/

AHMED ALSOUDANI

+

category: catalogue / 2017
client: Marlborough Contemporary
details: 290 × 360 mm, 60 pp.

BASIC RESEARCH – NOTES ON THE COLLECTION

+

category: catalogue / 2014
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
details: 218 × 305 mm, 64 pp.

CARL ANDRE

+

category: catalogue / 2011
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
details: 216 × 270 mm, 152 pp.

FRANZ GERTSCH

+

category: catalogue / 2015
client: Saarlandmuseum
details: 230 × 320 mm, 68 pp.

GOTTFRIED BENN. MORGUE UND ANDERE GEDICHTE

+

category: book / 2012
client: Klett-Cotta
details: 162 × 182 mm, 32 pp.
in collaboration with: Michael Zöllner

GOVERT FLINCK. REFLECTING HISTORY

+

category: catalogue / 2015
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
details: 240 × 330 mm, 236 pp.
in collaboration with: Cyrill Kuhlmann

GREGOR HILDEBRANDT

+

category: catalogue / 2015
client: Saarlandmuseum
details: 230 x 320 mm, 160 pp.

HANS-CHRISTIAN SCHINK. HIER UND DORT

+

category: catalogue / 2018
client: Saarlandmuseum
details: 210 × 280 mm, 92 pp.

HEIKE MUTTER & ULRICH GENTH. METAREFLEKTOR LUFTOFFENSIVE

+

category: catalogue / 2006
client: Heike Mutter und Ulrich Genth
details: 210 × 330 mm, 56 pp.

HENDRICK GOLTZIUS & PIA FRIES. PROTEUS & POLYMORPHIA

+

category: catalogue / 2017
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
details: 198 × 305 mm, 260 pp.

HOCHSCHULE FÜR BILDENDE KÜNSTE HAMBURG

+

category: book / 2017
client: Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg
details: 195 × 288 mm, 164 pp.

INSIDE INTENSITY

+

category: catalogue / 2017
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
details: 218 × 305 mm, 68 pp.

JAMES BISHOP. MALEREI AUF PAPIER / PAINTINGS ON PAPER

+

category: catalogue / 2017
client: Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop
details: 220 × 275 mm, 124 pp.

JERRY ZENIUK. HOW TO PAINT

+

category: book / 2017
client: Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop
details: 144 × 236 mm, 144 pp.

JOSEF ALBERS MUSEUM QUADRAT BOTTROP

+

category: visual identity / 2008 –
client: Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop

JOSEPH BEUYS. WERKLINIEN / WORKLINES

+

Gattung: Katalog / 2016
Auftraggeber: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
Details: 200 x 290 mm, 288 S.

JUDITH JOY ROSS. LIVING WITH WAR – PORTRAITS

+

category: catalogue / 2008
client: Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop, Steidl
details: 240 × 300 mm, 164 pp.

KAZUO KATASE. KATAZUKE

+

category: catalogue / 2018
client: Museum Wiesbaden
details: 164 × 230 mm, 124 pp.

KURT KOCHERSCHEIDT. MALEREI

+

category: catalogue / 2013
client: Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop
details: 240 × 300 mm, 144 pp.

MARTINA SALZBERBER. ARBEITEN / WORKS

+

category: catalogue / 2005
client: Martina Salzberger
details: 116 × 160 mm, 248 pp.

MUSEUM KURHAUS KLEVE – EWALD MATARÉ-SAMMLUNG

+

category: visual identity / 2012 –
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung

MUTTER/GENTH

+

category: catalogue / 2015
client: Heike Mutter und Ulrich Genth
details: 230 x 295 mm, 200 pp.

PEPE DANQUART. LAUF, JUNGE, LAUF! FRAGMENTE EINES FILMS

+

category: book / 2014
client: Pepe Danquart, Alexander Verlag Berlin
details: 165 × 240 mm, 120 pp.

PIA FRIES. MALEREI 1990 – 2007

+

category: catalogue / 2007
client: Richter Verlag Düsseldorf
details: 235 × 285 mm, 192 pp.

R.B. KITAJ. THE EXILE AT HOME

+

category: catalogue / 2017
client: Marlborough Contemporary
details: 240 × 340 mm, 92 pp.

