PREVIEW Foam Magazine #60 Glyphs

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international photography magazine





FEATURES 4 On My Mind 6 What’s New 11 Bookshelf 14 Interview 21 Focus 28 Theme Text
















33 Crystal Bennes 45 Amani Willett 59 Sarah Bahbah 89 Hal Fischer 101 Irene Antonia Diane Reece 115 Mana Kikuta 125 Jonathas de Andrade 169 Yuyachkani 179 Eeva Hannula 193 Black ABCs 203 Kevin Claiborne 241 Ken Lum 255 Cheryl Mukherji 269 Shannon Ebner

From art, literature and media to academia and internet culture, the visual and the written language have crossed paths many a times, creating a genre of their own. Our interest lies in the current creation and consumption of images and text, which is why the following contributions look closely at current crossroads and intersections of the two. What meanings and stories can one medium give or take from the other? And how can they influence our thinking or the way we perceive and navigate a world of fact and fiction.


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ON MY MIND Takahiro Ito Joumana El Zein Khoury



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BOOKSHELF Daniel Boetker-Smith


INTERVIEW Oluremi C. Onabanjo & Zoé Samudzi


FOCUS Federica Chiocchetti






Elisa Medde

Text by Luce Lebart

Daniel Shea by Chiara Di Leone


SARAH BAHBAH Text by Eylem Atakav

YUYACHKANI Text by Deborah Poole


EEVA HANNULA Text by Nina Strand


BLACK ABCs Text by Simone Zeefuik


KEVIN CLAIBORNE Text by Angela N. Carroll









Text by Tim Dean



Text by Erin McFadyen


Text by Serubiri Moses



Text by Alisha Clytus Sett


Text by Magali Avezou

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JONATHAS DE ANDRADE Text by Yina Jiménez Suriel




SHANNON EBNER Text by Eugenie Shinkle



Dating back to the Second Egyptian ­dynasty, when Papyrus rolls and stone walls were first inscribed with hieroglyphs that eternalised their belief systems and many other aspects of cultural and social life, glyphs have continued to evolve and accompany the human experience. ­Although readable as individual signs, it is the multiplica­tion and combination that constructs new meanings and forms new (visual) languages. For many centuries ­images and text have covered the books, publications, bill­boards, screens and cityscapes around us. We have inter­nalised, and continue to learn, how to decipher and read the codes, implied messages and informa­tion around us. Sometimes in a subtle, other times in a more demanding way, but most of the time present, these modern-day glyphs fill our vision, our homes, our minds. Created out of a longterm fascination for the relation­ship and intersections between the p ­ hotographic image and text, it is with huge pleasure that we introduce another special issue of Foam Magazine: GLYPHS — The Image + Text Issue. The title hints at the hybrid ­objects created by such experiments, collisions and ­dances. In the following pages you will see, and read, a possible journey out­lined, thanks to an inspiring line-up of contributors and thinkers shaping the field with their outstanding work, pro­ gressive approaches and critical lenses. In our most loved feature, On My Mind, Takahiro Ito and Joumana El Zein Khoury share with us recent thoughts on the ­images they are looking at. C ­ hiara di ­Leone contextualises new work by Daniel Shea, recently exhibited at the Architecture Biennale in Venice. Daniel Boetker-Smith from the Asian-Pacific Photobook Archive shares his recommendation on photobooks made within the Asia-Pacific region. And the newly appointed MoMa curator of

photo­graphy Oluremi C. Onabanjo gives precious insights into her thinking and curatorial approach in a beautiful inter­view with Zoé Samudzi adorned with portraits by S*an D. Henry-Smith. In her essay The Wondrous Life of Photo-Texts, founder of The Photo­ captionist, Federica Chiochetti paints a focused picture of the photo-text land­ scape and creates the perfect base from which to launch into the portfolio and text contributions. In all the portfolios included, the two systems of signs (­images and words) are engaged in the creation of a third system, a third universe, if you like, where perception and intellect, seeing and thinking are not extremes of a spectrum but part of the same experience. The bodies of work presented here play with the onto­logical aspects and medium definition of such practices, which for so long have been presented as a consistent portion of Conceptual Art — and often limited by it. The new universe they create is one in which the relation between images and words is often pushed to the extremes, and at times, plays with the confusion between the two, or with their juxtaposition. In a way, this was the reason we decided to replace our usual focus chapters, which generally offer a theoretical perspective on each given theme, with an intervention we’ve never hosted ­before: a ‘book-within-a-book’ that gives text the main stage rather than the backseat. Spread across two chapters the Page-Turners attempt at answering the question whether we experience photographs through text? With this question in mind, we invited inspiring individuals from the visual arts, photography and literary world to contribute a piece of writing that materialises this prompt in some way or another. The feature brings together new commissions and repro­


ductions that ­offer a new perspective on the way we write about photography and include contributors such as ­Mariama Attah, ­ David ­ Campany, Jaime Lowe, Jörg Colberg amongst many others. You will notice that we deliberately chose to speak about images, rather than photo­ graphs, throughout the magazine in order to ­potentialise the visual aspect of every­ thing: photographs, words, meanings, intentions, etc. When speaking about image and text we can’t ignore the important role that education plays in the relationship. This is why we invited Nicholas Muellner and Catherine Taylor from the Image+Text Initiative to create an exclusive takeover which gives us insights into the vision and methods behind their unique MFA programme. Last but not least, we have a ­ nother important reason to celebrate: the maga­ zine you are holding in your hands is our 60th edition, a milestone that makes us extremely proud and thankful. We could not be more appreciative of your sup­ port on this journey: whether you are a long-standing subscriber, regular reader or first-time rendezvous — thank you for your ongoing interest, commitment and passion for photography! We invite you to celebrate this occasion as we step forward with the same curiosity, drive, reflection, love and questions for the medium that has led us to this point. Without further ado, please lean back and get comfortable with this ­issue which we hope will fill your eyes, provide food for thought, captivating stories and an inspiring companion for your upcoming reading sessions. — The Editors






Article by Chiara Di Leone




BOOKSHELF: The Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive

The Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive (APPA) is a not-for-profit open-access physical archive of self-published and independent photobooks. The APPA exists as both a travelling library that has been shown at various venues around the world, and as a dedicated permanent space in Melbourne, Australia. Established to promote and showcase material from the Asia-Pacific region, the APPA preserves and makes accessible to current and future generations the broad practices and approaches encapsulated in the production of photobooks in the region.






This delightfully personal book documents a nineteen-day and 465-kilometre walk taken by the photographer and visual anthropologist Cheng Xinhao along the Yunnan-Vietnam Railway. Setting out from Kunming in the Yunnan province to his destination on the China-Vietnam border, the artist picked up a stone from the railway tracks each kilometre and collected them in his backpack, gradually weighing himself down. The book contains twenty-four letters written during the walk by Xinhao to a friend that ruminate on his childhood growing up in the region, the history of French colonisation in East-Asia, and of rapid modernisation that defines contemporary China. The project is part book, part performance — with a fifty-minute accompanying video available to view on his website. This engaging body of work describes the layered simplicity of tapping into the geographical imaginations of place, of moving through space, and of stories already written and yet to be written.

The Banda Islands are a remote archipelago dotting the vast sea in eastern Indonesia with a rich and dark history. Comprised of ten small islands, Banda rarely even appears on most maps, but this was the location of some of the very earliest economic and exploitative European ventures in Asia. This project, through image, text and the use of archival material gives a snapshot of the Dutch colonial legacy that lingers still, and documents the everyday life of the Bandanese. The bilingual approach of The Banda Journal is important as this is a history told by and for Indonesians as well as an international audience. It’s a complex and heart-breaking story of what was once the original and only source of nutmeg in the world, and the profit-hungry Dutch merchants who used brutality, slaughter and forced labour to achieve their goals. Muhammad Fadli is one of the most interesting young documentary photographers in South-East Asia, and this is the latest in a series of important and engaging projects of his.

I am not sure there is anyone quite like Hanayo — geisha, model, artist, musician, actor, performer. This gentle and reflective book shows us the personal side of this multitalented and multifarious ­artist, also known as Hanayome. The scope of this book tracks back to the start of Hanayo’s complex career thirty years ago, and brings us up to the ­present day through an array of diaristic and intimate moments. The mixing of images from different years across the pages evokes a feeling of fleeting ephemerality, and sets up a search for patterns and meaning across the decades.

