AN INVITATION TO PÉCS AGAIN
Pécs Little Gallery presents the posters by
(30 YEARS = 60 POSTERS)
31. 07. 2009 – 23. 08. 2009
Official opening Friday 31st July 5pm
Opening speach and presentation of the exhibition by
István Orosz graphic designer, professor of the West Hungarian University
Graphic designer Kari Piippo (1945) lives and works in Mikkeli Finland. He is a member of Alliance Graphique International (AGI). Kari had been chosen to exhibit in Pécs as the winner of the last years’ Posters/Plakátok International Competition in Pécsi Gallery.
Kari says when Einstein had realised that the universe and all its wonders may be written down in one formula: E=mc2 he didn't stop but began thinking which type, Futura or Antiqua, would it be more appropriate to put down in. Mass-energy equivalence might have been given and explained more complicatedly but it is because of its inner grace that the formula is so charming and probably this beauty hidden in its simplicity is exactly what makes it embraceable, understandable for many of us.
Rightly so with posters. Real posters, Kari Piippo posters. They are manifestations of the only formula, which is simplified to core and incompressible. Indeed, their secret lies in their toollessness. They begin where words end. I am glad to open the exhibition of Kari Piippo, great artist and good friend, however I understand the difficulty, the inner dissolvable paradox of the venture. Can we talk about visual communication? May we? Should we? I have certain experience in expressing myself when I'm in another medium and sometimes I even teach my poor students how to talk about pictures, translate the message; but practice is different. Imagine how awkward it'd be to explain Kari's 1986 Piaf poster. The weak tower of letters, bound to fall, under lights, the waving, quitting letter A all stand for both the glitter of the stage and the singer's personal tragedy what's more, for some weird reason, I am inclined to hear the weary, scratchy sound of chansons, too. Another major work, also displayed here, is a theatre poster for The Visit by Friedrich Dürrenmatt. We may be able to put together reasonable phrases about the symbol of the black panther thrown over the shoulder or the skill by which the outline of a positive figure rips the silhouette of a negative form, but what should we say about the way the only agressive colour of the poster, the red of the lipstick captures and holds our gaze and evokes the play's absurd tragedy immediately, even 20 years after. We would have to recite the tragic life of Willy Loman, Arthur Miller's salesman, if we wished to substitute the poster's brick-heavy suitcase with words, just as we could only stand at the edge of the Hamlet poster's H-shaped grave having all the letters of "to be or not to be…" written down a hundred times and memorised. Indeed, one accurately drawn line, good choice of colour, sensibly placed form might stand for hundreds of words, sentences. Very often, however, we can't succeed even with the myriad of words.