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Miscellaneous > 17.4 Exhibition Design

Undercover Exhibition

by Design Bliss

The Undercover Exhibition was part of Dutch Photography Experience project aimed at showcasing Dutch works in Russia. The show, hosted by Contemporary Art Museum Erarta, St. Petersburg, happened from November 29th 2013 to January 13th 2014 and included a public program of talks, guided tours, and a series of workshops for young practitioners. 
The exhibition opened with a gallery of nearly 150 photo-books inviting the viewers to dive into the context of current photography publishing in the Netherlands. It continued further focusing on works of eight artists and one collective/publishing house looking into their work process and inspirations. Presentations included final books, dummies, prints, projections, video interviews, and explored design decisions made.
The design concept for both promotional materials and exhibition design originated from the idea that photographs are always presented within a frame and usually printed in CMYK colors. The visual interpretation of this concept linked all design items including logo, poster, flyer, exhibition, furniture and website.
The briefing for the exhibition design was: a book gallery containing 150 books and space for eight different photography projects should fit ca 200m2 separated in 2 rooms. The limitations included a very small budget, walls which could not be painted or drilled on and a rail-system which could not be touched. Any attachments to the ceiling were also discouraged. All these limitations were both the starting point for the design and also a guide for making decisions. We needed to display 150 books in a small space and still make them look attractive. People should be able to look through them, touch them and even sit down to really enjoy them. The CMYK concept was used as color coding in the book gallery and throughout the space to separate the books into categories. The use of the floor was the solution found to divide the space for each project and leave the walls untouched. In this way the titles wouldn’t interfere with the photography work in itself.
Inspired by Dutch designer Gerrit Rietveld, the principles for the furniture design were stablished and that gave origin to benches, stands, a showcase and several tables. The Undercover website (www.books-undercover.com) is a web-based catalogue of the show and includes information and links to all the books of the exhibition. Besides that, it offers a navigation system through the collection of publications based on key words.

  • Creative Directors Renata Alvares
  • Art Directors Renata Alvares
  • Designers Renata Alvares
  • Illustrators
  • Photographers Jaap Scheeren, Anouk Kruithof, Fw: Books, Nadine Stijns, Anne Geene, Willem Popelier, Florian van Roekel, Andrea Stultiens, Milou Abel
  • Editors Zhenia Sveshinsky and Daria Tuminas
  • Copywriters Zhenia Sveshinsky and Daria Tuminas
  • Exhibition photographer Philipp Beloborodov
  • Curators Zhenia Sveshinsky and Daria Tuminas
  • Production Zhenia Sveshinsky and Daria Tuminas
  • Concept Zhenia Sveshinsky and Daria Tuminas
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