Nadia Lee Cohen takes us to her Wonderland

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Why is the most important word in the dictionary – the only word that can really change the world. For this eleventh issue, C41 wanted to ask itself this question, to interrogate itself and its audience. In just a year, our way of life has been flipped upside down and we have inevitably started asking ourselves ‘why?’ again. Such an apparently simple question, one that children ask approximately 288 times a day, and yet, one that assumes a complex and often fearsome appearance the older we get. C41 sought out stories and people who could answer these questions, making space between doubts and questions that occupy the minds of us all.

Why asking why? Why do we forget? Why is food not just food anymore? Why might art be our salvation? Why do we all need a point of reference? These are just some of the questions that C41 asked itself and the people involved. The cover story for the new issue features a photographer from Los Angeles whose name is on everybody’s lips of late: Nadia Lee Cohen. Nadia represents one of the most relevant gazes in contemporary photography, with a unique sensitivity and style in portraying women that make her the perfect protagonist of this issue. For the cover, Nadia has created an ad hoc portrait, by renowned photographer Bryce Anderson, that brings the new C41 to life in a pulsating red.

To make the product even more exclusive, C41 asked Nadia to personalise a limited number of copies of the magazine, resulting in an unmissable special collection. For this initiative, C41 has started a collaboration with IDEA, a renowned bookshop in London. The magazine will live in many cities around the world and will have the opportunity to be browsed and observed by different hands and eyes, giving back to each one its own why. The 50 personalised (and signed) copies by Nadia Lee Cohen, as well as living on the store of C41 Magazine (from tomorrow) and IDEA, will populate ten carefully selected bookshops around the world. This activation will be announced today with a private event at Modes Milan, in collaboration with Reading Room – a reference point for independent publishing in Milan. An event specifically created to make the new C41 Magazine shine. Red lights, window decals, and store personalisations will allow guests to fully immerse themselves within the pages of the issue.

About the project – words by David Owen (IDEA): 

Nadia Lee Cohen. The C41 Magazine Edition. Fifty unique, hand-signed, numbered, and double doodled magazine covers. The issue is titled ‘Why asking why?’, to which would we always reply ‘Why? Why ever not?’.

And the bride wore nothing but layers (of meaning). The original C41 magazine was published earlier this summer. It features Nadia in a naked self-portrait save for the illustrated cards of body parts. And the issue itself leads with a twenty-page illustrated interview with Nadia. It is classic already but then Nadia got to drawing…

Even cowgirls get the blue shoes, ten gallon hats and spurs.

A hundred and one reasons to try and buy one of these fifty editions. Just one of those reasons being that the interview between editor Alice De Santis and Nadia reads so well. Alice: ‘What are your most persistent whys?’ Nadia: ‘Why is this taking so long? Why can’t we teleport yet? Why do I not feel like an adult? Why isn’t my hair doing what I want it to?’

No. 11/50. aka WHY NOT O’CLOCK!

IDEA has nine of the 50 covers online […]. They are £50 a piece (60 €). They are uniquely yours if you are quick enough.

If you miss them (and that is a possibility) then there are, of course, 41 more to be found. Dover Street Market London, New York and LA each have two copies (in store only), Mendo (Amsterdam), Do You Read Me? (Berlin), Yvon Lambert (Paris) all have five each and quite possibly online. Daikanyama T-Site (Tokyo) will have two – a week from now at most.

Of course the mathematicians will have realised that does not all add up to fifty. That is because C41 is exhibiting them at Modes in Milan. Please do get yourself there and see them for yourself in real life…

Time to read
4 min
Words by
Published on
20 October 2021
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