We are living in a precarious moment where the very idea of democracy is being threatened. There are people who are willing to give it up so easily. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” is a pointless and meaningless statement, however, it’s whipping up right-wing groups globally.
The idea that an armed militia can turn up at a peaceful protest and start shooting people is the stuff that Philip K. Dick was taking about in The Man in the High Castle. We must stand up to inequality and insist upon change for a more just society. We cannot give up.
Inside this issue, we feature a photography series, Last Meal, by the American artist and activist Jackie Black. She recreates the last meals of inmates on death row in Texas. These images are so stark and haunting for all the things that they do not show. This series is a protest and a conceptual masterpiece, reminding audiences that capital punishment does still occur.
Meanwhile, Phaidon releases a new title called In Memory Of which considers the challenges of designing contemporary memorials in an age of global conflict, isolation and terror. Author Spencer Bailey considers the difference between memorial and monument, and the ways that we grieve today.
We also look at the Leica Oskar Barnack Award, which presents some of the most exciting new voices in today’s photographic landscape. Maïmouna Guerresi examines the connection between humanity and the landscape, examining the metaphorical role of trees through Beyond the Border – A Journey to Touba.
Urban minimalism is growing in popularity through the rise of Instagram. George Byrne’s new photo book, Post Truth, builds on this fascination, taking it to another level. Large-scale images depict Californian landscapes as painterly abstractions, comparable to the likes of Lewis Baltz and Ellsworth Kelly.
We also bring you six fantastic photographers, whose work spans a multitude of genres, styles and forms. These features question and disrupt the wider status quo, redefining the boundaries of fashion and fine art, exploring new materials and physical interventions.
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1. The Daisy Diaries (2020). Photography: Ulrich Hartmann. Model: Maureen Janson @Modelwerk. Hair & Makeup: Anne Versin. Courtesy of Ulrich Hartmann.
2. Jackie Black (American, b. 1958), Karla Faye Tucker: Banana, peach, and garden salad with ranch dressing from the Last Meal series (2001–2003). Archival pigment on paper, 12 x 12 inches. Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, N.Y., Museum purchase with funds provided by the Bessemer Trust. Photos: Courtesy of the artist.
3. © Maïmouna Guerresi,(detail of diptych). Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim Gallery.
4. George Byrne, 35 Bank of America #2, 2018.
5. Pia Kintrup, Gelbe Zwiebelfolie / Yellow Onion Skin from horror vacui.