The exhibition "Design for Freedom"-freedom in Design. Polish graphic projects 1981-2011" presents the work of Polish graphic arists during the last 30 years, from the period of late socialism to post-1989 independence...
The project illustrates the power of design as a tool for addressing national issues through visual media in a political, economic and artistic manner. Graphic projects are shown to include symbolic meaning and hidden social critiques through the language of pictures, signs and numerous other aesthetics. In their own way, they became the quiet but pointed emblems of protest within a political battle of opposing ideologies - as well as one of the few forms of escape and means of self-expression. Polish graphic artists underwent many transformations within recent Polish history. Their roles were characterised by paradoxes: anarchy and conformity, individualism and sameness of style, rationalism and romanticism. Reacting to dynamically changing norms and the instability of various political-economic systems in Poland over the last 30 years, designers produced a whole spectrum of attitudes and styles, in accordance with the changing times.
The exhibition in Tokyo presents rarely-displayed posters, gazettes, books, packaging, signs and graphic works from 1981-2011. The works of Polish design from this tumultuous 30-year history go on display for the first time in an exhibition that explores the context of battle and conflict within socio-political reality.
These works form a narrative about the changes in living, aspirations, priorities, codes and ways of perceiving reality in past and present-day Poland and how these influenced Polish visual arts.
The exhibition will be presented in an open work space in which various activities and happenings linked with the theory and practice of Polish graphic design will also take place. The exhibition will be constantly added to through events such as a printing workshop, and classes on using different types of printing machines.
Original projects made on-site will also be printed and displayed during the exhibition. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of workshops and meetings with artists belonging to the "Stowarzyszenia Twórców Grafiki Użytkowej" / "Assosciation of Graphic Designers" as well as presentations and lectures by design critics and historians, among them: Grzegorz Laszuk, Jakub "Hakobo" Stępień, Fajne Chłopaki group, Krecha group, Małgorzata Gurowska, Agata Nowotny, Piotr Rypson, Michael Okraj, Michał Warda, Agata Szydłowska and Lex Drewiński.
Stowarzyszenie Twórców Grafiki Użytkowej /Assosciation of Graphic Designers (STGU), the exhibition's organiser, is the only Polish professional organisation with a focus on graphic design. Since 2004 the association has led many activities based on independent design projects, the promotion of designer's rights, and in raising the prestige of graphic design. The organisation aims to be a centre of experience and exchange in developing the contemporary concept of a graphic designer.
The organisation consists of 200 of the best Polish artists and graphic designers in Poland, representing different generations, Polish regions and various fields of graphic design. STGU works in collaboration with the most important Polish institutions, firms and design media.
The Tokyo exhibition takes place at the CLASKA gallery, a centre of art and design that houses both Japanese and international artworks.
Date: 7-23rd of October, 2011.
Miejsce: CLASKA, Tokyo
Organiser: Stowarzyszenie Twórców Grafiki Użytkowej.
Exhibition Curator: Marcin "Rene" Wawrzkiewicz.
Project cofinanced by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland
Source: Adam Mickiewicz Institute
For more information on the Berlin exhibition, see: Polish Design for Freedom in Berlin