A personal and sophisticated take on erotica
Odiseo stems from a huge need to explore. We are seeking a visual, unique and personal vision of seduction, digging into new formats, eluding conventions. Odiseo blurs the confines of traditional erotic publishing by combining imagery that lies between art and erotica with insightful philosophical essays which delve into universal themes. We aim for not only a visual experience, but for an intellectual seduction as well. Odiseo shouts out the unseen: it is contradictory, mysterious, intellectual and intuitive at the same time. This idea illustrates our mission with Odiseo: explore new ways and offer a different and cross-cutting vision of erotism that goes far beyond gender, seeking seduction through masculinity, femininity, bodies and abstraction.
“We were seeking a deliberately visual, unique and authorial vision of erotism.” Albert Folch
Between body and mind, book and magazine
Combining sexual imagery with insightful essays and crossing the boundaries between books and magazines, odiseo defines itself as a hybrid. With Odiseo, we don’t seek to publish current content but we focus on the extended present, retaining the periodicity but doing away with the obsolete. This complex and contradictory nature shaped Odiseo as a small, bi-annual hardcover publication. Moving away from the tradition of magazine mass consumption, Odiseo is a publication to be appreciated and read without pressure, it deserves quality time invested into its content.
“From our perspective as designers and editors, there lies the greatness of periodicals; their ability to continue improving.”
An independent publishing success: from idea to realisation
Being conceptualised and developed from within the studio, Odiseo is a challenge that involves Folch in many processes that fall outside the graphic design category. Apart from requiring a strong network of collaborators and partners, many assets in our everyday work became crucial in a project like Odiseo. This involved naming, distribution strategies, having strong sensitivity and sensibility towards imagery and their meanings. With the ability to produce and develop written content. A good understanding of distribution and ways to commission content, both photographic and textual aided the process of this editorial venture. The synergy of people behind Odiseo makes it an outstanding success in independent publishing, contributing in creating “a bold legacy of being unpredictable, entertaining and though erotic by nature—never distasteful.”
A publication for adult entertainment
Odiseo’s first volume worked as a pilot episode. After its release, we realised that what we had published wasn’t anything new or innovative and that volume two needed a swift redesign and re-think. We re-conceptualised the project, seeking a different and intimate take on photography, shaping a publication that resembled a book rather than a magazine, printed in an exquisite uncoated smooth paper. Volume 2 was the real beginning. Featuring photographers like Lina Scheynius (who contributed with a series of self portraits), Jo Schwab (‘Habitual Grace’) and Jonathan Leder (shooting Amy Hood). Odiseo’s second issue also included a critical study on hipsterism by Eugenia Lapteva, a long-distance call with Yuri Suzuki, and Timo Mashiyi-Veikkola‘s view on collective identity in mass culture. On its now iconic red spray spine, Volume 2 claims to be A publication for adult entertainment, starting the tradition of the publication’s dynamic, straplines. On occasion of the second volume of Odiseo, CANADA directed and produced a teaser video celebrating the publication through collages, plants, a naked woman and Charles Darwin. The video teaser below has been awarded with a Silver Laus.
After the release of Volume 2, we felt we had finally found the balance we were seeking.
Following the world previews in NYC and Barcelona, the whole print-run sold out in a few weeks reflecting the success of the publication. With Odiseo Vol.3 and Vol. 4, we continued to explore our conceptual approach to eroticism. The third issue —featuring photography by Marc Regàs, Olya Oleinic, and Max Von Gumppenberg & Patrick Bienert— was presented at the bookshop Do you read me?! in Berlin, and introduced through a trailer shot in Brooklyn by Pensacola. The writers who contributed with their visions to the issue theme of ‘Sustainability’ were Ingo Niermann & Martti Kalliala, Joie Reinstein and Francis Neville.
“A publication you can read on a plane” was the strapline of the fourth volume printed with a black foil stamping on the signature coloured spine. The issue focuses on the loose topic of ‘value’, explored from different angles by the writers Philippa Snow, Marka Jankovska and Eugenia Lapteva. Followed by a black and white portfolio by Jonathan Schofield, a vision of femininity by Alex Franco, and the impactful and graphic imagery by Olya Oleinic, printed on shiny coated paper. As an exclusive for Odiseo, the contemporary art studio Zeitguised produced the video teaser where selected frames from the video are used as dividers in the printed publication.
(Not) Safe For Work
For the fifth issue we wanted to keep evolving. For both a tribute to erotic mags’ conservative paper sleeve cover and a strategy to increase the hype and the fascination around the issue, we introduced changes to the format as the issue comes packed inside an envelope which conceals the cover image. Unlike previous issues, we moved away from the paint splattered spine and the choice of the black and white cover image, instead we chose a painting by artist Ángela Palacios which gives the cover a distinguishable character. We themed the issue around humour and we decided to involve the readers in the promotion and marketing of the publication through the use of the hashtag #undressodiseo. Given that Odiseo has no social media channels, we thought it would be interesting for the readers to be part of the communication process by using social networks to promote a purely offline project. As a wink at this online-offline strategy, the title of the issue pays homage to the Internet slang used to mark links that contain nudity or vulgarity, ‘(Not) Safe For Work.’