STUDIO KATHARINA GROSSE

+

category: visual identity / 2004
client: Studio Katharina Grosse

WER NICHT DENKEN WILL, FLIEGT RAUS

+

Gattung: Katalog / 2016
Auftraggeber: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
Details: 218 x 305 mm, 68 S.

WERNER BÜTTNER. DÜNGESCHLACHT ÜBER DEN FONTANELLEN

+

category: book / 2014
client: Werner Büttner, Textem Verlag
details: 223 × 320 mm, 172 pp.

WERNER BÜTTNER. POOR SOULS

+

category: catalogue / 2016
client: Marlborough Contemporary
details: 228 × 326 mm, 96 pp.

AHMED ALSOUDANI

+

category: catalogue / 2017
client: Marlborough Contemporary
details: 290 × 360 mm, 60 pp.

BASIC RESEARCH – NOTES ON THE COLLECTION

+

category: catalogue / 2014
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
details: 218 × 305 mm, 64 pp.

CARL ANDRE

+

category: catalogue / 2011
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
details: 216 × 270 mm, 152 pp.

FRANZ GERTSCH

+

category: catalogue / 2015
client: Saarlandmuseum
details: 230 × 320 mm, 68 pp.

GOTTFRIED BENN. MORGUE UND ANDERE GEDICHTE

+

category: book / 2012
client: Klett-Cotta
details: 162 × 182 mm, 32 pp.
in collaboration with: Michael Zöllner

GOVERT FLINCK. REFLECTING HISTORY

+

category: catalogue / 2015
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
details: 240 × 330 mm, 236 pp.
in collaboration with: Cyrill Kuhlmann

GREGOR HILDEBRANDT

+

category: catalogue / 2015
client: Saarlandmuseum
details: 230 x 320 mm, 160 pp.

HANS-CHRISTIAN SCHINK. HIER UND DORT

+

category: catalogue / 2018
client: Saarlandmuseum
details: 210 × 280 mm, 92 pp.

HEIKE MUTTER & ULRICH GENTH. METAREFLEKTOR LUFTOFFENSIVE

+

category: catalogue / 2006
client: Heike Mutter und Ulrich Genth
details: 210 × 330 mm, 56 pp.

HENDRICK GOLTZIUS & PIA FRIES. PROTEUS & POLYMORPHIA

+

category: catalogue / 2017
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
details: 198 × 305 mm, 260 pp.

HOCHSCHULE FÜR BILDENDE KÜNSTE HAMBURG

+

category: book / 2017
client: Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg
details: 195 × 288 mm, 164 pp.

INSIDE INTENSITY

+

category: catalogue / 2017
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
details: 218 × 305 mm, 68 pp.

JAMES BISHOP. MALEREI AUF PAPIER / PAINTINGS ON PAPER

+

category: catalogue / 2017
client: Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop
details: 220 × 275 mm, 124 pp.

JERRY ZENIUK. HOW TO PAINT

+

category: book / 2017
client: Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop
details: 144 × 236 mm, 144 pp.

JOSEF ALBERS MUSEUM QUADRAT BOTTROP

+

category: visual identity / 2008 –
client: Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop

JOSEPH BEUYS. WERKLINIEN / WORKLINES

+

Gattung: Katalog / 2016
Auftraggeber: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
Details: 200 x 290 mm, 288 S.

JUDITH JOY ROSS. LIVING WITH WAR – PORTRAITS

+

category: catalogue / 2008
client: Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop, Steidl
details: 240 × 300 mm, 164 pp.

KAZUO KATASE. KATAZUKE

+

category: catalogue / 2018
client: Museum Wiesbaden
details: 164 × 230 mm, 124 pp.

KURT KOCHERSCHEIDT. MALEREI

+

category: catalogue / 2013
client: Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop
details: 240 × 300 mm, 144 pp.

MARTINA SALZBERBER. ARBEITEN / WORKS

+

category: catalogue / 2005
client: Martina Salzberger
details: 116 × 160 mm, 248 pp.

MUSEUM KURHAUS KLEVE – EWALD MATARÉ-SAMMLUNG

+

category: visual identity / 2012 –
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung

MUTTER/GENTH

+

category: catalogue / 2015
client: Heike Mutter und Ulrich Genth
details: 230 x 295 mm, 200 pp.

