The writer, curator, lecturer, and founder of Self Publish, Be Happy picks out his top five of the year - including Shanghai-based studio Same Paper
Same Paper is a Shanghai-based studio, founded by photographer Xiaopeng Yuan and graphic designer Yijun Wang (Evan) in 2013. The duo have published books (Daddy Got A Stinky Mouth and Magic are two of my favourites), a magazine, and a fashion collection called Samsung, and have opened a bookshop/exhibition space called Closing Ceremony that has championed contemporary photography and artists’ books in China (often at the risk of being shot down by the Chinese government).
The Situations project space and Listuations online mailing list, both created by Mariah Robertson and Jackie Klempay
In a time of political and cultural turmoil, when most people are either in a state of shock or petrified discouragement, we urgently need artists to lead the way to prompt us to think and act. US artist Mariah Robertson and gallerist Jackie Klempay have created a project space on the Lower East Side in NYC to exhibit artists, stage performances and host a month long programme of events in the summertime, outside of the constrictions of the art market and public funding. Situations is part of a long tradition of artist led spaces based on community and mutual support (they also have created Listuations, an online mailing list where artists swap services and resources). We need such initiatives more than ever.
I love everything stylist Lotta Volkova touches. The campaigns with longtime collaborator Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga, the work she does as fashion director at Re-Edition and Man About Town, not to mention all the editorials she works on for various publications. And that weird, sexy, sculptural touch is so recognisable regardless of which photographers she works with, be it Harley Weir, Collier Schorr, Johnny Dufort, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Robi Rodriguez, or Colin Dodgson.
In the last few years, lead by Michael Famighetti, Aperture has become an essential read. The magazine contextualises photography with the pressing social issues of our times, like transgender lives or the new American political and social landscape, offering smart writing and beautiful photography.
Giorgio di Noto’s The Iceberg, published by Edition Patrick Frey
In a moment when Net Neutrality is threatened and with it the foundation of internet as we know it, Giorgio di Noto’s book offers us a fascinating look into the deep web. To do so we are asked to use a ultraviolet light as the photographs collected from the deep web are printed in invisible ink. The book requires interaction and playfulness, and the reward is a smart, unsettling and timely photobook.