Modern Matter 16 – Visual Essay (2) – Cover by Helmut Lang
Modern Matter 16 – Visual Essay | This issue of Modern Matter is a visual essay from the magazine’s studio, created in collaboration with Erwin Wurm and Helmut Lang. At its core, it is an exploration of the dialectics between creator and viewer; artist and audience; director and reader. When we create an image, we ourselves become performers, curating an image of ourselves and of how we see our surroundings.
In this way, the image is imbued with our sense of self — and by the same means, we can often decode images of others through our own experiences as a viewer. Take for instance the parodied image on page 142, in which I pose as Andy Warhol on the cover of Esquire magazine, drowning in his can of Campbell’s soup: what does it signify about the recursiveness of pop culture, and about the mission statement of this magazine? Questions around the language of the visual, too, have never been more pertinent than in the age of Instagram. This issue — like all portraits, and especially all self-portraits — is about performance.
200 pages – with two covers by Helmut Lang and Olu Odukoya.
Modern Matter is a biannual publication that records the ways in which new and developing technology affects culture, lifestyle, fashion, and the arts. Described by the Serpentine’s Hans Ulrich Obrist as “the best magazine in London”, and by Magma’s Marc Valli as “porn for a magazine editor”, Modern Matter is unique in its approach to blending the best of British and international journalism and long-form writing with a fine-art sensibility and a high-fashion aesthetic; more than a magazine for documenting trends, it is a publication which ignores the zeitgeist in favour of something more distinctive and eclectic, hoping to redefine for the reader what it means for an idea to truly be “modern”.