Beauty reframed—that's the potency of RIOT OF PERFUME
. I was immediately drawn to this publication's stark imagery, rich text, and minimalist compositions. Touching on art, fashion, music, creative writing, photography, and criticism, this biannual, released earlier this year, is based in Chinatown, New York. I chatted with the magazine's creators, Marco Lockmann and Eugenie Dalland.
EP: First of all, who would you invite to the ultimate ROP dinner party?
ML: Rimbaud, of course, although he’s maybe not the dinner party type; Béatrice Dale (Betty Blue–
era); and Gary Oldman, when he used to say that he "never met anyone remotely interesting who didn't drink." An intense combination.
ED: This is hard, I always invite too many people to dinner parties! Paul Verlaine would make it interesting (he shot Rimbaud in the wrist), Jacques Derrida, Ian Curtis, and Virginia Woolf.
EP: Why did you name the publication after an Arthur Rimbaud poem?
ML: I had just finished reading Henry Miller’s insane and absolutely
brilliant study of Rimbaud, The Time of the Assassins
, and at a party the same night someone played the recording of Patti Smith and Lizzy Mercier Descloux reciting Rimbaud’s poem Matinée d'Ivresse
. Then I found a bad translation of the poem where “cela finit par une débandade de parfums
” was translated as "and it ended in a riot of perfume.” It was fate.
: Eugenie, you came on board one year after Marco created the magazine. How did you two meet?
ED: Marco and I met last September at a bar in Chinatown after a brief back-and-forth about my possible involvement in the magazine. We work well together. We fight like siblings over small things, but we have similar tastes in visual content and we’re both allergic to bad writing.
Do you think downtown New York has an effect on the content of the magazine?
ML: Our cover is a direct homage to AVALANCHE
, the avant-garde NYC art magazine published in the early 70s. That was a huge influence. We’re also seriously indebted to Jim Jarmusch and his five golden rules.
ED: Yes, in a way, it's more the memory of what downtown NYC used to be that informs Riot of Perfume
. Specifically the wildness of it, and what that engendered culturally.
EP: How does an issue come together?
ML: It’s like creating a sculpture—you get this massive piece of marble and you slash off the excess until it looks right. We generated ten times more content and ideas than we could fit in the magazine.
ED: We really like raw stuff—work that is conceived and executed off-the-cuff, without an army of PAs, ADs, and PR people. Sometimes leaving things to chance turns out well, and sometimes it doesn’t. While Marco and I put a tremendous amount of thought and hard work into Riot of Perfume
, we also injected a bit of a laissez-faire
attitude into the process. Perfection is boring.
EP: You currently don't include advertisements, feature trends, use professional models or even rely on retouching
—why is this?
ML: Yes, the idea is to somehow destroy the narrative of a traditional art/music/fashion magazine but to keep a bit of the same feeling. We did the first issue in black and white without Photoshop because we wanted everything to look real, intense, and vulnerable—as if Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, and William Gedney were taking pictures in New York now—not the glossy/artificial/sarcastic feeling that most magazines have. Not using professional models wasn’t about ethics—we just thought that our friends and acquaintances were more interesting than the same 15 models that you see in every magazine.
ED: We won't always print in black and white, but it did seem more striking, and I think it emphasizes the significance we place on the photography.
What can we look forward to in the next issue of ROP?
ML: John Peel once brilliantly described the band The Fall as “always different, always the same." In that vein, we will reliably fight against the crushing dullness of most mainstream magazines.
Photos by Robert Nethery, Rebecca Cairns, Nicolas Vernhes, Eugenie Dalland, and Zana Bayne.
Purchase Riot of Perfume here
Riot of Perfume