Printed Talks in the city- Istituto Svizzero di Roma
Monday 21 January at its Milan branch the Istituto Svizzero di Roma presents the exhibition Printed talks in the city.
Printed talks in the city is the second appointment of Letters on Sale: Changing Design + Print +Use, the three-year project conceived by Ludovic Balland and Salvatore Lacagnina, this time dedicated to setting and printing with types made of wood or lead, in parallel with a research on the territory to put to the test the cultural role of printing in the urban context. A promenade through the
history, present and future of printing, whose leitmotiv is the poster.
Printed talks in the city is a project characterized by a workshop, a series of public posters around Milan, an exhibition and a publication. The workshop took place last November at the Milan branch of the ISR and those involved were students of graphic design and journalism, experts and professionals from the field. On this occasion the ISR was transformed – also thanks to the
collaboration of the Museo della stampa e stampa d’arte in Lodi Andrea Schiavi that supplied vintage equipment – into a real equipped studio. The students, together with the curators and the printers used printing machines and tools from the past, amongst which the press Stanhope Ferdinando dell’Orto and the Nava hand-press, to create posters that were subsequently posted
around the city and documented by the photographer Salvatore Gozzo.
The sharing of the results obtained during the workshop is the topic at the core of the exhibition on the typesetting and typographic printing of the posters, on show at the Milan branch of the ISR from 22 January through to 16 February.
The project Printed talks in the city began in spring 2001 through a series of encounters and conversations carried out by Ludovic Balland with several Milanese printmakers (Angelo Colombo,Giorgio Lucini, Felice and Gianni Nava, Massimo and Michele Pizzi). An analysis of the role that posters, newspapers and books have had and continue to have in the history of modern and
contemporary man arose. What emerged was a rather multifaceted portrayal of printmakers in Italy:
a professional figure that is anything but nostalgic, a painstaking compiler of limited editions, a passionate artisan, a far-sighted global entrepreneur that attempts to combine the renowned quality of Italian design with the industry’s worldwide market.
From the conversation between Ludovic Balland and Massimo and Michele Pizzi (Arti grafiche Amilcare Pizzi, Cinisello Balsamo) the design and the printing of a series of posters, 10 exemplars in total posted in numerous copies around the city of Milan, resulted.
The workshop participants chose and re-elaborated under the form of payoff, certain phrases from this dialogue (Four color press: we were the first in Europe; Doing a book was a big thing; We are like pandas, people have to protect us; We hope that the Chinese will get richer very fast; In 2020 we should be in a better shape) and answered with their personal point of view (Do you speak four color in Europe? / Buying a book will be a big thing / We are pandas, people have to
protect us / Stay here! We are around the corner / We are reloading the paper. Call now!), becoming the text with which the posters were made, retracing all the phases of the work of a designer: from the idea to the linguistic and visual formulation.
Ludovic Balland and Emmanuel Crivelli chose the poster as the central product of communication in the contemporary metropolis, seen as a sort of open-air museum of this medium that is destined to convey codes, symbols and images.
In the exhibition Printed talks in the city, that ideally closes the project, the posters produced during the workshop and the reportage of Salvatore Gozzo, specialized in landscape and architecture photography will be exhibited, documenting the public posters linked to the project.
The photographs, in which typography overlaps the new Milanese skyline, imply also a social process: the reading of posters, in turn a privileged place for cognitive sharing in the city, to convey a text in a shared space.
On the occasion of the exhibition Printed talks in the city a newspaper has been published. It brings together the images of the posters around the city and the interview by Ludovic Balland with Massimo and Michele Pizzi. The magazine is a free press publication, distributed in public spaces and areas of particular interest in Milan in collaboration with Edizioni Zero, Milan.
This project is the second appointment of Letters on Sale: Changing Design + Print + Use, a series of talks, conferences and exhibition projects in three parts, conceived by Salvatore Lacagnina and Ludovic Balland (graphic designer and founder of the studio Typography Cabinet in Basel), that opened in March 2011 in the Milan branch of the ISR with an exhibition curated by ECAL and a conference on the topic at the Milan Polytechnic.
Istituto Svizzero di Roma-Sede di Milano, Via Vecchio Politecnico 3, Milano.