PEPE DANQUART. LAUF, JUNGE, LAUF! FRAGMENTE EINES FILMS

+

category: book / 2014
client: Pepe Danquart, Alexander Verlag Berlin
details: 165 × 240 mm, 120 pp.

PIA FRIES. MALEREI 1990 – 2007

+

category: catalogue / 2007
client: Richter Verlag Düsseldorf
details: 235 × 285 mm, 192 pp.

R.B. KITAJ. THE EXILE AT HOME

+

category: catalogue / 2017
client: Marlborough Contemporary
details: 240 × 340 mm, 92 pp.

STUDIO KATHARINA GROSSE

+

category: visual identity / 2004
client: Studio Katharina Grosse

WER NICHT DENKEN WILL, FLIEGT RAUS

+

Gattung: Katalog / 2016
Auftraggeber: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
Details: 218 x 305 mm, 68 S.

WERNER BÜTTNER. DÜNGESCHLACHT ÜBER DEN FONTANELLEN

+

category: book / 2014
client: Werner Büttner, Textem Verlag
details: 223 × 320 mm, 172 pp.

WERNER BÜTTNER. POOR SOULS

+

category: catalogue / 2016
client: Marlborough Contemporary
details: 228 × 326 mm, 96 pp.

DESIGN

“Leave your ego, play your music, and love the people.” 1


Translator Swetlana Geier once said that one reads from left to right, but one translates with head held high. This of course refers to internalization, not hubris. Design is also a form of translation. It is interpretation and authorship: humble authorship, relating empathically to the object of direct relation. Design is abstraction, deviation, allusion, and craftsmanship. What drives people to design, translate, and interpret? Swetlana Geier would say it is a yearning for the Original.

Form produces meaning. Whether one wishes it or not. Neutrality, friendliness, modernity, voluptuousness, machismo, simplicity, warmth, distortion, sweetness, humility, balance – all possible concepts – remain negotiable values. This negotiation continues seven days of the week. Graphic Design is a part of this negotiation of the everyday, and is therefore jointly responsible for elements of our daily forms of behavior. Forms of behavior mirror personal attitude, imposing conditioning on environments and on the people who live in them. In other words: a nuanced treatment of form is important, and will remain so.

“According to the most well-known principle of Humboldt’s philosophy of language, language is ‘the formative agent of thought.’ In language the productive activity of the mind, one could also say: its performative potential, is expressed. Language is no given system of signs and symbols, no tool of communication, but rather a creative force (energeia) that fundamentally determines man’s relationship to reality. Humboldt describes it as a ‘logical intermediate world,’ a ‘world of vocal sounds,’ which the mind, by its own power, must place between itself and external objects in order to internalize and cope with the objective world. This is why language so decisively determines our worldview.” 2


Different media and means of transport create different forms of encounters. An encounter in which one makes no commitment to the other is no more than tourism. To learn the language of the other is to engage in an exchange. Cultural exchange is translation, and is the responsibility of Graphic Design. Translation is a key cultural technique of global communication. Striving for an international language, however, is both idealistic and naive. Language can be tamed only to a certain extent. Graphic practitioners therefore work at least as much on changing communication symptoms as on the dilemma of their causes. It is Sisyphus, not Hercules, who is the graphic practitioner’s hero.

“If one denies language its deviations and indirectness, it becomes a yell or a command. If walking lacks all hesitation, all pausing along the way, it ossifies into a march.” 3


Translation never functions without friction gains and friction losses. It is always, also, a commentary and an attitude. Graphic practitioners therefore act just as they react. Graphic practitioners are concerned with language, dialogue and translation. All three phenomena require dedication and distancing, acts of letting go and deciding. All three phenomena are brought to life by convention, personal attitude, and surprise. In other words: the attitude of a graphic designer is shown by his or her personal engagement with the phenomena of language, dialogue, and translation, and in the ability to engage in exchanges concerning these phenomena. His or her praxis oscillates between the parameters of participation, collaboration, interpretation, ordering, profiling, evaluating, renewing, showing, seducing, and serving.

