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Jade Doskow's The Neighbor I Never Knew explores intimacy, loss, and commemorative Frank Sinatra plates

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Jade Doskow is thinking about architecture. More specifically she’s thinking about how architecture is a direct echo of who we are in specific points of time, both of our actual selves and of our idealised selves.

The American photographer’s latest project, The Neighbour I Never Knew is a tender, intimate exploration of both presence and absence, of being and not being. A series of photos of the house the titular neighbour whom she never knew, it asks the viewer to consider our relationship between architectural space and how we process the loss of a loved one.

“In 2016 my husband, young son and I moved out of New York, where I had lived for the last twenty years to the Hudson Valley, to a small, bucolic city an hour and a half away from NYC,” she tells us. “A few months after we moved to our new house, the elderly woman – who I will call VM – who lived across the street passed away.”

She watched VM’s children “doggedly” clean her house for weekend’s on end after she died. “There were objects of her life everywhere, but it was not a hoarder’s house,” she says. “It was just a life well lived.”

The children would hold garage sales, and it was through those that Jade formed a relationship with the family. A living time capsule, she found herself intrigued by the visual and textural qualities of VM’s house. While she admits that the children were initially somewhat confused as to why Jade would arrive with a 30-pound large format camera in tow, they eventually gifted her a key to the abode, meaning she was free to come, shoot, and go as she pleased.

In The Neighbor I Never Knew the viewer finds themselves almost hovering over Jade’s shoulder, looking at plates left out on workbenches, bathtubs still draped in towels that’ll never feel the damp warmth of a human body ever again, and the sight of Frank Sinatra staring out of a dresser for all of eternity. This is a place where time has stopped for good.

That ties into one of Jade’s overarching themes as a photographic practitioner: the sensations of energy that seem to hum in the spaces left behind by humans. Her previous large-scale project, Lost Utopias saw her explore the leftover architecture that remains when the World’s Fair leaves town.

“Studying how an interior or exterior is treated over time, how it ages, or how it is transformed by changing norms in design or functionality, reveals, much like the idea of a palimpsest, layers and layers that accumulate over time but still leave faint traces of the original intention,” Jade says. “As an artist I work slowly, taking time to respond viscerally to the energy of a place while making the pictures, and prefer little or no distractions from my experience of space, light, and time.”

Alone with her camera, shooting on 4×5 film, with exposure times ranging from one minute to ten, Jade had ample time to reflect upon on how a space that’s suddenly found itself devoid of life, of spirit, can feel tomblike. “The air felt eerily thick as I waited, shutter release in hand, for the right time to stop the exposure,” she says.

A photographic representation of Jade’s post-move mindset, this work is, she feels, “a direct extension of my disquiet over our new life as seen through the life that had left the house-vessel across the street.” To the outside viewer, it is a record of the eerie stillness of the domestic space that’s been robbed of who made it what it was.

Between shoots, Jade kept notes on the experiencing of spending so much time and attention on meticulously trying to capture the essentials of a life she’d never intersected with: “She died last November and we were two months new neighbours. I never met V but gazed upon the brightness of her home and it brought me joy, even while sinking into a darkness from the choices we had made, the difficulty of this new life. Mockingly our friends called us suburban and I was unable to take it lightly, so heartbroken I was to be away from the glow of Red Hook, my home, lost for now or forever. In her empty stuffy home a time warp to release my loss the diffuse rays streaming in through my camera lens the colors flying around in that black box before ultimately resolving themselves on the film, her lifelong home seen through the spirit-eye of my eyeball through the upside-down secret prism-world captured and fixed in a new way, intimacy to intimacy.”

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Julien-martinezleclerc-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Photographer Julien Martinez Leclerc captures curated truth with surreal perspective and a geometrical eye

Julien Martinez Leclerc is a self-described perfectionist, he always has been. Son of an art dealer, Julien was always creative, but he first picked up a camera aged 13 on a trip with his parents. “I was playing around with my mum’s [camera]. It felt really natural. I’d tried sculpture which just didn’t come easily, and I didn’t have the patience for painting, but this just felt easy” the Paris-born, London-based photographer tells It’s Nice that. It happened to be his birthday a few days later and when a generous godfather asked him what present he’d like, he knew exactly what to ask for – a camera of his own, “I think I still have it, in a drawer somewhere” he tells us.

Gregholland-mexico-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Greg Holland's photographic career spans from hardcore shows to shooting for NGO's

Photographer Greg Holland’s career spans across genres, mediums and countries. Originally from the north of England, at school he chose to study music and in fact, it was through playing in bands — as well as a girlfriend who introduced him to Martin Parr — that he eventually ended up putting down instruments and picking up cameras instead.

