In the wake of the Australian Centre for Photography’s announcement that it would be ceasing to publish iconic contemporary photography magazine Photofile in its current format prior to a 2012 relaunch, an intriguing new player has emerged in Australia’s fledgling contemporary art publishing landscape. Launched this week, Excerpt Magazine is a new, downloadable electronic journal featuring some of the finest in contemporary Australian photography and some inventive editorial touches.
Working with the guidance of Lou Hubbard and Louis Porter, editors Amy Marjoriam and Kate Robertson frame the publication as affording “thoughtful insights and exchanges around photo-based practice”, and if the inaugural issue is anything to go by, they’re well on the way to fulfilling their missive. Beautifully designed, the edition features a handful of fascinating series, including Daniel Palmer’s wonderfully candid Public Displays of Affection, Kim Guthrie’s gritty series of portraits and Zhong Ling’s photographs of the smog-lined fringes of contemporary Chinese metropolises.
But perhaps most impressive are the Excerpt’s more experimental editorial touches. A ‘photo interview’ with Sanja Pahoki – in which the artist responds to questions about her life and practice via photographs – is a joy. The brilliant Excerpt Exhibition, meanwhile, sees a host of multi-generational photographers (Janina Green, Paul Knight, Susan Fereday and Bettina Hamilton included) respond to an oblique cover image by Lucas Blalock, with some divergent results.
While it could be argued that Australian contemporary art publishing has been stuck in something of rut, Excerpt makes for an exciting, accessible and decidedly original new development.