2020, Cheng Xinhao, Jiazazhi

2021, Muhammad Fadli & Fatris MF, Jordan Jordan Edition

2021, Hanayo, Torch Press

The Quickening

Ying Ang



Continuing her work with designers Heijdens Karwei, Ying Ang’s latest book is nothing less than a tour-de-force. Drawing in a richness of approaches and layers this book confronts Ang’s own experience of ‘matrescence’ – the process of becoming a mother. Starting with a small zine titled Bowerbird Blues sewn to the front of the book, her visual approach manages to coalesce portrait, landscape and still-life into a searingly personal autobiography. While moving through this book we can feel the photographer fully exposing herself, grappling with the unknown, and questioning every part of her being. This ‘memoir’ is quite obviously something Ang had to make for herself first and foremost, before sharing it with the world.

This is both Hoda Afshar’s first photobook, and also the first MACK book by an Australian photographer. Iranian-born Melbourne-based Afshar’s practice has frequently circled around studies of the body, the politicised body in particular. In Speak the Wind she takes this a step further, starting with the African slave trade that touched the southern islands of Iran in bygone centuries, and finishing with bodies possessed (according to local beliefs) by spirit-winds. This is a stunning book of colour and monochrome portraits and landscapes where the human form is equated with the ancient windformed rocks to compose a lyrical and magical tale. Truth and faith, photographer and subject, place and memory all swim together in this humid, rhythmic and elegiac book that withholds as many secrets as it reveals.

Ying Ang, Self-Published, 2021

2021, Hoda Afshar, MACK

DANIEL BOETKER-SMITH is an educator, writer, curator, publisher and photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. He is professor and dean of studies at Photography Studies College, and he is also director of the AsiaPacific Photobook Archive, a library of self-published and independent photobooks that promotes work from the AsiaPacific region.




La mano tocca il mento e poi si sposta in ava nti. The hand touches the chin then moves forw ard. La main touche le me nton puis part en ava nt. Die Ha nd führt eine Art Streichelbewegun Kin n nach von oben g unter dem ans.











pidità su l n violenza e ra m ica mente co rit tte ba ice L’i nd a mano. palmo dell’altr yt hm ica lly ger knoc ks rh The inde x fin . nd the other ha

on the pa lm of

sur nce et rapidité ment avec viole ue iq m th ry t L’index ba utre main. la paume de l’a Innenheftig auf die ft schnell und op kl r ge in ef Der Zeig ren Hand. fläche der ande

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by Elisa Medde



Here, words become very powerful vehicles of the images’ politics, manifesting their authors’ agencies and engagements — and tackling at the root any possible risk of mystification. Words also change the experience of the works. Might seem like an obvious thing to say, but in fact the words’ presence immediately adds knowledge, input, traces. How does that affect our mediation of the works? Do we have then less need for mediation? In fact, this is a question that us editors long debated. The themed issue of Foam Magazine usually includes a number of essays, or Focus Chapters, that we commission to experts and bright thinkers in order to give some insights and context to a number of aspects, or the subthemes, that each issue addresses. But as you will notice, besides the opening, informative essay written by Chiocchetti and the portfolios texts, there are no additional essays in this issue of Foam. In their place, we have an extraordinary collection of prose and poetry, commissioned and reproduced, all dealing with the same question: can we talk about photography? Can we transfer into words what we experience with photographs? And how, if at all, this changes when images contain words themselves? We realised that any essay on such topic would i­nevitably be about a medium analysis, a medium development, a semiotic approach, a structural conversation. But for this special case, we wanted words to focus on the experience, the immersion, the trigger and the catalyst that images, and especially images with words, can offer. This is why the theoretical constructions that usually constitute the backbone of Foam Magazine’s editorial and curatorial approach have been left slightly more in the shadows, in the backstage.

Our experimental approach in the making of this issue of Foam Magazine is reflected in the choice of the port­ folios presented here. The incredible bodies of work ­included showcase a spectrum of possibilities, ­approaches and strategies in contemporary photo­ graphy that keep on proving how ‘alive and well’ the ­medium is (didn’t someone say that photography was dead, a while ago?), but also how exponentially liberating and powerful photography is when the medium is a tool, a strategy, rather than a self-referential exercise of style existing only in a vacuum. We do see a non-linear evo­ lution, one that has non-hierarchical connections and constellations of contacts, allowing us to jump from a photo-novel to a meme, from ABC flash cards to visual poetry, social narratives and urban interventions. I keep on looking at that quote on my wall, with perhaps more questions than I started with. I look at it with tender eyes, but I am wondering if it is time to take it off that wall.

All images © 1963 Bruno Munari. All rights reserved and courtesy Maurizio Corraini s.r.l. ELISA MEDDE is a photography editor, curator and writer. Elisa is Editor-in-Chief of Foam Magazine, Amsterdam.

CRYSTAL BENNES The Point of the Veil is to Promise that Something is Behind it




in Japan features the aphorism ‘Nature loves to hide’, or Φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλεῖ, by the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus, which the artist has photographed under a plastic veil. A few photographs later, it is now Goethe’s aphorisms on nature, pub­ lished in the famous journal Nature, which are transformed by the artist into Japanese origami: here the pages are folded into the shape of a crane. And, when Bennes shares another image from Heisenberg’s book, most of the text is rendered invisible with sugar. Further on, it is a different text’s turn to hide: a page from the book Le voile d’Isis by Pierre Hadot (The Veil of Isis: An Essay on the History of the Idea of Nature) disappears through a simple process: blades of grass strike through the text. Through iconographic research dur­ ing her first visit to CERN in 2018, Bennes discovered an important remnant of 20thcentury analogue photography, in an old filing cabinet adjoining the archives. At her fingertips, daylight barely hints at the subject of this 1995 slide, which the cap­ tion confirms is a ‘lead ion collision taken from detectors on the NA49 experiment’.

Ultimately, it is an image of an unidentifi­ able device veiled in black that brings the series to a close, with a mysterious dark hue crossed by a flash of light. Set up in the heart of the Super Kamiokande in Japan, this device may have been used for cali­ bration tests. Once again, the ­artist reveals the back stages of research work. Along­ side ultra-modern machines and impos­ ing infrastructures, research is made up of DIY, tests, and trials. This last image is also a metaphor for the camera and the darkroom, in which images are drawn through the effect of light on sensitive surfaces. The laboratory, a site of all kinds of experiments, fascinates Bennes, who herself uses analogue shooting technology and develops her images in a darkroom. Forgoing idealised imagery that expresses fascination and admiration of science, her approach is simultaneously sensitive, scholarly, and critical of centres of knowl­ edge and scientific power. It is no wonder then that Bennes was interested in the back of the Nobel Prize medal. — Text by Luce Lebart

All images from the series The Point of the Veil is to Promise that Something is Behind it © Crystal Bennes, cour­ tesy of the artist CRYSTAL BENNES is an artist, writer and researcher. She works in a mixed media practice grounded in long-term projects that foreground archival research, durational field­ work and material experimentation. Recent bodies of work include a photographic exploration of an arti­ ficial island in Sweden created from industrially-produced synthetic fertiliser waste; a series of handwoven Jacquard wall hangings made by translating a CERN computer programme into loom punchcards; and an ongoing web-based catalogue critiquing the visual culture of prop­ erty development hoardings. Crystal is based in Edinburgh. LUCE LEBART is a photography historian, curator and researcher for the Archive of Modern Conflict collection. Her latest books include Une Histoire Mondiale des Femmes Photographes (Textuel, 2020), Inventions 1915–1938 (RVB Books, 2019), Gold and Silver (RVB Books, 2018), Les Grands Photographes du XXe siècle (Larousse, 2017), and Les Silences d’Atget (Textuel, 2015). She is also the author of photo books such as Mold is Beautiful (Poursuite, 2015) and Tâches et Traces (Diaphane, 2015).



