A good magazine is not for glancing. Tinted Window, a text-heavy journal by writers and Royal College of Art alumni Alex Bennett and Oscar Gaynor, takes this several steps further. With each issue focusing on just one person, place or object, you find yourself indulging great lengths of time contemplating the subject matter. When not reading Tinted Window, its subject will enter your thoughts.
Arriving in a shiny, see-through plastic sleeve with the magazine title embossed on the front, Tinted Window is a text-heavy journal from writers and Royal College of Art alumni Alex Bennett and Oscar Gaynor. With a whole monochrome magazine to fill, the subject is explored in indulgent detail. There are no pop-ups or cursory glances here, just boldly designed text with the occasional image.
Although the focus of Tinted Window is singular, the scope is wide and the angles from which the topic is approached countless. With space to explore niche details, the magazine demands writers with genuine expertise and interest in the subject matter.
It also seeks to publish texts which have never previously been translated into the English language. The focus of issue one is photographer, writer and filmmaker Hervé Guibert (1955 -1991). By way of concise explanation, the introductory biography (above) reads: “As both a photographer and writer, Hervé Guibert dissected his life, revelled in mundane detail, and examined the pertinacity of death.”
Some of the most evocative and personal moments in the magazine are presented in a series of excerpts, originally collated by Brigitte Ollier and translated for this issue by Jeffrey Zuckermann, with memories of and tributes to Guibert’s short yet vibrant life (opener, above).
“He showed up at my desk in the Librairie du Palimugre along with one of his artist friends,” reads a passage written by publisher Régine Deforge. “I was struck by his luminosity. His loose ringlets of blond hair bunched up like a halo. He was 17 years old, and there was some wariness on his face. We got along right away. He gave me his text, a few poorly typed sheets… I read them, astonished by the violence and despair that each sentence sounded.”
There is more tenderness in Bruce Hainley’s examination of La Pudeur ou l’Impudeur (modesty or immodesty), an autobiographical self-portrait in film of Guibert’s final months suffering with AIDS. Hainley sees the delicacy, and barbarity, of the film as “about becoming instead of dying” and “living vs. surviving”. Themes of futility extend to the magazine’s opening essay too, a long diary entry by Frieze editor Andrew Durbin who follows Guibert to the Greek island of Patmos, more than 25 years after the writer and photographer wrote his penultimate novel The Man in the Red Hat on the island.
Given how personal and intimate this issue is, it is hard to imagine how Tinted Window will transfer to the study of an object. I look forward to finding out.
Editors: Alex Bennett and Oscar Gaynor
Design: Regular Practice