Office workers enjoy good weather at lunch time perched on the steps of the ‘Arche de la Défense’ in the business district to the west of Paris.
In a travelling exhibit, high-end retailer Holt Renfrew partnered with the French Embassy to reveal what the highest price items are made of. Combining art and science, Paris-based journalist Laurence Picot used a medical scanner and photography to examine fourteen top luxury items. These included the new Hermès saddle, the S.T. Dupont lighter and Pierre Corthay shoes.
“LuxInside – Traces of Man” offers an inside view of excellent craftsmanship. “The principle behind luxury products is that you should not see signs of human innovation or the work that went into them,” Picot explained. Nevertheless, she was fascinated by the manufacturing processes and the people involved. Unsurprisingly, luxury retailers were unwilling to reveal the inner qualities of their designs. This only set Picot and a collective of artists and scientists onto an investigation that “diagnoses” the talent, the traces of what man has produced.
You may have wondered aloud at the $1,000 price tag for a pair of red-soled Christian Louboutin heels. There’s more to luxury than meets the eye. It is the use of a very durable, costly metal — originally patented for the aircraft industry — to structure the heel and sole, resulting in a heel that will properly support a women’s ankle and stand the test of time.
The exhibit arrived in Canada after its tour of Europe and South America.
Turkey’s nationwide protests last year grabbed headlines with images of police violence and protesters’ creativity. Taksim Square, a much-loved green space in Istanbul, was the epicenter of this anti-government action. The icon that put all the other protest antics to rest was the appearance one evening of ‘The Standing Man’.
A 34-year-old performance artist named Erdem Gunduz walked to the middle of the square, stuck his hands in the pockets of his gray pants, and assumed a stoic stance that lasted about eight hours.
Still shell-shocked from two days of fierce clashes with the police, protestors were looking for a peaceful way to extend their effort into its third week. Those arriving at Taksim Square joined Mr. Gunduz. By the end of the evening, several hundred people were standing quietly, some of them holding hands as they faced the Ataturk Cultural Center. In a time-out face-off, security forces lounged in front of the center underneath big umbrellas. Behind them teargas canisters lay in wait.
A phenomenon was born. Within a short period of time, The Standing Man was the hottest thing on Twitter–not only in Turkey, but for a brief period, worldwide.
Then, ‘The Standing Woman’ appeared at the Kizilay Square in Ankara, where a protester was fatally shot. The passive resistance spread like wildfire, even to Paris and London.
Mr. Gunduz, the artist, was quoted as saying in a message posted on social media sites. “Standing Man is not just one person!”
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