Extraordinary Gentlemen (2012)
In collaboration with stylist Alister Mackie and Nick Knight, this latest fashion film captures a series of hand-crafted handicraft homages to the extreme volumes and textures that characterise the best of twenty-first century menswear as featured in AnOther Man magazine
The seductive curves of a toned figure are slowly unveiled by the ultimate seamless shave in designer, animator and photographer Bart Hess’s sleek new film. Inspired by the aerodynamic forms of swimmers currently battling it out in the Olympic pool, Hess was aided by a pair of human shavers manipulating a two-meter long blade in turning a mechanical act of grooming into a strangely hypnotic performance. “What is important to me in my work is a sense of estranging,” admits Hess, who added the white bar in post-production to compound the uncanny feel of the film. “I want to show the spectator an image that may not be recognizable right away.”
Heart to Mouth (2013)
Sheath your arrows: the voluptuous red heart, international symbol of love, is reimagined in this a visceral new short by genre-defying Dutch artist Bart Hess. With echoes of high-tech fetish fashion and Jeff Koons’ contemporary pop art classic “Hanging Heart,” Hess’ latest video stages a Sapphic encounter from within crimson latex balloons. “I want to create a tension between the body and material—almost as though they become one,” Here Hess turns to fringe science, confessing a fascination with the mysterious phenomenon of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR). “It’s a physical sensation that most people describe as a tingling in the head or a ‘brain orgasm’ that can be caused by all kinds of sounds,” he explains of the intense experience, which, if you believe its proponents, can be provoked by online uploads of mundane tasks. “One video that definitely triggers something with me is of a woman playing with a balloon. Together with an amazing team I translated the idea into my own short.”
Bart Hess (born 1984) explores several fields combining material studies, animation and photography in a surrealist manner. With his fascination for the human body and the manipulation of it, Hess pushes the boundaries of the textile design profession: his designs transcend the craft, as Hess chooses to extend them via other media such as film, photography and animation. His futuristic materials and textures blur the boundary between textile and skin, human and new species. With his work Hess has obtained an independent position in the world of fashion, design and art. His list of international collaborations and clients include prestigious names such as Lady Gaga, Lucy McRae, Palais de Tokyo and Nick Knight.
“Lucyandbart” is a collaboration between artists Lucy McRae and Bart Hess. They imagine human bodies and faces physically altered with a shocking but artistic realism. Globules of foam, asymmetric spines… fascinating and repugnant simultaneously, the pictures become even more disturbing because they don’t hint at the emotional state of the subject. Each transformed human looks blankly back at you, neither horrified or surprised or excited about their change of form, but merely present and allowing it to be shown to you.
Bart Hess (sometimes in collaboration with Lucy McRae) produces works that are avant-garde and explores the relationship between materials and the body. The short films do not contain a clear storyline, but aim to express pure aesthetics and basic ideas with performative acts. The conceptual costumes inspire the audience's own interpretation of a character or a story.
In Collabortion with HeyHeyHey – Shiny latex and an endless grid of tubes transform the human into a mutant. The Mutant embodies the everchanging boundarie between the digital and physical world.
Pins and Needles (2013)
Designer Bart Hess and filmmaker Ruth Hogben joined forces for their contribution to SHOWstudio’s Punk film season. Inspired by punk’s association with metal adornments Hess built a garment entirely from studs, pins and chains. Hundreds of magnets were glued on to dancer Eric Underwood, attracting over 80 kilograms of steel bits like instant metal embroidery. Hogben captured the creative process and used the footage to create Pins and Needles.