What, You don’t know Grapus?
That’s very lame of you.
I picked up, What, you don’t know Grapus?, at Arcana whilst in LA, after narrowing in on the spine that was surrounded by an assortment of familiar, mostly boring, design monographs in the large and quiet, library-like, aisles. This book is beautifully designed by Léo Favier, who not only designed the book itself, but sought out former members of the French design collective to recount their experiences within Grapus—which was collectively producing political, socially conscious, and experimental works under the single name between 1968 and 1990. There are 26 interviews bound together within the softcover format, printed on variety of colorful papers that help separate each artist’s experience.
Every one of us had their own image of Grapus in their mind and these ideas weren’t patterned a hundred percent after one another. Far from it. What I had in mind was to connect things that can’t be connected. To support the social and also manage to do graphic design in areas like the Louvre that are predicated on prestige, on high culture. A sort of Penta-thingy, which it isn’t at all. As I have often said, everything is political, everything is cultural. If you refuse to see that, if you stay behind your walls, cut off all the time, you can only blow your own trumpet, jerk off…I haven’t altered my opinion about that. —Alex Jordan