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It Doesn’t Work

‘It Doesn’t Work’ is a traveling show where Ines Cox investigates how the exhibition itself can become the work of graphic design instead of curating a display with existing graphic designs, created for purposes outside the exhibition.

Groups of seemingly purposeless graphic works, which reproduce and materialize a vocabulary found in our contemporary surroundings, are brought together in physical space. Meaningful connections appear by way of editorial decisions, order and rhythm. Objects function as words. This is how the exhibition talks and writes; it is constructed with a lexicon and a grammar. Finally, the show itself travels by way of multiplication, where the message is (simultaneously) translated into different spaces.

To assume this reversal of the work and its presentation is to understand graphic design as the multiplication of original ideas, as the movement from individual to collective, from solitude to multitude. An exhibition, on the other hand, is understood as a unique and site-specific event in time. So how can an exhibition be constructed and distributed like a book for example? How can an exhibition simultaneously be and show a series of non-originals?