At the beginning of September Contemporary Lynx visited Design September in Brussels. This annual event is an absolute must for design enthusiasts. It brings together more than 100 cultural events. For one month the entire city turns into vibrant cultural centre where design projects are supplemented by many top-quality cultural and arts events: conferences, exhibitions, workshops etc.
One of these exhibitions caught Contemporary Lynx’s keen eye: “Enfant terrible. New Polish Poster”, staged at Bozar Centre for Fine Arts – an impressive and prestigious multidisciplinary venue, located in the heart of Brussels.
The exhibition brings together posters created by contemporary Polish graphic artists. The title of the presentation “New Polish Posters” links but also separates the exhibition from the famous “Polish School of Posters”. Since the 50s, Polish posters promoting mostly cinema productions, Polish and foreign, became famous in Western Europe. The term “Polish School of Posters” was coined in the 60s following the international successes of graphic artists such as Henryk Tomaszewszki or Jan Lenica. The role of these posters was to advertise theatre plays, movies, exhibitions and cultural events.
The young generation of artists presented in Brussels is only loosely inspired by this tradition. However, what do they have in common with the classics is freedom of expression, search for new graphic solutions and wise and witty comment.
What we can see in Brussels is a wide range of styles, catchy colours, rough graphic lines, geometric forms filled in with big spots of flat colours and photo collages – all mixed with interesting typography. Posters feature a rabbit with a gun, a nun next to Darth Vader, Dracula and various hybrids of animals and fictional persona taken from novels, plays, films and exhibitions. All these images taken together, create an atmosphere of satire and parody where everything is turned upside down – an art carnival in itself. According to Bakhin, a Russian literature critic, father of the term carnivalesque, carnival spirit moves society towards more open, free and democratic practice. Poster is an art field leaning towards the pop culture and aims to appeal to street crowds. The chaos of colours mingles with humour. Grotesque links the sacred with the profane. “Enfant terrible. New Polish Poster” show catches a bit of the carnivalesque spirit and is certainly worth a visit.
artists: Agata Dudek, Ania Goszczyńska, Małgorzata Gurowska, Hakobo (Jakub Stępień), Homework (Joanna Górska & Jerzy Skakun), Michał Jońca, Agata Królak, Krystian Kujda, Aleksandra Niepsuj, Noviki Studio Grafiki (Katarzyna Nestorowicz & Marcin Nowicki), Michael Okraj, Olka Osadzińska, Studio Fontarte (Artur Frankowski & Magdalena Frankowska), Aleksandra Waliszewska
curators of the exhibition: Magdalena Frankowska, Artur Frankowski, Zofia Machnicka
coordination: Dieter Van Der Storm, Zofia Machnicka
scenography: Isabelle Speybrouck
visit: BOZAR Center for Fine Arts, Brussels Rue Ravensteinstraat 23, 1000 Brussels, www.bozar.be
(Tuesday – Sunday from 10:00 until 18:00. On Thursday until 21:00.)
05/09/13 – 13/10/13
Exhibition presented in the frames of the festival Design September
words: Sylwia Krason