Aesthetica Magazine Issue 109

October / November 2022

It gives me great pleasure to bring you this issue as we approach the 12th annual Aesthetica Film Festival. I am continuously inspired and invigorated by all the talented people that come our way, from the Aesthetica Art Prize and Film Festival to the Creative Writing Award and this publication. I am so grateful that I am able to engage with so much creativity. It gives me both strength and reams of motivation.

I have to ask: where do ideas come from? How is that sometimes we have that eureka moment, when the stars align, and we think about something in a completely new way. I don’t know how we can utilise this, but the best way to spark ideas is to immerse yourself in as many varied things as possible. I always talk about stepping outside of my comfort zone. How can we encourage ourselves to do that more?

Inside this issue we foreground the Turner Prize-winning Forensic Architecture, who harness design to investigate human rights violations, from terror attacks to ecocide. Meanwhile, we speak with Jason Bruges Studio about the rise of experiential art, interactivity and interdisciplinarity. Mónica de Miranda opens a new show at Autograph ABP, London, which looks at the complexity of the Afrodiasporic experience. The Island, a 37-minute film, addresses concepts of race, representation, social justice and human rights. It’s a powerful piece that questions the construction of identity through a post-colonial lens.

In photography, we welcome Omar Torres, Andoni Beristain, Anastasia Samoylova, Reuben Wu and Neal Grundy, who each play with landscapes in new and innovative ways: from illuminating remote locations with drone lighting to creating paper tableaux that mimic the ways we experience nature online. Our innovative cover photographers are Anna Devís and Daniel Rueda, who play with form and design, redefining the conventions of structural photography by using the city as a performative canvas. The Last Words go to MoMA’s Roxana Marcoci, who highlights a seminal Wolfgang Tillmans exhibition.

Collective Reflections

Mónica de Miranda explores the island as a visual metaphor for the wider Afrodiasporic experience alongside Europe’s complex colonialist histories.

Playing with Tension

Omar Torres’ images symbolise an attempt to reach equilibrium. Everyday objects are arranged in balancing acts, held on the brink of collapse.

Design as Experience

Jason Bruges Studio has become pioneering in the field of interactive art, paving the way for a new genre of interdisciplinarity and collaboration.

Spatial Investigation

Forensic Architecture comprises artists, lawyers, journalists, filmmakers and coders, harnessing design to uncover global human rights violations.

Curious Arrangement

Andoni Beristain’s bold still lifes inject a sense of narrative into the everyday, finding moments of comedy, satire and beauty within familiar items.

Beyond Storytelling

Nhu Xuan Hua’s images move beyond fashion editorials, transforming the body into something less individualistic – and much more sculptural.

Urban Backdrops

Anna Devís and Daniel Rueda’s images redefine the conventions of structural photography whilst tapping into the pillars of architectural tourism.

Fleeting Moments

Neal Grundy’s Transient Sculptures series focuses on the concept of impermanence, depicting the beauty of fabric forms billowing in “mid-flight.”

Ethereal Illumination

Reuben Wu produces temporary geometries, or “aeroglyphs”, in remote locations. Glowing halos and lines are created with light-carrying drones.

Visual Composite

Anastasia Samoylova searched through online image libraries with various buzz words: desert, glacier, tropic, storm, forest, waterfall, mountain.