ABOVE: ALLA KOSTROMICHOVA IN TENSEGRITY. STYLING BY EMMA THORSTRAND, HAIR BY MIKE LUNDGREN, MAKEUP BY KATARINA HAKANSSON.
There is a deliberate urgency to Axel Lindahl’s film, Tensegrity, as a high-fashion spread—models clad in Acne, McQueen, Prada, YSL and other designer prints and patterns—collides with jarring sound bites. Lindahl, a self-taught filmmaker whose past projects have included short films for Prada, Louis Vuitton, and H&M, presents an unusual combination of fashion, physics and philosophy; an attempt to capture energy, which, as any young scientist knows, can neither be created nor destroyed.
A sensory overload of the familiar, Tensegrity combines all the sounds one might hear during the course of a day in the city, distilled into a single minute—traffic, airplanes, the beep of a battery going dead, static, heartbeats, cinematic voiceovers that evoke an early Cold War fearmongering PSA or wartime newsreel. Through the sonic tension, the movement of each model becomes directed and inevitable. At barely a minute long, the film exemplifies Baudelaire’s conseil in his essay “The Painter of Modern Life:” “In the daily metamorphosis of external things, there is a rapidity of movement which requires equal speed of execution from the artist.”