Letters Are T.H.I.N.G.S.

9 Sep 2017 – 7 Oct 2017

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A group exhibition on decoloniality in typography & graphic design via publishing


Printed Matter is pleased to present Letters Are T.H.I.N.G.S., a group show featuring works by Moonsick Gang, Sharon Gong, Hardworking Goodlooking, Nontsikelelo Mutiti & Tinashe Mushakavanhu and Nate Pyper, addressing notions of decoloniality in typography/graphic design via publishing. Presented in the Project Room, the exhibition is organized with designer and publisher Gerardo Madera and is initiated by the artist’s forthcoming book Name, Thing, Thing: A Primer in Parallel Typographies, published by Printed Matter (September, 2017).

Please join us for an opening reception with participating artists on Saturday, September 9, 5-7PM. Join the event on Facebook here.

Letters Are T.H.I.N.G.S. instantiates several threads of Name, Thing, Thing into an exhibition setting, putting varied perspectives on display in an effort to expand, or perhaps refine, a definition of decoloniality as it pertains to typography/graphic design. Through artists’ books, zines, posters, objects, video and web-based works, the participating artists consider narratives in typographic discourse through decoloniality—not least, language, social/local issues, representation, history, subversion, speculation, hybridity, etc.—from the vantage point of marginalized groups/publics. With a specific focus on publishing, the exhibition hopes to show how circulation, dissemination and the establishment of networks—vis-à-vis publishing, typography and graphic design—can be pivotal in dismantling forms of oppression.

The exhibition borrows its title—Letters Are T.H.I.N.G.S.—from late designer Nic Hughes, whose interest in OOO (Object Oriented Ontology) propelled a series of self-initiated projects and essays around what Hughes dubs as “Ontological design”—an understanding of the networks that design objects inaugurate and inhabit. In its display, the exhibition calls for a discursive understanding of these connections. Not to present these convergences as absolute, but to, as Anne Bush puts it, see them as one of countless configurations—a “search for theories of attribution, articulation and designation” within defined networks.


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