From the Archive; Graphic Design: Now in Production

Occasionally I will dip into my archive of reviews, written for various publications and websites, and as I’m back in New York City, visiting design exhibitions, I thought I’d re-share this review of an exhibition event.

Graphic Design: Now in Production
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Governors Island, New York City
Visited 1 September 2012

Picture 26:9:12

4:38am, 26 September 2012
“Shake hands with the devil”
by Liz Farrelly
Originally posted on Eye Blog

The final hours of Graphic Design: Now in Production (the New York leg) provided a snapshot of contemporary practice, from the Stone Twins to Metahaven.

For the last Saturday of Cooper-Hewitt’s Graphic Design: Now in Production exhibition in New York, a student and professional crowd massed for ‘The Final Hours’. The temporary location (while the Carnegie Mansion is closed for renovation) was Governors Island, a breezy six-minute ferry ride from Lower Manhattan.

Co-curator Ellen Lupton observed that the audience was a mix of ‘die-hard graphic designers, who’ve come over repeatedly, and other visitors who’ve known nothing about design before their visit’. Walking around the show, the excitement was palpable. Enthusiastic children reported their finds to parents and cameras were clicking as visitors took photos of each other in front of favourite exhibits.
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8 Chairs, making it old

Credit : Ed Reeve

8 Chairs, Clarke & Reilly
Gallery Libby Sellers
41-42 Berners Street, London
14 March to 26 April 2013
Visited 25 April 2013

Gallery installation photography by Ed Reeve

The pathetic sight of an abandoned sofa, hunched next to the bins, between pavement and road, that reveals an intimacy of wear and tear, of spills and rips, is enough to guarantee it’ll never be loved again. The inappropriateness of seeing a fundamentally domestic object in such an immodestly public setting – the world upside down – chases away any last vestige of cosiness and comfort. Now it’s only fit for the worst type of treatment…and ultimately the dump.
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Conference Session; Design Objects and the Museum

39th Annual AAH Conference
University of Reading
11 to 13 April 2013

More usually I write up conferences from the vantage point of being an audience member. This time, however, I was a convenor, which entailed defining the theme, sending out our call for papers to networks far and wide, selecting the papers, and chairing the discussion. I’ve written this in partnership with Joanna Weddell.

At the 39th Annual Association of Art Historians Conference, myself and Joanna Weddell (we’re both recipients of AHRC Collaborative Doctorate Awards at the University of Brighton, with the Victoria and Albert Museum and London’s Design Museum, respectively) organised a session titled “Design Objects and the Museum”. Prompted by a quote from Bourdieu and Darbel’s 1969 study of museum visitors (“Maybe there should be museums with modern stuff in them, but it wouldn’t be a proper museum”), the session questioned notions of what could and should be displayed, and where, and how methods of display and interpretation might engage and educate a museum’s public.
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When an exhibition is a movie…


Exhibition: Great Art on Screen
Manet: Portraying Life

Duke’s at Komedia, Brighton, UK.
Attended, 3pm, 16 April 2013

Sneaking off to the movies mid-week and daytime usually feels slightly naughty, but this particular escapade fits well with my MPhil/PhD research topic, which is looking at the future of museums (OK, that’s a bit vague)…
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