Presented by Consulate General of Switzerland and Goethe-Institut Hongkong
Opening: Thursday, January 17, 2019, 7:00 PM.
Ever since the foundation of the federal state in 1848, the Swiss population has been actively involved in political decision-making through the rules of direct democracy. Popular initiatives and referendums form the basis of municipal, cantonal or federal plebiscites. Time and again, the issues at stake make feelings run high and lead to fierce ideological battles. Testimony to these disputes are campaign posters, which have sought to influence public opinion since the early 20th century. Clichés, undifferentiated simplifications, a repertoire of drastic motifs and catchy slogans correspond to the laws of the medium, whose aim is direct mass manipulation. Over time, however, many well-known artists and designers have also created posters that have imprinted themselves upon Switzerland’s collective visual memory and have become icons of Swiss poster art.
After the Second World War, widespread de-ideologization and new advertising strategies gradually calmed the previously heated mood. Yet besides the many harmless campaign posters committed to political correctness, just as many posters seen in today’s streets reject a consensus-oriented aesthetic and continue to spark political discussion.
The Votes & Voices exhibition presents visual argumentation strategies and a pictorial rhetoric that have shaped Swiss campaign posters from 1918 to the present. As sensitive indicators of socio-political moods, and as valuable contemporary documents, the exhibits reflect not only the history of Swiss mentality but also global trends.
The exhibition comprises 67 posters from the collection of the Museum für Gestaltung of the Zurich University of the Arts. Votes & Voices has been curated by Bettina Richter, Museum für Gestaltung and is jointly presented by the Consulate General of Switzerland and the Goethe-Institut Hongkong.
Please register for the Opening Ceremony with the registration link.