Interview with Marlo Saalmink

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In the myriad of contemporary assessments of design novelty, at times it can be refreshing to look beneath the surface. Products can be taken out of their original context and carefully adjusted for renewed interaction. When Sergei Sviatchenko met the creative team of Danish accessory outfitters MISMO, something simply clicked. Their conversation flowed from the utility found in the simplest of solutions, to the empowering force of sartorial patina. Sergei, a former architect, connects with his audience through curation, crafty collages and the medium of photography. His work is founded on the social premises of contrasting the salient with the provocative.  MISMO on the other hand, crafts tactile understated accessories, from their Copenhagen studio, always championing individuality through exploration. No wonder these minds found common ground for some product reconnaissance .

I caught up with Sergei to speak more of his special photo project for MISMO, exploring the deeper meaning behind these images.

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Sergei, lets speak a little about the format of photo collage (e.g. removing items from their usual environment). Why did you choose this medium?

Well for me, working with collage is a comfortable zone, as an artist, because it reflects my way of thinking and living: many layers of the events and information, connecting into an asymmetrical kaleidoscope.  It is important for me to do it by hand, touching every piece I cut before, thus trying to create a balance known only to me.  I like this deceitful effortlessness within collage making.


Indeed, this gives way to a novel approach on how we experience such pieces. However how do you maintain a connection between form and function?

Photography is like a sense of short memory, you cannot function without it, but it does not have form, as it is changing all the time. Style is a long memory, which definitely has form and shall last as long as we live. To put it straightforwardly.

How did you connect to MISMO’s particular philosophy?

Already back in the fall of 2008, I observed their effortless simplicity, yet with a quality that was severe. I liked it then and I like it now.  MISMO for me simply fuse functionalism and quality. Furthermore, by adding knowledge of durability to very traditional fabrics MISMO bags also have a “collectable” value.

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Fashion can be seen as a dialogue. How do you shape yours?

Originally, I did not feel this way  when I founded Closeupandprivate (ed. Sergei his work on collages and photography). It was more like a monologue. I had something to say by the photographic images I have always used to communicate. My image vocabulary is full of film frames, street atmosphere and collage compositions. In this way I shape a conversation.

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In the end, Sergei explored a selection of the selection of the MISMO SS15 collection and repositioned them in his own way, through dissection and the rearrangement of functionality. The result is a series of filtered images, challenging the traditional usage of travel accessories and their utilitarian restrictions.

For more on Sergei and MISMO: and

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