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Snap! paper issue No 11 CONTRIBUTORS
cover by jared larsen / harveyophoto.blogspot.com artwork on this page by Adrien Baudet / adrienbaudet.com
Editor in Chief › Shayl Prisk
Mascots › Seamus, Kisha & Mini
Co-Director › Hannah Byrne
Interns › Jeremy Dabrowski, Rebeka Pelaez Gaetz, Denise Kling, Lena Schwarzwälder
Founders › Hannah Byrne & Shayl Prisk Art Director & Designer › Vanda Daftari Fashion Director › Pascale Georgiev Marketing Manager › Hannah Byrne Web Editor › Hannah Byrne
Copy › Shayl Prisk, Pascale Georgiev Writing › Shayl Prisk, Santiago Ramos, Amy Hugo Ball, Daniel Luna, Vanda Daftari, Alexander Laidlaw Artwork › Jared Larsen, Adrien Baudet, Kevin Simon Mancera, Katty Maurey,
Capucine Labarthe, Guylaine Couture, Cécile Côté, Zoe Renaud, Alex Sebag, Robby Reis, Meaghan Kennedy Photography › Adrien Baudet, Vanda Daftari, Andreas Sundgren, Maxyme G. Delisle, SPG Le Pigeon, Richmond Lam, Robby Reis, Véronique L’Écuyer, Karin Demeyer, John Londoño, Sandrine Castellan, Raphaël Oullet, Coey Kerr, Tristan Casey, Jean Malek, Clara Palardy
â€œThe tools I need for my work are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey.â€? ~ William Faulkner
Hot Prints Just a small assortment of the creative publications that were produced in Montréal over the last year Photo by Andreas Sundgren / themagicnumber.tumblr.com Special thanks to Supa Kippa 2000 for opening up their studio for team SNAP!
In this photo › Pica › Baron › Elektra › French Fourch › Society Suckers › Young Healers › La Pastèque › P45 › Heroine › Louïe › Art Matters Guide › Beaubien › Pizza Doing Stuff › McGill Foreign Affairs › A&D
a LOVE OF MAGAZINES Photos by Andreas Sundgren
I wouldn’t say that I collect magazines so much as read them, and keep what I can. I was ten years old when I discovered Teen Magazine, and let’s just say fashion magazines became a ritual. I have downsized a lot, this bookcase contains what has survived all the packing and unpacking of many moves. It is 15 years of Teen, Seventeen, Vogue, Teen Vogue, Nylon, Jalouse, Lula…basically whatever magazines I have purchased. I still go back to random spreads for reference. These past years I try and skim through everything out there, and buy my regulars (for business and pleasure).
thanh truc trinh Magazines tell you stories. Magazines contain ideas. Magazines are egocentric trips. Magazines reflect culture. Magazines satisfy desire. Magazines are inspiring. Magazines inform. Magazines are intimate. Magazines are tangible. Magazines are printed. Magazines are iconic. Magazines are ephemeral. Magazines are experiences. Magazines are experimentations. Magazines are engaging. Magazines carry concepts. Magazines are expressive. Magazines are provocative. Magazines are weapons. Magazines are progressive. Magazines are manifestos. Magazines are revolutions. Magazines are regressive. Magazines sell lies. Magazines present lifestyles. Magazines are identities. Magazines are bold. Magazines are flat. Magazines are paper. Magazines are mass-produced. Magazines are handmade. Magazines are photocopies. Magazines are words. Magazines are layouts. Magazines are typography. Magazines are images. Magazines are design. Magazines are art. Magazines are obsessive.
Growing up, the only clutter my designer parents would allow in our house was stacks of magazines. Design, architecture, photography, we had piles in every room. That’s what we did. We would flip through magazines – everyone would be talking and looking through them. I think I was about 12 when I got my first subscription to Vogue and then W. I remember when Gianni Versace died. It was such a big deal. I had my favourite photographers and designers, I could recognize their work, season after season. The late eighties and nineties, for me, was a time of icons in design and fashion. It was postmodernism clashing with androgynous minimalism, there was so much to look at. I started being more attentive to the layout, the masthead, and being inspired by graphic design. It became about recognizing the British vs American vs Swiss styles, the functional vs the grunge. My collection of magazines became an eclectic library of references. Magazines have been consistent in my life. To be able to design one today, and study it’s creative process for my Master’s, is rad. It feels like magazines could be the one thing I’ll work on for the rest of my life.
The first magazines I really remember poring over were the issues of Vanity Fair that my father had lying around our house when I was very young. I loved the elaborate photo shoots and all the American drama in the story telling – the rise and fall of the Kennedys, the mob, the lives of the great film directors, novelists and politicians. When I was a teen I began a long love affair with beauty magazines like Allure and Glamour – I found them very aspirational. I still remember in great detail certain Allure covers – the one in the late nineties with Gisele Bundchen and Aurelie Claudel changed my life. My older sister collected any magazine that had Kate Moss in it, she was obsessed. When I could, I would sneak into her room and devour them. Most of them were British, and I slowly developed a taste for the more serious fashion and art magazines that were doing something bold and experimental, like The Face and Dazed & Confused. My collection is always being skimmed and picked over because I have moved around so much in my twenties. My tastes have evolved remarkably, and I find myself drawn now to magazines like Another Man, 10, Purple, because they can pull off sexy with intelligence and sophistication. I think sexy is really important for magazines, I like to be seduced by something when I am flicking through it. The test of a good magazine is whether or not you find yourself revisiting it, wanting just a little bit more.
adrien baudet I adore magazines. Itâ€™s like a drug, from time to time I just have to go to Multimags and flip through at least 50. I look at the photos, the visuals, the layouts, and then I buy my favourite. However I rarely read them...
r o v e r a r t s . c o m An Independent review of art and culture. Montreal arts uncovered by · Arthur Kaptainis · Marvin Allen · Noah Richler · Marianne Ackerman · Andrew Hlavacek · Lev Bratishenko · Victoria Leenders · Cheng Jim Burke · Alexandra McIntosh · Clay Hemmerich · Lori Callaghan · Jay Mark Caplan · Sijia Chen · Vanessa Flannery · Julia Vyse · Sarah Fletcher · Anna Fuerstenberg · Alex Woolcott · Tao Fei · James Gartler · Mélanie Grondin · Mike Mirolla · Elise Moser · Jaime Haraldson · Justin Scherer · Claire Holden Rothman · Thomas Jarvis · Dru Jeffries · Carol Krenz · Claude Lalumière · D. W. Lee - Michael Mirolla · Elise Moser · April Pierce · Marc Seltzer · Marc Zaffran · Christopher Zanti · and others “Not to be missed at the MAINLINE THEATRE is a musical comedy reimagining the Greek god of wine, Dionysus, in middle age. With text and lyrics by Jeremy Hechtman and Patrick Goddard, inspired by a story of Garrison Keillor, The Mid-life crisis of Dionysus is a smartly written comedy delivered with great timing by a well-rehearsed and able cast.” ~ Mark Seltzer “The 13th annual Wildside Festival, at the CENTAUR THEATRE definitely lives up to its name… Dance Animal is the explosive and delightful creation choreographed by Robin Henderson and featuring 10 talented and terrifically funny performers. The choreography and the monologues interacted perfectly to send up the musical style and put reality performance television to shame.” ~ Anna Fuerstenberg “Mise en scène par Lorraine Pintal, Huis clos est une pièce inconfortable qui rappelle les angoisses d’adolescence; âge auquel plusieurs personnes découvrent Sartre et s’intéressent à l’existentialisme. Le huis clos dans lequel se retrouvent les personnages est brillamment représenté par une cage suspendue audessus du vide laissé par les planches manquantes de la scène. La musique de Robert Normandeau, quant à elle, est métallique et sombre, créant une ambiance sinistre.” HEATRE DU NOUVEAU MONDE ~ Mélanie Grondin “Kylián’s fluid, neo-classical style is inflected with idiosyncratic wit, bouts of improvisation and a rich gestural language – small flicks of the leg, shoulders stuck in shrugged positions, hips flirtatiously jutted, hands softly quivering. … No wonder this feels like real romance. Women and men lift, buttress and provide counterweight for each other, creating miraculous moving sculptures that redefine how bodies can interlace.” Presented by LES GRANDS BALLETS CANADIENS at Théâtre Maisonneuve. ~ Tao Fei “If you generally enjoy the theatre and have never been to a reading, this is a fantastic opportunity and one of the best shows in town. The actors are professional, the readings will be entertaining and will astonish, and most of all you will be doing the playwright a
