Editorial #24

My name is Janus

I have come a long way to reach you, dear reader. It was necessary for me to change form many times. From my de´but as a god, a powerful one, placed at the doorsteps of people's homes, guardian of passageways, double-faced, ubiquitous and capable of looking at the past ant the future at the same time, to the form I have taken today, the magazine you hold in your hands, a great number of challenges had to be overcome. The story I would like to tell you is about those who made me as I currently appear. They set out to pump blood back into my veins some years ago. I had been takenhostage by a very famous artist and his associates and became a renown publication at the time, "with a strong visual component", as the advertisement offerecited. Many admired my audacious behavior, I felt like the Amy Winehouse of the magazines world. Living up to my pagan origin, showing that the visual arts could flirt with science and philosophy, incarnating the transgressive border-crossing spirit of post-modern culture, I was hip and cool. Then something strange happened, what could be called a counter-reformation. My founder as a magazine, with a generous gesture passed me on to a group of young people: they were expected to infuse into my pages a different vision of the world if not opposed to his. I was redesigned and redefined and the border-crossing became a question and not an answer. To recall the theme of one of my previous issues, I was prevented from being pushy any longer.

This was quite a trauma for me, pushiness was my password, I could do anything, be anything, say anything, and for the simple and highly significant fact of being conceived by a famous artist everything was legitimate and successful. When these young reactionaries, by this I mean only that they appeared as such in they eyes of those accustomed to the previous Janus... I was saying... when they came along, of whom none was an artist, they transformed me into a philosophical concept, which had to hold its ground without any special artistic auras. Thus followed my new motto: anywhere, anytime, here, now, a different kind of utopia was inscribed onto me. These youngsters gaining experience as publishers put me on stage and made me perform the part of the bright and radically original magazine, they even defined me as a meta-magazine in their last editorial, whatever that may mean. I was expected to prove that all those other art magazines, overloaded with advertisement that obfuscated content were going to progressively disappear by the laws of evolution, which saw me as the next stage. Needless to say, a more intelligent design had planned for things to go quite differently and taught their ambitions a lesson. I have grown sympathetic towards these young ones, there is no doubt that they were successful in making me a medium for new creative moves, but it takes a much more complex master plan to produce a lasting publication. So here I am announcing, with a certain delay on my scheduled appearance, that the time has come for me to change once again. January, the month that carries my name into the New Year, may reveal a new contour of me, a shape that will once again capture your attention and keep you wondering which way to look.

Nicola Setari