58 with an image of tire marks that suggest a ­panicked swerve, followed by an over­ turned car, maybe a consequence of some­ one who didn’t heed the warning. Under the images of threats and violence, The Green Book lists places where Black trave­ lers are safe and welcome to find food, lodging, and even a beauty salon. On a parallel road, Black travellers experience joy mixed with fear and dan­ ger. Behind every smile in the images of happy Black families lies a hyperawareness of one’s surroundings, a constant watch for threats. The Ku Klux Klan posing next to a car in one of the images lies in stark contrast with the map images. The vehicle used to terrorise Black people — a vehicle

AMANI WILLETT of hate. ‘Driving while Black’ is still crimi­ nalised and can still carry a death sen­ tence. Images show present-day threats of racial and police violence. This body of work brings the his­ tory of Black automobile travel into the Black Lives Matter movement. Many Black people have died as a result of being stopped by law enforcement while driv­ ing. The images show that the problem is not confined to the history of Jim Crow. Black people still have a rational fear of not returning home alive whenever we get behind the wheel. —Text by M. Charlene Stevens

All images from A Parallel Road © Amani Willett, courtesy of the artist AMANI WILLETT is a photographic artist who works at the inter­section of identity, race, memory, and the social environment. Pushing the possibilities of narrative and images, his three monographs have been published to widespread critical acclaim. A 2021 Aperture Portfolio Award Finalist, Amani’s work was recently featured in American Geo­ graphy (SF Moma/Radius Books) and resides in the permanent col­lections of the Tate Modern, The Library of the Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, B ­ oston and The Sir Elton John Photo­graphy Collection. M. CHARLENE STEVENS lives and works in NewYork as a photographer and art critic. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Arcade Project, an online publishing platform and gallery that hosts performing ­artists, pop c ­ ulture critics, poets, playwrights, bloggers, activists, philosophers, story­tellers and more.



72 that reality is represented. As the famous line suggests: you cannot be what you ­cannot see. Her work helps prolifer­ ate alternative images of Arab women. They offer a daring, honest and inspiring account of what it means to be a woman and to have agency. Her work invites us to navigate our world of fact and fiction; her images are carefully crafted to challenge our thinking of female desire, sexuality, and ultimately femininity. The photos imply intimacy and closeness in the con­ text of her vision that resembles cinematic stills. Bahbah declares that she created 3eib! for Arab women predominantly with a desire to encourage them to see her work and feel heard and seen. Putting oneself in front of the ­camera is not a light commitment. It is inten­ tional, and intentionally provocative in

SARAH BAHBAH this case. Visually offering her body and face into what looks like intimate spaces is also a deliberate choice which reminds us that the personal is political. Bahbah’s creativity allows us to challenge the rather stereotypical images we may have in our minds as to what Arab women look like. And this in itself contributes to change. So, B ­ ahbah’s contribution is twofold: her work is inspiring to Arab women them­ selves, and at the same time it challenges the West about the image of Arab women. Bahbah does so by putting herself in front of the camera thereby telling her story. And, storytelling starts with telling one’s own story. We need to take time to under­ stand each other’s stories so that we can become more empathetic and inclusive. — Text by Eylem Atakav

All images from the photo series 3eib! © written, directed, and shot by Sarah Bahbah, courtesy of the artist SARAH BAHBAH is a P ­ alestinian/ Jordanian-Australian artist and director. Raised by immigrant ­parents, her culturally conservative upbringing led to a great rebellion of art. Over the past decade, Sarah has explored the power of vulner­ ability by way of giving voice to the vast spectrum of c ­ haos and desire in imperfect relationships. With every story she releases on Instagram, her cult-like following responds, leading every series ­created to go interna­ tionally viral. Through her content creation agency, Possy, Sarah has worked with the likes of Gucci, Condé Nast, ­Capitol Records, Sony Music, and GQ — and was the first Arab to shoot a cover for GQ ­Middle East. EYLEM ATAKAV is a professor of film, gender and public e ­ ngagement at the University of East Anglia where she teaches courses on ­women, Islam and media; and Middle Eastern media. She is the author of Women and Turkish Cinema: Gender Politics, Cultural Identity and ­Representation (2012) and editor of Directory of World Cinema: Turkey (2013). Eylem received her BA in Film, Television and Radio Studies from Ankara University, an MA in Media Studies from Southampton Solent University, and her PhD in Film and Cultural Studies from ­Nottingham Trent ­University.






JAIME LOWE Fade Photos aren’t real. Photos aren’t flesh. Photos aren’t you. You’re in photos. I’m in those photos with you. We’re both smiling, barely holding on. I’m wearing sunglasses, you’re squinting. Our faces have come to resemble each other over the years. Our hair, the same colour. Our skin, pale enough, the sun blisters. We started out clutching each other. Tight. We couldn’t let go. Photos aren’t real. Photos aren’t flesh. Photos aren’t you. You let me take photos of our foster dogs. First Heidi who hated you and slept under the covers at my feet; then Tita from Puerto Rico, afraid of the sidewalk, she gnawed the underside of our IKEA couch; Bert, the mop dog, not a lot of personality there; Spoonie, the redheaded love who cried when we left and rolled over for belly rubs from every stranger on every walk, making every walk a marathon; and, finally Birdie, who jumped on my back when I’d hug you goodbye, she peed on our bed, our rugs, our kitchen floor. Photos aren’t real. Photos aren’t flesh. Photos aren’t you. You stopped taking photos with me. You shooed me away, held up a hand to the camera lens. Walked in the opposite direction, in a blur. Photos aren’t real. Photos aren’t flesh. Photos aren’t you. I guess they are. Photos can be held, caressed, fingered and torn. But they are a past, a moment, a fragment, a deception. They manipulate, they shift. They show what was and what won’t be again. They are frozen. They are memories that otherwise would have, should have, might have been forgotten. Photos aren’t real. Photos aren’t flesh. Photos aren’t you. I can hold lots of images in my brain. I think I can make sense of a person from a photo. I see your goatee. I see your tattoos. I see your landscape, your bookcase, your tie-dye, your screen print. I see who you are. But it’s a 4x6, a digital frame, an online search. It’s not you and never was, never will be. Photos aren’t real. Photos aren’t flesh. Photos aren’t you. I can see the places we went. The canyons, the beaches, the protests, the downbeat diners, the oversized lavender jacuzzi tub in ­Atlantic City, the couch. I see the way we were. I see you letting go. I see you, just your hand in front of my lens. I see you. And now I don’t.



The thrill of a photograph is its ability to transport the viewer into the body of the photographer; to find yourself positioned in someone else’s world and perspectives, to see from someone else’s eyes. It acts as a bridge between people, places, thoughts, and experiences. It’s a type of time travel where we can move in between and around imaginations. In describing an image, again this transformation occurs. We rely on our own experiences and thoughts to fill in the blanks and build a complete image. What does it mean to recognise that our positions in life will give rise to different readings and conjurings of the same image?

My bridge is Waterbearer by Lorna Simpson. A young Black woman stands against the blackest of black backgrounds facing away from us. She holds two water vessels in her raised arms, posing like the Lady of Justice. The light reflects off the silver jug and bracelet on her left arm while the plastic jug in her right hand echoes her white, lightly crumpled shift dress. The dress is simple and utilitarian and has something of a hospital gown to it. Such flimsy m ­ aterial to protect one’s body. The neckline frames the muscles holding the vessels in place. The viewer and the woman both watch as the water pours out into nothingness. There is a text that accompanies this image. She saw him disappear by the river They asked her to tell what happened only to discount her memory

It provokes thoughts of untold stories, suppressed lives, the impact our physical bodies have on our lives, being at the mercy of others, and the intersecting ­experiences that cut across women’s experiences. Waterbearer is my reminder to consider the details, to position or reposition the context, and to always look for another story to share.


HAL FISCHER Gay Semiotics


100 its head. As Fischer deploys the graphic signifiers of photographically imprinted text to comment on non-linguistic signi­ fiers, his photographs engage in a form of semiotic metacommentary that compli­ cates their documentary impulse. Gay Semiotics comments also on pho­ tography’s part in creating distinct sexual types. Those types are differentiated by their visual style, their role in sexual activity, their coded accessories, and their fetishist investment. The very notion of ‘type’ goes along with that of series, since any sexual type must be one of a number of possibilities that make sense primarily through their difference from each other. Susan Sontag, in On Photography, claims that ‘desire has no history — at least, it is experienced in each instance as all fore­ ground, immediacy. It is aroused by arche­ types and is, in that sense, abstract’. F ­ ischer presents a series of archetypal media images of desirable male figures — ‘natural’, ‘classical’, ‘western’, ‘urbane’, ‘leather’ — and suggests how these archetypes are con­ structed through a set of photographic

HAL FISCHER codes. Those codes can be appropriated by gay culture, which constantly adapts the visual signs of straight masculinity toward its own ends — for example, by making the insignia of dominance erotically desirable. Signifiers, accessories, surfaces, distinct looks: all of these elements may be fetish­ ised by investing them with sexual mean­ ing, provoking them to signify something beyond themselves. A fetish is an object or action that has been impregnated with excess significance, often by the way in which it is visually displayed. In Fischer’s sub-series of bondage device photographs, the sharp lines and angles of the threedimensional equipment — meat hoist, open-end table rack, cross — contrast with the two-dimensional broken white lines representing male bodies positioned in the devices, as if at a crime scene. No actual bodies are necessary to trigger desire. Instead, the photographic formalism of broken lines and sharp angles testifies to desire’s geometric abstraction. — Text by Tim Dean