service by attending. One of those benefitting from this sea change is Alexandria Haber, winner of this year’s Pam Dunn award for Life Here After, which will be read this evening at the Bain St. Michel as part of INFINITHEATRE’S PIPELINE series.” ~ Anna Fuerstenberg “The movement is remarkable in that it is, while disciplined, entirely without affectation, style or theatricality (appropriately, Lachambre and Lecavalier dance with their faces obscured and backs to the audience most of the time), and at several moments achieve riveting effect. USINE C Strangely satisfying honed-in performances from dancers, especially Lecavalier, who can “technically” and expressively do much more.” ~ Tao Fei “TALISMAN THEATRE has to be one of the edgiest new companies in Montreal. They have the courage to push the boundaries and take the risks that most other Montreal-based English language companies would steer away from. In part this is due to Talisman’s unusual mandate: to stage English premieres of plays by Québécois playwrights, but, in addition, they look for controversial plays with intercultural significance.” ~ Chris Dilworth “Haunted, Paul Van Dyck’s play about the Great Amherst Mystery is a hit. From the moment the cello and violin music greet the audience in the hall at the back of St. James Church, you know that you are in truly professional theatrical hands.” INFINITHEATRE ~ Anna Fuerstenberg “Sexy béton, Part III: Abandon, the finale of PORTE PAROLE theatre’s three-part investigation into the collapse of the Concorde overpass, offers a surprisingly powerful ending to a tightrope act by a company with ambition and courage… A rare and wonderful achievement.” ~ Marianne Ackerman “Fatherland … is also a testament to INFINITHEATRE’S artistic director Guy Sprung who like any good farmer, goes back to the field year after year to see what he can do with his latest crop.” ~ Alex Woolcott
write for rover. firstname.lastname@example.org
BAD NEWS, ILLUSTRATED
WORDS BY SANTIAGO RAMOS bravo photo by andreas sundgren
Kevin Simón Mancera is a young illustrator based in Colombia. As part of one of his recent installations, Al mal tiempo mala cara, the artist hand drew one of Colombia’s most prestigious national newspapers, El Tiempo. Over four months of work, Mancera reproduced in detail one particular issue. More specifically, he focused on all of the negative coverage, the bad news, found in that day’s paper. An edition of 3000 prints was shown last year at ARTBO, Bogota’s annual international art fair, as part of a news stand installation. Each paper was sold for 3500 pesos, approximately two dollars, which is the usual price of a copy of El Tiempo. The illustrated newspaper, which required significant effort and detail, was dated May 1st, the equivalent of ‘Labour Day’ in Colombia, a day where nobody actually works. Mancera’s use of irony and the subject matter he selected to illustrate serves as part of an important critical discourse on the Colombian reality, on
the value of work, as well as the value of art. From his body of work one can perceive a definite sense of disillusionment or apathy. Yet, talking to Kevin on the phone, he comes across as gentle and thoughtful, with an elegant dark humour. Our conversation went a little like this: Santiago Ramos bravo› Why did you choose a newspaper as the medium for A mal tiempo mala cara? Kevin Simón Mancera › In my work I strive to engage drawing as a language. At the same time, it occurs to me that I am constantly immersed in graphic and obsessive reflection, and that my immediate surroundings produce traces of psychological states, messages, and realities. I am, like anyone else, susceptible to a healthy dose of pessimism. If I engage in a critical outlook by choosing to highlight negative content I am mak-
ing a comment about reality and our falsely optimistic society. At the same time, language and the objects it inhabits are an attractive source of inspiration to my work. Books, magazines, conversations, chat tools, emails, mail, the internet, dictionaries, or, as in this project, newspapers. By exploring these elementary mediums I can methodically collect and show themes, and I can do it in a way that is meticulous and manual. These mediums are forums for my drawing, and my drawing serves as a classifier to organize the world that surrounds me. In the case of A mal tiempo mala cara, the reproduction and process of redrawing the newspaper allowed me to filter and select a great part of its content, while keeping its original format and size as a reference point. In the end my selections left only the text and images that represented bad news, and all other information and advertising was removed.
SRB › You talk about popular media and your reference to newspapers leads me to wonder how you perceive the print industry today? Where is it going, what is its future? KSM › I find it is an attractive container of images and information and it has easy access. I do not believe print loses its appeal when compared with digital editions, and an old newspaper will always be handy at the moment of ripening plantains, or cleaning windows. SRB › What do critics and admirers say about your work? KSM › If I wanted to be optimistic, I would say that my drawing is a language that generates a proximity relationship between the persons who see it because there are no tricks or artifices. I also believe that portraying pessimism leaves two options to the spectators: they identify with this reality, or feel fortunate for not sharing other people’s misfortunes.
The Future of Newspapers words by shayl prisk images taken from ‘The big picture – diary of a nation’ a book edited by max prisk
Max Prisk has been a newspaper journalist for over 40 years in his native Australia. He learned the ropes as a young man working on several regional newspapers until 1971 when he joined The Canberra Times, the daily newspaper of Australia’s capital city. In 1977 he was hired by The Sydney Morning Herald and was editor there from 1988 to 1993. He retired from daily newspapers in 2008. Max spoke with his daughter and editor of SNAP! about his th0ughts on the current decline in print, the future of newspapers, and the importance of high quality news reporting now threatened by the changes in our access to media and information. SHAYL PRISK › Where did you grow up? MAX PRISK › I was raised in a mining town in outback Australia, population around 3,000. SP › So it was a small town, did they have their own newspaper there? Like a local one? MP › When I was in the final years of high school there were two weekly papers – both of them owned and printed in a town 200 miles away. I got to write the school news for both. I picked up early rewrite skills trying to make them sound a bit different for each paper. SP › How did that come about? Did you approach them because of an interest in writing? In media? Both? MP › The headmaster was encouraging me to take an interest in journalism. When one paper asked him to nominate someone to write a weekly school news column, I got the gig. Then the other paper said they wanted it too. I was syndicated at 16. SP › Because you started so young, do you recall any misconceptions you had about newspapers and journalism? Do you think the world of print media seemed more approachable to you because you started young and local? MP › I finished high school in 1962. There were no journalism or communication degrees to be had at university in Australia then, and just one book on the practical side of things, which was out of print. But I did pick up from American movies that you were supposed to be able to wisecrack with gangsters, drink like a fish and work in a haze of smoke. The Clark Kent bits in the Superman comics were pretty instructional. Perry White – he was the editor of the Daily Planet – was always
shouting at someone in the newsroom. I learnt that the required response, apparently, was, “I’ll get right on it, chief.” The real eyeopener came when our English teacher made us buy a copy of The Sydney Morning Herald each Saturday for a month to read and analyse what was called the Third Leader – a stylishly written, often whimsical editorial on a topic away from the mainstream. I realised how little I knew about using language effectively. I also started reading the rest of the newspaper, and got hooked. The Herald was founded in 1831 and is one of the oldest still-published newspapers in the world. I made one of those schoolboy vows to myself that one day I would work there. Anyway, possibly because I had at least written for newspapers already, when I left high-school I got the first job I applied for. That was on a daily newspaper in a country city, just a few hours from Sydney. I loved it from the first day – all the old cliches: the smell of the ink, the rumble of the ancient press, phones ringing, waiting for my first outside assignment. SP › What was the learning curve like? How quickly did you pick up a lot of the finer points on writing and so on? MP › There were only eight journalists including the editor, so the learning curve was pretty steep – all hands to the pump. As the newest I got all the cheque presentations, school fetes and flower shows. My first page one story was a publicity stunt for a visiting circus – an elephant race with local radio announcers as the jockeys. But I was able to move off fairly quickly to police rounds and courts and meetings of the local councils. I was too young to drive so I had to hitchhike up to 30 miles sometimes to cover events in nearby towns. A farmer gave me my first lift. He was driving a Mini and he had a calf on the backseat. People were always helpful – there was a great deal of underlying respect for the local paper back then. Six issues a week meant a lot of space to fill and when I found a few topics that interested me and needed longer treatment I had no trouble getting them published. I was devouring the big city papers – and zeroing in on a few writers I thought had a touch of Hemingway to them. SP › So you were aspiring to contribute something intelligent, that was what attracted you to the work?
