“People always try to find the most incredible thing, it’s always about perfection and the extraordinary,” says Max Siedentopf, co-founder of Ordinary magazine, “but there are so many things around us that we’re not aware of, all these mundane boring objects that we don’t even notice.”
This is the philosophy behind Ordinary, brainchild of Amsterdam-based Siedentopf and designer Yuki Kappes, which has returned to print after a year’s hiatus. Each issue, the magazine asks 20 photographers to reimagine an ordinary object – be it a kitchen sponge, plastic cutlery or a single white sock – as something extraordinary. The object featured in each issue is gifted to the reader as an “extra” in a plastic bag on the front cover. This time though, the bag arrived empty.
With interpretations by the likes of David Brandon Geeting, Daniel Stier, and Diane Meyer, Ordinary returned with an object we are so accustomed to that we can’t even see it – the air. “It was nice to use an object which is invisible, to see how photographers would interpret it,” explains Siendentopf, “It’s important to leave it as open as possible; I really just want to see how far they can push it”.
Printed at A4, the magazine dedicates its pages to double-page spreads of the photographs – or, if the submitted photograph is a portrait format, the image plus a blank page. The few words included in the publication, including the title, are presented in Arial typeface. “The intention was to continue the philosophy of Ordinary into the design realm,” says Siedentopf. “We didn’t want to clutter it with any design and decoration, and instead focus on what it is all about: the photos”.
And that’s not all that’s ordinary about the project – Siedentopf says he and Kappes sometimes ask ordinary, non-professional photographers to contribute to it. “We think creativity is not only restricted to artists, everyone can come up with something creative,” says Siedentopf. “Sometimes those results are more interesting.”
Ordinary magazine is published by Ordinary Publishing, available at select stores https://ordinary-magazine.com Read previous BJP articles about Daniel Stier and David Brandon Geeting https://www.1854.photography/2016/11/daniel-stiers-weird-science/ https://www.1854.photography/2018/01/david-brandon-geeting-aims-to-confuse-with-his-new-book-amusement-park/