Artists’ Magazines. An Alternative Space For Art
- The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA
- 300 p.
For some time now, we’ve been witnessing quite a renewed interest in certain artists’ magazines from the ‘60s and ‘70s, a re-examination that has often consisted in reprinting the original issues for the pleasure of a fresh, new reading. Among other examples, one could point to the amazing reprint of FILE magazine, or of the avalanche issues. But there’s been the serious need for a critical and historical approach of some sort, to avoid merely fetishizing the phenomenon, understandable as this may be. That’s why this volume is indeed crucial and timely. By cleverly discussing various key magazines — Aspen, 0 To 9, Avalanche, Art-Rite, File, Interfunktionen — it helps to contextualize these diverse experiences, highlighting a common quest by the artist-editors to appropriate a different territory, one that was serial, ephemeral, cheap and reproducible, and to experiment with its format and its conceptual potential. (Which is something absolutely contemporary, having trickled down to the ever-thriving artists’ projects that are still a fixture in all your favourite magazines – including this one.) All with the simple premise that art-making could no longer be fully addressed and expressed by staying within the traditional system of production and display – studios, galleries exhibitions and so on – because its practice needed most of all to be considered, debated, and talked about differently, just to make complete sense.