MP › There was a senior guy at that country paper who doubled, tripled really, as news editor, chief-sub editor and chief of reporters. He was the first person I’ve ever met who actually tore at his hair when he saw imperfect grammar or spelling. He used to get airmail copies of the British papers and drool over the layouts and snappy headlines and the sharp writing. It was very infectious, and it was how I developed a big interest in how papers were presented – the layout, typefaces, use of pictures. SP › You must have some thoughts on how young journalists are educated and recruited nowadays, compared with how you entered the field and the direct experience that you learnt from. From your story the two things that maybe stand out the most is the fact that you were somehow naturally adept at writing, and the fact that you were very motivated to go somewhere with it, whether it was hitchhiking 30 miles or seeking out other examples of writing that you wanted to work towards. Do you find that young journalists tend to come from a different direction today? MP › I’d seen my first dead body and covered my first murder by the time I was 18, and I’d been abused and praised in the street over stories that I’d written – that’s the glory of a country paper. It was also why so many of the metropolitan papers were willing to hire promising country journalists – because there wasn’t much they hadn’t seen or done. Very few journalists today are hired straight out of high school. University graduates in media and communication studies are being turned out in huge numbers and most of the juniors who are taken on come loaded with theory but very little practical experience. And few get to do the full gamut of reporting before they move into specialty rounds. I think young journalists today are just as talented as they were when I was starting out – but the skill sets are different. The more grassroots face-toface reporting you do the greater your affinity with the community you are serving. But I do find that graduates are more adept at analysing complex issues than your old-style general reporter. And many of today’s journalists have switched direction after taking degrees in other disciplines – doctors, lawyers, oceanographers – and that all adds to the pool of expertise. I would
still advise someone with the chance to get into newspaper journalism to grab the job with both hands. Today you have to do multimedia work – supplying the paper’s internet site with voice reports or video streams, and you can even end up with your own blog. One of the curses across people from both backgrounds has been the cult of the byline, the great urge to write in the first person – “I felt,” “I believe.” But then the whole transition we are in with the decline of print and the explosion of the internet seems to be entrenching this trend more each day. So many old journos must be spinning in their graves shouting, “Who gives a damn what you think?” SP › That’s an interesting point about the first person preference, especially when you consider the blogger phenomenon nowadays. Still, having spent over 40 years in print media you must be able to recall many paradigm shifts in your industry – the advent of the internet is the most popular and contemporary example of that. Obviously it is a major concern for print publications because it affects its value and role in our society. But surely there have been other “paradigm shifts” in the past – from television to changes in print and paper technology. Newspapers were never static things, right? Why has the idea of “the death of print” captured people’s imaginations so much in recent years, do you think? There will be change, yes, as there was in the past. But death? Where do you stand on the discussion? MP › Radio and television were never a really big threat to the supremacy of newspapers on coverage of “serious news” – for much of the early days it was mostly “rip and read.” Many of the networks were owned or partowned by the newspapers and it was a duty even back then to write a short version of your print piece for use by the electronic media. In Australia at least, even the large networks have never had a writing staff big enough to get across all the complex issues of the day. Radio and TV hurt newspapers in other ways. They took a big slice of the advertising dollar and, particularly TV, contibuted greatly to the rise of the “time poor” phenomenon – so many things to do, so little time to do them. And, around 30 years ago, radio came up with talkback and the instant-opinion gurus. With the day’s newspapers spread in front of them they’d gut the
news – often imperfectly or with deliberate bias – delighting or inflaming listeners, many of whom decided this was much more fun than having to read a paper themselves. Most people do not realise that newspapers have always been the major source of “disclosure” news – blowing the whistle on high-level deceit or cover-up in government and business, outing public figures who have misused their positions, and revealing entrenched corruption in areas like law and order. And they were not afraid to go beyond “most popular search topics” and look at unfashionable issues like how we treat our elderly and the mentally ill. Once other media felt honour-bound to credit the newspaper source for items they were picking up, but that’s getting rarer. SP › So we might talk more generally then, about a long standing conflict between presenting what is serious and intelligent, and what is easily digested and entertaining? Newspapers are less valued today because of how our information is accessed, or our lifestyle preferences, rather than the nature of the information itself? MP › It’s true that newspapers do take time to read, even if you are just grazing. But it is one of life’s great rituals, spreading out the paper and consuming huge chunks of it over tea or coffee. I still think we have a reponsibility to know what is happening in the rest of the world – as depressing as it might sometimes be. However, the demands of the workplace, including much more own-time expectations from employers, endless leisure-time options, the demands of family and children as well as hanging out with friends has left less time for newspapers. And the less you get to read the more you begrudge the money you spend buying it. And of course there’s the option of getting it for free on the internet. SP › So what are the major things we stand to lose as we drift further and further from traditonal and thorough forms of news reporting? MP › I’ve carried around in various wallets since the sixties a quote from the US journalist Walter Lippmann. It’s pretty tattered now but I think it captures the most important thing to understand about what we are in danger of losing if the big newsrooms that only newspapers have been able
to fund should disappear. He said, “The theory of a free press is that the truth will emerge from free reporting and free discussion, not that it will be presented perfectly and instantly in any one account.” He doesn’t say print, and you could almost imagine that by “free reporting and free discussion” he is forseeing the internet. But my worry is that, as newspapers thrash around for a “business model” that works for its content on the net, no progressive truth is emerging on the blog sites, the forums and the chat rooms. Most discussion, like talkback radio, is endless conjuring with some imperfect interpretation of something that was disclosed in a print newspaper and has not been read in its entirety, or at all, by most of the users who are sounding off. SP › So it isn’t really a matter of newspapers being but one medium for information, one which is now becoming obsolete with the changes in our culture and access, like internet and so on. Really it’s the fact that newsapers are the one great source of free and important information gathering that we stand to lose due to ‘bottom line’ issues. Is it as much an issue about management and the vision of the people in charge of the big publications as it is a question of tastes and the consumption patterns of the public? It’s either make something easily consumable, flashy, bold and tabloidy which will be popular and easy to pick up, or make something that maintains a standard of intelligence, investigation and quality, although that will surely result in a smaller audience of readers/buyers, because it is more serious. I suppose most newspapers try to get a balance of the two and have more or less success at that. MP › The thing is, newspaper owners and managers are in a bind. Advertising funds the newsroom. Advertisers buy space in a newspaper if they know it can deliver the readers – and increasingly the “right” readers, those in key age or income demographics. If readership drops advertising can fall away, or those who stay can demand cheaper rates. The double dilemma for everyone is how to keep print viable and how to make websites pay. There are signs that the infatuation of advertisers with internet advertising is stabilising. The growth so far has been huge, but from a low base. However, with the increase of hand-helds
and “apps” the scene is changing yet again, with big uptake of a technology more designed to received information in tight grabs. Given the size of Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd empire his decision to put newsprint content behind a paywall will be the big test that could decides the future of print. There has already been a colossal change in the content of the broadsheet or “serious” newspaper as they attempt to bring in the younger readers that advertisers want. No newspaper that I know attempts to be a classic “journal of record” any more. The “important” news is still reported, but opinion columns are on the rise – print’s response to the radio talkback gurus and the ratings success of the haranguing panels on cable TV. And the space given to the comings and goings of actors and singers and fashion models is ever expanding. The most encouraging fact is that the quality newspaper websites receive the most traffic from people who seek their news on the net. The depressing flipside is that most of those people say they would not pay to do so. SP › Do you remember when the first discussions about internet and ‘news online’ came about? The first active discussions, like, OK guys we have to start building some presence online. Was it the late nineties? MP › Yep it was 1995. The Sydney Morning Herald had a site up and running quite early against most others. And I should add that I’ve been a user of the internet since the early 90s, when Yahoo was just starting and Google was a long way off. It’s added a whole new dimension to life, particularly research of digitised newspapers, books and original documents. I check out all sorts of sites, including blogs, and sometimes it’s like a great, enjoyable carnival. But, although I use newspaper sites between print cycles if there’s a big breaking event, the hand-held broadsheet is still where I prefer to go for my news, analysis and opinion. SP › I kind of wanted to touch on your disillusionment, or how you might feel now you are retired and are watching it all unfold. But I don’t know if it is directly relevant or if you’d rather not get into it. I just think 40 years is a long time to do something and all these changes over the last decade are pretty immense.
