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Soanyway Reviews


These will be published on a rolling basis, in between our issues.


Reviews of exhibitions, books, poetry, translation, music, theatre, opera, architecture, design, ceramics etc.


We interpret the review form broadly, and we would like to publish work that experiments with the idea. This means it can incorporate commentary, interview, conversation, comparison and other forms of response.


These reviews can be from any time, place, discipline. If you have reviewed an exhibition that happened 2 years, 10 years or a 50 years ago, we would like to see it. If you went to a concert last week, or watched a performance yesterday, we would like to hear about it. If you think there is a book from a 100 years ago, or a film or piece of music, that you think missed its chance or you've had further thoughts about, send us your review of it.


We ask that they are no longer than 1,500 words, unless you contact us to ask otherwise. Please include a 50-100 word description of your review. If you are not sure whether your idea fits, please read our magazine description on the homepage, browse our contents and email us your query.

Thermal House is a publishing house founded by Viktor Vejvoda. It is named after the inkless technique used for printing receipts from cash registers. It experiments with micro publishing, and a broadened use of the term 'self-publishing'.

The publishing house utilises its small and mobile form to maximise authenticity and partisan versatility. It focuses on producing and distributing so-called marginal authors and works.

Part of this project and publishing house is the organisation of public activities, a way to discuss topics such as self-publishing and a technological renaissance of the Thermal Printer. These aim to provide the chance for individuals and groups to meet and discuss ideas, publications and to invite new members, interested in the Thermal method.

With the help of Open Source software tools Viktor Vejvoda has been able to use this method to publish multiple books by himself and an international series of artists and authors, developing a practical system for a transportable publishing desk, which can be deployed in various environments.

A key emphasis of Thermal House is its cooperative and inclusive potential, and they organise various community-driven workshops. Works and publications can be produced flexibly, quickly and efficiently, avoiding the time-consuming process of mainstream publishing, by locally available material and producing and distributing in sustainable amounts.

For practicality and sustainability, there is a reduction in the print format (print rolls of 58mm width) and print quality (to half-tone black and white raster), which is contrasted to the overwhelming presence of contemporary glossy images. Authors and readers are confronted with a page-less, endlessly designed, reading experience. Final prints are compact, on lightweight paper.

Selection of recent publications by Thermal House.

This review highlights a few recent activities of Thermal House in Belgrade, Serbia, with a selection of images: the production of the catalogue The Case of Poor Images following an international open call at The ARTGET Gallery during a group exhibition under the same name curated by Mia Ćuk; the publishing house's involvement in the group exhibition Bazanje conceived by Luka Knežević Strika at U10 gallery and publication; and Thermal House's public poetry printing workshop at Museum of Yugoslavia (Muzej Jugoslavije) at an event curated by Maša Seničić.

The Case of Poor Images, international group exhibition, ran from 14th April - 19th May 2022 at The ARTGET Gallery, curated by Mia Ćuk.

The ideological basis for the materialisation of this Micro-Publishing platform inside the gallery of Kulturni Centar Beograda was an attempt to activate and utilise the capacity of the institution. Seated at one table, artists, curators and writers produced the books together. With material gathered in response to the open call for submissions relating to the 'case of poor images', those who could not make it physically sent their works by post.

Producing the 'Poor Books' catalogue in the Cultural Centre of Belgrade and installation image of The Case of Poor Images exhibition.

Bazanje, curated by Luka Knežević Strika, ran from 17th June - 9th July 2022, at U10 gallery, Belgrade.

Displayed also as part of the group exhibition BAZANJE, the chat book by Viktor Vejvoda and Luka Knežević Strika was available for pickup from the U10 gallery space. This book consisted of Telegram conversations over thermal printer in 43 steps. Topics orbited around finding common words and understanding over the theme of the city in which one participant of the conversation had spent almost all their life and the other just few months.

Chat book Bazanje and Installation image Bazanje at U10 (Image: Jovana Trifuljesko).

Poetry Factory on 16th June 2022, at Museum of Jugoslavije, curated by Maša Seničić

At the 'Matinee Party' of the Museum of Yugoslavia in the Sculpture Museum Park which celebrated the recently published collection of 'worker poetry' edited by Maša Seničić (Mesto pesnika u radničkom stroju (Beograd: Muzej Jugoslavije, 2022)), Thermal House set up a production venture in line with the concepts explored by the collection; a 'poetry factory', where all were welcome to join the open table and produce printed matter after creating an original poem or poetry from selected archival texts. The Thermal House technique allowed for a fast and collaborative means of production.

Poetry Factory at Museum of Jugoslavije.

More information on publications:

A Stone’s Throw is an artist’s book comprising 64 gelatin silver photographs made between February 2019 and March 2020 on Robben Island, Western Cape, South Africa. Bookending Roger Palmer’s photographs are two essays, the first by the former Robben Island prisoner and tour guide, Lionel Davis, and the other by the Cape Town based writer, editor and curator, Sean O’Toole.

The title, A Stone’s Throw, refers literally to the proximity of Robben Island to Cape Town, but it also recalls a history of political prisoners held there being forced to quarry and crush stone, and further references the so-called ‘klipgooiers’ (‘stone throwers’), dissidents who were imprisoned on the island in 1976.

