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21 april 2014

A Magazine about Photography

Issue N° 05

Sue-Elie Andrade-Dé • Filip Berendt • Alexander Binder • Maxime Büchi • Laurie Dall’Ava • Asier Gogortza Maxime Guyon • Ariko Inaoka • Frederic Lezmi • Ayline Olukman • Stefano Parrini • Gareth Phillips Sophy Rickett • Maya Rochat • Thomas Ruff • Alberto Sinigaglia • Wolfgang Tillmans • Christian Waldvogel


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YET magazine

“WE DREAM THE SAME DREAMS SOMETIMES” From Erna and Hrefna by Ariko Inaoka


YET magazine

PUBLISHER Yet magazine, Editorial offices Lugano, Switzerland London, UK

Colophon

Issue 05

T +41 (0) 78 838 25 17 info@yet-magazine.com www. yet-magazine.com YET MAGAZINE #04 Editor-in-chief Salvatore Vitale Managing Editor Francesca Wilkins Deputy Editor Paola Paleari Art direction Nicolas Polli Photo Editors Ilaria Crosta Salvatore Vitale Online Editor Elena Vaninetti Graphic design Nicolas Polli Translations Francesca Wilkins Annalisa Duina Web designer Davide Morotti Social Media editor Giulia Giani INSIDE ISSUE 05 Front Cover Maxime Guyon Contributors Anna Abagnale Sue-Elie Andrade-Dé Alexander Binder Filip Berendt Katarzyna Borucka Maxime Büchi Andrea Calabresi Laurie Dall’Ava Asier Gogortza Maxime Guyon Ariko Inaoka Frederic Lezmi Ayline Olukman Stefano Parrini Gareth Phillips Sophy Rickett Maya Rochat Alberto Sinigaglia Yulia Tsezar Christian Waldvogel Helen Warburton COPYRIGHT Yet magazine, Lugano, 2014 All rights reserved. 4

Ownership and intellectual property rights (i.e copyrights, trademarks, trade name right) of all materials, such as texts, data, illustrations, photos and logos contained in YET magazine shall belong to the publisher. The materials are protected by copyright law worldwide.

The materials may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed or published without an explicit prior written permission of YET magazine, and/or in the case of third party materials, the copyright holder of that material.


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Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note “WHEN PRODUCING WORKS OF ART, THE ARTIST JUDGES A PIECE’S THEMES FROM A POINT OF VIEW THAT IS CHARACTERISTIC OF HIS BELIEFS AND TO THE PERSPECTIVE THAT HE TAKES ON THINGS. IN MANY CASES, THIS POINT OF VIEW IS SET OUTSIDE THE SYSTEM THE PIECE IS ABOUT” These words by Christian Waldvogel represent what the work of many artists is based on. To me, there isn’t a better way to express the concept of vision or a point of view, an interpretation. Everything starts from reality, whatever it might be, and becomes something else. A reality that can be substantial or that can – sometimes – become something abstract, something that doesn’t exist. The artist is an individual who is able to transform matter into something new; he confers a new life into something that already exists. I have now started to believe that the Demiurge described in Plato’s dialogue Timaeus, does not portray the “creator of the universe”, instead he is an artist. Transformation as a process of creation is indeed a fascinating subject. Thanks to this we can all have access to unknown worlds and dynamics. It is extremely interesting to understand the process used by those who are behind these transformations. It is not easy to transform what is in our minds into a tangible work and I believe this is what makes a man an artist. Also photography – that, among all arts is the more realistic – is permeated by creation, transfiguration and transformation. It is in photography that we find the link between real and unreal is at its best. What is photographed through a camera and a lens

actually exists; therefore whatever is generated is linked to reality. The result can be non-existent as it is, however it can indicate a new approach to reality, through a new way of perception. It is based on these observations that the work of the artists that we showcase on this issue takes shape. This time we cover the subject of transfiguration and transformation. From those who intervene directly on the paper by manipulating the matter or that photographs a tangible reality, to those who reinterpret something that exists by changing its shape and perspective. Each process is extremely personal and the result will take us closer to its creator. This issue is different and characterised by its contemporaneity and the variety of the showcased artworks. These approaches to photography aim to create opportunities for reflection on how and where everything was created and perhaps, ends. Salvatore Vitale

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Contents

YET magazine

In this issue

A Plastic Tool Maya Rochat

Editorial pp. 12—39

Recherches Pour Suite Verticale. La Terre Tremble Laurie Dall’Ava

Editorial pp. 40—55

White Cube Maxime Guyon

Editorial pp. 56—65

The Big Chestnut Asier Gogortza

Editorial pp. 70—79

Topographies du Mensonge Sue-Elie Andrade-Dé

Editorial pp. 80—97

Andrea Calabresi Simple Tools Andrea Calabresi

Process pp. 66—69

Sang Bleu A Day With Maxime Büchi, Sang Bleu

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Interview pp. 98—103

Material Desublimation Filip Berendt

Editorial pp. 104—117

Y Tir Newydd Gareth Phillips

Editorial pp. 118—133


Contents

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Universe Universe Salvatore Vitale

Focus On pp. 134—151

Big Sky Hunting Alberto Sinigaglia

Focus On pp. 152—171

Home Stefano Parrini

Focus On pp. 172—189

Erna and Hrefna Ariko Inaoka

Editorial pp. 200—211

Das Innere Alexander Binder

Editorial pp. 236—251

#Taksim Calling #Taksim Calling Frederic Lezmi

Editorial pp. 190-195

Interview with Frederic Lezmi

Interview pp. 196—199

Nan Goldin Small Eternity Ayline Olukman

Editorial pp. 212—229

Photography Classics: Scopophilia at Gagosian Gallery, Rome

Exhibithion pp. 230—235

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Biography

YET magazine

Artist’s Biography ALEXANDER BINDER

GARETH PHILLIPS

ARIKO INAOKA

www.alexanderbinder.de

www.garethphillipsphotography.com

www.aarriikkoo.com

Alexander Binder is a German self taught photographer. He started using vintage, glass & plastic lenses, prisms and optical toys creating mystical and ethereal photos, which are characterized by a strong passion for the spiritual and the surreal. His work has been published in Germany, France, UK, Poland, US, Canada, Northern Ireland, Italy, Netherlands.

Gareth Phillips is a London and Cardiff based photographer. He graduated from University of Wales,Newport with a degree in Documentary Photography. He attended the Eddie AdamsWorkshop in New York, in which he won the B & H Assignment Award in recognition of his work. From 2008 he is a freelance photographer, regularly commissioned by the Guardian, The Sunday Times Magazine, Financial Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal and the British Council. Gareth’s work has been internationally recognized in exhibitions and awards, most notably the Ian Parry Award 2007, Welsh Livery Society Award for Photographic Excellence 2007, the Magenta Photography Awards 2008 and the British Council Open Cities Photographic Commission 2010.

Ariko Inaoka is a Japanese photographer. She graduated at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. After her degree, she received a honorable mention awards in 30 under 30 PDN. After her staying in United States she moved back to Japan where she published her first book SOL by Akaaka Art Publishing. Her work has been exhibited in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Kyoto and Yamanashi.

THOMAS RUFF

SUE-ELIE ANDRADE-DÉ

ALBERTO SINIGAGLIA

Thomas Ruff is internationally acclaimed for his explorations of photography in serial works, portraits, and, most recently, digital images. Ruff was born in Germany, and studied photography at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art with famous photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher. He first received critical attention for his series of Interiors, in which he photographed German rooms, later followed by spare, somber portraits of friends, drawing from the aesthetics of police photographs from the 1970s. Ruff is well-known for his experiments with altered and appropriated imagery, which borrow material from newspapers, textbooks, pornography, public architecture, Japanese manga (comics), found images on the Internet, and even his own previously photographed works. He has exhibited his work at the Venice Biennale, at documenta IX in Kassel, and at the Tate in Liverpool, among many other venues. Ruff currently lives and works in Düsseldorf.

www.sueelieandradede.com

www.albertosinigaglia.net

Sue-Elie Andrade-Dé is a French and Portuguese photographer. She graduated in Photography at École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie (Arles) in 2010. She participated in many collective and a few solo shows in France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Austria, Portugal ,etc. and has been part of the last Reflexion Masterclass by Giorgia Fiorio and Gabriel Bauret. She’s now part of “Decrescimento” a research group about the city of São Paulo curated by Steve Bisson. She Lives and works in São Paulo, Brasil.

Alberto Sinigaglia is an Italian photographer born in Vicenza. He attended several photography classes focused on landscape&architecture representation and he had his first internship at ORCH studio. In 2009 he moved to Milan to attend a photojournalism and documentary photography masterclass at Contrasto Agency School and a photoediting masterclass at CFP Bauer. In 2011 founded Kassel&Wassel photographers with Pietro Firrincie.

CHRISTIAN WALDVOGEL www.waldvogel.com

FILIP BERENDT www.filipberendt.pl

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Filip Berendt is a Polish photographer and artist. He graduated from the Graphic Art Department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz. His work has been exhibited in Poland, Germany, Tel Aviv, Spain, Austria, Japan and Italy. He lives and works in Warsaw.

