A visual history of breast pumps, women in publishing and erotica reimagined; these are just a few of the topics covered in the latest issue of mag@zine, Artbook @ MoMA PS1 magazine store’s newly revived arts publication. mag@zine was established in 2013 by Julie Ok — then Artbook @ MoMA PS1 magazine store’s manager — to champion the shop’s diverse range of independent magazines through reviews and interviews with the field’s most experienced practitioners.
“Print, Gender, Sex” is the title of the second issue, and it draws on Artbook @ MoMA PS1’s large selection of LGBTQIA+ and feminist titles. “By providing an additional platform for our contributors to express their identities and sexualities, we hope to broaden the range of voices represented in print media,” says editor Kristen Mueller. “We want to combat harmful conventions and stereotypes.” Alongside short-read profiles of magazines like Scalawag and Mold, mag@zine includes feature-length interviews with Sinister Wisdom editor Julie R. Enszer, PhD, on creating “a multicultural, multi-class lesbian space” and SW #107 editor JP Howard on “embracing our blackness, owning our lesbianism, celebrating our ‘afro expressionism,’ and documenting our strength and agency over our own black lesbian bodies”.
Bold colours and type-heavy spreads characterise the newly-released issue. Conceptualised and executed by Actual Source, the thoughtful, slick and eye-catching design highlights the importance of conversation and debate, rendering it a tribute to the written word. “Each section was formatted by Kristen to have a short intro, which was nice because we could set that pretty large,” says Actual Source. “We alternate between Helveesti and Rhymes by Jakub Samek from section to section for pacing. We wanted each segment to feel really different because we often use excerpts of other magazines and thought they should be easily distinguishable.”
Artist — and one of It’s Nice That’s Ones To Watch 2018 — Jeffrey Cheung is this issue’s cover star. His front page artwork challenges traditional notions of gender and sexuality through a series of androgynous characters that fluidly and animatedly interact with one another. Jeffrey, who also co-founded the printing press and skateboard company Unity Press, has previously spoken about the central role art has played in his personal journey of sexual and self-discovery. His cheerful and transgressive art, in Kristen’s words, “wonderfully encapsulates this issue’s themes” and plays an integral part in the magazine’s efforts to challenge the heteronormative male gaze.
This celebration of alternative narratives and experiences is particularly welcome at a time when a fear of difference has led to Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump. mag@zine is spearheading the way for inclusivity, and we are here for it.