Sunday, November 22, 2009

societe realiste @uqbar berlin

Opening Friday, November 27, 2009, 7 p.m.
from 9 p.m., Kolonie Wedding Afterhour, Smaragd, Prinzenallee 80

Duration November 28, 2009 – January 23, 2010

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 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 defines 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. Each new trend collection originates from a specific historical event: the inspiration for Bastille Days (2007) was the French Revolution, the collection Le Producteur (2008) 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.

After venues in London and Novi Sad Transitioners presents at uqbar its 2009 collection London View. Inspired by the 1848 European Revolution, this collection approaches the "Year of Revolution" and the new political paradigm experienced in those days: the scheme of a synchronous and continental revolutionary attempt. From the first students and workers demonstrations in Paris in 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" networking. Moreover, Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx published in February 1848 for the first time the Manifesto of the Communist Party, an essay that strongly affected the history of the social movement. Transitioners: London View questions specific points in Marx and Engels' analyses of the political situation, in particular a certain inaccuracy of their theoretical "London" 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.

On show at uqbar is a series of graphics, juxatposed on the walls of the project space. One of the maps superimposes the political frontiers that existed at the turn of each century between year 0 and year 2000 on the European peninsula and its surroundings. The frontiers are indicated following a specific color tone expressing their age, from pure cyan in year 0 and pure magenta in year 2000. The artists produce in another graphic a colorimetric map of European segmentations, by giving every single portion of land divided between these frontiers a specific teint. In another one, more than 200 color tones are associated with a European city. The list starts with Lisbon as an extreme West point and finishes with Urmia, Iran as the East boundary. In this arrangement, specific colours highlight the 40 European cities that went on insurrection during the 1848 continental revolution. A wall painting mixes the English version of the Manifesto of the Communist Party with an antonymic version by the artists.

Société Réaliste is a Parisian cooperative created by Ferenc Gróf and Jean-Baptiste Naudy in June 2004, working with political design, experimental economy, territorial ergonomy and social engineering consulting. Polytechnic, it develops its production schemes through exhibitions, publications and conferences. For further information see:

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