by Éditions Empire

Revue Faire - Issues 27-30
Various
Éditions Empire - 30.00€ -  out of stock

Critical publications dedicated to the analysis of Graphic Design are sadly few and far between today, particularly in France, but also in Europe as a whole.

Adopting an analytical and critical posture with regard to the forms and activities of Graphic Design, Sacha Léopold and François Havegeer established in 2017 a printed publication that deals with these practices. The publication works with eight authors (Lise Brosseau, Manon Bruet, Thierry Chancogne, Céline Chazalviel, Jérôme Dupeyrat, Catherine Guiral, Étienne Hervy and Sarah Vadé).

Revue Faire - Issues 23-26
Various
Éditions Empire - 26.00€ -

Critical publications dedicated to the analysis of Graphic Design are sadly few and far between today, particularly in France, but also in Europe as a whole.

Adopting an analytical and critical posture with regard to the forms and activities of Graphic Design, Sacha Léopold and François Havegeer established in 2017 a printed publication that deals with these practices. The publication works with eight authors (Lise Brosseau, Manon Bruet, Thierry Chancogne, Céline Chazalviel, Jérôme Dupeyrat, Catherine Guiral, Étienne Hervy and Sarah Vadé).

Paris la consciencieuse : Paris la guideuse du monde
Frédéric Bruly Bouabré
Éditions Empire - 35.00€ -

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré (1923-2014) is an Ivorian artist, poet, “re-searcher”, creator and inventor of the Bété syllabary. In 1989, he was thrust to the front of the international artistic scene during the Magiciens de la terre exhibition (May 18 – August 14, 1989, Centre Georges Pompidou, Grande Halle de La Villette, Paris). Introduced alongside a hundred other artists from all over the world, he would subsequently become world famous for his drawings on maps enhanced with colored pencil.

But in May of that year, Bruly Bouabré still cherished quite a different dream: that of becoming a writer. As he was getting ready to fly to Paris, leaving African soil for the first time, the poet was commissioned by his friends Odile and Georges Courrèges (then director of the French Cultural Center of Abidjan) to write the story of his trip. This is how, a few weeks after his return, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré would submit his “report” of 325 handwritten pages produced in “33 days”, in which he gleefully recounts his journey – at times punctuated by insignificant events  – while questioning the place of Man in Western society.

Until now, this tale of “a blind man in Paris,” as he first was to call it, had remained unpublished. The text – of pleasing findings and enchanting language – is that of an observer seeking to understand a changing world, with his own culture as a starting point. Imbued with such freedom and desire for identification and documentation, which characterize the work of this encyclopedic creator, the book is a very unique testimony to a milestone in the history of contemporary art.

Initiated by Odile and Georges Courrèges, who provided publishers with a copy of the manuscript entrusted to them by the artist, the project for this publication was also made possible thanks to André Magnin, who provided the original manuscript.

Foreword by Jean-Hubert Martin

Artists as Iconographers
Garance Chabert & Aurélien Mole (eds.)
Éditions Empire - 22.00€ -

For over a century now, iconographer artists have fuelled their approach by tapping into the diversity of images produced by othersand spread through society by industrial means. From collage to the post-internet school, from archival installations to Appropriationist quotation and image constellations, the present book puts these art practices into perspective, focusing on the last forty years, an extraordinarily dynamic period that recently witnessed the invention and development of a new way of disseminating information and images, the internet. Through theoretical texts, artists’ interviews, and exhibition practices, the book maps the connections artists maintain with images and examines emotion as the driving force in our interactions with them.

Editors: Garance Chabert & Aurélien Mole
Texts: François Aubart, Garance Chabert & Aurélien Mole, Ingrid Luquet-Gad, Jan Verwoert.

Interviews: Pierre-Olivier Arnaud, Barbara Breitenfellner, Céline Duval, Haris Epaminonda, Aurélien Froment, Wade Guyton, Camille Henrot, Thomas Hirschhorn, Pierre Leguillon, Jonathan Monk, Clément Rodzielski, Linder Sterling, John Stezaker, Oriol Vilanova, by Timothée Chaillou.

