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Post-Noviki: Opera Buffa Theater

Work / Graphic Design

Post-Noviki is a skeptical design studio challenging even its own existence

Graphic design studio Post-Noviki, founded by Marcin Nowicki and Katarzyna Nestorowicz, is rooted in skepticism. Their ethos lies in the process of Cartesian doubt [relating to the French philosopher Descartes], meaning to systematically doubt every belief we hold true. They even doubt the existence of the studio itself, as seen in the “post” part of the studio’s name. Within graphic design, the method of doubt is integral to the design process. To question what the aim of the work is, what medium best suits the message and so on, are vital aspects of good graphic design.

Post-Noviki also work across the disciplines of curatorial practice and deliver lectures and workshops. Their collaborative relationship with a diverse variety of clients cause them to be seen as “style shape shifters” and “utopian travellers in hyperreality”. Most recently, Post-Noviki designed a magazine for the Opera Buffa Theater documenting their 20 years of activity “in the context of a transient modern fashion magazine.” The theatre troupe is formed of people with schizophrenia or people who openly speak about it. “The composition of the magazine is based on the presence of two interpenetrating layers,” explain the designers. The first, is a detailed story about Opera Buffa Theater, the second, shows the “strangeness and uniqueness of the enterprise”. The two layers of the publication break down the usual formula of a typical archival publication. The post-studio wanted the publication to resemble neither a real magazine nor a typical publication, “we like it to be uncanny”, says the designers. Adhering to the skeptical nature of the studio, Opera Buffa Theater also features fictitious advertisements and speculative tourist sections, playing up to the Cartesian doubt.

Another project, Peer-to-Peer is an exhibition focusing on the collective practices of art. Post-Noviki designed the visual identity across all printed and digital paraphernalia, focusing on representing the “direct communication in computer networks that inspire new types of human interaction”. The designers draw on the symbols associated with existing peer-to-peer infrastructure and sharing economies such as Uber, Airbnb and Blockchain to create their tech-centric visual identity. Katarzyna and Marcin also looked into the history of avant-garde movements to research how successful collaborations were documented which they then translated to the Peer-to-Peer identity.

More recent work from the studio includes Nothing Twice marking the launching of Cricoteka’s Museum, celebrating the influence of Tadeusz Kantor’s ideas on conceptual art. The event focuses on the crossover of disciplines between theatre, performance and the visual arts exploring how “nothing in life happens twice”. Post-Noviki designed the visual identity which tackles this idea of ephemerality “by endless, unique iteration of letter compositions.”

Katarzyna and Marcin have produced two impressively executed films. The first is The Soul Agent Video made with the photogrammetry technique about the importance of image in our life. The film is “a trip to the psyche world where memory, soul and archetypal images are grounded in a narration by American psychologist, James Hillman”.

Additionally, The Displacement Video explores the notion of displacement in all contexts including sociologically, personally and aesthetically. The video has two narratives. The first, “presents the tracking process of graphics from my blog”, explains Marcin, the act of re-blogging by other users displaces the context of the work completely. The designer says “I travel to unknown places to discover where the re-blogged links have wandered”. The second narrative concerns the problem of internally displaced people. “There is no legal definition of displacement despite the fact that it is one of the most significant issues of our time”. The video cleverly integrates found footage with the re-blogging links which highlights how absurd and incongruous those affected by displacement must feel.

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Post-Noviki: Opera Buffa Theater

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Post-Noviki: Opera Buffa Theater

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Post-Noviki: Opera Buffa Theater

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Post-Noviki: Opera Buffa Theater

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Post-Noviki: Peer-to-Peer

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Post-Noviki: Peer-to-Peer

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Post-Noviki: Peer-to-Peer

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Post-Noviki: Peer-to-Peer

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Post-Noviki: Nothing Twice

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Post-Noviki: Nothing Twice

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Post-Noviki: Nothing Twice