Baron Issue 5: Function by Harley Weir

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For the fifth edition of BARON, Harley Weir takes us on a visual essay exploring the female body through biological conditions such as reproduction and birth and how these are mediated in a patriarchal, capitalist society. 

The title function, begs the question what do our bodies do? Each part holds several often conflicting functions. The female nipple, for example, is both an erogenous zone, a feeding station, and as such causes both desire and disgust. 

The book contains a body of new work and never before published fashion and documentary photographs. Childhood friends, colleagues and models are all collaborators to Weir, and their input has been vital when constructing her work and interpreting the theme. The models Jess Maybury and Lily Newmark, who have starred in previous works, are captured as Mary and Child. Likewise Camille Bidault-Waddington appears in a diptych beside her son Albert Cocker, also evoking christian iconography. Harley's childhood friend appears in a series of self-portraits depicting his experimentation with womanhood through crossdressing published alongside private emails to his lover. Inspired by a multi media artist Colette Maison Lumiere and her exploration of gender roles imbued in interiors, self portraiture and performance, Weir has created a series in collaboration with set designer Emma Roach, over painting each of the images. 
A number of suggestive still life's appear throughout the book exploring the function of sexiness and the bodies as a commodity. The ending is a series of photographs documenting the labour of birth giving the viewer an encounter with the place with which we all came from. 

The fifth installment of Baron introduces art director Jamie Reid and contributing fashion editor Camille Bidault-Waddington. The book also contains Harley Weirs limited edition campaign for Helmut Lang, which opens and closes the issue and will appear only in Baron. 

Hardback First Edition 
166 pages. 

This product is available online and in the Somerset House Shop, in conjunction with the English as a Second Language Exhibition.

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