Experimental Jetset – Superstructure
16.03.2018 – 05.05.2018

Exclusively curated and designed for Australian audiences, Experimental Jetset – Superstructure was the first major retrospective of the work of globally renowned graphic design studio Experimental Jetset.

A free exhibition, Experimental Jetset – Superstructure was shown in association with the NGV and Melbourne Art Book Fair at RMIT Design Hub Gallery. Experimental Jetset was the keynote presenters at the Melbourne Art Book Fair, opening Melbourne Design Week.

For Superstructure, Experimental Jetset identified key sub-cultural movements that had inspired their practice. These moments in time would be layered with existing and newly-created works including film, collage, posters, prints and installations.

The exhibition was conceived as a journey through four quarters of an imaginary city representing four conditions: The Constructivist City, The Situationist City, The Provotarian City and the Post-Punk City.

The exhibition placed Experimental Jetset and their ideas-driven and socially-engaged practice within a historical continuum.

As they explained: ‘Invited by RMIT Design Hub Gallery and the NGV to put together a retrospective show on the topic of our own work, we decided to somewhat broaden the theme, and seize this opportunity to turn the exhibition into a personal research project – a chance to look deeper into some of the themes that we find relevant to our own practice’.

In addition, a sequence of newspapers would be published in collaboration with nine Melbourne-based graphic designers to connect the ideas within the show to the local context. The themes explored in the newspapers would also form the basis for a program of public events, giving visitors critical insight into graphic design discourse today. The nine practitioners were: Paul Marcus Fuog, Stuart Geddes, Jenny Grigg, Lisa Grocott, Hope Lumsden-Barry, Warren Taylor, Ziga Testen, Michaela Webb and Beaziyt Worcou.

Experimental Jetset is an Amsterdam-based graphic design studio founded in 1997 by Marieke Stolk, Erwin Brinkers and Danny van den Dungen. Focusing on printed matter and site-specific installations, EJ has worked on projects for a wide variety of institutes, including Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Centre Pompidou, Dutch Post Group, and Whitney Museum of American Art. Experimental Jetset taught at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (Amsterdam) between 2000 and 2013, and are currently tutors at Werkplaats Typografie (Arnhem).

In 2007, a substantial selection of work by Experimental Jetset was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art (New York). Other institutes that have collected EJ material include Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), SFMOMA (San Francisco), Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago), Museum für Gestaltung (Zürich), Centre National des Arts Plastiques (Paris), and Cooper Hewitt (New York).  In 2015, Roma Publications (Amsterdam) released a monograph titled 'Statement and Counter-Statement: Notes on Experimental Jetset'.

Superstructure opened at Design Hub Gallery on Friday 16 March and ran until Saturday 5 May. The Melbourne Art Book Fair, curated by Megan Patty NGV Publications Manager, took place from Friday 16 March to Sunday 18 March at the National Gallery of Victoria, with Experimental Jetset presenting a full-day symposium on Thursday 15 March, the first day of Melbourne Design Week.  

Experimental Jetset - Superstructure was conceived and designed by Experimental Jetset, Netherlands.

Presented by RMIT Design Hub Gallery in collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria.

Curatorium: Megan Patty (National Gallery of Victoria); Brad Haylock, Kate Rhodes, Fleur Watson (RMIT University).

RMIT Design Hub Gallery team: Kate Rhodes, Fleur Watson, Nella Themelios, Erik North, Tim McLeod, Layla Cluer, Síofra Lyons, Luke Pringipas, Ian Bunyi, Lule Garrett

Thank you to the staff and the students from the Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing for their work on the Experimental Jetset – Superstructure newspaper:

Stephanie Holt – Leader, Teaching and Learning Innovation
Emily Anderson
Beverly Brigham
Sidney Dobson
Jackie Goodlet
Claire Summers
Felicity Sutton
Kate Turner
Taryn Van Kan
Matthew Ziccone

Experimental Jetset – Superstructure opening night, images courtesy of Tobias Titz