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Modern Matter, Issue 17 – Is anyone normal out there?

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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:
What “normal” means is, of course, subjective — for a person still interested in push- ing and redefining the boundaries of what arts and culture look like circa 2020, it does not necessarily mean someone who upholds the status quo. A few more questions I was thinking about, making Modern Matter 17: Is anyone trying to keep it real anymore?
Is anyone trying to break the mould anymore? Is anyone trying to be bold, or to go beyond the fringes anymore? Is anyone willing to take chances? Is anyone trying to be an individual? In an age where followers mean fame, and where we all end up submerged in the same stories, the same images, and the same general aesthetic, this new issue is interested in exploring
individuals and artists who have created a body of work — or a general attitude — that is designed to reflect what they stand for, as well as to inspire others to stand up for their own ideals, too.

From Raymond Pettibon to Larry Clark to Torey Thornton, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Albert Oehlen, Paulina Olowska and Xu Zhen we are looking at those figures who are redefining, and creating, their own “normal.” This decade, let’s make “normal” anything we want it to be. 160 pages + 28 pages newspaper supplement featuring Larry Clark & Raymond Pettibon.

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