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Dear Friends,

within the general feeling of unease, we are thrilled to present our new issue mono.kultur #49 with Spanish artist and activist Santiago Sierra, widely acclaimed and frequently despised for his controversial performances that aim straight for the point where it hurts the most.

Santiago Sierra is perhaps best known for his infamous ‘remunerated actions’, in which he hires the poor and desperate at minimum wage to undertake pointless and degrading tasks. They include prostitutes having a line tattooed across their backs for the price of a shot of heroin; war veterans paid to face a corner of a gallery like scolded school kids; a young boy hired to polish the shoes of visitors during an exhibition opening; and workers tasked with shifting concrete blocks from one end of a space to another, or sitting inside cardboard boxes at a gallery for hours.

Sierra’s remunerated actions are intentionally humiliating, offensive, and arguably immoral, pushing the worlds of art and privilege face first into a nightmarish and desperate reality of the less fortunate. They pose daunting questions about our society from the vantage point of the disadvantaged, where these questions are not merely theoretical, but fundamentally existential. Exploitation is their mortar, despair is their bottom line.

Not surprisingly, Sierra’s works have frequently generated not only consternation and discussion, but public outrage. Again and again, pieces have been removed or cancelled, banned from YouTube, and publicly condemned by politicians and the press. But if anything, the debates around his actions bear testimony to their relentless effectiveness. Condensing complex and charged issues of capitalism, injustice, power, racism, migration, poverty, and greed into minimal and brutal gestures, Sierra’s work maintains that rare and unpredictable capacity to shock.

With mono.kultur, Santiago Sierra talked about the mechanics of exploitation, the price of controversy, and the joy in vandalism.

Visually, the issue was treated with Sierra’s remedy of a quick poison and a slow balm: offering spread after spread of the artist’s works on the surface, each page needs to be unfolded to reveal context and conversation. mono.kultur #49 comes entirely in black and white: a magazine as a dirty marvel.

In short, a highly entertaining and provocative read for darkening days. Available as ever through our online store mono.konsum, or at the trusted book dealer of your choice very soon indeed.

Enjoy and all our best,


mono.kultur #49
“I am just showing a spark of he persistent evil that is out there.”

Autumn 2021 / English / 15 x 20 cm / 56 Pages / 14 Fold-Outs

Interview by Guillermo Espinosa
Works by Santiago Sierra
Design by



Dear Friends,

in this strange year of a global pandemic, race riots, and an increasingly toxic discourse in politics and society, our new issue couldn’t come more timely, featuring Eyal Weizman, the outspoken founder of Forensic Architecture.

Made up of architects, lawyers, journalists, scientists, designers, and more, Forensic Architecture is part investigative research lab, human rights activism hub, political think tank, journalism bureau, artists’ collective, and detective agency. Based at Goldsmiths, University of London, the group investigate the wider repercussions of human rights and environmental violations by the means of architectural thinking. In 10 years of work, they have researched illegal detention sites in Cameroon, examined police shootings in Chicago and elsewhere, modelled a prison in Syria using victims’ memories of sound, and digitally recreated the fires at Grenfell Tower in London. At its forefront is Eyal Weizman, a British Israeli architect.

Born in 1970 in Haifa, Weizman studied at the Architectural Association in London before gaining international recognition with an exhibition of models of Jewish settlements built in the occupied Palestinian territories. The work spoke of his projects to come: of his use of architecture as a means of investigation, and refusal to be silenced by those in a position of power.

Forensic Architecture has since used a range of pioneering techniques, from reading the ‘fingerprints’ of smoke clouds left behind by missile strikes, to programming algorithms to sift through thousands of online videos. Their research is used mainly as evidence in court cases and tribunals, but has also leaked into the public spheres of museums and art exhibitions – including their contribution to last year’s Whitney Biennial in New York, where they exposed the vice chair of the Whitney board as owner of Safariland, a corporation earning their fortunes with the manufacturing of ‘less-lethal weapons’.

With mono.kultur, Eyal Weizman talked about obsessing over split seconds, information as a form of power, and the smell of tear gas.

The issue comes bursting at the seams with content, featuring one of our longest interviews yet, as well as dozens of projects by Forensic Architecture, all extensively explained and illustrated.

In short, mono.kultur #48 tackles plenty of contemporary issues highly relevant this of all years. Available as ever through our online store mono.konsum, or at the trusted book dealer of your choice very soon indeed.

Enjoy and all our best,


mono.kultur #48

“The secret is already out there, if you know how to look.”

Autumn 2020 / English / 15 x 20 cm / 44 Pages

Interview by Freya Marshall
Works by Forensic Architecture
Design by Hui Yeon Hwang



Happy anniversary to ECM records for an astounding 50 years of exploring and recording new music. The legendary label from Munich which redefined jazz and contemporary classic music with milestone records by the likes of Keith Jarrett or Arvo Pärt feels as age- and timeless as ever, so 50 somehow comes as a surprise – as we guess it always does. If you are nearby, catch their annivesary events in San Franciso, New York, Milan, Brussels or Warsaw – failing that, take some time out to relisten to Keith Jarrett’s The Köln Concert, or reread our interview with ECM’s mastermind Manfred Eicher, still available at mono.konsum.


