Picnic Magazine #5 —
Picnic’s entirely visual approach is something that is not easy to react to in words. Or rather, words can perform a series of functions – such as description or précis- that almost intrinsically fall away when responding to what is effectively a series of curated images. In such cases, words run the risk of being forced into the role of a critique or a qualitative response. And therein lies the problem. For, short of casting oneself in the role of an arbiter, how can one frame a response to an entirely visual magazine that is fair or balanced? Our responses to the visual, after all, are far more personal – or at least more nebulous- than to the hard-wired reactions that Chomsky suggests we have to language.
Without the words to lay the trail our responses may even become more pure. For example, we might react to the beauty of Ryan McGinley’s images because of what they are rather than because we associate them with a hip, cool artist. And in this sense, the fifth issue of Picnic creates another one of its visual journeys to which we must respond in our own way. Modernism, Utopia, alternative realities, the desert, water, walking on air: it’s all in this issue. But exactly what we will each make of it intellectually, emotionally or otherwise must remain a personal affair