Rene Wanner's Poster Page

Winners of the international poster competition "Mut zur Wut", Heidelberg (DE), 2015
Received from Goetz Gramlich & Alex Henninger. Please visit the official web site, the Facebook page or the call for entries for more details.

On May 15, 2015, the jury ( Teresa Sdralevich (BE), Alex Jordan (FR)), Peter Bankov (RU), Sascha Lobe (DE), Rene Wanner (CH) ) selected 100 posters from 2635 posters submitted from 1312 participants from 50 countries. Out of these, 30 posters were chosen that will be shown in the streets of Heidelberg (DE), starting in late July 2015. All 100 posters will be displayed in traveling exhibitions and in a catalogue. Please check the main website for exact dates and locations.

Here are the 30 winning entries, the comments are from the poster designers:

Aleksandra Golebiewska (PL). Chernobyl
The poster is about the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. It shows its negative effects on human health.

Alexander Govoni (DE). Killed by Police
In 2014, black male teenagers between15-19, were killed nine times more by law enforcement officers in the U.S. than white males in that age range.

Bela Meiers (DE). Same but different
In average, women are paid 22% less than men. The paper used for the poster is a German wage slip, the rest speaks for itself.

Daniel Kunze (DE). Pornstick
The Age of the Selfies started long ago. Regardless of where we are or what we are doing, the only limit to seeing ourselves in our favorite pose, is the length of our own arm. Crafty inventors have become aware of this evolutionary disadvantage and developed the so-called "Selfie Stick". It isn't naive to imagine the suitable content, the quick-to-adapt porn industry will soon uncover for this new communication channel (just as they have done with Video, DVD, Internet, Google Glasses, etc.). Because at the end of the day, us selfie-junkies are our own private paparazzis, trying to capture our exposed selves.

David Jimenez (EC). Mut zur what
The first time I heard about the competition, I thought "Courage for what?" because I did not understand what it was about. Later when I read the details, I understood the significance of these 3 words. Sometimes we have the courage, burning inside, but we are not sure how to use that rage, we don't have a suitable way to express it and tend to do what the masses do.

Deborah Mayer (CH). The solution to everything
Ritalin is "the" trendy medication of our time, which is being prescribed way too often, in my opinion to active children in order to adjust them to common standard. In my poster, a future is shown in hyperrealistic style, where Ritalin is used as a basic ingredient in children's nutrition products, such as the well known Swiss ice cream brand "Rakete" from Frisco (Nestlé).

Elisabeth Articus (DE). Ei klaut Daten
Data theft on the Internet.

Fabian Blobel(DE). Happy earth
I tried to approach the themes destruction of environment and globalization in a funny way.

Fabian Krauss (DE). Fee F®ee
Concerns profit, people lose.

Fanny Oppler (CH). No time
"Description? Sorry, no time!"

Henrik Tersteegen (DE). "Modus Operandi"
The capitalistic exploitation logic steers us increasingly destructive to the abyss of self-destruction. Modern human beings remain in an attitude of passive endurance and seemingly comfortable self-deception, when the alternative would be a necessary revolution. We remain calm as Hindu cows and operate business as usual

Jan Luzar (DE). Presse
Everyday the media provides information from all over the world. Whether plane crashes or breast augmentation, nothing remains unmentioned. Because of the large amount of information there is no more time to question the content. Did it really happen? Is the image real? Who wrote the article? How precise was the research? Is the statement true? We should not trust everything the media presents us.

Katarzyna Pirog (PL). Violence
Violence generates violence, how do we stop this circle of aggression? A man beats his wife, the son is watching, the boy grows up and now he is beating his own wife, his child is watching…the circle will repeat. We need to stop this creation of violence. It circulates shamelessly in every part of our lives. It is everywhere: in our home, school, university, workplace, on the streets, in media, movies and we cannot find a perfect solution to reduce violent crime - because the solution doesn't exist.

Katja Ivanchenko (DE). #Drohne
"Da wir alle ja eh schon glaeserne Menschen sind, macht es den Bock auch nicht mehr fett wenn wir uns ungeniert und freizuegig den Drohnen praesentieren. (Ironie)"

Klara Forner (DE). Adam und Eva
Klara Forner (Germany) - (K)ein Blatt vor den Mund nehmen. * It is so comfortable to be dependent. Laziness and cowardice let people follow others' opinions and aims. Governments or companies can use us for their benefits. The more we keep silent, the more others raise their voices. It is so uncomfortable to have an own opinion. The shame is liberated; the thoughts are covered by leaves: The poster shows the change of censorship in our society. *"Kein Blatt vor den Mund nehmen"(literally: Not putting a leaf in front of your mouth.) means to speak out liberate, directly and shameless

Mado Kluemper (DE). On the other side
Trying to reach the other side of the Mediterranean Sea, hoping to find a better life, refugees often pay a high price; their own lives. They might reach another side, but a side, which does not have landing shores.

