Åbäke’s collective practice adopts a nondualist approach to design, in which their output is at once process and product, their process is collective, yet their name is one, and each project is the result of multiple minds working together and in parallel. Established in London in 2000, the transdisciplinary collective focuses its work on the social aspects of graphic design and strives to make room for multiple perspectives by integrating curating, teaching and publishing. Over the years, they have founded several platforms, in the form of partnerships and collaborations, such as a publishing house, a record label, a clothing label, a magazine or a journal. This shared approach characterizes every form of the collaborative work they undertake, creating a rhizomic web of processes and relations that grows beyond the four founding members of Åbäke.
Deep Publishing refers both to the title of this exhibition and to an editorial methodology developed by the collective for working with artists, editors, writers, musicians, dancers, and curators. This exhibition brings together three strands of experimental printed work made by the collective, 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.
The choice to focus on the past two years, in fact incorporates two-decades of methodological, formal and procedural experimentation within the framework of a social practice that seeks to re-think the relationship of the individual vis à vis the collective and with each printed sheet or textile existing as a surface that represents a circular web or ecosystem of ever-evolving people, ideas and processes. Each work on display shares a depth that is both conceptual and visible to the naked eye, the result of a long-term archive of techniques in which each specific work is a surface of layered materiality’s and ideas.
To offer a window onto the collective’s hybrid approach to making, designer, author and educator, Prem Krishnamurthy has written a series of texts that reflect on Åbäke’s decades-long practice and contextualize the materials presented in the exhibition.
The exhibition, includes new works by Åbäke in collaboration with Malefatte, Alice Grandoit-Šutka, Isabel Lewis, Maximage & Marietta Eugster, Marie Lund, and Grafiche Veneziane. An exhibition conceived in the company of Prem Krishnamurthy.
An exhibition conceived in the company of Prem Krishnamurthy.
On 28 October, the exhibition will act as a stage for FREEEee, a lecture performance by artist and writer Jesper List Thomsen. A book of the same title was published in 2021 by l’Esprit de l’Escalier.
On 10 February 2023, The Museum’s Department for Preventive Education is organising Every presentation is a rehearsal for the next presentation, a workshop led by Prem Krishnamurthy with Åbäke.
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.
Heartfelt thanks to Università Iuav di Venezia, Rio Terà dei Pensieri, and Kirsten Lundbergh.
Supported by the Danish Arts Foundation.
Curator: Luca Lo Pinto
Curatorial coordinator: Chiara Siravo
Exhibition coordinator: Sara Cattaneo
Production assistant: Giulia Caruso, Anna Mostardi
Art handlers: Fabio Pennacchia, Matteo Pompili