Christian Waldvogel is a Zürich based artist and architect, born in Austin (US). His work is focused on the observation of the Planet Earth and its interaction with the Universe and the mankind, playing on a line between fiction and reality. His most famous project, Globus Cassus, has been presented at the Venice Biennale and it is still the subject of intense debates. His work has been exhibited in Switerland, France, United States, Italy, Germany, Egypt and Austria. He won several awards, such as the Swiss Art Awards (2002, 2003 and 2011).


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Biography

MAXIME GUYON

AYLINE OLUKMAN

LAURIE DALL’AVA

www.maximeguyon.com

www.aylineolukman.fr

www.laurie-dallava.com

Maxime Guyon is a French photographer Ayline Olukman is a French artist. Photobased between Lyon and Lausanne (CH) graphy is the base of her pictural work, where he studies photography at ECAL. she does mixed media art — photography / His work has been exhibited in several ci- collages / silkscreen / oil painting. The ties such as Milano, Shanghai, Milwaukee, notion of movement is really current in Lausanne, London, Paris, Austin, Brooklyn, Ayline’s work, she captures moments New York, Los Angeles and Cincinnatti. like they were coming out from a movie. Her work has been exhibited in Sweden, Turkey, France, UK, Germany, China and Belgium.

STEFANO PARRINI www.stefanoparrini.it Stefano Parrini is an Italian photographer based in Tuscany. He is a co-founder of Synap(see) collective and has been awarded with several prices and honored mentions such as SI Fest in Savignano, IPA International Photography Awards and Blurb Photography Book Now. He has been part of Reflexions Masterclass by Giorgia Fiorio and Gabriel Bauret.

Laurie Dall’Ava is a French photographer. She studied photography at École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles. Her work is characterized by a conceptual and evocative approach, conceiving human being and his life on this world. She has been part of Reflexions Masterclass by Giorgia Fiorio and Gabriel Bauret.

WOLFGANG TILLMANS

MAYA ROCHAT

www.tillmans.co.uk

www.mayarochat.com

Wolfgang Tillmans is a German Fine-art photographer. His diverse body of work is distinguished by observation of his surroundings and an ongoing investigation of the photographic medium’s foundations. In 2000, Tillmans was the first photographer - and also the first non-English person - to be awarded the Tate annual Turner Prize. In 2009, he was awarded the Kulturpreis der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Photographie (The Culture Prize of the German Society for Photography). Tillmans lives in Berlin and London. His work has been exhibited worldwide and published in several books and publications.

Maya Rochat is a Swiss versatile photographer and artist. Her work is characterized by a mixed approach of photography, collage and painting. She’s a member of NEAR, the Swiss association for contemporary photography. Her work has been published in Switzerland, Germany, France and United States.

FREDERIC LEZMI SOPHY RICKETT

www.lezmi.de

www.sophyrickett.co.uk

Frederic Lezmi grew up in Dakar, Geneva and the Black Forest. He studied visual communication with an emphasis on documentary photography at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany. In 2005/2006 he spend a study year in Beirut as a recipient of a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). His graduation series “From Vienna to Beirut” has received the BFFPromotion Award as well as the ReinhartWolf Prize 2009 for best final degree work in photography. His work has been exhibited in Germany, United Arab Emirates, UK ,Turkey, Lebanon, Spain, United States and Japan. 9

Sophy Rickett is an English visual artist, working with photography and video/ sound installation. Rickett's work explores the competing forces of light and darkness in defining and articulating space, often using photography as a way of exploring the distinction between seeing and looking. She is interested in the tension between the abstract possibilities and narrative tendencies of photography and film/video. Her work has been exhibited worldwide including UK, France, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, South Africa, Russia, Netherlands, Germany and Spain.

ASIER GOGORTZA www.asiergogortza.net Asier Gogortza is a Basque photographer and journalist. He is the co-founder of Ertz art platform from the Basque Country and Mamori Art Lab. In his work he explores the relationship between architecture and landscapes. In 2001 he published Atekaleun – pinhole photography book, a technique used in most of his photographic and video works.


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Imprint / Comment & notes


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Comment & Notes

In the next months we are going to be in some of the most amazing European photography and art festivals. Be sure to check the list out and come to meet us!

FOTOGRAFIA EUROPEA - May 2 Reggio Emilia - Italy FOTOLEGGENDO - Jun 8 Rome - Italy I NEVER READ ART BOOK FAIR - Jun 18-21 Basel - Switzerland LA NUIT DES IMAGES, ON PRINT - Jun 28 Lausanne - Switzerland LES RENCONTRES D'ARLES - Jul 7-13 Arles - France

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YET magazine

Editorial

A Plastic Tool Photographs & text by Maya Rochat

www.mayarochat.com

pp. 12—39

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Maya Rochat

A Plastic Tool


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Maya Rochat

The images presented here are a part of a wider series entitled A Plastic Tool. The work is an ensemble of photography, collage and video. The images move freely across the mediums (in the book, in digital,…) The photographs wildly come and go, depending on the mood. We simply not know what we are looking at these days, so be it! The stories told through the images aren’t obvious, they’re not really about any particular theme in a classical sense. I want to seduce and at the same time repulse, I want to be trusted and at the same time, to confuse. I observe and play, commenting the now - attitudes and moments of daily life in a contemporary context. The extreme digitalisation changes our cultural behaviours. In the content as well as in the plastic form, the visual ensembles go against the linearity of the series. It’s more of a wild consumption, like the act of watching or checking out a blog. The work therefore constitutes more of a twisted diary, where personal emotions and memories are mixed. But no! It’s not self-therapy. I am interested in the idea of raising general questions about life, using images representing moments which everybody can connect with. Then there are other images in which the possibility of understanding the content is faint, like society itself. Fed up and starving.

Speaking of the notion of “real” and the “clear perception”, photography imposes itself as a “right” medium, intrinsically showing truth and at the same time, being a very good liar. Resounding in other techniques, the photographic depiction proposes a link to reality while the pictorial interventions blur the reading, thwart the smooth decoding of the images. I scrub, I decapitate, I tear the fibber’s layers apart to show what lies beneath the surface. The juxtaposition of fragments of warped texts, sometimes engraved angrily, creates interweaving sentences, signs and matters which produce a rough and striking visual language. Wanting it all to be visible, here comes a loud and colourful collage, BAM!

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YET magazine

Editorial

Recherches Pour Suite Verticale. La Terre Tremble Photographs & text by Laurie Dall’Ava

Laurie Dall’Ava

www.laurie-dallava.com

pp. 40—55

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Recherch Suite Ve La Terre


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Laurie Dall’Ava

Like a topographical exercise, this project produced in Peru, is about territory and delimitation, a thought on verticality and progress. Progress seen as a creation of consciousness in a succession of stages, with an endless number of partial movements and fluctuations. There are no straight lines in our attempt to find balance, we ascend, freeze and fall. My intention is to photographically represent the ideas of transformation and invariant. Here the objects are frozen in their neutrality. These are, for the most part, simple items, essential signs of construction devices or measuring tools. Fragility, minimalism and simplicity of the photographed object, whether real or from archives, natural or artificial.

Geological images, taken from my iconographic archive, are combined intuitively with my own pictures aiming to create connections and a sense of mystery. Close to poetry, my work questions the evocative and anaesthetic power of an image, as they interact with one another. My research sits between two major sub-fields: evidence and illusion. The first, is aimed towards a visible representation, through the delimitation of shapes and land measurements; the second is a more introspective approach based on history and psychology, imagination and spirituality. My work explores these two spaces and looks to establish connections, delving into the restful and meaningful neutrality of the space in-between.

hes Pour erticale. Tremble

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YET magazine

Editorial

White Cube Photographs & text by Maxime Guyon

www.maximeguyon.com

pp. 56—65

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Maxime Guyon

White Cube


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Maxime Guyon

In this series I wanted to evoke the complexity and the importance of set design practice.

completely controlled and, above all, to use it in an original way. The white and the black surfaces give a neutral and immaculate feeling which will help us to free ourselves from any reference of space and time, therefore allowing us to concentrate on the structure.

When looking at an image, at first sight you don’t really notice the atmosphere and set which surround the product, the subject, the character or whatever the main photographic object might be. These details, which can be obvious or more subtle, are perhaps the most important aspect of showing and going further into photographic understanding. The set creates ambiguity, camouflage, different perspectives (artificial or natural), distortion, drama and so forth‌ These were my starting points, I wanted then to build a radical set design. Using a model making technique, I played around with scale, stairs and, more specifically, architecture.

These spaces will finally become a gallery for themselves, and will play between their fragility and their strong, dramatic architectures. References like Maurits Cornelis Escher, Claude Nicolas Ledoux, Adolphe Appia and Thierry Urbain provide a good balance between the worlds of illustration, opera and theatre set design, architecture, and photography. This really helped me to find my own approach towards creating new atmospheres.

