Issue five of New York’s Unemployed was released just ahead of Christmas. Launched by film-makers Cecile Wincker and Sophie Tabet in 2015, the magazine is a word-free collection of visual stories that allow the pair and their creative friends an outlet for their ideas.
This fifth issue – Unemployed now appears annually – arrives in a raw cardboard box, the title screenprinted in flouro green and blue across the front. Open the box, and it folds out to reveal a backgammon board printed in the same vivid inks (above), a set of counters to play the game, a sticker and a collection of nine loose-bound elements that carry the stories, three of which carry links to films shot for the issue.
The nine stories range from Hungarian photographer Krisztian Eder’s beautiful but relatively simple reportage of a Roma festival (above) to Algerian artist Mohamed Bourouissa’s film and photographic investigation of sex and technology (both images below).
A report from the set of Will Benedict’s recent film ‘Degrees of Disgust’ (below) is another blast of surreal imagery, this time based around a dominatrix Uber Eats driver, Reto Schmid’s photographs from the set nudging us toward the world of fashion. Collier Schorr then takes us further into fashion with a typical set of adolescent portraits (not shown).
One of Schorr’s images also comes as one of the two A3 fold-out posters in the issue, the second a poster for a pastiche remake of the movie ‘Evil Dead’ (above) with a link to a trailer shot in Ghana by Francis Kokoroko.
Besides being a lovely format for a publication – all the parts can be removed and used as posters – Unemployed offers a unique selection of content, as these examples show, and all the stories are well produced and carefully presented. It’s an exciting and refreshing take on what a magazine can be.
If there’s a weakness it’s in the lack of words. Each story has credits and that’s it; the reader is left guessing at meanings and wondering whether a story is real or imagined? I like ambiguity but enjoyed the stories far more once I’d Googled the makers.
Creative direction: Cecile Wincker and Sophie Tabet
Art direction and design: Laura Wincker and Aude Debout
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