October 26, 2012


LUCKY INDIA

On a bright spring morning, India Salvor Menuez biked to Hester Street in downtown New York, meeting me for breakfast and stories. These stories were of her art collective, her acting, her beautiful garbage. Here are some words shared by the beautiful India.

India shot for the WILD Magazine
India wears dress by THREEASFOUR, shirt by SALVOR PROJECTS and jewelry by AESA, KRIA and her own pieces.

How did your parents end up naming you ‘India’?

Oh, well I always got half answers until recently – I feel like I got more of a full answer – because it’s a question I get a lot. Supposedly my dad was on his way to India when my mom got pregnant with me, and then they decided that it’s a really beautiful name; they liked that you can say it in every different language and it doesn’t get muddled.

So I know that last summer you were in a film in Paris?

Yeah, I was in Paris from the very end of June to the very end of August. I was working simultaneously on two projects, one was the next Olivier Assayas film. He is this really amazing French director who just won a bunch of awards for “Carlos,” a made-for-TV miniseries. It’s about a terrorist.

How did you meet Olivier Assayas?

Well, this film is a period piece in the 1970s, kind of a coming-of-age thing with a lot of young actors, and they were looking for real people. A while ago I did a shoot for Jalouse, a young, hip, redheads-inspired shoot or something weird like that (laughs). So the casting director had that issue of Jalouse, and thought, “This person is interesting looking,” so they contacted me and asked if I’d be interested and I was like, “Hell yeah!”

What kind of role did you play?

I’m the best friend’s girlfriend. So I do get kind of a substantial part in the movie, but it wasn’t too scary or big.

Tell me about your collective, Luck You.

Well, what was happening simultaneously while we were in Paris last summer was that I was shooting that movie a bit, and then we [Luck You] were also doing a residency at Colette, which was a lot of fun. We did a show at Water Bar that we added to each week, which was supposed to document our stay there and incorporate collaborative artworks with people who we met there, very conversational kind of pieces. We would throw all these after parties at these clubs and then would do these weird art installations at the clubs.

It sounds like there’s a bit of a performance element then.

Definitely, yeah. I mean the first show that I was ever involved in – and which involved all of the same people – was when I was 15. It was at a friend’s loft and we just had all of our friends make work. We thought it would be exciting to see it all. The energy from that just propelled it, and it kept building on itself.

What have you been painting?

I’ve been doing a lot of still lifes of old toys. I’m a terrible hoarder, especially here, there’s just such beautiful garbage everywhere.

India American Icelandic Actress Artist New York
India wears dress (worn as a top) by MAKI-OH, pants by SALVOR PROJECT, shoes by H&M, socks by AMERICAN APPAREL, jewelry by AESA, KRIA and own pieces.

You can tell that you’re a hoarder by the way you dress because you layer so many beautiful old things.

Yeah, a lot of my clothing is like garbage clothing. I love the idea of things that decay, things that are decaying. You know, things covered in moss or how fabric will rip or change color because it’s been in the sun too long.

If you have say, a lace dress and there are holes in it, you continue to own it and wear it all the time?

Yes, it’s the story of it, the history. Especially with lace stuff, because that just makes a weirder, more abstract lace pattern. Also, talking about the story of something, I have a lot of pieces that I have a really hard time putting in the wash because of that, because of the smells they hold. But anyway, a lot of the still life that I’m painting now are these old things, like broken toys.

So is there anything else interesting coming up in your universe?

Yes! There’s one other thing I’m actually really excited about. I’m flying to Japan in a week or two to start having some pre-production conversations with this really interesting young filmmaker who used to be a violinist.

What is her name?

Miko Endo. Her approach to film is like a visual poem. It’s not normal. It’s something else that I still haven’t really figured out, so I’m really excited to be working with her. I mean film is a medium I’m interested in because with a lot of my visual art I want to always include a performance element, and how do you document that through film?

What happens this summer?

Well I start the summer in California shooting another film. And I’m still waiting to hear if I can go to Cannes or not. It feels like until that film comes out, I still won’t know whether people think I’m a good actor or not.

How do you feel about that? Do you feel confident or just kind of unaware?

I kind of feel both. I’ve always thought that I can kind of do anything if I put my mind to it. And I feel really comfortable in front of the camera. I don’t know, acting is a really interesting craft that I, for a long time, never thought about at all. But now playing with it is just so interesting.

Is it just your personality projected onto a different character, perhaps?

For a long time my apprehension about acting was my thought that it had to do with lying, and I’m a terrible liar. But it’s not really anything about that, it’s more like being able to tap into…

A different element, which already exists?

Yeah, and to just be able to live truthfully within an imagined situation.

What is your WILD Wish?

To explore forever and never stop loving.

American Icelandic Artist Actress India

India wears dress (worn as a top) by MAKI-OH, pants by SALVOR PROJECTS, socks by AMERICAN APPAREL and jewelry by AESA, KRIA and own pieces.

Photographer : Elisabet Davidsdottir
Stylist : Guillaume Boulez
Hair stylist : Tinna Empera
Make Up artist : Andrea Helgadottir for Illamasqua

If you have say, a lace dress and there are holes in it, you continue to own it and wear it all the time?
Yes, it’s the story of it, the history. Especially with lace stuff, because that just makes a weirder, more abstract lace pattern. Also, talking about the story of something, I have a lot of pieces that I have a really hard time putting in the wash because of that, because of the smells they hold. But anyway, a lot of the still life that I’m painting now are these old things, like broken toys.

So is there anything else interesting coming up in your universe?
Yes! There’s one other thing I’m actually really excited about. I’m flying to Japan in a week or two to start having some pre-production conversations with this really interesting young filmmaker who used to be a violinist.

What is her name?
Miko Endo. Her approach to film is like a visual poem. It’s not normal. It’s something else that I still haven’t really figured out, so I’m really excited to be working with her. I mean film is a medium I’m interested in because with a lot of my visual art I want to always include a performance element, and how do you document that through film?

What happens this summer?
Well I start the summer in California shooting another film. And I’m still waiting to hear if I can go to Cannes or not. It feels like until that film comes out, I still won’t know whether people think I’m a good actor or not.

How do you feel about that? Do you feel confident or just kind of unaware?
I kind of feel both. I’ve always thought that I can kind of do anything if I put my mind to it. And I feel really comfortable in front of the camera. I don’t know, acting is a really interesting craft that I, for a long time, never thought about at all. But now playing with it is just so interesting.

Is it just your personality projected onto a different character, perhaps?
For a long time my apprehension about acting was my thought that it had to do with lying, and I’m a terrible liar. But it’s not really anything about that, it’s more like being able to tap into…

A different element, which already exists?
Yeah, and to just be able to live truthfully within an imagined situation.

What is your WILD Wish?
To explore forever and never stop loving.

American Icelandic Artist Actress India

India wears dress (worn as a top) by MAKI-OH, pants by SALVOR PROJECTS, socks by AMERICAN APPAREL and jewelry by AESA, KRIA and own pieces.


Photographer : Elisabet Davidsdottir
Stylist : Guillaume Boulez
Hair stylist : Tinna Empera
Make Up artist : Andrea Helgadottir for Illamasqua

text by: The WILD










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