Modern Matter, Issue 16 – Visual Essay
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The printed magazine is an art form which is often described as a dying medium; its continued existence has been a subject of media debate in the post-net age, and in art publishing (as in all of its genres) magazines have been forced to evolve.
Modern Matter aims to solve this problem the problem of why magazines still exist by attempting to use the magazine space as a forum for truly bespoke art content.
Rather than simply reproducing Q&A interviews and static shoots, Modern Matter aims to collaborate with its featured artists in real and varied ways: by publishing a visual essay curated by Luc Tuymans or Rita Ackermann, for example, or by encouraging the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist to start a dialogue with his favourite tennis writer.
Modern Matter’s perspective its central thesis is treating the very presentation of the arts as an art-form in and of itself. From an experimental approach to design, to non-linear values in the field of editorial content, Modern Matter is a unisex publication which aims to examine exactly what can be achieved in the field of printed matter: the attributes of the medium which still mark it out as vital in a digital age.
In this issue:
This issue of Modern Matter is a visual essay from the magazine’s studio, created in collaboration with Erwin Wurm and Helmut Lang. At its core, it is an exploration of the dialectics between creator and viewer; artist and audience; director and reader. When we create an image, we ourselves become performers, curating an image of ourselves and of how we see our surroundings. In this way, the image is imbued with our sense of self — and by the same means, we can often decode images of others through our own experiences as a viewer. Questions around the language of the visual, too, have never been more pertinent than in the age of Instagram. This issue — like all portraits, and especially all self-portraits — is about performance.
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