MP › Less disillusionment, more sadness. So many great papers have gone under and the newsrooms are thinning out. Fewer sources of information are gathered with balance or subject to fact checking. My major worry is that we are facing a void of information. One of the hallmarks of the so-called Dark Ages was the loss of literacy, and I think we are in danger of that now. A chief sub-editor of mine years ago, wanting to encourage succinct writing, used to tell young reporters, “Write as if you are a poor man sending a telegram to a fool.” Telegrams have gone now, but you had to pay by the word. Text messaging is the nearest counterpart today, and if that’s the next step forward in language, you can beam me up Scotty. There was never a good time for the decline of print, and I do believe that many of the great newspapers, and many of those serving smaller communities with their own needs and interests, will morph and survive. The internet is still in diapers and a way will be found to offer accurate and trustworthy information in a way that can pay for the cost of gathering it – nature does abhor a vacuum. But it is not the greatest of moments in history for a reduction in trustworthy sources of news. We are being lied to and misled more than ever, and the “spin doctors” paid to give a onesided version of events are proliferating. Politicians have always been a worry, but when we start to doubt the integrity of scientists and academics on one side or other of the climate change debate, for instance, you wonder who will be left to get at the truth. I’m not talking about the bleak world of Cormac McCarthy’s book The Road, but we can’t have a world where people do not know what is being done in their name, or worse where people don’t know and don’t care. Anyway as you know our house is avalanche city, with newspapers and books and magazines stacked everywhere. I’m a paper guy and with any luck I’ll be hearing the thud of a morning newspaper in the driveway until the day I die. Copies of The Sydney Morning Herald from 1831 to 1954 can be accessed for free on the National Library of Australia’s digitised and searchable newspaper website at newspapers.nla.gov.au
PIE PAPER WORDS BY AMY HUGO BALL PHOTO BY andreas sundgren
Pie Paper is the brainchild of New Zealand based artists Simon Oosterdijk and Markus Hofko (also known as Rainbow Monkey). In the simplest sense – it’s a magazine that looks like a newspaper (hereafter referred to as a magaper) – only considerably cooler than your average herald. The mathematical symbol Pie as a title was chosen for it’s infinite possibilities, and the content tackles the extremely broad worlds of art, nature and science. Each issue of this magaper operates under an overarching theme and sets out to explore some pretty far-reaching and esoteric ideas. Their first issue looked at The Circle and the presence and power of this simple shape in nature, thought
and design. Their second, and latest issue, drew upon the notion of Repetition. In that issue Pie featured works from Levi van Veluw’s Natural Transfer series, images of natural phenomena such as snow crystals, and an exploration on hair growth and genetic patterns. Layout-wise, Pie keeps some allegiance to standard newspaper formatting, but for the most part it feels more like the Arts and Culture section that tends to give you a little more room to breath. If you miss those tattered edges and that hot-off-the-press smell of your parent’s morning read, pick up a copy of Pie for a refreshing take on the newspaper format. piepaper.com
MOUSSE WORDS BY AMY HUGO BALL PHOTO BY andreas sundgren
To have Mousse Magazine as your local daily paper would be the equivalent of growing up in the penthouse suite of the MOMA (because one exists, I swear). Mousse is an Italian publication that puts a lot of weight on high art, with an emphasis on the essays and commentaries of some of the world’s most reputable curators and art critics. Intelligent and dense, the content is well-balanced and clean, if not a dash serious. Obviously for such a high quality art publication Mousse features a strong emphasis on good design, from their beautiful understated serif font to a screen-printed plastic envelope that encases each issue, giving their delicate newspaper stock more weight and permanence.
The tabloid format taken by Mousse feels like an uncommon but pleasantly accessible pairing between high and low art. If you’re more of a browser then Mousse might not be your cup of tea, but for the thinkers among us, searching for something less committal then an encyclopedia of contemporary art, Mousse is just the ticket. It’s not as though Dieter Roelstrate (a curator at the Antwerp Museum of Contemporary Art, and a contributor to Mousse over several issues) is really having a hard time getting published in 10pt on matte paper stock. moussemagazine.it
ACNE PAPER WORDS BY AMY HUGO BALL PHOTO BY andreas sundgren
When I started looking into ACNE PAPER online, I came across a comment from a girl saying she would never get laser treatment to remove her acne scars. Though she missed the point entirely, this magazine must naturally inspire some introspection on ideas of beauty and form. Based in Stockholm, ACNE PAPER is a magazine hybrid produced by the Swedish collective Acne, also the team behind Acne Jeans. A must-have for fans of fashion, this journal is rich with the works of some of the photography world’s heavy weights, like Nan Goldin and Daniel Jackson. Published twice a year, ACNE has just brought out it’s 10th issue, with the latest covering everything from interviews
with some of Europe’s leading artists to some seriously beautiful fashion photography. Though the folks at ACNE claim to “unite artistic minds of all generations” by presenting images of high and popular culture, this is a magazine that is defiantly leaning to the higher side. Everything from the writing to the extremely polished layout means this magazine could easily fit right next to your classic issues of Paris Vogue, circa 1950. I’ve never been to Stockholm, but I feel like everything that comes out of that place is good looking, and this magazine is no exception. acnepaper.com
MARSHALL ARTIST SUMMER 2010 COLLECTION AVAILABLE AT ALIBI / 506 RACHEL EST, 514-903-4006
Mind the Gutter We demonstrate how meaning can be lost in the crease photos by maxyme g. delisle maxyme.net / assisted by sĂ‰bastien boyer / styling by melanie brisson / hair + makeup by maĂŻnA.ca using mac cosmetics + pureology / models nadia + hugo at next
PRINTS ON PRINT Photos by SPG Le Pigeon / studiospg.com Creative Direction + Artwork by Catherine D’Amours / Styling by Marie Darsigny hair + make-up by maina.ca using Mac Cosmetics + Pureology / Models Guillaume, Sophie, Frank + Lily at next canada this page › dress by Be Bop / Jacket by H&M / Leggings by Trendyland / Shoes by Spring opposite page › clothing by H&M, Lab:Co, Urban Outfitters, Simons, Spring following page › Shorts by DC / Scarf by Yves Saint-Laurent Vintage / Shoes by Spring last page › dresses by Rachel Roy / Shoes by Spring
1024 Mont-Royal Est. MTL,QuĂŠbec H2J 1X6 T 514.522.3870
PHOTOS BY RICHMOND LAM
richmondlam.com / ASSISTED BY MIKE CHUI / HAIR + MAKE-UP BY ANDREW LY / MODELS DARIA AT DULCEDO + SIMON FORTIN
PHOTO BY ROBBY REIS
STYLING BY TANIA DOS SANTOS + JESSICA PETUNIA
PHOTO BY VÉRONIQUE L’ÉCUYER
Printemps 1997 Un hommage Ă Guy Bourdin
photos by karin demeyer / assisted by vivien gaumand styling by pascale georgiev legs marion lejeune + elsa schneider + marie-Ăˆve turcotte shot on location at domison furniture makers domison.com
SHE’S GOOD ON PAPER Featured artist Alex Sebag hides behind the cover PHOTO BY JOHN LONDOÑo / johnlondono.com / assisted by alexandra ivansky / creative direction by pascale Georgiev / retouch by nathalie chapdelaine covers designed by Capucine labarthe / hair + make-up by braydon nelson at orbite using l’orÉal professionnel + beautÉ cosmetics / shot at rodeoproduction.com / illustration by alex sebag
+ STYLING BY PASCALE GEORGIEV PHOTOS BY SANDRINE CASTELLAN / sandrinecastellan.com / CREATIVE DIRECTION SET DESIGN + PAPER FOLDING ZOE RENAUD / RETOUCH BY Emmanuel Begin cosmetics HAIR + MAKEUP BY BRAYDON NELSON AT ORBITE USING L’ORÉal professionnel + beautÉ MODEL SARAH welch AT montage / DRESS from clothing in order of appearance › LEGGINGS from unicorn / Dress by Red VALENTINo gaultier bustier unicorn worn with stylist’s own SKIRT / shirt from unicorn worn with jean-paul
Meaghan Kennedy words by Daniel Luna photos by Tristan Casey
Meaghan Kennedy is one of but a few in the world who is carving out a niche in piñata couture. Now working full time on her craft, Meaghan makes custom made piñatas for clients from her living room floor in Vancouver. She spoke with Daniel Luna about turning a hobby into a profession and the process behind her papier-mâché creations. Daniel Luna › OK well I guess we should start with the basic stuff first. Where are you from and what is it that you do? Meaghan Kennedy › I am from Toronto, I lived three years in Montréal, and have been in Vancouver for four and a half years. I make couture piñatas DL › OK. How and when did you begin making piñatas and do you consider it an artistic practice or a hobby? MK › It began when, as a challenge or joke, I was asked to make a poodle piñata. It was so fun to make and peeps really liked it so I made more. From that it was the cross-joint from Pineapple Express... then a cat. Then I got asked ‘how much?’ and I was stoked and confused, but excited. And about two months ago I quit my job to make them full time. DL › For real? MK › Yesss! DL › That’s great! MK › Thanks DL › So are you familiar with any sort of piñata making history, or I guess are there any ‘contemporary piñata craftsmen’ that you draw from? There is such an element of folk to piñata creation I guess I just wonder if there is any sort of ‘piñata scene’? MK › I took out a book on the history and how to make piñatas from the Vancouver library to get the basics, but I am really crafty – I once made a dress out of papier-mâché in high school for instance. For me, I am hoping to create a ‘scene,’
