Magnum Photos and Granta partner for a unique collaboration across photography and literature
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Magnum Photos and Granta partner for a unique collaboration across photography and literature
Work by Harry Gruyaert.

LONDON.- For the first time in the history of its Square Print Sale, Magnum Photos partners with an esteemed literary magazine, Granta, for its upcoming sale from April 29–May 5. Titled Fable, the sale explores the symbiosis between visual and written narratives. 85 images will be available to purchase as limited-edition 6 x 6” prints during the online sale. A selection of the images will be shown at events in Paris, London and New York, providing a rare opportunity to purchase Square Prints in person during the week of the sale and attend live signings. The sale runs Monday, April 29, 09:00 a.m. EDT to Sunday, May 5, 11:59 p.m. EDT

In its 10-year history, the Square Print Sale has featured over 1600 images and 24 themes. With Fable, Magnum and Granta champion the lasting impact of stories and their tellers.Fables are foundational stories about human nature; illustrating timeless truths about virtue and vice, they turn on the moral dilemmas that people face. They teach universal lessons that are accessible and memorable through a combination of words and images.

Granta has commissioned three writers, Sara Baume, Victoria Adukwei Bulley and Derek Owusu, to delve into the work of 85 Magnum photographers, weaving stories inspired by a bespoke selection of images. The pieces will be published on from April 29. The partnership celebrates a decade of the sale by showcasing the perennial art of storytelling.

“Writing and photography often exist alongside one another, sometimes in the same publications, but they rarely overlap. We have a long history of publishing photography as well as writing and this collaboration between Granta and Magnum is an opportunity for a new kind of collaboration between authors and photographers.” says Max Ferguson, Photo Editor at Granta. “We are thrilled to have the chance to work together with the team at Magnum to put these artists together.”

Magnum photographers have partnered with writers since the cooperative’s establishment in 1947. Co-founder Robert Capa and author John Steinbeck captured the USSR together for 40 days, offering an account of life there during the Cold War. While photojournalism is still core to Magnum’s identity, members work with writers of every kind, and always have. Mark Power and poet Daniel Cockrill riffed together while traveling for 2016’s DTLFTSOTE. No stranger to literature and poetry, Alec Soth’s I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating takes its title from Wallace Stevens’s “The Gray Room” and ends in a conversation with Hanya Yanagihara. Other partnerships transcend the professional world, as in those between life partners like Inge Morath and Arthur Miller, or Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris-Webb.

“I have always believed that photography is primarily a language — a means to express yourself and communicate” says Magnum president, Cristina de Middel. “In recent years, the confirmation of visual storytelling as a strong point of the medium has proven that the possibilities are endless. It feels like photography is finally owning its real nature and mission. Partnering with Granta for this edition of the Square Print Sale is a privilege that allows us to research the potential of combining image and text, together. By diving into the multiple meanings of an image and inspiring the creation of a text that catalyzes new readings, we bring the medium to its next level. I hope our audience enjoys this playful and stimulating new approach.”

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