- 27th International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno 2016
BB Never Odd or Even, a publication you designed (and for which you have been awarded at the 25th Brno Biennial in 2012), will be exhibited as a part of Which Mirror Do You Want to Lick?, an exhibition between reality and fiction, situated in real and fictitious space. Can you re-introduce Never Odd or Even?
MR Well I did not really design Never Odd or Even; it is an actual art work by the Mexican artist Mariana Castillo Deball, the idea and concept was made by Mariana Castillo Deball, with many contributors who actually made the design. But I published Vol. II with my publishing house called Bom Dia Boa Tarde Boa Noite.
Volume II is an anthology of 30 dust jackets of non-existing books. A compilation of 30 titles in one single publication. It is a literary journey throughout different topics and subject matters ranging from: unpublished memories, tropical manifestations, intragenealogy, Why the letter E is everywhere?, the taste of truth, the aroma of existence, contemporary ruins, conversations between a cardinal and a roadrunner bird, and more!
Never Odd or Even is a project by Mariana Castillo Deball with contributions by Mario Bellatin, Koen Brams, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Santiago da Silva, Tim Etchells, Carla Faesler, Dario Gamboni, Dora García, Moosje Goosen, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Pascale Montandon, Irene Kopelman, Adriana Lara, Pablo León de la Barra, Jesse Lerner, Juana Lomeli, Valeria Luiselli, Raimundas Malašauskas, Antoni Muntadas, Sophie Nys, Manuel Raeder, Eran Schaerf and Eva Meyer, Sergio Taborda and Heriberto Yépez.
By the nature of this project most of the dust jackets were designed directly by the contributors themselves, or with the help of the artist.
For the actual exhibitions Mariana normally invites other writers or critics that do not have a dust jacket contributions. They then choose 2 or 3 dust jackets and present them in a public talk or presentation as if they were actual book reviews or book launches. Therefore every time she shows the art work Never Odd or Even, new stories are also being invented what each book might be about. It’s an art work about writing and fiction.
The typeface on the actual cover is also part of the art work by M. C. D., and she designed it herself. When she does the lectures there normally is a tangram table standing around which has the same shapes as the typeface.
BB Your studio has been responsible for communication strategies and graphic identities of several cultural institutions. Is there a common approach, goals or challenges that you face and try to address when working on commissions of this kind?
MR It’s totally different every time. As also every time it’s a different set up of for e. g. institution, curator, artists or even exhibitions inside the same institution.
At the studio (Studio Manuel Raeder currently consists of Migle Kazlauskaite, Enno Pötschke, Manuel Raeder and studio manager Annette Schryen) we try to develop the design for each exhibition in dialogue directly with the people involved, but this can vary so extremely. In general a common approach might be that we approach things newly every time and do something that is in direct relationship with the content of what it is. You can even still see this for example in the work we do with Artists Space in New York. We have redesigned the identity for artist space already twice, in order to accommodate also the changes within the institution and it’s own program.
But still also for each exhibition we try to create an own visual language or appearance.
BB You have been involved in long standing collaborations with several artists. Can you tell us a bit about the nature of these relationships?
MR Whilst being a student at the JVE in 2002 I basically just started working closely together with friends and the colleagues that were around me. From that other artists saw books or projects and then approached me to work with them. Some artists like Haegue Yang, Mariana Castillo Deball, Bless, Nora Schultz, Danh Vo also became close friends and we continued working ever since. What is extremely nice about that is that a mutual trust and friendship then also started growing, so the way we collaborate also evolved over these years.
BB Bom Dia Boa Tarde Boa Noite is a publishing house based in Berlin and Mexico City that you are a founder of. Can you tell us a bit about what led you to setting it up, and its publishing programme?
MR Most of the time it is the artist that directly approaches me without a publisher in between. So it always was a question of finding a publisher for a book that we worked on. So between 2003 and 2011 I have placed a lot of artists in different publishing houses. At the beginning this was even sometimes very difficult as ten years ago some of them and their works were not known at all.
At one point I thought it could be nice to have a publishing house for the more difficult publishing projects that most publishers would anyhow reject or thought it was too difficult to publish them. Most of these were books that I was 100% convinced about and thought that they were really essential to be published, One example is the Bless lookbook collaborations. Since Bless N° 23 The bringer in 2004, all of the lookbooks have been published inside existing magazines and designed in close collaboration with Studio Manuel Raeder. Publishing the Bless lookbooks inside existing magazines allows Bless to spread ideas and projects in a broader field, beyond regular circulation in press offices and not solely within the fashion industry. The lookbooks are distributed with the aim of joining ideas together, creating new friendships, and causing unusual encounters. For each collaboration the lookbook in question was simultaneously available in selected bookshops and distributed for free among Bless’s shop clients. As a result, the shops discovered the magazines, while the audiences of the magazines discovered Bless. Teaming up with shops and magazines also highlights Bless’s focus not just on fashion but also on fields including art, design, food, and music, which contribute to a wider vision of what a seasonal fashion statement can mean, capturing that which is relevant to us and the world in the contemporary moment. Over time, Bless has kept a stockpile of some of these lookbook collaborations, and they were published by Bom Dia Boa Tarde Boa Noite in a limited edition containing twelve selected Bless lookbooks held together by a Bless N° 43 Handle. This kind of publishing project is something most publishers would not really dare to distribute, as all of these lookbooks have been already published by other publishers. So there are some issues of copyright.
Another idea of Bom Dia is also that it can be used by friends an colleagues as a form of distributing their books. Not all books that are published in Bom Dia are designed by me or my studio. Some are done directly by the artists or by other designers, in that way it also become a proper publishing house in the past two years but its publishing program is still focused around interests that I have or books that I find exciting to publish.
Manuel Raeder is founder of Studio Manuel Raeder and the publishing house Bom Dia Boa Tarde Boa Noite, based in Berlin and Mexico City. The studio’s works have a wide range of formats exploring the boundaries between exhibitions, ephemera, books, type design, editing, publishing, to furniture design, approaching them as carriers of information, or experimental devices to document or conceit narratives. The studio has developed long standing collaborations with artists such as BLESS, Eran Schaerf, Mariana Castillo Deball, Haegue Yang, Nora Schultz, Leonor Antunes, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Danh Vo and Sergej Jensen. It has been responsible for the communication strategies and graphic identities of several cultural institutions including Kölnischer Kunstverein (2007–2011), Para Site, Hong Kong (2013–2014); k.m, Kunstverein Munich (2010–2015); and Artists Space, New York (since 2009). In 2011, Raeder founded the publishing house Bom Dia Boa Tarde Boa Noite together with Manuel Goller (who left the publishing house in 2014). Since then it has been run by Studio Manuel Raeder, which currently consists of Migle Kazlauskaite, Enno Pötschke, Manuel Raeder and manager Annette Schryen.
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