Monday, May 10, 2010

032c preview: Natasa Vojnovic, ph: Danko Steiner

As seen on the New York Times:

photo of the magazine by Patricia Wall, original photo by Danko Steiner

Celebrating the New World, Bravely


Scarlett Johansson is a very good actress, but since we don’t need any more articles about the brand kitten’s style, let’s enjoy a big gulp of the contemporary culture provided by 032c, the Berlin-based magazine that is published twice a year. The latest issue, the 19th, is just out.
I adore 032c. Many of us are feeling a little discouraged by the bombardment of stuff on the Web that doesn’t inform or surprise, and 032c is an antidote for that. It sort of destroys the notion that printed journals don’t have the quickness or relevance of blogs. No, they just have to be serious about what they do.

The magazine is operated by Joerg Koch, its editor, and Sandra von Mayer-Myrtenhain, its managing editor, and many of the big fashion brands — Dior, Prada, Tom Ford, YSL — advertise there.

The lineup for the current issue includes a look at the impact of a 1960 article about Cy Twombly, with photos by Horst, that ran in American Vogue and that was rediscovered in 2003 by the interiors magazine Nest. As Mr. Koch wrote, it’s a “story on the story on the story.” Despite Vogue’s solid name and Horst’s gorgeous images of Mr. Twombly’s house in Rome, the original article, “Roman Classic Surprise,” may have compromised the artist’s career. At that time artists were not supposed to be part of a chichi world. The 032c piece is an unusual way to consider views from the past in the context of current assumptions.

There is also a group of articles and photographs about the American writer William T. Vollmann — or, I should say, a rare published dialogue with him (based on a correspondence by mail) and extracts from his books. The standard of the choices of ideas and images, which include a fair amount from the fashion front, always feel a bit higher at 032c. Anyway, I plan to dig in this weekend between the mowing and mulching in the garden.

Of the new issue, Mr. Koch wrote: “In a time such as ours, when all forms of cultural expression seem to occur simultaneously — as if ‘contemporary’ were essentially just a byline for the past, present and future combined — stories like these become rough blueprints for the new creative aesthetic proposed within the pages of 032c.”

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