Speaking about the new magazine “Square Magazine”
If you ask me: “why the square format?” I’ll hesitate to answer. I don’t really have a reason. It is like spinach. I do not like spinach. That’s it. Some people like spinach, but I don’t. On the other hand I like the square format. A square is simple, it is symmetrical. A square is almost round, like an eye. With a square, you do not have to worry about the way you hold your camera; you don’t care which way up you hold your camera. I work only in square format now. I have sold my stock of 35mm film to my Friends for cheap. I use film that’s 6 cm wide instead. The square format is more than a way of seeing; it is a way of giving.
There are a lot of cameras out there working in square format: the Holga, the Diana, the Brownie, the Full-View… Being cheap is not a badge of quality though and some of the artists in our first issue use Blads. This is just to say that it is not the size of the lens that matters, but what you do with it. It is also interesting to note that a lot of photographers have been anticipating the return of the Polaroid film, which is square too. There is even a square application for the iconic iPod (check out Hipsamatic). Square Magazine was created to celebrate this format, because it is a format that gathers a lot of people around it. I used to be a photography teacher and my students were mostly people who were switching from analogue to digital photography, or people who had just bought a digital SLR and didn’t have a clue how to use it. At one point in my course, I used to have them crop their images into a square. They were often taken aback by the suggestion that they had to discard a part of their image, but I could also watch some of them slowly nod, as if they had found a brand new way of looking at the world. The magazine is put together by Yves Bigot and I, who are both 6×6 photographers in addition to two other people, Carine Lautier (working with the media) and Clara Forest (who makes sure that we write properly). We are doing it for the love of square photography, irrespective of what camera it was taken with. It is a voluntary venture, there is no money involved and it is entirely free to view. We have been asked to produce a paper copy, so we are looking into that and we might publish a book at some point. If this happens, the money we make will be used to organize shows displaying square photography. It is both a platform for photographers to showcase their work and a way to show people that photography doesn’t have to be restrained to a rectangle or oblong. We invite photographers to send us their work for possible publication. All the details are available on our website . This is where you’ll find the first issue too. We are a quarterly, bilingual French / English.