“Every translation is primarily the result of a design process involving language as its substance. The process does not emanate from focusing on an object, but rather from focusing on the tension between two ways of handling an object. This is a process in which the ‘what’ takes a backseat to the ‘how.’ […] The ‘what’ is only of interest inasmuch as it discloses layers of the ‘how.’ These extend farther and deeper than most readers imagine. […] As a non-native speaker, the translator is constantly balancing between chasms and abysses – between two languages, two worlds made up of images and sounds, between calling out and listening, listening and writing, skill based on knowledge and art beyond the pale of knowledge. To whom is he answerable? To language itself.” 4


Graphic Design is a discipline for meeting the world: for translation, for construction, for representation, for memory, and for multiplication. Meaning and function are always an integral part of visual communication. Rationality emphasizes the functionality. As functional necessity decreases, the focus shifts to design qualities. Graphic artifacts once again become ritual objects.

“‘Remember me, whispers the dust.’ (Peter Huchl) And one hears in this that if we learn about ourselves from the time, perhaps time, in turn, may learn something from us. What would that be? That inferior in significance, we best it in sensitivity. […] that passion is the privilege of the insignificant.” 5


Graphic Design is based upon actions and experiences. Graphic Design is a mediated discipline, a discipline of indirect exchange, whose focus is, in multiple ways, on ephemeral communication. Its requirements are: a thirst for knowledge coupled with doubt, initiative and experience, fervor and empathy. Graphic Design is a cultural technique for the knowledge-based society, and for capitalism. To think about Graphic Design is to think about a living cultural technique.

“The old ritual: Stand back, look, approach again, grasp, feel, hesitate, then sudden activity and then another long pause …” 6


1 Luther Allison
2 Excerpt from: Boris Buden, “Der Schacht von Babel. Ist Kultur übersetzbar? (The Shaft of Babel. Is Culture translatable?)”
3 Excerpt from: Byung-Chul Han, “Duft der Zeit (Scent of the Times)”
4 Excerpt from: Esther Kinsky, “Fremdsprechen (Speaking in foreign Tongues)”
5 Excerpt from: Josef Brodsky, “In Praise of Boredom”
6 Excerpt from: Wim Wenders, “Notebook on Cities and Clothes”

CLIENTS

Deutsches Studentenwerk, Galerie Filiale, Hatje Cantz, Heike Mutter und Ulrich Genth, Hendrike Farenholtz, Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg, Huis Marseille Foundation for Photography, Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop, Katharina Grosse, Klett-Cotta, Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Kunstsammlung NRW, Manesse Verlag, Marlborough Contemporary, MARTa Herford, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung, NAi Publishers, Richter & Fey Verlag, Richter Verlag Düsseldorf, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Saarlandmuseum, Schirmer und Mosel, Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Steidl, Tropen Verlag, Uitgeverij Vantilt, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln, Werner Büttner, Wim Wenders

INGO OFERMANNS

1972: born in Aachen
1999: Diploma in Fine Arts, Academy of Fine Arts, Munich
2001: Master of Fine Arts, Werkplaats Typografie, hoogeschool voor de kunsten, ArtEZ, Arnhem (Netherlands)
2001: Launching of Ingo Offermanns, design
2004/2005: Lecturer at the hoogeschool voor de kunsten, ArtEZ, Arnhem (Netherlands)
2005/2006: Visiting professor at the School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA (USA)
2006 to present: Professor of Graphic Arts at the Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK) Hamburg www.klassegrafik.de
2015 to present: Editor in chief of the research platform Inter Graphic View www.intergraphicview.com
2016 to present: Member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) www.a-g-i.org

+49 (0)173 2158502
ingo@i-offermanns.de
i-offermanns.tumblr.com

IMPRINT

+

owner: Ingo Ferdinand Offermanns
Eichenstraße 43, 20255 Hamburg, Germany
+49 (0)173 2158502
ingo@i-offermanns.de
tax identification No.: DE 252426817