but as of now, I have googled custom piñatas and it seems to be just me. There are some really cool dolls made from papier-mâché but not piñatas. DL › It seems like such a specialized thing in a way, that it almost seems hard to have a community around it. MK › When people think piñata they automatically think SpongeBob SquarePants, and $35... That isn’t my jam. I make rad sculptures and people get to break them and eat candy! DL › Did you see any images of the sculpture of the large piñata at the Brooklyn Museum? I am not sure if they broke it yet or not. MK › Yes. So cool. DL › So how is it that people approach you to create the piñatas? Have you built a sort of following? MK › I talk a lot about them, so word gets around and people email me for events. I made one recently for will. i. am. of Perez Hilton... I also made one for the producer of Vampire Diaries and got flown to Atlanta to their set and wrap party to deliver it. He was a client at the boutique I used to manage. DL › So that’s pretty incredible that you’ve expanded this into a career through word of mouth. How many would you say you make per week? MK › On average I make three a week. I want to make more! But they take time, lots of time. DL › Of course. And from what I was told you make them in your bedroom? MK › Living room. DL › I watched a video of this guy in San Francisco who makes piñatas and he makes maybe 15 a week, but he has a full on studio space. MK › I’ve just got a table. DL › So how does the space you are working in play into your piñatas? MK › I’m not sure... I dig that I can watch my soaps and be working, haha. DL › You’ve never watched SpongeBob
and been inspired to make at least one SpongeBob piñata? MK › Hmmm not yet. I totally like him. DL › Well I guess the next thing I am wondering is why is working with paper important for you/your practice? MK › I use paper that would otherwise get thrown out, so I dig that I can have a green edge to what I am doing... I use flyers, weekly papers... DL › Nice, well as far as the paper itself, is it the most compliable material for piñata making? MK › Absolutely! I dont want people getting hurt, so I have to make sure that they are not dangerous, no wires, that sort of thing. DL › Do most traditional piñatas use wires? MK › I really dont know... but sometimes they come in handy. DL › Can you talk about the process of papier-mâché as far as the paper being somewhat transformative and mouldable. Maybe you could describe your process? MK › I like it because it is messy and bendy and I use masking tape also, and I love tape, you can do anything with it! Endless possibilites. DL › Do you create a mould first? MK › I use balloons DL › What would be a quick list to making a piñata, or a guide. MK › I sculpt and bend and cut and blow up a balloon, papier-mâché, paint, voila! It is the same as when you crafted in kindergarten, but more fun maybe. DL › So you paint it to finish it? Have you ever finished any with the soft tissue paper surface? MK › I do paint them and add finishing touches. So far I like eyelashes and hair and nails and the glamour of that. DL › And does the scale remain consistent from one to the next? MK › Each subject is different, but I suppose the basics are the same
DL › And do you have a favourite? MK › I did a 60’s birthday party with Rock Premier as the theme... I did that piñata in a Mary Quant ‘op art’ style dress and gogo boots, and the client requested her to have hot rollers in her hair... it was too fun! She was my fave so far. In the end they didn’t break her, she is hanging in the client’s home – like many of my piñatas. DL › Yeah, that leads me to my next question. Have you made any that you are sad to see gone? MK › No! That would defeat the purpose! DL › Is it hard to know that they will be destroyed? There is a certain ephemerality with piñatas. MK › I like that there is a dark side. DL › Ha, it is a bit macabre. OK, I guess I just have one last question, and it is kind of long. I guess it is more fine arts related. MK › Oh my! DL › To me there is a bit of a kitsch aspect to piñatas, and it makes me think of Jeff Koons. He produces banal objects on a large scale out of materials such as stainless steel and polished mirror and is able to mimic cheap surfaces out of quality material. Have you ever thought of making a piñata out of other material that mimics papier-mâché giving the illusion of ephemerality but actually being quite solid, or perhaps making a piñata so large it becomes no longer functional as a typical piñata but becomes more like sculpture? It does not have to be limited to those two ideas, but have you thought of “pushing” the piñata-making boundaries or the idea of the piñata? MK › No. It is a cool idea. I just googled him – awesomeness! DL › Yeah? He’s great. Alright well on a side note, which has been your favourite Canadian city to live in so far? This will be the last question. MK › I dig Vancouver but Montréal will always be a special place for me.
RAGE 5 words by Daniel Luna photos by robby reis
Montréal born Rage 5 explores many mediums with his art, including film, photo and illustration, however his iconic paper posters are perhaps how he is best known across the city. Daniel Luna talks to Rage 5 about the practice of postering paper art on public spaces, the process and ideology behind it and the growing interest in subversive art within commercial realms. Daniel Luna › So I guess I’ll start off by asking some basic stuff. What is that you do and how did you come about doing it? Rage 5 › Currently I’ve been producing what is most commonly referred to as street art. Mostly wheat pasting huge black and white posters. I started off years ago painting more traditional graffiti (and still do) but I’ve found that making posters allows me to translate my work as a photographer to the streets. I started wheat pasting because I wanted to merge the different art forms which I practice –painting/drawing/photography. DL › So when you are pasting do you consider the context in which you are placing your work? Like do you select a spot out of convenience or do you contemplate the paste up within a specific space? R5 › I always carry a notepad and digital camera with me so whenever I see a great spot for one of my posters I take note of it and then head back with a poster big (or small) enough for the surface. On the other hand, I also like very much to just head out with a bucket of paste and some posters without a plan. The surfaces that I do choose tend to be sheets of plywood on abandoned buildings or glass. I love glass. DL › So you also like a more spontaneous approach. Is there anything you won’t paste or paint onto? I notice a lot of new buildings hardly ever get touched... is it taboo? R5 › I tend to plan the bigger more difficult spots...like when I know I will need a ladder or if there is a lot of
wind at a certain spot. Wind is the worst for wheat pasting... the poster always gets away from me and rips when it’s wet. Horrible. As for spots that I won’t do, every graffiti writer has his or her own set of morals. I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t paint or paste on anyone’s personal vehicle or home or on churches or hospitals. Other than that I’ll paste on almost anything made of wood or glass or rusted metal. DL › And do you have a printer you always go to to print your work, or are you able to do that from home? R5 › I got a good guy who cuts me a great deal on my posters... he gets her done real quick too. There’s no way I can do it at home... most of my posters are at least five feet in height and more than a couple of feet wide... so I need to ask for help. DL › And is there a special type of paper you use? R5 › Nope, my posters are just straight up black and white photocopies on normal ass paper. Super simple. Nothing fancy. Less says more I think.. DL › Agreed, and how long do they usually last within the urban setting? R5 › It’s never the same. Sometimes I will put one up in the morning and when I go back to take a photo in the afternoon it’s already gone. Other times they last months or even a year like the two kings I did on St-Denis and des Pins. DL › And there is another type of paper I would like to talk about and that’s the paper chase. R5 › Ah yes the paper chase... haha DL › Have you crossed over into the commercial/gallery realm at all? R5 › Well I had an exhibit last November at the Emporium Gallery. It’s run by the best dudes you will ever meet. This was my fist solo gallery exhibit... until then I had only shown in shops and cafes. My show at Emporium was called “Purgatory or some place like it”... the exhibit was exactly about my transition into the commercial art world. At the time (and still now) I find myself experiencing something
like a rite of passage as I enter into an unfamiliar world, the art world. I am in a state of limbo which Purgatory (or someplace like it) refers to. The religious imagery and symbolism adopted in this new work metaphorically portrays my inhibitions, fears, hopes and desires as I transition from a seemingly unregulated world to an organized system. This new series of work illustrates my limited yet growing understanding of the constructs that make up the art milieu vs. my anarchic approach to street art. Likewise my new series of street posters are a continuation of the Purgatory imagery. The same characters from that gallery exhibit are now appearing in the streets... DL › I guess a lot of prominent street artists face this dilemma. What is your take on Fauxreel doing the campaign for Vespa, or TATS Cru doing murals for Hummer? Is this a direction you could see yourself heading in? R5 › TATS Cru has paid their dues and then some... they are amazing graffiti writers... so I can’t hate on them turning it into a business. I mean no artist wants to have a day job only in order to support their art practice on weekends... you know? DL › Yeah I understand. R5 › As for the Vespa ads... I’m not a big fan at all. I think it was done poorly. I think it’s all good if the advertising world wants to use graffiti and street art... just as long as they hire actual graffiti artists to execute the work and as long as they get paid what they deserve. I don’t know if I can see myself going in that direction with my own street art/graffiti though. When it comes to painting/pasting... I can only do what I want where I want... I refuse to follow anyone’s directions. It’s the one thing that I do that is done exactly the way I want. Where and when I want. When I do commercial work as a photographer or a filmmaker I can accept doing projects that don’t entirely reflect my own creative vision... but what I do in the streets is my own. I have no one to answer to. Except the law I guess... haha.
