INTERVIEW WITH SOME/THINGS' MONIKA BIELSKYTE FOR THESWITCH.COM
In a long, two-part interview, we talk to Monika Bielskyte, creative director of Paris based art, design and media project, SOME/THINGS, that’s expressed by a luxury book that comes in ‘chapters’. As chapter 6 entitled The Dark Labyrinth begins its world tour with a series of events scheduled in Paris, Moscow, Beijing, Shanghai and Miami, we stole the biggest luxury known to man - time - with Monika to help us get our heads around what exactly SOME/THINGS is all about……
Can you tell us about one or two old stories from previous issues that you still love…
Working with Rick Owens, who is truly one of the most innovative designers today, throughout our first 5 issues was a wonderful experience, spending time with both him and Michele over the course of 3 years to present a very special look inside their world, taking portraits of their team in 6 locations in Italy and Paris, including Rick and Michele’s Palais Bourbon home, the factories, offices, and backstage leading up to the runway shows, collaborating on Rick’s perfume imagery and so much more.
Architectural pioneer Claude Parent is truly one of the brightest and most inspiring people I was blessed to meet. Now almost 90 years old, Claude is younger at heart than any young person I’ve met, his sense of wonder, his openness, his grace, his generosity were a true lesson of life, extending way further than just professional learning. He showed us his incredible collection of unpublished works, some of which we featured, and of course the interview we did with him, which ended up being almost 10,000 words! We worked very closely with Claude, as well as the CENTRE POMPIDOU, CITÉ CHAILLOT, and FRAC CENTRE, to conceive an ‘imaginary city’, photographed and filmed using his archive scale models. When he saw the film, he was truly moved by it… such genuine emotional moments— is really what makes me want to continue doing what we do.
Our new issue actually had some very personal interviews, I remember Ricardo Bofill telling me about winning a competition to build a mosque for Saddam Hussein, just before the war. His descriptions of Hussein becoming progressively more extravagant ‘walking like a Callas in an amphitheatre full of bearded men’ as Ricardo recalled, were insights into an extraordinary life, stories one doesn’t really learn by reading conventional press.
I also really enjoyed working with FERRAN ADRIÀ and EL BULLI. Ferran is widely regarded as the best chef in the world, and molecular cuisine is something that has always interested me. Being alongside Ferran during the El Bulli foundation’s brainstorming sessions with TELEFONICA’s R&D team, many of the details of which were not going to be disclosed to the public before 2014, was a truly revelatory and enriching experience...]