Typopass - Critical design and conceptual typography


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The project focuses on typography, a visual language that can be interpreted both in the field of art and design. The exhibition present historical and contemporary projects and publications from the boundary of design and the visual arts in three groups: Typographical utopias, Anti- and parallel design, Subversive design.

A utopian approach to design first appeared in the modernist movements, questioning the ornamental function of design and lining it up for social and political goals. The sixties and seventies saw the appearance of anti-design; as a means of expressing a critical attitude, more and more artists turned to deliberately amateur DIY solutions. Today, the design elements that were created originally out of political and social commitment have become freely interchangeable stylistic elements, devices of marketing, making the political decoding and conscious use of the diverse visual languages necessary for the critical approach. The exhibition presents the historical and contemporary projects and publications from the boundary of design and the visual arts in three groups: Typographical utopias, Parallel design, Subversive design.

Typographic Utopias
The belief that design and typography can have a political potential to shape society historically appeared within the constructivist movement. At the same time the approach of typography as a world-constructing system can also be discerned in neo-avantgarde and contemporary practices. In this section we present historical documents and contemporary projects that deal with the heritage and reception of modernist design and typography.

Anti- and parallel design
The degree zero of typography, handwriting, or typewritten, photocopied, stapled publications are not always shortcomings but the “trademarks” of political, cultural and market resistance. Eastern-European neo-avant-garde artists and samizdat publishers often use such solutions as a revolt against the “good taste” and professionalism representative of institutions. This segment focuses on Eastern-European artists’ publications, historical and contemporary practices applying deliberately rudimentary and unpretentious design techniques.

Subversive design
In addition to the establishment of new visual languages another important device of critical design is the reflection on, and appropriation of the phenomena of visual culture, decoding and deconstruction of aesthetized political gestures. New and existing projects raise consciousness of underlying mechanisms and signs embedded in various typographical practices.

The three-part exhibition is accompanied by programs:

The Fall seminar of Free School for Art Theory and Practice is connected to the Typopass - Critical design and conceptual typography exhibition

14 October 15:00 – 18:00, Dorottya Gallery
Société Réaliste
19?9 - seminar
At the seminar first step Société Réaliste would like to make visible the changes in the Hungarian Constitution since 1949 and to ask the participants to start a massive amendment process in order to decorticate the very concept of the "constitution", this juridico-typographic tool of rule.
For details see the seminar with Socété Réaliste link.
Location: Dorottya Gallery (1051, Dorottya u. 8.)

14 October 18:00, Dorottya Gallery
Société Réaliste
Glyphs and Strata - lecture

15 October 18:00, Dorottya Gallery
Helvetica (directed by Gary Hustwit) - screening
Introduction by Márton Orosz, typographer, art historian
Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which recently celebrated its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives.

22 October 17:00, Platán Gallery
Branka Stipancić: Mladen Stilinović - Artist’s Books
Piotr Rypson: Out of Type – Polish Artist Publications
Géza Perneczky: Artists´ publication on the border of underground and avant-garde

The first two lectures are in English, the third one in Hungarian.

Partners: Artpool Art Research Center, Hungarian Institute for Educational Research and Development, Hungarian National Gallery, Labor, Pest Workshop - János Fajó, Petőfi Literary Museum - Kassák Museum, Polish Institute, Ernő Sára, Krisztina Somogyi

Supported by: National Cultural Fund - Hungary, Budapest Autumn Festival, Ministry of Education and Culture

The exhibition and event series are part of the international project Art Always Has Its Consequences co-financed by the Culture 2007 program of the European Union.

19?9 - seminar with Société Réaliste

External Links
Art always project
Flickr album