How did you go about choosing which invite to recreate from each year?
That's perhaps the one question that most people have been interested in finding out. Having seen all the cards from the whole of the ICA's history that are held in the Tate archive, I realise that design plays a massive role in reflecting their own particular time and place in history. Having worked in a contemporary art institution for a number of years, you get this understanding that each exhibition produced is completely variable in terms of the significance of its relationship to that moment in time. And this of course is highly variable depending on how the exhibition is received by the audience. I was really interested in pulling out cards that reflected this variability, yet I was also fully aware of how subjective this process was – in some cases it was hard to avoid sentiment. My selection for 1968 coincided with my birthday which I had to use, but there was a kind of ruthlessness in picking one for each year: I would come across an artist I really liked who might have had a major show but whom I had to forgo in favour of a different design aesthetic or sensibility that might perhaps be for an event that occurred for one night in the bar and is only memorable to the handful of people who witnessed it.
I was interested in covering the widest spectrum of activities: from those exhibitions that are either forgotten or half-remembered, to those that have become part-mythologised and in some cases eulogised for their significance to contemporary discourse. Even though it was ultimately a subjective selection, my considerations were as much as possible about the audience, some of whom might live with the presence of these experiences in their heads.
On the surface the project might appear like some kind of take on the idea of institutional critique, and to some extent it is, in a 'bringing it all back home’ kind of way. But I was also interested in how the whole thing might be a bit like looking through a collective family album, with all its moments of horror, humour and success, and what's left is this functional piece of card that somewhere in the past has served its purpose.