Culture

Shinpei Ueno x Daidō Moriyama

A new audiovisual gem from Japanese genius Shinpei Ueno, most renowned as the head of Tightbooth (the collective responsible for the video series, "Lenz"; the third of which is on the way, and may we recommend to the more curious of you to try and get their hands on the rare "Dialogue Between Insiders"), and as an Evisen rider. For those of you who haven't kept up - Evisen is Katsumi Minami's board company - the man behind the excellent independent full-length video "Night Prowler" about a decade back - clearly a must see, if only for Deshi's and Rich Adler's equally mindblowing, respective sections...

Anyway, Shinpei seems to be rolling and has been up to collaborating with world famous Japanese photographer Daidō MoriyamaWe were in the know about the Evisen board series, but unaware of the following installation! Which took place at Qucon Tokyo, Shinpei's new skate, shop and gallery space it seems like, and consisted in photo print-scented transition sessions, literally moving negative film projections and brillant skate performance by some of the local modern style icons as a means of live human interaction. Oh, and Moriyama's interpretation of our absurd little urban stunt boarding thing has to be worth one's time as well!

Jonathan Rentschler / 5W's!

Jon Rentschler aka. Euro Jon recently released "LOVE", a photo book with the intent of immortalizing the last few months prior to the unskatable remodelization of LOVE Park, the iconic plaza and historic skate spot in Philly - frequented throughout the ages by the likes of Ricky Oyola, Matt Reason, Stevie Williams or Josh Kalis, just to name some of the most obvious. Logically, timeline-wise, that project coincides with the time period around which Brian Panebianco was also crafting his own time capsule of the spot's destruction, just in video form, with "Sabotage 5"; but without further digression, let's let Jon himself talk, and invite us to his upcoming photo show in Tokyo, Japan, the opening of which is on this 18th of October, doors at seven P.M.!

Leo, Bord'O and "skate urbanism"

Leo Valls (remember Minuit from ten (!) years ago, the Magenta videos in the meantime and then, his two-month late-and-counting Bigger Spin his Big Spin interview is still waiting for, making that one Late Bigger Spin); when he's not skateboarding, working on a skateboarding-related project just about anywhere geographically reachable, or scoring Instagram points, is busy - and has been for a few years, alongside local N.P.O. Board'O - getting involved in the politics of his hometown of Bordeaux, France. His intent: working with the skateboarders and with the city towards the best possible compromise between the inhabitants and the skateboarders Bordeaux is literally packed with. Over the years, his effort has slowly but very surely borne many a fruit, and Leo was recently invited to give a talk at Pushing Boarders in Malmö regarding the progressive aspect of such politics as opposed to brutal repression, highlighting their positives for the common good over more selfish instances of private interest and showcasing real-world examples of locations were such "skate urbanism" was developed as nothing but places actually up to date with the modern urban necessities.

Leo also skates for DC Shoes, and the brand just dropped this little documentary piece on his activism.

"Situación de Calle" / Gerardo Sosa / INTERVIEW

One seldom gets to hear about a full-length skate video exporting itself straight out of Argentina, embracing the wider world with only due audacity. If spots have been the prey of skate tourism for a long time and some key names might have crossed the border a few times, local productions are generally underrepresented in worldwide scale media, which obviously led to the question - what is up with the scene over there?

The release of Gerardo Sosa's new film, "Situación de Calle", was the perfect opportunity to catch up with an activist familiar with that very subject, and who also turned out to be more than keen to cover it for us, in this passionate 5W's!

VLADIMIR FILM FESTIVAL 2019 / REPORT

Vladimir - for the obscure.

The black sheep has only been developing exponentially over its now nine years of existence, and so has been the attention it's received with, this year, an approximation of three hundred people showing up from the whole planet over to attend this local festival in Fažana, Croatia - a little Istrian port town with a loaded history, testimonies of which still stand under the form of monuments everywhere (currently ensuring a steady flow of tourism), and the sensibilities of the inhabitants.

What originally started out as a very local initiative consisting in video screenings at the local skatepark quickly outgrew that embryonic phase as its instigators, Nikola Racan (of 'Solsticij' full-length video underground fame) and the Skateboard klub August Šenoa locals grew to use modern communication tools to get further and further in touch with universally renowned skate artists and documentarists - whether in the photo or video field.

Summit of the Non-Aligned / 5W's!

Skateboarding has definitely been seeing the flourishing of independent happenings, as though a form of natural resistance to mass culture by its most sincerely devoted enthusiasts. As the official 2019 program for the ninth (!) edition of the Croatian Vladimir Film Festival just dropped, in Belgrade, the Summit of the Non-Aligned is just about to start (from today on, till September 15th), and as expected from passionate people whose communication is more akin to sponataneous expression than malign marketing, it probably wouldn't have caught the attention of a wider scale audience if it hadn't been for word of mouth from acquainted artists who linked us up (i.e. Glen Fox and Nez Pez). Five minutes later and a phone call was in order...
 
Check out the Summit's website and Instagram feed, and enjoy the interview below, with activist David Soda.

RIOS x BELGRADE ZOO

The two crustiest Eastern crews are back! Reuniting with the concept of last year's "Dunja" (which you can peep alongside an interview here), our Budapest brethren: the devin that is the Rios crew recently went back to Serbia for more urban life and shared street moments with the local Belgrade Zoo. Rumors of an official, upcoming twinning of the two regions have since been spread.

Still Belgrade-related - if around or nearby, please do yourself a favor and take a gander at this sick local event, imminently occuring: the Summit of the Non-Aligned will take place on the 12th-15th of September, and happens to be a skate festival skate with a damn fine selection and a nice touch to the presentation you really shouldn't miss on Instagram. More info on the way...

