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17 Aug 2011

Polish design 1981-2011. Design for freedom, freedom in design

Polish design 1981-2011. Design for freedom, freedom in design
The Association of Polish Graphic Designers


Design for Freedom - Freedom in Design. Graphic Design in Poland 1981-2011 is the attempt to conduct the psychoanalysis of the Polish collective unconscious on the basis of rich and abundant visual materials.
Opening of the exhibition:
25 August at 19:00
25 August - 11 September 2011
from 12:00 to 19:00 Made My Day (former UndPlus), Torstrasse 66, Berlin, Germany


The Association of Polish Graphic Designers
Foksal 11
00-372 Warsaw

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Is there freedom in design? What impedes and what stimulates a creative process? Is designing subject to conventions? Can the language of design develop endlessly or is it limited by the context?

The selected posters, magazines, fanzines, books, packaging, signs, advertising campaigns and websites produced by renowned graphic designers will unfold into a story about Polish heroism, rebellion, fears, phobias and aspirations. It is a narrative without a punchline, which, just like every psychoanalysis, opens new perspectives, reveals new horizons, exposes tinderboxes. What did design mean in 1981, when martial law was declared, the opposition was suppressed, and the leaders of Solidarity were sent to internment camps? What is it now, in 2011, in the age of post-capitalism, commercialization, globalization, political correctness, the clash between liberal and conservative visions of society? What differs a designer from behind the Iron Curtain, tormented by the permanent lack of technological base and materials, from his colleague equipped with the latest technological developments? Is it possible to identify the moment of transition from the rebellious and challenging attitude to the conformity and passivity of anti-civil society? Or maybe they skillfully adapt to the globalized world, not losing contact with their own roots and drawing on the national tradition and culture with utmost competence? The gathered works present the full spectrum of styles, languages, conventions and techniques. They show design as a vehicle for social self-organisation, an impetus for radical changes, a tool of manipulation, indoctrination, political power and oppression. They testify to the emerging new identity of the Polish graphic designer, who has to resolve a dramatic conflict between a self-aware individual with a sense of potency and a professional dependent on the process of production. We want to draw your attention to moments of turning points and cracks, artistic conceptions clashing with intentions, creations of new languages and canons. The exhibition presents works from various fields of design serving various functions. When presented as a cycle they become a story about a drastic change of life models, priorities, ambitions, codes and ways of approaching that reality, that affected Polish people, as well as changing visual culture.

The exhibition will be presented as an open working space hosting activities and events connected with practical and theoretical aspects of the Polish graphic design.

The 'LIVE' exhibition of design will continue to transform and develop. A printing workshop will be created using a screen print, a duplicator and some other simple printing equipment. The exhibition catalogue will have an experimental form. It will become a creative area – modified and submitted to interventions. While being supplemented by the original projects created in there by the graphic designers, it will be released and printed during the exhibition. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of workshops and meetings with graphic designers as well as presentations and lectures of critics and historians of design, and some graphic related activities around the city. We have invited: Grzegorz Laszuk, Jakub Hakobo Stępień, grupa Fajne Chłopaki, grupa Krecha, Artur Frankowski, Małgorzata Gurowska, Agata Nowotny, Piotr Rypson, Michael Okraj, Agata Szydłowska, Lex Drewiński and others. We are launching a bookstore with publications, posters and gadgets connected with the Polish graphic design.

curator: Rene Wawrzkiewicz
collaboration: Agata Szydłowska, Michał Warda and Michael Okraj
production: Anna Banaś, Magda Grabowska

Opening of the exhibition:
2011-08-25 at 19:00

Torstrasse 66