Tilt Republic. Johannesburg. New York. Cape Town. London.

twisted is the new pretty

Something very different happens almost every few years, intrinsic shifts. Music, literature, whatever… we are in a state of constant progression, evolution, mutation. The fact that we are self aware, meta conscious beings, makes room for a little too much inauthenticity at times, especially when it comes to making art.

What I perceived as beautiful five years ago compared to how I handle the idea now has changed significantly and for many reasons. Our voyeurism, our cultural preferences, these are more than reflections of who we are, they revolve around who we want to be. Some use their preferences as tools for social change. Only listening to Doug Stanhope, wearing second hand clothing, starving yourself to size zero perfection, these things can be and are more than fashion statements. Contained in the various obsessions are social constructs and ideas about how we see the world, prescriptions on how to relate the great sordid expanse of modernity and in my case, creative ways to hold significance in contempt.

It’s in this beauteous tumultuous mess that I now consider the great the Sunday morning debate. The impasse slams me into a complex concession of thoughts. Here it is, Hepburn vs Vi$$er. My hypothetical jaw clicks as the collective fuckslap you champagne tinted rose bespectacled sepia vintage adherents have just given me in your minds. The debate has merit. It has just cause. What we’re looking at here is the broader debate. Kindle vs print, digital vs film and dare I say stoic progression vs reactionary sentiment.

Having a blue collar foundation certainly effects the objective quotient in this debate, so does being a free wheeling boho rant enthusiast, but the tenets are transcendent. We’re in the age where twisted has become pretty. Like I mentioned earlier our tastes have become something more, a tool to promote ideas as much as cater for our aesthetic appetites.

Audrey Kathleen Ruston Hepburn, born the 4th of May 1929, is what romance should be like. Defining the very stuff of beauty, consisting of its simplest elements seamlessly attached by elegance and grace. I am of course talking about that which I’ve seen of her on film, I bare no insight outside of the projected image. That is the only part I’m interested in. My perception of her ends at the credits and that is how it should be. This habit we have of scratching beneath an actors work, needing to see where they sleep, who they fuck and how they treat their pets is such tedious bullshit. That’s probably why Depp owns a piece of property called Fuck Off Island.

My attraction to her is a longing for simplicity, war time domesticity wrapped in the grey scale mauve of sensible conversation. She delivers and defines every expectation, she doesn’t miss a beat, predictable in the best of ways. She is ballet, she is piano.

There is a common thread amongst those who break the impasse by siding with her. They are pretty much the same breed. A notable dated vinyl collection, a basket attached to their custom bicycle and a moleskin filled with ideas for a documentary revolving around shit that happened in a subversive art scene somewhere. These neo-horse-and-buggyists are infinitely important to our cultural landscape. Even if it’s just for contrast, we need these people. Without them modernity looks one dimensional, gadgets look like crutches and wasting time has none of that minimalist beauty they manage to extract from it. Some of these fine creatures exhibit a wonderful receipt in momentary appreciation. Somehow they’ve managed to transpose all that was beauteous about the previous generation in a working modern melange. And sometimes they just look like dicks.

Yolandi Visser has done something to the way I think, a contributing influence that has caused changes in my ideas relating to beauty. She’s not a just a rapper, she’s isn’t just a beautifully twisted model, Yolandi Visser is a post modern collaboration between nihilism, sex and rebellion. A raging antithesis to the old guard, the managed expectation and prescribed femininity. She’s bigger than beautiful, using the platform to reach for undertones broader than bonnets and cuteness and dated preppy pigtailed bullshit. She has disbanded mediocrity in the realm of conservative sexuality, when I look at her I see alternative consciousness at work. I see intentional agency driven by sinister marching orders. Not just dancing to money’s prescription of beauty, there are many suites sidelined by her choices. She caters for blue collar grit, she serves the binding notion sentiment of this is who I am and ‘your poes’ if you don’t like it.

To have layered so much counter cultural swagger in one pop image, the authenticity is beyond kiff, be it contrived and hyperbolic, which strangely makes it all the more authentic. I’ll always remember when Yolandi Vi$$er busted into the media, because it was a time when twisted became pretty.