design as exhibition space

Graphic Design, Exhibiting, Curating

conference, June 26


(quotes taken from the conference. There will be a publication in Autumn/Winter 2012)

«People who disagree with the exhibition of graphic design give the argument, among others, that graphic design is about context, and the exhibition of graphic design – the creation of an artificial setting – goes against its function. In my case, I interpret the context of a graphic design exhibition as a way to reactivate the objects through a critical or artistic prism, as an exercise of formatting a new space of existence for the designed objects.
The format of the exhibition can thus provide books, posters, or other artifacts an extended life that allows to approach them by posing new issues that cross and engage different disciplines and actors – artists, theorists, designers, etc.»

(Charlotte Cheetham,

«We founded Lungomare, first, because we felt it a necessity to open up a space for discussion and interaction, where dialogue can take place. The aim was, and still is, to open up the meaning of design, and not to practice it as a discipline that stands alone. … In the projects that we organize we want to figure out how design scope can extend. … Instead of fulfilling expectations, we are much more interested in creating expectations, and in inviting the spectators to discuss them within a larger frame. … The projects of Lungomare aim at creating a more immediate relation with the public, and at sharing moments of reflection and negotiation. …
The nature of graphic design is a process of dialogue, analysis, research, editing, curating and organizing.
We always work with a large network of people. We do curate projects and invite other people to curate projects. We do a lot of discussions, and conferences. Lots of projects also leave the city context behind and try to engage the wider geographical context.»

(Lungomare / Lupo&Burtscher)

«I am interested in questions of agency, between curators, exhibition designers and artists, and how some of these roles overlap. Who takes the authority for the exhibition, and how does an exhibition arrives at a kind of confluence of interests? Obviously there are many historical precedents we could talk about. We can talk about El Lissitzky’s Abstract Cabinet, in Hanover [Landesmuseum], 1926-27, that is a very interesting moment when somebody functions not only as the person who creates the display system in order to activate the viewer, but also chooses the works within it, in this social circle of the people that he is working with… for better or worse it is really embeddedness that happens here. What is interesting to me is this focus on activating the viewer, creating a kind of rupture, a way of looking at works that do not claim to be neutral or unmediated.»

(Prem Krishnamurthy, Project Projects)


«Now we are here: a new generation of professionals, artists and designers are coming of age. They grew up with mobile phones, Internet, and virtual worlds. Technology is a fundamental part of their culture and identity. This new generation is actually not so busy in creating its own visual language, they work with templates and software that determine what they create. I think this is rather the future of graphic design. This is also the reason that I am changing the museum a little bit. Graphic design is disappearing because the diverse disciplines are merging. And so I changed the name of the museum from Graphic Design Museum to MOTI, Museum of the Image. And of course MOTI has a strong connection with the world of information and media, which comes from graphic design but goes towards what I call the ‘future of graphic design’, that is visual culture or image culture. … Graphic design has transformed into a varied contemporary media world. What was supposed to be a small and craft-based profession called ‘graphic design’, has become in the twenty-first century a very popular and democratised discipline at the center of art and media. And technology develops further. We have no rules any more. We are departing from the graphic profession as it developed in the 1970-80s. We are now part of the explosion of image culture, a bombardment of visuals all around us. Technology creates a culture for the mass.»

(Mieke Gerritzen, MOTI Breda)




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