Following the Rivonia trial, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in 1964 and spent 18 years incarcerated on Robben Island, before being transferred to Pollsmoor Prison, then Victor Verster Prison, from where he was finally released in 1990 after 27 years in jail. After he became President of South Africa in 1994, Mandela saw national reconciliation as his primary task. One result of this was that immediately after its closure in 1996, Robben Island was re-opened in January 1997 as a museum and visitor attraction and intended as a sanctuary of healing, and it employed both former prisoners and their guards as tour guides and in other roles. In his essay in the book, the former prisoner Lionel Davis describes how the reconciliation between these groups of employees was understandably challenging and hard won: “A few of the ex-prison personnel found it hard to let go of the authority they had previously wielded; the black staff were assertive in standing up for themselves; and angry exchanges were not unusual. The museum community proved to be a microcosm of life in South Africa with its ongoing racial tension.”

All of the book’s photographs were made facing south, looking from the small, flat island towards Cape Town across Table Bay, so that the iconic silhouette of Table Mountain forms a constant backdrop to various aspects of Robben Island’s harsh landscape and leftover infrastructure. As Sean O’Toole points out, this recurrent motif, “consciously quotes Japanese ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai’s method of describing varied and fleeting human action against the immutable geological backdrop of Mount Fuji.” O’Toole’s essay eruditely interweaves a survey of Palmer’s most important photographic work from the 1970s onwards with historical and environmental information about Robben Island and a detailed analysis of the philosophical intentions, aesthetic strategies and ideological intentions of Palmer’s work in A Stone’s Throw.

Both textual essays though, whilst providing helpful context, are very much secondary to Palmer’s central visual ‘essay’ in the form of its 64 carefully edited and sequenced photographs. They are arranged in groups of eight, each suggesting a notional day that begins with an exposure made soon after sunrise and progressing to one made shortly before dusk. A black page separates each group or day from the next. This repeated daily structure implies a potentially endlessly repetition that might suggest the experience of incarceration with its constant limitations against a backdrop changed only by the light conditions and the daily cycle of time passing.

Whilst none of the photographs are captioned, they clearly convey a sense of the island’s history not just as a penal colony but also at different times a wartime bunker and a medical asylum, and most recently as a site of tourism. Every single photograph evidences the significant human intervention in the landscape that these uses involve, and many bear witness to the consequent disruption, degradation and neglect of the land and its influence on the flora and fauna. Despite this, there is no actual human presence in any of the photographs – people are noticeably absent from view, whilst their material impact on the landscape is powerfully present in every image. The equally ubiquitous presence of Table Mountain in the background sets up a tension between the extreme slowness of geological time and the rapid rate of social change and human history evidenced by the layers of decay in the foreground. Yet we are reminded also of how painfully slow social change must have seemed to those opponents of apartheid incarcerated here for decades, emphasised in several of the photographs by the rapid and free flight of birds.

Roger Palmer, A Stone’s Throw, Fotohof edition, Salzburg, 2022, soft-bound, 160pp.

The book is available in the UK from Roger Palmer For further information, including a Special Edition, visit

I entered the V&A with the resistance I associate with having to pay to see an exhibition and the subsequent question of will it be good value, an ominous starting point for engaging with any art. The £12 ticket gives you a timeslot and you queue to gain access on a one-in, one-out system to avoid overcrowding.

You first enter through a narrow dark corridor that feels and serves as a bottleneck. This space is used to exhibit a series of black and white photos of Frida Kahlo as a child, young woman, adult. The public jostled cattle-like for space and air; to assert your stance in front of any one image took bravura and I found myself unwilling and disengaged. I opted to move on quickly and was glad as each subsequent room gave physical and emotional expansion to my experience.

Kahlo’s personal belongings, displayed bright and bold in glass cases, gave pathos and depth to her work. A greater part of the exhibition is given over to the items of clothing that both served as a purposeful self-fashioning on her part, and as a means of obscuring and accommodating her physical disability and the surgical structures she relied on daily: corsets, false shoes and boots, metal braces. As these items amassed, the artist persona receded against the physical reality of Kahlo’s short life, the disability and extreme pain she lived with, the multiple operations, periods spent bedbound. No wonder she painted herself, constructed her art around her own form.

Kahlo’s art does feature in the exhibition, it’s fitting that it is hung on the peripheries of the spaces you walk through with the artist’s clothing taking centre stage. The tomb-like network of chambers offers an apt, non-linear passage through her life. Separated from my party I explored the space half-lost, disorientated, increasingly anchored to Frida’s world. The exhibition mirrors the ornate threads in the outfits she wore, the viewer’s gaze weaves back and forth between artwork; artist; photo; pain; artwork; husband; artist; letter; pain; artwork — and so on. It is a complex tapestry with each viewer having agency over which part they work; I left knowing that I had experienced something acutely personal, un-replicable, profoundly moving.

Oddly, those images that I had barely glanced at in the bottleneck flashed sharp in negative as I walked through the kaleidoscopic spaces: Frida in a suit; Frida as a girl; Frida at a party. I cannot think this an accident. The curators crafted a visually purposeful, visceral experience for the audience with the first photo gallery acting like a zoetrope of image imprint in preparation for the most astounding onslaught of colour and pain that follows.

You exit into a gallery shop adorned by Kahlo-colour and consumables ranging from £2 tat to £200 shawls. It’s a shame. After the exhibits you don’t need any more colour and you don’t need to take anything home. And there’s distaste at commodifying the clothing synonymous with Kahlo and her physical pain — which we’ve just seen. As the V&A kitsched its own good work I pushed past the till into direct sun, eyes reeling in magnesium light. Those images flashed up again. Frida in a suit. Frida in a mirror. Frida: in black and white.

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up ran at the V&A, London, UK, from 16 June to 18 November 2018.

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