DL › So can we expect any upcoming shows? Or do you sell your work online anywhere? R5 › I don’t have any exhibits planned yet... I’m really trying to get my new series of posters up in the streets right now... and I wanna paint a lot more trains this year. All my work which is for sale can be found on my Flickr page along with documentation of all my street art. DL › I have a friend who lives in Brooklyn and is a street artist too. He says there is a sort of resurgence in street art and graffiti right now, do you sense that at all, or has it been consistent? R5 › Yeah he is totally right. It has not been consistent... especially in Montréal. In fact it only started very recently here... and there’s only a few people doing paste ups in Montréal. In many cities especially in Europe it disappeared and then came back but in Montréal it never existed until the resurgence happened everywhere else. DL › When do you think it started coming back? R5 › I would say like four or five years ago. I mean mostly when it started popping up in mainstream media. Like Shepard Fairey’s stuff and when Bansky really started to become famous. DL › There’s been a sort of backlash against those guys too, no? Like “The Splasher.” R5 › Yeah especially against Shepard. Who is The Splasher? DL › Some person down in New York goes around with buckets of paint and splashes over big name street artists’ work. R5 › Writers hate writers more than anyone else. It’s funny because graffiti is supposed to be the most open minded free art form around... but many writers tend to be a very closed minded type. I would say that at least half of the graff in Montréal that gets destroyed disappears at the hands of another so called “artist”. There is a lot of crossing out. I think it’s a matter of fearing what one doesn’t know.
ALEX SEBAG words by shayl prisk photos by coey kerr / coeykerr.com
Alex Sebag is a young Montréal artist working largely within the two traditions of illustration and screen-printing. As such, her work requires a direct and sensitive approach to paper, and presents her with a set of creative possibilities regarding ideas of tradition, experimentation and physical experience. Shayl Prisk › In your work you lean toward paper as your primary medium. It is obviously a very loaded choice, but can you explain some of the reasons why you continue to return to it and experiment with it? Alex Sebag › Yes it is a loaded choice, and I have worked with other mediums, such as canvas. Paper has always appealed to me because of its materiality. There are a lot of physical possibilities inherent in paper, and also types and textures, weights. There is a frailty to paper that you can’t find in canvas. But I think that paper is seen as an underscoring medium, an interior media, because it is so material and immediate. I suppose we tend to see paper as just a common artefact, and I think in the art world it is looked down upon, because it is something so simple. SP › It’s true, it is so familiar to us, and so we maybe undervalue it or overlook its capacity to add to, rather than just carry an image. AS › Exactly, you’re right. Maybe because I work so much with paper I do see it differently, I see so much personality and character, in its opacity, it’s raggedness or lightness. The nature of the paper I have in my hands should and will define what I put on top of it. If you are working only with concepts and are not being careful about the media you use, the image will not connect properly or it will be very still and will not come out and talk to people in the right way. I also think some people underestimate the potential for exploration that paper offers, whether as a three dimensional architectural object, or as something that can be archived. Paper is attractive in a sensual way- you want to touch it. There is the urge to keep it behind
glass, but I think it is in paper’s nature to crumble, to disintegrate. You can’t keep anything forever, so why not be conscious of that and use it in your art as you go along?
SP › You say you are interested in the architecture of paper, of exploring it as a physical object rather than a flat surface. Do you enjoy working with collage or do you prefer to stay simple with your approach?
AS › I always tend toward the more simple, however I also think it is a great practice to try to take paper off the wall, to tear it up, to not be afraid of it. I like to make paper enter into people’s space, to interrupt a space rather than sit neatly on the edge of it. It’s all about experimenting, and when you fail with paper it’s a step toward something else. Paper is interesting because it’s easy to add a step to it, but also easy to take a step off it and yes, you can injure either the image or the paper but really you are just giving it more history.
SP › I wonder how much of your approach to paper makes reference to the histories of paper craft, or how much you respect those old forms and traditions, or if you naturally tend toward experimentation and to pushing the boundaries of the medium in your practice?
AS › I am one of those artists that enjoys experimenting, with more or less success. I try to see how you can bring the media into another direction or how you can change an image, or how you can alter old concepts into new forms... it helps to not be stuck in the whole history of it because that becomes so daunting. And with the evolution of technologies, I can just take a trip to Omer des Serres, find a new screen-print mat or ink, take it home and just play with it, fuck it up and in the process solve so many different applications and ways of using mediums that you wouldn’t traditonally use. Printing with new materials, drawing on top or using a transparent base, these are all ways of building on and discovering new things as an artist.
SP › It’s funny because I’ve been hearing a lot of discussions in the past few months about print vs digital, and it feels like that conversation always manages to get broken down into a debate between tradition vs. experimentation and new media. The digital world is a very fresh one in relative terms, but the possibilities it presents does not preclude for instance new developments and ideas in traditional art forms like paper art, printing and so on.
It comes back to what you said earlier, about people looking down on paper because it is a commonplace material and also because its limits have been explored by artists for centuries. That doesn’t stop an artist from trying to approach paper in a new way and from trying to reach the person that will stand in front of it to make them ask questions about it. When it comes to the whole discussion on print vs digital, we should not fail to recognize the fact that they are inherently different things. And while one is not necessarily ‘better’ or more ‘serious’ than the other, it is undeniable that there is more of a history and an art to the world of print and paper. AS › Yes, paper is more palpable: to sit and have something resting in your hands, to feel the weight and the textures. Although the digital world represents a number of exciting technological advancements and will surely continue to be inherent in our lives, I believe that older forms will continue to hold their own separate value for us. Even with photography, it is nice to go back in history, to work with film, experiment with your hands, and have that tactileness. Because if everything becomes less physical, if all the focus turns to digital manifestations, what happens when there is a break in the digital world? Everything is erased and there is nothing new coming through. SP › Yes. Digital is fleeting, but it is also really accessible, and it has a different value, you can click click click, and it’s so fast and stimulating, and that’s great. But there is also something to be said about sitting down and taking
some time, to look at a really beautiful magazine or a newspaper or something that is presenting visual content in a more traditional physical format. And with a beautiful piece of printed matter I just want to go back to it, to really linger on a page or an image, there is a different kind of enjoyment. I can fall in love with an image online, with a photo or an illustration, but what can you do? You can save it in a folder or put it as your desktop, but it’s just not the same. You always want more somehow. AS › It’s fleeting information, it’s titilating, but it’s hard to immerse yourself in.
