4th edition

We invite all poster artists and designers to take part in the 4th edition of Roller Poster. During upcoming months we will choose the best self-edition posters created between 2017-2019. For the first time, we decided to invite an international jury to take care of the selection. Foremost authorities in the field of poster art from different countries will choose the most original, creative and visually striking works. The selection will also become an opportunity for discussion and searching for the answer to the question, which is the key idea of this year's edition, namely - what is a poster?

A few words about idea of the 4th edition of Roller Poster

What is self edition-poster?

A self-edition poster is a poster created without commissions, commercial intentions and without working to nightmarish deadlines. Furthermore, there are no external impositions which would limit artists in any way. Self-edition posters are characterized by complete creative autonomy which is one of the distinguishing features of pure art. It was not until a dozen or so years ago, that self-edition posters began to receive the attention they deserved from institutions and organisations related to poster art. Today it is a true phenomenon represented by several generations of artists – it gives them creative freedom and it is a tool for social commentary and aesthetical expression.

Some dub this kind of posters "fake", which shows how many emotions this issue arouses among designers and critics. Many of them believe, that poster art should always have its practical use and fulfil requirements imposed by clients/institutions which order the work. It is difficult to ignore the fact, that the era of “classic” poster (meaning “true” to its roots and function) has been already declared finished by many critics. Great posters are created regardless of their purpose – the ones which are created “on a whim” are usually presented on artists’ websites and social network pages with Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest replacing the traditional walls and advertising columns.

An interesting question arises – if self-edition posters have no practical use and they are displayed only digitally, do they still belong to the “poster” category? What does the term “poster” mean today? Surely there is a huge difference between posters created for oneself and traditional posters almost always created for others (i.e. those who pay). The art of poster has gradually shifted from “applied” to “pure”. This amount of creative awakening would not be possible if it wasn’t for technological revolution which democratized arts – before the digital era the artist’s workshop was much harder to master, the creative process was more complicated and only limited group of people had access to tools and knowledge required to create posters (obviously, apart from the conceptual stage). Today posters can be made with a gesture drawing, constructed on a modular grid, easily composed with a huge array of computer tools which combine different techniques and approaches. Not only have the technological possibilities aiding creativity become unlimited, but also it is much easier to share your works and show them to the world. This changed the whole design culture and made it much more vibrant and transparent. Self-edition is part of the emerging trends related to those changes. For many poster designers “self-edition” it is a form of counter-balance to their regular day-to-day commercial works. It is anti-commercial in nature and it frequently mocks advertising and marketing practices. The question of whether it is fine art or applied graphic design becomes irrelevant.

The Roller Poster’s mission is to bring the poster back to its natural environment and urban surroundings. We know that art galleries can be quite intimidating to people. In 1974 (in an interview for “Projekt” about International Poster Biennale in Zachęta) prof. Henryk Tomaszewski already expressed his concerns related to hanging posters in enclosed spaces:

“Visiting this exhibition makes me uneasy. It is quiet, cosy and safe. Guards keep their eyes on me and make sure that I won’t attack the works of art with a razor blade. But it all feels like a dog shelter. Everything on display seems like it was caged and missed the streets. I also feel that I don’t know anymore what the term “poster” means and what is its function. Does it inform? Does it advertise? Is it suppose to hang on a wall? Is it a fancy gadget related to some intellectual games? Or art for art’s sake? I have no idea. Probably it is a kind of grapefruit or Fellini’s 8½”

prof. Henryk Tomaszewski

A poster is a medium that can have a huge impact on its audience. As an art form, it is both deeply rooted in socio-cultural collective consciousness and accessible. We want to show the world seen from the perspective of poster designers. Through their art, we can experience their inner world and personal insights. A poster can turn out to be a medium of confession, a reflection of their fears, interests and political beliefs. Let’s free the poster art and bring it back where it belongs – to the city streets. Let’s show posters to people passing by, whoever they are, and invite them to the intimate worlds inhabited by contemporary poster artists.

The organizers

  • Generalnie Sztuka Fundation

Partners

  • City Szczecin
  • Department of Graphic Design of the Faculty of Visual Arts at the Academy of Art in Szczecin
  • Szczecińska Agencja Artystyczna
  • Żegługa Szczecińska