32 pages leaflet, Turmoil, Batia Suter, 2020, layered reproductions excerpt from a series in progress, various size. Courtesy of Batia Suter.

Revue Faire n°30: Types of types: the typographic specimen by Lineto
Olivier Lebrun
Éditions Empire - 10.00€ -

For Lineto (https://lineto.com) the Specimen plays out through forms and formats in order to promote the foundry’s typefaces: books, posters, envelopes, pamphlets, letter transfers, print ads, and video clips as well as inflatable structures and bootlegs of logotypes. When Reala published LL Biff in 2000, the specimen employed graffiti culture and its modes of distribution, along with a combination of two references: “Medium is the message”*, “Style is the message”**. For Lineto the citation is a form that allows them to distribute their typographic catalogue while promoting diverse cultural fields: “Ignorance of your own culture is not considered cool!”***

* — Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, 1964
** — Tony Silver and Henri Chalfant, Style Wars, 1983
*** — Print ad for Lineto published in Dot Dot Dot #16, 2008 that cites The Residents, Duck Stab Poster, 1978

Revue Faire °29: Girls, the Troopers of Dance
Alexandra Midal
Éditions Empire - 7.00€ -

The British origins of synchronized dancing—invented in 1880 by John Tiller in a cotton mill—were quickly forgotten in Berlin, where periodicals established themselves as the expression of standardization and American capitalism. The famous Tiller Girls had become the modern figure of the “New Woman”, performing in shows attracting more than four million spectators each year. A seduced Hitler asked for his own troupe: the Hiller Girls. Face to face, both periodicals look like strictly indistinguishable replicas, apart from their opposite messages.

Synchronized dancing revealed the democratic and fascist forms given to the political discourse of the Weimar Republic when the NSDAP seized power. Between the power of forms and forms of power, amid the destruction of cities, decrees banishing the use of Fraktur, and the destruction of degenerate art, those dance shows, undoubtedly because of their popularity, showed that National Socialism was using insidious and invisible strategies to empty forms of their content only to maintain their appearance intact, thus revealing a shadow practice that, in the end, turned out to be just as barbaric as world-wide destruction or the burning of books.

Revue Faire n°28: The Conference: A Format
Manon Bruet, Area of Work
Éditions Empire - 7.00€ -  out of stock

There are an increasing number of spaces in the field of Graphic Design where work can be promoted. Intermediary platforms between practitioners and the public can come in the form of specific tools (Instagram, for example) or even events that are organized for that purpose (festivals and exhibitions). The conference is one of these platforms. A true ephemeral editorial object, it is highly suited to the explanation and extension of the practices and methodologies of designers. It is, for certain designers, the opportunity to take stock of an approach, an inventory of finished forms, and for others, on the contrary, a pretext for the production of new, sometimes more performative, even experimental forms.

Revue Faire n°27: Rhizomes of London
Sonia de Puineuf
Éditions Empire - 7.00€ -

A mine of images and ideas for architectural and urban-planning practices, the journal Archigram (1961–70) has already been the subject of close reading and analysis by architects, historians, theoreticians, and architecture critics. This study approaches Archigram from a different angle, attempting to interpret it as a successful artifact of graphic design by confronting it with the achievements of its time and other inspirational eras of editorial and environmental graphic design.

It aims to explain the graphical evolution of the journal through the graphical stimuli of London—the city where the Archigram architects worked on a daily basis. It is an attempt to demonstrate that the publication, at first glance confusingly heterogeneous, is akin to a comprehensive mapping of the secret whirrs and the more obvious trends of the English metropolis, where the futuristic utopia of the dynamic city took shape in such a particular way. By identifying London’s potential during the mythical Sixties, the Archigram journal stands out as a rhizomatic image, a living mirror of the urban organism.

Revue Faire n°26: Production Process
Manon Bruet
Éditions Empire - 7.00€ -

In 2008, English Graphic Designer James Goggin ran a two-day workshop with design students at the Hochschule Darmstadt in Germany. The object which resulted gradually took on the appearance of a photo album, a typeface specimen, and a color chart. On the cover, the phrase “Dear Lulu, Please try and print these line, color, pattern, format, texture and typography tests for us” is clearly addressed to the online print platform for which this book was proposed as a test.