Ingo Offermanns studio makes every effort to ensure that the material contained on its website is current, complete and correct. Despite this, errors and mistakes cannot be completely ruled out. Ingo Offermanns therefore cannot be held responsible for the topicality, correctness, completeness or quality of the information provided. Parts of the pages or the complete publication, including all information and offers, may be extended, changed or partly or completely deleted by Ingo Offermanns without notice; nor is Ingo Offermanns responsible for the availability or any contents linked or referred to from our pages. If any damage occurs by the use of information presented there, only the author of the respective pages may be held liable, not the one who has linked to those pages. Furthermore Ingo Offermanns is not liable for any postings or messages published by users of discussion boards, weblogs, guestbooks or mailing lists provided on our site.
All rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on these pages are copyrighted. No part of these pages, either text, audio, video or images, may be used for any purpose without explicit authorization by Ingo Offermanns. Therefore, reproduction, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, or otherwise, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission.

responsible for content: Ingo Offermanns

design & development: David Liebermann, Maximilian Kiepe

photography: Ernst Christian Dümmler, Shuchang Xie, nizza.cc, Edward Greiner

+

1/

18
+

AHMED ALSOUDANI

category: catalogue / 2017
client: Marlborough Contemporary
details: 290 × 360 mm, 60 pp.

1/

14
+

BASIC RESEARCH – NOTES ON THE COLLECTION

category: catalogue / 2014
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
details: 218 × 305 mm, 64 pp.

1/

15
+

CARL ANDRE

category: catalogue / 2011
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
details: 216 × 270 mm, 152 pp.

1/

15
+

FRANZ GERTSCH

category: catalogue / 2015
client: Saarlandmuseum
details: 230 × 320 mm, 68 pp.

1/

8
+

GOTTFRIED BENN. MORGUE UND ANDERE GEDICHTE

category: book / 2012
client: Klett-Cotta
details: 162 × 182 mm, 32 pp.
in collaboration with: Michael Zöllner

1/

20
+

GOVERT FLINCK. REFLECTING HISTORY

category: catalogue / 2015
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
details: 240 × 330 mm, 236 pp.
in collaboration with: Cyrill Kuhlmann

1/

15
+

GREGOR HILDEBRANDT

category: catalogue / 2015
client: Saarlandmuseum
details: 230 x 320 mm, 160 pp.

1/

24
+

HANS-CHRISTIAN SCHINK. HIER UND DORT

category: catalogue / 2018
client: Saarlandmuseum
details: 210 × 280 mm, 92 pp.

1/

20
+

HEIKE MUTTER & ULRICH GENTH. METAREFLEKTOR LUFTOFFENSIVE

category: catalogue / 2006
client: Heike Mutter und Ulrich Genth
details: 210 × 330 mm, 56 pp.

1/

42
+

HENDRICK GOLTZIUS & PIA FRIES. PROTEUS & POLYMORPHIA

category: catalogue / 2017
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
details: 198 × 305 mm, 260 pp.

1/

29
+

HOCHSCHULE FÜR BILDENDE KÜNSTE HAMBURG

category: book / 2017
client: Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg
details: 195 × 288 mm, 164 pp.

1/

22
+

INSIDE INTENSITY

category: catalogue / 2017
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
details: 218 × 305 mm, 68 pp.

1/

13
+

JAMES BISHOP. MALEREI AUF PAPIER / PAINTINGS ON PAPER

category: catalogue / 2017
client: Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop
details: 220 × 275 mm, 124 pp.

1/

23
+

JERRY ZENIUK. HOW TO PAINT

category: book / 2017
client: Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop
details: 144 × 236 mm, 144 pp.

1/

10
+

JOSEF ALBERS MUSEUM QUADRAT BOTTROP

category: visual identity / 2008 –
client: Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop

1/

23
+

JOSEPH BEUYS. WERKLINIEN / WORKLINES

Gattung: Katalog / 2016
Auftraggeber: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
Details: 200 x 290 mm, 288 S.

1/

11
+

JUDITH JOY ROSS. LIVING WITH WAR – PORTRAITS

category: catalogue / 2008
client: Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop, Steidl
details: 240 × 300 mm, 164 pp.

1/

41
+

KAZUO KATASE. KATAZUKE

category: catalogue / 2018
client: Museum Wiesbaden
details: 164 × 230 mm, 124 pp.

1/

17
+

KURT KOCHERSCHEIDT. MALEREI

category: catalogue / 2013
client: Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop
details: 240 × 300 mm, 144 pp.

