18 June–17 July 2005 / Casco HQ
In Casco, Ben Laloua/Didier Pascal presents four large flags that are part of the project PUBLIC CLUB. The designs of the flags are the result of an analysis of the formation of images closely based on the observations of behavior, signs, codes and symbols that occur in public places.
PUBLIC CLUB not only questions how public public space actually still is, now it is increasingly subject to privatization, economic principles and regulation; the designs also reflect a search for a new iconography. Symbols and signs from the spectacular world of the media and the mundane world of nature and everyday life are brought together in a new synthesis on the flags. This everyday life includes the unemphatic presence of marginal activities, informal networks or illegal behavior. Ben Laloua/Didier Pascal translated recognisable, but often unequivocal depictions and signs into images that can be read as representations of a more complex and heterogeneous reality. Hereby providing the official images of society with subversive sounds.
Also the manner in which the flags were made runs contrary to the mediatized ephemeralness. The designs were not printed, but made with silk applications sewn by hand on a blue background. In a situation in which information and communication have become tradable, the graphic designer’s position as meaning providing intermediary seems to be being replaced by a purely stylistic approach. PUBLIC CLUB is a proposal for a design practice that once again positions itself in the public domain.
At Ben Laloua/Didier Pascal’s invitation, artist/designer Frank Bruggeman will emphasize Casco’s public nature by altering the facade on the Oudegracht.
The flags were made by Els Roseboom.