Ten years later, the offer has become more diverse and the success of such online platforms is undeniable—indeed the phenomenon has spread well beyond the field of publishing. While some bemoan unfair competition for printers, others, professionals and amateurs, see in it a freedom to print and distribute relatively well finished objects at low cost.

The possibilities of these systems of production, are multiple but nonetheless limited, and this obviously raises the question of a possible standardization of forms and formats. However, when it comes to Print On Demand, it seems that the issue is not so much the materiality of an object (the choice of format, paper or a particular manufacture) but rather the actual existence of this object itself, outside of usual channels of production and distribution.

Revue Faire n°25: Exhibition Views?
Remi Parcollet
Éditions Empire - 7.00€ -  out of stock

Photographs of works of art in an exhibition or studio setting, enlarged to the size of the wall, have become an essential and increasingly systematic element of contemporary museography. The institutional curator accompanied by his or her set designer, and the independent curator, both use them as much to recontextualize works as for their aesthetic qualities as documentary images that have become immersive and reflexive.

The obviously richer relationship that artists have with these unique images reveals in various ways what is currently at stake in the act of exhibiting.

To create a kind of retrospective of his work, in 2016 Johnathan Monk debuted a series of exhibitions entitled Exhibit Model*, which consisted of covering the walls of the exhibition space with archive photographs that documented his work in different contexts over the last 20 years. Marie J. Jean considers these staged exhibition views as a form of augmented reality: “This manner of considering the exhibition, in other words, of exhibiting the work along with the context of its appearance, reminds us that the work of art “is a place”, “establishes a place”, is “a has taken place**”.

However for Johnathan Monk, who often uses the work of other artists, isn’t it simply a way in which to appropriate his own work?”

Revue Faire n°24: A Theater Identity
Cornel Windlin
Éditions Empire - 7.00€ -  out of stock

Designed by Cornel Windlin (with Gregor Huber), the communications of the Zürich Schauspielhaus for the 2009/10 and 2010/11 seasons appeared just as the collaboration between the designers and the theater ended: with the Grand Prix of the Brno Biennial in 2010, where they won first prize in the international competition, with an exhibition in Chaumont the following year at the same time as the Swiss Federal Design Award, a brief appearance in specialist magazines and on specialist sites, and then nothing at all.

Once again, Cornel Windlin retreated into the shadows, leaving behind work which asserted itself through both its amplitude and completeness in the heavy silence which remained, and through the multifaceted mass of the media imagery that it reactivated. A series of seasonal posters, event posters, annual and monthly programs, booklets dedicated to each piece, invitations, flyers, graphic materials from the program for younger audiences… everything is here, set in a precisely tuned bold Unica77, digitized by the Lineto foundry with the original team of designers (along with Windlin), all coming together in that blindness inherent to times of eclipse, where the black disk chosen by Windlin as the identity of the Schauspielhaus stands out. Now, a decade later, the idea is to propose a meticulously organized reception, informed by Cornel Widlin and placed in a cavalier perspective by the analysis of Thierry Chancogne.

Revue Faire n°23: A Portrait
Ziga Testen
Éditions Empire - 7.00€ -  out of stock

Design history as an independent discipline and field of study appears to be in trouble. Design historians complain about its diminishing influence within universities due to the ongoing instrumentalisation of higher education. The Eurocentric canon built upon values and methods adopted from art and architecture history has been contested by decolonial theories. And finally, it appears that the trust in the institution of ‘history’ itself and its meta-narratives has eroded.

A discipline that was once considered to provide reflection on what came before and guidance on what could come to be—under the auspice of a grand narrative of continuous progress—has been replaced by modest narratives, social anthropologies, and claims of the ‘end of history’.

In this article, I rummage through the ruins of design history and try to unpack what it was that we once considered design history and our design history canon, how we wrote about it and to what end. In particular, I focus on this one image: a portrait photograph of a well-known historical figure, the designer and typographer Jan Tschichold. How is it used? And what stories do we tell about it?

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