Out now: Kulturstiftung des Bundes #23
Kulturstiftung des Bundes is a biannual magazine produced by Germany’s Federal Cultural Foundation, and it can be picked up for free in art galleries across the country. Whilst the printed version is German, you can read the contents free in English via Issuu. The most recent issue is themed ‘Tier’ (meaning ‘Animal’) – and it considers the relationship between human beings and the natural environment through essays, interviews and artwork.
The publication has recently been redesigned by Berlin-based studio Neue Gestaltung, and the changes are effective. The first sheet wrapped around the cover is made of tracing paper so the illustration behind it is vaguely visible (above). The teal green is clinical but the wavy pattern evokes fur: the cover is like a coat wrapped around a wild animal, but the colour and texture also alludes to the scientific
The essays inside are philosophical: a mixture of the wise and the inspirational. Instrumentalist Jeremias Schwarzer and composer Folkert Uhde contest the belief that nature can be imitated through music , and another essay makes a persuasive case for why there should be an ‘animal bill of rights’ to end widespread violence against animals (above).
The reason that the publication first caught my eye was the use of a single illustrator for all of the A3 pages. Laetitia Gendre’s sketchy drawings combine organic forms with harsh, geometric shapes (above), abstractly conveying the difficult and knotted relationship between humanity and nature. Many of her drawings can be pulled out as posters (also above), and the first few and last pages open up to reveal a 2001: A Space Odyssey-like scene with monkeys wondering at famous modern sculptures (below). Reading Kulturstifung des Bundes conjures that same contemplative atmosphere of a gallery, and it’s the perfect magazine to take home with you after a day viewing an exhibition.
Editor: Frederike Tappe-Hornbostel
Review by Madeleine Morley