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Art & Culture / Culture Talks

Another Art Book

Conversations with leading cultural figures

Untitled (Another artist . Another exhibition . Another gallery . Another magazine . Another review . Another career . Another life) by Barbara Kruger 2003
Untitled (Another artist . Another exhibition . Another gallery . Another magazine . Another review . Another career . Another life) by Barbara Kruger 2003 © Barbara Kruger, courtesy Mary Boone Gallery, New York

We are pleased to announce the launch of the final edition in a series of three collectable books rediscovering the archives of AnOther Magazine.

We are pleased to announce the launch of the final edition in a series of three collectable books rediscovering the archives of AnOther Magazine. For the past decade AnOther Magazine has created the template for the 21st century magazine, employing the form as a gallery space in which artists, fashion designers and literacy rebels have been invited to reinvent the format entirely. Following Another Portrait Book and Another Fashion Book, Another Art Book looks back on the ambitious artistic projects exclusively commissioned for the magazine’s pages since 2001, bringing together some of most iconic names in modern art including Jake & Dinos Chapman, Yayoi Kusama, Keith Tyson, Sophie Calle, Gilbert & George, Urs Fischer and Damien Hirst.

Continuously subverting expectation, when opening an early copy of AnOther Magazine readers were confronted with 10 pages filled with nothing but original art – be it Jake and Dinos Chapman’s twisted vision of the Holy Land Experience or Damien Hirst’s bloody skulls and severed heads shot by David Bailey (deemed so shocking the pages were sealed with glue.) As the format has evolved over the years, AnOther Magazine has remained at the forefront of not only fashion but also art, blending the worlds as never before.

Here, Editor-in-Chief Jefferson Hack speaks to longstanding Contributing Editor and arts overseer Hans Ulrich Obrist about his desire to curate a museum in print and the role avant-garde books have played in the dissemination of art.

Jefferson Hack: The idea is for this new publication to be as forward-looking and contemporary as possible. What I didn’t want to do is have a visual book that took a ten-year archive and made it feel like it was ten-years-old. I have always been interested in the idea of curating a museum in print and Another has always had the frequency of a book: it was always a hybrid between a book and a magazine in which we could curate and debut work that was new, create relationships between artists, writers and designers and disseminate all of that to an international audience. There have been lots of relationships made through these pages.

Hans Ulrich Obrist: To go beyond the fear of pooling knowledge is so urgent right now. We need a new Diaghilev moment, when the arts all come together.

JH: Exactly. I wanted to create a culture where the magazine became the exhibition space. The idea in the first few issues was that as soon you opened the magazine the first ten or 12 pages were totally dedicated to a gallery: we would literally hand over the whole front section to an artist. One of our most memorable hits is the work we commissioned Hans-Peter Feldmann to make. I think he was one of the first artists to understand the idea that art can travel to people through print in a popular way.

HUO: Avant-garde books have played a huge role in the dissemination of art. If you look at early 20th century Russian artists’ books, they’re a primary medium, not a secondary one. They are designed by artists and laid out by artists. These are major inventions: it’s an expanded notion of art. Hans-Peter Feldmann has always been at the forefront of this idea. In the 70s, he hung all these little books in galleries that were full of all kinds of images. He’s been a big topic of our conversations ever since we met.

JH: His work really charged the magazine, bringing a new element I was searching for. I wanted people to feel like every time they opened up the magazine, they were going to get a surprise. For me, the images he gave us are a kind of end and beginning of history: you have no idea when these images were taken yet somehow their re-editing and re-purposing suggests a contemporary narrative. In the first three years, we were pioneering by just handing over space, and in a curatorial way, challenging artists to enter into a context that was a mix of fashion, film, celebrity and alternative culture, but it was copied very quickly.

Extract taken from John Paul-Pryor’s foreword to Another Art Book. Over the next two days, AnOther arts writer Skye Sherwin will be examining two of the book's artworks in her Exhibit A column. Another Art Book is published by Steidl and out now.

Compiled by Lucia Davies

Lucia Davies is a Project Manager at Jonny Lu Studio and a freelance writer who has contributed to titles including AnOther Magazine, Dazed & Confused, The Independent and Wonderland.

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