I’m at the precipice of re-lapsing into an old addiction: magazines. Already stacks of magazines eat up valuable shelf space in my library: editions of the German magazine art, copies of Creative Review,Design Week (I’m in two issues!), and piles of Astronomy Magazine and Scientific American. Not to mention Vie des Arts, which, for some reason, gets intermittently delivered to my gallery without me having ordered it (thank you, whoever you are).
The magazine thing was becoming a problem when I realized that I’m incapable of throwing out art and science magazines. They are just too beautiful. The problem is, they keep piling up. So I went cold turkey and stopped everything. I decided I can just as easily read stuff online and save a few trees. Bookshelves are made for books.
And then I went to the launch party for Ciel Variable. The gorgeous, gorgeous Ciel Variable, with its insightful articles in English and French, its wonderfully printed editions that still smell of printer’s varnish, featuring the very latest in what’s hot in contemporary photography. The launch party last Wednesday was for their online Archive, a new section of Ciel Variable’s website. They had a table with back issues (for $5 each!) and the current issue, so I loaded up. And now I’m hooked again.
What’s special about Ciel Variable is that each issue is curated and deals with one theme. It goes beyond showcasing what’s new, but puts contemporary art in context. The current issue, for example, is dedicated to the theme of conflict, and covers the works by Emanuel Licha at SBC Gallery (which I wrote about in my Belgo Report), the amazing work by Sophie Riestelhueber, as well as an impressive work by Stan Douglas. The articles are demanding and well written without being pretentious. Which makes Ciel Variable more than just a mere magazine, but a timeless piece of curated art criticism. You know, more like a book. Which should go on a book shelf.
Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.