the iterations at the pink place

“There is no future for graphic designers here, except if you do advertisement”

When I arrived in Zagreb, first there was no one to meet. All my trying had lead to nothing, when then suddenly Ivorin was introduced to me. A young and multisided graphic designer who is planning to move to Australia for further studies, maybe for good.
“Everyone who can, leaves the country. There is no future for graphic designers here, except if you do advertisement, the best selling industry in the world.”
Advertisement will probably not be Ivorins future. The projects he prefers, are more the artistic kind, conceptual, cooperative, connecting.

Ivorin_Prozess9One of the projects he showed me, was a screen printed calendar Some Other New Year”; a collection of illustrations from several artists and designers from the Balkan countries, expressing ideas about the passing of time. He also worked on an initiative called “Balkan Floods”. People were asked to create artifacts, sell them and donate the money to families who lost everything in the flood in 2014. For working on projects was kind of his thing, he was interested in domino as some experimental artistic game.
I showed him the drawing of Luka Zabret from Ljubljana: Coal on the yellowed page of an old book. The shadow of a person that doesn’t exist, so the basic idea.
Ivorin was pleased with the concept of showing something that isn’t there for real. Coincidently he just had started creating visual material for bands that don’t exist. The night before he had designed some poster for an imaginary band, by drawing and writing, creating layer over layer.

First of all he thought of a name and quickly came up with “The Iterations”. Iteration, the repeating of sequences of actions, to get closer to the sought result, seemed to be a good hook for both, band concept and visual realization of a poster.
To create a visual translation for the loops of actions, Ivorin decided to build up the poster in layers, as he is used to work recently. Each layer on top would be slightly smaller then the one before, so they’d be framed by the material underneath. Like a frame in a frame, an optic repetition of the same format, with the final idea climaxing in the middle.

“You gotta be fast now.”

For that he likes to work analog as much as possible, he decided to make a three-dimensional collage instead of a drawing or completely digital work.
Once hooked with that idea Ivorin developed a speed in his actions, giving me and my camera hard times to follow. “You gotta be fast now.” he said.
Rapidly he rushed through the rooms of the studio, bringing all kinds of things, cardboard, posters, paper, objects, pieces of sketches, notes and so on.
We spread the stuff on one of the tables and then Ivorin would chose from it whatever he needed for his set up.

“Now I’m going to fuck it up. Fuck it up to the next level.”

He started by smearing neon-colour on a poster with flower motive. He knew the person who made it. “Now I’m going to fuck it up. Fuck it up to the next level,” he said ironically.  Sometimes you could take things further when you destroyed them.
Instinctively he put layer on layer, cutting paper, tearing up eggshell-packages. He wouldn’t just put paper flat on the existing plane. Instead he put little objects in between, pads, cardboard or other stuff he could find, so the layers would “float on top of each other.” Soon he had built up a little throne for Lukas’ drawing. He placed it on top of the little pyramid and took a picture, to see what he had done.

To me it already looked like something, but Ivorin wasn’t satisfied yet.
“It needs more details. I just started.” Being in some kind of creative trance he wouldn’t stop working until it was finished after five hours.
So he continued adding more and more details to the montage. Papershreds, small objects, a banana peel to add something “you wouldn’t expect to see”.

“I have to find something that doesn’t make sense, but makes sense.”

While doing all this he started to fantasize about the band. The Iterations would be a few young people in their early twenties, not yet aware of life, but already aiming, being very dramatic and trying to express a certain kind of deepness. One of their typical recurrent symbols would be the rope. As a reminder it would appear on their poster, album cover or music videos. “The rope is there to remind us of suicide, but we wouldn’t do it.”
The Iterations might be still young and theatric, but the most famous band of Tasmania, a mix of Alt-J and The Growlers, Ivorin fantasized.

Ivorin_Prozess3He designed the typo for the poster by combining different fonts. “I have to find something that doesn’t make sense, but makes sense.” he considered. He printed out the text (The Iterations – back home in Hobart after Suicide Prevention Tour – September 10th 2015 – at The Pink Place) and retraced the letters in order to make it look more fucked up and self-made. The Pink Place is also a made up location. We figured that the color pink was not only omni-present in my project, but also in his studio. September 10th actually is Suicide Prevention Day, a perfect date for The Iterations to return to their home as celebrated heroes after being on tour for a long time.
After the label for the poster was finally done, it was “time for flying objects.”

The_Iterations_final_webWith three people, five hands and one foot we held the famous rope, holding the typo, twisted it and moved it through the air for ages, for Ivorin to make the perfect shot. Not perfectly perfect for him, but ok to work on with. “Now it functions, now it has an idea.”
It was finally time for the digital postproduction. Ivorin adapted the colors, step by step, piece by piece.
For he had studied photography as well and learned in his career how to work clean and precisely, he finished the product with care.
The construction was only made for the photo, so I would have to take the digital version with me to Budapest.

I was very pleased with the result. Before starting the project I had thought of someone making an analog poster. Maybe because I imagined that the kind of situations I created, should bring out the handmade character of creative work, to provoke the artists to show and realize themselves the actual steps of their way to the result, by explaining themselves during the process.
To do things in a manner that might not be usual (anymore), like making a poster non-digitally, not two-dimensional, instead to recognize the visual space as actual space, to understand the steps of the work as actual layers, are effects I was hoping to highlight with the project.