Magma revives the tradition of the great twentieth century revues d’art: Georges Bataille’s Documents (1929), the surrealist Minotaure (1933), or the first issues of Andy Warhol’s Interview (1969). These journals were conceived as forums for artistic expression, as aesthetic manifestos, and as laboratories where artists and writers could collaborate and co-create.
“These magazines offered direct access to artistic creation. They were the place for the avant-garde, both artistic and literary. I started collecting them when I was very young,” says Paul Olivennes, founder and editor-in-chief of Magma. “I wanted to revive this format, which has now disappeared, in all its aesthetic, graphic, and intellectual sophistication. I also wanted to put artists and writers back centre stage and to recreate a dialogue between them by weaving connections between their work. Magma will feature a large number of previously unpublished work, or work .created exclusively for the journal. I imagine it as a dive into the intimacy, the creative magma, of the art.”
Hans Ulrich Obrist, who wrote the publication preface, remarks “Magma brings worlds into contact with other worlds.” Artists, writers, architects, filmmakers, sculptors, and photographers will all be part of the project as it aims to transcend boundaries between artistic disciplines, countries, generations, the living, and the dead.
The inaugural edition of Magma will feature 18 artists and over 80 works of art and literary texts, most of them previously unpublished. It includes a text by Agn.s Varda from 1976 on Claude Nori’s photographs of a pair of leg-shaped glasses; another by Erri de Luca accompanies photographs of his compatriot Luigi Ghirri, who also lived in Paris in the 1970s. Lucas Arruda’s painting dialogues with a poem by Edouard Glissant. The architect India Mahdavi and Egyptian writer Alaa Al Aswany share their experience of Cairo.
Photographs of the Villa Palagonia, a Sicilian Baroque palace, taken by Fran.ois Halard, sit alongside a text by Goethe about the same place in 1787; Sophie Call continues her famous series of ‘Parce que’; Boris Bergman evokes a walk with the artist Andra Ursuţa, born in 1979 in Ceausescu’s Romania, who records a song of mourning and love in the style of Soviet-era pirate records on medical X-rays, one of which is included in the publication’s pages. Norwegian-Nigerian artist Frida Orupabo exhibits her collages, and previously unpublished letters from Ren. Char answer a question about writing from his goddaughter – a facsimile of one of the letters is also included.
Large format, bound like a book for annual publication, Magma is a rare object in an ever-faster paced society, providing us the opportunity to look, read, and collect. Magma is supported by Bottega Veneta.