Concept et curating: François Havegeer, Sacha Léopold (Syndicat) et Quentin Schmerber
Exhibition Design: Pernelle Poyet
Texts: Syndicat et Étienne Hervy
Le Fonds international d’objets imprimés de petite taille (International Collection of Small-Scale Printed Objects) looks at contemporary graphic design through the intelligence of the forms and economic and technical knowhow of printed objects that are modest in their format or size.
The attention usually paid to graphic design has long focused on the discipline’s most salient object, the poster. The formal kinship of that support with painted pictures, and the tradition of biennials and art competitions have favored spectacular dimensions for posters to the detriment of other graphic objects (invitations, flyers, ephemera, bookmarks, business or calling cards…).
Half library half archive, le Fonds international d’objets imprimés de petite taille is displayed on modular shelving that can be adapted to galleries and exhibition spaces. Each object is shown (it can be handled as well) on a storage case displaying a notice that allows viewers to contextualize the subject and discover the intelligence of a form designed to echo the content.
Technical or economic constraints can strongly influence a project in some cases. They lead designers to rethink the object and imagine different logics of how the object reaches the public by experimenting with other interstices, other fissures, where graphic design can creatively develop. The collection, made up of several hundred international projects, is meant to evolve and grow as it travels.
The present selection features new or little known productions by a range of international designers that includes ÅBÄKE (UK), Ines Cox (B), Ed Fella (US), GRAPUS (FR), Karel Martens (NL), Mevis & Van Deursen (NL), M/M (FR), Fanette Mellier (FR), Meeusontwerpt (NL), Jonathan Monk (GER), Karl Nawrot (FR), Adrian Piper (US), Mathias Schweizer (CH), Vier5 (GER), and Yonatan Vinitsky (PL).
The exhibition thus offers a different history of contemporary graphic design, one where the quality of the object on display is not (solely) defined by a format and a support, but rather by the intelligence of the form, the execution, the materials, and the experimentation that eventually gave birth to it. A history in which the apparent modesty and limited size of the object seem to top the bill.