»Sacré CÅ“ur«

»Eve et Fils«


Why Algi­ers?
In 2009 I made two vis­its two Algi­ers, the cap­ital of Algeria. I had been invited by Dr. Alix Land­grebe the dir­ector of the Goethe Insti­tut Alger­ien, to run two work­shops for the design stu­dents of the École de Beaux Arts. On the 9th of Novem­ber 2009, I gave a lec­ture on the fall of the Ber­lin wall.
While I was in Algi­ers I learned a lot about life under sur­veil­lance in a dic­tat­or­ship, in a soci­ety dom­in­ated by men and con­temp­tu­ous of women.
It is a schizo­phrenic scene: Algi­ers is a beau­ti­ful city, most of the people are lovely, the cul­ture stun­ning but I was hassled just for tak­ing pho­to­graphs of let­ter­ing, archi­tec­ture and its details,… but:
I got really hustled for tak­ing ordin­ary pho­to­graphs (like let­ters, details, archi­tec­ture). My first work­shop was also censored.

I was pre­ven­ted by the gov­ern­ment from giv­ing the second work­shop. The idea was to send the stu­dents into their city to research and doc­u­ment every­day life, the archi­tec­ture, let­ter­ing on the build­ings etc. Each stu­dent was then to cre­ate a poster based upon this work to depict the beau­ti­ful examples of the visual lan­guage of Algi­ers in a new con­text. It is really sad that the stu­dents were not able to take advant­age of the workshop.

Instead of can­cel­ling the pro­ject, how­ever, I decided to under­take it myself.

As a res­ult I designed a series of eight screen prin­ted posters of A1 size depict­ing eight sep­ar­ate sub­jects which espe­cially caught my eye. The design of these posters fol­low the prin­ciples of tour­ism posters of the early 20th Cen­tury .
I took a lot of pho­to­graphs show­ing the beau­ti­ful hand drawn let­ter­ing on the shops all over the city. I com­bined the French and Arabic texts to give a new take on the archi­tec­tural ele­ments that are so unique in Algiers.

There are two sets of posters. One for Algi­ers and one for Ber­lin.
But the cen­sored ones (and there­fore hon­est), they are a bit like the city itself: you can­not see the real beauty or spirit because most of the image will be obscured by what, to my mind, are sil­hou­ettes rep­res­ent­ing sup­pres­sion and censorship.

The City

The Let­ter­ing (a selec­tion)

The »bar­ri­ers«

The pro­duc­tion
One import­ant part of this pro­ject took the poster pro­duc­tion itself. After anal­iz­ing the mater­ial and design­ing on the com­puter, I worked nearly com­pletely ana­logue on the tem­plates and prin­ted the posters by hand.

The pre­par­a­tion

The print­ing
Being also a trained screen printer, it was very import­ant to me to do all the print­ing myself. My grat­it­ude goes to my former stu­dent Julia Mahler, who helped me so much with it. It was a very exhaust­ing and heavy work, I could never have man­aged without her.

If you want to know more about screen print­ing »>

The »I«
The Geman word for Algi­ers is Algier, the French are call­ing the city Alger, without i. There­fore, I designed the i all­ways dif­fer­ent to the other let­ters in of name.

The cen­sor­ship
The uncensored cen­sor­ship is applied on the prin­ted posters with the use of sten­cils to add a more bru­tal appearence.

The Exhib­i­tion

Thanks so much to Dr. Alix Land­grebe, the dir­ector from the Goethe Insti­tut Alger­ien, who has ini­ti­ated this great pro­ject and made all this possible.

My grat­it­ude goes to the Ger­man paper com­pany »Römer­turm Fein­st­papier GmbH & Co. KG«, who is the spon­sor of the beau­ti­ful paper I worked with.