Mario Moths (DE). Lampedusa
Tens of thousands of refugees are on their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. In recent years, the number of "boat people" has increased drastically, and with it the number of drowned refugees. The "SOS" sign on the horizon of the Mediterranean Sea is a call for help and a bearer for hope at the same time and requires support.

Mark Bohle (DE). Europe
The clean slate is filthy and oozes with guilt and pain. Europe is playing a spineless game of ignorance and refusing to help. There are no other rules to stick to, besides building the walls tall enough and decorated with wires and spikes all the way.

Max Hathaway (DE). Kofferhoffer
19-year-old Moroccan woman looked nervous as she waited in line at the land border crossing in Ceuta. When the guards put her suitcase through a scanner, they detected the boy curled up inside. Border officers detained the woman and, later, the child's father at the same border crossing. The woman is married to the child's father. A photograph taken of the scanners screen was distributed via the Associated Press and used to communicate the matter internationally. The section of the photograph containing the image of the boy was extracted, realigned, the brightness and contrast was adjusted and a color halftone filter applied.

Miangliang Li (CN). Cage
In many Islamic countries women rights are suppressed, there are too many rules and they have to dress in overall burkas that look like restraining cages, exposing only eyes that resemble a small prison window revealing a trace of light. This appeal is intended to loosen the restrictions on women.

Nikodem Pregowski (PL). Be a hero
Be active, be aware, be of good cheer, be kind, be ready, be smart, love other people, take on responsibility, BE A HERO!

Aleksandr Parkhomovskyy (DE). Global worming
The threat of global warming is exaggerated and underestimated. This is a reminder, not to be taken too seriously, but also not to completely dismiss.

Peng Jun (CN). Iron fisted rule
The poster is based on the element of the fist, combined with the image of China's national leader "Xi Jinping". Xi Jinping is like a pioneer against corruption and wants to form an honest government and thus realizes the great dream of a powerful country.

Sandra Gratz (DE). Everywhere
The weapon of the western civilization is the surveillance. Nobody is safe - anywhere.

Selcuk Ozis(TR). Coffins
The explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear power station was the worst industrial accident of any kind in history. Tens of thousands of people have died, and there is more death to come.. Nuclear power's waste is deadly, causes cancer and genetic mutations, and there is no known way to permanently contain, dispose or neutralize it. Building more reactors simply means death.

Timm Henger (DE). Safety first!
The old saying "throwing the baby out with the bath water" describes situations in which we take much too drastic actions than necessary.

Tomaso Marcolla (IT). Freedom of expression
Each individual has the right of freedom of speech and expression. The freedom of information is the most important threat for antidemocratic regimes; hence, attacks against the freedom of speech are a daily occurrence on all continents. I have chosen the image of the famous videogame Pac-Man of the 80ies. Pac-Man consists of bullet casings and chases a pencil, the instrument of writing and the symbol of the freedom of expression, and tries to eat it.

Trix Barmettler (CH). Mut
MUTWUT!? A graphic designer loses her objectivity. Diagnosis.

Vincenzo Fagnani (DE). What you eat
Stomach and brain are strictly connected, and every sensorial experience is assimilated and transformed into emotions by those two essential parts of our organism. For this reason, every time we feed our body we also feed our soul.

Zoe Hall (CH). Size shouldn´t matter
People are reduced to superficialities, which have nothing to do with the natural course of events. The (western) beauty ideal detaches itself from the original function of the human organism. This example refers to men, but the principle obviously counts for women too.


Some thoughts about posters, poster competitions, social posters, and "Mut zur Wut"
Goetz Gramlich, founder and organizer of the "Mut zur Wut" competitions, asked me for a comment as a member of this year's jury:

Posters currently go through a phase of rapid change, like many other fields, who would not have noticed?

The role of the poster as advertising medium has changed, the leading figures in poster design have grown old, and have retired, with consequences on teaching of poster design. This in turn has influenced the notion of a "good poster" as taught in the art schools. The old masters did not always appreciate the new design technologies.

Even the purpose and the definition of "poster" became a question: Is an image that is printed on an ink jet printer in just a few copies, just enough to be sent to some competitions, still a poster? Is an image on a computer screen or on a smart phone a poster? Can something designed with nothing more than your index finger on your tablet on the bus in a few minutes still claim to be a poster? Does a poster have to have a message? From whom to whom? Does it have to be understandable? by whom? How much is it worth, and who should pay how much to whom for it? To the designer, the printer, the paper company, to the company who made the design program, to the company that pastes it in the streets, to the owner of the advertising space where it might be shown, be it in the real world or in internet? Should the viewer pay, from now on, for the privilege to see the poster (as in the business model common in the music industry)?

