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Tory Turk, curator, Hyman Archive

Tory Turk, curator, Hyman Archive

Tory Turk is a curator who specialises in style and popular culture. She’s worked on several high-profile exhibitions at Somerset House, including ‘Print Matters’ and ‘The Jam: About The Young Idea,’ and managed major archive projects for hair-stylist Sam McKnight and make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury. She is also head archivist & creative lead at the Hyman Archive, AKA the world’s largest magazine collection. What better collection to choose some favourites from?

As usual, we asked Tory to select a new issue, an old issue, and one other magazine-related thing.

A new issue: Kaleidoscope, Issue 29, Spring 2017
I admit it; it was the cover that made me buy it. The beautiful choreographer and dancer Ligia Lewis tangled with a naked male dancer, a little bit of a pair of Nike ‘Zoom Without A Doubt’s’ in shot - I’m sold.

Photographed by Ilya Lipkin, Ligia is captured arguably ‘wrestling with the idea of identity’; a theme that runs through her practice. Issue 29 of Kaleidoscope is part of a triple cover set, I wonder if I would have ever picked it up had there ever been either of the other two covers on sale - was I literally judging a magazine by its cover? It is the aesthetic-curatorial approach that makes this magazine so densely interesting. ‘Dancing after all’ – the issue’s theme – could be a physical exhibition. I am an exhibition curator, by trade (and heart), who also manages a physical magazine archive therefore this is a fascinating magazine approach for me. I’m convinced this magazine is ‘on the pulse’ – and in areas I am not experienced in – I feel educated by this magazine. I am happy to agree that this is ‘curated’ rather than ‘themed’. Many of the articles are written by curators, the general tone and imagery is riding the trend of a new hybrid of image creators-historians-storytellers. It’s academic but pretty cool.

An old issue: i-D, Issue no. 99, December 1991
Recently James (Hyman) and I had a meeting at Condé Nast, it was the week Sir Edward Enninful had been announced as the new editor-in-chief at British Vogue. We often come to meetings equipped with examples from the archive, and for this meeting I really wanted to bring something that included Edward’s early work. It’s a rare luxury to get some time to appreciate the archive’s rich content so I spent a morning engrossed in 1990s i-Ds. I chose to take the issue featuring the iconic Jason Evans (previously known as Travis) and Simon Foxton’s ‘Strictly’ series.

Deep down I wished I had taken the December 1991 issue featuring the editorial ‘Rude boy fashion’, with ‘rude styling from Edward Enninful’. The piece celebrates the smart street style suit; the two-piece that is ‘rude to the core’ and a true vintage example of the celebration of UK style.

And another thing: The Booty Crack, Vol 3:2, Rebirth, 1997
When I started archiving for James in 2011 he had a rough inventory of what he had bought over the last 25 years. As we started to unpack the crates (filled with over 80,000 magazines) there was one title that we were desperate to find, Booty Crack. James couldn’t remember what the magazine was, the name itself was intriguing. Building the original Hyman Archive took a year, finding that ‘needle in a haystack’, was a momentous day for us.

For this feature James let me take the wrapper off so we could for the first time enjoy the contents of this Californian hip-hop zine. I love that the magazine still has its Tower Record’s price sticker on it. Tower Records being the king of the distribution of the independent obscure titles therefore this acts as a reminder that since James bought so much of Tower’s rare stock, that the Hyman Archive’s role is a unique keeper and protector of popular culture history – it’s doubtful editor André Barefield sent a copy to The British Library. The ‘Let’s get ready to rumble’ feature blows my mind. A diss match between Derrick and Tony and even though the referee said they knew the rules ‘no touchin’ Derrick was disqualified for ‘swingin’ on the ref‘. Trapped in a pre-internet print time warp you have to visualise this, you can’t YouTube it.

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