Rene Wanner's Poster Page

News: The Seven Deadly Sins in Fontenay-sous-Bois

received May 12, 2004, from Alex Jordan, Professor at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee (DE)
français, deutsch


For the last 16 years, the city of Fontenay-sous-Bois (close to Paris) has offered public space to artists of all disciplines and nationalities. Since 1992 they extended this invitation to french graphic designers who regularly made large scale posters for the city's billboards.

This year, the Festival turned to european graphic design schools, beginning with the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee (DE). The students were supposed to look at the way people get along with each other in the cities, and decided on a study of the Seven Deadly Sins for their posters.

The Seven Deadly Sins

  • Lust
  • Greed
  • Envy
  • Pride (vanity)
  • Sloth (laziness)
  • Gluttony (eating and drinking to excess)
  • Anger (wrath)

"All good things in life are either forbidden, fattening or married to someone else.".

Laziness or Gluttony or Lust are ambiguous concepts that have always played a role - good or bad - in human societies. Laziness my be a virtue now, and gluttony good for the economy.

Of course we could have labelled the workshop differently, like "Living together in the city", or more poetically "The Alices in the cities", or more scientifically "Socio-psychological conflicts between city and suburbian populations", or even "Happyness ?" But we liked the "Seven Deadly Sins".

Our workshop opens the winter term, and takes place on a farm in Brandenburg, close to the polish border, far away from sinful Berlin. It is attended by students in Visual Communication, and sometimes by guest students from other areas.

You can not expect perfection in a one week workshop, neither in content nor in form, but you get to know other people and do some visual and mental warm-up excercices.

At the presentation of the projects on the last day (2003), a preselection jury picked 15 projects out of 35, on which the students then did more work. At the end of the term, the final selection was made by a jury composed of Philippe und Eveline Chat (the organizers of the Festival), the graphic designers Henning Wagenbreth and Andreas Toepfer, and Simone Wanner, a master class student.

"Lust" and "Pride" induced many good solutions, but "Laziness" did not convince the jury, not even the proposal to post an empty sheet of paper to the walls. So the competition was re-opend for this subject.

Alex Jordan, Matthias Gubig (translated by RW)

The success of the workshop was not only due to the profs but also to the swiss students from Basel and Lucerne , and particularly to three french students from Strasburg and Paris who, by their familiarity with the specific situation in France, often brought the workshop down to earth again.

11th Festival "Grafics on the streets" vom June 15 to July 5 2004 Fontenay sous Bois, France

Opening Tuesday, June 15, from 1800 École d'arts plastiques, 20 rue Dalayrac

The whole city will be full of posters

  Axel Watzke Avarice / Der Geiz / Greed

Simone Schoeler Colere / Der Zorn / Wrath

Dirk Dassow Envie / Der Neid / Envy

Marcella Mehrholz Gourmandise / Die Voellerei / Gluttony

Ute Radler Luxure / Die Wollust / Lust

Camille Gallet / Cérise Lichtle Orgeuil / Der Duenkel / Pride

Alexander Fuchs Paresse / Die Faulheit / Sloth

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