Selection - form/media
Chara - thank you! I have learned so much from your talk. This magazine seems particularly interesting in terms of intermediality and relationships with other print forms too. It is intriguing that the magazine was closely connected to a gallery: do you also see the magazine itself as functioning like a gallery in print form? Also, I see a connection with Patrick's keynote: the bit that I commented on, when he was speaking about the monthly review as filling the gap between books and magazines. So, with Selection's series of monographs, we see another step in the process, as the magazine literally turns into a book series. Lastly there is the anthology of essays that you discussed by by De Ridder, which converts ephemeral periodical material into a more enduring book format. I wonder if there is a wider discussion to have about the function of volumes that present 'selections' from periodicals? I would like to add, your video is very impressive! You evidently know a lot about how to present online.
thank you so much for your interest in my presentation, your very useful remarks and kind words. To answer to your fascinating questions: During its first phase, 1920-1922, the review Sélection functioned as a gallery bulletin, which reported almost entirely on the activities of the Atelier d'art contemporain Sélection and most of these issues present works and artists exhibited in the gallery and/or in exhibitions elsewhere organised by the gallery. With the closure of the art gallery the content of the review changed. Together with texts on artistic actuality, it started publishing studies on contemporary artists, essays of cultural focus together with literary pieces and criticism. As a gallery Bulletin, the role of Sélection was somehow reduced to publishing long lists of artists and artworks presented in its shows, as well as articles on specific artists and criticism on the latest trends and manifestations of contemporary art in Belgium and abroad, mainly in France and Germany, but also in Holland. I am not sure if the pages of Sélection could be identified as an exhibition space due to the quality of its reproductions. I can identify some inter war art magazines that played this role, but their illustration was much more impressive in terms of both quality and quantity. However, most gallery bulletins had the same format as Sélection, perhaps with the exception that Sélection published original artworks on its covers.
The transformation of Sélection into a monographic series is a quite common practice that most European art magazines adopted during and after the Interbellum. It is my impression that this new format is adopted due to various reasons such as reducing cost by reducing the periodicity of the magazine (these 14 monographic cahiers were published in a period of six years, meaning that about two cahiers per year were published). Sélection, thus, turned from a monthly to a biannual publication. The transformation into a book series, as you correctly remarked, is indeed the conversion of the ephemeral material into a durable format but in the case of Sélection this notably applies to De Ridder's series of texts titled Le Génie du Nord, which were eventually published as book, a fact that reveals the important role that was ascribed to these texts particularly by De Ridder himself and how his positions, as presented in this book, defined the aesthetic and/or ideological horizon of the review Sélection.