The Generalist maintains a healthy interest in all new media and has noted a discernible trend in our digital age, of creatives of all stripes and persuasions moving back to what you might call analog technologies and materials – paper, vinyl, valves, old-style photographic film and techniques – as a kind of reaction to the ubiquitous and intrusive nature of the digital realm. Thus it is with great delight I received the second issue of Monika.
This 110-page bi-annual art journal draws together a wide range of photography, illustration, graphics, reportage, stories and art projects from a broad spectrum of contributors and binds them together in a satisfying and non-pretentious perfect-bound package of great quality, flair and intelligence. Its mixture of matte paper interspersed with glossy photo spreads is unusual and inventive. It was printed in Lithuania.
Monika 2 includes a great photo essay on the banger boys of London and their Destruction Derby’s, a report from an A&E unit entitled The Aesthetics of Illness, another on the secret world of the greyhound industry, another on the tunnels under London, another concerning DIY design, community-led urbanism and guerilla architecture – and more.
Rather than try and synopsise the magazine’s message, here is their statement of where they’re coming from:
Who is Monika?
The space we're in
We are surrounded by brands, celebrities, products and patented packaging. We read our world fast. We know the names we like and the ones we don't. We don't have time. Creators strive to get known. Get the work rolling in. Be accepted. It's good sense: a need to survive. But what if we could slow it right down for a little while, find ourselves time to ponder, space for suspense? Isn't there something wonderful in the not immediately recognisable?
An unknown quantity
Monika is an arts journal that does away with bylines. As respite from the exhaustive branding of conventional media, contributors adopt a disguise that enables them to experiment with new material or style, to bypass expectation and to play. By placing the quality of her content over the marketability of her contributors, Monika invites readers to decode identities, unravel mysteries and embrace the unfamiliar.
Through visual arts and the written word, Monika shares engaging ideas and observations. Each themed issue is designed to entertain readers with originality, wit and sensitivity to the everyday. Combining imagination and experience, criticism and curios, Monika's content is handpicked for its ability to render the unknown unputdownable.
Find out more at www.monikamgazine.com