Editorial published in Periodico 004 02 20
Our intentions for this issue were clear – brands, galleries and institutions were invited to purchase as many pages as needed, at 200.–/spread. In the making of this issue, we often found ourselves complicit in a dual role: not merely publisher but an agency or intermediary, working with photographers and artists to produce a series of image-based ads for the advertiser in question.
Will advertising ever be truly illusive again? Or have its incursions into every aspect of daily life exposed its once-cunning subterfuge? These days, we don’t take for granted that we’re being sold to, every step of the way. When we first published Periodico in 2017, the intention to produce ads for advertisers was meant, not only to maintain editorial control of the sponsoring content, but to lay bare this structural part of the magazine. Perhaps, more than through any other content, Periodico is defined through its advertisements as they reveal the networks of peers and institutions that support it.
If from the outset we looked to make ambiguous the line between that which informs and that which promotes, in this issue, that line dissolves altogether. Not without irony, these ads are quite often portraits of people known to us. Moreover, they are produced by the magazine. In this way, a degree of editorial control anticipates that which supports it. But what’s really for sale here? A juncture of interests meet at the point where the logo touches the image. At that point, the magazine reveals itself as perhaps little more than an agency promoting itself through the staged promotion of others.
Alongside the advertisements in this issue are contributions by artists Sylvie Fleury and Gili Tal and by curator Bob Nickas. Sylvie Fleury re-staged a fashion shoot she did in 1998 in her exhibition Hot Heels at Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst. This time her current exhibition Joy at Karma International serves as a backdrop for two male models wearing archival pieces from Walter van Beirendonck’s AW95 collection Paradise Pleasure Productions. A supermarket ad by Gili Tal, lifted and planted in this context, reveals itself for the visually aggressive face-slap that it is. Nickas takes the opportunity to advertise a catalogue, The Worst of Warhol, made last year to coincide with an exhibition of the same name. But it’s all very futile. The exhibition is over and the catalogue is sold out.