What do I love about buying titles like Marie Clare and Glamour? The plastic-wrapped freebies that they come with. An issue of Marie Clare once came with a pair of branded flip-flops that were so comfortable I’ve never felt the need to replace them. New Ordinary magazine from Amsterdam subverts and revitalises the freebie trope. It’s a minimal photography publication that comes with its own surreal yet oddly practical give-away – a cheap, disposable set of white, plastic cutlery.
The idea is that the editors select 20 photographers to take this ordinary object and make it in some way ‘extra’ ordinary, and then the result are published in the magazine. The lurid yellow ‘EXTRA’ sticker on the cover’s plastic bag represents the absurd transformation that the plastic knife, fork and spoon goes through. Ordinary is published by Kessels Kramer art director Max Siedentopf in collaboration with Tialda Lublink and Yuki Kappes, and the first issue is pleasantly simple and entirely bizarre.
Contributors include the likes of Daniel Eatock (above) and Pinar Viola (also above), and photographers have responded to the brief in a variety of ways. One contributor poked the cutlery through a bin bag to create a surprisingly elegant sculpture (below) and another piled them up humorously next to a sink (also below).
Other contributions are abstract – like intricate patterns built out of the white plastic material (above), and strange close-ups that transform forks into unrecognizable shapes (below).
What’s great about the magazine’s freebie is that once you’ve gone through Ordinary page by page, you’re inspired to rip open the plastic bag and make your own knife and fork composition. As soon as I’m done writing this review, that’s what I’ll be doing…