69 Magazines

Russell Herron is one of the key members of London’s literary underground, allowing small-press publishers precious wallspace in the ICA. As well as working at the ICA, he also has a project called 69 Magazines (a short history of looking and being looked at), that documents contemporary representation of the female image through magazine covers. What is especially compelling is that each exhibition (there will be 69) is devoted to a specific celebrity: first up was Jordan, then Jayne Mansfield, and the latest, which opens on 4th May, is Geri Halliwell.


I had thought that it was an extension of his position as manager of the ICA bookshop, but apparently he is an artist, something I didn’t know until recently.

Does it matters that it is done in the name of art rather than, say, social history? And does it actually need to be an art project to be validated? I’m not sure. Perhaps if he were a hobbyist, people would be more interested but have less questions about its significance, merely assuming that he enjoyed looking at ladies with big breasts. All questions aside, it looks like turning into an amazing archive.

More details here and here.