For this issue we had the pleasure of collaborating with Arnaud Lajeunie, Pol Agustí, Philippe Gerlach and Laura Gardner. Also featured are Luis Cerveró views on the work of photographer Sam Haskins, an interview with Johan Johnsson by our editor Oriol Mogas, and illustrations by Pol Montserrat.
Following a few weeks of teasing, the cover was unveiled during the world presentation at YCN, in London.
Nature and Artifice
Volume Six comes after the past issue’s tribute to erotic mags’ conservative paper sleeve cover. Got back the paint splattered spine, a playful and evocative still-life pic by Arnaud Lajeunie opens the sixth issue. Volume 6 features the editorial “Intimate Failure and Exhilarating Fun” by photographer Arnaud Lajeunie; Barrie Hullegie’s and Mar Ordóñez’s editorials and a delicate and suggestive photo essay by Paul Jung. Writing are by Eugenia Lapteva, Jonathan Lahey Dronsfield. We are glad to feature in the current issue Fiktion’s second installment (chapters 1–4 of Popppappp, by Momus). Jesús Umbría’s Archive on Hajime Sorayama.
Odiseo Vol. 7 is dedicated to the notion of Truth. The triptych of covers by Juan Hernández open the issue. Paul Jung, depicts human body as if it was a surreal landscape; the young German photographer Bennie Julian Gay offers seductive sights and gestures with glimpses of fashion; Maud Rémy-Lonvis portraits her personal muse in a set of pictures that, while keeping her studio photography styling, reveals the intimacy between the two as Maud appears in some pictures, self-portrayed. Regarding the text, writer Eugenia Lapteva interviews the famous French mathematician Cédric Villani. The interview revolves around a quest for Truth. Alongside with Hans Frederik Jacobsen’s essay on Zeteticism, Fiktion contributes to the issue with two brilliant pieces, parts of the book Concentration: Ingo Niermann introduces the book in the text Literature and Concentration, followed by a fictional text by American artist Amy Patton: a fragmented work, almost a pre-screenplay.
“For without disjunction and dissymmetry within the self and between the self and other, no third term is created, no symbolisation occurs and the precarious movement of love is surreptitiously cemented.” From ‘Love’s Work: A Precarious Encounter’ by Eugenia Lapteva
The current issue: The rift between the other and me
Odiseo Volume 8 explores the multiple meanings and shapes of ‘Encounters’, with Eugenia Lapteva’s essay Love’s Work: A precarious encounter, an essay treating the application Tinder. Alongside the philosopher Nick Bostrom’s letter from an utopian future self, Joe Fletcher contributes with his retrospective on vinyl artworks by the Italian saxophonist Fausto Papetti. This volume also contains the recurrent input Fiktion, this time with an essay by Francis Nenik. Claudia Grassl explores and creates new shapes of the human body in connection with erotic elements in her introducing photo essay. Eliot Lee Hazel delves into the many lines of the figure in a beautiful series pf photography and finally a sequence of portrait focusing on the erotism centred around the mouth by the local photographers EskenaziEncursiva.
An influencer more than an advertising container
Drawing a clear line in between a magazine and an atemporal publication, the chosen limited advertising is one of the pillars of Odiseo from the start. We believed that alternative forms of brand communication could be found and that Odiseo could be a vehicle for promoting brands and companies who share an affinity with us. Being an influencer, more than a advertising container. The chosen product being promoted with this strategy is something we ourselves would recommend to friends, and has been carefully considered with this in mind. This has allowed us to stay true to our conviction of not mixing advertising with content. In Volume 5 we used the brown envelope to print an advert marking the launch of a new sunglasses brand, Alfred Kerbs, inside the bag together with the publication, a small promotional booklet is included introducing our readership to the eyewear campaign by Alfred Kerbs.
“Taking care of every detail of the distribution model was as important as the content edition for the success of the magazine.” Rafael Martínez, COO & Branding consultant
Caring about every detail in production, partnership, collaborations
Finding an alternative model of distribution was one of the most daring challenges we faced. Every detail has been taken into account in order to optimise our distribution and promotion possibilities and opportunities. We chose to manage the main sales directly with the customers, whilst maintaining communication with a network of strategic selected resellers across the world, as well as controlling the subscription system, the limited print run and the periodic partnerships and collaborations with filmmakers and video producers. This informed decision contributed significantly to the success of our independent self-published publication and its readership loyalty. Production and materials are crucial to Odiseo where particular care has been given to small aesthetic details. Odiseo is printed with the long-lasting collaborator Agpograf, using Arctic Paper Munken Print and Fedrigoni Tatami for interior pages, and Geltex White for the hardcover paper.