Aesthetica Magazine Issue 85

October / November 2018

Curiosity is the fuel for innovation and creativity is the ignition for invention. It’s this notion that when faced with a challenge or barrier, you can think of a solution. There is always an answer and sometimes it’s just an idea away. That is a liberating concept and one that I embody throughout my work and my personal life. You see, it’s important to see the glass as half full and many times that’s half the battle.

This issue is a celebration of ideas. We start with a feature on the fifth edition of PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai and we look at how contemporary Chinese photographers are responding to censorship in the wider art market. This article traces the trajectory of photojournalism and fine art photography whilst acknowledging the surge in super collectors. Moving forward, Civilization is a new title that takes global expansion as its starting point and uses photography as a medium to understand the world. For example, think of all the shopping centres, retail parks and new housing estates – many of them have the same type of landscaping, such as trees that are small and sculpted. It looks very clinical and on a philosophical level, it’s eye opening how humankind’s relationship with the natural world has shifted so much that even nature is something that is constructed. We also highlight the work of Olafur Eliasson – one of the most prolific artists today, who has now turned his hand to architecture, cementing the intersection between art and design, whilst dismantling physical and cultural barriers. Bright, bold installations follow.

In the photography features, Alessio Albi, Alexis Christodoulou, Kris Provoost, Sing-Sing, Louis MacLean and Glashier perfectly combine to depict the vast scope of contemporary images, from minimal landscapes and surreal concepts to dramatic portraits and colourful architecture. Laura Zalenga’s  thought-provoking cover calls into question the need for self-reflection in a world riveted by images, profiles and social media. The self-portrait questions the multitude of layers in the individual. Finally, Aesthetica Art Prize alumnus Gabriela Torres Ruiz takes the Last Words. Enjoy!

Capturing the Elements

Laura Zalenga utilises the power of photography to tell stories, communicating emotions and tapping into the therapeutic quality of image-making.

Cultural Anthropology

Reconsidering humanity’s place within a complex, media-saturated and accelerating world through the presence of contemporary image-making.

Shifting Perceptions

Olafur Eliasson connects art, architecture, installation and design,  dismantling the presence of physical and cultural barriers in the process.

Playful Messages

Sing-Sing is an award-winning duo that work together on everything from design to film, creating projects for the likes of Lyft and Sagmeister & Walsh.

Spatial Landmarks

Kris Provoost is a Belgian-born photographer, currently designing and documenting buildings in order to better understand the world.

Reviving Analogue

A self-taught filmmaker and photographer, Glashier works exclusively on film, capturing narrative images and producing documentaries and music videos.

Networks of the World

Contemporary Chinese artists demonstrate a consideration of censorship in the wider industry, offering figurative and metaphorical messages.

Digital Possibilities

A self-taught 3D artist, Alexis Christodoulou has spent years building a collection of works that focuses on the creation of imaginary architecture.

Minimal Construction

Louis MacLean has a keen eye for detail, taking away the formal function of landscapes and reinjecting dynamism through a considered perspective.

Inclusive Collections

A new fashion label redresses the notion of femininity with clean lines and workwear staples as well as a worldview that extends to social activism.

Dramatic Portraiture

Incorporating a filmic sense of drama in his works, Alessio Albi uses wildlife to embed anonymous figures within a highly textured landscape.