With all these questions raised, and not always answered in a way favorable to the traditional poster, it is not surprising that some people see the death of the poster approaching. Indeed, many of the long established mainstream poster competitions face financial problems. On the other hand, posters are thriving, both in number and quality, if you are reasonably tolerant in your definition of the "poster". Some examples:

- Walking around in almost any city of the world, from La Paz in Bolivia, to Paris, Hangzhou or Heidelberg, you find a rich representation of local culture in the form of street posters, from huge billboards to letter sized photocopies with surprisingly innovative typography.

- Whenever a major tragical event occurs anywhere on earth, an earthquake in Haiti, a nuclear disaster, a terrorist attack, I find "posters" about it in my mailbox within a few hours, expressing sympathy and concern for the victims. Many of these jpg pictures are put on Facebook, but will never be printed or sold, and the reason why they are made is unclear, and the big names in poster design usually stay away. But the speed of production and the numbers are impressive; I estimate that Fukushima for example evoked thousands of different (well almost different) poster designs.

- Film posters, or rock concert posters have reached an all time high, in numbers, design quality and price. A canadian gig poster database lists about 150'000 different designs while insisting that each poster has to be produced in connection with a concert that actually took place, to be eligible. These are real paper posters hanging outside in the rain.

- New poster competitions, like "Mut zur Wut" in Heidelberg, or "Poster for Tomorrow" in Paris, or "Segunda Llamada" in Mexico or the many "Climate change", "Save water" or "Peace" poster competitions are thriving. "Mut zur Wut" with 2500 entries has now overtaken a former long time world class event like the "Chaumont Poster Festival" with only about 1400 entries, and so did the competition in Paris.

The new competitions usually ask for posters about a given subject, often a human right, like the right to education, to housing, to equal opportunity, against the death penalty, and so on. The submitted posters are often classified as "social posters", an expression that has less to do with the socialism of the left-wing political parties but more with the so-called "social" websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube and many others. The keywords are "friend", "like", "follow", "send", "invite", "share".

These websites, and competitions, do not cost money to participants, they are international, easy to understand, you can see what your friends are doing, and show them and the world what you do and think. They are also democratic or non-hierarchical: A teenage student in Ecuador has the same chance as the president of an art school in Paris or New York. Judging by the number of smart phones sold, and the number of internet connections, this is exactly what we, as a global society, want. We unhesitatingly give up the right to privacy that we have cherished for centuries, to be part of the big family, send messages, pay bills, look up timetables, send posters to competitions.

I am fully aware that a poster competition with a few thousand entries is on a different scale than Youtube for example where one of their top videos, Gangnam Style, has now been seen more than 2000 million times. I am also aware that we are just at the beginning of a new era, things will be abused and exploited, values will change, and the revolution will eat it's children. But I can easily understand the excitement of the 100 designers whose posters the jury has selected, and which will be shown, not just in a catalogue, but in exhibitions, and 30 of them even in the streets of Heidelberg where hundreds and maybe thousands will see each of them, ordinary normal people, children, garbage collectors, millionaires and beggars, maybe even poster designers.

Posting the winners of a poster competition in the streets is a unique feature of the "Mut zur Wut" competition, and brings them back to their roots. A poster is meant to talk to the people, and I hope the old requirement "A poster must act!" will remain in the new world to come, and posters will not degenerate to a niche in the artsy academies and go from the jury sessions straight to the museums. Communication is essential, we have ample proof from the success of the social websites.

This does not mean that you have to like what you see, and I would hope that in future versions of the competition there would be some way for the viewer to talk back to the poster, to express his admiration, his critique, ask questions, voice his disgust, complain. In a time of rapid changes, it is important to express your opinion, this is a unique time window that will close once things have settled down again.

When posters became popular around 1890 by technological advances in the printing industry, they were greeted enthousiastically. Within a few years there were exhibitions, books, poster collector clubs, magazines, museums. While the excitement calmed down after a while, posters remained an undisputed part of daily life in the cities for more than a hundred years. Corsets on the other hand disappeared pretty quickly, neither the girls nor the boys really liked them. I feel that a similar situation is taking place today, driven by massive technological advances in information and communication technology. What you accept or reject now may be the standard for a long time to come, not just in posters, but in the way we treat each other, our environment and resources, what image we have of ourselves, of society, of the material and the spiritual world.

So I can only repeat to everybody who sees the "Mut zur Wut" posters: Dare to be mad! Don't be afraid to voice your opinion, even I as a jury member see some posters that make my blood boil!

Rene Wanner

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