【歐美獨立雜誌專題】Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro by Olu Michael Odukoya

打著「藝術、愛、每日生活(art, love and everyday life)」的名號,Kilimanjaro雜誌的名字來自於非洲第一高峰吉力馬札羅火山,創刊十年,有如火山一般累積了豐沛的能量。創辦者Olu Michael Odukoya可說是獨立雜誌界的一號人物,這本雜誌最讓人津津樂道的,是它的超巨型開本,摒除了雜誌的裝訂型式,96 cm × 68 cm大小的海報經過對折再對折,收放在同樣大型的特製紙盒裡,相當程度地顛覆了讀者對一本雜誌的閱讀想像和習慣。雜誌每期有一個不同的主題,曾做過的主題有:“I love we”、“When I was  17”、“Luxury and patronage”、“Hope for a better life”、“What’s happening now”等等,藉由影像來刺激心智和感官,談論日常生活裡帶來的深刻感受。

 

Q:自你於2003年創辦Kilimanjaro,已經將近十年,這本雜誌依然保有它的獨立性格,與十年前相比,你如何替現在的Kilimanjaro 定位?

A:我剛開始出版Kilimanjaro的時候,這本雜誌的製作水準其實比較接近一本同人誌(fanzine)而不是一本正規的雜誌。隨著時間的過去,這本雜誌的名聲也逐漸累積,走到今天,我認為這本雜誌的目標讀者已經開始進入了比較「高端」的族群。不用說,設計和內容依然是最重要的元素,不過我很幸運,現在也有足夠的能力去兼顧高質感的製作水平。

 

Q:Kilimanjaro看起來和其他架上的雜誌不同,不單單是因為它的開本非常巨大、充滿觸感,它每一期都有一個非常有力量的主題,請問你是如何決定每一期的主題呢?

A:在過去,Kilimanjaro總是以一個非常有機的方式來決定主題,從不同的事件中找出我喜歡的內容;但我必須說,從上一期開始,決定主題的方式開始有了巨大的變化,上一期我們與藝術家Roni Horn合作,我也下了決定,往後的每一期,Kilimanjaro將會單單只專注在一位藝術家、或是一場活動上,這對我來說,已成為比較有趣的方式——讓「主題」決定自己的路線。

 

Q:你的製作團隊有多大?誰又是Kilimanjaro現任的設計師?請問你們如何一起工作?

A:因為有很大一部份的雜誌內容是來自企劃邀稿,Kilimanjaro背後的製作團隊非常小,我們的辦公室在倫敦,成員大多保持在六位左右。我有一位全職的助理,分擔所有的編輯走向;至於設計的部份,我通常每一期都會使用一位設計師或是一個設計團隊,他們大多是以自由接案的方式與我合作。我負責整體的藝術指導,這也是為什麼,每一期雜誌都能夠保持一致的調性。然而,每一位設計師以各自的方式,去詮釋「Kili」風格,成就了些微的不同,這對我來說是很棒的,因為這個方式維持住了Kilimanjaro的動力、能量。

 

Q:出版一本雜誌是個團隊工作,在這本雜誌裡頭找不到「編者的話」、也沒有其他類似的文章,但是看起來,你似乎執導了整體的影像和文字,請問你與外界的供稿者的合作方式是怎麼樣的?

A:我與雜誌供稿者的關係有如一條雙向道,一方面,我常常接到主動投稿的自由創作者,透過這個方式我也因此發現了不少出色的供稿人;另一方面,我也會主動接觸那些我或團隊非常仰慕的創作者,這個方式也為過去幾期的雜誌創造了出色的成績。當然,當我在找尋合適的創作者時,他的作品必須符合雜誌的架構,這很難描述得清楚——這當然有某種標準,基本上這些創作必須也能夠傳達出雜誌想要締造的感受性才行。

 

Q:從最近這兩期雜誌開始,Kilimanjaro開始與Hauser & Wirth藝廊進行內容上的合作,你可以告訴我們背後的故事嗎?

A:與Hauser & Wirth藝廊的合作,起先於我與藝術家Martin Creed的某一個創作計畫,藝廊非常喜歡。我非常欣賞Hauser & Wirth和它旗下的藝術家,所以我就想,若是能夠稍微了解藝廊內部的運作情形,或許會非常有趣,所以在第12期,我們製作了一個關於Hauser &Wirth的「幕後」特輯[1],也收到了很大的迴響;隨後,有如滾雪球一般,第13期Kilimanjaro完成了藝廊旗下另外一位藝術家Roni Horn的特別企劃,這是一份巨大的光榮,我們自始保持著絕佳的合作關係!

 

Q:Kilimanjaro雜誌裡頭的照片非常非常地巨大,它們通常不是文字的配圖、也不一定與其他照片形成同一個系列,它們看起來更像是一張張各自獨立的印刷成品。我認為這依然是一個很新的方式來欣賞攝影作品,它們既不存在於藝廊當中、也並非是收錄在攝影集裡頭的影像;印刷在新聞紙上也影響了觀賞時的觸覺、視覺感受。可否請你談談你的想法,以及關於這方面的處理方式?

A:對我來說,影像自始至終都扮演了極巨重要的角色。我認為,在藝術裡,人們往往害怕去承認他們對「美」的興趣——美是Kilimanjaro裡非常重要的一環,而且我喜歡讓影像自己說話;將文章印刷在新聞類的紙上也是基於差不多同樣的理由,這種方式讓文字以更直接、單純的方式為人所接受,而不是淹沒在過度的設計裡頭。

 

Q:未來 Kilimanjaro還會有不同的編輯企劃或藝術走向嗎?下一步的計畫是什麼?

