Rene Wanner's Poster Page


front and back cover Forschungssemester 1999
Alex Jordan

published by bazar politique / la forge, Paris (2002); available from Alex Jordan, Nous Travaillons Ensemble; about 360 pages, 10 x 15 cm, about 180 b/w illustrations; softcover; text in german, many illustrations in french.

Front and back cover

This is not a poster book, but the diary of an interesting man who also designs posters, among many other things, and has, in fact received a gold medal recently in Warsaw for a poster that was created by his group Nous Travaillons Ensemble.

When I first told my wife about Alex Jordan and why I highly respect him - he does many projects for the poor, the unemployed, for AIDS sufferers, for cleaner streets and student housing, for peace and better understanding among people - she remarked that these used to be the traditional domains of the church: Is Alex then, in fact, a priest or a graphic designer ?

"Who knows?" I replied, but could have said, with equal truth that he runs a succesful graphic design group in Paris, is a photographer associated with the well known Gallery "Bar Floreal", and Professor at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee, and former president of the german Verband der Grafik Designer VGD, and founding member of Grapus, and so on.

The little book was written during a sabbatical in 1999, one page and one topic per day. While Alex Jordan tried to find a publisher, the tragedy of September 11, 2001 fell upon the world, and like many other graphic designers he started to draw to grapple with the situation. The daily pictures, and sometimes handwritten notes, now fill the empty back pages of the 1999 diary, but start from the back end of the book. Turn it over and you have another diary.

The double page of Tuesday, May 25th 1999.

Turn your monitor to read the text

A sample entry

Mittwoch, 12. Mai, Paris. In meinem Kopf spuken Erinnerungsfetzen von der zweiten Podiumsdiskussion am vergangenen Samstag im Teheraner Museum of Contemporary Arts: "Paedagogische Arbeit soll vor allem darauf abzielen, vorhandene Schwaechen zu beseitigen. Die Staerken vielleicht verstaerken, die Schwaechen in jedem Fall abschwaechen." (Fukuda). "Warum sitzen keine Grafikerinnen auf dem Podium?" (Frage aus dem Publikum). "Mir graut es vor einer Welt, in der alles lesbar und uniform ausbeschildert ist." (Matthies). "Glauben Sie wirklich, dass in unserem Computerzeitalter die Kalligrafie noch ein gangbarer Weg ist?" (Ein gestandener Buchgestalter, dessen auf der Biennale gezeigten, ausschliesslich kalligrafisch gestalteten Umschlag fuer einen Poesieband ich als ein besonders beeindruckendes Beispiel eigenstaendiger iranischer Produktion hervorgehoben hatte.) "Fuer meine Lehrer ist Grafikdesign identisch mit Ordnung und Organisation. Sie reden nur von Disziplin. Von meinem Wunsch nach free expressions wollen sie nichts wissen." (Eine Studentin, die enttaeuscht am schwarzen Tschador zupft, als ich ihr erklaere, dass sich Ordnung und Organisation mit freier Gestaltung vertragen koennen.) "Ich brauche keinen Computer, aber eine Menge Leute, die meine Arbeit sehen, glauben, das seien alles ausgetueftelte Computerprodukte..." (Fukuda)

Some pictures from my visit to NTE in May, 2001

Alex Jordan in discussion with a client

The studio of Nous Travaillons Ensemble in Paris, with Valerie Debure

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