A small selection of the invitation cards by The Modern Institute. Toby Webster established The Modern Institute in 1997 in Glasgow, in partnership with former Tramway and current Van Abbemuseum Director, Charles Esche, and writer and curator Will Bradley. For many years, The Modern Institute sent out these very simple, great, sometimes funny, sometimes conceptual announcements. The gallery’s logo was designed by Toby Webster, so were the cards, and in the very beginning, he hand fed them through a riso machine. As Matthew Marks’ invitation cards, they deserve a retrospective or being part of a design museum. Or both.
As many of the new young galleries established in the mid to late nineties, The Modern Institute (est. 1997) used their invitation cards to highlight individuality and as an innovative form of (self-)branding. Invitation cards could become an art project, and a space where art may happen – and is distributed worldwide for free. A similar strategy was adopted by other young up-and-coming galleries such as neugerriemschneider, Berlin (est. 1994), Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York (1994-2020), CFA Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin (est. 1992), The Modern Institute, Glasgow (est. 1997), Meyer Riegger Galerie (est. 1997 in Karlsruhe, since 2008 also in Berlin) or Eva Presenhuber (Galerie Walcheturm 1989-1998/Galerie Eva Presenhuber).
Community Cinema For a Quiet Intersection (Against Oldenburg) was an early, community-driven project by Rikrit Tiravanjia in Glasgow 1999. Here some pictures on flickr.
“The Thai artist Rikrit Tiravanja created the installation Community Cinema For a Quiet Intersection (Against Oldenburg) as part of the City of Architecture Festival in Glasgow, Scotland, in September 1999. He created a temporary outdoor cinema composed by four screens and accompanied by a Thai café right on the traffic intersection in a residential neighbourhood in Glasgow and after dusk showed films that had been chosen by the local community: Casablanca, A Bug’s Life, The Jungle Book and It’s a Wonderful Life were shown in parallel on the our screens.” Anna Schober, The Cinema Makers: Public Life and the Exhibition of Difference in South-Eastern and Central Europe Since the 1960s .
An announcement for Building Modern Bodies. The Art of Bodybuilding, an exhibition about bodybuilding curated by Jörg Scheller at Kunsthalle Zürich in 2016.
Invitation cards of Forde, an independent art space in Geneva. The cards are from the very first years, as far as I know they were designed by Geneva artist Alexandre Bianchini. Forde was founded in 1995 by the artists Alexandre Bianchini, Fabrice Gygi and Nicolas Rieben. Every three years, a new curatorial team takes over the space at Usine, here is the full list.
Hacienda was an independent exhibition space in Zürich founded by artist Fabian Marti, art historian Arthur Fink and the current gallerist Oskar Weiss (see www.weissfalk.ch). It was active between 2012 and 2015 (?) and located in a former Kinderkrippe in the center of Zürich. See the interview by Mitchell Anderson for Flash Art here. They also founded the publishing house Hacienda Books, currently under the direction of Oskar Weiss.
Heimo Zobernig is one of the most interesting graphic designer of the art world, and beyond. He is also a brilliant artist and an unconventional and clearheaded thinker. Denys Zacharopoulos is an art historian and theorist. He was a curator, amongst others, at the 48th Biennale in Venice and documenta IX in Kassel, and an influential curator and writer in the 1990s. Here is a interview with Zacharopoulos.