SP › Exactly. You always want to get closer to it, to zoom in a little more. It’s bizarre really, haha. AS › Haha, it is.
SP › But because paper has a permanence to it, it is a memento of a certain time or a certain era, it has more weight psychologically than something that you stumble across online. And paper is a physical archive.
AS › Paper is a point of reference. Even with advertisements in old magazines. The image tells you so much and then the state of the paper, the condition of it. It’s like an old paperback novel, the pages are yellow, it has a smell, it has a story built into it because of it’s physicality. SP › Like you said, paper is something that is common, or functional, but maybe because it is so familiar, it also opens up so many possibilities for reinterpretation, for inviting you to show paper in an unexpected way. AS › Also with the production of paper and the concerns about our environment, we still need to be conscious of that and how we can reuse paper, to be sustainable perhaps. You can try to use older papers, and to give them a new life and context.
SP › And that emphasises your point about paper having inherent personality rather than it being a blank slate. Every sheet of paper has a story. AS › Yes, exactly.
Cécile Côté CECILECOTE.COM words by vanda daftari photos by raphaël ouellet / raphaelouellet.com
vanda daftari › This issue of SNAP! is dealing in part with the idea of the ‘death of print’ and how printed matter might be threatened by digital technology. We are reflecting in particular on how publications are currently facing a serious shift in consumption; the new ways we share information, and all the changes in text and image media at large. For instance will the iPad really hurt magazines? And what about blogs, and the way they have changed our methods of consuming and encountering content? From your perspective, as someone who deals with a defunct printing technology and older traditions of paper-handling processes that are in many ways long dead, how do you foresee the possible ‘death’ of print? Cécile Côté › First, I do not think that letterpress is long-dead. While just a few decades ago it was the standard way of printing, we live in a fast changing world and many drastic transformations have taken place with print since then. Not only the technologies but also our relationship to the book and the printed word
in general has evolved remarkably. The respect that was once shown toward books is no longer unanimous if I judge by the school books I repair every year. Even in the artistic community, we are seeing more altered book art where books are cut, painted, glued, etc. I do not think that the death of print is imminent, although a few factors will, I am sure, affect its survival in the long run. One of them could be changes in the access and price of raw material, such as paper, while a second factor could be, perhaps, a lack of interest, although I hope I am wrong. Will future generations raised since infancy with a prevalence of computers and a scarcity of books in their environment even be interested in the print media? Would someone who has not experienced the joy of holding a book, of flipping through a magazine, reading a letter or a card perceive and appreciate their value? I do not know, but I would like to think that, while there may be less print media, the pleasure of the physical connection between reader and book will survive.
V › Your craft of traditional book making, binding and letterpress printing requires an important investment of time and equipment. Now that letterpress is regaining some interest and popularity, can we talk about a revival? Is it a full on second life? How dramatically different is it from its original existence? CC › As mentioned before, letterpress printing was the way of printing not so long ago. It was a commodity, the technology of the time. Until the late 19th century, typography was learned through apprenticeship, then in later years it was taught in schools. But with the arrival of new technologies, the need for typographers, pressman and proofers declined. The technical schools closed and a big gap in knowledge transfer continued from then. As happens in many crafts, the knowledge gets diluted or lost. Nowadays, the best or only way to learn would be, as it was over a century ago, through apprenticeship. There is definitely a new interest in letterpress. It is both a revival for the ones who knew the craft then – the
dinosaurs – the ones who still have the knowledge, know the typographical rules, how to work a press, etc. and who are still working on more artistic projects. It is also a full on second life with the interest expressed by new people who look at this technology with fresh eyes, but in many cases without proper knowledge of typography and printing. V › So how dramatically different is it from its original existence? CC › It is no longer a commodity, it has become a rarity and in many cases an art form. Because of a lack of knowledge and rules, the end product is at times refreshing, appealing, innovative and very beautiful. However, at other times, the results may be less pleasing to the eye. Letterpress printing is also facing the problem of a lack of materials; fonts, Linotype or Ludlow lines are replaced sometimes by dyes or polymer plates. Also, some inks and solvents are now more environmentally friendly. But some things do not change and, in my view, the joy and magic of printing will never completely disappear!
JARED LARSEN › I’m really interested in serial images. I took magazines loaded with commercial or fashion photography and ran with the opportunity to renegotiate the terms on which we receive or read the images. I was interested first in blending these kinds of photos with personal photography and then became more focused on using some of the iconography already present. These usually pertain to some idea of identity. The materials were a big part of the work. They mostly consist of found images from magazines and old reference books. It is also interesting to alter a photograph that’s in a magazine, re-printed identically in thousands of copies, and then make it an original object by tearing or gluing. I think the work also has a playful quality to it, because the materials are easy to access and there’s not much technical skill involved. It retains this sense of the amateur. In some of the pieces I thought of my work as similar to drawing. When I draw I don’t necessarily think of it as putting something on the page, but as using the paper’s borders to work within and to relieve it of its “pageness” by interrupting it with a pencil stroke or something that is glued to it. Then it’s not a page, and it’s kind of a composition. harveyophoto.blogspot.com
GUYLAINE COUTURE › After years of drawing, gouache and collage, a short bookbinding workshop set me on the trail of the small livre d’artiste. It has since become the final form of my artistic work. I harvest papers that the book can use: calendar pages, flower shop wrapping paper, failed photocopies, catalogue pages, event programs, etc. I am inspired by the Russian avantgarde and the profusion of small-run publications printed at the time, as well as by Dadaism. I particularly admire the work of Hannah Höch and Kurt Schwitters. Closer to us, I am very interested in the work of Candy Jernigan and Robert Rauschenberg. My artistic work is associated and conjugated on an instinctive mode, allowing the unconscious to speak outside of time. It is a state in the creative process that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of many studies on creativity, dubbed “the flow”. gycouture.com PHOTOS BY RAPHAËL OUELLET
the secretary PHOTO BY JEAN MALEK at LA CAVALERIE / JEANMALEK.COM ASSISTED BY NICOLAS NORMANDIN + JULIEN CLOUTIER-LABBÉ ART DIRECTION BY SUSAN MACQUARRIE / styling by danny boudreault, hair + make-up by amÉLIe ducharme / produced by LA CAVALERIE featuring eugÉnie beaudry + brett watson
shot at LOVELL LITHO & PUBLICATIONS INC. actors wearing ZARA, FiLIPPA K, TEENFLO, AGATHA, NOA NOA, agencemelaniemclean.com
YOU’RE GETTING OLDER words by Alexander Laidlaw photo by clara palardy / clarapalardy.blogspot.com
Mathew had drank several beers with his friend Dave and had smoked some of Dave’s cigarettes. Now it was after midnight and he was biking home to be with his girlfriend Alyson. He was biking without his mittens even though the cold bit his hands. He wanted to air the smell of cigarettes from his fingers. For the same reason he was breathing deeply with his mouth wide open, hoping to refresh his breath. Just like anybody else, Alyson didn’t like to smell cigarettes and beer when she was holding her lover. Mathew wasn’t in a hurry so he was biking slow down the middle of a street, and he turned around when a lady from the sidewalk called him, “Oh you, young man! Will you help me please?” The lady emerged from beneath the shadows of a tree. She was taking the hurried little steps of someone old. “I can help you,” Mathew told her. “What do you need?” “You have to come with me,” the lady said.
Mathew turned his bike around and followed her past several houses on the street. The lady had a disheveled look and the exaggerated pleading in her voice had made him wary. “Where are we going? What do you need me to help you with?” It felt good to be skeptical, and to wear a straight face although he was really somewhat drunk. “There’s an old woman on the floor,” the lady said.
