Extinção? is a new book that pieces together a thoughtful, “intricate puzzle” of Brazilian creatives
With an innovative, collaborative design approach from New York-based studio Porto Rocha, the publication centres itself on the theme of ‘Extinction’.
- Olivia Hingley
- 31 October 2022
As an artist, having your work in print can be a defining moment for both your career and positive self-perception. This was something that Igor Furtado wanted to facilitate with his zine Extinção?. Collating the multi-disciplinary work of Brazilian creatives, the zine pays homage to some of the most exciting work coming out of the country. Taking an expansive look at the theme of ‘Extinction’, the publication not only deals with the climate crisis and environmental annihilation, but also investigates the extinction of knowledge, and explores what narratives and stories are allowed to remain. With the work throughout dealing with subjects as diverse yet simultaneously interlinked as the body, memory, language, nature and technology, Extinção? takes a profound look at the ways in which creativity intersects with some of humanity’s biggest questions.
The seed for the publication was first planted during Igor’s six-month residency at Fabrica Research Centre in Treviso, Italy. During the residency, Igor spent much of his time flicking through print publications, before soon realising how few of the titles had any connection to Brazil. And what’s more, the ones that did often came from a foreign perspective. “Thinking of those processes of extinction of knowledge, I decided to develop a book that formed new dialogues between creatives from different regions and generations,” Igor details. “The idea wasn’t to speculate on death or oblivion, but rather to think of other possible ends, means of renewal and transformation.”
One of the central focuses of the zine was to “create new connections”, and this incentive was executed in numerous ways. Firstly, despite himself being a photographer, Igor was intent on platforming a range of creatives from a range of mediums from 3D artists, illustrators to designers; and while Igor knew many of the artists prior to the zine, many specifically sent work he had never before seen.
Secondly, rather than sitting a single artist’s work together, Igor placed different creatives' work next to one another, based on relations between colour, texture, shape and even more subjective nuances. Igor explains: “In those exchanges, new meanings will always arise, which I think is a way of letting each person assimilate and create their own narrative while turning the pages.” But, it’s not such an easy approach as it may initially seem. “The paradox of editing multiple mediums is that the more you develop a visual narrative, the more it might not fit the final edit. It’s an intricate puzzle,” Igor expands. In one particularly resonant pairing, an artwork from Tadáskía sits next to a photograph of Luiz Roque. The abstract, almost animalistic organic forms of Tadáskía's work contrasts intriguingly with the modern, sleek image of a dog atop a cream leather seat.
With such a unique approach to format came the need for a design identity that paid extra close attention to detail. No one suited this brief better than Felipe Rocha. A designer who attended the same residency 10 years ago, Felipe has also designed some issues of Colours, the influential magazine also born in Fabrica. With Extinção?, Felipe focused on a look that would highlight the artist’s works, ending on something that looks akin to an archive, elevating text and images.
Rounding up our conversation, Igor says: “What has always intrigued me about publications, is that they help to understand how the past influences our perception of the present and future, and how our connection to those different times is made possible by images.” He continues: “even though there are important art and photography titles in Latin America, it's more urgent than ever to create and push independent platforms that can connect and promote Brazilian creatives.” Hopefully, in a future where publications like Extinção? are flourishing, Brazilian artists who – like Igor – find themselves flicking through an archive of publications will find something that personally speaks to them and their practice.
Left Page: Clara Moreira – Muitas (Copyright © Clara Moreira); Right Page: ABI Potyguara – Luta Pela Vida (Copyright © ABI Potyguara)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.