All images from the series Gay ­Semiotics © Hal Fischer, courtesy of the artist and Project Native Informant, London HAL FISCHER is an artist, art critic, and museum professional. His work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions and is featured in both public and private collections. In the 1970s, his reviews and articles on photography regularly appeared in such journals as Artweek, Art­forum, and Afterimage. Exhibitions of the Gay Semiotics series and a reprint of the 1978 monograph have renewed interest in his art and generated numerous articles, published inter­ views, and reviews. Hal’s latest book Hal Fischer: The Gay Seventies, is ­published by G ­ allery 16 Editions. TIM DEAN is the James M. Benson professor in English at the Univer­ sity of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, ­United States. He is the author or ­editor of ­seven books, including Unlimited Intimacy: Reflections on the Subculture of Barebacking (University of Chicago Press, 2009). His new book, co-authored with Oliver Davis, is Hatred of Sex (University of Nebraska Press, 2022). Tim is the curator of Hal Fischer Photographs: Seriality, Sexuality, Semiotics, a first retrospective of F ­ ischer’s work, which is on exhibit at the Krannert Art Museum, in Champaign, Illinois, until 22 December, 2021.





father’. The epistolary form is fitting here because of the gesture and the close-up. It is a square image (a polaroid, most likely). The gesture of affection in the father and daughter are mirrored in the intimacy of the camera, such that whoever is taking the picture bridges the emotional and physical distance. Irene Antonia Diane Reece’s role is a challenging one as it re-presents these events through these images of her ­family members taken from the family image collections, and similarly ‘narrates’ them, through her text and image juxtapositions. Throughout the series of images and texts, we see this narrative voice woven. This narrative is printed along the margins, on the edges, and on clear separate pages. Reece writes in the book, ‘That love. That generational love.’. This text sits along­ side the image of father, Froncell, and ­daughter, Yolanda. Right beneath it, within the margin, she writes, ‘I wasn’t prepared for you to go. Oh I miss you, we all miss you so.’. The epistolary form is resonant here as a mirror of the affectionate posture of self-representation as ‘loving father’ and ‘beloved daughter’. This narrative is, effectively, mirrored within the third voice of Reece addressing her deceased

grandfather and deceased aunt, bridging the temporal distance of several decades. She writes elsewhere that Billie-James is a juxtaposition between her own experi­ ences and her father’s, Garry Reece’s — that of having a Black father. Reece’s mother is Mexican. Reece’s inclusion of images shot on digital cameras from circa 1990s–2000s, recalls the genre of digital ‘home m ­ ovies’. We see a still image of Reece’s birthday, and another of Garry holding Reece (as a child) with his muscular arms in the driveway of their family home and kissing her on the cheek. This new media trajectory reflects Lev Manovich’s observation that new media can be ‘images and texts-image composi­ tion — photographs, illustrations, layouts, ads — created on computers and then printed on paper’. Block ­colour text-image compositions feature Baldwin’s words, ‘JE NE JOUE PAS LA ­TROMPETTE’, and her augmentation of ad copy: ‘Aunt Jemima (...) Umm-m-m still racist.’. In these latter new media works, we encounter Reece’s own relation to Black feminist work — I recall Betye Saar’s Aunt Jemima — and social ­justice movements of our time. — Text by Serubiri Moses

All images from the series BillieJames © Irene Antonia Diane Reece, courtesy of the artist IRENE ANTONIA DIANE REECE identifies as a contemporary a ­ rtist and visual activist. She earned her BFA in Photography and Digital Media and MFA in Photography and Image-Making. She is noted for her practice of using her family archives as a form of activism and liberation for the communities that she repre­ sents. Her work pushes boundaries and forces her viewers to confront issues that are deemed difficult to tackle and her objectives are to con­ tinue to take up space, be outspoken about the white-centric art world, and create forms of racial equity in the arts. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Irene lives and works between the United States and Europe. SERUBIRI MOSES is a writer and curator. He is co-curator of Greater New York 2020, MoMA PS1’s s­ urvey of contemporary art. In 2018, ­Serubiri was part of the curatorial team for the Berlin Biennale X. From 2013 to 2017, he travelled extensively to participate in curatorial residencies, conferences, and juries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. In 2015, Moses held the position of Stadtschreiber at the ­Bayreuth Academy of Advanced ­African S ­ tudies. Serubiri lives and works in New York.





migrant feels: a sense of otherness and displacement. When the word around is hardly decipherable, only hints that allow assumptions about how it works. The title of both the newspaper and Kikuta’s series, Le Monde, literally means ‘the world’, and it is this incommunicability with a new surrounding that the project explores. At the same time the burnt holes are also the mark of her presence in the French cultural environment: the pages are modified by her intervention, making visible her inter­ action with French culture. Recalling Ferdinand de Saussure’s thinking, words become non-related signs. What remains untouched on the page forms an incomprehensible image: the words, and world, of the ‘other’. Through the known comes the burning light of southern France: light of understanding, knowledge, the heat of the familiar, the joy of recognising, but also the encoun­ ter with a different sun. The erased words form a set of knowledge that the artist can

rely on, guardian of her memory. They therefore configure her interpretation of the world around her. Hence, ‘the word’ is reconfigured according to the known and the unknown. And the remaining words are symbols for an arising knowledge, a hypothetic new world. We can indeed imagine that while her mastering of French language develops, more and more words would disappear from the pages, as if she were appropriating, taking in, swallow­ ing these new signs in herself. Le Monde is therefore a process of acculturation, of learning through light and dark moments, until a new knowledge — here French lan­ guage and culture — is becoming part of her individuality, reconfiguring her identity. Le Monde works, then, as both a rite of passage and an exploration of the rela­ tionship between words and conceptions of the world. — Text by Magali Avezou

All images from the series Le Monde © Mana Kikuta, courtesy of the ­artist MANA KIKUTA is a Japanese ­artist born in Hiroshima in 1986. She graduated from the Nihon University of Photography in Tokyo, then the Media Art School, EMA ­Fructidor in Chalon-sur-Saône. She was a resident of the National School of Photography in Arles. Her work explores the history of photographic techniques as a reflection of the problematic memory of our society. To her, the limits of the photography medium mingle with those of our memory. Since 2013, Mana lives and works in France. MAGALI AVEZOU is an independ­ ent curator and founder of a r c h i p e l a g o, a curatorial studio focus­ ing on visual culture and art pub­ lications. Her projects explore the intersection between contemporary photography and other medium such as installations, videos, web, amongst others. Archipelago has conceived projects for ­Flowers ­Gallery (UK), Les Rencontres Photo­graphiques d’Arles (FR), Manifesta (NL), Peckham 24 (UK), PH ­Museum, Ensba (FR). She is an associate lecturer at Sce Po (FR), ­Istituto Europeo di Design (IT) and Paris College of Arts (FR) and Lon­ don College of Communication (UK).





could pass by unnoticed. However, when we expand our view and enter the socio­ political panorama of the African continent at that time — the beginning of the second half of the 20th century — referring to the nation-state with the largest Black popu­ lation outside Africa as a racial paradise, that is, Brazil, many questions arise as to why those two words appear at the start of a scientific study report. The written word, in particular, has allowed the West to function. Western imagination operates through homo­ genisation. For centuries, porosity was restricted to evoke images that correspond to words, until movement was reduced as well as its ability to generate multiple images at the same time, regulating it to the point where sole narratives, absolute truths, were reached. Here is yet ­another aspect revealed in de Andrade’s work: the close relationship between racism, words, ethnographic photography and neocolonialism within the context of the American continent. If we review scien­ tific journals from the first sixty years of the 20th century, which were part of the mass media in the United States, we will see how the n ­ arrative was crafted using the same ­aesthetic codes of Western films,

but in the name of scientific rigour using visual images ‘observed’ by readers. These ­images reinforced Unitedstatian precon­ ceptions of superiority over Latin Ameri­ can and ­Caribbean countries while, at the same time, validating the United States’ occupations and interventions in these same countries. Therefore, when I approach contem­ porary photography from Latin America and the Caribbean, I always try to experi­ ence it while bearing in mind that it is a practice that seeks to occupy, take position in and create space for itself because there are no visual references that make sense of the particular experience of each con­ text within the region. The photographic practice in the region seeks to occupy, take position in and create space for itself to defend opacity from how the Western world/system would shape it. So, I ask myself: Could it be that the photography in the project Eu, mestiço serves as a tool for breaking through boundaries between word and visual image in its vocation to enhance the imagination and emancipa­ tion of the human being? — Text by Yina Jiménez Suriel (Translated by Language Network USA)

