— April 18th, 2017 —
"A tremendous amount of significant work is exhibited in these spaces, and yet these shows are rarely even seen as a blip on the media radar. There are many reasons for this lack of critical discourse on emerging art, but primarily it is a shortage of designated publication space."
Lily Hibberd's editorial, in the first edition of un Magazine, published in 2004, is a reminder of the importance of art criticism and writing. In 2016, with arts writing and arts budgets in traditional media being cut all over the place, critical and independent voices in contemporary art are needed more than ever.
un Magazine 1.1
Contrary to popular myth, many Australian artists work incredibly hard. un Magazine is a tribute to the talent and dedication of these artists.
On any given day, in any number of regional and capital centres, you do not have to go far to find good contemporary art. Although the work displayed in public institutions and commercial galleries is often more noticeable to mainstream audiences, there is a critical undercurrent in the artist-run scene. A tremendous amount of significant work is exhibited in these spaces, and yet these shows are rarely even seen as a blip on the media radar. There are many reasons for this lack of critical discourse on emerging art, but primarily it is a shortage of designated publication space. Another factor is that, in the existing forums, the force comes front outside the artistic community, and hence the content is delivered from a populist perspective (it sells). Mind you, there are a couple that are getting it right: they tend lo-fi and free to the public, but they are national journals and consequently cannot cover the huge turnover of small shows.
un Magazine is an attempt to redress this dire need for response. Our mission is to provide a discourse for work that is not normally reviewed, un Magazine will also allow emerging and established writers to publish unpredictable articles and to create an archive for our time. un Magazine will not suffer from the imposition of thematic editions; because an is not like fashion and we don't need to forecast trends. Each issue will be a reflection or the artwork that is actually out there, in galleries, studios and on the street.
Why hasn't anyone started a new journal until now? Well, l think it is because we have been waiting for a sponsor with a big, wad of cash. But who ever said that it should cost pots of money? The backbone of a good read is in the content and in the case of art mags, the relevance of the subject matter to the community. The support and inspiration for this magazine comes from the grass roots: the incredible artists that surround us, and the brilliant and dedicated writers who have volunteered their articles. So if you know any or these artists or contributors, you should thank them…and buy them a drink. In the meantime, it is our job to keep you informed, enlightened and entertained. Here we go.*
Download un Magazine 1.1 (PDF download).