From art, literature and media to academia and internet culture, the visual and the written language have crossed paths many a time, creating a genre of their own. Our interest lies in the current creation and consumption of images and text, which is why the following contributions look closely at current crossroads and intersections of the two. What meanings and stories can one medium give or take from the other? And how can they influence our thinking or the way we perceive and navigate a world of fact and fiction. We are delighted to offer possible answers through the contributions by Eeva Hannula, Ken Lum, Crystal Bennes, Shannon Ebner, Sarah Bahbah, Amani Willett, Mana Kikuta, amongst others.
The bodies of work presented here play with the ontological aspects and medium definition of image + text practices, which for so long have been presented as a consistent portion of Conceptual Art — and often limited by it. The new universe they create is one in which the relation between images and words is often pushed to the extremes, and at times, plays with the confusion between the two, or with their juxtaposition. In a way, this was the reason we decided to replace our usual focus chapters, which generally offer a theoretical perspective on each given theme, with an intervention we’ve never hosted before: a ‘book-within-a-book’ that gives text the main stage rather than the backseat.
The feature interview hosts art historian and newly appointed curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Oluremi C. Onabanjo about her commitment to the archive, the unwavering legacy of Africa’s photography and the importance of curiosity when it comes to collecting and curating, while Daniel Boetker-Smith gives us a look at his bookshelf selection, covering the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive’s focus on promoting photographers and photobooks from the Asian-Pacific region. Last but not least, we have another important reason to celebrate: our 60th edition is a milestone that makes us extremely proud and thankful. We invite you to celebrate this occasion as we step forward with the same curiosity, drive, reflection, love and questions for the medium that has led us to this point.