The Type

Tuesday 07-13-10 7 pm
Andrea Rosen Gallery, 525 W 24th St, NYC
The Type

“Every prod­uct, to be suc­cess­ful, must incor­po­rate the ideas that will make it mar­ketable, and the par­tic­u­lar task of design is to bring about the con­junc­tion between such ideas and the avail­able means of pro­duc­tion. The result of this process is that man­u­fac­tured goods embody innu­mer­able myths about the world, myths which in time come to seem as real as the prod­ucts in which they are embed­ded.”—Adrian Forty, 1986

The years before 1914 found artists, design­ers, and man­u­fac­tur­ers debat­ing an expanded archi­tec­tural prac­tice which would fuse the fine and applied arts and come to embody the spirit of the peo­ple. The design and man­u­fac­ture of goods, aided by the birth of the mod­ern fac­tory and estab­lish­ment of the marke, or brand, was (unlike its degraded sta­tus in present times) seen as a site for the cre­ation and exchange of shared val­ues and symbols.

To this end, the Deutscher Werk­bund, a Ger­man indus­trial asso­ci­a­tion that pre­fig­ured the Bauhaus, coined typ­isierung, a term for the estab­lish­ment of a fin­ished prod­uct as a “stan­dard.” This con­tentious idea cir­cu­lated for years before becom­ing the sub­ject of a pub­lic debate in Cologne in 1914. It is dif­fi­cult to tell in 2010 which of this group, if any, would be pleased by the pro­lif­er­a­tion of mass pro­duced, branded goods and result­ing eclipse of “the prod­uct” by an ever expand­ing ter­rain of abstract asso­ci­a­tions and lifestyle depictions.

The Type takes place dur­ing Crys­talline Archi­tec­tures, an exhi­bi­tion curated by Josiah McEl­heny that includes his­tor­i­cal works by archi­tects and design­ers affil­i­ated with the Glass Chain and Arbeis­trat für Kunst. The assem­bled group of his­to­ri­ans, artists, and design­ers address the rel­e­vancy of typ­isierung on con­tem­po­rary visual prac­tice. Peter Harkawik mod­er­ates the panel, fol­lowed by a Q&A with the audience.


Featuring Barry Bergdoll, Laurene Boym, Brigid Doherty, 
Hal Foster, and Josephine Meckseper.

BARRY BERGDOLL is the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art and professor of modern architectural history at Columbia University. He is author or editor of numerous publications and has organized, curated and consulted on many landmark exhibitions of 19th and 20th-century architecture, including Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity at MoMA (2009-10).

LAURENE LEON BOYM is co-founder of Boym Partners, Inc., a multidisciplinary design studio that won the National Design Award in Product Design in 2009. Boym earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 1984 and a MID from Pratt in 1993. She was a designer in residence at Cooper-Hewitt in 1993, where her work was the subject of thegroundbreaking exhibition, Mechanical Brides. In 1992, Boym was a founder of the Association of Women Industrial Designers (AWID). She has taught design studio at Parsons and in the MFA design program at the School of Visual Arts.

BRIGID DOHERTY is Associate Professor of German and Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, where she is also a member of the core faculty of the Program in Media + Modernity and the Program in European Cultural Studies. She is co-editor of "Walter Benjamin. The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility and Other Writings on Media", published by Harvard University Press. In 2008, Doherty created “The Museum of Learning Things” for the Trento section of Manifesta 7: The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, curated by Anselm Franke and Hila Peleg.

HAL FOSTER is Townsend Martin '17 Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton and co-editor of October. Two new books are forthcoming in 2011: "Painting and Subjectivity in the First Pop Age" and "The Art-Architecture Complex".

PETER HARKAWIK is an artist living in Los Angeles. His work has been shown in New York, LA, and Paris and is the subject of a two-person exhibition in July at Night Gallery, Los Angeles. He holds a BA in Critical Theory from Hampshire College.

JOSEPHINE MECKSEPER's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at numerous international institutions including Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (2007), Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst Zürich (2009), and Blaffer Gallery/Art Museum of the University of Houston (2009). Additionally, her works have been featured in a number of international biennales and exhibitions including the Whitney Biennial (2006 and 2010), New Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008), and Contemplating the Void at the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010). A solo exhibition of her work is currently on view at Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York.