This way of creating is for me the most inspiring tool for my own approach to set design. Lighting was a fundamental aspect, I wanted to try using light that was

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Andrea Calabresi

www.corsifotoanalogica.it

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Andrea Calabresi


Tools

Comment & Notes Process

THE POND — MOONLIGHT Edward Steichen

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Simple

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Simple tools Long ago when I started to think about photography as a teacher I tried to find some simple “observation tools” that would help to identify some tendencies in photography and, possibly, provide some general understanding.

YET magazine

Andrea Calabresi

Glance vs. Scene I started noticing that almost every image would fit in two main categories: pictures aiming to (re)produce a glance and pictures aiming to (re)produce a scene. Images that try to (re)produce a glance give the viewers less freedom to their own interpretation and force them to accept or refuse, radically, the photographer’s vision. Those images command the viewer: “see with my eyes!” The images that try to (re)produce a scene, instead, give more space to the viewer. In these kinds of images the photographer’s vision is more gentle and less intrusive, they tell the viewer: “see what was in front of my camera”. Producing “glances” became popular in the '40s when some photojournalists chose a famous small camera as their main tool. They started a fashion that soon contaminated other genres and that is still alive with just some updates, but no substantial rethinking. A quick look at the WPP (World Press Photo) website is enough to see many examples of contemporary “glances”. I think, like many others, that such imperative and subjective visions, conceived long ago in another world, must have hard times trying to tell us about today's world. On the other side those who choose

to (re)produce a scene need to find a personal way to face the transparency that it is usually higher in that type of image. We “see” the transparency of the photographs when someone shows us a picture of something asking us what we see and we reply that we see something. A common misunderstanding. We see in fact a picture (representation) of something and not something.


© Simon Norfolk

attention of the viewer on the objects pictured and leave behind the author and the image surface. The author’s vision is present in any case since the degree of transparency is his choice. More, a great part of a photographer’s vision is how he decides to deal with the transparency of the medium. History of photography has seen different ways of dealing with its transparency. At its very beginning there has been a brief love affair with this amazing transparency, but right after we saw an attempt to limit the transparency since soon it was felt as something that would diminish the value of the images (or of the image maker?). We call that attempt pictorial photography. Broadening the definition of pictorial photography and thinking of it in terms of images that show a lower degree of transparency, rather that identifying it with a certain aesthetics, is useful because it shows that the many ways to escape from pictorial photography and regain the original love for a high degree of transparency that appeared later on have been often contradictory. In this light, for example, it appears logical that, in photojournalism competitions, the competitors, in order to highlight their performance, tend to choose to (re)produce a glance, consequently opting for a lower degree of transparency (or a certain pictorialism) and leaving the subjects behind. The degree of transparency is a photographer’s choice. It is a choice based on what is perceived as being transparent in a certain time and culture. Analysing this choice has a great importance to understanding or determining the various meanings that the photographic images can bring.

Andrea Calabresi

Process Comment & Notes

There is a difference! But this difference it is often ignored. Even some famous Maître à penser, have been fooled by the transparency of photography. Roland Barthes is the most famous. In his booklet La Chambre Claire he considers photographs as being totally and perfectly transparent thus generating some hilarious short circuits of the mind that even he could not manage. Photographs are more or less transparent, of course, they can even show different kinds of transparency, but they cannot be totally opaque or totally transparent and at the same time remain photographs. When a picture shows a diminished degree of transparency the viewer’s attention is more focused on the photographer’s skills and on the surface of the image (literally) than on the subject pictured. Images with a high degree of transparency tend, instead, to focus the

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Transparency


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Editorial

The Big Chestnut Photographs & text by Asier Gogortza

www.asiergogortza.net

Asier Gogortza

pp. 70—79

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The Big Chestnut


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Asier Gogortza

The family calls it “Gaztainaundi”, the big chestnut tree in basque language. Nobody knows how old it is. The grandfather assures that it could be more than five hundred or six hundred years old. Since it fell down in 1982, its trunk has been staring at the farm from the ground. When the tree was still standing, it was said that there was room inside for thirteen big men, and seven people holding hands were needed to surround it.

It is on the ground now, but it won’t disappear without leaving a trace. With its last breath, the tree wanted to give something back to the Soro family.

Using the technique of the camera obscura, with help from the whole family, I transformed the trunk of the tree into a photographic camera and took a picture of the family posing in front of the farmhouse. The exposure time was of fifteen minutes. Every generation from the Soro farm tells There are certain things which are easier stories about this giant tree. Family pictures to understand once you reach a certain age. have always been taken beside it. The big chestnut has seen several marriages, baptism The grandfather understood immediately: ceremonies, and many other celebrations. “We always used to take pictures of it; now, It appears in every family picture as a part it is the tree that is taking pictures of us”. of the family.

“WE ALWAYS USED TO TAKE PICTURES OF IT; NOW, IT IS THE TREE THAT IS TAKING PICTURES OF US”.

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Editorial

Topographies du Mensonge Photographs & text by Sue-Elie Andrade-Dé

www.sueelieandradede.com

pp. 80—97

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Sue-Elie Andrade-Dé

Topogr du men


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“The present, in fact, for some if one considers it with some insistence, almost always ends up appearing as infinite space and yet without thickness which rises slowly, as a result of a resurgence invisible traces sometimes very distant of its construction.” (Jean-Christophe Bailly, Le Dépaysement) Topographies du mensonge is built as a mysterious sequence of images. It is an invitation to journey through the delineation of a landscape which conceals within itself layers of truth. In parallel with this wandering, in an area that seems to emerge from a tale, one operates a movement of thought and emotion. Indeed, Topographies du mensonge is a sort of “geographic feeling” where each image is a fragment of an undefined place, which can reveal traces of a past, in a back-and-forth between depth and surface. I started photographing the island where my dad comes from in 2012, just after being notified about a family “secret”. From that moment, I understood that everything I thought I knew about him wasn’t necessarily

Sue-Elie Andrade-Dé

true. It is difficult to question someone you think you know by heart, mainly when finally you discover that you don’t know them at all. In April 2012, because of the “secret” revealed, and for the first time, my whole family went to the homeland island of my father, to visit my grandfather. That’s when I decided to photograph him with his family. I thought I was trying to find some answers, trying to find the truth, a clue about the revelation we had about my family, but mostly, I was trying to find my dad. After a few days, I figured it was impossible for me to make a portrait of him, and instead of photographing him I started photographing the landscape of the island, the stone floors of the mountains, the irregular waves of the sea, the dry vegetation of a tropical forest, always looking for him… Topographies du mensonge is thus an impossible portrait of my father, an almost scientific study of his personality made through the representation of the island. This project exists as a book (not published yet), because it is for me a sort of family portrait. Inside the book, you may discover the purpose of my research and what secret turned the vision I had of my father upside down.

raphies nsonge

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A DAY WITH SANG BLEU Interview Maxime B端chi

Interview with Maxime B端chi

By Anna Abagnale Fifthissue issue Fifth

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Interview

Sang Bleu isn’t just a magazine or one of London’s most celebrated Tattoo Studio, it is also a crossover project that ranges from tattoos and literature to anthropology, fashion and contemporary art. It is a reality made by its people, who share the same cultural feelings and the same intuitive approach to society, work and art. Maxime Büchi – a Swiss born Londoner – is its charismatic founder. It has a heterogeneous background and he has become popular among tattoos artists; in 2004 he created one of the most interesting indipendent publications in the world: SANG BLEU Sang Bleu is a versatile project that goes beyond the editorial fields: is it a magazine of “underground” contemporary culture? Or maybe a book? Perhaps is it a periodical publication about body art, bondage and fetishism? Or is it a publishing house? A Blog? Is it a tattoo studio? Or an art gallery? There are so many aspects about Sang Bleu, it is difficult put it into words. We’ve interviewed Maxime Büchi in order to understand how the magazine was designed, how it evolved throughout the years and at the same time remained coherent with its objectives. We have chatted about photography, a very important component of his project.

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Maxime Büchi Interview

What is Sang Bleu for you and how did the idea come about? In terms of how it started, I studied human sciences and psychology at university and then I went to art school to study graphic design and typography, which included editorial design. Already then I really liked magazines. I come from a background of graffiti and skateboarding and when I was growing up magazines were my main source of information for the things I was interested in. I had done some freelance work and then moved to Paris, where I worked for Self Service, a fashion magazine. That’s another field I’m interested in, as well as contemporary art. I can say that I’ve always had an equal interest for the content and the container when it came to magazines. I enjoy magazines as a graphic object but I equally enjoy the editorial content. Tattooing, and the whole culture that comes with it, was something that attracted me more than anything ever before. When I arrived in London in 2006, after my art studies, I noticed that all the things I had an interest for could actually work together — I also observed that certain people in arts or fashion were interested in tattooing and that many people in the tattoo world had an actual interest for art and for fashion. What’s special about the city is that culturally it’s very dynamic and flexible. When I arrived here, I was looking for an occasion or an opportunity to do something more personal and interesting. I had that sort of natural appeal and interest for the magazine format and I had worked for magazines and studied editorial design, so I felt I had the ability to do this. Being a graphic designer, I had the form, and I also knew which topics I wanted to deal with. I felt that a magazine, or some sort of media, was needed to put together all these things which I was interested in.

