On the occasion of the exhibition Deep Publishing, on show until 5 March 2023, the following is a selection of texts written by designer, author and educator Prem Krishnamurthy, which reflecting on Åbäke’s decades-long practice, contextualize the materials presented in the exhibition.
Deep Publishing brings together three strands of experimental printed work made by Åbäke, all produced over the course of the past two years on the island of Venice, using materials sourced on site and with a particular attention to how labour functions uniquely within the flow of the city.
PREM KRISHNAMURTHY is a designer, author, and educator. He directs Wkshps, a multidisciplinary design consultancy and organizes Department of Transformation, an emergent, itinerant workshop that practices collaborative tools for social change. In addition to leading strategic design projects with artists, cultural institutions, and nonprofit organizations across the world, he has curated several large-scale exhibitions. These include Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows, the 2022 edition of FRONT International, Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art; Our Silver City, 2094 at Nottingham Contemporary; and Ministry of Graphic Design in Sharjah, UAE. Previously, Prem founded the design studio Project Projects and the exhibition space P! in New York. He received the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Communications Design in 2015 and KW Institute for Contemporary Art’s “A Year With…” residency fellowship in 2018. His professional papers were acquired by Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies in 2019. In 2022, Domain Books published his book-length epistolary essay, On Letters.
ÅBÄKE is a collective, founded in London, in 2000 by Benjamin Reichen, Kajsa Ståhl, Maki Suzuki, and Patrick Lacey. Their work has been exhibited at the Istanbul Biennale, Venice Biennale, British Art Show, Triennale di Milano, and the Aichi Triennale. They have worked with institutions, artists and designers such as the Serpentine Gallery, Harvard University, Vitra, Martino Gamper, Martin Margiela, and Virgil Abloh. They have been lecturing and teaching at Central Saint Martins, Royal College of Art, ISIA, HEAD, IUAV, Yale, and Konstfack.