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Indepth Arts News:

"engagement und/et graphicdesign"
2000-04-29 until 2000-06-04
Neue Gesellschaft fuer Bildende Kunst
Berlin, , DE Germany

Socially engaged graphic does mean graphic design with respect to social orientation and the intention, to deal with cultural and social subjects as well as to interfere in society. The basic understanding and knowledge of politics is as important as a conscious usage of images and layout, both having a strong impact on our everyday life.

The project consists of four parts

1.    Campaign with posters and billboards (Plakate) dealing with work in public space (among others Klaus Staeck, and Linke Hände (left hands)

2. An exhibition with works and projects by French graphic studios (among others nous travaillions ensemble, (ne pas plier). Opening on 28 April at 7 pm.

3. Events and walking tours with respect to socially and politically engaged graphic design

4. A book containing interviews with French and German graphic designers and additionally many illustrations.


With this campaign (end of April / from approximately 25 April on) posters with 8 different motifs dealing with the subject work will be introduced to the public in Berlin in an edition of approximately 5.000 copies. Additionally these motifs will also be on display on billboards of 8 subway stations.

Kottbusser Tor (U1, U8), Osloerstr.(U8), Frankfurter Allee (U5), Bahnh. Zoo (U2), Alexanderplatz (U8), Wittenbergplatz (U2), Hermannplatz (U7, U8), Warschauerstr. (U1), Friedrichstr, S-Bahn (S1)

It is obvious that most of the images in public space are serving interests of the market and the advertisement and promotion of products. At the same time other images with a different background and representing cultural, social and political intentions try to depict the social situation in a different way. With respect to the tendency to let private interests rule public space, we think that political and social images are getting more and more important.

Why the subject work

The context of May 1st was a good occasion to focus on work as central subject for this campaign. Of course there were more reasons. Work is an important basic political and social category undergoing basic changes. This topic is a hot issue widely discussed. Solutions and answers being offered range from old receipts up to neo liberal concepts of the future. This dispute involves not only arguments but also visual means. This is exactly where we try to intervene!

Artists contributing to the campaign:

- Linke Hände (Graphic studio/Hamburg)
- Klaus Staeck (Graphic artists/Heidelberg)
- Marely Stroux (Photographer/Hamburg)
- Manfred Butzmann (Graphic artist/Berlin)
- Druck machen! (Silkscreen collective from Roten Flora/Hamburg)
- Martin Klintworth (Graphic artist/Leipzig)
- Umbruch Bildarchiv (Pictorial archive and insitute for reproductional work/Berlin)


29 April to 4 June 2000
Oranienstr. 25
D-10999 Berlin (Kreuzberg)
daily 12 am. to 6.30 pm.

The exhibition will include works by French graphic studios and artists. The exhibition does not intend to introduce the complete work of the participating artists but to show various selected examples of engaged graphic design.

All contributing artists and group of artists are mainly engaged in the social, political and cultural field. Most of them work as collectives.

The show contains works from les graphistes associes, ne pas plier, fabrique dimage,

nous travaillions ensemble, Pascal Colrat, Gerard Paris-Clavel, le bar floreal, Malte Martin, fabrication maison and by others.


Several events such as discussions, lectures will take place within the period of the exhibition. For detailed information please contact NGBK by phone under ++49/30/6153031 or by fax ++49/30/6152290 or by email: ngbk@snafu.de


128 pages, printed in color (ISBN 3-926796-62-6) with numerous illustrations. Beside an introduction in the project the book contains interviews with the graphic design artists such as les graphiste associés, Klaus Staeck, nous travaillions ensemble, Linke Hände, ne pas plier, fabrique dImage, Pascal Colrat, Manfred Butzmann, Büro für Ungewöhnliche Maßnahmen, etc.

The interviews will deal with questions like:

- the responsibility of graphic design artists dealing with the graphical design and layout of reality
- methods and processes of work
- differences between the French and German situation
- the economical situation of socially and politically engaged graphic projects - working as collective
- images and power
- distribution of images with social contents in the context of social movements

Price: DM 22,- in the exhibition and DM 38,- in book stores A project of NGBK with friendly support of the Institute Français / Berlin

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