He followed her to a walk-up and he carried his bike up the outdoor stairs. The lady opened the front door, but she bent over in the doorway to arrange some things on the floor. Mathew could hear a moaning coming from within the house, and he wanted to see in there, but the lady was in the way. He heard the clink of empty bottles while she moved plastic bags aside and tried to arrange them decently, along with some shoes, even though Mathew didn’t care for the decency of the lady’s mud-room. She turned back to Mathew and led him through the living room, down a hall and to the door of a bedroom. He saw two bare legs on the floor and a woman’s crotch in yellowed underwear even before he had a chance to extend his head all the way into the room. An old woman was lying on the floor beside her bed, and her eyes were looking somewhere up beyond the ceiling. In her throat there was a continual, incoherent, guttural moan, the same noise Mathew had heard from the front door. There were two single beds in the room with matching floral comforters, and there was a bedside table between them. It appeared that the woman had fallen off the far side of her bed. “She does this all the time,” said the first lady, who was standing with him at the bedroom door, but even saying this, she exhibited a kind of excited helplessness. “Did you call an ambulance? Have you got a phone?”
The two of them went to the living room. There was a chair by the window and a rotary phone on a little table. On every other surface and in every corner there were piles of clutter – books and garments and paper cups. To the 911 operator, the lady was saying, “She’ll be eighty-two next spring – Oh heavens of god, I don’t know…” Back in the bedroom the old woman was grabbing at the side of the bed above her, trying to raise herself. Mathew kneeled beside her. She was able to lift her shoulders a couple of inches from the floor, but her head hung back and her eyes kept on as if they were looking straight through the ceiling. Mathew touched her forearm. She snapped her arm away, and looking at him suddenly, stopped moaning to say, “Your hands are like ice.” Then she started moaning again. Mathew apologized. He made a show of rubbing his hands together. He urged her to lie on the floor until the paramedics came and he put a pillow underneath her head. He asked her if there was anything else he could do to make her more comfortable. The whole time he spoke a half-
octave higher than normal, a servile and polite voice he might have used when waiting tables. “Put me in that chair,” the woman told him.
“She’s stubborn and impatient,” said the first lady, who was standing at the bedroom door again.
The woman was in her underwear so Mathew offered her a blanket from the bed. He noticed a bit of dark blood on her upper thigh. He also noticed the room smelled of body sweat and vagina. “Put me in that chair,” she said. She was trying to pull herself up again. All Mathew and the lady could do to calm her now was to lift her into the chair. First they tried pulling her by her arms onto her feet, but she had no strength in her legs. Her body was loose and flabby, like a heavy water balloon that was impossibe to grip. They tried for a second time, and Mathew went around and kneeled behind her. He sat the woman up and she leaned back and he was able to lift her in stages. When the crucial moment came to slip the nearby chair beneath her, she was falling out of his arms. He knew the only way to hold her was to reach below and grab her thigh. He could see it pale and doughy, and hesitated, but her body was falling. He reached as close to the knee as he could and then managed to get her into the chair. As soon as it was done, the lady on her feet started edging Mathew out the door. “Oh, thank you, thank you,” she was saying, while she waved her arms dramatically. In the hall, she tried to give him a five dollar bill saying, “I know it isn’t much.” Mathew declined it, but she persisted. She tried to tuck it in his pockets, but he dodged her. Finally she stuffed it in the collar of his jacket and he could feel the paper bill against his neck. Mathew said, “Are you sure you don’t want me to stay a while longer?” “Oh, no no no. Thank you, thank you.”
While he was being led through the living room, Mathew took the five out of his collar and pressed it into some clutter on a little table. “What did you do there?” the lady snapped. She looked at the table and when she saw the bill, she lurched at him. “No, you must take this.” She stuffed it again at the neck of his coat.
Before she closed the door, Mathew offered again to stay, at least until the ambulance came.
“No. She does this all the time. I’m going to cancel that call. Oh – oh,” the lady had worked herself into a sort of excited fit. “You should calm down,” Mathew said. “Don’t cancel the call.” “She’ll be all right.”
Mathew said, “I don’t think she will,” but he immediately regretted it. The lady closed the door and locked it.
Mathew stood beside his bike. He thought of putting the bill in a mailbox, or somehow sticking it in the door. He didn’t see a mailbox so he said, “Hell to it,” and put it in his pocket. While biking the rest of the way home he wondered about several things. It bothered him that the woman had been so set on getting up to the chair. That bothered him, but he could understand it. What he couldn’t understand was why that other lady had wasted time to tidy the mud-room before she let him in. And why hadn’t she wanted him to stay a little longer, in case things with the other woman got worse? Why had he been to that house at all? Only to lift a woman into a chair. What kind of improvement was that? Those damned women didn’t want any improvement; they just wanted to keep at it the way they were. And if that woman was going to die, the other would do little to help her. Finally Mathew decided, it’s up to people how they live
and die, and how they let their people die. Then he resolved to stop thinking about it.
When he got home, Mathew told Alyson, “Something really weird just happened.” “Was there a man downstairs, trying to get in?”
Alyson had met her own strange occurence tonight. “Some guy called and wanted me to let him in the building. I told him I wasn’t comfortable with that, that maybe he should call the landlady.” ‘Call the landlady?’ he had said, ‘It’s after midnight!’
“He said that our number was like a contact number for the building, but that’s obviously not right. I think maybe he was at the wrong building? Cause he kept saying ‘Unit 45.’ I told him we were new tenants and he said ‘Tenants?’
“I couldn’t understand him anyway, or he couldn’t understand me, but for a long time he just wouldn’t get off the phone...”
Mathew put all his clothes in the laundry and he took a shower to forget the woman’s smell. Afterwards he and Alyson sat in bed and talked for several hours. Alyson had spent the night looking into a Master’s program on the other side of the country. She wasn’t sure what to do about it, if she wanted to apply. They’d just moved here besides. Neither of them had work yet and their savings were dwindling. Before turning out the light, Alyson said, “Christ, what are we going to do with this life?” The next day Mathew woke after Alyson had already gone out. He made himself a cup of tea and took a walk around the neighbourhood. He walked to some nearby restaurants where he’d thought of applying for work, but by the time he reached them he’d lost interest in the idea. It was cold out, so he went home. That afternoon he looked into some trade schools. Part of him wanted to get something going beyond just restaurant and simple labour jobs. He thought he wouldn’t mind working with wood down the road, but he couldn’t find any suitable carpentry courses. Anyway he wasn’t sure if he was keen on it. He didn’t like to look at the big picture, as it were. Another part of him wanted just to work in a restaurant, to
work another couple of years toward no great end, and to enjoy the time as it was passing.
Mathew’s mother called to say hello, and Mathew made the mistake of sharing his confusion. She only reminded him of all the barriers that lay ahead in life for a person who does not pursue financial security and a career path from early on. “You’re getting older,” she said.
Mathew looked at the five dollar bill the lady had given him. He briefly considered going out now to buy a lottery ticket with the money, thinking wouldn’t it be a strangely appropriate bill to expend in order to win ten thousand dollars? But really it wasn’t more likely to buy a winning ticket than any other bill, regardless of how strange the circumstances he’d acquired it by. He decided to spend it as he would spend any other money, and he put it in his wallet. Later his friend Dave called. “What did you do today?”
Mathew said, “Well Alyson was talking about her Master’s last night and she was worrying about life which got me worried too. So I’ve been looking for jobs and researching schools, but I feel like I really have no interest in any of it.” Dave said, “Sounds like you could use a drink.”
Mathew and Dave had dinner together that night. Dave cooked a big, simple pasta. They shared a bottle of wine while they ate. Afterwards, they decided to go out for a couple of beers and to shoot a couple games of pool.
It was a Thursday night and the bar wasn’t busy. They had to wait a while for the pool table, but they were glad enough to be sitting and drinking big bottles of beer. When finally they did play pool, they played against two French Canadians. One was old and drunk. The other was young and drunk, with one black eye and a row of broken teeth. They were awfully drunk to be playing pool. Sooner than later Mathew and Dave were drunk too. They smoked some of Dave’s cigarettes outside the bar.
The night wore on and the small crowd thinned out. The waitress sang karaoke when she wasn’t serving drinks. Before leaving, without having noticed it, Mathew gave the waitress the five dollar bill that the lady had given him, in exchange for his last big bottle of beer.
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“Dreams are like paper, they tear so easily. ” ~ Gilda Radner
conception : iconesolutions.com