Staff employed at University of Copenhagen – University of Copenhagen

Curating the Poster: an Environmental Approach

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Parallel to the primary functions performed by posters in the urban environment, we find a range of curatorial practices that tie the poster, a mass-produced graphic design media, to the museum institution. Yet little research has attempted to uncover the diverse subject of curatorial work and the process where posters created to live in a real-world environment are relocated in a museum. According to Peter Bil’ak (2006), it creates a situation where ”the entire raison d’être of the work is lost as a side effect of losing the context of the work”. The article investigates how environmental structures can work as guidelines for curating posters and graphic design in a museum context. By applying an ecological view to design, specifically the semiotic notion “counter-ability”, it stresses the reciprocal relationship of humans and their built and product-designed environments. It further suggests the ecological approach to be viable for curatorial work, and demonstrates how this view inspired a recent poster event, the exhibition Spot on! British posters from the interwar years.
The exhibition held at the Danish Poster Museum in 2015-2016 was initiated by the author and co-curated with graphic designer Michael Jensen.

Keywords: poster, graphic design, environments, exhibition, curating
Original languageEnglish
JournalDesign Issues
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages24
StateAccepted/In press - 15 Jul 2017

ID: 180882429