Dear Friends,

‘Haute couture’s chief scientist’, ‘sorceress of style’, ‘avant-garde technologist’ are just some of the terms the press have used to describe the extraordinary Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen. Having launched her eponymous label just over a decade ago, Iris van Herpen soon gained widespread attention for her futuristic, otherworldly creations. Whether developing 3D printed dresses, materials grown by the forces of magnetism, or clothes mimicking the different states of water: her collections frequently combine cutting-edge technologies with traditional craftsmanship, fusing artistry with sheer inventiveness. The results are, quite simply, spectacular.

Iris van Herpen’s designs are driven by her curiosity beyond fashion, drawing from disciplines like architecture, science, and technology. She has worked with numerous specialists and artists, created costumes for the Paris Opera, and exhibited her work at institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She developed dresses for Tilda Swinton, Solange, and Björk, while also conversing with scientists at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, on her constant quest to develop new materials. It is an open-ended approach of collaboration and experiment, of channeling different influences and disciplines into a vision that is wide open and singular all at the same time.

In a thrilling and expansive conversation with mono.kultur, Iris van Herpen talked about fashion as a form of art, the inspirations of lucid dreaming, and the exquisite sensation of skydiving.

The issue presents a small retrospective of a decade of Iris van Herpen’s designs with images by some of the luminaries of contemporary fashion photography, including Inez & Vinoodh, Juergen TellerEllen von Unwerth, and Nick Knight. And since everything is related, we let ourselves be inspired by Iris’ multi-dimensional design practice, manipulating the very paper the issue is printed on, with each page cut away to reveal slivers of what is lying underneath.

In short, mono.kultur #47 makes for inspired reading, if you don’t mind us saying so. Available as ever through our online store mono.konsum, or at the trusted book dealer of your choice very soon indeed.

Enjoy and all our best,


mono.kultur #47
“We’re living in the alchemist’s dream right now.”

Summer 2019 / English / 15 x 20 cm / 48 Pages / Pages trimmed to different sizes

Interview by Charmaine Li
Photography by Mathieu CesarRobert ClarkBryan Huynh; Inez & Vinoodhioulex; Nick KnightLuigi & Iango; Jean-Baptiste Mondino; Armin MorbachPetrovsky & RamoneWarren du Preez & Nick Thornton JonesRonald StoopsEmma SummertonSølve Sundsbø; Juergen Teller; Ellen von UnwerthDuy VoMichel Zoeter
Design by



In our distracted times, where we perform on multiple levels simultaneously but lack presence on all of them, a magazine like Partners makes perfect sense. Dedicated to real relationships in the real world, printed on real paper, Partners examines the ties that make up the fabric of our lives: our relations to family, friends, partners. Launched with a cover story on Juergen Teller and his son Ed, the just released second issue talks to AA Bronson and his partner, or New York film makers the Safdie Brothers. Coming from the former editors of hugely revered, now sadly defunct fashion bible HugePartners looks just as impeccable and reads beautifully on an intimate footing. ‘A magazine about how having a bond makes for much better outcome,’ they say, and who would want to argue with that.


Forthcoming very soon indeed: our new issue mono.kultur #47 entering the world of high-end fashion.


It’s the last two days you can dig into the Berlin takeover at Everpress, a charming sort-of-like Kickstarter start-up for T-shirts from London. The idea is based on a similar principle: you can upload any design you want to see printed on a T, rally your friends and the rest of the world into ordering one, and Everpress will take care of everything else. Sounds too easy to be true? See for yourself: Ongoing is the current Berlin takeover campaign with designs from more than 40 artists hand-picked by Everpress, ending this Sunday. And ending means ending, for good.


At the printers: mono.kultur #47, indeed.


At this point, just before we go to print with our new issue, we should hold our breath for a minute and consider our loyal and long-term printers at Druckerei Bunter Hund in Berlin (‘Bunter Hund’ being a common German expression translating to ‘coloured dog’, named after their infamously greyish dog). Bunter Hund printed 41 issues of mono.kultur over the last 12 years, and they were not afraid to take on any ludicrous idea we would come up with where other printers would just hang up on us – scented pages? printing in 3 Pantone colours? That’s the moment Roland Paulick and his team would roll up their sleeves and take a seat to figure out how we could actually do this at halfway reasonable cost. Sadly, after 24 years in business, Bunter Hund had to stop their printing press, as competition from Eastern Europe and online printers has become too fierce. So we say thank you for the music and goodbye, you will be missed.


So, ah, yes. Just in case you were wondering: mono.kultur #47 is indeed in the making.