Sunday, May 17, 2009

Museum of Design Atlanta

or, MODA, as it is generally known, is one of Atlanta's best hidden gems. Housed in the lobby and garden level of the Marquis II office tower, MODA as you might expect from its name and location has a well-designed space offering plenty of room for some of Atlanta's most interesting exhibitions. 

The previous show was about purses and I must admit that despite having not one jot of personal interest in purses I found the three rooms stuffed with the things absolutely riveting. Who knew that so much design talent, and I'm not talking here about sticking a famous-name label to a mediocre reticule, could be expended on a bag that then becomes an object of deep lust, desire and fetish? 

Last night we attended a lecture and exhibition entitled The Graphic Imperative: International Posters for Peace, Social Justice and the Environment 1965-2005, and very good it was too. The exhibit is a personal selection of agitprop posters curated by three university professors of communication and graphic design (see website for names etc). One of them, Elizabeth Resnick, was the lecturer who made  persuasive argument for graphic design being an instrument of social change.

Personally, whilst I found the exhibit of three themes, Environment, Peace and Social Justice interesting it all came across as slightly genteel - nothing too strenuous. Where, for example, was ACT UP? Maybe I missed that amongst the throng, and thronging it was, and maybe I'm being ungenerous and carping, for it was a good exhibit, an excellent lecture and there was plenty of food and drink - things guaranteed to give an armchair socialist a nice little frisson of pleasure.

If you are connected with design in Atlanta, MODA should be part of your cultural life, and if you're visiting anytime soon make sure to put it on your itinerary. It is worth the downtown traffic and the idiotic and expensive system of valet parking that the Marriott Marquis has. 

Take MARTA, you're going to look at posters about the environment, social justice and peace!

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