Upon its return to the playing field, Hood By Air has gone through a re-incarnation of sorts. The brand is now split into four divisions – Hood By Air (catwalk collection), HBA (direct-to-customer product), Museum (re-interpretations of archive pieces) and Anonymous Club. The latter is a talent incubator; a creative studio that serves as a “machine for inspiration,” for members of the Hood By Air family to create fantasies, and shape culture in the process.
“In ways, this incarnation of HBA is a whole new thing,” says Boychild, Annonymous Club member. “In other ways, it sustains the ethos of the HBA we knew before: pushing the limits of fashion or clothes or shows or models or genres beyond their discrete boundaries.”
Photography by Lengua.
Boychild, and fellow performance director Josh Johnson, are the brains behind Annonymous Club’s first major endeavour: an ongoing art residency at Luma Westbau in Zurich, Switzerland. Commencing back in September as part of Zurich Art Weekend, this past week saw the exhibition undertake its next iteration. Entitled Pavement, the space is centred around a video performance from 19-year-old New Jersey musician Santi. The “part music video set, part futurist dreamscape,” follows Annonymous Club’s very own musical project, Leech, which has been embodied by Oliver, Boychild and Johnson in a series of avant-garde performances – including a new single, “
To mark the exhibitions re-opening after a national Swiss lockdown, we caught up with both Boychild and Johnson to explain the inner workings of Annonymous Club and to give us an inkling of what might come next.
For those who are unfamiliar with Anonymous Club, can you explain a little about the collective?
Boychild: “Anonymous Club feels outside of definition or explanation. It gives everything that it wants or needs to in its name. For those who need more, I would say that it is an extension and continuation of Shayne’s vision and of HBA but it didn’t have a name before. Now it is named. Understanding comes from attendance. It’s a fissure of what and how we conceive a club or a brand, with a function that is splayed into all kinds of different spaces.”
Can you tell us a bit about the new residency at Luma Westbau?
Boychild: “The residency is the application of Anonymous Club into the Luma Westbau space in Zurich. In one sense, it is a skeleton of Leech. It’s a physical site that hosts our performances, videos, songs, rooms, ideas. It’s been nice to see the emptying and filling of the Westbau space, to see the input of the residents manifested both in proxy and silence, negative space and opening attendance, an infinite echoing of the purpose becoming lush through the exhibition.”
Josh Johnson: “It’s finding new ways to express oneself given the circumstances that be, it feels great to be what we want in the space.”
Was there anything in particular that made you pick Switzerland as the home for the exhibition?
Johnson: “It’s how things ended up, a culture has been growing here between friends for a while, not necessarily as specific as American cities, but an opening to expand globally. It’s a great opportunity, Luma Westbau has been practising over the years. Fredi and Niels [Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen, the exhibition’s curators] have the access and vision to bring everyone here. Our coincidental situation all ended up in Zurich for this.”
What else can we expect to take place at the residency?
Johnson: “I feel like it’s an important opportunity to give a space where you feel comfortable to express yourself. One of the few chances to open up and grow. In my experience, people allowing me to have my role has historically led to who I am today. It feels like things get clearer and developed when a space is offered to work with people like us and Shayne.”
What’s next for Annonymous Club?
Johnson: “General influence of culture. This musical performance aspect of Anonymous Club and the vibe hoists up subculture, a younger generation to come – the same as HBA did before. It’s a new grouping of the special thing that we admire and belong to, and shape along the way. Not losing that voice to time, the underdogs who haven’t been given a fuck about. A safe and beautiful platform to present themselves.”
Top image courtesy of Leech. Anonymous Club’s residency at Luma Westbau in Zurich, Switzerland, takes place until January 17, 2021.