Side Magazine 6: The Coalman

70 kr

The sixth edition of Side Magazine gives honour to the Coalman and bids farewell to his master, King Coal. Like a magnificent funeral, this issue celebrates the treasures this dark material brought forth in the name of progress, gives thanks for the comfort it provided and remembers the sufferings endured for its sake. Charles-François Mathis discusses the two historical bodies of King Coal—its physical form and symbolic capital, while Jean-Luc Nivaggioni situates the experience of the miners in 1984, as they were striking for their right to exist, alongside the LGBT groups who came to support them. Continuing our series of individual painting analyses, Isolde Pludermacher digs into Gustave Courbet’s A Burial at Ornans (1849). In the spirit of honouring the Victorian era, Richard H. Horne’s series The True Story of A Coal Fire is reprinted in its original form, which was edited by Charles Dickens. Denis Herlin sings to the sweet tunes of Claude Debussy’s last composition, Les soirs illuminés par l’ardeur du charbon (“Evenings Lit by the Burning Coals,” 1917) and Professor Irena Bukowska-Florenska explores the tradition of coal being used by Polish miners as a material for sculpture. Finally, Gabbi Cattani writes an elegy to all of the dead organisms that gave rise to coal.

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Side Magazine accompanies the fourth Bergen Assembly, a contemporary art triennial in Bergen, Norway, which opens in 2022. Under the editorship of curator Yasmine d’O, Side Magazine combines artistic, literary and scientific writing, with seven issues being released prior to the exhibition. The publication serves as a discursive space for the triennial, which is conceived by artist Saâdane Afif.

Each respective issue of Side Magazine is dedicated to one character, with a special eighth issue published after the triennial’s opening, including installation photography.

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