Celebrating 10 year anniversary of EYEMAZING

Interview: PERISCOPE

In case you didn’t know, EYEMAZING is a a quarterly photography publication founded in 2003 by the Amsterdam based photographer who came to be known as Eyemazing Susan for her way of unearthing fresh talent and having original perspectives on the world of art photography. Not only has she survived the last turbulant decade as an independent publisher, but she continues to suprise photography lovers by finding and championing new talents.  Recently, she reproduced EYEMAZING in book form with selected work of 131 photographers including Michael Ackerman, Bettina Rheims, Sally Mann and Roger Ballen.  We asked her to look back at the last 10 years of EYEMAZING.

What motivated you to start EYEMAZING?
I was a frustrated photographer doing commercial work to make a living, but I was not able to promote my personal work.  So I decided that I wasn’t a photographer but a hardcore photography lover and that it was a must for me to stay in the world of photography.  I knew exactly what was missing for the artists and I was going to do something about it.
How did you get into photography?
I was a professional classical dancer before becoming a photographer. After dancing, I was desperately searching for a new language to express myself artistically, and photography was that language for me, as to get creative, no words were needed to express myself, just like with dancing.
What was your vision for EYEMAZING when you launched it?
My idea was to create a unique platform for exceptional photography where there were no limitations whatsoever, and I was free to do the layout, design and photo editing my way, and so EYEMAZING was born. A unique publication made by a photographer for other photographers. Having the vision of one person was the key to make EYEMAZING different than other magazines and having an independent publication gave me the necessary freedom to choose the kind of cutting-edge photography that my heart was beating for.
How do you think EYEMAZING evolved over the years?
From an international contemporary photography magazine, putting the spotlight on diverse kinds of photography that were showing around the world, EYEMAZING slowly became Eyemazing Susan’s diary book. It was all a learning process, making the magazine alone, I was very close to my product, and so my actual state of mind had a huge effect on my choice of photography.  So the content of each issue became darker and darker with only my choice of favorite photography. EYEMAZING became my way of life.
What has been the biggest challenge in continuing this endeavor?
Finding sponsors will be the biggest obvious challenge, but honestly the real challenge was to juggle 10 different jobs and titles at the same time (by giving myself different pseudonyms in the colophon of the magazine), I had to be the publisher, the photography editor, the designer, take care of the subscriptions and distribution, advertising, the secretary, and the delivery boy in my own town…and I couldn’t complain, there was no one to complain to, I wanted my own magazine, and so I had to manage it.
We imagine it must be difficult to edit the whole archive into a book.  Were there any selection points? Anything you kept in your mind?
By physically removing images from all back issues of the magazine and spreading them around my home, all over the floor and till on the staircase, walking over and around them day in day out every month, I wanted to discover why I had chosen the images I chose in the last 10 years…a real self searching process, and so slowly a few themes made themselves known without me having to choose them. That’s the way I reduced the images from 7840 pages of content to the 435images in my book and so that’s how the two themes were born: “Dreams and Memories of a Past Life” and “Our Body, Our Cage. Our Body, Our Home.”
What is the biggest attraction to you in photography as means of expression?
The freedom of being able to express myself and help me remember how I felt years later. Photography is only just a medium, but what you can do with it, how far you can go with it, and how much or how little of yourself as an artist you are willing to show to the viewer, that’s all up to you. Photography is there for you as an artist to use it in your own way, and has no limitation, and it’s for everyone.  Today we all can be a photographer, while we are not all artists.  To be moved by a photograph you do not need to be a photographer, you only have to be open-minded to let yourself get inspired.
What went through your mind when this book was made and you saw it completed?
One down, on to my next book!



Team Periscope is traveling in


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