Morgan-hill-murphy-photography-itsnicethat Work / Photography Morgan Hill-Murphy's Italian summer: "a playground of incredible light and fantastic wrinkly old men"

London-based photographer Morgan Hill-Murphy has been on a long trip to Italy. Living in Bagheria, a town next to Palermo for just over a month, the photographer headed out with an open mind, thinking a loose photography project would come of it, maybe. With no forced plan in mind, he adopted the Sicilian routine. Days begun by going to the market, popping back to the same cafes, he regularly went to church. Morgan wanted to “understand what it is to be a Sicilian,” and in turn, he’s created a series that makes us all wish we were.

Selva-herna%cc%81ndez-agi-events-itsnicethat-list Media Partnership / Events The other side: AGI Open Mexico explores what it means “to live on opposite sides of an imaginary wall”

Each year, members of the Alliance Graphique Internationale – a professional association of the world’s leading graphic artists and designers – convene in a different city for the AGI Congress, a chance to debate the profession, share knowledge and offer inspiration and encouragement to future creatives. The student-focused conferences have previously taken place in Seoul, São Paolo, London, Barcelona and, most recently, Paris. This year will see members gather in Mexico over the 28–29 September at the country’s National Conservatory of Music.

Julien-martinezleclerc-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Photographer Julien Martinez Leclerc captures curated truth with surreal perspective and a geometrical eye

Julien Martinez Leclerc is a self-described perfectionist, he always has been. Son of an art dealer, Julien was always creative, but he first picked up a camera aged 13 on a trip with his parents. “I was playing around with my mum’s [camera]. It felt really natural. I’d tried sculpture which just didn’t come easily, and I didn’t have the patience for painting, but this just felt easy” the Paris-born, London-based photographer tells It’s Nice that. It happened to be his birthday a few days later and when a generous godfather asked him what present he’d like, he knew exactly what to ask for – a camera of his own, “I think I still have it, in a drawer somewhere” he tells us.

Nicer-tuesdays-aug-launch-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Get tickets for Nicer Tuesdays August

What are you doing on 28 August? We’ll be at Oval Space for Nicer Tuesdays, listening to a line-up which includes newly appointed Pentagram partner Sascha Lobe, illustrator and ceramicist Charlotte Mei and Luke Evans will be showing us his photography that will alter your perception of everyday life. Tickets are now available, here, so you can join us too!

August-things-it'snicethat--25 Regulars / Things Design for those sizzling summer days: it's August Things!

August – inevitably the last month to catch those summer rays, lounge in poolside chairs and BBQ in burnt-out parks before autumn kicks in. What better way is there than to spend these final days lying out on a beach reading about design? Or flicking through a magazine tucked up in bed behind a fan? We can’t think of one… From minimal design and experimental typography to more comedy by illustrative powerhouse Jean Jullien, check out our top picks from what was sent through our door in this month’s write-up below.

Mariano-pascual-digital-list Work / Digital Illustrator Mariano Pascual's new website is an interactive and playful portal into his world

As a creative, your online portfolio is an incredibly important thing. With sites like Instagram and Behance becoming more and more popular as a way to showcase work, the humble website still retains an edge over its well-followed competitors, and that’s its flexibility. A website is fully customisable from its URL to its loading page, navigation and even sound effects. It has the ability to truly embody your personality whether that be in an outlandish or nuanced way. It’s this pliability that Argentinian illustrator Mariano Pascual decided to co-opt recently when giving his site a refresh.

Its-nice-that-after-school-club-max-guther-list Features / Miscellaneous A week at Eike König's female-led and thought-provoking After School Club

At Eike König’s After School Club, there’s everything a design student could ever need. Want to print an A2 artwork of something you’re working on? You can do it and it’s free. Need advice on what typeface is best for something? One of the world’s best designers is sitting over there. In need of a cold coffee to combat the summer heat and your hangover? The cafe serves it with ice or ice cream.

List-image1 Work / Graphic Design Estudio Margem combines timeless design with innovative printing techniques

Translated into English, the Portuguese word ‘margem’ means ‘margin’ and that’s a suitably chosen name for a studio determined to stretch its work beyond the limits of generic restriction. Founded in 2014, Estudio Margem is the brainchild of Alexandre Lindenberg and Nathalia Cury, who met while studying at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. It was there that they fell in love with concrete poetry, the Bauhaus movement and Russian Avant-Garde. “Since then, we have been seeking to find principles common to those languages and contemporary discussions about the clash between modernity and postmodernity”, the studio explains.

Roxy-rezvany-film-itsnicethat-list Work / Film Little Pyongyang asks you to "leave behind everything you think you know" about North Korea

The rhetoric surrounding North Korea is jarring, to say the least. British and American coverage of the country tends to focus on the perceived oddities of Kim Jong-Un, or the atrocities of the nation’s regimes and nuclear programmes. Seldom do we hear from North Korean civilians themselves, and when we do, we tend to concentrate on tales of plight. Roxy Rezvany’s new short film Little Pyongyang voices frustration with that mode of expression. Not just a North Korean story, the film is an exploration of the nature of documentary storytelling itself, and the way design can empower and elevate it.

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