- 27th International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno 2016
BB Can you tell us a bit about the background of Image, Text, Time? How did you come up with the idea? What brought you together?
FM & WR We wanted to find as many different ways as possible in which artists have dealt with typography as a central and structuring element in moving image works, outside the conventions of motion graphics or film titling. We were not interested in works where text is subservient to the image, but rather in how it becomes the image itself. Related to that we were also interested in the point at which the seemingly separate acts of reading words and viewing moving images might start to break down and become the same thing – in how images might be read, both literally and figuratively. Our research has been quite broad, crossing different timeframes – from the 60s to the present – different cultures of artists’ film – such as video art, experimental / avant-garde cinema – and with that the different technologies that have been used to render both moving images and typography. We came together through an interest in how we might combine our knowledge in the areas of typography, graphic design and artists’ film and video to create a project which offers new ways of approaching and mapping artists’ moving image – one that simultaneously has the capacity to engage both a graphic design and artists' film community.
We’ve screened different instances of the project at venues including the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and the ICA, London, but it’s ongoing and our selection shifts and changes each time. An important aspect of the project is that we also create a screen-printed poster which brings the different artists together.
BB What is your favourite film that employs typography in a remarkable way and why?
FM Associations by John Smith (1975)
Images from magazines and colour supplements accompany a spoken text taken from Word Associations and Linguistic Theory by Herbert H. Clark. By using the ambiguities inherent in the English language, Associations sets language against itself. ‘Image and word work together/against each other to destroy / create meaning’ (Smith).
WR Active Poetry by Ewa Partum (1971)
In the early ’70s Polish artist Ewa Partum made a number of public performances and installations which freed language from its use as a tool of political indoctrination and as a means of asserting authority. Shot on 8 mm, this film documents a series of actions in which the artist scatters white letters across the landscape and into the sea, allowing them to create a kind of indeterminate poetry. The cut out letters she distributes in the piece were readily available in Poland at that time and were typically used to make communist banners. The film is at once a film, a performance, a poem and a political act.
BB How does the project you have prepared for the Off Programme fit into the larger context of your practice? Are you working on something related?
FM&WR We hope to develop it into a bigger research project with a touring exhibition, book and DVD. One idea we’ve been toying with is the idea of creating an index of artists’ moving image works that deploy typography in the ways described above, with the intention of this being equally interesting and useful in the worlds of graphic design and artists' film.
Fraser Muggeridge is director of Fraser Muggeridge studio, a graphic design company based in London. Throughout a wide range of formats, from artists’ books and exhibition catalogues to posters, marketing material, exhibitions and websites, the studio prioritises artists’ and writers’ content over the imposition of a signature style. By allowing images and texts to sustain their own intent and impact, each project is approached with colour, typography and materials playing a key role in arriving at a sympathetic yet subtly alluring object. Fraser Muggeridge founded and is a tutor at Typography Summer School, a week-long programme of typographic study in London for recent graduates and professionals. The exhibition Willem Sandberg: From type to image is currently on display at the De la Warr Pavilion curated by Carolien Glazenburg, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, in collaboration with Fraser Muggeridge and De La Warr Pavilion.
William Rose is a Leeds-based producer, curator and researcher working mainly in the field of artists’ moving image. He is currently completing a book of writings and lectures by the American avant-garde filmmaker Ken Jacobs. Recent production projects include To the Editor of Amateur Photographer, a long form film by Luke Fowler and Mark Fell which has been screened at venues including MoMA and at the International Film Festival Rotterdam; and Little Birds and a Demon, a sound work broadcast from a lighthouse in Shetland by artist Grace Schwindt.
Short interviews with collaborators of the 27th Brno Biennial, authors of its exhibitions, jury members and Biennial Talks speakers.
Interviews and graphic design: Radim Peško Radim Peško (1976) is a graphic designer based in London. He works in the field of type design, editorial and exhibition projects. In 2010 he has established his RP Digital Type Foundry that specializes on typefaces that are both formally and conceptually distinctive. His work includes identity for Secession Vienna, typefaces for identities of Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Aspen Art Museum, Fridericianum, Berlin Biennale 8, various work for the Moravian Gallery in Brno, Bedford Press London or a long-term collaboration with artist Kateřina Šedá. He has lectured at many schools including Gerrit Rietveld Academie Amsterdam, ÉCAL Lausanne, HFK Bremen, KISD Cologne, École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon, Sint-Lucas Ghent, University of Seoul. Since 2011 he is part of the curatorial board of the International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno., Tomáš Celizna Tomáš Celizna (1977) is interested in graphic design in connection with new technologies. He is a founding partner of design studio dgú in Prague (2001 to 2005), recipient of J. W. Fulbright Scholarship (2006), and holds MFA in graphic design from Yale University School of Art (2008). He currently lives and works independently in Amsterdam. Collaborations include, among others, OASE Journal for Architecture, Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Since 2011 he is a lecturer in graphic design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, and a member of the curatorial team of the International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno., Adam Macháček Adam Macháček (1980) is a graphic designer. Following studies at the AAAD in Prague, Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and ÉCAL in Lausanne, he co-founded in 2004 studio Welcometo.as in Lausanne and is a member of 201∞ Designers collective. His work includes publications, exhibition catalogues, illustrations and identities. Collaborations include, among others, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, Théâtre de Vevey (seasons 2003–2012), Galerie Rudolfinum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Chronicle Books, Editions Pyramyd, Museum of Czech Literature, Brno House of Arts, California College of the Arts, Airbnb. For Brno Biennial he initiated and organized exhibitions Work from Switzerland (2004) and From Mars (2006, together with Radim Peško). Since 2011 he is a member of the curatorial team of the International Biennial of Graphic Design in Brno. He lives and works in Berkeley.
Translation and copy editing: Alena Benešová, Kateřina Tlachová
Production: Miroslava Pluháčková
Printed by: Tiskárna Helbich s. r. o.
Print run: 2000
Published by the Moravian Gallery in Brno, 2016