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Revue Faire No. 3 (A monograph: Recollected Work by Mevis & Van Deursen)


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The third issue of Revue Faire [To Look at Things] is composed of a text (“A monograph: Recollected Work by Mevis & Van Deursen”) by Étienne Hervy, art director / editor in chief of le Signe, the National Graphic Design Center in Chaumont, France. The essay examines the reception and production of Mevis & Ven Deursen's 2005 publication from Dutch publisher Artimo, Mevis & Van Deursen: Recollected Work 1990-2005

Entrusted with designing their own monograph by Artimo, Linda van Deursen and Armand Mevis asked Paul Elliman to join them in writing the texts, and responded with the same approach they adopted when asked to collaborate with artists and photographers whose books were the foundation of the studio's esteemed reputation. Mevis and van Deursen hoped readers would experience their work in operation, instead of reproducing their design work as artworks in themselves. Rejecting a nostalgic approach which would present their projects in a formalized fashion, the pair decided to use their previous work as material for a new project from which the book would emerge.

This choice directly raises questions about about the constitution and transmission of graphic design in the cultural milieu—is it specifically aimed at graphic designers? Or is the aim to reach a much wider audience? How do the fine points and the broader issues that preoccupy a discipline, itself dedicated to transmission and communication, get communicated? Hervy argues that the eminently visual field of graphic design has the capacity to confront shallow appearances. 

Hervy references a collection of monographs and publications made by graphic designers (including Christophe Jacquet, Joost Grootens, M/M (Paris), Karel Martens, Experimental Jetset, Wolgang Weingart, etc.) while at the same time casting a generous eye over the other forms that currently transmit graphic design (exhibitions, conference, etc.). In addition to probing the issues and questions raised by Recollected Works, Hervy traces threads in Mevis and van Deursen's work—asking whether a continuity exists between the editorial design of 2004's Why Mister, Why? Iraq 2003-2004 for Geert van Kesteren or 2001's Museum of Contemporary African Art monograph for Meschac Gaba, and the identity of the Stedelijk Museum—and ultimately questions the pertinence of a discourse specific to graphic design. 

Revue Faire, launched in 2017, is a regularly published critical publication dedicated to the analysis of graphic design, with a particular focus on France, and a broader focus on graphic design in Europe. Each year, 15 bilingual (French and English) 20-page issues are planned to be published. The series, curated by Sacha Léopold and François Havegeer, works with various invited authors; each issue documents a unique, tentacular subject of interest to graphic designers. 

Designed and edited by Sacha Léopold and François Havegeer with Kévin Lartaud

Published by Éditions Empire, 2017

In English and French

Softcover, 20 pages, staple binding, full color, 8.5 × 11.75 inches

ISBN: 979-10-95991-04-5