[artinfo] Société Réaliste /// Transitioners: London View, collection preview at Hold & Freight, London, July 2009.
societerealiste at gmail.com
Tue Jun 30 12:09:20 CEST 2009
TRANSITIONERS: LONDON VIEW
Collection Preview: Colors.
Opening: Thursday, July the 2nd, 2009, 7 p.m.
at Hold & Freight,
Unit 7, Apple Tree Yard, Bradwell Street,
London E1 4DR
Transitioners: London View’s preview is facilitated by Amal Khalaf.
This exhibition is kindly supported by the Jan Van Eyck Academie,
In 2006, the Paris-based cooperative Société Réaliste launched
Transitioners, a ‘trend design agency’ specialising in political
transitions. Transposing the principles of trend forecasting generally
used by the fashion industry to the field of politics, the project
questions the revolution (transition?) as a central category for
contemporary Western society. How can a "democratic transition" be
produced? What is the role of design in the permanent conversion of
political flux into mythology? How can the effect of an event on
citizens be transformed into a controlled affect?
Depending on the present political atmosphere, Transitioners define
the general climate in which future social transformation movements
will take place, in order to maximize their efficiency. Like any other
trend design bureau, Transitioners' clients are designers, who can use
the bureau's proposals to design the revolutions to come: logotypes,
color charts, lexical fields, etc. For each new step in the project,
Société Réaliste conceives a new trend collection, originating from a
specific historical event. In 2007, the inspiration for "Bastille
Days" was the French Revolution. The 2008 collection "Le Producteur",
was based on the utopias developed during the first three decades of
the 19th century, by thinkers such as Fourier, Enfantin, Rodrigues,
Cabet, Owen, or Saint-Simon.
At Hold & Freight, Transitioners presents a preview of its 2009
collection, "London View". Inspired by the 1848 European Revolution,
this 2009 collection approaches the very specific context of the “Year
of Revolution” and the new political paradigm experienced in those
days: the scheme of a synchronous and continental revolutionary
attempt. Indeed, from the first students and workers demonstrations in
Paris at the beginning of February 1848 to the end of the Hungarian
Civil War in December 1849, revolutions took place everywhere in
Europe. Forty European cities have been the theatres of major
collective events that continue to interrogate today’s political
context: collective spontaneity, polycentric organization,
international collaboration by means of communication and "glocal"
In February 1848, Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx published for the
first time the "Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei" ("Manifesto of
the Communist Party"), an essay that will completely transform the
history of the social movement in terms of philosophical basis, means
of organization, both local and global tactics, leading to the
transformation of the Communist League (mainly based on utopian
socialist theoretical references, such as Babeuf or Saint-Simon) into
the First International. 1848 is the beginning of the Hegelian Marxism
theoretical leadership on the European revolutionary forces. The
central question of "Transitioners: London View" concerns specific
points in Marx & Engels' analyses of the political situation from
which they write, in particular the inaccuracy of their "London"
theoretical point of view in regard to the multiplicity and the
complexity of the revolutions happening concurrently on the European
continent. The collection intends to highlight similar contemporary
situations of disjunction between manifold revolutionary practices and
standardized theoretical attempts.
Société Réaliste is a Parisian cooperative created by Ferenc Gróf and
Jean-Baptiste Naudy in June 2004. It works with political design,
experimental economy, territorial ergonomy and social engineering
consulting. Polytechnic, it develops its production schemes through
exhibitions, publications and conferences.
Hold & Freight is a not-for-profit project space in Stepney, East
London. Situated in an abandoned railway arch amongst six other
similar arches, the site is specific to the area; the
directorial/curatorial team have left the bare brick exposed and the
shape of the low arch and long tunnel unmodified, giving the space a
particular form and connection to its history. Hold & Freight is
dedicated to an engagement with critical discourse surrounding the
production, exhibition and reception of new work by emerging and
established British and international artists. Launched in June 2008,
Hold & Freight is run by Robert Dingle, Amal Khalaf and Tom Trevatt.
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