Persuasive Paper

How effective are posters in altering people’s perceptions? Are they
only worth the paper they’re printed on or are they truly persuasive
papers? The debate rages at the exhibition Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now at Exit Art in
New York, where hundreds of posters, photographs, moving images, audio
clips, and ephemera document more than 40 years of activism, political
protest, and campaigns for social justice. Many of them have indeed
altered perception and triggered action. Curated by Dara Greenwald and
Josh MacPhee and organized thematically, the current show presents
issues from Civil Rights and Black Power in the United States to
democracy in China to anti-apartheid in Africa to environmental
activism and women’s rights internationally. “The exhibition also
explores the development of powerful counter-cultures that evolve
beyond traditional politics and create distinct aesthetics,
lifestyles, and social organization,” say its organizers. Exit Art exhibitions are famous for presenting a critical mass of unique artifacts and this one is no exception.

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Daily Heller, Imprint: Print Magazine's Design Blog

About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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