Une Saison graphique, Le Havre, 2014
Olivier Vadrot with Dimitri Mallet
This exhibition has been designed as a veritable workshop on typographical composition (typesetting). An enormous oak chest is used to display and store the letters and magnetic composing sticks that allow one to compose words. A type case, printed 120 × 176, in black and white glitter ink, serves as the exhibition’s poster.
Each letter of the anti-Unicode alphabet was printed in runs of 1000 copies, each by a different printer or contributing collaborator (Art et Caractère, Lézard graphique, Fotokino, etc.).
The techniques and production sites vary. For some letters, printing 1,000 copies was more of a challenge (the letter “ H”, printed in aquatint at Le Havre School of Art); while other letters follow more mainstream techniques, as those of online providers (eg, the letter “G” materialized as a standard A5 leaflet). Printed on the front or back, multi-page, folded or not, each letter exists as a unique graphic object, whether familiar or not. The work was naturally delimited by the economic constraints of the project, regarding format and print mode. The constant margin of 13 mm is a rather extravagant common denominator! The vibrating effect on the letter “E” is created by a lenticular printing process, and the letter “M”s redundant downstrokes fluctuate with the varying results of a decaying machine…
The profusion of so many different types of media multiplied the complexity of this endeavor tenfold, in terms of technical logistics and economic management. The effort necessary for the creation of a new graphic object was, basically, multiplied 26 times!
This aspect also represents the experimental dimension of the project.
A Pangram, written by Vincent Vauchez, was displayed in the window of the gallery:
While new zephyrs foraged gardens and countryside, she, yéyé beatnik, danced her dark twist.
Through this exhibition, my idea is to reverse the scale of words (which are usually contained by the printed object): here is the word that contains the objects. A potential grammar of sorts, questioning the notion of printed documents, poetically, existentially and playfully.