A Long Road Turns: On the Release of Fillip 20
Ten years ago Fillip debuted its first issue in Vancouver, Canada. A handsome fledgling eight-page broadsheet, it brought to life the swirl of local artistic energy and activity of that place and time, thanks to the efforts of Fillip’s founding team (Paloma Campbell, Jeff Khonsary, Jonathan Middleton, Sadira Rodrigues, and especially Jordan Strom, Founding Editor). It also put into practice both an internal ambition and an external call to complicate contemporary art discourse there and elsewhere. Over the course of the past decade, we have pursued this project with great enthusiasm for the community of artists, writers, curators, and readers who have engaged us in companionable conversation. The degree to which we, collectively, have succeeded in complicating contemporary art discourse remains an open question, but it is a pursuit we must now surrender, both to history and to the future, with the publication of Fillip 20—the final instalment of our magazine.
A quick survey of art magazines of the recent past shows that this is an inventory thick with salutation but thin on valediction. After all, who really wants to say goodbye? We, too, have struggled with how to think about our shuttering of this particular venture: By shining a light on the administrata piling up at the back door? Or by unloading the dreary burden of budgets, grants, and fundraising? By calculating the cumulative, familiar ratio of 0 dollars (paid) to X hours (worked)? No matter what the reasons behind dissolving the magazine, the truth is that Fillip, as an organization, will not disappear and will continue to publish and present activity in the spirit of its originary project and in the form of supplements, books, and events.
For us, within the ranks, it has been a long road, but this was always by design. From a relative poverty—of infrastructure and funds—we wrested an unlikely luxury—of time, space, and relationship—working closely with writers and artists to bring forward their gradual, deliberate voices. The distinct sum of these efforts spans Fillip 1 through Fillip 20 in a rare arc, which we leave to the archive in an elaborate stack.
Before this long road turns, so to speak, we would like to recognize and celebrate the exquisite, strenuous work that our fellow contributors, collaborators, staff, volunteers, and supporters have devoted to Fillip over the years. We applaud them for their virtuoso patience and commitment to the project, which has demanded much of their time and sanity in long-haul editing exchanges, late-night mail-out sessions, and epic event planning, among other antics. We acknowledge them here.
In closing, we wish to give special applause to the contributors of Fillip 20, who have stuck it out with us with faith and grace. To Ken Becker, Paul Branca, Nate Crompton, Zanna Gilbert, Jesi Khadivi, Lois Klassen, Philip Monk, Melanie O’Brian, Chantal Pontbriand, Nina Power, Mo Salemy, Nick Srnicek, Erik van der Weijde, and Alex Williams, we say, thank you! And to our readers, we also say thanks and warmly invite you to pick up the latest and last magazine issue.
With affection and on behalf of the entire staff at Fillip,
Kristina Lee Podesva, Editor
Jeff Khonsary, Publisher
Antonia Hirsch, Associate Editor
Kate Steinmann, Associate Editor
Amy Zion, Associate Editor
Jaclyn Arndt, Editorial Supervisor
Victoria Lum, Office Manager