Eugenie Dalland and Tanya Merrill, editors of Riot of Perfume, are a breath of fresh air in the world of artistic editorial curation. The magazine is conceptualized in a fashion that stimulates creativity—unrestricted from preconceived thematic prompts or ideas. Organic and unpredictable, this latest issue captures the girls’ vision to a T. We speak to Eugenie and Tanya about the spirit of their latest issue and about praising art without taking it too seriously.
Tell us about Riot of Perfume issue 7. What was the vision behind it? What are you especially proud of in this new issue?
Eugenie Dalland (publisher/creative director): One of the most exciting, though occasionally nerve-wracking, aspects of creating each issue of Riot of Perfume is not knowing exactly what its going to look like at the end. Of course we know what each individual feature is like, but when they all come together in the design stage and we see what the issue is really about, its kind of a surprise. There's always an element of chance involved, and as a result, each issue really becomes its own, autonomous thing. Issue 7 is particularly strong I think because its so unpredictable. We've always aspired to that, and hit the mark, but this one is especially representative of what Riot of Perfume is about. I'm particularly happy to have featured new work by Liza Béar, an artist and filmmaker who co-founded Avalanche, the seminal NYC-based art magazine from the early 1970s.
Tanya Merrill (co-editor/managing editor): There is a piece by the artist Bruce Nauman, a neon-light sculpture that reads: "the true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths." A teacher of mine in college gave my class xeroxed copies and I thought it was the funniest thing, but I also secretly believe it. Nauman is both praising the power of art and poking fun at taking art too seriously. In a way, thats how we think about Riot. We put a huge amount of effort and thought into each issue, and really believe in the power of the work we publish, but we also try let the direction of each issue unfold naturally, instead of proclaiming ourselves as some kind of high power of curatorial and editorial genius. Riot is made up of artists and writers, we're having fun and publishing work that we love.
Photography by Lida Fox