Exhibition — January 2021
For this first edition of POST/NO/BILLS, graphic design curator Thomas Castro invites Metro54 to present We’re Out Here, an ode to street guerrilla poster culture highlighting the work of designers Lydienne Albertoe, Serana Angelista, Jeanine van Berkel and Cengiz Mengüç.
POST / NO / BILLS occupies the main ‘thoroughfare’ of the museum, from the Audi Gallery to the foot of the historic staircase, where a series of changing exhibitions present the fastest forms of graphic design.
Graphic design is by nature a fast medium. With news cycles spanning hours rather than days, designers are increasingly turning to networked media and on-demand production to stay engaged and relevant. In POST / NO / BILLS, the Stedelijk aims to respond rapidly to the latest ideas, trends and themes in the field, thus challenging the traditional ‘icons of modern art’ within its own museum context.
The debut edition showcases the platform Metro54 and the presentation We’re Out Here with a selection of posters. The posters originate from street guerrilla poster culture, which has spawned an experimental, complex design aesthetic and visual language in the public space. In this homage, Metro54 examines the visual language of the counterculture by asking: ‘Who owns the street? Who is permitted to use public space in times of emergency and privatization?’ These questions prompted designers Lydienne Albertoe, Serana Angelista, Jeanine van Berkel and Cengiz Mengüç to develop works that were previously seen on the streets of Amsterdam.
The designers produced posters that respond to the everyday struggles, micro-aggressions and encounters between people and cultures that make up our public space. The designs were exhibited in Amsterdam’s streets last September, but within the context of the museum, they reframe their critique of what and who controls the public domain. The posters hang in a liminal space and quite literally feel as though they’re coming from ‘out there’, from an indeterminate space that exists between exhibitions, histories and visual languages. In doing so, they also ask, ‘What does it mean to hang near an institutionalised graphic design canon where only a few people of colour are represented?’ Metro54 invites designers, visitors and institutions to explore the possibility of claiming the public space as a way of having a radical presence in the world.
If you are walking past the Stedelijk Museum in the coming weeks, don’t forget to take a look at the facade. Or peek inside from the entrance on the Paulus Potterstraat. You’ll be able to see several posters from the outside.
Metro54 is a platform for young artists, thinkers, activists, writers and hustlers who push the boundaries of their (art) disciplines, with special attention to the talents who draw their inspiration from global and contemporary visual and sonic cultures. We're Out Here was presented as part of the research project A Funeral For Street Culture which will transform the research into an exhibition and public program at Framer Framed in January 2021.