There was a moment in the early-mid 2000’s, in which this kind of culture magazine was fading, it wasn’t the 80’s and 90’s anymore, it was a time of crossover which was really interesting, but I felt like it was the last few years of the era of paper magazines. All these things came together and it became obvious to me: I wanted to do my own thing, to create a magazine for myself and for people like me. How much importance do you give to photography in Sang Bleu? I grew up in an era in which photography and video were two separate things, with different culture and different history and different people doing it. My father was a journalist who loved photography and he used to take photos for his own articles, and he planted that seed in me. For me photography is always something I had a real appeal for. When I went to art school I had to choose whether I wanted to do photography or graphic design, and

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Interview

sort of took over, because it was more efficient for technical reasons, thought not necessarily for aesthetic reasons. And now i think photography is coming back and has new purposes in many ways. This to say that I am extremely interested in photography and its evolution. In the latest issue of Sang Bleu we used a lot of film stills it was very important to take this new, “blogging” approach of images. You recentely opened your own tattoo studio, so I wanted to ask you, what’s the concept of the studio, and what’s the connection with the magazine?

for some reason I decided to do graphic design - yet I was equally, or maybe more attracted to photography when I started art school. I was also interested in fashion photography. When I started Sang Bleu anything like photography or writing was always a means to an end. My goal was not to show good photography, I wanted to make a point. I think that a form of beauty and quality in the graphic design or photography is important because it attracts people. When I started I was also taking photographs myself for the magazine.

It’s simple and complicated at the same time. It’s simple because in reality it’s a very straightforward extension of everything I’ve done before. It’s complicated because what I’ve done before is complicated. I would say that the magazine and the studio are definitely linked, in reality it represents the magazine. Although, the people I choose to work with in many ways don’t really work in the same style as me. If you look at what I’ve shown in Sang Bleu magazine in the past years it will make more sense.

People who read Sang Bleu would say it’s a tattoo magazine, but it isn’t. I’m not sure what it is. Tattooing is a sort of central In the meantime, things have shifted point, but it is not the subject matter, drastically and there is no longer a clear it is way beyond that. In many ways tatdifference between still and moving tooing is a starting point. I think also photography, it’s all digital, you take a video, the studio can become much more than you take a screenshot, you make a short that. I share this space with some friends video or a gif and all the boundaries are who are fashion designers and we’re going to completely fuzzy and unclear, and that organise art events in there and other things. is something which I personally find fasci- It’s still early days, but this space is there nating. The status of the photographic to manifest in a physical way what I try image has in some way become much more to show and put together in the magazine. of a subject of reflection in itself for that reason. I feel that photographic images were such a luxury for so long, that text 102

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Material Desublimation Photographs Filip Berendt From the projects Pandemic and Still Life Text by Paola Paleari

“HUMAN EYES TOLERATE NEITHER SUN, COITUS, CADAVERS, NOR OBSCURITY, BUT WITH DIFFERENT REACTIONS.”

Filip Berendt pp. 104—117

www.filipberendt.pl

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With this phrase, taken from the surrealist text L’Anus solaire, the French philosopher Georges Bataille points out that mankind has a tendency to alienate, with anguish or disgust, certain elements of existence from one’s field of vision, thus from everyday life, regardless of knowing that these elements are fundamental and inevitable. But it’s these elements, regarded as obscure and because of this relegated to the margins of human acceptance, which Bataille considers to be the only source of the contradiction which can lead man to overcome its contemplation of pure forms and undertake a search for unknown expressions. From this, the notions of “abjection” and “informe” (formless) emerge, on which the philosopher based the majority of his thinking in order to underline the end of the art-beauty equation which had conditioned art history up until the vanguards of the early twentieth century. Filip Berendt takes this reflection as his starting point and much of his artistic work is employed to represent it: through a new interpretation of organic substances and the unusual juxtaposition of various elements, the Polish photographer undertakes a research which surpasses the limits dictated by both conventional and abstract

Mate Desubli


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structures, in favour of the freedom of concrete forms. The series Pandemic revolves around the close encounter with elements such as mould and fungal colonies, which are captured in their nature of live substance, enriched by an array of details. Although they appear as though objective, these images are not characterised by the detachment of a scientific documentation: on the contrary, as the title itself suggests, they hold within them a hidden energy, universal and potentially dangerous. The inevitable encounter with something we’re used to thinking of in terms of the semantic field of the “small” and “superficial”, disturbs us and at the same time seduces us. As a direct consequence, in the attempt to control these feelings we’re driven to place what we see into a familiar domain, by instinctively finding references to abstract iconography or to objects characterised by recognisable forms and functions. The effectiveness of the project, which insists on the gap between habit and perception, is guaranteed by the “excess of form”, defined as such by Bataille himself. It’s not so much the subject that creates discomfort in the viewer, but the importance the photographer gives to it, from the point of view

of composition and dimension. In Still Life, Berendt further exaggerates the desublimation of the images by shifting the attention from a purely material level to one based around the connections between different elements. The photographs, based on the juxtaposing, overlapping and combination of objects of different nature and origin, capture an interaction between them of which we’re not able to identify the origin nor the meaning: if analysed individually, we would be able to recognise many of the elements portrayed, but their simultaneous presence in the same scene cancels any possibility of recognising a logical dimension. In this series, as in Pandemic, the organic proliferation is dominant, but here the sense of attraction and repulsion is absorbed by a larger mechanism of curiosity and distress which on the one hand disturbs us, and on the other hand opens up new possibilities of interpretation. What Bataille theorised as “informe”, in other words the third option capable of overcoming the opposition between form and content, passes through the same procedure of being thrown into disorder as Berendt carries out in his photographs: concentrating on the obvious, they surpass the hierarchy and absolute values to emancipate our artistic vision from any pre-established aesthetic ideal.

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Y Tir Newydd Photographs by Gareth Phillips Text by Helen Warburton curator at Ffotogallery Wales

www.garethphillipsphotography.com

pp. 118—133

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At first glance, the series Y Tir Newydd, relate to the act of the photographer’s physical The New Land, by Gareth Phillips appears endeavour: it is almost as if we’re witnessing to be a dark melting pot of monochromatic a disorientated Phillips working through a psychedelia. Beware: you are crossing the corporeal, and perhaps even aesthetic pain threshold to a cave, experiencing the visubarrier. alisation of the inner workings of Phillips’ imagination. Y Tir Newydd serves not only to explore the wild frontiers of Wales but to meditate on The images charter the photographer’s jourthe act of documenting, to connect the viewer neys – mostly on foot – to the most inacces- with one man’s experience of the rawest, sible end points of the Welsh landscape; most remote natural environment in this the farthest east and west, the deepest, the country. The lasting impression therefore highest, the most northerly and southern. is not one of the land itself, but of the human body, human histories and the vulnerability Far from a representational geographic study and potential of the imagination when at the – Phillips gives no image captions, place mercy of the elements. names or information – this rural, uninhabited land is presented through high contrast, foreboding images, most of which are so full of movement they could burst or shatter from their instability. As you go deeper in the visual analysis of the pictures, your eye is peppered with what we know are murky skies, dense woodland and studies of earth and foliage. Yet, as if seeing mirages in the desert, Phillips seems to conjure apparitions of the old familiar seen anew, full of the tokens of folklore, dream and nightmare. The mirroring of branches, cracks in rocks and organic forms resemble aged faces, mythical gods and totems. Phillips ensures the picturesque Wales we might recognise from adverts and holiday brochures, is nowhere to be seen. We’ve strayed far from the beaten track, it’s getting dark, and a narrative of physical and mental exertion plays out. Phillips transports us away from civilisation, back to our ancestors and to a place that compels a primal, survivalist mentality. The branches of trees blowing in the wind and the scars in rocks could here easily be ancient runes, Neolithic cave paintings or even the veins and arteries of human tissue. These images are shrouded in delirium and euphoria, seeping with an intensity of experience that one can only 119


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Comment Universe & Notes

For us, the universe is everything: planets, stars, and distant galaxies. Its vastness overcomes our abilities to understand it, though we keep trying to find a meaning to it. Throughout history people have observed it, measured it, studied it - in the hope that one day we will understand its significance. Several theories have been contemplated, but the Universe always sets surprises aside, new challenges for our imagination. Since ancient times, the human race has always had an interest in the sky and its secrets, men have asked themselves question after question and tried to capture the power that this vast untouchable and imperceptible stretch seemed to give off. Myths and legends came in succession and, despite today’s technology and modern science, new reflections arise and somehow they still have a metaphysical value. The universe - the vast and limitless container in which humankind has been placed - has been one of the most ambitious sources of inspiration for many artists who, by using different artistic techniques, have tried to give an answer to their questions. Text by Salvatore Vitale

< Christian Waldvogel, Dear Jim Voss, How Does Space Look from Space?, inkjet with silk screen printed stars, Single copy, Courtesy of Collection Kunstmuseum Bern

pp. 134-135 Christian Waldvogel, Space from Space. Courtesy of the artist. Four of the fifteen images on the poster sent to Jim Voss, The images show the constellation of Orion with an ever increasing number of visible background stars.

