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The story behind the work.

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Deconstruction : Circa 2000

The year was 1998, and a Call For Entree was sent out to an international group of graphic designers to submit work for the next installment of the Mons, Belgium triennale of political, social, and cultural posters. This would be a contest that heavy hitters of the design landscape would take part in. Thousands of posters would be created and submitted from the likes of Lex Drewinski, Uwe Loesch, Luba Lukova, and more. About 25 would join the inner circle of elite winners (being printed as limited edition monographs) while another 100 selected for inclusion into a booklet and displayed as an exhibition in Belgium.

Mandates

Rules for this contest were simple: 1) Subject matter would pertain to topics of either a political, social, or cultural nature, and 2) the format for delivery would be a poster.

Concept

The topic chosen for this entree was that of war. The concept was a twist on some of the earliest known visual communication that man has ever produced–cave drawings in Lascaux, France. These drawings depict prehistoric man (approximately 15,000 to 13,000 BCE) hunting and fighting with various forms of crude weapons. Upon closer examination of the poster, the viewer will notice, that although most are brandishing these prehistoric implements, one of the hunters wields a modern day machine gun. The overarching idea that remains suggests that man, at his core, is as he was 17,000 years ago. The mentality in regards to war is the same. Only the weapons have changed.

Specifics

Once the concept was realized, the visualization followed a very logical path. Actual drawings of hunters were scanned from Art History books, cleaned, and reassembled onto the poster. One hunter was given a machine gun rendered in the same style as the other weapons, and all hunters were dropped onto a blood red background. Placement of the hunters moves from from top/ left, downward, to bottom/right. This evokes and reinforces the negative connotation of prehistoric and modern violence. The top/left figure enters into the frame, while the bottom/right extends his leg out of frame. This creates a sense of continuity and poses a question to the viewer: "what happens next"?

The final addition of a simple title, "Circa 2000", hearkens back to the vernacular used in Art History to approximate the date of artwork. With this title in place, one can imagine an Art History book-of-the-future where cave drawings of 15,000BCE are placed next to 20th century posters, both appropriately dated, and both speaking commentary on the state of mankind.

Results

This 24.5" x 32" poster was selected for inclusion into the exhibit of the 7th Triennale of Mons, Belgium, displayed in the accompanying booklet, and printed as one of the 25 final winners for the limited edition monograph.

Circa 2000 Poster

Circa 2000. 24.5" x 32" Poster

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