1/

27
+

MARTINA SALZBERBER. ARBEITEN / WORKS

category: catalogue / 2005
client: Martina Salzberger
details: 116 × 160 mm, 248 pp.

1/

13
+

MUSEUM KURHAUS KLEVE – EWALD MATARÉ-SAMMLUNG

category: visual identity / 2012 –
client: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung

1/

20
+

MUTTER/GENTH

category: catalogue / 2015
client: Heike Mutter und Ulrich Genth
details: 230 x 295 mm, 200 pp.

1/

17
+

PEPE DANQUART. LAUF, JUNGE, LAUF! FRAGMENTE EINES FILMS

category: book / 2014
client: Pepe Danquart, Alexander Verlag Berlin
details: 165 × 240 mm, 120 pp.

1/

23
+

PIA FRIES. MALEREI 1990 – 2007

category: catalogue / 2007
client: Richter Verlag Düsseldorf
details: 235 × 285 mm, 192 pp.

1/

25
+

R.B. KITAJ. THE EXILE AT HOME

category: catalogue / 2017
client: Marlborough Contemporary
details: 240 × 340 mm, 92 pp.

1/

9
+

STUDIO KATHARINA GROSSE

category: visual identity / 2004
client: Studio Katharina Grosse

1/

22
+

WER NICHT DENKEN WILL, FLIEGT RAUS

Gattung: Katalog / 2016
Auftraggeber: Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung
Details: 218 x 305 mm, 68 S.

1/

17
+

WERNER BÜTTNER. DÜNGESCHLACHT ÜBER DEN FONTANELLEN

category: book / 2014
client: Werner Büttner, Textem Verlag
details: 223 × 320 mm, 172 pp.

1/

28
+

WERNER BÜTTNER. POOR SOULS

category: catalogue / 2016
client: Marlborough Contemporary
details: 228 × 326 mm, 96 pp.

DE/
EN/
中文

DESIGN

“Leave your ego, play your music, and love the people.” 1


Translator Swetlana Geier once said that one reads from left to right, but one translates with head held high. This of course refers to internalization, not hubris. Design is also a form of translation. It is interpretation and authorship: humble authorship, relating empathically to the object of direct relation. Design is abstraction, deviation, allusion, and craftsmanship. What drives people to design, translate, and interpret? Swetlana Geier would say it is a yearning for the Original.

Form produces meaning. Whether one wishes it or not. Neutrality, friendliness, modernity, voluptuousness, machismo, simplicity, warmth, distortion, sweetness, humility, balance – all possible concepts – remain negotiable values. This negotiation continues seven days of the week. Graphic Design is a part of this negotiation of the everyday, and is therefore jointly responsible for elements of our daily forms of behavior. Forms of behavior mirror personal attitude, imposing conditioning on environments and on the people who live in them. In other words: a nuanced treatment of form is important, and will remain so.

“According to the most well-known principle of Humboldt’s philosophy of language, language is ‘the formative agent of thought.’ In language the productive activity of the mind, one could also say: its performative potential, is expressed. Language is no given system of signs and symbols, no tool of communication, but rather a creative force (energeia) that fundamentally determines man’s relationship to reality. Humboldt describes it as a ‘logical intermediate world,’ a ‘world of vocal sounds,’ which the mind, by its own power, must place between itself and external objects in order to internalize and cope with the objective world. This is why language so decisively determines our worldview.” 2


Different media and means of transport create different forms of encounters. An encounter in which one makes no commitment to the other is no more than tourism. To learn the language of the other is to engage in an exchange. Cultural exchange is translation, and is the responsibility of Graphic Design. Translation is a key cultural technique of global communication. Striving for an international language, however, is both idealistic and naive. Language can be tamed only to a certain extent. Graphic practitioners therefore work at least as much on changing communication symptoms as on the dilemma of their causes. It is Sisyphus, not Hercules, who is the graphic practitioner’s hero.

