Aesthetica Magazine Issue 82

April / May 2018

When you’re part of something, it’s difficult to see beyond its parameters. How much time needs to pass to be able to understand the present? When will we know the true impact of Donald Trump, the War on Terror, Brexit, and environmental damage? As an individual, what can I do to make a difference? How and when will things change? Who will be the instigators? These are thoughts that I often ponder.

Every generation looks to the next, expecting that it will be the group who finally crack the code. I am hopeful – seeing fields filled with solar panels – that maybe life is moving on. When I was eight, I won a competition for an essay about what the world would be like in the year 2000. I wrote about speaking to people on the phone and being able to see them. I wasn’t predicting the future – I was just responding to thoughts that were circling around at that time. But it’s still strange that this is now a reality.

This issue of Aesthetica captures the zeitgeist of our times. We look at how the world is developing and how art, design and photography are commenting on that. It’s a necessity – artists and makers are the chroniclers of our times. We survey the RIBA award winners from previous years, assessing how architecture provides building blocks for social interaction. This is followed by Norwegian designers at Salone del Mobile, who examine the notion of community as a model for the future of production. Meanwhile, crafting plastics! offers an ingenious idea: creating biodegradable glasses. We also take a look at the Aesthetica Art Prize 2018 shortlist, which reflects on financial, environmental and societal structures.

In photography, we offer some of the most exciting practitioners working today. Adrienne Raquel was originally part of our #newartists scheme; her subtle self-portraits, styling and fantastic set design bear the mark of great things to come. We also present series from Patty Maher, Tekla Evelina Severin, Salvador Cueva, Alexis Pichot and Edgar Martins, all of whom invite you to explore new ways of seeing the world. Finally, Namsa Leuba gives us the Last Words. She is part of Foam’s Talent Awards 2018. Enjoy!

Graphic Composition

JUCO return to Aesthetica with characteristically bold images that demonstrate excellence in art direction and photography.

Intimate Atmosphere

A catalogue of the sublime everyday, Tekla Evelina Severin’s collection focuses on intimate, stylised instances and communicates a sense of joy.

Everyday Symbolism

Focusing on tropical motifs and idealistic landscapes, Adrienne Raquel’s works are playful and vibrant, communicating a sense of nostalgia and optimism.

Luminous Environment

Deeply mystical and ritualistic, Alexis Pichot’s series Marche Céleste establishes the supremacy of nature as a powerful, universal and innate force.

Towards Sustainability

A Berlin-based studio brings bioplastic into the fashion industry by experimenting with plant-based processes to address the global issue of waste.

Structural Frameworks

Salvador Cueva’s images have been acclaimed for their representations of time and memory in the urbanised, almost ornamental metropolis.

Unified Methodology

Looking at the idea of social community as a model for idea generation,  a team of Norwegian designers address global concerns through production.

Material Complexity

Profiling the announcement of the annual awards through a celebration of structural excellence that pushes beyond aesthetics and functionality.

Haunting Landscapes

Shot largely on the same set of beaches in Portugal over two years, The Accidental Theorist depicts a series of instances that are devoid of explanation.

Creating Connections

Circulation(s) returns for 2018, showcasing the imaginations of emerging photographers that touch upon wider social and political issues.

Delicate Portraiture

Working primarily in staged self-portraiture, Maher is widely known for obscuring the faces of her subjects, using symbol and colour to convey emotion and narrative.