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In this respect, photography has certainly gained a key role. Until its discovery there was no means with which to create an accurate reproduction of what is observable through a telescope. The big photographic album of the Universe is made by innumerable images captured with the purpose of studying, exploring and finally seeing what’s beyond Earth from a closer prospective, in order to fulfill our insatiable desire of knowledge. It is enough to look at the NASA photographic archive to get a sense of the numbers. Each of us has seen the photographs of the first Lunar mission, the very proof of the greatest human achievement of all time, also used to support the Moon Hoax theory, the alleged fabrication of the American Government to gain points against the USSR during the Cold War conflict. We have come a long way since the first photographs were taken of space and from space. Today we are able to receive images from Mars or from the surface of an asteroid. Satellites send increasingly vivid images, but is that which we observe impressed on film accurate? Thomas Ruff, a well-known German contemporary artist, who uses photography as a skeptic and as a non-photographer, responds thoroughly to this question, putting into images what is today considered a scientific truth. Linking his interest for astronomy with photography practice, from 1989 until 1992 Ruff worked at the series Sterne. Using images bought from ESO (European Southern Observatory) in the form of photographic sheets (29 x 29 cm), he obtained 144 objects (260cm x 188cm) by choosing sections of the negative itself, working on six categories: photographs of stars on a normal density astral background, photographs of stars on a more dense astral background, photographs of stars with other galaxies, far away star images, star images with interstellar objects and gaseous nebulas, Milky Way images and very dense star backgrounds. For each work Ruff has added the time at which the photograph was

shot and its telescopic coordinates, whereby he created a strong connection between the pictorial effect of the image and the objectivity of the description. This operation is set to conceal the purpose of the series: calling into question the ability of photography to capture reality. The practice of imprinting a moment on a photosensitive support is only applicable on photographs taken on Earth in natural sunlight. However regarding photographs taken in space, speed of light must be taken into account. Light, in fact takes a long time to reach the lens of a camera or a telescope therefore what we observe has inevitably changed compared to what is shown on the image. For instance if we take a star 100 lightyears away from Earth, its light will take 100 years to reach Earth therefore what we do observe is a one-hundred-year-old image. In Sterne, Thomas Ruff emphasises this matter, which is an incentive for a reflection on the limits of the human eye regarding the understanding of the universe. He invites us to have a different approach, moved by a new sensitivity. A similar approach can only be very small compared to the big one that we face. Retracing the German Romanticism thematic, the concept of Sublime is present more than ever. The cosmos is gifted with an overwhelming yet sinister kind of beauty, over which we have no control over but which we find fascinating and which can push men over their limits. The result is the insatiable need of the human being to control, know and capture each fragment of reality, by creating instruments able to describe what is far away, something that has been digitally created. < 06h 04m / -70° from the series: Sterne © Thomas Ruff und ESO / 2014, ProLitteris, Zurich

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Alberto Sinigaglia examines the relationship between man and universe (a hunterprey relationship). In his book Big Sky Hunting, by collecting obsolete materials and photographs from the ‘70s and ‘80s,

he attempts to draw new maps of the universe based on wrong information. We observe a series of findings carefully picked and arranged, so that the Big Sky Hunter

“CAN COME ACROSS THE OUTERMOST LIGHTS, UP TO WHERE REPRESENTATION DEPICTS UNKNOWN ELEMENTS, WHERE THERE IS STILL SPACE FOR THE IMAGINATION, WHERE COMPLETE ACKNOWLEDGMENT IS NOT GIVEN” (Alberto Sinigaglia, Big Sky Hunter, 2013).

WILLSTROP: An approach that takes form from obsolete ‘This must have been one of the last scientific material, but originates in a very telescopes to be made that used film – I mean different path, is the one taken by Sophy before everything went digital…’ ‘Oh’. He Rickett. pauses and thinks… ‘I wouldn’t go that far.’ In 2012, the London artist met an astronomer, Dr Roderick Willstrop, during RICKETT: an assignment as Artist Associate at ‘Are you going to make more prints?’ the University of Cambridge Institute of Astronomy. Willstrop invented the ThreeWILLSTROP: Mirror Telescope in the ‘80s (3MT), ‘The darkrooms are all gone now.’ a camera telescope which produced black and white negatives of space by using “I think about printing them myself. I think three mirrors instead of the previously about the dialogue between us – we have practiced use of one or two in other the photographic process in common, but telescopes. It has been in use until 1991. some of the language we use to think Sophy Rickett, who was fascinated by about our work is not shared. Later we look the fact that none of these negatives were through the box of negatives, and make ever printed, submitted her interest to a note of which ones I take. The next day Willstrop, asking permission to print them. in the darkroom, circles of the night I want to quote an excerpt from the text sky darken in the safelight as the developer she wrote along with the series: gently softens the surface of the paper.” 142


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The prints, despite being scientifically valueless as they depict a twenty-year-old scenario, acquire such an expressive power that the artist must interrogate herself on the affinities of language and the difference which emerges in terms of a goal. From the prints the scientist himself found a number of details that he was never able to pick up from the negatives. What is imprinted on the photosensitive support is real but at the same time, inaccurate. The relationship between the artistic object and its original aim lies on a binomial made by the object itself and its depiction. The observation of the Universe isn’t just a pure or presumed depiction of reality, it can also be a metaphor of a deep line of thought that results in the indefinite. In 2004, Wolfgang Tillmans photographed the transit of Venus, in other words when the Sun,

Earth and Venus are fully aligned. From Earth we can potentially observe this little black circle which appears to be travelling across the face of the Sun. Tillmans is an astronomy enthusiast and one of the contemporary photographers who has studied the photographic device. Famous for his analogue photography and the abstract effect of the images created in the darkroom, he is interested in the space boundaries in conjunction with photography. He photographed the transit of Venus by using a telescope as a lens, attached onto his 35mm reflex. As a result of this procedure we have photographs on which we observe a big pinkish sphere (a colour given by the filter used at the time of shooting), “perforated” by a black hole. For Tillmans these images are as abstract as those which he created in the darkroom. He quotes,

“ALL PHOTOGRAPHS ARE MADE, NEVER JUST TAKEN. THEY ARE COLOUR ON PAPER AND AT THE SAME TIME EVOKE A SENSE OF REALITY NO OTHER MEDIUM CAN ACHIEVE.” (Wolfgang Tillmans, The Guardian, 2011).

Photography evokes a sense of reality there where there is none, on the other hand it is perceived as the best instrument to support reality. Christian Waldvogel in Earth Extremes uses photography and digital images to tell us about nine projects which examine our lives from the inside of the Solar System. Waldvogel’s research begins with 146

> Wolfgang Tillmans –Transit of Venus / Neue Welte Courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin

reality, and results in imagination, offering a preview of what it would be like if we could push ourselves over the known boundaries. With the American artist we travel through a spatial research under different points of view and forms. It starts with Seven Years from Here in which he describes the first photograph taken


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of the surface of Titan, the largest of Saturn’s moons. The image was not created by NASA or by some aero spatial agency, but by an artist, Waldvogel. He created the panoramic black and white version by putting together the fragments of the first photographs taken by the Huygens spacecraft during its descent, and some other images, which he unofficially and with difficulty, found on the web. At a later stage, taking as reference a solo color frame published by the ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA, he created the second panoramic image, the first close up image of Titan ever taken. Incredibly this will go down in history as the first image of Titan realised not only with scientific purposes, but also artistic. And again, photography and sensitivity of the eye prove how by pushing against the limits can open new worlds and realties, light years away (in the true sense of the term). Moving forward, Waldvogel engages in subjects such as “What would it look like

if one were to look out of the window into outer space?”, a question with which he starts the project Space from Space, where the artist imagines how space would be without the distorted vision we have from Earth. Thanks to Jim Voss, former ISS astronaut (International Space Station) he began experimenting by creating a poster on which he added several of these supposed visions trying to understand which could be more convincing. However – much to his surprise - none of those were close to the reality of space seen from space. Galileo’s Missing Argument, The Earth Turns Without Me, Top of the World, West Pole, Antichthon, Globus Cassus and 433 Eros are his other projects. All with the purpose to depict a deep and hypothetic vision which starts from the absolute truth but then questions it, by analysing and experimenting other theories, using the image as a starting and ending point, so that they can become more visible and tangible. He quotes:

“WHEN PRODUCING WORKS OF ART, THE ARTIST JUDGES A PIECE’S THEMES FROM A POINT OF VIEW THAT IS CHARACTERISTIC OF HIS BELIEFS AND TO THE PERSPECTIVE THAT HE TAKES ON THINGS. IN MANY CASES, THIS POINT OF VIEW IS SET OUTSIDE THE SYSTEM THE PIECE IS ABOUT” (Christian Waldvogel, Earth Extremes, 2010 ).

