Art & Photography / In Pictures

Rare & Revolutionary: The Best in Print at Future Artefacts

AnOther charts five of the most exciting titles on display at London's most innovative print fair

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Fetish Series, Issue #2Published by Wet Satin Press and Sang Bleu

“Come and see the future of physical media,” new London print fair Future Artefacts beckoned last week, inviting print aficionados citywide to come and experience the most progressive, innovative and exciting objects in arts, music, fashion and tech publishing. The four-day-long fair, created by Ditto Press’ Ben Freeman and Real Gold’s Deano Jo, hosted 40 producers of physical media over the course of the event, ranging from 3D music totems which interacted with brand new mobile technology, to rare and treasured first editions. Enticed, AnOther selected five of the most covetable new – and old – titles at the fair, for your viewing pleasure.

Smiler, by Mark Cawson and Neal Brown, Sorika
When photographer Gareth McConnell set about considering projects for his independent publishing company, Sorika, a memory of a chance meeting 15 years prior with young photographer Smiler, AKA Mark Cawson, immediately came to mind. McConnell picked it up and ran with it, and the result – an exhibition of 25 compelling photographs documenting London’s squats throughout the politically unsteady 1970s, 80s and 90s – can be seen at the ICA this season, as well as in the A/W15 issue of Another Man.

Sorika published a black and white photobook to coincide with the exhibition. The photographs within it are raw, grainy and uncompromising, and Sorika’s treatment of them – staple-bound, large format, and printed on a semi-matte paperstock – couldn’t feel more relevant.

Fetish Series, Issue #3, Sang Bleu and Wet Satin Press
Wet Satin Press is a new independent publishing company founded by renaissance woman and Sang Bleu editor-in-chief Reba Maybury. The press, created with one eye on sexuality and the other on contemporary culture, launched at Future Artefacts this weekend, and already boasts a gloriously diverse collection of publications.

Among them is Fetish Series, a series of zines made in collaboration with Sang Bleu. “These zines are a set of three interviews with anonymous men with extremely specific fetishes found on the internet,” Maybury explains. “Each man makes images to satisfy their imaginations, resulting in outstandingly original photos verging on modern folk art. The mundane meets the erotic in these images, although we may not be able to relate to these men's arousal, thinking that their desires are abnormal seems wrong to me.”

The second issue, pictured above, focuses on a man who asks models to wear office-appropriate clothing and submerge their feet in water, and the photographs which emerge from his desire are equal parts compelling and bizarre. “In a society where we're bombarded with images of degrading pornography, these men live in a utopian dream state,” Maybury points out. “It doesn't objectify anyone.”

Issue #1 of Interview Magazine, Claire de Rouen
“People always claim that things are rare, which aren’t really rare at all,” Lucy Moore, director of Claire de Rouen Books, tells AnOther at Future Artefacts. “This, however…" she points at the very first issue of Interview Magazine, published in 1969, lovingly sheathed in plastic and gingerly placed on a plastic plinth in the centre of Claire de Rouen’s stall, which is already sighing under the weight of so much printed matter. "This really is rare."

“Back then the first issue cost 35 cents,” Moore continues. “Now it's as precious as Warhol's glittering diamond dust shoes. Devoted to candid interviews with the most famous celebrities of the time, the inaugural edition featured a tribute to Sharon Tate, who had recently been murdered by Charles Manson's acolytes, an interview with Agnes Varda about Lion's Love (she's a particular favourite of mine – a portrait of her with Catherine Deneuve is hanging next to my desk in Claire de Rouen), and a piece called 'What it's like to be a star and live in a Hollywood Palace' by Taylor Mead. It's just too good!” The magazine’s browning cover and all-star line-up is testament to how much of a treasure it is, and in a room full to bursting with the newest and most innovative publishing ventures imaginable, this small piece of history packs quite a punch.

Self Publish, Be Happy: A DIY Photobook Manual and Manifesto by Bruno Ceschel, Aperture
For the past five years Bruno Ceschel has been encouraging others – designers, artists, writers… you name it – to create and self-publish photobooks, through Self Publish, Be Happy’s ever-growing support of indie bookmakers. It’s about time, then, that the publisher and founder took the opportunity to create a book about his own experiences. Self Publish, Be Happy: A DIY Photobook Manual and Manifesto was duly born, and, set for release in two weeks time, looks to encourage and guide would-be self-publishers to continue with their ventures. Sage advice indeed.

Issue #3 of Baron Magazine, Studio Baron
Now entering its third year, seductive mag Baron sits at the interchange between art and pornography, producing beautiful quality print publications examining eroticism in the present day. Baron’s stall at the fair, littered with glimpses of skin surreptitiously peeking from sheaths of fabric, was a sensual affair, and the newest issue caries the title's expectations with ease. Keep your eyes peeled for Baroness, its fabulous new sister title, due to land very shortly…

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