All images from the series Eu, ­mestiço © Jonathas de Andrade, courtesy of the artist JONATHAS DE ANDRADE uses photography, video and installation and video to traverse the effects of power dynamics in society, collec­ tive memory and history, making use of strategies that shuffle fiction and reality. He collects and catalogues architecture, images, texts, life stories and recomposes a personal narrative of the past. In 2019, a solo exhibition of his work opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art, ­Chicago. And in 2022, Next Level: Jonathas de Andrade is expected at Foam. Jonathas lives in Recife. YINA JIMÉNEZ SURIEL is a curator and researcher. She holds an MA in Art History and Visual ­Culture with a focus on Visual Studies from Universitat de València. Since 2020, Yina has been a member of the staff of the German contemporary art magazine Contemporary And (C&). Also in 2020, she co-curated with Puerto Rican artist Pablo ­Guardiola the exhibition One month after being known in that island. Her texts appeared in different catalogues and specialised media such as ­Terremoto, Revista de Arte de la UNAM, ­Arquitexto and Contemporary And. Yina lives and works in Santo Domingo, Dominican R ­ epublic.

The Image Text Initiative brings together an independent press, ongoing workshops and symposia, and a lowresidency MFA programme at the intersection of writing and photography. Foam Magazine invited the directors Catherine Taylor and Nicholas Muellner to share with us the results of a series of online workshops, created within the thematic frameworks of the prompts ‘BOREDOM’, ‘GROUP NOVEL’, ‘PARTICLE ACCELERATOR’ and ‘RADICAL EMPATHY’. The images and language respond directly and independently to the prompts and range from the spontaneous and ephemeral to the complex and sustained, all compiled in this exclusive feature. by Catherine Taylor & Nicholas Muellner


WE WANTED MORE: The Image Text Initiative

Prompt 1


143 Michael Popp (top), Will Matsuda (bottom)

Making errors happen!!! In this workshop we will focus on the idea of BOREDOM in the form of the childhood game TELEPHONE. How bored are you? Even the feelings of uncertainty and fear can get boring, right? Aren’t you bored of feeling the minor and major anxieties? Aren’t you bored sitting at home or even bored of being busy at home? Aren’t you bored of Zoom? Through a muffled audio prompt, we will play the game telephone, embracing the audio errors to create visual images. The end result will be an authorless visual diary coupled with a spoken word audio performance documenting confusing and weird few days made in a confusing and weird time.

Why do I want to do this? I am personally interested in the multiple ways of miscommunication I’ve encountered in my picture making. Like what I’ve said to the camera is different than what the camera has said to the world. And sometimes I haven’t been able to come up with anything to say. So I’ve always embraced mistakes in getting unstuck. Where does boredom fit into this? My longest relationship is with picture making, something I’ve done continuously for over twenty years. Of course, I’ve got bored doing it. My biggest surprise in getting older is how boring being creative can be and is. It is my intention with this workshop that we collectively embrace creative boredom and figure out ways together to get unstuck by letting mistakes happen.

Prompt 3



Lucy Ives (workshop leader), Caiti Borruso, Marissa Iamartino, K. Kovacs, Will Matsuda, Daax Zajmi

For this workshop, I am proposing an exercise at once speculative and research based. I will be asking you to come up with preliminary responses to the following questions: What do these two events have to do with each other? What activities and conditions led to these events? Who were the people involved? What images or other files and content online tell us about these events? Do these events in any way resemble, sound, feel like each other? How so and how not? Again, might the two events have any relationship with each other? How so and how not? And a favourite question of mine: How might our research contribute, if we so wish, to speculative writing, thought, and other activities taking place in the present? Together we will be creating a series of archives to help us uncover correspondences be­ tween these events — as well as between and among our own ways of speculating, drawing inferences, and creating. From these archives and correspondences, we will develop an approach to continuing to work collaboratively over the coming months.


Please consider two events: On 1 July 1971, the former Post Office Department was transformed into the United States ­ Postal Service when it became an independent establishment of the executive branch of the US government. For the 1971 Biennale of Paris, French art historian and critic Jean-Marc Poinsot curated an exhibition and published a related catalogue titled Mail Art: Communication à Distance. What can we say of these two sentences and the events they describe? At first glance, the two events seem nominally related through the word ‘mail’. We may be curious about what the ‘Post Office Department’ was and why it became the USPS (what else changed?) or wonder why a French catalogue was titled with a phrase in English. We may have a more or less complete understanding of what mail art is. We may have experience with the mail. We may have experience with museums. We may have thoughts about the executive branch of the US government.

Prompt 4



Since the 1950s, we have been asked to put ourselves ‘in someone else’s shoes’ in order to widen our range of subjective experience and reality, with the hope of appreciation for and understanding of the nuances and diversity of life experiences. But there are costs, limitations, and consequences (emotional, physical, political/social, and so on) to empathy, particularly when one ­ inhabits the perspective of the enemy, villain, or predator. Perhaps, you might take a moment to trace the roots and rise of empathy, and construct an informed, personal approach to it. Perhaps you will be sympathetic rather than empathetic. Or, perhaps you might safely engage in radical empathy, that is: putting yourself in the shoes of someone you wouldn’t normally want to. One safe entrance point of exploration would be to consider

the bodies and roles of your younger self, future self, or a familial self. Taking inspiration from varied examples of radical empathy in the arts where writers/­ artists inhabit the bodies/roles of those whom they would not normally inhabit, how might you collectively draw from your personal archives (memory and historical artifact) to uncover radical ways of entering and moving through these archives. Or what new archive will you make? Perhaps you might merge, converge, and diverge individual narratives into a collective (familial or familiar) body of experience. One starting point is to engage with personal items ranging in emotional significance, such as (but not limited to): photographs, journals, scrapbooks, home videos, physical artifacts, and more.

YUYACHKANI La Madre / Discurso de Promoción


178 tionship with any one period or image of war (in the 1970s or 1980s). At the same time, the fact that the archive or history is described as movement into a nonphotographic darkness in which one still sings suggests that the past, although non-specific and not temporally bound as periods, can nevertheless shed light on or assist in the task of engaging a present that is necessarily collective (again, Takiy llaqta). In this sense, then we might take the archive as a form of movement into a nonphotogenic past or history (which is in any case a darkness) such as that described by both Brecht in his treatment of war as an ongoing or never-ending conflict whose ‘meaning’ is accessed through the individualised collectivity or form of theatre. Here we might turn again to Barthes’ discussion of Eisenstein’s filmic or moving image as obtuse, versus the still ‘photograph which as a motionless image does not mean only that the figures it represents do not move; it means that they do not emerge, do not leave: they are anesthetised and fastened down, like butterflies’.

YUYACHKANI By way of conclusion, I return to the problematic of images and the past as an ongoing, open-ended engagement in the present; and to Barthes, for whom the specific temporality of the photograph is that of an image that is in two places or times at once: it is both here and now and there and then. In this case, then we might want to retranslate Yuyachkani to be more in line with both Barthes’ idea of the photograph and the distinctively theatrical temporality with which Yuyachkani enacts a remembrance of war as neither located in the past or the present. Rather than as a specific representation or individualised remembrances of (or re-engagement with) a past that can be distilled or re-presented in images or photographs. — Text by Deborah Poole All images from La Madre © ­Yuyachkani, courtesy of the cultural group All images from Discurso de ­Promoción © Musuk Nolte / ­Yuyachkani YUYACHKANI is Peru’s most important theatre collective, and has been working since 1971 at the forefront of theatrical experimen­tation, political performance, and collective creation. Under this Quechua name, the theatre group has devoted itself to the collective exploration of embodied social memory, particularly in relation to questions of ­ethnicity, violence, and memory in Peru. Known for its creative embrace of both indigenous performance forms as well as cosmopolitan theatrical forms, Yuyachkani offers insight into Peruvian and Latin-American theatre, and to broader issues of postcolonial social aesthetics. La Madre, amongst other documents, personal magazines, booklets, videos, and photographs is presented for the first time at the 34th Bienal de São Paulo in 2021. DEBORAH POOLE is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the Johns Hopkins University. She has published extensively on political culture, neoliberalism, law, indigenismo, the state, photography and race in Mexico and Peru. Her publications include Vision, Race and Modernity: A Visual Economy of the Andean Image World (1997) and Peru: Time of Fear (with Gerardo Rénique, 1992). Her most recent field research advances an ethnography of the political and cultural process of decentralisation in Peru. She has served on interdisciplinary review committees for organisations such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Latin American Studies Association, the Peruvian Ministry of Education, and the ACLS. Deborah lives and works in Brooklyn.

