For the first time in its history, the INFORM – Prize for Conceptual Design is awarded to a graphic artist based in Leipzig. Anja Kaiser, at home in the field of activism in subcultural scenes, goes out in search of free spaces for social participation. In cooperation with the Institut fuer Zukunft, Conne Island and various queer/feminist groups, she has participated in various events and contributed to their graphic interpretation. In her own work, she investigates the human body as the unavoidable projection surface of a biologically founded determinism, and examines approaches of deconstruction. Here, she processes the borders between graphic art, design, art, music and forms of digital self-empowerment. By means of posters, animated digital images and installations with their own radical aesthetic style, she ensures that the topics she deals with gain the attention of a wide public.
In the runup to her presentation at the GfZK, there will be a digital advertising campaign in the Leipzig urban area. Whose Agency? – starting off from the question of whose active power can generate an equal society, she invited feminist initiatives to submit small ads. She then created designs to represent the concerns of the individual participating groups, including the women’s library Mona LiesA or the magazine outside-mag.de, in the form of digital moving image posters. The campaign will be presented in the shop window of the new GfZK building and accompanied by an event on 3 April.
For the event Glossary of undisciplined design Rebecca Stephany and Anja Kaiser present an incomplete glossary of undisciplined design that enables them to speak about their graphic design tools and strategies. The evening continues on from a discourse initiated in October 2018 at the invitation of the collaborative online platform depatriarchise design (Anja Neidhardt and Maya Ober), the design and art historian Gerda Breuer, Kaiser and Stephany. The discussions focus on the necessity for a feminist design practice.
In recent contract-related and autonomous projects, Stephany and Kaiser described how the market can be appropriated for the benefit of a community such as an art association or emancipatory groups – by means of resistant displays, bleaching modifications or unstable signs. Here, their consciously undisciplined research instruments and visual articulations are fired by feminist social criticism. In their choice of media, Stephany and Kaiser often oppose professionally recognised materials and surfaces. The glossary they have drawn up together examines these deviations, playful breaks and their theoretical references in more detail.
Anja Kaiser (born in 1986, lives and works in Leipzig) worked as an artistic assistant at the Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle in the area of type and typography from 2014 to 2018. She has worked as a freelance graphic designer since 2011. She began to develop the project »Sexed Realities — To Whom Do I Owe My Body?« as part of her master’s course at the Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam (Masters Gerrit Rietveld Academy).