Ferenc Gróf is a founding member of the Parisian co-operative Société Réaliste – founded in 2004 – focusing on questions of contemporary political representations and ideological design. Working at the intersection of graphic design and art, Société Réaliste produce typefaces, signage systems, moving images and info-graphics, converting them into sculptures, exhibitions or spatial experiences, performances or music to mark ideological footprints of our times. Since 2015 Société Réaliste is on hiatus, but Ferenc Gróf continues his design work as an artist and continues to present it within the context of the so called “art world”.
Škart is a collective founded in 1990 at the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade. Over the years the group worked on a wide array of projects in different fields, from design, architecture and urbanism, to music, theatre and culture in general. While experimenting through their work, they shift focus primarily between the medium of poetry and design. The group’s two principal current members are Dragan Protić - Prota and Đorđe Balmazović - Žole. It is their particular mastery, to embrace “beautiful mistakes” in the working process and they strive tirelessly to combine work with pleasure. Whatever the project, they manage to design it with their unique poetic style, full of local quirkiness and vernacular quality.
As an artist, who also works as designer, Đorđe Balmazović - Žole from Grupa Škart will complement Ferenc Gróf, a designer who works as an artist, in a talk that will try to illuminate the relationship between art and design in a talk that will undoubtedly raise as many eyebrows as it will giggles.
Hard Talks is a regular part of programme of the Indigo Festival featuring professionals from different fields sharing their ideas and experience. For the second year in a row, Hard Talks will feature four international guests from the field of visual communications design. This year, the sub-topic that connects them will be the relationship between art and design.
Historically, art and design have had a very direct relationship. Design started off with artists using their artistic methods and ideas and applying them to the world of mass production and mass communication. Graphic design would develop during the 20th century into new and diverse professional fields that are often referred to by an umbrella term “applied arts”, describing the unique relationship to their origin. By the late 90s and the early 00s the questions regarding the ever changing relationship between art and design grew ever so salient prompting the English writer Rick Poynor—the guest of last year’s Indigo Festival—to describe the field of graphic design as “art’s little brother”.
As the field of visual communications grew, systematic and more sophisticated methods of work developed. At the same time, it also grew ever so dependent on market and marketing forces. As these forces grew in dominance, the relationship between art and design changed even further.
We will discuss these relationships in three talk sessions that will focus on relationships between artists and designers at a direct personal level, then at the level of various multi-disciplinary projects and examples of artist/designer practices and finally the talks will focus on professional client-designer relationships, with designers working for and with different art institutions that form the regional and international art system.
Hard Talks — Dizajn programme by Ajdin Bašić.