Art & Wonder
Art Zine, issue 2, Kendra Place, Cam Scott (editors), Buck Doyle (design editor), Intercopy, intercopy.ca, $12
The second issue of this Montreal mini-journal presents the ranging work of Jessica Gynp, Suzie Smith, Divya Mehra, Jordan Abel, and Jacob Wren. This collection aims to treat the magazine as an art-form, to “engage the ideologies, conventions, materials, and etymology of the magazine format, often by considering it with other media”. In this way, the magazine’s editorial collective is successful — this is by all means an interesting and beautifully-produced printed work. Each author within, however, reaches a different degree of success in terms of his or her specific approach to the subject at hand.
Gnyp’s photography, “Untitled 1-5”, is the highlight of the issue. Depicting folded, crumpled, loosely-spun images of newsprint, she adds high-contrast lighting to give the impression that these imagines are being cut from marble, blending a banal ordinariness with classical, typically ‘artistic’ beauty. Further, she spreads her photographs of folded paper across the magazine layout, demonstrating an awareness of her medium that makes the work semi-interactive.
On the other end of the spectrum, Mehra’s work, titled “It can be tiring, all that whiteness (In hindsight, some things could have been done differently)” is composed of ten perfectly regular blank pages (eleven, if you count a final page with the piece’s title in the bottom right). Here, she’s demonstrated an awareness of the magazine medium which may be cheeky and may be clever, but is in no way productive.
It’s admittedly a little reductive to represent the remaining poetry and editorial work as qualifying “somewhere between these two,” but this would give a better (and quicker) impression than a longer digression could. In short, Art & Wonder’s editorial team has arranged a conscious and impressive range of approaches to the magazine as art-form, even if the individual approaches are not always successful. (Joel W. Vaughan)