Inside "The Salon" with Juno Calypso
Calypso’s place of worship is a red-lit basement inhabited by imaginary clients – including a model of the Calypso at its centre that saw her endure three hours of clay casting with just two nostril holes – that’s something of a futuristic cult headquarters, reminiscent of beauty’s ritualistic tendencies and die-hard following. Meanwhile the entrance features a video created in collaboration with creative partnership GERIKO that takes viewers on a journey – a quest for eternal beauty. office sat down with Calypso to talk about the process behind The Salon.
What drew you to The Salon as a space?
I’ve always collected strange beauty devices and used them in my photos, so I think it was inevitable. The installation is in a basement and I wanted it to be like one of those basement beauty rooms. When I’m in one I just want to study everything. The machines, the decor, the music.
Why did GERIKO feel like the right match?
I love their work and approached them to make a video for the entrance. I wanted to have a spa introduction style video and so animation was the ideal format for that. What they ended up making blew my mind. I love it.
Tell us about the process involved designing the space...
I work better in 3D so I made a little model of the space in a shoebox. I didn’t want to be predictable and do a pink room so I started with red. I took influence from a lot of horror and science fiction films. I wanted the room to be dark and simple, lit up by the masks worn by the models. And then in the middle an artificial body laying on a treatment bed. I thought it would just be a generic model but when it came to casting a life like head it had to be mine. I couldn’t put anyone else through three hours of clay on your head. Only holes for your nostrils. So the figure in the middle is me. I guess it makes sense though as I’m in my photographs.
You integrate film, fashion and tech through this project – was that a conscious decision?
Yeah we opened during fashion week so I worked with London designer Hanger on the costumes. I wanted all the figures in the room to be wearing the same thing, like some kind of seventies space cult.
What are you aiming to challenge through this piece?
I’m not looking to challenge anything specific with this. It’s just something to experience and interpret however you will.
What do you want people to take away from The Salon?
Apparently someone came in, put on a robe lay down and had a nap. I liked that.
What does self-care mean to you?
Being able to escape the burden of reality by whatever means.
Do you think it’s something the younger generation are aware of the importance of?
Yeah and more than most of us probably.
Why do you think self-care has been highlighted as a key topic in recent months?
Because its big easy money for brands.
- Images courtesy of Galeria Melissa