Haider Ackermann

A warm smile, ever questioning eyes, your fragile hands. Time and time again they combine and seduce with their elegance and intensity.

We haven’t seen each other much in the past few months. Enough though to guess who you are. We sat at the table together. Listened to each other. Sometimes you were very happy. Sometimes severe, when it seemed that we wouldn’t be able to realize a story as we had imagined it. Sometimes very sad. Like when Michael Haneke didn’t answer our pleas.

You are always apparently calm. No raising of the voice, no big gestures. Only that running of your hands through your hair. That’s when, so you told me, a storm is ravaging within you. Your heart is pounding, your bones are in shock and your nervous system is under attack. Only for a moment. Because when fear strikes, you wait patiently. With averted eyes you remain soft and beautiful. Reserved. Always elegant.

Intense contradictions have become the starting-point of this magazine. This A MAGAZINE curated by HAIDER ACKERMANN is not about himself: no interview, no praise, no fashion collection. You seem to be completely absent, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Page after page, this magazine is a mirror of your thoughts, the reflection of your desires, your everyday inspirations. Wellconsidered and volatile, poetic and hard, melancholic and rational, discreet and candid.

All of them paradoxes, inherent in your life, that meet at some point. Mostly in thoughts, invisible, ephemeral. You made an effort to grasp this magical moment. To pour “la rencontre”, as you like to call it, into images.

The moment in which every human’s strength becomes his weakness, whereupon his weakness becomes his strength.

You succeeded.

Roger Ballen’s sometimes raw photos talk about the same pain as Funakoshi’s motionless pictures or Hiroshi Sugimoto’s endless seas. The subtlety in Robert Mapplethorpe’s work translates both in power and elegance. Berlinde De Bruyckere’s oeuvre at times seems to be a three-dimensional expression of Francis Bacon, or a still of the sharp emotions that Kazuo Ohno conveys when dancing. Every contribution has its own story, independent from the others, and still it seems as if an invisible thread connects them all.

You started from the photos on your memo board, Bacon, Nick Cave, Katja Rahlwes… and we ended with this magazine, in which you gave people you admire, such as Serge Lutens or Will Oldham, freedom of speech. Antony, Cris Brodahl, Raf Simons, Ann Demeulemeester… they all made a contribution, especially for you. Asia Argento and Tilda Swinton shared a part of their personal life with you.

Every story, chosen by you or made for you, testifies to an intensity and elegance you search for in images, words and friendships.

Hilde Bouchez, Editor in Chief


Haider’s memo board

Table of Contents

Haider’s memo board

Image of Haider’s memo board

Francis Bacon

Image of Francis Bacon


Santiago Sierra

Image of Santiago Sierra

Will Oldham

Image of Will Oldham

29 Horses

Image of 29 Horses


Image of Elegance

Raf Simons

Image of Raf Simons

Cris Brodahl

Image of Cris Brodahl

Asia Argento

Image of Asia Argento

Hiroshi Sugimoto

Image of Hiroshi Sugimoto

Kazuo Ohno’s Hands

Image of Kazuo Ohno’s Hands


Image of Hannelore

Peter Buggenhout

Image of Peter Buggenhout


Image of Loneliness

Roger Ballen

Image of Roger Ballen

Antony & the Johnsons

Image of Antony & the Johnsons


Image of Discretion

Tabassom Charaf

Image of Tabassom Charaf

Katerina Jebb

Image of Katerina Jebb

Robert Mapplethorpe

Image of Robert Mapplethorpe

Ann Demeulemeester

Image of Ann Demeulemeester

Peter Philips

Image of Peter Philips

Kendell Geers

Image of Kendell Geers

Le Figlie della Furia

Katsura Funakoshi

Image of Katsura Funakoshi


Image of Kamo

Berlinde De Bruyckere

Image of Berlinde De Bruyckere

Marilyn Manson

Image of Marilyn Manson

Fred Rambaud & Benjamin Donadieu

Image of Fred Rambaud & Benjamin Donadieu

Black Widows

Image of Black Widows

Haider’s Gang

Image of Haider’s Gang


Study for Portrait of John Edwards, 1993
Francis Bacon

Linea de 250 cm
Santiago Sierra

White Horse Neck 02
Steven Klein

Victims (They know so well)
Asia Argento

Hiroshi Sugimoto

Kazuo Ohno
Noya Ikegami

The blind leading the blind #7
Peter Buggenhout

Tilda Swinton

Soody Sharifi

Tabassom Charaf

Kaso Deklar
The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

Peter Philips
Willy Vanderperre

Katsura Funakoshi
Tomoki Imai

Berlinde De Bruyckere
Mirjam Devriendt

The Enabler
Marilyn Manson