An extrait of our little talk with Ed and Harmen.
P&V: How did you end up, starting from a commercial advertising agency designer to an autonomous graphic artist?
Ed: I just continued to be a graphic designer. I wanted to turn graphic design into an art practice instead of a commercial practice.
P&V: Were you combining your work with art before?
Ed: When you go out of high school you’re eighteen, than four years of bachelor, than in America you can go a two years of masters and phd if you want.. However, I went to a technical high school, it’s called trade school.
The ideology of my school was coming from from the Bauhaus. There was almost no difference between art and design
P&V: So you were fed with Bauhaus
Ed: Sort of yes. I had three years of art history. I had a pretty sophisticated education for a kid. It was les beaux art training like the time when you learn from drawing a model.
I was indoctrinated as a young person into this understanding of design and art as one. You were becoming either a fine artist or commercial artist.
What we were learning wasn’t called graphic design, it was called commercial art. The term ‘graphic design’ arrived in America in 60s.
Bauhaus called design as layout. In 50s when I started, I was called layout man. There were no layout woman. Women could not work more than eight consecutive hours, there were laws against it. However, in design practice we work more than eight hours, so woman could not be part of this profession.
Harmen Liemburg: Do you thing when the second world war ended, the whole movement liberated woman back to traditional role models?
Ed: Yes. The other thing was that people wanted to have the goodies, like washing machines, kitchenware, etc. So they actually had to work extra harder.
P&V: You mentioned that you were currently working with an exit strategy. Can you explain it further?
During thirty years, I worked as a commercial artist. I did what the client demanded.
However, all these flyers in the exhibition, I was the one bought them to the printing, that’s why it became art practice. I was the author of the command. It’s like buying your own print. I always lived in a modest way, that’s why iI did not needed to buy a lot of stuff. I only did enough money to live, no extra need.
The letterforms that I am currently working on, I call it art abbot commercial art, combining the whole little rich history of design with the vernacular, decorative forms, borders. America has such a rich history of typography. My work also discovers the American history, a vernacular history but still a professional one.
P&V: You have a great interest for the vernacular, can you explain what it means to you?
Ed: The vernacular is done with great care imagination and love. It’s done with the endeavor that people have.
It’s like the history of two masons, one is lying bricks, the other one is building a cathedral. The vernacular is about how people feel about what they are doing.
Human beings decorate themselves, it’s part of our evolution, we started with painting our caves. You can compare it to animals. For sexual attraction they grow beautiful hair.
Photography: Qui Yang
We were invited by Chaumont Poster Festival 2011 to take part in the exhibition 13 a Cheval.
This poster is a reaction towards the anti-Semitic words of John Galliano (28 Feb).
John Galliano, having the looks of a gypsy pirate created ecstatic couture. It was clear that he drew it’s inspiration from minorities and different cultures. As Pinar&Viola, we have always felted affiliated with his way of working. Thus, when the upsetting news made the headlines, it was a complete stroke for us that these anti-Semitic remarks were coming from his mouth.
Physical perfection has always been an obsession in the cult of fashion. This made an odd connection in our minds with fascism’s antidemocratic aesthetics.
While making a poster which speaks about the ephemerality of the fashion industry, we made use of the new African patterns, next rave in the fashion industry.
This poster is silkscreened by Les Arts Graphiques, Strasbourg.
Our poster is shown in the catalogue of Chaumont 2011 together with our terror battle opponent, Mr. Michiel Schuurman, the wizard.
We started a terror battle in 2010 between us and him, on which one of us would create more graphical terror.
What do you think who earned more points on this one? Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starting from Monday 23, we’ll be giving a workshop at Chaumont Poster Festival around the theme “open texts”, alongside with Vier5, Lust, Thomas Huot-Marchand, Nicolas Filloque and Adrien Zammit, Grégory Ambos and Régis Tossetti, Sacha Leopold et Thibaut Robin.
Also, our Détox Dior poster will be shown within the exhibition 13 à Cheval, together with Michiel Schuurman, Paul Cox, Paul Elliman, Séverin Millet, Olaf Ladousse, Hector de la Vallée, Bonnefrite, Guillaumit, Arrache-toi un œil, Jochen Gerner, Jocelyn Cottencin & Jean-Marc Ballée.
If you happened to be there, just come and say hello!
A selection of 150 images of Diva Opaque: Guardians of Intimacy, our former exhibition at Schrank8 Gallery, Amsterdam. Diva Opaque is an eccentric image collection of snapshots, carefully manipulated pictures and skillful photomontages, all portraying veiled divas. The images come from the secret collection of Scarf_whiz80, a persona that we invented. He glorifies the headscarf who in contradiction with today’s sensational hijab-hype.
This work is a critique on societal norms of gender, race, religion and sexuality, including destructions of stereotypes and ideologies.
With today’s expansion of identity politics and the booming prosecution of middle-class, narrow-minded morality in the discourses of popular culture and public policy, we state the veil as the neo black.
Ami Shavit, born 1934, Israel. He lives in Ein Hod and Tel Aviv.
Shavit’s work involves in creating virtual environments with optic and kinetic art, including structures worked by electricity, moving tubular configurations illuminated by colored lights.
Tomoko Konoike (鴻池朋子) (born Akita, Japan, 1960) is a Japanese artist.
A graduate of the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, Konoike has come to prominence through Nihonga-styled surreal paintings and installations that often feature wolves and other regular motifs. The artist lives and works near the Akihabara area of Tokyo.