One of the themes of the 2016 Biennal is ‘Keywords’ – how did this impact on how the catalogue’s content was organised?
RP,TC,AM: This edition's catalogue is conceived as kind of a lexicon. We have approached more than twenty contributors and asked them to propose and elaborate on a key term that, for them, somehow resonates with contemporary graphic design. The result can be seen as a report about (graphic) design now. Such a list is however by no means definitive; it is a tool or a principle of actively naming and describing things around and trying to understand them. The ultimate goal is to encourage you to visit the Biennial and develop your own stories.
The catalogue's content is organised simply in alphabetical order, with key terms blending with everything else – texts about the exhibitions, etc., so for example, the Introduction happens to appear in the middle of the book.
Is it important that the catalogue acts as a standalone publication which can be appreciated whether you’ve been to the Biennal or not? How do you go about ensuring that’s the case whilst still making it representative of the event itself?
RP,TC,AM: We would like to see catalogue as yet another venue for the Biennial. Our aim is not to represent what you can experience in the physical exhibition space itself, but see the publication as an opportunity to discuss the ideas behind the edition in ways that are inherent to the format of the book.
Brno Biennial provides an opportunity to focus on a certain (design-related) topics, and explore them in a multitude of ways and formats – from exhibitions to lectures, from the catalogue to the collection of interviews, both online and in physical space, and by collaborators spanning different disciplines related to design.
The catalogue itself features texts that not only accompany the exhibitions (A Body of Work, Which Mirror Do You Want to Lick?) but also invite others to contribute with texts specially commissioned for the catalogue itself (James Langdon, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Linda van Deursen, Emily King, Dan Michaelson…) .