EEVA HANNULA Amorphous Writings


192 book has expanded and the poems have been translated into English from Finnish, which according to Hannula, felt easy, and only reinforced the fragmented state of the texts. These poems break with the traditional forms of language to form a sort of visual, honest writing. This reminds me of something Norwegian artist Sara ­Skorgan Teigen said to me about her upcoming book (working title Sleeping State of Being). Here, she uses text for the first time alongside her drawings and photographs. During a studio visit last summer, Teigen showed me her latest dummy and explained that using text made her feel vulnerable and therefore more honest.

EEVA HANNULA I am also reminded of the collage board of images and written notes in Elle Pérez’s 2018 exhibition Diablo at MoMA PS1. Pérez used the board as a place to gather all the texts, thoughts and images surrounding her works. For the past few years, Pérez had been trying to ‘get it all in one image’. Here, the images and texts could exist without pressure, but support each other. Similarly, in Amorphous Writings the images, poems and paintings draw on each other, and Hannula’s photograph-writings come together in one large overall image. — Text by Nina Strand

All images from the series ­Amorphous Writings © Eeva ­Hannula, courtesy of the artist EEVA HANNULA graduated from the Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture in 2017. By intertwining archives with staged photographs and layering them with interventions led by potential errors, chance and experimentations, she creates contrasted and poetic combinations. In 2016, she held a solo exhibition in Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin titled The Choreography of Uncertainty and in 2013, she was selected as one of Foam Magazine’s Foam Talent. Eeva is represented by Sous les Etoiles Gallery in New York. NINA STRAND is a photographer, writer and co-founder of Objektiv Press, a platform for photography founded in 2009. This year, she is curating the exhibition Trust t­ogether with Susan Bright for the f/stop — Festival für Fotografie in Leipzig. In 2019, she was involved in both the Paris Photo/Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards and the Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography. In 2018, she took part of the expert panel of the seminar Photobook Reset at C/O Berlin and was a fellow at the MFA Image Text Ithaca summer workshop. Objektiv Press is the third company Nina has founded.



202 cheeks and determined eyes but also, it’s the clear intention to teach dark-skinned Black girls and those around us that we are pretty and important, too. This little sweetheart is pictured on the S is for Soul Sister-card, one that, like C is for Cool and D is for Dream, is part of the Black ABCs series. It’s a set of cards c­ reated in 1970 by Chicago’s Society for ­Visual Education, an initiative that developed learning material. Their aim was to create educational tools that were a proper reflection of the communities that used them. A necessity that, to this very day, remains of the utmost importance. To have a story told to you through what you know, or at least recognise, is a delight, a joy that, once felt, fills even the holes you didn’t know you had. Every crack blown in the wall of deliberate intellectual and educational violence is one that’s filled with nothing but love, joy and light. Only those that fear this will dim their own light, would dare to complain that it might shine too bright. — Text by Simone Zeefuik


All images from the Black ABCs © June Sark Heinrich and Society for Visual Education, Inc. The artist fee for this portfolio has been donated to Arts + Public Life. (APL) is a dynamic hub of exploration, expression, and exchange that centres people of colour and fosters neighbourhood vibrancy through the arts on the South Side of Chicago. JUNE SARK HEINRICH and ­BERNADETTE TRIPLETT are the late activists and school teachers who created and conceived the Black ABCs. Published in 1970 by the ­Society for Visual Education in Chicago, this set of educational flash cards was distributed across the United States to represent and reflect the backgrounds of Black children in classrooms. According to Bernadette’s daughter Monica Triplett the two ‘probably saw a void every day that needed addressing in terms of representation and self-esteem’, which is why they used ­positive and relevant letter associations, to highlight the power of community and pride. The children photographed for the alphabet were tenants of Harold Ickes, a public housing project in Chicago. Originally, the alphabet was printed as 33x43cm posters with activities listed on the reverse side of the prints. SIMONE ZEEFUIK is an AfroDutch writer, cultural programmer and organiser whose work centres around representation, everydayness, inclusivity and social justice. She focuses on imagination as access, joy, the (de)spectaclisation of Blackness, digital archives and movements against the illegalising of the so-called undocumented members of Afro-Dutch communities. She’s a programmer for Amsterdam’s Bijlmer Parktheater, a teacher at Zawdie Sandvliet’s Afro-Dutch Studies and at Sandberg Institute. A film nerd, a ginger tea critic and a gif enthusiast. Together with ­Richard Kofi, she initiated and hosts the ­podcast Project Wiaspora. Simone lives and works in Amsterdam.





ple with the violence instigated by others who have illogical fears about his identity. In Give Up (2021), a silkscreen and ink on panel collage, Claiborne juxtaposes a highly saturated image of a West-African mask with cut-out phrases, ‘many black children’ and ‘psychologically give up’. Iterations of these statements and others including ‘panic a’, ‘a black man is going to ruin her’, ‘intense’, ‘marriage between races really bothers me’, among others, are collaged and photocopied on other found images of West-African bronzes, masks, and sculptures in the series. The obfuscation of the masks by layers of text signifies and elucidates his inability to concretely map the origination of his bloodline and trouble others’ failure to acknowledge his humanity. In My Skin (2021), a pigment print on archival paper, family photographs attempt to fill in the gap by marking time with relics from his personal history. A man, presumably Claiborne’s father, sits in a chair while holding up a baby boy. This image, and the querying text it employs, is an overarching thesis in the In Progress series. Claiborne’s affirming selfperception is not enough to protect him from others’ negative projections about his identity. The text ‘supposedly’ compels viewers to problematise their immediate limited assessments and to consider the full spectrum of his humanity.

In Progress is a resolute and sobering assessment of the contemporary moment and the fragility of civil rights efforts for the United States’ non-white citizenry. The US has not fulfilled its desire to be a preeminent example of democracy. Our nation is stuck in a cycle of normalised violence. Those who have offered solutions have been physically assassinated, or their characters have been defamed. Those who imagine new possibilities are damned by those who feel most powerful when they subjugate Others. The violence persists because those who instigate violence against Others are rarely prosecuted. As James Baldwin noted in a 1961 interview, ‘To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a state of rage almost, almost all of the time’. — Text by Angela N. Carroll

All images from the series In Progress © Kevin Claiborne, courtesy of the artist KEVIN CLAIBORNE is a multidisciplinary conceptual artist whose work examines intersections of identity, social environment, and mental health within the Black American experience. Moving between collage, silkscreen, photo­graphy, painting, and sculpture, while frequently using language as material, he is interested in finding new ways to look at ­history and its connection to the present moment. Kevin holds a BSc in Mathematics from the ­historically Black college North Carolina Central University, an MSc in Higher Education from Syracuse University, and is currently an MFA Visual Arts candidate at Columbia University. ANGELA N. CARROLL is an artistarchivist and investigator of art ­history and culture. She is a contributing writer for Sugarcane Magazine, Black Art in America, Arts.Black, BmoreArt and others. Angela received her MFA in Digital Arts and New Media from the University of California and currently teaches at Maryland Institute College of Art (‘MICA’) and Stevenson University in Baltimore Maryland.



→ Continues from page 74

To further reflect on our question of whether one can experience a photograph through text, and to explore new depths of the photo-text universe, this second chapter of Page-Turners brings together a collection of published poems and book excerpts that reflect upon the photograph in one way or another. From Margaret Atwood and her impressions of a self-portrait in This is a Photograph of Me, to Julio Cortázar who takes us backstage to the set of Blow-Up, and Joan Fontcuberta who lets us travel to the Himalayas in search for the images trapped in a camera lost in during a tragic climbing accident on the way to the highest peak. From Yoko Ono and her poetic Grapefruit-y prompts to a firsttime English translation of The Photographer by poet Manoel de Barros, where image, imagery, and imagination confound with incredible beauty. Amongst many others, these titles orbit at different speed and gravitation around the photograph, giving shape and brilliance to its luminary.




