his perfectly co-coordinated clothes. Hues of purple and lilac together with an antique striped waistcoat and a matching cap all worked perfectly together. “It is my job to match and mix colors together.” He explained about his look.

Aziz. A corner of Aziz's shop. In the foreground a selection of the necklaces he creates by putting together antique and old semi-precious stones. You can find his small and fascinating shop on the Rue Mouassine near Khartit Mustapha’s store.
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Marrakech: interesting people, designers, craftsmens and more...

Café Arabe. Café Arabe is the hip guesthouse and restaurant in the Medina where the foreign contingent like to sit back and relax. It is especially nice at sundown to sit on the rooftop terrace, which overlooks the nearby mosque, and sip an alfresco aperitif.
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Marrakech: interesting people, designers, craftsmens and more...

Aya’s Marrakech boutique. Nawal is the delightful owner and designer of Aya’s Marrakech.

Aya’s Marrakech boutique. Tucked away under a gallery near the Place des Fer-Blantiers in the Mellah, Aya’s boutique is a discovery. Like the name suggest, Aya translates as everything that is beautiful or the best. Seen here, one of her ‘signature’ linen tunic tops beautifully hand embroidered and hand tinted antique framed postcards.
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Marrakech: interesting people, designers, craftsmens and more...

Seen in the Jardin Majorelle. New York based, superstar landscape designer and gardening author, Madison Cox. He is consulting for the Jardin Majorelle. He has also written two books about the gardens; with Pierre Berge and Claire De Virieu entitled, Majorelle: A Moroccan Oasis, as well as, Majorelle Gardens of Marrakech.

A View of the Jardin Majorelle. French painter, Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s, designed the garden with marble pools, raised pathways, banana trees, grooves of bamboo and coconut palms. He was one of the most important plant collectors of his era. Many of the built features are painted “Majorelle Blue” which works wells with the soil, climate and plants. In fact the Majorelle Gardens are Jacques Majorelle’s masterpiece rather than his paintings.

Seen in the Jardin Majorelle. Against a "Majorelle Blue" wall, landscape garden designer, Madison Cox talks to Jardin Majorelle directrice, Soraya Abid and Fashion designer, Bernard Sanz.
Jardin Majorelle - Boutique. This is one of the most beautiful boutiques in Marrakech. Fashion designer, Bernard Sanz designs all the merchandise. He is prone, and who isn’t, to fine Liberty cotton, like these barouches covered in it. After a career in Paris designing for Yves Saint Laurent, Hermes and Balmain, Bernard has settled in Marrakech and continues his art for this wonderful sophisticated space.

Jardin Majorelle. A row of colored pots and plants are composed like a painting, not surprisingly as the Jardin was created by the French painter, Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s. Later, the garden was taken over and restored by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge.
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Marrakech: interesting people, designers, craftsmens and more...

Chez Mohamed or Chez Shoua. A message for world peace, discreetly prevail above the meats waiting to be cooked.

Chez Mohamed or Chez Shoua. Mohamed cooks behind a tin screen with a hole in the middle, it has blue and white clouds painted on it. Finally he is cooking our meat. We had to wait “hours” while Japanese TV was filming him. Chez Shoua, which means barbecue in Arabic is the hot spot to eat in Marrakech. That is if you can find it, it’s in the Souk des Feronniers.

Chez Mohamed or Chez Shoua. The kitchen.

Chez Mohamed or Chez Shoua. We ate on little stools delicious barbecued meats, omelets and pitta bread served on a tray in the souk, in front of an antique shop. This was the best meal of our whole trip!
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