Guernica First Anniversary & Welcome Fall 2005
Guernica: a Magazine of Art and Politics launched its first issue on October 25, a day which marks the illustrious birth of Pablo Picasso in 1881. Now read in over 50 countries, Guernica has come a long way in less than a year.
Why do we call ourselves Guernica? Of course, there's Picasso's famous painting invoking a brutal and unnecessary massacre in a historic Basque city during the Spanish Civil War. Guernica is, in this sense, a crossroads where our interests — politics, international affairs, and the arts — all bled together both in the event itself and in the Cubist master's bizarrely moving black and white response.
But to ratchet things down a bit — and for the sake of full disclosure— the magazine also grew out of a poetry and fiction reading series that took place at a bar (with a free basement space) called Guernica, in lower Manhattan. Now defunct, it was once the unlucky site where a bouncer bound to enforce Mayor Bloomberg's new smoking ban was stabbed to death by a drunken patron. (We become our names whether we intend to or not.)
As for content—we're not sure if there are precedents, but these days it would be most naïve, just because we haven't seen it before, to envision anything as being wholly unprecedented (what could be more unprecedented than to be completely original?). One reader told us "there is nothing like Guernica on the web."
We have tended to fancy ourselves, like the painting's limbs and horse heads and light bulb that is also an eyeball, essentially as a hodgepodge of our various interests, a coat made of many kinds of cloths, Borges's mysterious Aleph — where everything in the universe appears simultaneously. Ok, maybe not Borges's mysterious Aleph — where everything in the universe appears simultaneously. But then, a portal perhaps, where some things appear coincidentally?
We are at once a political blog cum literary review, an international art museum with no suggested donation, a travel journal, a Thomas Paine pamphlet, a group of non-partisan (eh hem) dissidents without a forum, an unauthorized biography of the times.
In this venture, for which we appropriate the name Guernica, we hope to be democratic in our leanings, pre-emptive in our striking originality, eclectic in our offerings, and neither wholly ironic nor wholly earnest in our tone. Will anyone be able to stand us?
We hope you will support our eclectic and heartfelt efforts, either as a contributing writer, a participant in one of our interviews, a loyal and valued reader, or a financial patron.