Thursday, 20 May 2010

A Review by Samson Blond

Awkward Issue 2 -

Awkward is a book project comprised of short stories, images and little experiences that happen inside and outside the heads of the makers. What seems to be the idea behind the project is to create a collision of works, but not to have a unique theme involved. In some ways this can create difficulties in consistence and follow-ability in reading and viewing. This was seen in the previous issue, but not so much in this issue. There have been critical choices made for the Awkward audience, but how have these choices been made without a theme or context?
The direction seems to be purely a force exerted by the act of collection, the way the choices are made is curatorial rather than editorial, or like a writer working on the flow and sequence of the words rather than just the polemic. The point is not encased in themes or just one piece of work. Its point is made by its entirety, though it does seem to have two principles running through it; imagination and narrative. The way the collection is laid out seems to be much like a conventional catalogue from an exhibition, which can give a flow to the audience's thought if done well enough. In Awkward, the layout choice does give clarity to each work and does not create a feeling of being overwhelming to the viewer or singling out individual pieces of work. The idea of narrative is being used here in terms of the layout; to create a dialogue between the imaginations at work and to show a correlation or confliction of expressions effectively.
The principle of imagination is seen heavily in the majority of works. What is meant by imagination here, are those grand or epic depictions of the unbelievable that will stay unbelievable. These stories are not ‘lived’ in today's societies but some stories show the fine line between real and unreal by overlapping them. These stories do require you to use your imagination or to be a part of the writer’s, illustrators or the photographer’s imagination.
What is refreshing to see is that these tales are ‘written’ with such compulsion, that even though they are obviously budding writers, they are still able to reach into you and take you somewhere else.
This is only the second issue and so it is hard to say where it could go from here, but so far so good. In some ways this not a magazine, a fanzine or booklet but a notebook made by many people.

(Samson Blond)

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