A:如同之前所提,與藝廊和藝術家的單一專題合作企劃是未來Kilimanjaro出版的主要方向,將會在未來幾期陸續出現。另外,我也出版了第二本雜誌,走比較小型和傳統的路線,取名為Modern Matter,這是一本結合科技、生活風格、觀念藝術的男性雜誌,第二期即將於五月出版。

 

 

 今藝術 May/2012




[1] 這份特輯是一份十六頁的別冊,以照片呈現Hauser & Wirth藝廊的每日運作過程,並搭配一篇文字,介紹藝廊的內部成員,以及旗下Martin Creed和Anabelle Selldorff這兩位藝術家。

 

 

 

Interview with Olu Michael Odukoya

 

Q: Since you first started Kilimanjaro in 2003, it has been nearly 10 years. Kilimanjaro magazine still feels very much independent. Compared with what you were thinking 10 years ago, how do you position this magazine now?

When I started making Kilimanjaro, its production values were closer to that of a fanzine than a ‘magazine’ proper – over time, as its reputation has grown, I’ve managed to move the publication into more of what might be called a ‘luxury’ demographic, I suppose. The design and the content have always been important, of course, but I’m lucky enough that now its production values are of equal quality!

 

Q: Kilimanjaro looks different from other magazines on the self. Not only because of its big and tangible format, it always talks one strong idea every issue. How does the themes of each issue generally come from? Could you take issue 11, Morbloro – a mix of girls, birds and planes  -as an example?

In the past, Kilimanjaro’s themes have been a very organic decision, developed from the content which I found I liked in each instance; I have to say that since the last issue, for which we worked with Roni Horn, the magazine’s approach to working on a theme has changed dramatically, in that I have decided that I would prefer to dedicate future issues to a single artist, event or creative. It just felt like a more interesting way of working, for me – the ‘themes,’ I think, have run their course.

 

Q: How big is the team? Who is the designer of Kilimanjaro now? How do you work together?

Because a lot of the work in the issues is commissioned from outside sources, Kilimanjaro is made by a very small team in our London office, typically only six or so individuals. I have a full-time assistant who works with me on the editorial content; in terms of design, I’ll often use a different designer or design team for each issue, usually on a freelance basis. I art direct each issue as a whole, which is why they have a consistent Kilimanjaro aesthetic – each designer’s individual methods, however, tend to interpret that recognisable Kili style slightly differently, which is good for me, because it keeps a momentum.

 

Q: Publishing a magazine is a collective work. There is no “Editor’s Letter” this kind of thing in the magazine but it seems like you plan it all the way through images and texts. How do you work with contributors? 

My relationship with the magazine’s contributors is very much a two-way street. On the one hand, I am often approached by freelancers, and I have found some excellent contributors this way; in another way, we will often approach individuals whose work has been admired by myself, or by the team, and this, too, has led to some fruitful collaborations. Of course, I’m looking for a certain thing from each person who works in the format of Kilimanjaro, but it isn’t an easy thing to describe – there has to be a certain standard, obviously, but generally they just have to share our sensibility.

 

Q: In the latest two issues, Kilimanjaro have worked with the gallery Hauser & Wirth. Can you tell us about it?

The work with Hauser and Wirth came about because I’d begun to work with Martin Creed on a project, and the gallery really liked it; I’d always appreciated Hauser and Wirth and its artists, so I thought that it might be interesting to get to know the gallery’s inner workings a little better. The feature which we did in issue 12, which took a literal behind-the-scenes look at Hauser and Wirth, was well-received, and then snowballed into our working on the Roni project, which was a tremendous honour. We’ve had an excellent relationship with them ever since!

 

Q: The images in the magazine are very big. They don’t usually stay beside text or with other images.  In this way they appear independently as a single print. I found it is still a new way to look at photography, not like in a gallery or in a photobook. The texture of the news print also affects the feeling. What’s your idea of doing it?

Image has always been of the utmost importance to me. I think, often, in art, that people are afraid to admit to an interest in beauty – beauty has always been an important part of Kilimanjaro, and I like to allow the images to speak for themselves. The approach with using a newsprint-style format for the text is sort of the same, but inverted; it allows the words to be taken at face value, rather than over-designed into oblivion.

 

Q: Will Kilimanjaro have different editorial or art directions in the future? What’s next step?

I mentioned earlier the idea of producing monographs with galleries and artists – I think this is something we’ll be seeing more of from Kilimanjaro, definitely. I also produce a second magazine, which is a smaller and more conventional title: a technology, style and conceptual art journal for men, called Modern Matter, whose second issue is out in May.

 

Q: In your ideology, what do people need from reading a magazine like Kilimanjaro? Looking back the history, all the back issues of Kilimanjaro have formed an interesting archive. How would you describe it?

How would I describe the content of Kilimanjaro’s archives, when viewed as a whole? Probably with the magazine’s tagline: it’s “art, love, and everyday life”!

 

Topics

Issue 1: Hope
Issue 2: Recycling
Issue 3: Love Is Blind
Issue 4: She's So Lovely
Issue 5: Good Enough to Eat
Issue 6: When I Was 17
Issue 7: Luxury and Patronage
Issue 8: Unofficial Artist caught between Visual Surrealism and Social Reality
Issue 9: I love We
Issue 10: What is Happening Now?
Issue 11: Morbloro
Issue 12: Thinking of Collective
Issue 13: A Love lette to Roni Horn

 

 

 

 

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