Sunday, December 7, 2008

PA: Jeff Wall & Patrick Faigenbaum

One aspect of Paris Photo that was most enjoyable was meeting the people I have been collaborating with on my own books. Most of the coordination and production had been accomplished through email and file sharing software so to put faces to the contributors was indeed a pleasure. Upon meeting David Campany who contributed the essay to our Atget - Photographe de Paris book, he gave me a copy of a new magazine project called PA that he has just started with Christine Bechtler and Amy Cappellazzo.

PA will be published twice yearly and is a very high quality softcover magazine/book where each issue "aims to present an in-depth look at the oeuvre of a contemporary artist working in the medium of photography." Their approach is unlike any magazine I have seen thus far in that they invite an artist, who in turn, invites a second to be featured in the same issue. Each artist is then asked to edit and sequence their own work into portfolios and towards the end of each issue is a transcript of a dialogue between the two.

It is a magazine that offers new insight into their work through a collaboration instead of a simple presentation. The first issue is with the Canadian artist Jeff Wall, and Wall invited Patrick Faigenbaum to participate.

Wall is an interesting choice since he has a resistance to sequencing his works due to the possibility of submitting the work to connections and "relationships" which he has avoided in the past. "I feel the presence of that thematic architecture takes away something from the pictures, reduces their sovereign relation to their subject matter." Faigenbaum has had a similar approach as well with his own work which makes it an interesting compliment to Wall.

The artists present about 30 images each in both black and white and color reproductions and the supporting content contains high quality, thought provoking writing by David Campany, Mark Bolland, Georg Kohler.

PA has a high standard of production with good printing and a large 9.5 x 12 vertical format. The paper stock is as fine as most artbooks and the entire package has a surprising heft. PA is published by Inktree out of Switzerland and retails for around $30.00 USD.

The distribution of this title is being worked out at the moment. I have been advised to tell people to contact David Campany for ordering information.