TWELV is excited to announce Tokyo-based, photographer Jörgen Axelvall’s new exhibition and book release, Go To Become.
Queen Of The Night Casts Its Spell
At Queen of the Night, inhibitions drown in sudden dalliances. Upon entering the Diamond Horseshoe, a spell is cast as you descend the staircase. As guests of the Queen, we are immediately immersed into a room full of people and into a trance all our own. The details are subtly mystic; door handles shake back, enchanted wallpaper changes before your eyes and doors are portals to untapped levels of imagination.
The chemists behind the steam punk bar spread out concoctions free for taking as the butler characters, sporting androgynous versions of Thom Browne’s signature shrunken suits, slyly work through the crowd. Their deviant antics come without warning; enigmatically charming looks lure peculiar conversations that bring on out-of-character actions, sometimes baffling and occasionally sensual.
An unsuspecting guest is pulled from the room, into isolation, and given three options for the night on hand written note: a) grope a peer b) give a lap dance c) make-out with a stranger. He chooses, makes a promise and is released from seclusion back into the madness.
The masked Queen presides over the room for the entirely of the cocktail hour building heavy anticipation for the insanity that is about to commence. Her face hidden by stunning jewels and her body draped with a regal aqua robe.
As the butler’s coats come off, the dining room becomes a stage, a dance floor and a circus ring all at once. The queen’s sirens morph her from a royal fixture into the belle of the ball, in a striking white gown adorned with sapphires and gold hands. The lighting and flaming music work in tandem, demanding attention to the center stage as we’re seated for dinner. We are thrown into the dramatic physical saga of Pamina and Tamino’s love, utilizing the venue, the characters dive through hoops suspending from the ceiling.
The boisterous performance surrounding the meal is amplified by the food itself, opening with a baguette celebrated by the table’s breadbasket connoisseurs. For the entrées entire baby pigs are cut as the birdcages of lobster are presented to mingle with the enticing sides of mushroom paella and kale salad. Guests are to barter for their preferred dish and eat as a community, passing and trading in the frenzy of the feast. Following the meal, a dramatic soundtrack plays while we clear our own tables, led by the butlers sporting racecar-inspired helmets, we throw utensils in a bucket and chuck plates into the dish graveyard.
Pamina and Monostatos share a moment where intense sexual energy pours from every movement. Tamino intervenes and enters a series of stunningly sexual acrobatics with Pamina. All is well, the queen is free and the butlers swirl around the floor, stealing guests for a spoon feeding of chocolate desert and a tender slow dance to the final song.
Creative Director Giovanna Battaglia is renowned for molding pages for several Condé Nast fashion publications, taking readers far away with the flip of a page. Much of the success of the nightly affair is also credited to industry visionaries like Fashion Designer Thom Browne. His circus couture is rich with alluring cuts and intricate details solidifying the deviant spirit of each character. The cast of contributing artists also includes Set Designer, Douglas Little. His dark and luxurious atmosphere romances the audience, plunging us deeper into the enchantment of the night. The stew of ingenious lighting, innovative music and provocative costumes bubbles over expectations, devising an extraordinary evening of mischievous bliss while collectively achieving a new realm of art in popular culture.
A mystery and true genius lies in the characters; the intensity of their gaze is puzzled by the gentleness of their touch and the ease of their whispers. Guests lose themselves in their act and feel inclined to play along with their obscure games, and one guest, who chose option C finds himself in the middle of the dance floor kissing a stranger in the name of the Queen.
By Molly Murray