This publication can be considered an omnibus of sorts, accompanying the exhibition of the same name that took place at the MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome in 2021. Held at the IN-DESIGN section of the museum, the monographic column of Museum for Preventive Imagination devoted to the languages of Graphic Design.
The title of the exhibition, Back Matter, refers to all of the parts which follow the central body of a publication, such as an epilogue, a colophon, a glossary, an appendix, and so forth. The term, defining the material and narrative body that can offer reflections to the subject matter of a book, is used metaphorically in this case, in relation to the content of the exhibition. The artists invited to present during the exhibition included Stéphane Barbier Bouvet, Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel, Jana Euler, Ezio Gribaudo, Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, Annette Kelm, Marlie Mul and Peter Wächtler.
The choice of an omnibus as the editorial structure for this publication is based upon Maximilien Vox’s Bibliothèque Imaginaire. Maximilien Vox was the driving force behind this prestigious French typographic yearbook that aimed to reunite disparate French printing houses after World War II. These issues largely contained vintage advertisements from printers, publishers and print-related services. A total of 74 different printers contributed material to these volumes, as did 17 different paper manufacturers. Hundreds of examples of lithography, collage, printed matter and all kinds of drawings and advertisements, from wine labels, to stationary, to bound menus, were brought together, unpaginated. Vox foresaw a restoration of equality between commercial printing, typesetting and the refined editions that characterized French book art before the war.
The Back Matter exhibition space has been transformed in reference to this assortment of designed ephemera, to use the exhibition walls to present pages of printed material I have been editing and designing as part of my body of work. These include pages from exhibition catalogues, excerpts of printed matter and covers of monographs, amongst other examples. The Back Matter catalogue can be viewed both as an accompaniment and continuation of this work, in a bound publication form.