In the same vein and chain of events, the program for this year's (ninth!) edition of the now classic Vladimir Film Festival just dropped and it's heavier than ever (like with every new iteration). Check it out and book your tickets - not even necessarily in that order.

"Polygone" / Florent Theron / GALLERY

Consciousness of the urban space has to be a hot topic this day: amongst many other things, LIVE has told you about the Bordeaux, France-based project "PLAY" before and, recently, Ocean Howell even reconciled with his first love long enough for a few talks at the recent Pushing Boarders in Malmö (as well as a three-sixty kickflip).

If the fruit of such considerations is only now blooming here and there throughout the surface of the globe in apparently a rather simultaneous manner, that's only because it's been nurtured underground by the skateboarders' perpetual frustration regarding the inadequacies of the established society with the reality of their practice of choice - for a long, long time.

In Nice, France, Florent Theron has been working on "Polygone" for over a year already; a personal project that he eventually materialized in fanzine form, for the lack of an additional, better-suited dimension. Oddly enough, despite both projects being completely disconnected at the root, Florent's interpretation of the skatable structure shares sensibilities with Leo and Nicolas' take on the subject with "PLAY": the obstacle is summarized to its most basic geometrical shape (in this case, three triangles), and primary colors that inspire a Mondrianesque cognitive deciphering.

Images aplenty were captured by Fred Schwal, and then laid out on paper by Florent himself, strong of his Le Huit experience as he is. Let's hand him the mic for a sec.

PREMIERE / "Abyssal" / José Francisco / INTERVIEW

As our feed thus far this summer can attest, skate production has been booming in Brazil recently - or so it may seem to the foes most unfamiliar with anything but the tip of that exotic iceberg. As discussed in our recent interview with young Rio De Janeiro local, Sergio Santoro, in reality, the energy stemming from the entire - massive - country is actually timeless, and strong of as many personifications as it has engendered individual, local scenes throughout the decades. It really should be a given that, like most everywhere even remotely skatable on the planet, Brazil always bred generations worth of locally renowned legends and tales and yet, to this day the language barrier can still persist when it comes to exporting such sunshine overseas - prompting many to summarize "Brazilian skateboarding" just to #slidesandgrinds and the occasional holidays trip video upload, for the lack of more accessible information, accurate orientation and generally easier access to the reality of the insiders' culture.
 
Now, the topic isn't without being reminiscent of a wider debate within skateboarding and its most emotionally involved enthusiasts altogether; despite pop culture having swallowed the image of the activity whole over the past two decades, essentially reappropriating it for mass branding purposes (with the positive side effect of potentially introducing some of its magic to many a new kid), who's to say that skateboarding no longer belongs to those who are actually doing it? Who's to say that worldwide validation and unicorn lives matter, when secluded communities grow so strong by themselves that the dimension of their existence alone suffices to render the whole idea of serious competition in skateboarding as invalid as a mere joke?
 
But now, validation and recognition are two different things. Whilst the former is delusional, the latter is all about duly paying tribute to the most interesting local productions and crazy activists behind them, opening borders, gaining perspectives and building bridges over trenches. In today's case, with the presentation of "ABYSSAL", said trenches are as rough and rugged as the average LIVE reader should expect by now if they have been following our incessant stream of Brazilian e-postcards. The film is by José Francisco, based in Anápolis and participant in the eponymous multimedia collective; and it is now free to watch above but before you do go peep, make sure you keep scrolling a bit further down, for an intense 5W's session with quite the sincere video maker!

History, waffles and lettres d'amour

"Loveletters to Skateboarding" is the increasingly popular video podcast hosted by Jeff Grosso and his peeps; whilst on the other side of the lens and in the editing room, resides the role of our friends at Six Stair (most notably renowned for their work on the Antihero video "The Body Corporate", but not just that one), and Vans is in charge of the make-up. Recently, the latest episodes of the show have been region-based and it just so happens that France is the subject of the newest one! The guys did very well at conducting a thorough research job and, despite their humble claim to not be trying to make a documentary on the history of French skateboarding altogether per se, the eventual product resembles just that pretty well and features interventions from many an interesting, if not pivotal character in the local culture, as well as vintage, still moving pictures and tales aplenty, as though told on a seven-hour drive from Paris to Marseille, going through Lyon, and then recounted on the way back - in love mail.

Evisen x Daidō Moriyama

Daidō Moriyama (森山大道) is a renowned Japanese photographer born October 10th, 1938 in Ikeda, Osaka. His body of works is notorious for being a testimony to the evolution of society in the post-war Japan of the second half of the twentieth century.

As far as the first half of the twenty-first century is concerned however, it is the Evisen guys who are apparently quite excited about carrying to the torch, by productively documenting the evolution of society in the current post-skate Japan.

What goes around comes around with this new edit, one intended to promote a new line of decks that happens to be a strong collaboration with the aforementioned artist, a collection one can keep up with here as more and more models are going out of stock already. As per usual, everything is orchestrated to a home-made soundtrack whilst, in front of the lens, dance around the multiple and varied talents of Maru, Shinpei Ueno, Katsumi Minami, Koichiro Uehara, Laurence Keefe, Shor West, Seimi Miyahara and Kento Yoshioka.

Intêrstate magazine / Rafael Gonzalez / 5W's!

Launched in 2017, Intêrstate is a highly qualitative skateboarding magazine with a focus on beautiful images, exposed film and an explicit motto: "skateboarding culture and visual arts". The third issue just came out, and one of the co-founders tells us more.

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