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The Universe, in its complexity and nature, has always had a metaphoric value, used to indicate the intangible part of the human mind. Its “Universe”, so to speak. Humans have always been the most portrayed, studied and explored subjects in the history of art. The Universe is part of our lives. The phenomena for which, since ancient times, had made us use this vast unknown place as our main benchmark, container in which we are positioned, which influences our lives, challenging us with questions, to finally understand what our role in it is. And in most

cases the big container becomes a much smaller one, our own personal one. In Home, Stefano Parrini presents an intimate part of his daily life, his Universe. This time we witness the transition from common space into something mysterious and fascinating. Made of dots, stars and constellations sketched on a map. Parrini uses old, dusty negatives, pieces from a roll of film which he places on the maps creating layers of dust which become stars, points of highlight, signs. By connecting the dots he creates

“A CONCENTRATED COSMOS, A MICROCOSM REFLECTED IN THE MACRO IN WHICH WE STAND, HOME TO EVERYONE.” (Stefano Parrini, Home, 2013).

Undeniably, since 1609, when Galileo Galilei positioned himself behind a lens to get a closer look at what is around our planet, the hunger for knowledge, discovery and research has fascinated our race, not only scientists, but also artists who can find answers to questions in a unique way. In this article I have tried to showcase several approaches on how the Universe has been interpreted by selected contemporary photographers. This is to prove that photography has been the key to many discoveries. I therefore ask you to take it from here, and try to disclose the Universe through photography, a concept which is a constantly expanding, inevitably faster than our awareness of it. 149


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Christian Waldvogel, Seven Years from Here, Inkjet in Diasec with silkscreen print, metal lining, Ed. 7. Courtesy private collection, Zurich


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Big Sky Hunting Photographs and text by Alberto Sinigaglia

www.albertosinigaglia.net

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Alberto Sinigaglia Comment & Notes

Big Sky Hunting is a photographic project which, starting from astronomical depiction, investigates the potentials and limits of the photographic medium and of representation. The expression Big Sky Hunting refers to a search without an end and contains the word “hunting”, which doesn't imply the practice of shooting, but a form of territorial control. It addresses man’s obsession to control a territory, in order to transform it into a known landscape. Photography represents the main instrument that allows us to explore, inquire, map out and travel through outer space. Since its invention, the photographic medium has been put into relation with astronomical sciences. Up until that moment humankind had looked at the cosmos as something immeasurable, something sublime, which makes us aware of an acute realisation of the limitations of our ignorance. By documenting it, we've started to transform it. We have begun to build a fragmented sublime, a modest sublime. The Apollo and Cassini missions have produced thousands of pictures of the Moon, of Saturn and of its satellites and rings. Opportunity and Spirit, the rovers on Mars, are constantly collecting and sending back information from the red planet, and many other projects are advancing in order to build knowledge on planets, stars, nebulas, clusters, quasars, etc. In spite of the technological complexity of the devices involved, the infinite beauty of the universe is impossible to adequately depict in an objective way. The photons which make up the image have been travelling for thirteen billion years to reach the surface of the lens. Despite the primordial beauty of such imagery, the unfathomability of time and distance suggested by the images leads us into abstraction. These stunning pictures of spatial objects often aren’t made by actual cameras. They are the result of processed data, digitalisation and scientists’ interpretations. In the same way, Big Sky Hunting is the result of an ap-

propriation and alteration of several elements. Through the use of found materials from the ‘70s and ‘80s, original images and objects, the series attempts to design new maps for the infinite, based on obsolete information and flawed fragments. Big Sky Hunting is an inquiry into the borders of space where research becomes impossible, where our defences fall and any attempt of control is useless. The images map out undiscovered territories, depicting ruthless technologies, telling us about futures already lived. Along its journey the Big Sky Hunter travels out to the outermost lights, up to where the representation depicts unknown and alien elements, where there is still room for imagination, where complete knowledge is not given.

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Home Photographs by Stefano Parrini Text by Martina Marolda

www.stefanoparrini.it

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Home is a project consisting of a series of prints placed into the context of the deepest recesses of space, like portholes of a ship or telescope lenses which cast light onto another universe â&#x20AC;&#x201C; my personal, domestic universe. They are planets, nebulas, constellations meticulously codified by everyday coordinates. I used old rolls of film, taking fragments of images selected accordingly, for example the end of the rolls or the first images - the ones taken in order to reel the film into the right posi-

tion. But they are also images of an LED lamp I have at home; they are all images which are placed to overlap the locations which I then marked on a map, each one with an initial. After about three months, I scanned this material onto a digital file which I then post-produced by tracing the lines of my constellations. The tangible result is a connection of points in a luminous and pulsating firmament, all of it personal, which I have chosen to unveil in front of everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eyes.

A concentrated cosmos, a microcosm reflected in the macro in which we stand, home to everyone. Not just skies, but moonscapes, terrestrial panoramas accompany this universe. They are deserts, mountains, rocky expanses made with graph paper or scrunched-up nylon envelopes, photographed in digital

and once again post-produced by overlapping various dusty images, also used as the constellations; they are views, landscapes of, once again, homemade planetary surfaces.

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#Taksim Calling Photographs and text by Frederic Lezmi

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A few months back we travelled to Istanbul where we were invited to present YET magazine at Torna, a gallery space and independent bookshop. There, we met Frederic Lezmi who was presenting his most recent project, #Taksim Calling. We were inspired by the simple yet striking nature of his publication and his unique method of distribution, and decided to share his work with you. Frederic Lezmi is a German-Lebanese photographer based In Istanbul. His documentary photography is characterised by a dynamic of human presence and absence, occasionally leading to create somewhat surreal scenes. Apparently simple compositions reveal intricate geometric patterns which embrace the landscapes and the people who inhabit them.


#Taksim Calling Interview

#Taksim Calling is a poster-book which represents a personal diary of the Gezi Park protests, as experienced by a foreigner living in Istanbul. This large format newspaper-like publication combines old postcard images of Taksim Square with the author’s iPhone photographs of the protests held last year. #Taksim Calling was selected by Martin Parr as one of the publications exhibited in Open Book: The Protest Photobook 1956-2013, which he curated for the 2013 edition of Paris Photo. Frederic told us the story behind this project, and we had the chance to ask him a few questions. #Taksim Calling is a spontaneous project I shot during the protests which took place in downtown Istanbul in late spring 2013. What started out as a small-scale protest against the demolition of Gezi Park - one of the rare green areas in the city centre, turned into a month-long nationwide protest against the government. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was Mayor of Istanbul before becoming Prime Minister of Turkey, had plans to destroy the park and build a huge shopping mall disguised as a replica of the Ottoman Military Barracks, which had stood in that same exact location until the first years of the Republic when they were raided and then turned into Gezi Park. When the municipality started cutting down the first few trees, a small group of environmentalists took action to protect the trees and the park. They were met with an excessive use of force from the police in the early morning raids which took place on the small “occupy camp”. The next day, the amount of people protesting had doubled and so did use of force from the police. By the third day the whole thing was out

of control as more than 100000 protesters turned up and were again met by more aggression from the state authorities. Quickly, the reason behind the protest shifted, from being simply about the park to being about the state’s reaction to the protests. By day four the amount of people protesting the destruction of the park, and the use of force by the police and the authoritarian government style of PM Erdoğan, had reached such a scale that the police had to withdraw and leave the park and the city centre around Taksim Square to the protesters, who created a very peaceful festival-like atmosphere, which was only challenged by the police force on the outskirts during night hours. After about ten days free of state authority, the police force first raided the square and a couple of days later took back the park. After that, and because of a lack of a central meeting place, the protests quickly cooled down. For nearly two years I lived in Elmadağ, which is just behind Gezi Park. I started to feel the change happening in this area

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every day, as from where I lived I would close and roll down their shutters. The cross the street and walk through vendors use the shutters as a display for the park to Taksim. I began noticing how their posters, depicting various celebriconstructions started and the access to ties or tourist photographs. I’ve always the park was being blocked. For foreigners been fascinated by the phenomenon, the living in Turkey like myself, the moveoccupation of these store fronts to give ment came very quickly. One maybe felt them a second purpose during the night something happening, or when talking – and that’s where the idea of working to friends realised that something wasn’t with the poster format came from. In right, but it was unthinkable for us that the beginning I wanted to present my it would erupt in this way. project in the same way – by going to During the days of the protests, my Istiklal at night, hanging up my posters agency in Germany asked me to take and distributing them there, but after the photographs - I’m not a photojournalist government started a huge witch hunt for but it’s something that is not far from my everyone involved in the protests, and work. I wasn’t very satisfied with my even started arresting people just because images, as they were very similar to many of something they’d tweeted, etc. - it photographs I’d see in the press, but seemed too dangerous to do that. while I was shooting for others I was also There are three main elements in taking photographs with my iPhone. my book: Apart from the pictures taken For years I’ve been using the camera on during the protests, you have my phomy phone as a means to record things – tographs of the signs indicating the things that I see, or anything else which way to Taksim - I photographed these a concerns my personal life. Unlike tourcouple of months before the protests, as ists, when you live in this city you don’t the municipality started to lock down always have a “proper” camera on you. all the entrances and build the wooden I documented the things that were hapbarricades - it was like a labyrinth, with pening around me, using a very basic a huge amount of signs leading to Takapp, ShakeItPhoto, to convert the images sim, but so that you never quite knew into these fake “Polaroids”. where Taksim really was. Then there’s In early July last year I started thinking the pictures of painted-over graffiti and about what to do with these images, covered-up slogans, which I took durthis was around the same time I was in ing the demonstrations or right after. I Arles for the photography festival, where found this very interesting because it I held a photobook workshop together was a symbol of how the government with my friends from Schaden.com. treated these protests, trying to instantly On our way back, as we sat together in the erase all traces of it. On the back of each car for a ten-hour drive, we came up page, I’ve printed old pictures of Taksim with different ideas to present this series square, historical images or postcards of images. The work needed to be prefrom the late thirties to the early sevensented in a special way for it to become ties, blown up to size so the texture of something interesting. With one idea the industrial printing is visible. These leading to the next, I told them about the serve as backdrops, images of what Takposter vendors you would see on Istiklal sim has been, compared with my personCaddesi (which leads to Taksim Square). al diary of the days of protest. Initially, These vendors pop up at night after the we designed the book as single posters, big shops on this huge pedestrian street we were quite lucky that when we put the 192