P.75 OLU OGUIBE is a conceptual artist and a previous contributor to Foam. He was awarded the Arnold Bode Preis in 2017 for his work in documenta 14 and is a current fellow of The Open Societies Foundations. p.76 DAVID SOLO is a Brooklyn-based collector of photography, contemporary ­Japanese and Chinese art, and especially, artist and biographies photo books. He is actively involved with a number of institutions in London and New York as well as individual photobook research and publishing projects. David is also a frequent visitor to and participant in a wide range of book fairs, festivals and related events. P.77 DAVID CAMPANY is a curator, writer, and managing director of programmes at the International Center of Photography, New York. His work has been published by MACK, MIT Press and Kehrer Verlag, amongst others; and recent titles include On Photographs (2020), So Present, So ­Invisible — Conversations on Photography (2018), and The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip (2014). In 2020, David curated the Biennale für Aktuelle Fotografie in ­Mannheim as well as the exhibition A Handful of Dust — from the Cosmic to the Domestic, recently on view at Ryerson Image Centre in Toronto. P.78–79 LÍVIA AQUINO is a cultural and visual arts researcher, professor and artist. She holds a PhD in Visual Arts and an MA in Multimedia from the Universidade de Campinas (UNICAMP). She is the author of the book Picture Ahead: Kodak and the Construction of the Photographer-Tourist (2016). Lívia lives and works in São Paulo. p.80 REYER VAN BARNEVELD is an autodidact artist who collects knowledge through experience as a replacement for educational frameworks. By photo­ graphing daily on instinct, Reyer creates a database of non-hierarchical images that can be accessed at any moment to create unorthodox assemblages and landscapes that question and proposes new ways to correspond with outtakes and upcycled images/materials, in order to sculpt new narratives out of concealed perspectives. Reyer’s work zooms in on performative objects/figures, archival processes, survival strategies and forces of sincerity and chaos. p.81 JAIME LOWE is a writer who frequently contributes to The New York Times Magazine and her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Maxim, Gawker, The Village Voice and LA Weekly. Lowe is the author of Digging for Dirt: The Life and Death of ODB, and founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan. In her book Mental (2017), Lowe shares and investigates her story of episodic madness, as well as the stability she found while on lithium. Jaime lives and works in New York.

p.82–83 HENRI BADARÖH is a Brazilian visual artist and writer. He has a BA in Photography and an MA in Film and Photographic Studies. Through queer, decolonial and intersectional approaches, Henri focuses on the dialogues between photography and film, analogue creative practices and new media, image and the written word, Europe and America. He frequently collaborates with multidisciplinary artists on publications and performances. Henri is Assistant Editor of Foam Magazine. p.84–85 HE YINING is a researcher and c ­ urator in contemporary visual art. ­Graduate of London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London. ­Yining’s curatorial projects have been held in museums, art museums and galleries, and other institutions in China and Europe. Her publications include Photo­graphy in the British Classroom, The Port and the Image, and Abode of Anamnesis, amongst ­others. ­Yining’s latest research attempts to discuss the creative practices of Chinese artists using image algorithms at the intersection of photography, media ecology and philosophy of technology. p.86 ANJALI ARONDEKAR is associate professor of Feminist Studies and founding co-director of the Center for South Asian Studies at the University of California. She is the author of For the Record: On Sexuality and the Colonial Archive in India, winner of the Alan Bray Memorial Book Award for best book in lesbian, gay, or queer studies in l­iterature and cultural studies, ­Modern Language Association (MLA), 2010. Her second book, Abundance: Sexuality, ­Historiography, Geopolitics (forthcoming Duke University Press), grows out of her interest in the figurations of sexuality, ­ethics and collectivity in colonial British and Portuguese India. p.87 MARIAMA ATTAH is a photography curator and lecturer with a particular interest in overlooked visual histories, and in using photography and visual culture to amplify under and misrepresented voices. Mariama is curator of Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool. She was previously Assistant Editor of Foam Magazine. Prior to this, Mariama was curator of Photoworks, where she was responsible for developing and curating programmes and events including Brighton Photo Biennial and was commissioning and managing editor of the yearly magazine Photoworks Annual. p.88 JÖRG COLBERG writes about and teaches photography, and founded Conscientious Photo Magazine in 2002. In addition to working on Conscientious, he has contributed articles and essays to magazines and artist monographs and is a regular contributor of Foam Magazine. He is the author of Understanding Photobooks: The Form and Content of the Photographic Book (2016). Jörg has taught at a number of universities including the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Hartford.

p.218 Bruno Munari Fotocronache di Munari Corraini Edizioni, 1997 p.219 ‘On Finding an Old Photograph’ by Wendy Cope from Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis, 1986 p.220 – 221 ‘This is a photograph of me’ by Margaret Atwood from The Circle Game Contact Press, 1964 p.222 – 223 Minas Kuyumjian Neto and Niels Andreas Sociedade Anônima Clip Editora, 1987 p.224 – 225 ‘The terrorist, he watches’ by Wisława Szymborska from People on a Bridge, 1990 p.226 – 229 Joan Fontcuberta Pandora’s Camera: Photogr@phy after Photography MACK, 2014 p.230 – 231 Yoko Ono Grapefruit: A Book of Instructions and Drawings Simon & Schuster, 2000 p.232 – 233 Johny Pitts Afropean: Notes from Black Europe Penguin, 2020 p.234 – 235 Julio Cortázar Las Armas Secretas Editorial Sudamericana, 1968 p.236 – 237 Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland, and Hans Ulrich Obrist The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present Penguin, 2015 p.238 ‘The Photographer’ by Manoel de Barros from Ensaios Fotográficos, 2000, for the first time translated to English by Flávia Rocha Reproduction images © Katy Hundertmark KATY HUNDERTMARK is a ScottishGerman artist and editor currently based in Amsterdam (NL) and working as Assistant Editor for Foam Magazine. Her creative practice has a strong connection to theatre production, and she has developed a specific interest in the intersection between photography and sculpture to develop new ways of translating images into space. Her work has been exhibited at venues such as Streetlevel Photo­works Glasgow, Stills Edinburgh, Seenfifteen London, Macro Testaccio Rome and her writing has been featured in magazines like Quottom Magazine, Notes Journal and Studies in Photography.

KEN LUM Portrait-Repeated Text


254 the way I am. There is no reason to change’? Text and image, here, make each other opaque; they obscure each other through the thicket of their ambiguous relationship. I want to suggest that this opacity has some healthy function to fulfil in Lum’s ‘open and shared’ public, which may indeed be why Lum’s most recent image-text works, commissioned by Antwerp’s Middelheim Museum, echo the strategy developed earlier in Portrait-Repeated Text across five larger billboards. ‘The gap’ of which Lum writes to me — between the image, the word, and something we might properly understand — ‘signals a limit, yes. But, it also suggests a dialectic both in terms of the loss and re-invention of identity’.

KEN LUM If Lum’s work — photographic, textual, sculptural, and even pedagogical — is to be ‘about’ anything, surely it is about calling us into the kinds of live-wire social relationships in which we can lose and reinvent our identities together. Part of this is to acknowledge, and absorb, the susceptibilities of our selves — both through the (historically) ‘public’ image and the (historically) ‘private’ word — to the generative misinterpretations of our peers. It is to acknowledge as the magic of Lum’s public art the always-openness of one of his subjects’ own questions: ‘What am I doing here?’ This will sometimes be awful and sometimes sweet, just as Lum’s multimodal scenes are. It should also, the more we and our institutions practice, become as ordinary as the shopping list that another subject recites to themselves: ‘onions, eggs, milk, butter, newspaper’. They might have added ‘shared humanity’, but I think it’s implied. — Text by Erin McFadyen

All images from the series PortraitRepeated Text © Ken Lum, courtesy of the artist KEN LUM is known for his conceptual and representational art in a number of media, including painting, sculpture and photography. As an artist, he has a long and active art exhibition record of over thirty years, including major exhibitions such as Documenta 11, the Venice Biennale, São Paulo Biennial, Shanghai Biennale, Busan Biennale, Liverpool Biennial, Gwangju Biennale, Whitney Biennial, amongst others. Since the mid 1990s, Ken has worked on numerous permanent public art commissions including for the cities of Vienna, the Swiss Engadin, ­Rotterdam, St. Louis, Leiden, ­Utrecht, Toronto and Vancouver. ERIN MCFADYEN is a writer, researcher, and editor based on Gadigal Land in Sydney, Australia. Her work can be found in The ­Cambridge Review of Books, Art + Australia, Overland, The Monthly and Artist Profile, where she is currently deputy editor. Erin also edits at the Australian literary journal The ­Suburban Review, and is a founding co-conspirator at the Australasian Posthumanities.

