Free School is Free Space
Free School is Free Space is the title of an exhibition by Branko Stanojević for the Serbian pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale.
This work was inspired by a drawing on the wall that I found in the basement of the house which used to be Bogdan Bogdanovic’s Village School of the Philosophy of Architecture from 1976 to 1990. After the school was closed, over its long history of decay, the house became a free space for refugees, football players, hunters, vagrants. … The exhibition initiates a mythical game between Bogdan Bogdanovic’s surreal cosmos in his city glossary of terms and the new images of present moments representing inquisitive and critical contemplation of the past and projections for the future on city free spaces.
Headlines for the exhibition signs and catalog are set in Serbian, English, and Italian using Roman Gornitsky’s Soyuz Grotesk, a typeface with a Cyrillic character set and a Latin that pulls heavily from the Cyrillic. Soyuz was selected by Ksenya Samarskaya for Typographica’s Typefaces of 2017:
Other scripts constantly try to figure out how to adapt to fit the models set in place by Latin. Hebrew designers ask “What is italic?” or “What is bold?” because software defaults to that quadrant. Thai designers are forced to consider “What is a serif?” or “What is uppercase?”
Some of the most interesting queries posed by Soyuz Grotesk are the ones that get asked when Gornitsky, in a clever bit of reverse-translation, draws in a brand new Latin.
Nenad Dickov was responsible for the type choice.
The design for the exhibition had to be a minimal, complementary device that would only enhance the experience of the visitors while still leaning on the familiar notions that Boganović and the period during which he worked have left behind in the rich history of memorial architecture and avant-garde design and art.
The core of the identity was the font called Soyuz Grotesk which I had modified to accommodate a few specific Serbian characters with the kind permission of the author of the font, Temporary State. Its intricate execution and merger of the characters were both an homage to Bogdanović’s very specific style as well as an archetypal hint at the very philosophical themes that the entire exhibition tackled.