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#Taksim Calling Interview Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek

pages together, the book became readable not just as a collection of images, but as a newspaper, with a half-page of my photographs and the other half-page to give a historical context, underlining the importance of this space for Istanbul, for Turkey. Once the book was ready I needed to figure out how to distribute it. I didn’t want to make a profit from this work, because it didn’t feel right, so I decided to give the books out for free. My way of distribution is that I give away a number of copies to people, you can take a few and if you like it you can give it to someone else and they’ll give it to someone else… People have come up to me and said “I’ll keep this to show to my children”. I printed 1000 copies, in Istanbul, and my calculation was that if I sold 200 copies abroad, I could give away 800 copies for free, here. I’ve worked in the photobook business for many years, so now it’s an immense pleasure to be able to just give books away. I live in Turkey and I love Turkey, so although the events didn’t touch me personally, I wanted to somehow give something back. During the protests I never actively joined in, as a foreigner you’re compelled to being an observer on the outside, looking in at what’s happening. I felt proud that this was happening, and that it was happening in this way, but I wasn’t sure how to position myself in the situation and what my role could be. So as an observer, I photographed the events. Those who were there, who fought during the protests, know that these images are far from conveying what it felt like to really be there, that this is nothing compared to what they experienced, but maybe in a few years this project can serve as a reminder. This is also why the work needed to be printed, and why it needed to be printed now - with all this online coverage of the events, things are

easily forgotten especially abroad. Every day around the world there are new conflicts and new protests, they will wash over the Gezi Park movement, which will be lost somewhere in the recesses of the internet. For me it was important to have something printed that can serve as a reminder of these events. Starting from what you said about this significance of having a printed object…

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#Taksim Calling Interview

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Interview

29.03.2014 By Francesca Wilkins

Interview with Frederic Lezmi

Apart from leaving behind a physical documentation, why is it so important to print something in a time in which information, and images, have a much larger and more immediate visibility over the internet?

One fundamental element is time. A printed object is still longer-lasting than a digital publication. When something is printed, the chances of finding it in a library or in an archive in twenty, thirty or fifty years from now are quite high. Who knows what will happen to a blog or a website in this time. Will computers still be able to understand the language it was programmed in? Or the website could possibly be banned, like what happened to Twitter in Turkey last week. Another aspect is value. Printed objects still have a certain value. Digital publications are great, but still lack this sense of value. A printed thing is to be kept, put on a shelf and looked at from time to time, even if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something you got for free. Posting something on the internet is free. Printing something still costs a lot of money. So you have to think twice about what you want to do and how you want it to be done. You have to make decisions and you have to be aware that you are making a statement, which will still have to be valid in a couple of years. Since I worked in the format of a poster book, an important aspect is that people can hang something on the wall, which isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t possible with the internet. In the case of #Taksim Calling it was also important to juxtapose my imagery with archive material of Taksim Square and of Gezi Park, to place the protests into a historical context. This juxtaposition was only possible in the printed version.

After you took these iPhone photographs, what made you decide to publish them in this way, and to bring the project to this level? As a foreigner somewhat on the periphery of the events, what lead you to make a publication from the images you took?

When the police force took over Taksim Square and Gezi Park, after nearly a month of occupation by the protesters, everyone I knew had quite a hard time finding their way back to everyday life. All my friends had spent nearly four weeks outside on the streets, but in the meantime life went on. People had to go back to their jobs. Due dates and tons of emails were waiting, things had to be done, and soon the whole Gezi movement seemed like a dream. While walking through the park, crossing Taksim Square and the surrounding streets it was hard to believe this had really happened. The protests were not in the headlines anymore and the Turkish government did everything they could to

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#Taksim Calling Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek Interview

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erase the traces. I somehow felt the need to do something against it. I had all these pictures and knew I would have to come up with an idea. But it was difficult. On the one hand, the images needed to be put into context. It needed to be something that would serve the Turkish audience as a memory and at the same time show the audience outside of Istanbul what had happened. On the other hand it had to be something that fit the protests, something public, something powerful. Printing the pictures in a hardcover book somehow didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel right. It had to be something that had within it the spirit of the movement and would not put me in front of the dilemma of monetising the project. This led me to the idea of distributing the publication in Turkey for free. I wanted to be able to give something back. As mentioned earlier, I was not sure how to position myself. Fighting did not feel right, but documenting and then giving something back to the movement was something which made sense. Most of my photographer friends did not take photographs during the protests, as they were very much involved and did not have that distance which I had as a foreign observer. So somehow I felt that it was my mission to record the events for them, in a way such that it was more than a pure documentation, but also a statement. When you started this project, to what extent did the work have a political connotation for you? Do you think #Taksim Calling has influenced the way people perceive the Gezi Park movement, especially outside of Turkey?

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It definitely had a political connotation. I love Turkey, Istanbul and the Turks I got to know, and seeing them proactively fighting for their elementary rights was an amazing experience. I had also witnessed the oppressions and interference in the lifestyles of liberal and secular Turks as a result of the conservative Islamic government becoming more and more strict. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to talk about influence when you only have an edition of 1000 copies and not more than 200 copies circulating outside Turkey, but yes, I hope so. The people I gave a copy to were very interested and happy to see photographs different from the ones they had seen in the news.

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#Taksim Calling Interview

The feedback from Turks was amazing. For them #Taksim Calling triggered the memories of all the intense moments they had experienced during those weeks. The feedback from foreigners was amazing too. For many of them #Taksim Calling served as a starting point for a discussion on the current situation in Turkey. One of the reasons why these protests had such a big sympathy in the West is that what the young Turks were fighting for was in line with very actual discussions in the West: In what kind of world do we want to live? How much should citizens participate in the decisions which are made and which shape their cities and living environments? Where is the human aspect, when commercial and corporate decisions take control of our cities? Since the movement is still active, and protests are still being held occasionally - not only in Istanbul but in other cities, do you think thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a possibility that you might continue the project?

While coming up with the idea for #Taksim Calling one important aspect was to keep the publication open for additions, as the whole protest movement was not over yet and the end was not in sight. In fact there were huge manifestations followed by heavy clashes with the police forces last week, after a young boy hit by a tear gas grenade during the Gezi protests died after lying in coma for more than 9 months. Next week local elections will be held in Turkey. Erdogan is angry again, as he has been badly hit by a graft and corruption scandal since the 17th of December. In his rallies he has tuned up the tone of his hate speeches and his authoritarian rhetoric. Depending on the outcome of the elections, we will have to see what happens. Turkish politics are very unpredictable these days and every day there are new scandals and revelations. So yes, I am still shooting and out on the streets, and whenever it makes sense there might be some additional pages to #Taksim Calling, or maybe something new. Fifthissue issue Fifth

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Editorial

Erna and Hrefna Photographs and text by Ariko Inaoka

www.aarriikkoo.com

Ariko Inaoka

pp. 200â&#x20AC;&#x201D;211

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Ariko Inaoka

Erna and Hrefna are thirteen-year-old Icelandic identical twins. I started to photograph them when they were nine years old, in 2009, and this will be an ongoing project until they are sixteen or seventeen years old. I will visit them every year. My intention in this project is to capture the very precious period of their growth, from childhood to their teenage years. The relationship between identical twins makes for interesting subject matter. I often hear that identical twins have telepathic connections between them. This is true with Erna and Hrefna. They are always together. They almost never fight each other. Spending time with them I feel such comfort in their companionship but at the same time I feel strange because I have never seen such a powerful connection between any two human beings. They say to me, “We dream the same dreams sometimes.”

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Small Eternity Photographs and text by Ayline Olukman

www.aylineolukman.fr

Ayline Olukman

pp. 212â&#x20AC;&#x201D;229

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Small Eternity


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Ayline Olukman

The road seems to never want to stop. I finally found meaning in the discovery of the founderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s landscapes, Those who guide you and accompany you, Who remain forever. They form the landscape of my memory. Here then, in this solitude, nothing can disappear. The days were long and electric, In these small towns where people are bored. I found what I wanted, Intimacy and auto-fiction. It all depends on where I place my horizon. In the middle of the road, finally, I go nowhere. The things we will always be, Death is nothing at all.