“If one denies language its deviations and indirectness, it becomes a yell or a command. If walking lacks all hesitation, all pausing along the way, it ossifies into a march.” 3


Translation never functions without friction gains and friction losses. It is always, also, a commentary and an attitude. Graphic practitioners therefore act just as they react. Graphic practitioners are concerned with language, dialogue and translation. All three phenomena require dedication and distancing, acts of letting go and deciding. All three phenomena are brought to life by convention, personal attitude, and surprise. In other words: the attitude of a graphic designer is shown by his or her personal engagement with the phenomena of language, dialogue, and translation, and in the ability to engage in exchanges concerning these phenomena. His or her praxis oscillates between the parameters of participation, collaboration, interpretation, ordering, profiling, evaluating, renewing, showing, seducing, and serving.

“Every translation is primarily the result of a design process involving language as its substance. The process does not emanate from focusing on an object, but rather from focusing on the tension between two ways of handling an object. This is a process in which the ‘what’ takes a backseat to the ‘how.’ […] The ‘what’ is only of interest inasmuch as it discloses layers of the ‘how.’ These extend farther and deeper than most readers imagine. […] As a non-native speaker, the translator is constantly balancing between chasms and abysses – between two languages, two worlds made up of images and sounds, between calling out and listening, listening and writing, skill based on knowledge and art beyond the pale of knowledge. To whom is he answerable? To language itself.” 4


Graphic Design is a discipline for meeting the world: for translation, for construction, for representation, for memory, and for multiplication. Meaning and function are always an integral part of visual communication. Rationality emphasizes the functionality. As functional necessity decreases, the focus shifts to design qualities. Graphic artifacts once again become ritual objects.

“‘Remember me, whispers the dust.’ (Peter Huchl) And one hears in this that if we learn about ourselves from the time, perhaps time, in turn, may learn something from us. What would that be? That inferior in significance, we best it in sensitivity. […] that passion is the privilege of the insignificant.” 5


Graphic Design is based upon actions and experiences. Graphic Design is a mediated discipline, a discipline of indirect exchange, whose focus is, in multiple ways, on ephemeral communication. Its requirements are: a thirst for knowledge coupled with doubt, initiative and experience, fervor and empathy. Graphic Design is a cultural technique for the knowledge-based society, and for capitalism. To think about Graphic Design is to think about a living cultural technique.

“The old ritual: Stand back, look, approach again, grasp, feel, hesitate, then sudden activity and then another long pause …” 6


1 Luther Allison
2 Excerpt from: Boris Buden, “Der Schacht von Babel. Ist Kultur übersetzbar? (The Shaft of Babel. Is Culture translatable?)”
3 Excerpt from: Byung-Chul Han, “Duft der Zeit (Scent of the Times)”
4 Excerpt from: Esther Kinsky, “Fremdsprechen (Speaking in foreign Tongues)”
5 Excerpt from: Josef Brodsky, “In Praise of Boredom”
6 Excerpt from: Wim Wenders, “Notebook on Cities and Clothes”

CLIENTS

Deutsches Studentenwerk, Galerie Filiale, Hatje Cantz, Heike Mutter und Ulrich Genth, Hendrike Farenholtz, Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg, Huis Marseille Foundation for Photography, Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop, Katharina Grosse, Klett-Cotta, Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Kunstsammlung NRW, Manesse Verlag, Marlborough Contemporary, MARTa Herford, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung, NAi Publishers, Richter & Fey Verlag, Richter Verlag Düsseldorf, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Saarlandmuseum, Schirmer und Mosel, Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Steidl, Tropen Verlag, Uitgeverij Vantilt, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln, Werner Büttner, Wim Wenders

INGO OFERMANNS

1972: born in Aachen
1999: Diploma in Fine Arts, Academy of Fine Arts, Munich
2001: Master of Fine Arts, Werkplaats Typografie, hoogeschool voor de kunsten, ArtEZ, Arnhem (Netherlands)
2001: Launching of Ingo Offermanns, design
2004/2005: Lecturer at the hoogeschool voor de kunsten, ArtEZ, Arnhem (Netherlands)
2005/2006: Visiting professor at the School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA (USA)
2006 to present: Professor of Graphic Arts at the Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK) Hamburg www.klassegrafik.de
2015 to present: Editor in chief of the research platform Inter Graphic View www.intergraphicview.com
2016 to present: Member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) www.a-g-i.org

+49 (0)173 2158502
ingo@i-offermanns.de
i-offermanns.tumblr.com

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