CHERYL MUKHERJI Ghorer Bairer Aalo (Light Outside My Home)




embroidery, video — Mukherji makes the clumsy, repetitive, slow and tentative nature of accepting her familial reality an open journey to be followed. But Mukherji’s commitment to photography is also evident, especially in the meticulously staged self-portraits that ring with a confident certainty. Here we find the studio, the light, the plants, and especially the books, screaming out as the survival tools that give her the exit and entry strategies into this work. If we zoom into the shelves and decipher the careful tumble of texts on her main desk, we glimpse some of the voices that have presumably guided her in form and substance. Anne Carson’s Nox: from which she may have borrowed the idea of fragmenting the family photograph into a poetic revelatory book form. Brit Bennett’s The Mothers: a novel in which the dead mother looms large, and the unpregnant protagonist lives with the memory of an unborn child for years, perhaps signalling to her how much longer our body holds memories than we may ever imagine. By turning the traditionally invasive logic of surveillance on its head, Mukherji presents a divergent domestic scrutiny, an acutely truthful reflection of a familiar obsessive intimacy shared without shame. These living room stills are a brave gesture and reflect the tranquillity in the storm, the unspoken alliance that nurtures their bond from a distance, as the mother-daughter enter a new equilibrium.

A final thought: All mothers are failed artists, fractured from the first time they are told they will one day be wives, and set up to fail even before the moment of conception. All mothers are mirrors, brazenly polished from birth to reflect a perfection that can never truly be. And no matter how self-aware we become about the socially constructive nature of motherhood that feeds these expectations, we will always have to grapple with the fundamental dilemma: will we become our mothers? And this may be why you may never see work like Mukherji’s on the front page: a woman unafraid to show a real middleclass mother with middle-class problems is dreadful. An artist unafraid to show herself caught in this maternal maelstrom is even more of a threat. — Text by Alisha Clytus Sett

All images from the series Ghorer Bairer Aalo (Light Outside My Home) © Cheryl Mukherji, courtesy of the artist CHERYL MUKHERJI is a visual ­artist and writer. She graduated with an MFA in Advanced Photographic Studies from the International ­Center of Photography, Bard College, New York in 2020. Cheryl has been a recipient of the ICP Director’s Fellowship for the years 2018-2020. She has been the recent recipient of Capture Photography Festival’s Writing Prize, Brooklyn Museum’s #Your2020Portrait award, South Asian Arts Resiliency Fund (SAARF), Firecracker Photography Grant, and was nominated for the inaugural Next Step Award by Aperture Foundation and Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York. Cheryl currently lives and works in New York. ALISHA CLYTUS SETT is a writer, curator, producer and educator. She is a part of Kashmir Photo Collective, Guncotton and RoundO Films. Sett is on the Editorial Board of Membrana, an international peerreviewed journal of photography.





(A is for Acquisition, Assets, Appreciation), and further transformed into documentary images, video work, and a public performance. A is abstracted from its original contexts, from written language, sent back out into the respectful silence of the gallery space and later, into the chaos of the built environment, shifting back and forth between two and three dimensions. Here, on these pages, all of this and none of this. A IS FOR ARCHITECTURE… A building is a kind of text. It speaks of social values and material culture, but mostly, it speaks the language of power. A is for Authority, but also for Actions that unsettle it. A as an intervention… standing apart from the urban fabric, A takes on the bulk and weight of an object. Letters become strange when they’re given three dimensions — louder, more transgressive, more than superficial: ‘A SOCIAL INJECTION — A CONDITION — A SELF’, as Ebner writes.

A IS FOR ARBITRARY… We like to think of language as a reliable tool, one that can be trusted to deliver the message we intend. In fact, it is nothing of the kind. Shannon Ebner uses the image to unsettle language, to reveal its opacity, its unstable, mercurial nature. (A is for Absolute Authorship, but not Always). A is the difference between ‘a text’ and text… the difference between language as an apparatus, and its more free-floating and provocative form as art. — Text by Eugenie Shinkle

All images from the series Black Box Collision A and A Hudson Yard, 201415 © Shannon Ebner, courtesy of the artist Images list: p.269 (top to bottom) Black Box Collision A (30), 2014 Black Box Collision A (4), 2013 p.273 (top to bottom) Black Box Collision A (27), 2014 Red A, 2012 p.274 (top to bottom) Black Box Collision A (14), 2014 Black Box Collision A (23), 2014 p.278 (top to bottom) Black Box Collision A (19) 2014 Black Box Collision A (28) 2014 p.270, 271, 272, 275, 276, 277: A HUDSON YARD, 2014 - 15 12 posters, 72 x 48 in. each In collaboration with with David Reinfurt. Commissioned and produced by High Line Art. Presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Photographs by Timothy Schenck SHANNON EBNER is an artist whose work takes the form of photographs and poems that question the limits and ambiguity of language and investigate the boundary between image and text, as well as seeing and reading. Through sculptural forms and photographic imagery, Shannon’s work critiques the ideologically charged language of democracy, freedom and war that has been heightened since the devastating events of 9/11. She deconstructs language and uses it in many different ways — puns, palindromes and borrowed phrases — to emphasise its ambiguity and to make it appear almost unrecognisable. Shannon is based in Los Angeles. EUGENIE SHINKLE is a photo­ grapher and writer based in London, England. Originally trained as a civil engineer, she holds an MA in Photo­ graphy, Art History and Landscape Anthropology, and a PhD from the Slade School of Fine Art. She writes and lectures widely on a range of topics including architecture, landscape, vision machines and human/technology relations. Eugenie is co-editor of the photobook platform c4journal, and a regular contributor to many online and print publications.

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FRONT COVER Image from the photo series 3eib!, © written, directed, and shot by Sarah Bahbah, courtesy of the artist

EDITORS Henri Badaröh, Katy Hundertmark, Elisa Medde

BACK COVER Image from the series ­Amorphous Writings © Eeva ­Hannula, courtesy of the artist

ASSISTANT EDITORS Henri Badaröh, Katy Hundertmark

INSIDE BACK COVER Image from the series In Progress © Kevin Claiborne, courtesy of the artist

ISSUE #60, Glyphs —  The Image + Text Issue

MAGAZINE MANAGEMENT Maureen Marck ART DIRECTOR Studio Hamid Sallali DESIGN & LAYOUT Ayumi Higuchi, Studio Hamid Sallali TYPEFACES Haarlem, Maria, TUSKER GROTESK , Circular Mono, Pilat Narrow, Signifier

INSIDE BACK COVER SPREAD Image from the series Le Monde © Mana Kikuta, ­courtesy of the artist SPECIAL THANKS Míriam Campos, Joan Fontcuberta, Daniel Mebarek, Emiliano Neri, Idra Novey, Valeria Posada, Teresa Ralli, Jano Siles, Geomima SilvaOliveira, Melissa Stewart, Helen Westlake

CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS & WRITERS Jonathas de Andrade, Lívia Aquino, Anjali Arondekar, Eylem Atakav, Mariama Attah, Magali Avezou, Henri Badaröh, Sarah Bahbah, Reyer van Barneveld, Crystal Bennes, Daniel Boetker-Smith, David Campany, Angela N. Carroll, Federica Chiocchetti, Kevin Claiborne, Jörg Colberg, Tim Dean, Shannon Ebner, Hal Fischer, Eeva Hannula, Yining He, June Sark Heinrich, S*an D. Henry-Smith, Katy Hundertmark, Takahiro Ito, Joumana El Zein Khoury, Mana Kikuta, Luce Lebart, Chiara Di Leone, Jaime Lowe, Ken Lum, Erin McFadyen, Elisa Medde, Serubiri Moses, Cheryl Mukherji, Nicholas Muellner, Musuk Nolte, Olu Oguibe, Oluremi C. Onabanjo, Deborah Poole, Irene Antonia Diane Reece, Zoé Samudzi, Alisha Clytus Sett, Daniel Shea, Eugenie Shinkle, David Solo, M. Charlene Stevens, Nina Strand, Yina Jiménez Suriel, Chikashi Suzuki, Newsha Tavakolian, Catherine Taylor, Bernadette Triplett, Amani Willett, Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani, Simone Zeefuik

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