Print Magazine and Community Organizing Project
2011 to present | www.kolajmagazine.com
Kolaj Magazine is an internationally-oriented, printed, quarterly magazine about contemporary collage. We are interested in how collage is made, how collage is exhibited, and how collage is collected. We are interested in the role collage plays in contemporary visual culture. We provide quality exposure for contemporary collage art.
In 2012, Ric Kasini Kadour co-founded Kolaj Magazine with Benoit Depelteau. At a time when printed publications are under duress, Kolaj Magazine is thriving. Its growing subscriber base comes from thirty-six countries, on every continent except Antarctica. This full colour, internationally-oriented art magazine retails for $12.00. Ric Kasini Kadour serves as the Publisher and Editor.
We approach collage broadly and, as such, we have included in our territory of inquiry such media as traditional cut-and-paste collage, digital collage, assemblage, photomontage, fibre art when it has an element of juxtaposition, and painting when it appears as if multiple visual languages are in use or cut paper fragments are used as a compositional tool of the painter in a manner that is evident in the final work. This approach has afforded us a unique position to observe contemporary collage and make connections between the historic and the current practice of artists, gallerists, museums, curators, historians, and critics.
The magazine operates with a unique publishing model that is driven by its subscribers, has limited advertising, caters to a ’boutique audience’, and takes advantage of on-demand printing. Kolaj uses an editorial approach that makes content relevant in the long-term, so that the articles in Kolaj #1 are as relevant as the most recent issue. As a result, the project does a significant trade in back issues and the archive of magazines remains a relevant source of ideas and information.
In addition to a printed magazine, the effort has expanded into a number of key subprojects.
The Collage Taxonomy Project is an ongoing survey of the wider collage community that attempts to define the language we use to talk about collage.
Collage has a problem with taxonomy. Because collage is both a medium and a genre, an approach to artmaking that involves lots of different media, its definition is vague. While the wide-view editorial approach of the magazine has broadened our understanding to include both the genre of collage, the method, and the medium, it becomes problematic when we engage in critical and curatorial matters.
Collage is an enormous tree and its branches are as widespread and diverse as its roots. If we are truly going to celebrate all things collage (and more importantly, advance a critical and curatorial understanding of collage), we need to develop a collage taxonomy. To that end, Kolaj Magazine actively solicits suggests from its readers and publishes articles that seek to define terms and concepts. The purpose is to give the community a common language to talk about collage.
Collage Books takes an inclusive approach to documenting collage-related publishing efforts and is open to trade editions, ‘zines, artist books, catalogues, and literary endeavours. “So much of collage these days is experienced in printed, published form,” said Kolaj editor and publisher Ric Kasini Kadour. “Collage Books is Kolaj Magazine’s tool for organizing, documenting, and cataloguing books in which collage plays an important role.”
The audience for the site includes readers and collectors of collage books and printed ephemera as well as curators, art venues, and writers. “We aim to create a historical record of books about collage and raise awareness of new titles as they become available,” said Kadour. The directory includes books in and out of print.
Collage Books contains listings for all collage-related titles, and like the magazine, the site takes a broad view. Trade editions, art criticism, and coffee table books are featured side by side with artist books, gallery-published catalogues, and self-published ‘zines. The site is also open to literary endeavours that feature collage. When possible, the directory links titles to reviews of books in the magazine and places where the book can be purchased.
Kolaj Magazine Artist Directory
Kolaj Magazine‘s Artist Directory is a tool for organizing and cataloguing artists who work in the medium of collage. Its audience includes the general public as well as independent curators, art venues, and writers. The editorial staff uses the Artist Directory to select artists to feature in the publication and to select artists for various curatorial projects. Not all artists featured in the publication are in the database and there is no guarantee that listing in the database will result in being featured in the magazine. The Artist Directory exists as a public resource for those interested in collage as a medium and is designed to put interested parties in direct contact with artists.
Kolaj Magazine presents Exhibitions-in-Print as a means of exploring critical ideas about collage. We examine work related to a curatorial premise, identify themes and ideas. The purpose is to develop and share an understanding of collage as a medium and a genre.
Collage Artist Trading Cards
Kasini House Artshop works with the Kolaj Magazine Artist Directory to produce curated packs of the Collage Artist Trading Cards. Each card is a full colour, 5.5″ x 3.5″ postcard with rounded corners. An example of an artist’s work is on the front of the card and the artist’s public contact information is on the back. Collage Artist Trading Cards come in packs of 15.
After five years of publishing and editing the magazine, we have come to five key observations: 1) Collage is a poorly curated, archived, and understood medium in the art world. 2) The Collage Community is enthusiastic and passionately devoted to the medium. 3) Collage repeatedly shows up at key moments of artistic advancement, regardless of whether or not the final artwork is collage. 4) Collage manifests new thinking and continues the work of Modernism. A collage-centric view of art history redefines both cannon and art history’s narrative. 5) A historic shift is taking place where the lessons of early-Modernist collage are being employed in contemporary artworks. Ric Kasini Kadour actively seeks opportunities to share these observations with art professionals through meetings and public talks.