Purple Magazine
— S/S 2017 issue 27

Apartamento Magazine



MAURIZIO CATTELAN — How did your publishing venture get started?
APARTAMENTO — Apartamento began with a random encounter and our obsession with how other people arrange their homes.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Was another magazine needed at the time? Why?
APARTAMENTO — We thought there were things we wanted to talk about in a way that nobody else was talking about. It was a way that was completely natural to us, so it took us some time to realize our “identity” was coming from there, from our narrative, and not from the obvious surface — the messy interiors, the plant over the Memphis table, etc.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — The magazine is not your sole activity. Why is that, and what is your platform about?
APARTAMENTO — Since we started, all of us have had different jobs. The magazine has never been our only activity, but just one of the things that we do. We don’t necessarily believe things are better when one-sided. So it’s only natural that the same will happen with the magazine itself, and so we develop it in different areas. And not necessarily business areas.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — How do you start a new issue? Are there any studio rituals?
APARTAMENTO — We burn an intern at the start of each issue [Laughs].

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Do you do a lot of advance research? For how long?
APARTAMENTO — We do some research on our own, then we come together, and we propose the stories we each want to do. If we all agree, we move forward with them.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — You save the audience from an overwhelming flood of content by selecting and choosing, distinguishing between what you love and what you don’t. Does that feel like a big responsibility?
APARTAMENTO — Not at all. We think of ourselves when we put the issue together. The criterion to talk about someone is how interested we are in a person or in a person’s work. The interview, the pictures, the previous research are things we could do just for ourselves, but that we share in the form of a magazine.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Do you consider this selection process a sort of curatorial activity?
APARTAMENTO — To be curatorial, you’d have to have all your cards on the table. But as we said before, what we do is a selection of personalities according to whom we are more interested in, who is relevant to us, and then we get into the real work with them. There are some things we know and some things we kind of know that make us choose whom we feature. The interview and the pictures are the actual work. The publication is the result.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Your magazine has helped change the way publishers think. How do you think the publishing scene will evolve in the future?
APARTAMENTO — The media industry is always evolving. Evolution is essential, but, to be honest, spending too much time thinking about how things might change is not relevant to us.


MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Is there something that you won’t print in your pages?
APARTAMENTO — We won’t tell you what to buy. We won’t tell you what’s better. We won’t be talking about ourselves. We won’t patronize you.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Why are images so important in your magazine?
APARTAMENTO — We want to share the people we meet and things we see. It’s documentary material.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Do you ever think about what your readers might want to read and see? In your view, should your magazine challenge readers or please them?
APARTAMENTO — I think we’re trying simultaneously to discover things for ourselves and for the reader, people we don’t know and things we haven’t seen but that might inspire us to think or react.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — What would you change about your magazine? Are you ever afraid that changing dramatically might make you lose readers?
APARTAMENTO — Sometimes we wish it were bigger and glossier to show the photographs better. There’s no plan to change, but ultimately if we decide to change, it will be because we think it’s worth it.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Is there an issue you’re most proud of? Why?
APARTAMENTO — The issue that is still to come.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Is slow consumption of the magazine an antidote to the disruptive acceleration of our time? Or is it part of the problem?
APARTAMENTO — We are not against life acceleration, nor are we trying to portray an alternative.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — What is missing today from the publishing panorama?

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — What is the difference between yours and other magazines?
APARTAMENTO — We’re not trying to sell you something.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Is publishing irremediably linked to fetishism? Is this perversion the real reason why paper is still beating the Web?
APARTAMENTO — Possibly, for some people. We love reading on screens, too. That’s why we launched our Apartamento app earlier this year — because we think all things can coexist, and ultimately this battle, print versus digital, is becoming seriously tiring and nostalgic in a boring way.

MAURIZIO CATTELAN — Do you ever think that you should deliver different content through different media? Or do you have the same content online and offline?
APARTAMENTO — Content is content. What changes is simply how it gets consumed and the means we have to deliver it. Our app has the same content, but in a format of seven stories at one time, with a constantly rotating selection. But the app has also given us the opportunity to showcase videos or stream music, for example, which would be impossible on paper. Our vision stays the same.

[Table of contents]

S/S 2017 issue 27

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