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Photography Classics

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By Paola Paleari


ART IS REAL:

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BY NAN GOLDIN

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Comment & Notes Exhibition

SCOPOPHILIA


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When we enter an art museum, we usually put ourselves in the same mood of browsing through a book divided in consecutive yet independently readable chapters. Artworks are divided into sections accordingly to the historical period or the artistic technique: from ancient Greek and Roman sculpture to neoclassical paintings, passing by Renaissance frescos. The taxonomic method of archiving and displaying the pieces - that followed and replaced the approach existing in the 15th century Wunderkammer or cabinet of curiosities, where objects were arranged on the basis of imaginative and eccentric associations in order to marvel the viewer - is universally accepted and understandable, and is the same on which the Louvre Museum in Paris is structured. I remember the sensation of littleness I felt at every turn I had the chance to step in that place, and the decision of visiting just a section at a time in order not to find myself visually overwhelmed or on the contrary - anesthetized, knowing that the time at my disposal was limited if compared to the quantity of masterpieces. The well-known photographer Nan Goldin experienced a completely differ- Nan Goldin, Narcisssus by ent approach of the great Parisian tem- the Lake, 2011-14 © Nan ple of art, since in 2010 - in occasion Goldin of a project commissioned by the Museum itself - she was allowed access on Tuesdays, when the building is closed to the public. For eight months she photographed the highest paintings by Delacroix and Ingres, the sophisticated artworks by Bronzino, the marble statues by Canova and the Roman masters, collecting hundreds of pictures that could retrace, if put in a line, the history of occidental art. But Nan Goldin never moved in a linear way, thus - after overcoming an initial impasse given by the majesty of the assignment - she decided to change the game and to concentrate on the flash and soul of the artworks rather than on their importance and status. Just in the same way she’s used


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Nan Goldin Scopophilia Until 24th May, 2014

Exhibition Comment & Notes

temporary kind of photography which treats themes like sex, love and gender is not only possible but evident is an indisputable proof that the labelling turns out to be a constraint rather than a tool in the artistic fruition. Starting from this consideration and sharpening the perspective, in Scopophilia we can track down Goldin’s mistrust in the contemporary art market and in its efforts in freezing every creative initiative in a clearly recognizable (and economically valuable) tendency or practice; as she said to Glenn O’Brien in a rare interview for Harper Bazaar, “art dealers might as well be drug dealers or weapons dealers. There’s not much difference anymore.”1 Last but not least, the decision of using her own archive in combination of a musealized collection is not a tentative, as someone may think, to polish her past, but on the contrary demonstrates an attitude towards the demythologising of the artistic making with an end to itself. Scopophilia is to be read more as a celebration of choosing than of showing, as to say: “Art is real: just go and live it”.

1— O’Brien, Glenn. “Nan Goldin: In the Frame”, Harpers Bazaar. November 2011, pp. 151-155

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to do in her real life, she focussed her camera on the body’s details, bends and gestures she encountered in the Museum, and she then juxtaposed the result of this research to her personal archive comprising of both very famous and inedited shots. The final outcome of this project is Scopophilia, an exhibition based on a 25-minute-long slide installation and a series of photographic tableaux; while the first was premiered at the Louvre in 2010, the whole show was displayed at the Matthew Marks Gallery in New York in the following year and is now ongoing at the Gagosian Gallery in Rome. The name comes from a Greek word that means “deriving pleasure from looking” and actually - despite the fact it has already been seen on the web and on various newspapers and magazines - having all those sensuous and carnal images in front of the eyes is a totally different matter. “Between them and me: telepathic exchanges, divination”, she whispers in the slideshow, referring to the relationship she established with the artworks during her French affair; and a tangible and vibrant sense of intimacy pervaded the dark room in which it was projected, albeit the space was packed with people that attended the opening. The video is without any doubt the medium that better responds to the private yet evoking nature of Goldin’s work, beyond being the way she used to display her pictures since the beginning of her career; also in this case, it reveals to be the core of the entire exhibition, an immersive dive into the inner sensitiveness and the raw aesthetic touch that made her one of the most influent photographers of the last decades. Even though the general impact is less shocking and punkish if compared to Goldin’s 80’s and 90’s productions, this project is gently subversive on different levels: first and foremost, the fact that such a strong parallel between the art we define as “classical” and a con-


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Nan Goldin, Odalisque, 2011 Š Nan Goldin


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Comment Exhibition & Notes

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Editorial

DAS INNERE Photographs by Alexander Binder Text by Katarzyna Borucka Lookout Gallery, Warsaw

www.alexanderbinder.de

pp. 236â&#x20AC;&#x201D;251

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Alexander Binder

Das Innere


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“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” (William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell)

Alexander Binder

prosaic grasses, plants and illuminated skies, to lightning and deadly lava fumes. In the pictures we also find the symbols so characteristic to his work: animal motives, skulls, masks, cobwebs. All these effects add to the atmosphere of the images that sometimes recall a memory of a nightmare, sometimes of bliss.

The latest work by Alexander Binder, Das Innere, is another journey into a dualistic Alexander Binder is a self-made photographer world of the artist in which colourful, idyllic and an outsider, not interested in creating images with the characteristic rainbow in the smoothed aesthetics of contemporary diffraction effect are interwoven with pitch photography. Spontaneously, and with a black-and-white images filled with gloom. childlike freshness, he creates dreamlike As in Dante’s Divine Comedy, which Binder images - unreal, ephemeral. Thanks to often cites as an inspiration, the author special filters and lenses which he modifies leads us one time to gates of hell another himself, he uses distortion, diffusion time to gates of paradise. Das Innere itself and diffraction of light to achieve a unique has a double meaning in German: it is an photographic language. In his photographs, interior of an object or a building but also colour and form become visual equivalents the interior of a man, reflecting anxiety, of thoughts and sensations. surging emotions and existential fears. Unlike in his previous work, where the scene According to his artistic manifesto, Alexander is set in a mysterious northern forest, this Binder’s passion is to follow the spirit of time he follows the steps of the nineteenth things, surrealism and the occult, and the century German artists to explore southern whole work is aimed at opening the gates Europe. The photographs from the series of perception and showing the mystical face were shot over three years during several of our existence. When asked how to describe trips to Italy, including Sicily and the Aeo- his photographic language and process he lian Islands. replies: surreal, kitschy, amateurish and chaotic. And aren’t these the most suitable Spending days making observations of volwords to describe the reality we live in? canic wasteland, the movement of magma and “elementary particles”, Binder creates abstract images which are detached from the recognisable places and time, which thus gain symbolic meaning. The inside of the volcanic earth and the raging magma spewed out onto the surface in the form of smoke or red-hot lava become a metaphor for a restless human soul. Dreamlike images of a calm sea and a southern sky layered with clouds bring temporary peace. Das Innere confirms Binder’s fascination with nature. We see it in a variety of disguises, from the most 237


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Imprint / Comment & notes

(Wolfgang Tillmans, The Guardian, 2011).

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Comment & Notes

“ALL PHOTOGRAPHS ARE MADE, NEVER JUST TAKEN. THEY ARE COLOUR ON PAPER AND AT THE SAME TIME EVOKE A SENSE OF REALITY NO OTHER MEDIUM CAN ACHIEVE.” 253


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Issue 04

YET magazine is an online triannual photography publication which showcases editorials and photography series by worldwide artists. YET is a magazine about photography. Photography is the main subject and our aim is to feature several different styles of photography, without any restriction in genre, medium, or theme. All the photographers invited by the editorial team are free to develop a personal project and to tell their stories. YET aspires to explore the artist’s work in depth to discover what lies beneath, to find out what it is the photographers want to convey through their series and why. “Photography is the result of combining several technical discoveries”. We believe that these processes should be shown because they are the result of the thought process which goes on behind the photographer’s work. Each photograph, regardless of what medium it has been captured with, represents something very meaningful, buried deep in whoever took it. YET magazine was created to give a visual voice to these stories, in order to share them with an audience. We will showcase both emerging and established photographers. To us, a photographer is someone who can control time and space, who has a vision and is able to express it in the form of an image. What we desire is to tell something about the person behind these creations, starting from the story they tell through their photographs. The photography in YET magazine, by editorial choice, is published free from any graphic or text insertions, without being cropped or cut, and free from any form of further editing. Each series is exhibited exactly how the photographer created it. We base our work on ethical rules which emerge from the firm belief that a photographer’s work must be shown as it is.

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ISSN 2296-407X

Sue-Elie Andrade-Dé Filip Berendt Alexander Binder Maxime Büchi Laurie Dall’Ava Asier Gogortza Maxime Guyon Ariko Inaoka Frederic Lezmi Ayline Olukman Stefano Parrini Gareth Phillips Sophy Rickett Maya Rochat Thomas Ruff Alberto Sinigaglia Wolfgang Tillmans Christian Waldvogel

Issue N° 05

YET magazine issue #5  

YET magazine is an online triannual photography publication which showcases editorials and photography series by worldwide artists. In this...

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