A magazine about juggling
There’s a rule about the internet: “If it exists, there is porn of it”. The same rule applies to magazines. Beds, screenshots, skirts: if it exists, there is a magazine of it. Which is why I was pleased, but not all that surprised, to find Yana, a new magazine about juggling. Editor Florence Huet begins by correcting a common misapprehension: juggling is not an eccentric party skill; it’s an art form, “At the crossroads of movement, rhythm, composition, mathematics, sports, architecture, design and a hobby… Not only does it organise moving objects in space but it also shapes the person that sets them in motion.”
A kind of existential question is put to the jugglers interviewed in the pages that follow: “Is it an inner compulsion that forces you to juggle?” One of the most interesting answers comes from Gaëlle Coppée, who has spent much of lockdown in a small, green room, throwing a ball as high and as hard as possible. Coppée writes that she has lost lovers and friends over her 20-year-long dedication to “little white balls”, but the loneliness of self-isolation finally made her realise why she keeps doing it: “When you’re a juggler, you put on shows. When we do shows, we’re together, with an audience… I’ve spent years philosophising why I juggle, and I think it’s actually very simple. Sharing a moment together.”
Yana itself is engaged in a kind of typographical juggling. Yana is an acrostic (You Are Not Alone), standfirsts are designed to wriggle around the page, and interviews are printed bilingually, forcing the eye to do a little dance. Other delightful visual peculiarities include a feature at the back entitled ‘17 Objects Never Juggled’: literally, pictures of objects no human has ever juggled, such as a wheelie bin, a chess board, and a human ear.
One lovely feature prints a series of collages by the artist, and juggler, Victor De Bouvère. De Bouvère is asked another kind of existential question: “Juggling is ephemeral, collages are permanent. Do you ever want to fix your juggling?”. I like his answer:
“Usually, I wake up every morning with the urge to create a new collage; I fill the space and feel better afterwards. It’s the same with juggling, it calls me sometimes, like a little voice in my head saying: ‘should we go juggle for a bit’”.