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Place It

Place It. Thirteen Story Settings in Bolzano Public Space
Lungomare Gallery, Bolzano, IT
Manifesta 7
July 18 – October 13, 2008

Curator: Angelika Burtscher

Statement: «The exhibition project Place it invite graphic designers to come to Bolzano and reflect on context-related geopolitical and sociocultural issues through four graphic art interventions in the public space. The project will transform vertical wall surfaces in the city of Bozen into exhibition venues. “Place it” aims in addition to draw attention to the relevance and the impact of visual communication in our contemporary culture.
The project
Place it makes use of instruments of visual communication. The project intervenes in four public places in the city in order to creatively explore its history, present state and future prospects. The interventions take as their point of departure already existing surfaces and buildings in four selected city areas. These characterize and encapsulate the architectural and social structure of the city of Bolzano: the historic center, the expansion zone of the 1930s, the residential area developed in the 1960s and 70s, and the industrial zone.
Graphic designers were deliberately chosen as those shaping the exhibition. Graphic design and advertising serve clearly defined functions, such as recognizability, functionality, legibility and expressiveness. The exact means chosen however depend on the designer’s own subjective imagination as he tries to find the right visual communication solutions for his customers. Graphic design stands for even more than this, though. In the current century it has increasingly developed into an independent visual language that has become part of our culture and a conveyer of social, political and cultural beliefs. place it connects this sociopolitical relevance of graphic design with its fundamental functions, and at the same time experiments with its power to express and visualize themes relevant to the geopolitical and sociocultural concerns of a city.
At the center of the project is the concept of “visual learning”. Place it involves communication interventions without a sender and with strong communicative potential for opening up room for discussion and reflection.
The project focuses attention on the message, tying it to very concrete location-related concerns in the city of Bolzano and communicating the stories told to a wide audience. Four international graphic designers or teams will be invited to stage a graphic intervention in four different urban areas. These interventions may be two- or three-dimensional, and may entail active communication or passively encourage reflection on their context-related content.» (more info on the single projects available at the Lungomare Gallery’s website)

Participants: Alexander Egger, Kasia Korczak, Luna Maurer, Manuel Raeder, Slavs & Tatars, Roel Wouters.